Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Praise the Lord from Whom all blessings flow! That may seem strange to write in a pandemic in the middle of a week of isolation for me. It may seem strange to write when my travel ban exemption request was denied. Yet, through it all I am seeing God’s hand at work.
On the travel ban exemption, many of our prayers were answered, just not the big one right now. God has provided a place for me to live when I do return. It has a beautiful view as an added blessing although I’m just happy to have an address. He gave me an American economic stimulus check when I didn’t expect to get one having filed my taxes last year as a non-resident. This will help pay for the plane tickets home. He caused a Member of the Tasmanian Parliament to think so much of my service to the children that he wrote in support of my application. The application made it all the way to the Commissioner’s office because of that, but in the end, it was rejected saying “your circumstances do not outweigh the risk to the Australian people.”
So, what now? I settle in for a few more months of long-distance ministry, change roles to being more of a coach and encourager to those on the ground, and expand to local ministry in South Carolina.
On the Tasmanian front, we are preparing for LEGO Zoom Club this school holiday. God has provided the workers. I will actually only be doing the Bible lesson in club one day because others were willing. This does my heart good to see people stepping out in ministry. There are also older people who don’t feel comfortable on Zoom, but they will be mailing out prizes to the children who attend. The biggest prayer now is that God would bring the children to register for the club. Would you pray for 15 families to be reached with the Gospel?
Because of the Tasmanian COVID rules, each organization has to have a COVID Safe Plan that meets State Government guidelines. It is impossible to assure this is implemented and stuck to in the bounds of the law without me, the only paid staff, on the ground to begin in-person Good News Clubs. However, my former church has stepped up to allow Good News Club to operate under their umbrella so that the children can meet again! It is also not possible to meet in schools, so for School Term 4, we will be bringing 3 clubs together under one roof in the church fellowship hall. It will be a lot of work for the teachers with all of the cleaning procedures before and after each week. When I floated the idea out there to the teachers, many of the team jumped on board and were willing to do what it took to reach the children and be back together again. A couple are even willing to transport children who would normally have been at the Riverside Primary School club. We are praying for transportation for those at the St. Leonards Primary School club. I will continue to be involved with encouragement and guidance.
On the American front, I am looking forward to helping out once a week at Trinity Baptist Church in Cayce. I’ll be assisting the preschool staff’s own personal children with their online schooling. There are about 7 children ranging from kindergarten to 11th grade. It will be a challenge with so many different levels of work, but I am really looking forward to being with a classroom of children and young people in person again until I can return to Australia.
My other endeavour has to do with medically fragile children who can’t get out around others. My friends, who all the kids call Papa Henry and Ma Mary, and I will be starting a Zoom Kids Club for them. This is something I can identify with having to be in isolation so much myself. It has to be even harder for children. We will also be mailing out craft packets to the children so they will have a craft that goes with the lesson that week and some other goodies. Of course, when I return to Australia, the mailing will have to be done by Papa Henry. The good news is I will be able to teach the lessons on Peter that I have developed for our Good News Clubs in Tasmania next year. There will be some adaptations for these children’s special needs. If you know a child who is staying at home that could benefit from this, let me know.
Prayer Requests: ·
Praise God for answered prayer and for a way forward for Good News Clubs in Term 4. ·
Continue to pray for my return to Tasmania in God’s time. ·
Pray for God to bring 15 families to LEGO Zoom Club. ·
Pray for Sara and Ben who will also be teaching Bible lessons at the LEGO Zoom Club that God would bless our preparations. ·
Pray for the club in South Carolina for medically fragile children that God would show us where those children are. · P
ray that many would take advantage of that opportunity to learn more about the God who made them in His image. ·
Pray for all the technology to work both for the Zoom Club in Tasmania and the one in South Carolina. · P
ray for transportation so that the children at St. Leonards Primary School can attend Good News Club.
Together for the children,