gospel sowing

  1. Snippets from stepping into DMM

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    Des & Lyn, have been living local in East Melbourne and have been very involved in a large local church for many years. Whilst running a building business, Des and Lyn really valued the role that they were able to play as mentors in the lives of young tradespeople and for Des, the opportunity to speak into men’s lives. Having recently retired from business, they now have lots more time and have felt led by God into the space of Disciple-Making Movements with Praxeis. As well as being amazing prayer support and mentors to many of our workers, it is really awesome to see Des and Lyn themselves, stepping out and looking for ways to engage with the harvest. Love these little thoughts and reflections from these guys as they just step out and ‘have a go’ at DMM. We don’t need to be experts, rather we need to pray and listen to Jesus and then be obedient with whatever he says. 

     

    “The last 18 months have been quite a learning journey for us Nixon seniors. We just want to share some snippets to encourage others as we have been encouraged.  A couple of years ago, we moved house and started doing some prayer walking with another local friend and Praxeis worker, Sue Watters. We then started trying to connect with people. We have been amazed at how open our new street has been in Ringwood East. Then I clicked- this was the first time that we have prayer walked the streets around our home.  Two street Christmas parties were very successfully held with people being very enthusiastic about meeting their neighbours. From this we have developed a very close friendship with a lovely Indian family of Hindu background. We have discussed many aspects of faith, taken them away with us and helped them in lots of ways. At this stage it hasn’t really gone anywhere and we don’t know the next steps. We also met a Chinese couple in our street who have also been very open. Des gave him a Bible and we have been able to do two Discovery Bible Studies (DBS) with them, which they entered into very willingly. Again we don’t know where this is going next as they don’t seem to be pursing us to go further or share with others. After learning about the characteristics of a Person of Peace, we are conscious of looking at whether some is open, hungry and whom shares with others. An observation that we have made, is how open non-Aussies are to spiritual conversations; and how closed so many Aussies are.

    We recently attended the Praxeis Melbourne Hub Gathering and people shared some stories of what they had seen God doing in the harvest. It was really encouraging to hear from people their experiences of having to continually pray and ask God to create the DBS groups and the movement leaders.  This is a humbling journey, knowing that we don’t have all the answers! Frustrating and humbling! We are recognising more and more that there is so much that we have to unlearn like preaching and teaching at others in the harvest. It is exciting though to be able to put in practice what we have been learning. Watch this space for the fruit that we are praying to come!”

  2. Answered prayers- DBS groups

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    The Discovery Bible Study (DBS) is the Engine Room of Disciple Making Movements. The discipleship of the many in a movement, happens as groups of people together learn to read the Word of God, respond to the Holy Spirit and grow through obedience-orientated discipleship.

    We should never be scared to pray with specifics! Our God is a big vision God but he also knows the details required. Be encouraged by this story from Kelvin and Niro Chang, leaders in the South East Corridor from Clayton to Dandenong and beyond, to pray not only the specifics that you want to see but ask with boldness. Pray to our powerful God for more than you can imagine! (Eph 3:20).

    “We had been praying as a team of young adults for 18months. Our prayer times were powerful and passionate. Filled with the presence of the Spirit. We were moved for the harvest. Filled with a vision to see God move through our nation. However, on a team retreat in February this year, we reflected that whilst we were having amazing prayer times, we had no DBS groups currently running in the harvest. Hmmm…. this was a problem for a bunch of people wanting to see a Disciple-making movement. They are a somewhat essential part of DMM! So we decided to start praying specifically for DBS groups. Every time we met we prayed for groups to form. Every day we would come before God and ask for groups. “ God, give us one DBS group. God, give us 5 DBS groups”. We were on repeat.

    We then did the 40 days prayer and fasting alongside the rest of the Praxeis community. Still nothing. Not only did we see nothing but we found the time quite hard. We didn’t feel particularly encouraged. It was a big of a slog! By the end of the fasting period we really recognised that we were doing our best and it was up to God to do the rest. It was in his hands. We just kept on asking and praying.

    Then seemingly out of nowhere, between the end of the prayer and fasting time (April) until now (May), 5 DBS groups have started amongst a variety of communities including a Malay Muslim uni student, Sri Lankan Buddhist uni students, the Hindu Indian medical community, Afghans and Chinese International Uni students. We have experienced increased boldness in sharing and initiating spiritual conversations. We are encouraged. This was not us! We could not have gone from having no groups in the harvest to 5. We know this must have been God.”

