News from Open Doors

MISSION FOCUS FOR JULY 2015

OPEN DOORS

Revival in China

In 1981, China was the place where persecution was at its worst. Chairman Mao had died a few years earlier and had left his country with a strong communist heritage. Christians were forced to meet in secret and had no Bibles. Although it was almost impossible to access Bibles, the ever-growing Church was desperate and hungry for God’s life-changing Word.

It was also the year that Open Doors embarked on a journey like never before. In one single night, on a secluded beach in south-eastern China, Open Doors delivered one million Bibles to be distributed to persecuted Christians who had no access to God’s Word. This bold expedition was dubbed ‘Project Pearl’, with reference to the pearl of great price in Matthew 13:45–46 recognising the true value of Bibles.

In spite of this intense persecution, the Church grew. First with hundreds of thousands of people, and later even millions coming to faith in Christ. After 30 years, China has changed drastically in the political, economic and social realms, and is still changing to this day.

“We are so thankful for how our brothers and sisters around the world prayed for and supported us during some of the most extreme years of persecution. Now, it is our responsibility to stand with Christians in countries where they are facing persecution like we once did.”

– Fu*, Chinese Christian leader.

*name changed for security

Find out more:

  • To watch a video about the revival in China click here.
  • To read more about the current persecution of Christians in China click here.
  • To find out more about the mission of Open Doors, or to donate click here.

 

Mission Focus: Open Doors

Our mission focus for the month of July will be Open Doors

What does the Open Doors ministry do?

The following information and photos come from the Open Doors website:

Distributing Bibles

Providing Bibles and Christian literature
Open Doors provides a wide range of Biblical materials in various languages to persecuted Christians, including Study Bibles, Children’s Bibles, MP3 Bibles and discipleship literature.

Leadership Training

Training for leadership and discipleship
Open Doors offers training in effective church leadership and discipling others, in order to help believers grow in their faith and learn how to stand strong in the midst of persecution.

Sustaining lives, supporting livelihoods
Open Doors practically supports victims of persecution, violence and natural disaster. We
assist Christian families, widows and orphans with literacy training, livelihood and business opportunities.

Livelihood Support

Personal encouragement
Open Doors brings personal encouragement to many persecuted believers in various ways, including writing letters and cards of encouragement, as well as sending travellers to meet and pray with them in their local areas.

Speaking out in advocacy
Open Doors helps persecuted believers by advocating on their behalf, providing legal support, seeking positive policy changes and campaigning in Australia.

Raising awareness and encouraging prayer
Open Doors produces a range of resources that are available to Australian Christians, alerting them to the needs to the Persecuted Church and encouraging prayerful support.

Prayer

For more information, and to donate click here.

 

Mission Focus – Mercy Ships

The Mission Focus for the month of June has been Mercy Ships.

Below is some information taken from their website. To find out more, or to donate, click here.

An estimated ONE BILLION people lack access to even basic health care. They are plagued by preventable disease, untreated illnesses and neglected injuries. Even a simple toothache can become a life-threatening crisis.

In many developing countries, even basic medical care is a luxury. And in Africa, nearly 50 percent of the people have no access to a hospital or doctor.

Children, teens, adults and the elderly suffer and die every day from curable or treatable
causes.  A staggering 6.6 million children under the age of five died in 2012 from treatable
diseases – more than 18,000 children per day. (Source: WHO).  The challenge is enormous but with your help we can save lives.

For more than 30 years, Mercy Ships and its committed partners and volunteers have followed the model of Jesus to bring hope and healing to the world’s poor one life, one community and one nation at at time. Mercy Ships and its volunteers treat life-threatening tumours, cleft lip and palate repairs, plastic reconstruction for severe burn-related injuries, hernia repairs, cataract removal, correction for orthopaedic deformities (club foot, bowed legs and other severe abnormalities), obstetric fistula repair and dental care.

