Bringing God’s Word to the sex industry

NEW VIDEO: Dan Hardie and the Lifewords’ team at Sydney Sexpo event.

 “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5 (NIV)

Indigenous inmate finds God, writes song

prison ministry The maximum security prison holds the hardest of criminals – men who have taken the lives of their own family members; sex offenders; gang members who have multiple serious offenses; and even some who have re-offended within the prison walls.

Most would agree that prison inmates need God. They need his grace. They need to know his love. They need his forgiveness and mercy. They need redemption and a new life.

SGM Lifewords‘ puts a lot of value on getting God’s Word to those who need it most, so we’ve been sending nearly 1000 scriptures to prison chaplains right across Australia. One particular chaplain has been writing to us over the past few months, telling how God is really using the booklets to bless, inspire and change the hearts of prison inmates!

“I can’t believe how much these books are making a difference. God’s word is powerful!! I have been giving one of your Little Book of Character to each inmate I talk with. Then today, one particular indigenous man came to me with the book in hand and said, “I turned turned the words of this into a song. It’s like God was talking to me, I just had it suddenly in my head”. He then sang part of the song to me, unaccompanied, at one the  tables in the unit in which he is confined. A few of his mates stood by enjoying his singing as I did. The opening verse was something about God giving him courage, and it moved on to include some of the verses from Proverbs in the booklet.

Thank you for producing this booklet and sending copies to us to share God’s word. There is something so special about it that speaks to these men in prison!”

Praise God for these prison chaplains and their work! Let’s keep praying for them. This is exactly why we continue to send thousands of Bible booklets around the country, and why we will shortly print 60,000 NEW BIBLE BOOKLETS in Australia, so that we can bring the light to inmates, hospital patients, teenagers, the elderly and anyone else in need! Please prayerfully consider how you could help us print 60,000 as we move into our spring fundraiser.

Dan H

How Student Sponsorship Works:

Sponsor a Student_frontSponsor a Student_back

Students on Mission- July update

This Quarter – Students build a Learning Centre in a slum; celebrate the World Cup with street football; share God’s love through The Visible Story to 80+ people; and give food & education for children in poor communities.

There are now 18 Indonesian missionary students being sponsored through SGM Lifewords. Each week they hit the streets, slums or villages in an effort to meet needs and bring God’s love. Without your support, they could not do all of these things, so thankyou for partnering with them in spreading God’s love and word.

This quarter, we offer an update on what they have been doing and how the Lord has been using them to bring his light and love to those who need it most. If you’re short on time, take a quick look at the photo slideshow for an overview…

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LEARNING CENTRE IN CIDENG: The slum community of Cideng, Jakarta is home to a few thousand people. Real numbers are impossible to know, but dozens of students from the Pelita Dunia and Moriah Colleges go weekly to meet physical, spiritual and emotional needs.

In the slum of Cideng, students have built a simple learning centre for education, worship and counselling.

In the slum of Cideng, students have built a simple learning centre for education, worship and counselling.

Over the past few months, they have been building a small, simple Learning Centre so that students can run education classes, worship services and conduct Pavement Project counselling. A box of SGM Lifewords’ booklets can be locked up in a cupboard so that students are always able share God’s word and offer a gift to those whom they meet. Students, like Valen, Yostan and Nelson, were even involved in the building of the Centre. Pak Gunar Sahari (Indonesian Director for SGM Lifewords) said,

“This is all part of what it is to be a Christian presence. The people know we are here to help, to love and bless. They receive our food parcels or noodles or rice, and they are open to hearing about Jesus who is central to our faith and lives. I am very proud of our students, and look forward to seeing many people come to faith through this.”

The learning centre provides an environment out of the elements, so that rain, hail or shine, the student ministry can continue.