     

  3. Reflections from a Disciple-Maker- The Pawpaw tree

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    The story of the Pawpaw Tree

    My friend Andrew, was recently showing me his thriving Pawpaw trees in his yard in Townsville.  He shared the story of how they came to be.

    A few years back he had a gathered up all the leaf matter from around his yard and piled into a stack to get a compost heap started.

    About 8 months after he had piled up all this leaf matter his wife had enjoyed a red Pawpaw and she asked Andrew if he could try and grow some of these trees.   So he took the seeds and planted some into some good soil he prepared and the rest he threw into the developing compost heap.

     

    Well the seeds never produced in the good soil he prepared and he had forgotten about the rest.  About 12 months later they had a substantial amount of rain and out of this compost about 30 Pawpaw plants began to shoot.   And they got to about 400mm high and Andrew thought, “wow!” he will have a great crop.  He was especially excited because he had done nothing really with the compost heap and thought this was pretty amazing that they had come after all this time.

     

    About two months after they began to thrive they got another substantial amount of rain and because the Pawpaw trees were now sitting in water they all rotted and died.  He was very disappointed!

     

    Some 12 months after this event he moved his compost into a garden bed he was preparing.  In this bed he planted all sorts of bushes and trees.  But to his surprise out of the soil and compost grew three Pawpaw trees.  He was totally surprised by this, but thought from previous experience they would quickly die.

     

    However not only did they grow they thrived and produced more trees, which he has now planted in other places around his house.  Of all the plants he planted in the garden bed the Pawpaw trees are thriving the most.

     

    He has no idea how or why this has happened but it did!  He just carried the seed around, intentionally planting some and while the rest he just threw out randomly.

     

    This can teach us so much about Mark 4:1-9 and Mark 4:26-29.

    Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.9  Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

    (Mark 4:1-9)

    He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-29)

     

    Let’s continue to be seed carriers in our everyday life.  Let’s sow the seed generously and randomly.  Let’s give enough time to see what might happen.  Let’s be clueless with expectation.

     

    Some reflections from this story

     

    God uses random events to bring things together, which we could not manufacture or foresee  (A stack of leaves and Red Pawpaw seed).

     

    Seed planting comes first from us tasting and seeing that the fruit is good.  (The red Pawpaw tasted good and they wanted more).

     

    We cannot prepare the soil of a person heart and mind that is God’s job.  (The soil Andrew prepared initially was not right for the Pawpaw seed they didn’t even shoot).

     

    We are carriers of the seed not protectors of the seed  (All Andrew did was transport the seed around his yard, how it stayed alive and produced he has no idea).

     

    We have no idea what is going on in the soil of someone’s heart and mind. Nor do we need too!   (The seed was lying dormant in the compost until the right conditions came together.)

     

    Early flourish of shoots does not equate to lasting fruit.  (The 30 shoots of pawpaw didn’t last after the first adverse condition hit.)

     

    Patience is such a key to witnessing seed shooting and bearing fruit.  (It was three years before the first of the pawpaw seeds began to grow substantially and it was another 2 years before they reproduced).

     

    Ron & Paula Turner are regional leaders in Outback Queensland. They travel from town to town, serving the people, looking initiating spiritual conversations and looking for the People of Peace that God has prepared. The journey isn’t always easy but we love how these guys are obedient and follow Jesus wherever He calls! We are all continually learning as we step out and make disciples. 

  4. DMM Concept: Spiritual Conversations

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    As we engage in the harvest, we are looking to have intentional spiritual conversations with people to gauge where they are at. Are they open to God? Are they hungry? Are they already on the journey to discovering Jesus? The diagram below from Paul Watson’s ‘Contagious Disciple Making’ training is a great pictoral of the different types of conversations that we can have with people in the harvest. as we seek to find those that might be disciples in their communities.

    Conversations we have with people are to be natural but also intentional. We want to move people from the casual conversation (family, weather, sport etc) to a more meaningful conversation (maybe feelings about a particular subject). Then to a spiritual conversation (is God real, do you believe in God?, prayer etc). This will help us to gauge whether the person is spiritually open or not, and whether they are sharing this out. From there we want to go deeper so that the conversation can go from spiritual to their own discovery of following Jesus. This is done through the DBS. This process can be quick or go over many months, (years?!) depending on where the person is at and our part in being the link in the chain, and is to be completely undergirded in prayer (relates to the intentionality of all our conversations).

