Claremont Celebrates 50 Years

Claremont Baptist Church Tasmania

6th March 1971 to 6th March 2021

On Sunday 7th March past and present members joined together in a joyful service to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Claremont Baptist Church.

How it all began . .

In 1964, the Rev Mathew Francis, pastor of Lenah Valley Church, urged the establishment of a work in the growing residential area of Abbotsfield and Chigwell. The work began with six people: John and Roslein Priddle; Emma Cox and her daughter Freda Steedman. They met in the home of Ralph and Helen Tye, as the Abbotsfield Baptist Fellowship. Roslein always said the church’s foundation was prayer, and their task was to step out in faith as God led.

The Home Missions Committee secured the services of Sister Heather Hunt, a trained deaconess of the Baptist Union of Great Britain to lead the team. She arrived in 1964 and stayed for five years.

In 1966 the Glenorchy Council, recognising the need for a church in the area, granted the Baptist Union a block of land on Cullen Street. The church used the property to build a manse. It served both as a residence for Sister Heather, and as a meeting place for Sunday School and Sunday services. At about the same time, two new schools opened in the area and soon every room, with the exception of Sister Heather’s bedroom, reached capacity on Sundays. The church then began their planning to build the current building.

The new building opened on the 6th March 1971, with a new name “Claremont Baptist Church“. 23 October 1977 saw the official inauguration of the Claremont Baptist Church with 18 foundation members.

It’s a caring church!

At the 50th Anniversary celebration, foundation members Murray and Heather Hall cut the celebration cake. Heather said, “I love this church. It’s a very caring church”.

Heather and Murray Hall cut the cake

I know that their strength . . .will see them continue for another 50 years

Mayor Kristie Johnson

Mayor of Glenorchy, Kristie Johnson, was present to unveil a plaque. Kristie is the daughter of former pastor David Knox. She spoke of her memories of being a child in the church., and was enthusiastic about the church’s future. “Claremont Baptist Church has been serving the Lord through Christian ministry for 50 years and I know that their strength through faith will see them continue for another 50 years.”

Claremont Baptist Church 50th, Former Paster David Knox, Mayor Kristie Johnson, Pastor Peter Clark
Former Pastor David Knox, Mayor Kristie Johnson, Pastor Peter Clark

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT CLAREMONT BAPTIST


PROFILE: Summerhill Baptist Church

Summerhill Baptist church

In this telling profile of Summerhill Baptist in the Feb/Mar 2021 ADVANCE | step by step , read an overview from the pastor, Maddy Svoboda. Then continue scrolling for a couple of highlights from members Roger and Jess Radford.

From the Pastor: Maddy Svoboda

Maddy Svoboda
Rev. Maddy Svoboda

Hello! My name is Matthew (Maddy) Svoboda and I am the pastor of Summerhill Baptist Church in Launceston. I’ve been married to Imogen for eight years and we have three children: Evie (5), Angus (2) and we have just welcomed Reuben into the tribe 2 months ago.

I grew up in Launceston (my grandparents lived around the corner from Summerhill Baptist for my whole life) and I was not a follower of Jesus until I was 18.

Summerhill Baptist and community impact

The Summerhill Baptist building sits on the Stanley Street roundabout in Summerhill, alongside a school and a medical centre. We have a mentoring partnership with the school. People from the church are trained up to walk with a student in need for an hour a week.

We’ve run family movie nights, sausage sizzles and community fun days for the school community. There is also a high school youth ministry that engages primarily with youth from Prospect High School.

At the end of last year, we partnered with Scripture Union to run a community outreach for the Hazara (ethnic and Muslim group from Afghanistan) people in our community and will continue those throughout 2021.

We’re also in the beginning of a partnership with the medical centre as they use our facilities for ‘flu vaccinations. We would like to see this develop in order to see holistic health throughout the community of Summerhill.

Summerhill’s challenges

One of our big challenges is knowing how to navigate these new cultural waters with boldness and humility. Our society has experienced rapid discontinuous change. It can leave us wondering how we engage with our friends, family members, work colleagues and neighbours with the good news of Jesus.

Sometimes, there can be a tension between wanting our people to be involved in church community life. Plus, be invested in the relationships they naturally have with people not following Jesus. As well as taking care of themselves and their family. There are many priorities in our lives. so it can be a challenge to avoid overloading people. And at the same time, call them to service and mission.

