Go West Young Man

What I’ve Been Doing in the West

 

The original invitation to come west was from Pete Brownhill from Perth YWAM.  He had been working with the pastors from Albany on a plan to link the centenary of ANZAC with a Christian connection.  In reading about the departure of the fleet of 30 ships for the Middle East it was discovered that each of the ANZACS were given a full Bible to take with them.  So the churches ordered some special Bibles and decided to offer a Bible to every household in Albany.  Over five days, more than a hundred volunteers from the YWAM team and the local churches spend two two-hour stints visiting homes.  The city was divided into twelve districts and different churches took responsibility for a district.  All in all they visited over 11,000 homes.  They gave out nearly 2000 Bibles.  When you think of the number of houses where no one was home and the additional number that told us they already had a Bible, that figure is very impressive.

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I was able to take part in the last two days of that work and loved the opportunity to bang on doors and talk to people.  There were many wonderful stories of people being prayed for and served in small but significant ways.  One lady brought out a copy of the original ANZAC Bible that had been given to her uncle, as he was part of the group who sailed from Albany.

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I also spoke at one of the Sunday morning meetings of one of the churches.  It was a small church with a great couple of people by the name of Peter and Pam who were the pastors.  We then had the big event – which I was invited over for – on Sunday night.  Around 500 people packed into the local Baptist church.  It was more than twice the number they had previous had together.  It was preceded by a barbecue and many of the local public officials were there, politicians etc.  It was such a great night, with some great stories and a wonderful responsive bunch of people.

Esperance

I came to Albany via Esperance.  There is a Crosslink Church there called the Gumtree Church.  Wassa Harvey is the pastor and they are a terrific mob.  I was also able to catch up with some great people at an Aboriginal Christian School that operates just to the north of town.  It is a school for year 11-12 kids and they have a hundred and fifty Aboriginal young people from all over WA.  I actually flew down from Perth with some of them who were returning to school.  The Deputy Principal is a guy called Brendan who we have known for years.  The staff are a wonderful team of people who have worked there together over a long time and have that strong loving presence about them.

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Perth

I came back to Perth on Monday with Pete Brownhill and have spent three days here meeting with Crosslink and other leaders.  One of those is Andrew Beale, who with his wife Sharon and their family are working with people from the gay community here in Perth.

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We met at a café in Northbridge that is the facility of a church called, “Church Without Walls” and is run by an old mate of mine by the name of Phil Howell.  It was great to catch up with him again after such a long time.  Phil used to run an outreach work in Hay St. called, “New Day.”  They had their main gathering starting at 11:30 pm on a Friday night upstairs from the Hay St. Mall.

Andrew’s ministry has established a bunch of simple churches meeting in homes, pubs and cafes.  They are doing amazing work and have such strength in God.  They are seeing people rescued and discipled from horrendous backgrounds.  They have also planted a ministry in Indonesia among the “lady-boys” from Djakarta that is gaining traction there.

Geraldton

I will be flying up to Geraldton this afternoon to spend three days meeting with pastors and church leaders there and down the coast at a place called Green Head where there is another Crosslink church.  I will be driving back to Perth from there on Sunday afternoon to catch the red-eye back to Sydney and then Canberra.