college travels

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Youthworks lead Moore early in first half

Alas by the end of the game the scoreline was not so flattering. But the boys of Youthworks College fought valiantly on the Rugby League field against Moore College last Wednesday night. If there were bonus tries for having faculty members on the field we would have won by a long shot!

So far we’ve come second to SMBC at soccer, second to Moore College at League, maybe we can beat Mary Andrews College at AFL?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Jim French

We're very excited to be able to announce that Jim French will join the Diploma Faculty team full time in 2007 teaching in New Testament and Exegesis as well as taking responsibility for the Youth Ministry Skills program.

Jim left school in year 10 and got an electrical trade before going to Moore College in 1995. Since finishing Moore he's worked in youth ministry in Liverpool and, until now, at Orange Evangelical Church in Orange western NSW. Jim has just recently finished his M.A. in Theology with Moore College.

We're very grateful to OEC for letting us take Jim away from their church - the least we can do is ask you, our trusted supporters, to join us in thanking God for their generosity and praying for their ongoing ministry in Orange (check them out at

I've known Jim for over 10 years and am thrilled that he's going to join our team. He's no dummy, has had lots of experience in youth ministry, loves the Lord and gets on with me! A rare combination indeed ;-)

In 2007 Jim will be teaching NT202 (Acts and Epistles) to first and second years, and will team up with Andy to teach OT216 (Isaiah) for the Advanced Diploma students - all the more reason for you graduates out there to come back to College to check out the new-boy.

Please pray for Jim as he prepares to start the new year and thank God for making all this possible.

Alfred and Susan Olwa

We enjoyed a vist from Alfred and Susan Olwa from Uganda yesterday at College. Alfred is the Dean of the Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology at Uganda Christian University. They're training pastors for the Anglican Church and other protestant churches in Uganda as well as providing general education in Christian basics for all the students at the university.

We were very interested in the degree in Children's work that they've recently introduced to the University - always glad to hear of others who are taking ministry to children seriously.

They asked us to pray for an upcoming course they run for the spouses of students who are training for parish ministry and also for their own family life as they deal with the day to day pressures of being involved in a demanding ministry.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Finally back home - and with that strange feeling of realising there's another world across there on the other side of the country where life is so different and so similar.

<-- That's Mt Magnet, the buildings near the horizon in the middle of the photo. The buildings in the front are part of the mines that surround the town. It's not a big place. And it's a long way from anywhere else.

Here are my top three stories:

Four year old boy, swears like a grown up truck driver (which is a lot), who also said he was a follower of Jesus. His mates ask, 'if you follow Jesus why do you swear all the time?' he replies, 'Jesus hasn't told me anything about not swearing.' I add, 'there is something in the Bible about not using bad language', which recieves the classic reply: 'well when I get to that page I'll rip it out and piss on it!'

Another four year old boy, asked by a friend's mother if he's enjoying Kid's Club: 'It's really good, we're learning about a really cool guy... I can't remember his name... he made the whole world! That's right, his name's God... he's got another name too... but I can't remember that';

And finally, a sixteen year old girl who asked whether it was true that when we die the next baby to be born is your soul. One of the team members talked to her about the next life, judgement and the promise of heaven for those who are Jesus' friends. The girl asked whether there would be bush in heaven and the team member talked about the new creation, a renewed earth that would probably have bush in it as well, but perfect. To which the girl replied with eyes of wonder, 'you mean bush without drought?' What better way to put it - we long for the place where there's bush without drought.

Thanks for joining us on this journey to Mt Magnet. Please keep them in your prayers.

Here's a shot of our trusty team - all decked out in their glorious orange t-shirts.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The final day

Hey there -
one more day to go. We're currently in final throes of preparation for the last Kid's Club meeting. It's hard thinking about saying goodbye - each day the kids say, 'you gonna be here tomorrow?', and every other day we've been able to respond with a happy, 'yep!'. But not today.

We're glad that Bill and Jackie are here to keep working with the kids after we leave, but they're aware of the contrast between what a team of enthusiastic young visitors can provide with what's possible with just the two of them. Their big prayer points are for more Christian people to choose to come and live and work in the town - experienced teachers who are able to deal with the challenges of teaching the kids as well as having the energy to be involved in youth ministry at church, a doctor who can serve the community and be part of the congregation, a youth worker who can give themselves to sharing Jesus with the young people in town through sharing their life and sharing the gospel. Please join with us in praying for all these things.

Yesterday went well - less kids than previously, but it seemed that the Lord brought the right ones for the right time. Pray that they come back today and that we'd have the chance again to share Christ with them.

Sport's night was a hit. The kids had a good time and played in a generally good spirit.