What I see in the future
Maddy and Imogen with their growing family

I am excited by what I see taking place at Summerhill.

We have a spread of ages and generations making up our congregation. My desire is to dive deeply into the call to be a family of God. With older generations and younger generations not merely existing in the same space, but flourishing together.

To that end, I want to see us do the following:

  • Leaning into the location and place God has given us, and to seek the peace and prosperity of our community.
  • Growing and developing even more into a community, offering open-hearted acceptance to those around us.
  • Bringing God’s kingdom to Summerhill.

Members’ ReflectionsSummerhill Baptist

By Roger and Jess Radford

COVID-19 . . . all change!
Summerhill Baptist worship time
Summerhill worship time

A big highlight for Summerhill Baptist has been moving into our “New” hall. We built it a few years ago, but we’re still working through the process of using it for Sunday services.

After lockdown, our old hall no longer met our requirements as we could not all fit, under capacity requirements. With our gear in the old building, it meant we got back to basics, initially. We worked only with a small sound system, a worship leader and singer. It was very refreshing to strip worship back to a “minimum viable product” and slowly build as restrictions have lifted.

Our worship team up front has gradually grown over time. Adding members slowly gave us a chance to test and learn what works well for us in our new building.

Moving to the new building has allowed us to grow our Creche and Kidz Church program in our old building, dramatically improving the size and suitability of the area available to them.

Community fun

COVID restrictions also challenged us on how we get together after a service. Our foyer is now much too small to congregate for a chat, so we recently had our second church picnic at Punchbowl reserve. As a “Bring your own everything” event, it was a simple way for us to all hang out after church without a lot of planning and administration required.

At the picnics–through conversation, food, footy, frisbee and vortex–we’ve much fun had!

Coming up, on Sunday 7th March, we will participate in Clean Up Australia Day by cleaning up one of our local parks after our service, and then having another picnic.

Colder weather will again challenge our newfound love of picnics, but we are looking forward to seeing what we will come up with next!

The Radford Family: Back – Jess and Lily; Front – Ira and Roger

Summerhill Baptist WEBSITE

summerhillbaptist.org.au

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Approaching 2021 with Love in our Hearts

From the MD - Approaching 2021
Mission Director Stephen Baxter reflects on the year ahead

Winners and Losers …

 … Or Something More Profound?

As we are approaching 2021, the 24-hour daily news cycle reminds us we live in unsettling, even dangerous, times. But perhaps we can come with some love in our hearts?

By Mission Director Stephen Baxter

Although somewhat removed in Tasmania, technology connects us to the rest of the world. Recent events in the USA, the increasing bully-like antics of China, and a small virus that continues to bring the world to a standstill, are reminders of the unique moment we are living in.

The relative peace experienced in much of the Western World over the past 50 years or so makes it all feel somewhat “unprecedented”. Recent McCrindle research1 reveals only 10% of those over 75 feel any long-term negative effects on their mental health due of Covid-19.

Yet, among those aged between 18-40, more than half feel the affect has been harmful. McCrindle suggests those over 75 have lived through similar times, like WWII, and have a resilience not known in younger generations.

No wonder the younger ones are struggling more than the older generations.

Stories make sense of the world

Global interconnectedness, which many hoped would usher in a world of increasing peace and harmony, has delivered something like the opposite. The world is full of anxiety and fear, and social media has intensified the rage and polarisation. Now, as we begin 2021, we want to be hopeful, yet it looks like this year will contain as much disruption as 2020, and perhaps more!

In times such as these there are always different stories competing for the hearts and imaginations of humanity, endeavouring to make sense of our lives.

One such story, fuelled by fear and inadequacy, is a tale of “winners and losers”.

Driven by a sense of scarcity, life is a competition and many take sides. The world is divided into oppressors and the oppressed, aggressors and victims. When one believes the path to peace, security and happiness comes by “winning”, violence is an inevitable outcome.

Jesus’ radical contrasts

Sadly, the church is not exempt from the temptation. We too can retreat into an “us and them” mentality built on assumptions of scarcity, competition, and opposition.

Jesus told a different story. He did not view the world through the lens of scarcity, as we can do when approaching 2021, but of abundance. Instead of winning, he talked about serving, stewardship, generosity and sharing where everyone is a winner–for there is enough for all. God, he taught, is a good God full of grace and provision who causes the rain to fall, and the sun to shine, upon all people, both good and evil.

