Greetings from Tasmania! Yes, you read that correctly. Due to the lockdown in Sydney which began just after we arrived in Launceston for our conference at the start of July, we made the decision to delay our return until the restrictions ease in NSW. Given the ongoing seriousness of the situation, we have no idea when that will be. We have changed our flights 4 times and are rescheduled (at the moment!) to return on August 29. Someone recently asked us how our ‘holiday’ was going which didn’t take long to respond to! We are not on holiday, but rather have continued our ministry here, just as we do in Sydney, but simply from a different location. We are based at Worldview, WEC’s missionary training centre, where we have been provided with offices (as has Lucas who is doing on-line schooling) and accommodation. We can see God has a purpose for our being here and we are enjoying connecting in with staff and students.
Here are a few specific points for your prayers.
We ask PRAYER for:
- the timing of our return to Sydney. We feel as if we are living in a state of uncertainty and feel a little torn between two worlds. Having said that, we have much to be thankful for and have a good support network around us.
- a youth missions event tomorrow evening in Launceston called ‘World Cafe’. We are looking forward to meeting with this group and will have the opportunity to share about missions as part of the evening. Please pray that our message will be clear and relevant to their age and stage.
- planning for a 4-month sabbatical beginning mid-September. A sabbatical in WEC is a time of disengaging from normal ministry and leadership involvement to allow a time of rest, spiritual renewal, personal growth, evaluation of life and ministry, and professional development. This is done with a sabbatical supervisor walking alongside us. We had made some plans, however with the COVID outbreak and lockdown in Sydney, we are unsure whether those plans are still realistic.
We are giving THANKS for:
- AUSCON (the WEC Australia national staff conference) which went from July 3 until July 9 in Launceston, Tasmania. We had been looking forward to a bumper attendance, however with the recent COVID outbreaks in various states and subsequent travel restrictions and lockdowns, approximately 50 people unfortunately needed to cancel. This was incredibly disappointing for all concerned. However, we moved forward with a ‘hybrid’ conference which embraced both face to face in Launceston and virtual for those unable to travel. Praise God it was as good as we could have hoped for, and many stepped in to help in the logistics of reorganising everything to accommodate both platforms.
- the willingness of the Worldview staff and students who have accepted us into their community, and the opportunities we’ve had to intentionally connect with people at Worldview both at meetings and spontaneously. We really enjoy this aspect of our role.
- one of of our WEC families who, after 18 months of extended stay in Australia, is returning to Europe at the beginning of next week. There have been ebbs and flows for them, yet they and we can see God’s faithfulness and as a result, they will return healthier and stronger. Please pray for a safe journey and smooth transition back to the place which has become their home.
- Coralie’s father, Michael who is still in Tasmania and happily staying with Steve’s parents as well as visiting relatives. We realise it would have been a very difficult scenario for him in Sydney living alone.
Thank you again for standing with us. Your prayers make a difference.
Steve, Coralie and Lucas