Students give food parcels to children in Tanah Abang

Students give food parcels to children in Tanah Abang

EDUCATION & LITERACY: It doesn’t sound like “Bible work”, but when our teams of students go into poor communities and offer help, it shows that Christian faith is not just a belief, but a holistic practice of bringing God’s Kingdom to earth. The past 3 months, there have been 2 new learning environments created by students to give poor children the opportunity to learn reading and writing. Jeffrey, who leads one of these new initiatives makes the observation,

“Most of the children leave the community to attend school, but if school comes to them, they are mostly willing to come. We always give food parcels, milk and rice. We teach them Math, reading and writing. We will also use Bible booklets to help them to read God’s word and understand who God is and what He has done for us all.”

Please pray for the students as they continue this weekly task.

FOOTBALL BRIDGES THE GAP:

Students play football with teens on the streets

Students play football with teens on the streets

There’s nothing like a bit of fun to bring a connection between two different communities. To be honest, many of the College students find it difficult to strike up friendship and conversation with total strangers. So when a ball is produced and a few sticks are erected as goal posts, the connection becomes so much easier! Throughout the June World Cup, students have been playing weekly games of football with teens on the streets, building a bridge and offering drinks and nibbles afterward.

THE VISIBLE STORY: All students get trained in how to use the SGM Lifewords picture-presentation called, The Visible Story.

Inside the new centre, women and children engage with The Visible Story

Inside the new centre, women and children engage with The Visible Story

The purpose was to have a visual aid that would help preachers tell some of Jesus’ parables in a way that the illiterate listener would see and remember. The program offers a little twist on traditional preaching in that the listeners are invited to inject feedback, their own examples and engage with the story. When we created the program, we didn’t realise that it would also have another effect: It brings confidence to students who would otherwise hesitate to enter a God-conversation or make a sermon to unknown persons. All of a sudden, quiet, hesitant students take the colourful flipchart and say, “Hey, can I show you something? It’s a story you might enjoy.” Then children and adults alike become interested in the pictures and the story, and suddenly a group of people are engaged with God’s word in a way that would not otherwise happen. During the past few months, students have told of numerous people hearing and accepting Christ through the sharing, and they feel increasingly empowered to share God’s word with others. The success of The Visible Story is actually surprising us!!

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I (Dan Hardie) would like to finish this update with a huge THANKYOU to those who have jumped on board with our student sponsorship program and are offering $55 per month for a student to be equipped with Bible Resources, be helped with their college fees, and contribute to their livelihood. God bless and please keep praying for them!

An Overview: Reaching street children

Providing help for street children isn’t easy. Many children are traumatised by their life on the street or the experience that put them there in the first place. They are often alienated, have low self esteem, and are wary of accepting help. Child playing during Picture Me process

You can take the child out of the streets, but you can’t take the streets out of the child.

Pavement Project: how it works

This is where Pavement Project comes in, providing a tried and tested way for workers to encourage children to talk about their deep-seated fears and hurts. Through prayer and Bible stories, children can receive healing and affirmation. Workers say that this allows them to understand the child in a much deeper way than before, and to draw alongside them more effectively. Pavement Project demonstrates the power of the Bible’s life words that speak of encounter with Jesus.

Councelling children through Pavement ProjectPavement Project aims to raise the self-worth of a child and restore a sense of hope for the future. The Big Green Bag is a key tool used in the process. It was created by child psychologist/trauma specialists, following four years of child-centred research into the needs of street children and the traumas they have experienced.

The Big Green Bag is divided into sections of interactive picture cards, games, and activities – all designed as a process called Picture Me, a carefully planned therapeutic tool to be used with individual children.

Creative Counselling: Picture Me

Street workers are trained in the Picture Me process before getting access to a Big Green Bag of their own. Once they are trained, workers join a support network of other workers and facilitators who help to make sure that Pavement Project is well used and monitored.

Picture Me is a holistic approach that means children can take God’s Word seriously – seeing his love in action around them, and meeting him through the workers themselves, as well as the stories they tell. Pavement Project is not just talking about the Bible’s life words … it’s living them.