    We can also use the diagram as an aide to prayer, by drawing it out and putting the names of our friends / contacts in the quadrants where we think they are spiritually. Our prayer is to see them move from wherever they are to eventually discovery and following Jesus for themselves.

    Here is a great example of a spiritual conversation:

    “Today (7-3-17) I went on a ship which has mainly Chinese officers, and a few Filipino crew. I was actually looking for a particular contact of mine, but it was the wrong ship. I went to the mess room for lunch; this is where everyone hangs out and is the main place I can meet and mingle with guys. I happened to be sitting next to a young cadet officer. He was friendly and happy to talk (perhaps to improve his English?) so we had a chat. The conversation was at first very casual; I found our his name, his marital status and where his hometown is. He had only been on the ship 2 months, and had 4 months to go on his contract. By listening, this also gave me permission to share a bit about myself, which I did briefly. He then asked if I was on a ‘mission’. I wasn’t sure what he meant so asked a bit more about that, and then he wanted to know if I believed in God. The conversation had quickly moved passed meaningful to being spiritual. I said ‘yes I am a follower of Yesu.’ He then explained that on his previous ship the 2nd Officer would talk to him about God. He said he wanted to hear more but the officer was transferred. He then said when he joined this ship, he had ‘asked’ God to send him some more people like that so he could talk with them. In Hong Kong, 2 christians visited the ship before it left the port and gave him some stuff to read. Then they come to Brisbane and he meets me. We talked for a while but I had to leave the ship; I gave him a gospel of John in Chinese / English and he said he would read about Yesu. There were even some positive signs of him sharing his thoughts and questions with the other crew. So now this ship is on my ‘to visit’ list for next month and I hope to be able to help this sailor move to the journey of ‘discovery’ toward Yesu through DBS, although I don’t know how that will look just yet.” 

    – Trevor Phillips

    Conspicious Spirituality Quadrant

  5. Stretched Vision: From one to the many

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    Image: Hazara Village Meeting (Nasim Fekrat; Flickr.com; Creative Commons)

     

    In the past year, I’ve become very close friends with an Afghan lady (she is from the “Hazara” people group). It has been a privilege and an honour to get to know this wonderful lady. Through our times of general conversation, there have been several opportunities to talk about faith, read some bible stories together and for me to pray for her (eg. last week when she had to have emergency surgery and I visited her in hospital). In January I was invited to one of her family gatherings at her restaurant- I shared with her and her relatives about an answer to prayer that happened on on my holidays in Fiji. My friend, *Susie, translated for her relatives and then said, “that’s a good story” (all of the Afghan people who I know totally love stories).
    I’ve been reaching out and ministering to muslim women for 4.5 years and in the past few months, I’ve felt God nudging my heart more and more about the Hazara people group- this group of people seem to be on my mind now most of the time… I may even dream about them ! 😀 I sense God stretching my vision as He says, “…you know Tanya, how you’ve advocated for individuals in the past? What about advocating for an entire people group?” and “… you know how in the past you’ve been focusing your prayers on individuals in Melbourne? What about praying for the Hazara people?”
    So, in response, I’m now praying for the Hazara people group as a whole- for workers, pray-ers, discovery groups and faith communities.

  6. Baptism in Outback QLD

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    welcome-to-roma

    “Just got off the phone to Dan in Roma, he has a vision to reach the small towns that surround Roma. Last Sunday they had a baptism that occurred in Yuleba a tiny town to the East of Roma. He said the lady who was baptised invited the whole town to come, 200 people. 100 people turned up! Wow! Got the town talking as many had never seen or heard of an adult being baptised. Lots of conversations…please pray for Mary (name changed) who was baptised as she networks in the town. Also pray for the group that meets in this town that they will intentionally plant seeds of the gospel that will find fertile soil.”