Jesus did not divide the world into winners and losers. His vision for humanity was based on acceptance, grace, and forgiveness. He called every person to love their neighbour as themselves, and even to love their enemies! Life is not a competition fuelled by scarcity, but cooperative empowered by abundance.

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you

Matthew 5:44 (NIV)

The result over the ensuing centuries was a slow, gentle revolution. As people believed in Jesus and lived by his teachings, the poor were healed and empowered, and society became more like the one Jesus envisaged. Life was not a competition, and people no longer lived as victims. As co-heirs with Christ, and willing agents in the spread of the Gospel, the world changed for the better.

Love in our hearts and grace on our lips

Society was transformed not through their compliant submission to those who “lorded it over them”, nor through violent revolution and revenge, but by their nonviolent resistance to scarcity, and “winning” through a life of service and self-giving, that transformed the world.

Let’s be Jesus’ agents. This is what our troubled and unsettled world of 2021 needs. Jesus still calls us to be agents of transformation and positive change in the world. His metaphors of salt, light, and yeast help us appreciate who we are called to be. We are those who do not believe life is a competition. We are those who do not withdraw from the world but are active agents within it.

As well, we are not activists, but respectful, welcoming, loving, patient neighbours to everyone, including our enemies and call them to come believe in and follow Jesus. We don’t set out to win but to bless. We set out with love in our hearts, and grace on our lips.

As we are approaching 2021, may the Spirit empower us all to be witnesses for Jesus in Tasmania.

Stephen Baxter

Stephen Baxter
Mission Director, Tasmanian Baptists
stephen@tasbaptists.org.au

1 Australia in the wake of COVID-19 – McCrindle, accessed January 26, 2021

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Wynyard Baptist Facility Upgrade

Wynyard Baptist Facility Upgrade
Advance Header

Wynyard Baptist Church Celebrate

New upgrades make all the difference to community engagement

Wynyard Baptist Pastor, Owen Muskett, often considers how to enable Wynyard Baptist church to engage the local community.

Owen Muskett, 2020
Owen Muskett

Men’s Shed? No worries!

Carols with the Waratah-Wynyard council? Great!

Funeral services for local personalities? What an opportunity!

Local connection is wonderful, but at the same time, Owen felt their building was letting them down. The foyer area was cramped and uninviting, and the toilets were due for an upgrade.

Late in 2019, Owen explained his vision for a more accessible and inviting building entrance. Meeting with the church leadership, he suggested a few changes to the space occupied by the foyer, crying room, church library, and cleaners’ storage, as well as upgrading the out-of-date toilets.  

His idea was to create a large and welcoming foyer area with purpose-built café and kitchen. He suggested building new toilets as a small extension to the main building and relocating the library to the back wall of the existing auditorium. As well, a window could be altered to become the main entrance, including a large awning for protected driveway drop-offs.

New Foyer, Wynyard Baptist Facility Upgrade
New foyer area with kitchen back left, and former main entrance at the back.
The new entrance is to the right, out of frame.

But the main reason for the change, Owen reasoned, was the potential for greater community engagement.

Funding the Wynyard Baptist Facility Upgrade

Soon after Owen explained the vision to the membership, someone (who remains anonymous) dropped by with an envelope. This person told Owen they “saw the vision and wanted to help”!

Asking Owen not to open the letter for at least 10 minutes, they quietly left. Shrouded in mystery Owen agreed, and 10 minutes later, discovered a cheque for $100,000.

Well now there was no stopping them!

From plans to action

The church leaders began to make their plans with the blessing of the membership, and by early 2020 it was clear the work would go ahead at some stage during the year. With the church unable to meet from the middle of March when the COVID-19 lockdown began, it was the perfect time to begin the demolition and building works.

To make best use of the money, the church decided to both build, and project manage, the demolition and construction using as much volunteer labour as possible. As a result, many of the retired men of the church pulled together, working about 5 hours/day for several weeks.

In a few short months, the new foyer area with entrance, the café and brand-new toilets were available for use. The café boasts a state-of-the-art espresso machine, and cups of coffee purchased before and after services contribute to Wynyard’s missions work overseas.