Pavement Project: Numbers

The figures behind Pavement Project might help you see its effect on children-at-risk.

  • 29,000 – number of children who have already gone through the Pavement Project process
  • Over 1,000 – number of workers trained world wide
  • 177 – number of organisations working with Pavement Project
  • 15 – number of countries where Pavement Project is being used
  • 10 – number of languages in which Pavement Project resources and training are available

Help! I’m working with teens!

We get our most feedback from people who are working with teens and finding it difficult to get them to engage with scripture. So many tell us that the Little Book of Help is such a blessing to them. Here’s another one from Elyse Atkins of the Salvation Army who just ordered 200 books for upcoming events… Little Book of Help collage

“I adore the little book of help because its so useful when you ‘need help’! The books will be on hand at our youth events for anyone who needs one and some will be given out to leaders for them to pass onto their youth. It has helped me alot in my own youth ministry and is such a great tool to turn to when you’re stuck for the right verse to share so thankyou!”

That’s why we exist. To help people share God’s word in relevant, creative ways. Keep sending feedback and testimonies of how God’s word is a blessing in your ministry!

Little Book of Help (teenage)

Success! Aussie generosity makes the difference

Can continue his ministry because we gave

Nelson can continue his ministry because we gave

Late last year, SGM Lifewords launched a program to sponsor missional students who just couldn’t do their mission or study without financial support. This is not actually new for us: For many years, we have partnered closely with missional Bible Colleges who send students to the mission field. We have resourced them, trained them with our programs, translated into local languages and joined together in Mobile Missions.

The problem was, we are giving Bible resources to students who couldn’t reach their mission field or continue their training because they had no funds. So we thought it logical to expand our partnership to enable Australian sponsors to provide beyond just the Bible resources. We praise God that many Aussies have a heart for the gospel and for reaching Indonesia! We have seen dozens of students funded for their mission work!

Gunar ministers to the poorOne sponsor, Nick, said, “I want to give to something that is making a difference. When I see the photos and video of those slums, I think, “Man, I should be there with God’s word. But I can’t. So I’ll support those who can.”

We didn’t know if people would financially support this type of ministry, but already dozens of students have sponsorship for their ministry.  Aussies want to make a difference and now dozens of Aussies are serving the Lord with their generosity… Thankyou and Praise God!

If you want to join our sponsorship team, simply email dan.hardie@sgmlifewords.com

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Bible brings comfort to volcano survivors

Mount Kelud, Volcano IndonesiaThousands of Bible booklets have been sent to the volcano area of Mount Kelud where 100,000 people have been displaced. Some have perished, while thousands are homeless and uncertain of their future.

Our Indonesian Director, Gunar Sahari gave us this report:

“Last week we sent a lot of booklets to Pastor Sukarli. He serves among people who live near Kelud Mountain whom errupted and killed some and made many homeless. He is going to visit many villages to distribute the booklets, especially to people who face difficulty because of Kelud Erruption. Please pray so that all the people who received the booklets will find help and comfort through the Word of God.”

DisplacedWe also sent booklets to Pastor Yoppy Muskita who is the coordinator of the Pastors Fellowship in Tulungagung, Kediri and Blitar. This will supply 20 other Pastors with Picking up the Pieces, and our prayer is that many people will receive comfort through the living word of God.

The problem is, we are running out of booklets and would like to print and send more. Here in Australia-New Zealand, we’ve decided to set up a “Disaster Relief Fund” so that we are ready to print booklets the moment a natural disaster strikes. Within 48hrs, we could have God’s word in the hands of Chaplains and Pastors if we are ready.

GOAL: $5000

Would you give to our Disaster Relief Fund?

A life well lived…

Today we mourn the passing of Vera, one of our young mission students in Indonesia. She had a great passion for God’s word and loved to serve the poor in her community.