Bathurst, Australia Our work first took us to the city of Bathurst. We connected with our good friends and former S2S staff Jeff and Rowena Lloyd. Jeff and Rowena planted a C3 Church in Bathurst a few years ago. Their vision is to reach this rural community for the Lord and see lives transformed. Our ministry activities in Bathurst included leading at a marriage group, providing leadership training, pastoral care, teaching and more.
Unity! Jeff’s vision is a citywide vision for the people of Bathurst. Jeff and some local pastors have been meeting in order to build relationships and find mutual encouragement. We all know that the prayer of Jesus for unity among His bride is one that has not been fully answered, but the desire is growing.
The pastors invited us to provide a mini-retreat for themselves and their wives. The goal was to bless marriages and build relationships between the families. Pastors and their wives from several denominations attended. Around the evening meal, following the questions we provided, fun stories from the marriages and families were shared. Laughter was lively, guards were dropped and common ground was discovered.
During the course of the retreat a greater measure of trust was established. Both the joys and the hardships of ministry were shared. Tears began to flow and hearts were exposed. Something changed, something shifted. It was a step, a small step perhaps, but through the prayers of Jeff and others the Lord’s grace connected brothers and sisters at a deeper level.
Tasmania! The beautiful island of Tasmaniawas formally our home for four years. And in many ways, it still feels like home.
Again, we had the privilege of providing ministry in a number of settings; from ministering in a prison to pastoral care for those going through difficult seasons, formal times of teaching and informal ministry encounters that were clearly ordained by the Lord.
We also had the privilege of working with my good friend Phil Harback. Phil’s passion is that Aussie men to be encouraged, empowered and enabled to fulfill their vital roles as husbands and fathers, as well as impact their communities. His organization, Directions Tasmania is doing just that. We were able to teach and encourage the men as well as speak to a special gathering of the men and the wives. It was a joy to contribute to the good work that Phil and his staff are providing for the men and ultimately the families of Tasmania.