 

 

Mercy Ships is currently serving in Madagascar, off the east coast of Africa, where thousands of suffering children and adults will be seen by our medical volunteers. Our big white hospital ship is their only hope. The situation is truly heart-wrenching, and we rely on your continued help.

Madagascar is one of the least developed counties as ranked by the United Nations Human Development Index, with a life expectancy of only 64 years.

A protracted political crisis in recent years has taken a heavy toll on Madagascar’s economy and people, especially the most vulnerable. Over 92 percent of Madagascar’s population lives on less than $2 a day and there are only three physicians available for every 10,000 people.

During the Africa Mercy’s stay in the port of Tamatave, Republic of Madagascar, Mercy Ships plans to provide over 1,700 surgeries for adult and child patients onboard, to treat others at land-based dental and eye clinics renovated for the purpose, and provide holistic health care education to Malagasy health care professionals and community leaders.

Specifically, Mercy Ships’ Education Programs aim to impart knowledge and skills while modelling and encouraging a compassionate and a professional attitude to promote transformational development in the Malagasy health sector. Measures include one-on-one mentoring opportunities and internationally recognised courses for groups in the Africa Mercy hospital.

We are honoured to be able to come alongside the Republic of Madagascar and their government’s effort to strengthen their health care infrastructure through the training and capacity building Mercy Ships offers, free of charge. We hope you will join us in bringing hope and healing to the Malagasy people.

For more information, and to donate, click here.

Mission Project for June

WOMEN’S HEALTH PROGRAMMEMERCY SHIPS

During the month of June we are having a focus on Mercy Ships and their valuable medical work. This is also our mission fund raiser for the month. For more information click here.

 

Nana suffered severe childbirth injury and after surgery was finally healed
At fifteen years of age, Nana was given in marriage and pregnancy soon followed. After counting nine full moons, Nana prepared herself to give birth but the baby did not come. After three days of medical care in a local hospital, the now lifeless baby was delivered. Nana was left with an obstetric fistula and, as a consequence, her husband left her.

Seven years after her childbirth injury, Nana moved to Conakry, Guinea to access the surgery she had heard about for women with her condition. While Nana’s two surgeries at the hospital in Conakry failed, her life took an unexpected turn for the better. “Three years and four months ago, I met Djibril. He decided that he loved me, and he set about winning my heart. I told him about my condition, and he said that was all the more reason I needed him. Like my parents, Djibril never doubted that I would be healed, and he was just the man God had in mind to help me,” Nana recalls. Then, in 2013, Nana experienced what she calls an incredible blessing. Djibril was watching television and learnt of Mercy Ships and its big white hospital ship.

Nana came to the Mercy Ships screening with a group of friends, and her faithfulness bore fruit. The skillful hand of Australian surgeon Dr. Judith Goh and the intense prayers of everyone around her resulted in a successful fistula repair. After a two-week healing period, Nana was finally healed.

Mission Focus for June

Our History

MERCY SHIPS

During the month of June 2015 our church will have a focus on the mission work of Mercy Ships.

MERCY SHIPS IS A UNIQUE MEDICAL HOSPITAL SHIP CHARITY
We have transformed the lives of more than 2.42 million people in the least developed countries for over 35 years. Australian surgeons, nurses and other staff volunteer their services and pay for their own expenses so we can treat more people
THE PROBLEM
In many developing countries even basic medical care is a luxury
In Africa nearly 50% of the people have no access to a hospital or doctor. Children and adults suffer and die every day from curable or treatable causes. Every year 6.6 million vulnerable children die before the age of 5 from preventable diseases.
OUR RESULTS
2,420,000 patients treated

32,100 health care workers trained

1,100 community development projects

For more information click here.

About Us

 

 

Mission Stall 10 year Anniversary

The first sale from our church mission table was banked on the 9th May 2005.

Over the last ten years, total income from sales is $15,363.65 averaging just over $1500 per year.

Just over $15,000 of this money has already been given to various mission works with the balance remaining in the fund ready for later distribution.

Thank you to everyone for your support.