New Toilets, Wynyard Baptist Facility Upgrade
New toilets extension

As well, visitors to the church are greeted with a much more friendly space, and the good people of Wynyard Baptist are excited to welcome many people from outside their fellowship in the years ahead.

In Owen’s excitement he keeps coming back to the generous anonymous donation, which at time of writing, is still being spent on the Wynyard Baptist facility upgrade.

His conclusion? “You just gotta ask!”

Owen and Dawn Muskett
Owen and Dawn Muskett

All About Penny Clark, LifeWay Devonport

Penny Clark Interview
Advance Dec-20, Penny Clark

New Appointment

interview:

Penny Clark, with husband Adam at LifeWay Baptist church
Penny Clark, Associate Pastor (Emerging Generations) with Adam

Penny Clark was recently appointed to the ministry team at LifeWay Baptist in Devonport as Emerging Generations Pastor.

Who is she and where does she come from? Read on!

Where were you born and what was it like growing up there?

I grew up in St. Marys which is in between Fingal and St. Helens on the East Coast. Growing up there was very open-ended. I was quite sheltered from mainstream culture and my parents are both artists, so they made a world for us, which involved lots of nature, free play and traditions. It was quite isolating, but we definitely felt like we belonged in a tight-knit community.
It taught me to view the world differently. My parents were both quite poor, but it never bothered me. I feel like this has taught me to be generous where we can as a family, and hold possessions loosely.

When and why did you move to the northwest?

My husband Adam and I moved to Ulverstone in 2001 when we both applied for teaching positions. We met in Launceston but knew we wanted a quieter lifestyle. We were blessed to be working at the same Christian school, me as an art teacher and Adam as a 5/6 teacher. I have been incredibly blessed.

What do you enjoy most about living in Ulverstone?

The beach and bush. We are constantly in awe of this incredible landscape, and for me the sea is my equilibrium. I love raising our kids by the ocean, and that their memories will be tied into the beach. I also love our community. Ulverstone is such a welcoming place, and it has everything we need without crowds.

How did you become a Christian?

I grew up in a Christian home that encouraged debate and questioning. As a young child, I always felt drawn to know God, and felt a strong sense of awe and wonder in my Catholic parish.
I made a commitment as a 12-year-old at a Youth Alive camp, and again at 21 when Adam and I were baptised. I have always analysed church (we have been to a few in our marriage), and I love that my perspectives are listened to and considered.

Growing up in a small Catholic church we had a priest for a long time, but by the time I was 10 or 11 we had a Sister run our parish for many years. This has definitely impacted my view of women in the church and I am indebted to her. I also attended Spiritual Direction since I was 16, which I can see now is pretty unique!

What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Best piece of advice: make your own boundaries and stick to them--because no one else will do it for you. Penny Clark

I pick up so much advice and store it all away for different seasons! This week I was so impacted by a friend’s advice of “make your own boundaries and stick to them–because no one else will do it for you”.
This idea had never actually occurred to me, I always sort assumed people would only ask me certain things without stretching me, but experience has taught me that everyone has different boundaries and ideas of ‘what is OK’. With young kids, I especially need to be careful of my commitments.

When people ask you how you spend your time, what do you say?

Ha ha! So many things! I’m a mama to Archie and Laila so I spend a portion of my time cooking, cleaning, packing lunches (which is the worst!) Adam helps me a lot with this too.
I also spend time exercising, reading and being with people. I love being around others, especially talking about deeper issues and listening to suffering.
Archie joined our family as a biological child, and Laila through foster care. Fostering our Lai has been one of the most rewarding and impactful things I’ve ever done. It has also been, and continues to be, the most stretching and difficult. I am incredibly passionate about the burden and blessing of fostering. I also work for a not-for-profit organisation in community outreach and mentoring.

What is your role in the Baptist Church?

I’m still in awe about my role, and I’m blessed beyond words. I am “Penny Clark, Emerging Generations Associate Pastor”. When I am at work I get to play with kids, relate to them, pray with and for them, and walk alongside them. Personally, I had a few very key people in my faith journey, and they all dropped-in during my childhood. I am so honoured that I get to be that person for some precious children. Hopefully, I will also reach out to Mamas as they carry such a heavy load. I carry it too, and I think I have picked up some ideas and experience that might help others.

What excites you most about what you do?

