Searching for Good News!
"Despite restrictions, campers really thrived and came up with creative ways to contribute to their community."
Searching for Good News!
Right now Victorians, and other Australians, are experiencing greater freedom. We’re looking beyond restrictions, and able to plan ahead with more confidence. But this season has also profoundly changed us. Extended seasons of lockdown and isolation have left so many of us yearning for connection, looking for hope, and asking some pretty big questions.
McCrindle Research has found “the experience of COVID-19 is creating a new context, where many Australians are experiencing a renewed spiritual search. During the pandemic almost half of Australians have thought more about the meaning of life, or their own mortality. A third of Australians have thought more about God, while three in ten have prayed more.” Within this new context, “younger Australians (Gen Z) are leading the way being more likely to have had spiritual conversations, thought about the meaning of life, thought about God, prayer, and read the Bible more than any other generation.” (McCrindle Research: Australia’s Spiritual Climate Report, October 2021)
This new context is our missional context! Over summer, SU will send out hundreds of volunteers to serve on 35 summer mission and holiday camp teams in locations around Victoria and at Camp Coolamatong. Together, these volunteers will help thousands of children, young people, and families experience God’s love and Good News. They will engage with young people asking big questions and help them discover life, hope, and welcome in God’s Big Story.
As I reflected on my own posture and approach to mission in this season, I was drawn to the story of Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52. Jesus knew Bartimaeus’ situation had the power to restore his sight and bring healing. But as Bartimaeus stands before him, Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him a question, listened to his experience, heard his need, and responded in power. This year more than ever, the people we encounter in our communities, and the children, young people and families we engage with over summer will need to talk. In demonstrating God’s love and Good News, we need to listen. We need to sit with people, to hear their story, to understand their needs and their experience and, in doing that, we can walk alongside them as they encounter Jesus and find their place in his healing, restoring, hope-filled, life-bringing story.
As Paul writes in Colossians 1:6, “This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.” (NLT)
Please pray for our teams as they engage, serve, and demonstrate God’s love and Good news over summer.
God bless you!
Regional Manager, Victoria
This story is part of the November 2021 issue of CONNECT.
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