Pray for Mel - she tried to kick a football yesterday but didn't quite succeed and so the football kicked her instead, and strained the ligaments in her ankle. So we were back to the Nurse's station! In God's providence we managed to pick the one day of the month that there was a physio in town - so for Mel, it's crutches and ice packs. Pray for her as she sits around, watching the rest of the team do the running around that she'd love to be joining in with.

Tomorrow we have our celebratory greasy breakfast at the Swagman roadhouse before heading back to Perth - our aim is to get to the ocean before the sun sets at 6:27. Overnight in Perth, perhaps a swim in the Indian Ocean before flying back over this great country on Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

over half way through.

Aaargh... the local swimming pool was planning on opening from 12 to 5pm each day - right when we are running our program, which would have spelt disaster for us. Fortunately Bill has such good contacts in town that he heard about the plan and was able to ask them to open from 12 to 3, with our program running from 3 to 5! phew.

Yesterday went well, a few less kids than the day before (at least one family we knew of were going to Geraldton for the day) and the busload of kids from Yalgoo didn't eventuate (hopefully they'll come today or tomorrow), but a good time in both youth and kid's groups.

Last night the girls did nail polish, scoobies and played cards with the girls, and the guys opened the youth centre and let the guys play pool. Gave us a chance to say hello to some of the teenagers who haven't been around in the afternoon - but it's a long road to having substantial conversations with them. We keep praying for a miraculous intervention of the Spirit to call some, and maybe use us as the right people at the right time, or that when the Lord does choose to visit them, that their memory of how we related to them (in whatever small way) will be part of what the Lord will use for them to say Yes to him.

Same program this afternoon, with sport's night tonight. We're over half way, and beginning to feel the sadness of having to say goodbye after such a short time and with so much more work able to be done. Please keep praying for the team's enthusiasm and energy, that they'd be confident in God's promise and provision. And pray for miracles.

Talking of miracles, last night we drove a few minutes out of town on the road heading East till we were in the middle of darkness to watch the glory of the night sky - we were all left wondering where all those stars hide when we're back in Sydney! And then the moon rose... just off full, bright orange and the size of your fist on the horizon. wacko. How great is our God!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Day One

Executive Summary:
Day one went well. 30 kids (14 junior, 16 senior). Connected again with some of the kids from last year. The Senior group is a lot less talkative than we had planned.

Prayer Points:
Give thanks that Brad and Narelle arrived safely from Perth – now our team is complete.

Give thanks for a good first day and that the tweaking we’ll give to the program will be beneficial.

Pray with us for some of the kids in particular: for two boys to own their faith that they’ve inherited from their keen (and quite strict) Christian parents; for one 16 year old guy whose life is falling apart through drugs and alcohol – he wants to make a change but doesn’t have the resources to make it happen. Pray that we’d have a chance to share the good news of Jesus with him, and that the Spirit would be pleased to call him; and for a 16 year old girl who we’ve been told is a major handful for Christian grandmother who she lives with. Pray for a miracle – that her grandmother’s prayers might be answered.

The Full Story:
The first day of anything always brings a strange mix of emotions and experiences. At our team meeting in the morning we shared one word to describe how we were feeling – we had words like, good, better (that was Hamish), anxious, excited, enthused.

This morning’s study was on Psalm 121 – where will our help come from? Does the person speaking in verse 1 look to the hills and get excited by the destination that lies ahead of them, or do they get anxious when they think of the dangers that hide in wait for them, or do they get tempted by the foreign gods whose places of worship dot the high places? Whatever emotion they face, where will they find help to deal with it all?

Maybe it’s one of the elders in the village that responds in verse 2 – ‘whatever you’re worried about young fella, my help has always come from the Lord, which is just what you’d expect because he’s the one who made heaven and earth after all! And there’s every reason to expect the same protection on your journey as I’ve had on mine.’

That’s what we wanted to take into Day 1: reminded again of the truths of our faith – that Jesus is Lord and Saviour (both of us and of everyone we’ll be in contact with here in MtM); and with the conviction that what we believe does actually work out in our experience, our prayer is to enter the day confident that Jesus will build his church, that the Father will be drawing people to Jesus, and that in that freedom we’d be able to give ourselves to whatever he calls us to be involved in today.

Our first big prayer point was for Brad and Narelle to arrive safely from Perth – partly because we wanted them to arrive safely, but also because we wanted their car (with all the equipment we needed for Kid’s Club) to arrive in time in time. And thanks to God, both things happened!

About 30 kids turned up at 2:30 including some of those we met last year. We did chalk drawings, coloured in and kicked footballs. From 4:00 we split into junior and senior groups for the teaching time – following Jesus in the footsteps of Peter (chant with us: Jesus is – the mighty mighty king – Jesus says – come follow him). The junior group was good fun, mostly aboriginal kids, quiet on the whole with some enthusiastic characters thrown in. Jess did a great job of leading the session, ably supported by Mel, Ally and me as puppeteers. The teenage group was a bit harder – with day 1 technical difficulties in setting up AV equipment, and with a group that was on the younger and less talkative end than what the team had prepared for. But Mitch adjusted the plan on the fly and came up with something that worked.

