Dan in Indonesia: Live update

BeggerI’m writing from Indonesia, where Pak Gunar and I are trekking around some rural villages with a car full of Bible booklets and resources. We are on “mobile mission” with the goal of encouraging & equipping church planters and mission workers.

I’m writing briefly to encourage you that together we’re really making a difference! For those who have given toward our Indonesian outreach, I think you should know that you’re changing lives.

Pak Nehe and wife do a terrific work among Chinese Benteng children

Pak Nehe and his wife do a terrific work among Chinese Benteng children

We’ve just visited Pak Nehe who saw a great need among the Chinese Benteng (group of Indo-Chinese who are very poor on the outskirts of Tangerang). The kids don’t go to school & there are many problems – physically, financially and socially. Many are raised by their mother only as their fathers desert them. Pak Nehe is a Bible college graduate who we trained with The Visible Story. He saw a need and decided to start a school and outreach. They truly care for these Chinese Benteng children, helping their parents and sharing God’s love. We came to encourage him and his wife, bringing Bible resources and words of life for children and parents alike. Receiving hopeThe kids loved our booklet titles, “Who Cares about Me?” and “Why Me?”. Pictured, you can see some students reading and listening to God’s word.

This was the first stop on our mobile mission – the next is a little more confronting as we visit the Leprosy Hospital…. I’ll keep regular feeds through our FB page (“like” here).

Dan H

Banyak hamba Tuhan membutuhkan pelatihan “Kisah Nyata”

Indo school kidsIn Jakarta last month, Ps Gunar Sahari invited a few pastors to learn about the SGM Lifewords’ booklets – but more than a few turned up! Once the word got out, the small informal meeting turned into a seminar with 30 Pastors eager for Bible resources and The Visible Story training. Many of our resources are available in the local language of Bahasa Indonesian, so the demand is great. Some of their favourite booklets were You Matter and Picking up the Pieces – such relevant titles for those working amongst the lower socio-economic groups of Indonesia.

SGM Lifewords supplied each Pastor with Bible booklets and invited them to return for a training session of The Visible Story. Many were also interested in sending children’s workers to our Pavement Project training in September.

It reminds us of Jesus’ words that “the harvest is great but the workers are few”. Our challenge in Indonesia is to have enough resources & man-hours to equip and train the many who need it!

Please consider giving toward these Bible training resources which give mission workers the chance to use The Visible Story program. Give generously so God’s Word can spread!

Everything is free. So how did we make it to 125yrs?

125yrs of goodnessThis year, we celebrate 125 years of Bible mission work! We believe the Bible should be available to everyone, so we make all our booklets and programs available for free. So how has SGM Lifewords kept going if we give everything for free? In fact, how have we kept growing?

The answer is simple: People believe that this is a mission worth supporting – afterall, so many of us took our earliest steps of faith because of an SGM Lifewords Bible Booklet!

Over the years, there have been thousands of individuals, foundations, churches, and businesses who have donated money, print runs, resources and even volunteers so that this Bible mission could thrive. Because of that, we’ve been able to make a huge difference for people all around the world. It’s exciting to think that we’ve produced over 1 Billion Bible products; reached 30,000 children at risk; printed into 1200 different languages; and received testimonies of literally thousands who have been changed by God’s life words.

These days, we encourage Bible booklet users to “Pay It Forward”. Most people in the western world could afford to purchase their booklets, but we don’t sell them – we simply ask that people might consider continuing the cycle of generosity and pay it forward to the next person. So often, people give much more than they order. That gives us the chance to give free resources to others who cannot afford it. Therefore, no one goes without God’s life words. And it’s been that way for 125 years…

To give toward this amazing faith mission, please follow this link to donate online and make it possible for so many more to get God’s Word.

Westmead Childrens Hospital says, “thankyou Lifewords!!”

The Children’s hospital at Westmead, Sydney is a major referral hospital for seriously ill children. They draw patients from multicultural Sydney, NSW and the other States, and even patients from overseas. Kate Bradbury is one of 8 Chaplaincy staff who work in the hospital and they use SGM Lifewords’ booklets to bring comfort and healing to parents and patients alike. Kate recently told us, sick child

“To have a seriously ill child in hospital in a foreign country is a frightening experience, but to face this trauma without the support of extended family and friends takes it to another level.”

