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In July St Matthews, Wanniassa, ran a mission to Holbrook. Praise God for an abundance of opportunities to share the saving news of Jesus with kids, teens and adults. The program allowed the team to make connections with all people through door-knocking, a Trivia/Games night and a Big Brekky, in addition to the usual host, social and church settings. One mature-aged man told Ian McLure, “I’ve never heard the message of God and Jesus before”. Praise God for opportunities like this that were created by the sacrificial servants from both Canberra and Holbrook.

Ian McLure led the team in some really practical training in doorknocking and armed the team with quality notes on how to answer common questions. The Lord poured down his grace and courage on the team and seven members doorknocked for the very first time. All reports back were inspiring and really set the tone for a very switched-on evangelistic week ahead. One team member said “Now that we’ve done it, I’m not sure why we never have before!” Praise God for the confidence in him this adventure brought, and for the fruit of conversations and invitations to the events we put on. Ian McLure continued to door knock at other times throughout the week, and managed to doorknock the whole town!!

Despite the rain, and lack of jumping castle, 63 children came to the first day of kids club. The children enjoyed games, small groups, and activities like making juggling balls, bunting and a treasure hunt. They also enjoyed learning about the Miracle Maker – who he is, what his greatest miracle is, and why he came. The Memory Verse of John 11:25-26 was a real highlight and the children now have it hidden in their hearts.

Each day from five to seven local youth joined in with our own youth from the team for some games, a discussion around one of Jesus’ miracles and a relaxed activity where we could talk to the youth and get to know them. We ate hot chips together, braided colourful bracelets, went on a scavenger hunt across town and learnt about Jesus the son of God come to give eternal life.

The Trivia/Games night was a new feature of mission and provided whole families with the chance to have a whole lot of fun together while also hearing a family given talk on the loving gracious Father, otherwise known as the story of the lost son.

The big breakfast was a great success, with many people coming from the whole spectrum of life, from pre-schoolers through teens to retirees. We were incredibly blessed by the generosity of the Holbrook church and its members for providing the food and cooking it! The food was delicious and the talk even more nourishing. Many non-Church attendees were able to hear clearly and simply from Reverend Ian Powell the truth of what Christianity really is. This prompted many very long conversations which was a real blessing and joy be a part of.

It was exciting to hear from The Reverend James Coats that there were many more people at the church service than usual. This included a group of kids who performed the memory verse they had learned during the week. The kids also enjoyed a puppet show reminding them of Jesus the Miracle Maker and how he came to give the miracle of eternal life! The Reverend Ian Powell gave a clear Bible talk where Jesus forgives the sins of a paralysed man, which was of greater urgency than physical healing. It was amazing to see the team work together flexibly despite a late night and early morning! The Reverend James Coats noted the team’s amazing unity and sacrificial service.

Praise the Lord for the clear benefit this mission was to all three people groups – The Canberra Mission Team, the local Holbrook Church and all the local Holbrook people. Please continue to pray for The Reverend James and Skye Coats as they continue the work of mission. following up many people with new opportunities to engage resulting from the mission. Finally please pray for wisdom and guidance for future missions, as we review the changes made this year and the inclusion of the adult events. Praise God that we can join him in his mission to bless people of all nations.

by Phill Evans, St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Wanniassa