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

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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.

Mission in flip flops… really?

Pair of flip flopsOn casual Friday, people turn up to work in jeans and a smart shirt. But very few would even think to bust out the iconic Aussie thongs (or better known to our international friends as “flip flops”). But this summer, Christians are on mission in a unique environment where it wouldn’t be out of place to don the Aussie thong.

During the summer break, thousands of holiday makers turn up on NSW beaches looking for sun, sand and surf. With the hottest year on record, there’s no better place than beside the rolling waves at one of hundreds of our beaches. Amidst the caravans and tents, 52 Scripture Union mission teams set up marque tents and put on holiday Target Beach, NSWprograms for children and adults alike. Their hope is to be a blessing to the campers, adding fun activities and creative events to their holiday schedule.

Many times, people are interested in knowing more about what they are doing and why. It’s the perfect opportunity to gently share God’s Word in a relational context. Most times, our SGM Lifewords’ booklets are the perfect gift to leave with people. One mission worker told us,
The Little Book of Help is my favourite to give. No one has ever rejected it, and most are keen to flick through and read more. It looks great and is packed with truth.”

Little Book of Help collageYounger ones are given You Matter while some of the young adults might be given the more artistic, modern version of the prodigal son story shared in the Suppose booklet. The impact is obvious with their testimonies:

“Previously I had nothing to give out after a God conversation. Now, I don’t need to know all the right things to say – I can let God’s word speak for itself! The booklets help me have a conversation about what God’s word actually says.”

We were really blessed to be given a grant to print those necessary booklets, and next year we hope we can raise more funds to print booklets for the ongoing Summer mission. Why not contribute something toward this cause? You can donate here today.

Mission students: starting the year strong

Mission students ministering in Cideng, Jakarta

Mission students ministering in Cideng, Jakarta

This week, dozens of mission students will return to Jakarta from their Christmas break. Most have been visiting their home villages, seeing family and loved ones for the first time in a year.

But the new year kicks in quickly as the need never goes on break. So many of the city poor struggle through Christmas while the western world spends up big. Village dwellers brace as the monsoon rains brings extensive flooding and ruins crops. The less fortunate need hope in this season and students will resume their mission from Day 1.

In a recent initiative, SGM Lifewords have made it possible for individuals to sponsor these mission students. Our sponsorship program began in November 2013, and so far half a dozen students are now having their burden lifted as we provide support and training. These are the first of 70 students that we’d like to support as they bring God’s word, healing and hope to poor communities around Indonesia.

Would you pray for them this week? Pray that they would arrive safely back to College. Pray that they will have their needs met this year. Pray for fruit in their various mission fields. And perhaps you may consider sponsoring a student? Let us know at newzealand@sgmlifewords.com and we’ll send out a pack.

4 Things We Do

What does SGM Lifewords do?

Here it is in 4 simple points…things we do

1. We create and give Bible booklets… free.

We want the Bible to be accessible and understood by everyday people who don’t usually read scripture. And we freely give Bible resources because we believe the Bible should be accessible to everyone regardless of socio-economic standing.

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2. We give scriptures to unreached people.

For example, Indonesia has one of the largest portions of unreached people in the world, therefore SGM Lifewords has a growing mission work in Indonesia. In Australia and New Zealand, we raise money for the Bible work in Indonesia and other unreached regions, and we regularly report of its fruitfulness.

3. We develop new methods for sharing scripture.

Our Facebook “VerseFirst” page has 5000 followers. Our online films and video resources are seen by thousands. Our Life-changing Words email has over 35,000 people subscribed. We invest in new technologies to connect the Bible with where people are at culturally.

4. We translate Bible portions into hundreds of languages.

Whole Bible’s are hard to translate and require a lengthy process. We translate our Bible booklets into over 1200 languages so the gospel can be read.

This is our mission, and we’ve been a faith mission for 125 years!

Students have a huge impact, but struggle with small wallet

“Why did I start a Bible College? Because I have a dream to reach tens of thousands of Indonesians with the gospel. I don’t think it’s just my dream, but God’s dream. It may be possible if we do it together…” Gunar Sahari, SGM Lifewords Indonesia

Student sponsorshipNow, with 160 full-time students, Gunar’s dream is becoming a reality. Every weekend, students are ministering to the poor in the streets; church planting in villages; running kids programs; and giving SGM Lifewords Bible booklets to whoever they meet. They literally touch the lives of thousands – but now they need our help!

More than 70 students cannot afford their college fees, food or accommodation. Twice this year, the college couldn’t pay their staff. Students are scrambling to find petrol to reach their ministry field work. It’s a weekly challenge, but they still keep going. Friends, we can help.

SGM Lifewords is formally partnering Moriah College to teach students, equip them with Bible resources, and train them as missionaries. This month, we are LAUNCHING A NEW SPONSOR-A-STUDENT program and would love you to be a part of it! You can facilitate their ministry and mission work by providing a monthly sponsorship, encouraging letters and prayer. Would you consider sponsoring an SGM Lifewords Bible College student? For more info, contact australia@sgmlifewords.com

Facebook: Friend or Foe?

William Walters was a cutting edge kind of guy. When he started SGM in 1888, he was using new print technology to do business and chose to use the same tool to spread God’s Word.

125yrs later, the world has changed but the Word remains the same. People are reading less and less from paper and more and more from a screen. For the first time in history, e-book

Verse First facebook pg has over 5000 followers

Verse First facebook pg has over 5000 followers

s have outsold printed books; mobile phones outnumber humans; and nearly 1 billion people interact daily on a thing called “Facebook” (FB).

Some object to FB because of the potential for bullying, sharing illicit material or the “front” it allows people to project (after all, we want people to see our good side, right?). But just like printed material, the tool can be used for good as well as evil.

In July 2012, we thought that God’s Word could be shared through FB. We set up “Verse First” – a FB page that encourages young people to connect with God’s Word before connecting with everyone else. Today, over 5000 people get a daily scripture sent to their newsfeed. Hundreds “like” each post. Others comment on the verse or share it with others. As habits change, we too must adapt to find new ways of sharing God’s word. Find Verse First at www.facebook.com/versefirst

Could teens ever bless the elderly?

In my neighbourhood, people’s needs aren’t obvious. No one walks around with a sign that says, “I’m hungry” or “I’m lonely”. If people need clothes or support, there are organisations who specialise in helping with these matters. So it can take a little effort to personally find needs and meet them. It takes the effort of actually getting to know people, mixing with the community, and scratching under the surface. But when we do, there’s a world of hurt, loneliness, depression, and desperation.HomelessMan

Each September, my wife and I take a group of teenagers into a local nursing home in a simple ministry we call “Young to Old”. The teens bake cookies and take them in as they talk, eat, sing, and even pray with the elderly. We give Bible booklets – Daily Strength and You Matter – reading to those who can’t read, and listening to those who want to talk. And boy, can they talk! Many of these folk have no visitors and are in their last few months of living. What a blessing for vibrant young people to listen to, engage with and value those who are forgotten.

The same story could be shared in different locations, meeting different needs all around the world. I was blessed to recently spend time with Pastor Nehe who lives among lepers in Indonesia, giving his life to those who need it most. We hear stories from people who are working among street children; bringing hope and love to those in the sex industry; lifting others from depression; giving words of comfort to the hurting; and meeting the needs of the world around them. Jesus lets us know that as his followers, this is of great value and importance to him. If we choose to engage and follow the example of these teens, it’ll change us from the inside out.

 “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers

and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Matthew 25:35–40

by Dan Hardie

You can help us produce Bible booklets for these ministries! Give at www.sgmlifewords.com/donate