If there is one thing that we have learnt over the years, it’s that if a lot of people tell you that your ideas will never work, or you can’t do that here, ask God to see if it is His way of saying go for it. If it is of God then you will see it come to pass if you wait on Him to work it out. Here are a few things we heard that would not work when we first arrived here, but some way they are now working.
The travel team:
We tried that once when we first started here in Australia and it went ok, but not as good as we had hoped, so we put it on hold for a time and waited. But this time we linked the travel team to the Bible College course and gave the students hands-on skills they will need in missions by applying what they have learnt in class in their own backyard, kind of like starting in Jerusalem. In the past two years the team has traveled from Agnus Waters, Queensland, which is north of us to Adelaide, South Australia, then across the sea to Tasmania and then across the ocean to New Zealand. They have helped youth groups, rehab centers, churches, Sunday schools, campgrounds and even helped clean up after a cyclone. They shared God’s Word, mind you very nervously at first, at each location with lasting results and many of them want our team back next year to share again. We even had some churches and youth groups want to travel here to help us out and join our outreach. All Glory to God! Now we have dozens of stories which will not all fit in this letter, but the students are glad they can put to use on the streets what they have learnt in class before heading overseas. “But be ye doers of the Word not hearers only…” James 1:22.
When we first got here, some on staff (which are no longer here) and many in the church said that street outreach or preaching is not well received in the Noosa area. That street outreach programs are even an offense as it crams the Gospel down people’s throats. I must admit I have not seen many here doing street outreach, which involves preaching, outside of Mormons and JW’s and they are not well received. But we have a brand new young Christian gal who is on fire and asked me if they could go out and preach. Of course I said ‘no’ because it would not be well received—NOT!!! I told her and the group to go for it and now, on Friday nights, they head out to the streets and have seen many come to Christ. Not sure what the count is now, but the local churches have grown. Praise God! It just takes a willing person to be used and they will see results. Yet some still say this is not a good idea and it is an offense and they could be right BUT when you talk to the one who just gave their life to Christ, they are telling a very different story.
Not everything comes about easily, like having Boot Camps in Manipur which took time and a lot of hard work, along with faithful prayer warriors and a faithful laborer. Even our director said that it is closed and it will not happen, BUT that same director still has the faith in his staff and also knows that what may be closed today to most people may be an open door for another. That is what happened. Because of his faith in his staff around him (and God), we have THREE Boot Camps running in Manipur and northwest Myanmar/Burma in a very restricted area that western missionaries cannot get into (well Mike has been in several times—not sure how—oh yeah, your prayers). We are hoping to expand with a Motorcycle Sunday School Mission outreach.
The Camp Chapel was not one of those “you can’t do it here” things. It was more why do you want
to do that, which mostly came from the local government council. It has been slow going, mostly due to not enough time in the day or funds, but it is going up slowly. The roof is now on and the siding is going on and we’re putting on the runners for the drywall ceilings. The hope is that with this building, which will easily hold 400 plus, people will book us for camps in the winter months, as we will now have closed-in meeting areas.
Our travel dates Dec 26-Feb 15:
Now I might have to agree that traveling this time of year to raise support is not the smartest thing in the world, but sometimes you have to take what you can get. There are many times of the year we would love to come that would be better but either the funds were lacking or it was our busy season (it has evolved to a year around busy season). But the board agreed that we need to raise funds and that we need a break. Again, I know what you are thinking “driving across the country” in the winter time does not sound very “restful” and you are right. BUT it will be our first Christmas break in 15 years, and hanging out with people like you for a quick meal to hear what God is doing in your life builds up our faith. So we are looking forward to seeing you and hanging out, and maybe watching some football US style. The states we are hoping to travel to so far include Texas, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and then back to Texas. Yes, that includes all the states in-between or near. Please email us if we can share at your church, youth group, home group, etc… or if we can sleep over at your place. We would love to see you!
- Need places to speak at to help raise support
- Need to buy a good car that can travel through snow and cold days
- Pray for Cambodia as they are going through staff changes.
- Pray for more staff at India, Philippines, Myanmar, Mongolia and Cambodia. They need help.
Thanks for your prayers, looking forward to seeing you all this coming winter.
Mike & Rena Reilly