Kate and her team have been blessed to receive some of our foreign titles and say that this makes a huge difference for those with English as a second language.

The French "Finding Hope" booklet brought strength to a New Caledonian family with a very sick child

The French “Finding Hope” booklet brought strength to a New Caledonian family with a very sick child

“This week I visited a New Caledonian woman with a child suffering from cancer. The situation is really serious and she was distraught. Our conversation was broken as her English was limited. I apologised for my lack of French but was able to take a couple of your booklets as a way of showing my concern and understanding that heart language is important. We talked together and prayed together in broken English. These little books really broke the ice for me and have provided a way to care for a family who is far from home and facing a very serious and sad situation.”

God sends the chaplains to be with people in the midst of their pain. We are blessed to make Bible’s available to Chaplains like Kate. Please pray for them in their vital task! And if you’d like any foreign titles, please visit our Global Resource Website at http://resources.sgmlifewords.com/global/en/

A great celebration!

Over 90 people were able to join us in Sydney to celebrate 125 years of SGM Lifewords ministry. It was a terrific night of sharing, eating, exhortation and celebration as we thanked God for this faith mission He has sustained over the years. Our prayers, hopes and dreams are for many more years of reaching people with the Scriptures.

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Pastor Gunar Sahari from Indonesia in Sydney!

On Saturday, 25th May, we celebrate 125 years of SGM Lifewords’ ministry. Gunar ministers to the poorTo celebrate and highlight our work in the Asia-Pacific region, Pastor Gunar Sahari will join us!

Gunar is the Indonesian Director for SGM Lifewords and has an incredible ministry among the poor and needy of Jakarta. He gave up a well-paid, middle class church role to pursue God’s call to work with the marginalised, train Bible College students as missionaries and spread God’s Word through the ministry of SGM Lifewords. His passion for the Word is clearly seen in both his preaching and life of mission.

Gunar PreachingWe will be greatly blessed to have him join us on Saturday. Gunar will also be the guest preacher at Thrive Community Church, Caringbah on Sunday morning (26th) and then at Lugarno-Peakhurst Uniting Church on Sunday evening.

125 year Celebration Dinner in Sydney….! 25th May, 2013

SGM Lifewords invites you to celebrate 125 years with us! It’s a significant milestone and we would love you to come and see how the Lord has used this ministry over the years to spread His Word and bring hope to literally millions.

125 Year Celebration

To book a table of 6 or RSVP personally, please fill in the form on the home page or email australia@sgmlifewords.com

How else would a street child hear of Jesus?

Bringing Jesus to a slum community

Bringing Jesus to a slum community in Jakarta

At 9am, a pair of Pavement Project workers meet to pray and plan their day. Every Saturday, they visit an area of Jakarta known as Cideng, a slum community of nearly 3000 people living illegally between a railway line and a waterway. Here, there are hundreds of children who spend their days begging, rummaging the dump and playing in the dirt – certainly needing hope and love from a caring worker.

When PP worker, Risna, first came to Cideng, she was surprised that there were so many living here! The Indonesian government had published figures of around 7300 children living on the streets of Jakarta, but after seeing so many slum communities like this one, Risna would claim it’s over 10 times that amount. Almost all of them have never seen a Bible or heard about Jesus. And yet, almost all the NGO’s working there are Christian organisations. That is why Risna was so keen to be trained with Pavement Project. With this program, she has the tools and resources to counsel children, bring hope and help them see themselves in a different light. And it really works!

The Green Bag

The Green Bag

“So many of these children have such low self esteem. I love telling them about the Great Teacher who called the children to himself, who healed them, who cared about them and even knows the number of hairs on their head – their eyes open a little wider and a sense of value starts to grow in their tiny hearts! I love this work and I love how PP brings such healing and hope. I’ll be doing this for many years to come. Today might be the only chance these children have to hear about the love of Jesus.”

