Bathurst: Our first stop on the way to Tasmania was Bathurst, Australia. This was our third ministry visit to Bathurst. This rural, Aussie country town holds a special place in our hearts. Our dear friends Jeff and Rowena Lloyd pioneered a church there a few years ago. The Lloyds were not only coworkers with us in Thailand many years ago, they, along with their 4 boys are like family to us. The Lord has called them to a tough ministry in a spiritually dry location. They are faithful servants and we feel honored to come alongside them in their ministry. Our very full schedule with them included staff development for their leadership team, one-on-one counseling/pastoral care for a number of families, a marriage enrichment night and my personal favorite – speaking to a group of several pastors from the local community. Our work there was clearly timely and very blessed.
Tasmania – Cold-but-Beautiful!! Many of you know that
Tasmania was once our home for 4 years. And to be honest, in many ways, it remains our home. We had the privilege of providing NOT one, but two Marriage Retreats. As Patty and I reflect over the two weekends – we do not believe they could have gone any better. We are confident that the Lord revealed Himself, touched some hearts, ministered some healing and brought some measure of freedom. He is faithful! It was a joy working with our wonderful friends Phil and Anne Harback and the leadership team for Directions Tasmania. Directions TAS is a ministry aimed at the Aussie man and is doing an amazing work in “Elevating men to their rightful positions as husbands and dads”. One fun fact of the weekends – the Homestead, the rambling old farmhouse, where we held our meetings, was built in Australia’s early history by convicts.
S2S Marriage Retreat Number Two was again sponsored by our good friends at Directions TAS.
It was an amazing weekend of openness, genuine revelation, and I believe, some healing of relationships and hearts. As the marriage goes, so goes the family and the church and generations to come…..
An Amazing Gift– We served with YWAM in Tasmania from 1995 until the very end of 1999. Our ministry involved families, young people and more. In 1995 we took a team to work in Russia. On that team was a teenager named Louise Wolfe, now Louise Filleul. Earlier that year, Louise lost her fiancée in a tragic hiking accident. It was very special for all of us to have Louise on our team. Louise was also on a team we took to Fiji and eventually on a team to Thailand as well. Louise and her husband, Martin, who are now the parents of four amazing children, attended the Marriage Retreat. What an amazing gift from the Lord to us, for special relationships to continue and grow through time, stages of life, and even global locations. There are other similar stories, clearly marked by the finger prints of God, we could tell if space would allow. HE is faithful!
Untold Stories – As most of you know the nature of our ministry is often of a deeply personal and therefore confidential nature. The time in Tasmania included that ministry as well. We connected with shattered lives moving toward restoration. We were able to minister to some teetering on brink of life altering choices. And there was more, much more. Once again we were humbled by the Lord’s timing of our ministry in Tasmania. There is indeed…. healing in His wings… (Mal.4:2)
It’s Working! We believe the plan for S2S to be most effective was NOT to go to new place after new place, but rather to go to a few places over and over again. We believe the Lord was showing us if we did that, trust would be established and grow, hearts would open, and our ministry would be more effective. Without a doubt that is what we have experienced so far. I know I say it often but it is so true—-HE IS FAITHFUL!