  7. Are we spiritual people?

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    As disciple-makers we have a number of challenges.  One challenge is how to be spiritual people. Many cultures around the world have experienced Christianity and had some form of institutional Christianity in society. The secular world knows our ‘rules’ and many have experienced forms of judgement. And people have been turned off Jesus by ‘religiosity’. This is tragic. So our challenge is… how can we be spiritual rather than religious? What does it look and feel and sound like to be a ‘spiritual’ person rather than a ‘religious person’? Perhaps more love and less rules? Perhaps less church meetings and more gatherings with people in their worlds? Perhaps more praying for people in their desperation and sin rather than withdrawing from them? Jesus was the perfect example of being spiritual in a culture and society that was saturated with religion. He loved, was inclusive, healed the broken-hearted and set the captives free, he touched the lepers and cleansed them. This is what we need to look like too! And then perhaps those spiritually hungry people will start to find us! 

    This story from the Singapore team is a simple example of being spiritual and how the family included others in their spirituality. Be encouraged as you read it to be spiritual in every day situations and watch the fruit of this. Jesus- help us to be spiritual people and show us how we need to change. 

    Two months ago, we met our son’s kindergarten teacher, TK. TK always dresses in very conservative religious clothing.

    When we see this, it usually means either:

    1) someone who is very religious, and therefore very resistant to spiritual things they aren’t familiar with, or

    2) someone who is very spiritual – hungry for spiritual reality and reaching for God in the way their culture tells them to do that.

    We had a number of conversations as our son has settled into kinder, and it is very clear that TK is a great educator who cares for her students and is prepared to put extra time and effort into their development.

    The context was always school-related, but we touched on spiritual things during a conversation one day when TK and I were team coaching our son about an incident in the classroom that he didn’t handle very well.

    “Is there anybody you could have asked for help?” I asked (thinking of his teacher).

    “Yeah – I should have asked God for help,” our son replied.

    “That’s true,” I responded – not looking at TK but wondering how she was reacting to this, “You can ask Him for help, and He has also given you TK to help you in that situation, so you should ask and obey her, too.”

    Apart from nodding her agreement, there was no reaction from TK, and she never mentioned the conversation.

    A couple of months later our son had his end-of-year exit interview. During the conversation TK asked why we had come to Singapore given how tough the education system is on kids. Instead of taking the ‘safe’ route (“For work.”), we took a chance and shared how it was the result of prayer – guidance through a dream which seemed to be confirmed by our community and others who were praying for us, and how we had come here trusting that God would meet our needs and the needs of our kids.

    TK’s response was a simple nod, “I understand, because I am a spiritual person like you guys.”

    This was so encouraging to hear, because that is exactly how we want to be known in our community – as spiritual people. This will help us find and serve people who are open and hungry to explore God.

    park bench

  8. A God-prepared person

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    I glanced happily at the empty seat next to me on the plane.
    I was tired, it was 11:30pm, and I was getting on an international flight. I was looking forward to at least attempting to get some sleep. With my height, that is wishful thinking, but not having a neighbour increased the odds marginally.
    Just before the doors closed, Su sat down next to me. I was initially disappointed, but within an hour, conversation had started that quickly moved to spiritual topics. She was very spiritually aware, but bad experiences of institutional Christianity pushed her to seek answers elsewhere. About to graduate from university, she was also worrying about what to do in the next season of her life.
    I asked if I could share the basic story the Bible tells (Resource video: The Basic Story the Bible Tells). The idea of an actual relationship with God was completely new to her, and led to us doing a Discovery Bible Study on Mark 1:14-20. At the end of it, she said she felt God was challenging her to ‘put down her nets’ – stop being anxious about career – and ‘follow Jesus’ – concentrate on exploring relationship with Him.
    Su could have been from anywhere in Singapore, but just happens to live in our area. We are planning to meet up with her soon. 
  9. “I want to belong to you!” Finding a Person of Peace in Etes

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    Etes is an ex mining village in Nograd County in Northern Hungary, where we have prayer walked several times as a team.

    The first time we went to Etes, we knocked on the door of a very poor house. A gypsy man around 45 years old came out and kindly invited us into his home. When we stepped in we realised that even though it was a big house, Jeno and his 3 boys only used 1 room. This was furnished with 2 big beds, a television, a metal oven, and a small table with 2-3 chairs. He had no wood to heat the other area of their house. We could not sit down because there was no space. We stood in the middle of the room next to a bucket which caught the water from the leaking ceiling. Jeno was very apologetic about his circumstances. His voice was so sad and without hope. He told us that his wife had left him and their 3 boys, when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He shared how difficult their life was without mum and wife. He struggles to really help his children because he can’t work or do repairs on his house due to his illness. His children were sitting on the bed and kindly smiling and telling us about their studies.