And so they sit, plan and pray, believing that today will make a difference.

______________________

Jesus told his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” Matt 9:37-38

In July-August this year, SGM Lifewords will train another group of Pavement Project workers in Indonesia. Please pray that the right workers would join the program and we find partner organisations who hold the same passion and values. And pray that we might find the best person to train up as the head coordinator and leader of PP in Indonesia.

(Note: Names are often changed to protect the identity of workers and children in sensitive environments)

Reaching those in and around the porn industry

Christian ProtestorsPeople in and around the porn industry usually hear one message from Christians and other religious folk: You’re evil. But for “Porn Pastor” Craig Gross and his team, they want to bring a different message.

“This whole “Jesus loves you” project came out of this untraditional ministry I started called XXXChurch.com . We go to porn shows and tell people that Jesus loves porn stars. ‘Jesus loves you’ – it’s a simple message.” Craig Gross giving bibles at exhibition

For nearly 10 years, the team at XXXChurch have been helping people overcome sexual addiction, as well as bring love to those who are actually IN the sex industry. Pornography addiction steals from men, marriages, families, and children. XXXChurch brings help through awareness, prevention, and recovery. Their online accountability software, “X3Watch”, has been downloaded by over 1.5 million people from all different backgrounds and age groups.

Little Book of XXX HelpThis year, SGM Lifewords will partner with Craig and his team of volunteers by equipping them with Little Book of XXX Help. Over 1000 booklets are given at each event they attend, and there are dozens of these in the calendar year. Dan Hardie (Aus-NZ Director for SGMLW) will join Craig with a team of volunteers from local churches to talk with, and give God’s word to those attending the Sexpo event in Sydney, starting on the 21st March, 2013. While he is in Australia, Craig will appear on a number of TV shows and radio programs highlighting the importance of this ministry. The XXXChurch team will go to other capital cities in Australia and then return to the US with the Little Book of XXX Help. *Please get in contact with Dan Hardie if you’d like to be part of this mission…

If you think we should be getting God’s Word into dark and unloved places, then help us by joining our SGM Lifewords, donate online or become a prayer partner! Sign up on our home page or donate via http://australia.sgmlifewords.com/donate/

Summer Mission give 5000 portions of Scripture

Beaches

Beach Missions give God’s Word to Aussie holiday makers

It’s difficult to start a God-conversation with a stranger, but with a few creative Bible resources and a relaxed environment, hearts start to open.

This year, 50 Scripture Union mission teams set up tents in beachside caravan parks, offering fun activities and a spiritual connection for thousands of holiday makers.  Dan Hardie went to visit the Crookhaven Heads team to see how SGM Lifewords booklets helped them connect people to God.

Holiday FunWhen I arrived at the Caravan Park, there was only one place to go – the big marquee. I asked for Pete Reeve who leads the team of 50 volunteers for these two Summer weeks. The team had just finished their morning devotion and were scattering to their various activities for the day. There was a buzz in the air, and as I waited for Pete, I asked a local camper how the mission had impacted on her stay.

Our family comes here every year and we love the ‘churchy’s’. They run a good program for our kids and we’ve been along to a few of the night activities. We’re not religious but these people are kind & have fun. So it’s good for us.”

When Pete came out, he was instantly keen to introduce me to some of his team members who had been using our booklet material. Rachel was in charge of the “Chill Out” tent, where teens would come and, well, chill.

Rachel sharing God's word

Rachel sharing God’s word

    “One of the things I love about coming on mission is talking with people about His Word. I’ve given dozens of Little Book of Help to teens. One girl in particular kept coming back keen to know more.”  Marie had given Suppose to a girl who had walked away from faith in her early twenties because she assumed God hated her for teenage sins. Suppose gave a message of acceptance and grace – a great gift.

Pete told me that the booklets were a great way to introduce people to God’s Word in a way that was less confronting than a full-on bible. About 60 Campers at Crookhaven Heads received God’s Word, with over 5000 booklets given across NSW this Summer.

Thank you for giving to SGM Lifewords, so we can give to others.