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.

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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.

Sydney Newspaper writes of our Summer mission

The Sydney Morning Herald wrote an article about the Beach Mission activity that we will take part in this Summer! Read on…

Sun and salvation make a divine holiday for fun-seeking souls

SANDCASTLES and surf lessons might seem unlikely places to find the good news of Jesus Christ thousands of children on family holidays along the NSW coast this summer will find the Lord’s word hard to avoid.

Combining biblical messages with holiday activities

Scripture Union Family Mission has set up camp in almost 50 caravan parks to take Jesus Christ from the church to the beach.

The Bible’s religious teachings are woven into sandcastle-building, surfing and cooking lessons, craft classes and the mission’s park carnivals.

Kelly Carlisle, of Pymble, is one of 99 Christians camped at Lake Tabourie on the south coast this year to share her faith with summer holidaymakers.

”The idea is that we come along to caravan parks and run activities for all age groups, from babies through to mums, to have fun with them, create friendships and share our faith,” she said.

A director of the annual Lake Tabourie beach mission, she knows intimately the impact holiday proselytising can have.

She camped at the park, south of Ulladulla, with her family every summer throughout her childhood. On New Year’s Eve in 1996, when she was 18, she became a Christian.

”I went to [the mission] right through my childhood years, so I knew all the stories about Jesus, but I never understood how he was relevant to me,” she said.

Ruby May Thompson, 11, is so enamoured of the Lake Tabourie mission’s ”disaster chef” and Jenga games, she and her parents travelled to the caravan park especially to attend.

”One I like best [is] disaster chef,” Ruby said. ”It’s a game that you play, sometimes at night, and you go and you just throw stuff [ingredients] in and then it might turn our good, it might turn out bad.

”They might have some things about Jesus, but not all the time.”

Ruby’s father, Christopher, describes himself as a non-practising Christian and said the Bible’s moral and behavioural lessons were good for his children.

He first encountered the mission when the group offered free babysitting some years ago.

”They offered to look after my children for a few hours, which is fantastic,” he said.

”They make it quite interesting and exciting for them. We’re not even at that caravan park but my eldest daughter wanted to go.”

The Lake Tabourie beach mission has been running for more than half a century. Volunteers from a variety of Christian denominations, who work 15 hours a day, pay $400 each to cover the cost of camping, food, equipment and activities.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sun-and-salvation-make-a-divine-holiday-for-funseeking-souls-20101231-19bzu.html

[SGM Lifewords are supplying the Bible resources for SU’s beach mission. Over 6000 Bible booklets will be distributed to holiday makers during the 4-week mission period]

30,000 Muslims need a church

Bumi Village, Tangerang

In a village of over 30,000 Muslims, not one Christian church exists – until now.

At the Moriah Theological Seminary, over 160 young students are training to be missionaries and Church planters. In their 3rd year of study, they are trained with SGM Lifewords‘ evangelism tool, The Visible Story. Then, they are sent for a year of practical ministry in a local church or rural village. It was during this year when Nucris was changed from a shy college student, to a passionate, church-planting evangelist…

Nucris was born in a very poor village of Kupang, Timor. His parents passed away when he was very young and as a teenager, he struggled with his health and nutrition leading to a stroke. Doctors say he should have died. In desperation, he turned to the church to help him. His local church suggested that he might try Bible College as his education was quite good despite his health difficulties. He applied at 3 different Bible Colleges, but each time he was turned away. Finally, Moriah invited him to join them and he was overjoyed.The Visible Story - Nucris

As Nucris approached his practical year of ministry, he was nervous and worried about how to preach and do the practical parts of ministry. He had little confidence and didn’t know how he would talk to non-Christians. Only a few days before leaving the college campus, Nucris attended The Visible Story (TVS) training.

“It was like God answered my prayers. TVS gave me some practical tools and helped me learn to tell parables and stories with others. I grew in confidence and it was especially helpful the first time I shared with a group in the village. It is so great for us!”

Students sharing The Visible Story

With three of his fellow students, they found a place to live and started ministering in a village community where there was no church and only two other known Christians. With mid-week education classes for kids, a sports afternoon for teens and a start-up worship service, they began to reach and connect with locals. Now over 60 children attend the children’s church and many parents are starting to connect with God’s Word through the ministry of Moriah and it’s students. And Nucris is a new man, gaining physical strength everyday and powering on as a spiritual warrior.

God’s Word in Prison

Matthew 25:39-40 (NIV) “Lord, when did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

If anyone needs the love, hope and restoration of Jesus, it’s those in our Juvenile Justice prisons. There are hundreds who have grown up in environments of anger, abuse and instability and at some point, they have turned to crime for one reason or another. Many finish their sentence only to recommit, highlighting their need for deep restoration and hope.

In NSW, Juvenile Justice Chaplains do a fantastic work of bringing hope, forgiveness and restoration to young lives. They use skills as counsellors and teachers to help teens, and most importantly, they want to give God’s life-changing word. At their recent conference, Dan Hardie presented the range of SGM Lifewords material available and each chaplain was over-the-moon to have relevant Bible portions available to give to teens in need.

Rev. Lynn Pickersgill said, “This material is just perfect for what we are doing. Thanks so much for making it available”. The most requested item has been Little Book of Help, and the matching pair of “You Matter” and “Forgiveness Matters” is so relevant in those environments.

Please pray for Lynn and our other chaplains as they work in prisons, and continue to support Lifewords as we give God’s Word where it is needed.

The Visible Story in use in a village

Watch The Visible Story in operation in Indonesia


The Visible Story is a resource to help evangelists and mission workers share the gospel in Indonesia. Created for urban slums and rural villages, where levels of poverty and illiteracy are high, The Visible Story opens the Bible’s message in a fresh and natural way. Working through our partners, Bible students are trained in ‘engaged storytelling’ and equipped to start faith conversations. A colourful flipchart depicts four of Jesus’ parables that have been selected carefully for their resonance with Indonesian culture and everyday life. In the hands of Bible students trained in its use, and with a burning heart to reach their home communities, The Visible Story is a simple yet profound resource to share the Bible with local communities.