Various adjustments to be made this morning of course, but that’s the nature of mission programs like this.

Today is more of the same – though with a busload (i.e. about 15) kids coming from Yalgoo (another town about 150 km west of here). It’s probably going to be 35 degrees today – so pray we keep the fluids up, and thank God that ‘the sun will not harm us by day’ (Psalm 121:6).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Hamish Update

Well, he wasn’t just sick, he had a bug and was badly dehydrated, so much so that his kidneys weren’t functioning properly. Now, if we were in the city we’d just take him to the nearest medical centre. In Mt Magnet we had to ring a nurse in Perth, describe the symptoms over the phone, they then contacted the nurse in Mt Magnet and we took Hamish to the nurses station here. They gave him some drugs and put him on a drip, and sent him home with the instruction to come back if he hadn’t done a wee by midday then we’d have to fly him to Perth.

Fortunately Hamish announced at breakfast that he had indeed been to the toilet during the night. There was much rejoicing.

Sunday, 8 October 2006 - Return to Magnet

The Executive summary:
Have arrived in Mt Magnet and in the throes of final preparation before Kid’s Club starts tomorrow afternoon.

Prayer points:
That Hamish would get better; for Brad and Narelle to arrive safely from Perth; that final preparation would go smoothly; for more Christian people to move to Mt Magnet; give thanks for Bill and Jackie France.

The full story:
We’re here – Mt Magnet, not much more than a dot on the edge of the desert. Other than the fact that there’s gold in the ground it’s hard to imagine why anyone would choose to settle here. For fans of Dirt Music (Tim Winton), Lu Fox comes through here on his trip north – has a run in with some aboriginal kids at the BP and spends the night at the Granites just north of town.

Yesterday was a long haul – up at 6am to get to the airport for the 9:30 Virgin Blue flight to Perth, collected the hire cars and began the six hour drive to Magnet.

(When we got to Perth I’d forgotten which car company we’d booked with, so we each lined up at a different counter and asked whether they had a booking in the name of Stanton, or perhaps Betts (our college admin person) or even Youthworks College – didn’t take too many attempts before hitting the jackpot with Thrifty! Lunch stop was at Midland, which we discovered was not the sort of place most people from Perth would choose for lunch, but hey, we’re from Sydney. We (actually I) left a bag of shopping on a bench, when we went back five minutes later to find it missing the security guard shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘it’s Midland, what can I say?’)

We’re back in the same house as last year – very big thankyou to Anne from Mt Magnet School who is in Perth for school holidays – literally on the edge of town (which means we’re 2 minutes walk from the centre of town).

Church this morning was Bill and Jackie (the minister and his wife), the seven of us, two others and three kids! The sermon was from Revelation 1:9-20 – seeing Jesus in his ascended glory, reminding us why we’re here and what we’re here for: under instruction from Jesus the King, and ambassadors for Jesus the Saviour; by his grace and for his glory.

Being here again reminds me of the opportunities and challenges for Christian ministry in Mt Magnet and in so many similar remote towns across the country. It’s a privilege and freedom to be here as ambassadors of Christ in the power of his Spirit. Instead of being overwhelmed, the experience of being here enlarges my prayers once again – and it would be great if you, my happy readers, could join in praying for Christian teachers, doctors, police, council workers etc to come to Mt Magnet and stand with the Christians in the town to demonstrate and announce the reign of Christ. Will such a strategy change the world? It could at least change the world for this community, and in the plans and purposes of the God of Heaven, then who knows what might follow?

We’ve got a day and a half to get all the final preparation done before Kid’s Club begins tomorrow afternoon. Pray with us that everything comes together well and that we’re ready for whatever tomorrow brings.

Hamish (one of our team members) has been knocked down with a vomiting bug. Please pray that he’s back on his feet (and out of the toilet) soon and that his normally generous nature doesn’t extend to sharing this bug with anyone else.

Brad and Narelle Young from Perth are joining us tomorrow – pray for them as they make the long drive up.

Thank God for the ministry of Bill and Jackie – for their patience and devotion to serving Jesus in Mt Magnet, and for the way they’ve looked after us.

Friday, October 06, 2006


This is me, and this is the first entry in my new blog.

It's mainly been set up to fill you (whoever you might be) in on how things are going in WA for the week of mission we're doing in Mt. Magnet. Tomorrow we fly to Perth, so tonight I pack, and set up this blog.

stay tuned.