I think in a nutshell, bringing God’s peace and healing to others and helping to make our church an inclusive and exciting space for children. I am hoping to start a small ‘art group’ for younger girls, as well some retreat-style days for older teens. As well as facilitate the LifeWay Kids Ministry with my awesome volunteers.

What challenges do you have as you do this work?

At this stage, it’s organisation and juggling. I am a creative at heart, and I find it really hard to stay disciplined and organised. My wonderful husband Adam has taught and coached me a LOT with this and I know there’s no way I could juggle all I am doing without his unwavering support. I plan to set some structure around my time so I can work efficiently.

So Penny Clark, How can we pray for you and your work?

Pray for balance, connections and opportunities to rest at the end of the year. 2020 has been a huge year for so many, and our family has had a big year of transition and change.

Short and Sweet – Penny Clark

I am looking forward to … 2021 and meeting new families, as well as investing in the beautiful ones in front of me

I am worried about … Gosh, nothing really! Having too much fun at work?

I am confident that … God has placed me on this path for a reason, despite the pain I might have been through to get here.

I am joyful about … At the moment, it’s our pending summer. When it finally arrives!

I would like to change … society’s view of children. There would be so many less-wounded adults.

I am at my best when … I am with people, doing something creative.

Penny Clark with children at an Advent Art Workshop
Penny at the Advent Art workshops held by LifeWay, Devonport in December 2020

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Latrobe Baptist Men’s Shed

Latrobe Men's Shed new lathe
Advance Oct-Nov-20, Latrobe Men's Shed

missional initiative:

Community Project with Built-in Opportunities

The Latrobe Men’s Shed is a community project of the Latrobe Baptist Church. The basic premise of the shed is to provide an informal place, where men can spend a couple of hours meeting new friends whilst engaging in manual activity or for simply just to chat over cuppa.

The generous support of the Latrobe City Council made the erection of the shed, at the rear of the Church property, possible; plus a grant of $40,000 from the Tasmanian Community Fund; grants from local businesses; and the financial support of the Latrobe Baptist Church itself.

2013, saw the erection of a new shed. The demolition of the old shed, and subsequent rebuild, took 1163 manhours, much of the time given voluntarily.

Latrobe Men's Shed, some of the crew
Some of the crew
Latrobe Men's Shed new lathe
New work bench

The nuts and bolts of the Latrobe Men’s Shed

The men meet at the shed on Fridays from 9am to 1pm, with a tool-box meeting at 10am and a barbecue at noon. Members are encouraged to spend one third of their time on charity and community projects, one third of their time on Shed maintenance and one third of their time on their own projects.

Participants can at all times find someone to have a talk to, including the Pastor of the Latrobe Church, the Rev. Ralph Terry who is always in attendance.

The Shed takes in projects from the local community. The first project was the refurbishment of Kinder furniture for the Sassafras Primary School.

Apart from getting to know each other, the men learn how to use equipment and how to make useful items. To facilitate this there are, at times, skilled tradesmen in attendance who teach skills such as wood turning. Pursuits include general woodwork, mechanical repairs, jewellery, and antique restorations.

Latrobe Baptsist Men's shed, new picnic table for delivery
New picnic table for delivery
Latrobe Men's Shed new lathes
Men work on lathes

For all creatures, great and small

In all, the Latrobe Men’s Shed has completed 360 projects including the already mentioned Primary School furnishings, small cars for Operation Christmas Child, widow’s gardens, 30 Billy-carts, garden seats, gymnasium boxes, bird feeders, wood turning projects, two kitchen renovations, letter boxes, a pig pen and rabbit hutches.

A committee of five runs the shed, and 57 men have joined since its beginning. There are those who have taken on the tasks of Property Officers, Auditor of the financial records, and general helpers.

Naturally, the work came to an abrupt end earlier this year with the onset of the Corona virus, but it reopened again on 20 June, after a three-month break.

Let’s remember to pray for Rev. Ralph Terry, and others at Latrobe Baptist, as they provide friendship, support and encouragement for men in their community using the Latrobe Men’s Shed.

Latrobe Men's Shed, tools down for a barbie
Tools down! Time to fire up the barbie for lunch

Laurie Rowston writes about Latrobe Men's Shed

Laurie Rowston
Tas Baptists’ Historian and
occasional writer

FAITH WALK: Through the Puddles

Finding a Way Through COVID-19

By Jenny Baxter

This year, 2020, has held surprises for all of us.