    After he told us about his circumstances, we shared who we were and about Jesus who actually sent us to His home. We asked him if we could pray for healing and for blessing in their life. Jeno was very open with what we were sharing. When we started to share the story of the paralytic man who was healed by Jesus, the atmosphere and Jeno’s heart was filled with hope. After when we prayed for him he said with watery eyes, “I feel better. I feel warm inside and joy. Would you like a coffee?”

    We were so happy and when we left they walked us out and waved, as family do after a Sunday lunch. We knew that we would have to come back. We went back several times and every time we talked about some story from the bible and prayed for Jeno and the boys. Gabor and Zsazsa also visited them and took some wood, food and some winter shoes that had been donated.

    We went back again, and this time Dave and Colleen came with us. We did not plan to visit Jeno but God did. As we were prayer walking the area Jeno walked down the street with big smiling face as he recognised us. He was excited to see us.

    He said, “I wanted to call you but had no number. I wanted to tell you that i want to belong to you. How can we belong to you? The boys want to belong to you too.”

    We shared how we belong to Jesus first and then through that we belong to each other. He said he wants to belong to Jesus because he believes that God is good. So right there on the street we prayed for Jeno as he accepted Jesus as God. He invited us back to visit him and read the bible. He said he will tell the boys and others who wants to read and pray together to come when we come next.

    We are so excited to find a Person of Peace in Etes. He seemed like the most unlikely person, but God had prepared him to receive the gospel for his family and community.

  10. Finding the person of peace!

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    I went to grab some lunch at a local (Croatian) club and met a 20 year old Buddhist and Cambodian (Khmer) background waitress who was open to talk about God. I invited her to join me at my table after she finished her shift (30 min later). We talked about her dreams/ambitions and I encouraged her that God had made her uniquely (in His image) and asked if I could pray for her in any way. She asked me to pray for her family and friends – that she would be a good “counsellor” (her words) as many of them come to her seeking help. After praying I asked if I could share a story with her, which she could share with her network of family/friends. We DBS’d a parable from Luke 18 together (story of the Pharisee & tax collector) and her insights were that God knows everybody’s heart and that people are all the same because we all do wrong. She committed to not be quick to judge others around her…and committed to sharing the story with her friends/family during the week and ask them ‘who (the Pharisee or Tax Collectors) went home right with God and why?’ Praying to God for this woman and waiting to see if she is open, hungry and shares with her community.

  11. From non-believer to a disciple

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    During a Red Frogs gathering at Deakin Residence 3 months ago, I connected with a young Malaysian guy who had recently moved to Melbourne. I sensed he was interested in Christianity so I asked him if he’d like to read the Bible with me and surely enough he was keen! Since then, we have been doing DBS (Discovery Bible Studies) together starting with some of the Genesis stories. He has been regularly reading the bible and praying. He has been going through an amazing and speedy transition from someone who had never read the Bible to taking steps towards Jesus. He has been making obedience steps such as giving up gambling and learning to control his temper. He has also told his parents how he’s enjoying learning more about Christianity (who had initially disapproved this to some extent) and they now agree it is okay for him to follow Christianity if he enjoys it.

    More recently, I discussed with him the message of the gospel again and shared what it means to follow Jesus, about repenting and believing in Jesus as well as the act of surrender and sacrifice. I asked him if he’d like to go through a prayer to invite God into his life and turn from his old ways and he said YES!  He is now a follower of Jesus! So exciting to finally see some fruit from our hard labour! God is good!

    It was also amazing how God had brought so many of His people around him within a short period. He had a Christian housemate to whom he was able to ask lots of questions and a Christian classmate (who he found out was Christian by asking “Do you follow a religion? I am interested in following Christianity”). It is such a blessing when God brings us those people he is preparing and whose hearts He is working in.

    – Matt Pilcher (leader of the Deakin Uni team)

  12. Streams of living water in the waste lands

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    Sometime ago God gave a promise to the Outback Connections team from Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

    This we believe is a call to persevere in the small and isolated towns of the far west of Queensland.  Recently a team of 21 young people went to Quilpie to do a week of activities with the primary aged kids. This town has a total population of 600.  The couple that led this team had being going for 10 years into the town with little fruit.  They had given up going two years ago which is when Ron and Paula started going into this town and praying.  After a “God’ connection between this couple and the Turners, the decision was made for them to return and for the Turners to do followup discipleship.

