Last night around 10pm found Emma and I making our way through the security apparatus of Parliament house in Canberra. We were heading home from a Church training session when we heard the debate on the Abortion drug RU486 broadcast over NewsRadio. All Australians have the democratic right to observe the deliberations of Parliament – which means that even if they are debating into the middle of the night – you can go and watch. It was a slightly surreal excursion, but we heard a great speech from one of the Senators, and it was an encouragement to me to pray for our leaders today as they make this important decision in accordance with their consciences.
The real business of living lately has left little time for these excursions.
This week is the University of Canberra enrolments, a key time for the FOCUS ministry in reaching first year students. We’ve set up a stall out the front of the main enrolments building, organized all our funky new postcards, t-shirts, posters, and now we pray. I’ve already developed a big enough case of sunburn that I can see my way home in the dark, and cook dinner on my forehead…
It’s been slow and hard work, in the past years students have had to queue and physically enrol at the Uni. Now everything is done online and its much harder to meet people.
FOCUS LogoThis is our new FOCUS Logo. We’ve been putting it every where lately.
In my last post I wrote about the FOCUS Vision Days. This time went really well – it was held out at a very large farm house owned by the family of the ANU FOCUS student president. The weather was stinking hot which made concentration in some of the talks very difficult. Overall however, it was a great time for encouraging each other with the truth of the gospel, and learning some practical skills for the ministry this year. Marcus Reeves gave some talks from Exodus – looking at God’s care and provision for his people. We ran training electives on Welcoming, One-to-One ministry, and Evangelism. The biggest encouragement was just seeing the students again, and seeing people who are enthusiastic about being Jesus people at Uni.
On Thursday night we had our first student Committee meeting. There were heaps of great ideas thrown around and we had a good time setting our agenda for the start of the year.
Friday was an Evangelism Training day held in conjunction with a number of Churches around Canberra. John Chapman spoke and answered questions on the topic. These training days – called AIM Days are a regular fixture in Canberra. I always enjoy the chance to catch up with mates who are in ministry in other parts of the city. And the training is always top notch.
Saturday was the first day off Emma and I have had together in our new house. So we went for a drive to Bungendore, had a coffee, I bought a copy of Lightfoot’s Commentary on Philippians at the second-hand bookshop.
Sunday was the 10th anniversary of Crossroads Church. I helped out with the Kids programme in the morning so I missed the service. Emma said it went very well, John Chapman spoke, and everyone from all the congregations was in together.
In the evening we had a BBQ to launch UniChurch – the University Congregation of Crossroads – for the year. We only had about 40 people turn up, but the fellowship was red hot, and we were able to spend some time talking about the vision for the year and praying together.
All in all its been an exhausting week. I’m sunburnt and tired and wondering whether I’ve got what it takes to lead the students at UC. But I’m being reminded that God’s word never fails, his people keep encouraging me, and I’m taking some days off this weekend. Philippians has been a source of encouragement for me again this week. God’s word never fails in its freshness and relevance.

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
(Phil 3:12-14 ESV)

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