Remember: when you buy from this stall you are supporting missions.

Special meetings

We are having special meetings at the church tonight and also next Thursday.

Tonight: Cornerstone Foundation Australia – informing us about a special work in Uganda. 7:30pm. Supper to follow.

Thursday 19th March: Open Doors: multi-media presentation called “Dangerous Faith” about the persecuted church – what is it like to be a Christian in the Middle East countries of Egypt, Syria and Iraq. 7:30pm. Supper to follow.

All welcome. Bring a friend.

TH

Let us be wheat growers

As we open God’s word to hear what His message is for us today Pastor Grant will be speaking on the importance of “study”, the second in the series on the spiritual disciplines. The title of his message will be “Thinking on these things” and based on the reading in Philippians 4: 4 – 9.

Leith Anderson in the forward to Elmer Town’s book Into the future begins with a fantasy he has while walking the streets of heaven. A stranger approaches and asks, “Someone told me you lived on Earth at the beginning of the twenty first century – you know, back when God was doing His great thing in the church, back when the gospel was spreading everywhere. Is that true? Were you there? What was it like? What was your part?

He continues, “The fantasy grows out of my conviction that we are experiencing the greatest spiritual awakening in history. The growth of the church is explosive. But what about North America (or Australia)?” We are hearing conflicting messages about the church being in decline while there are others who talk about unprecedented revival. Which perspective is correct?

Jesus’ answer is in the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13: 24 – 30). He describes a time when both flourish side by side. When approached by the workers about the weeds he says not to focus to much on them “because while you are  pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest…”

Anderson comments, “Please don’t misunderstand. Weeds are wicked. As Christians we must be against the weeds of sin around us. But I would rather focus my life on growing the wheat than on attacking the weeds. Let us be wheat growers who want to answer the fantasy question in heaven, “Yes, I was there. God did wonderfully amazing things. Let me tell you my exciting share!”

Benediction: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Cor. 13:14)

˄GS

 

Special Meeting this Wednesday evening

There will be a special meeting in our church this coming Wednesday evening at 7:30pm. Super is provided.

That’s tomorrow!

Guest speaker will be Mr James Abraham from GMP (Global Mission Partners)

James Abraham grew up in Kenyi but fled the war in 1986. His family was welcomed to Australia as refugees in 2003. They joined the Ballarat Church of Christ in Victoria where James began to share his vision to support his homeland.

GMP has appointed James as Project Manager of the Bongibot Agricultural Project in Kenyi Payam in South Sudan.

In the Kenyi Payam district, in the fertile hills close to the Ugandan border, four sections of land have been provided for agricultural enterprises to generate food security, agricultural development, employment and finance for community development initiatives.

Kenyi Payam continues to experience extreme poverty as a direct result of civil war. Agricultural development ceased during the civil war and continues to be severely restricted, leaving the community with little opportunity for food security, employment, income generation, or the ability to finance basic community development.

The Payam is divided into four Bomas with a combined population of 85000. There are three primary schools, no secondary schools, and three clinics that are staffed by a nurse who can provide basic medical assistance. The region was a major conflict zone from 1983 until 2005, which halted development and restricted agriculture severely due to land mines.

The land is extremely fertile but people lack knowledge and equipment for modern farming practices. The project aims to equip people with these skills through the four models farms, training and providing key equipment.  Any return from the farms will be poured into community projects in the area.

All welcome to attend.

˄TH

Mission Table

The Mission Table has raised thousands of dollars over the years it has been in operation. It has showcased the God-given talents and skills of many in our fellowship.

However the following points need to be noted:
• Only new items are suitable.
• Every item must be priced using the system that is in place.
• Price items realistically. ‘A good workman is worthy of his hire.’ Matthew 10:10
• Items like cards are safer if in a cellophane bag.
• All items are to be entered in the record book.
• See Corinne, Yvonne, June or Doreen for any queries.
There are some unpriced items on the table at the moment. See Corinne to correct this.

˄CH