    During the week 34 children attend the week long activities with the Gospel being weaved throughout the activities.  At the end of the week 21 children indicated they want to explore a journey with Christ.  This is amazing! …However the reason for this is because many have gone into this town for years to lay a foundation of prayer, asking God to break through with the Kingdom of light into this wasteland.  God is now opening up the spring of living water in this tiny place and we now have the challenge and privilege of following up and discovering the households of peace in this town.

    – Ron & Paula Turner (Outback connections)

  13. Lessons on making disciples from the front line

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    Recently, Paula had being reaching out to a lady by the name of Amy*. Amy suffered from a lack of identity and and has huge addiction issues as a result. Paula felt led by God to ask Amy if she would like to do a DBS with her exploring stories that highlighted identity and purpose. Amy agreed but after a couple of weeks she was not keen to continue. Paula stepped back and continued to pray for Amy to respond to the Holy Spirit prompting. Three months on Flor, another believer in the church that meets in Blackwater, felt a strong urge to go and connect with Amy. Within a few minutes the conversation had turned to God and within an hour Amy wanted to follow Christ. Since then Paula has being meeting with Amy to do DBS on, you guessed it…identity and calling. Amy is in a battle against addiction and so Paula is also exploring scripture on spiritual warfare and resisting the devil with her.

    So what have we learnt from this:

    • Obedience to God is more important then immediate outcomes.
    • Prayer is the most effective means of connecting people to God
    • It takes a team for someone to journey towards Christ.
    • Do not use a cooker cutter approach to discipleship but instead allow the person’s circumstances and the Spirit of God to guide you as you explore scripture with them.

    – Ron & Paula Turner (Outback connections)

    *name changed

  14. Sharing life, chai and Jesus

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    We met Annette* in our local park and struck up a spiritual conversation with her and her four sons. It seemed like we kept on bumping into this Pakistani family around our neighborhood and soon we found ourselves being invited into her home for chai.

    Being a muslim family, we talked about ‘Eid’ (a Muslim holiday celebrating the story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son) over our chai. This opened an opportunity for us to share the story of Abraham with the family and pray for God (Allah) to give us faith like Abraham in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Annette seemed rather unenthusiastic to pray together in her home. However after praying in Jesus’ name, her response was “Oh that was actually really good!”. We are hearing that God’s presence is often very strong when Muslim’s receive prayer in Jesus’ name.

    Before leaving her home, Mindy and another female friend were offered ‘henna’ art on their hands by Annette.  A sign of a friendship that we pray will turn into a long term discipleship relationship.

    A story from Andrew & Mindy Pyman our New South Wales regional leaders. I (Vicki) have spent time with Andrew and Mindy prayer walking and sowing the gospel. I loved observing Andrew and his conversations with people that he meets. He shares about Jesus in every conversation, even from the most random beginning points (a can of WD40 was one starter!). We never know where these conversations will lead to and perhaps will lead to the person having an encounter with Jesus as happened with Annette. We don’t always see the outcome of our labours and what happens when we step out in faith about our faith but be encouraged to keep doing so.

     *name changed

  15. PRAXEIS EUROPEAN REFUGEE FINANCIAL APPEAL

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    2015 Refugee appeal flyer

    Europe is experiencing the greatest movement of refugees since World War II. Hundreds of thousands of people are risking their lives to flee their homelands. Praxeis is not an aid organisation however we have one of our discipleship teams on the ground in Hungary. They have started prayer walking and ministering to the refugees. They will be taking a team to the Hungarian-Serbian border in the next month. We would love you to partner with us to raise money to provide emergency relief to the people that they are ministering to.

    So how can you give?

    You can give through a number of different means. Following the appeal, we would like to be in touch with you to let you know how the funds were used so please include your name with all gifts. Please note, unfortunately all donations are non tax deductible.

    EFT: Praxeis Ltd, BSB- 083004 ACC- 193107356. Please write “refugee” as the reference

    Credit card/Paypal: www.praxeis.org.au/give/ and put ‘refugees’ in the description

    Cheque: Please post cheque and your details to Praxeis, 2 Vision Drive, Burwood East, VIC 3152

    For more information please read the flyer above!

