Jesus is… alive and active on day five in the Illawarra!
It’s day five, and the weariness is beginning to show, particularly through bouts of laughter, which seem to be erupting even when there isn’t anything that is particularly funny… But, the team is in good spirits and are feeling thankful at the way we have been able to see God at work throughout the week so far.
It is such a privilege to have the opportunity to share with people who Jesus is, and a real joy to be able to see their responses. Yesterday, a young girl asked Mak whether God lived in a cemetery. Not quite knowing where she was coming from, he asked her to continue and she told him that her dog had passed away and she was scared of dying. Mak was able to tell her that if we trust in Jesus to be our saviour, even though we will die we will also be raised to life, just like Jesus died and was raised to life. When she heard this, her jaw dropped and her face lit up. What a great response! Pray this truth would take root in her heart and that she would become a faithful follower of Jesus. Also ask God to remind us all about how utterly amazing the hope we have is – Jesus is alive! We truly do have the best news ever to tell people.
Today was the third and final day of the series of talks held at the Shellharbour Civic Centre. Ben Pfahlert has spoken to us about Jesus being legit, epic, and today – Jesus is the reviver. Praise God, over 600 people have attended across the three days, and they have been met by smiling faces from both the Moore College team, and many members of the local churches. One of the most encouraging parts of the mission so far has been seeing God at work through the unity of his people. Our host churches have modelled faithfulness in the way they have joyfully served our team, and all those who have been part of the mission or attended events. We have been very well taken care of, and very well fed! Thank God for the many members that make up Christ’s body, particularly his faithful servants in the Illawarra.
Scripture classes have been another example of how valuable the ministry of locals have been in this area. We have conducted scripture assemblies throughout the week for over 800 students, and it has been amazing to witness the rapport and relationships the local SRE teachers have been able to build, both with young people and the teachers and school administration. I was walking through school with one of the SRE teachers who volunteer with Year 2, and she was repeatedly approached by older students who she used to teach. It was heartwarming to see such a positive response and to know the difference these people are making in the lives of young people through telling them about Jesus. Thank God for these opportunities and pray that he uses them powerfully to make many disciples.
Whilst there have been countless encouraging experiences throughout the week, there is also a sense of grief for the many people we have encountered who don’t really know who Jesus is, and aren’t interested in finding out. Much of our efforts in walk-up, door knocking, and manning the stall at the shopping centre have been met with avoidant, apathetic, and even antagonistic responses. A harsh reminder that to some we are an aroma of death leading to death, but to others, an aroma of life leading to life (2cor2:16). The news we proclaim is divisive, and it is right to mourn those who are perishing. Grieve with us, and pray we would not be disheartened us, but would instead be spurred on to continue seeking the lost, trusting that the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Heb4:12).
For tomorrow, some of them team will be enjoying a well deserved rest-day, while the others will be continuing with SRE seminars before helping out with the Free to Be youth event at Wollongong Entertainment centre in the evening. A couple of thousand tickets have already been sold for the event, so it should be an exciting time!
Thanks for your ongoing prayers and support – God is at work!