     

     

     

     

  16. Training at the gym, training disciples!

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    At the gym, I was chatting with a young Hindu guy. After sharing the Gospel with him, I asked if he would like to read Scripture and pray with me. He said that he would love to, so a couple of weeks later, we met up to read Genesis 1 and pray. After we had been reading for a bit his housemate, also Hindu, walked in and asked what we were doing. His friend told him we were reading the Bible. I then asked if he would like to join us, which he eagerly agreed to. After reading and praying together, I asked if they would like to do this again. We are now locked in for meeting together each week!

    Scott is based in Melbourne’s East and has made it his mission to share the gospel with those he meets at the gym, training disciples and gathering like-minded disciples in church.

  17. “Is that how you do it? I can do that!”

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    For some the concept of discipleship and what it looks like in the harvest has been difficult to understand.  On one trip recently one of our key people was struggling with this and God gave us an amazing opportunity to demonstrate what it means to share His story.
    We were meeting to pray for the community we were in and as the three of us sat and prayed a father, his son and two young men walked towards us and started to engage in conversation.  We naturally just shared as the Spirit opened up the conversation.  Quickly the conversation went to what is a follower of Christ, which we spoke into.  We had opportunity to listen, encourage, pray and be God’s fragrance to this group.  Our key person had a real revelation of what discipleship looks like and commented “Is that how you do it? I can do that”.  Praise God for His revelation.

  18. Sharing the story of Christ

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    The harvest in Blackwater has been slow but just in recent weeks the group connected with a young mum that was out of the harvest.  They spent time with her, loved her, did not judge her and read scripture with her.  The experience for the group was amazing. Everyone in that group had some input into this family’s life.  They were surprised at how little knowledge she had about the bible and came to the conclusion that there are even in our own home town unreached people groups that have never heard the story of Christ. This family was a part of the group for 8 weeks before moving on.  Their story of discovery is still continuing to unfold.

  19. “A year ago, I was harvest but now I’m a harvest worker!”

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    [Jesus] told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. – Luke 10:2

    “I’m moving to Queensland!” exclaimed ‘Miriam’, “My husband has a new job there and we leave next week.”

    “Oh!” I replied.

    Dozens of different thoughts and emotions were running through my head.

    Miriam is from a Turkish Muslim background and began following Jesus less than a year ago. We’ve been privileged to walk alongside her as God has fathered her and drawn her into quite a dynamic relationship with Him. She is a key part of the team and community that is forming out here, is a passionate part of our weekly prayer times together and has played an important role in Katie’s discipleship journey (see below). In a short time she has become one of our closest friends. And all of a sudden, she was leaving. It would be fair to say we didn’t see this coming.

    “Wow!” was the best response I could manage.

    She continued, “When I heard the news I felt upset, like, ‘Why do I have to leave?’ But after praying about it I feel peaceful. I know I can trust my Father and I think He has a harvest field for me up there.” So cool.

    She went on to tell me how she’d spent the previous evening talking past midnight about spiritual things with some Kurdish (Muslim) women she knows, and how she thinks they are wanting to start exploring Jesus for themselves. So cool.

    A week or two earlier we happened to be doing a DBS (Discovery Bible Study) on Luke 10, and at one point Miriam commented, “A year ago I was harvest, but now I’m a harvest worker.” So cool.

    We’re going to miss Miriam’s contribution to the community and harvest here, but it’s hard not to be excited when you see someone’s passionately loving God, their life being transformed as they follow Jesus, and sharing what they’ve learned and experienced with those around themselves.

    We can also see God’s sense of humour in yet another answer to our prayer for more harvest workers. He doesn’t always answer the way we expect Him to.

    Please pray for opportunities for Miriam to connect with people in her new area, and for her husband to experience God for himself.

     

     

  20. Healing!

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    I had injured my foot quite badly and had been limping around for two days. I found it hard to stand for much longer than 10mins at a time. The Deakin Team prayed for me and when I stood up I could walk and even jog with no pain! GOD HEALED IT! I was amazed. God continued to heal it so that a week later I able to start running on it. This has led to opportunities to share about God to work and Uni mates who had seen how bad my foot had been. This week when I told my friend at Uni he was really surprised and this led to an opportunity to share with him and three other people there about God as creator who loves us and has a purpose for our lives.

    – Shared by Matt Pilcher from the Deakin Uni church

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