I was a little ahead of the curve, slowing down to a stop back in January, when I suddenly burnt out. Even now in October, I am recovering from decades of overwork, and “pushing through” habits. It’s caused me to stop and reflect on so many memories growing up. I’ve begun to understand what makes me tick, and be grateful for the many coping strategies I am now either putting to rest, or affirming.

Just this week, I’ve remembered something my Dad taught my sisters and me.

On our occasional weekends away, we’d sometimes hike along wet and muddy bush tracks, and Dad would explain how to navigate the puddles we came across every so often.

“Usually, the best way to tackle a puddle is right through the middle,” he’d say. “People generally don’t tread there, and the bottom is not as soft as the mud around the edges.”

“Usually, the best way to tackle a puddle is right through the middle”

I remember trying it, disbelieving him. And to my surprise, more often than not, the ground was firm. Rocky even.

As I reflected on his practical wisdom this week, I’ve realised Dad’s words are such an allegory for the Christian life. Because so often we choose to avoid the “muddy puddles” of life, and instead, walk gingerly in the treacherous mud alongside them.

And likewise, it is so easy to choose the path that everyone else takes during this unusual year, instead of the one Jesus wants you to take – through the water. I remembered I can confidently take a step of faith into the murky water, and discover there is rock there, just beneath the surface. Jesus’ strength supports me in the middle of the mess. He is used to mess. He knows I need his loving embrace.

All he does is ask me to come to him. To take a step into the great unknown. It’s very different to what others do!

And now I live, trusting he has me safely in his care, even during this pandemic year.

Faith and Confidence

It’s like the writer to the Hebrews noted that faith is about being confident in what we DON’T see.

So, my encouragement to you today is to follow me and take the leap of faith! Step into your muddy puddle! It’s still messy. But as you step, Jesus will hold you up. And it’s so much better than falling in a heap in your own slippery wisdom and failings.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1

Jenny Baxter

Jenny Baxter is the State Director for Tasmanian Baptist Women. She has five grown up kids (three of them in Melbourne!) and attends Hobart Baptist Church with her husband, Stephen. She walks on the beach most days, and is learning to take it slowly. At last.

Artway Studio and Café

September/October 2020

Gateway Baptist Launceston

The Artway Studio and Cafe is a ministry of Gateway Baptist Church in Launceston which seeks to use artwork and hospitality as a means of drawing other community members onto the church campus, enabling members to interact with them.

The studio is open between 11am and 3pm Tuesday to Thursday of each week. It offers a display of almost 100 pieces of artwork. Live music plays while volunteers serve lunch, stimulating conversation with artists. The plan is to offer lunches by donation one day a week, and then extend to all three days as the weather warms up.

“Chatting the Gospel” at Artway Studio

The aim is to create a wonderful, attractive and peaceful atmosphere in which visitors feel relaxed and welcome. An open fire during the colder months, comfortable seating, Christian music, beautiful displays and friendly fellowship all help bring that to fruition. The artwork is a means to an end. It creates the opportunity to build relationships, overcome loneliness, show interest in people’s lives and ‘chat the Gospel’.

Artwork is for sale at the Artway studio, with part of the money raised supporting missions work both in Launceston, and overseas.

We expect to feature guest artist exhibitions from time to time.

Ps Noel Eagling
Studio Organiser
0447555335

Artway studio and cafe. Launceston
Artway Studio opening
Artway studio and cafe. Launceston
Main exhibition space

Nepali Student Support program

Hobart Nepali Church

Supporting Nepali students during a difficult era

Citywide Baptist – Mornington/Lenah Valley/nepali

When COVID-19 shut down workplaces in Hobart, some of the people most seriously affected were the many foreign students. These people were dependant on part-time jobs to supplement money they received from family at home. For most, COVID-19 was a double whammy, as jobs disappeared and families could no longer afford to send money.

Many students from Nepal lost jobs and had no government support, so Pastors Paul and Suraj (Citywide Nepali congregation) responded. The need they saw was great. They began organising food parcels from their own funds. As they began doing this very simple thing, it became clear that the need was massive.

Citywide: Supporting Nepali students

Paul and Matt Garvin recorded a brief conversation on Facebook to alert our whole statewide online church family to the need . . . and the bags of rice started flooding in.

One of the people who saw our conversation was a friend who works for Samaritan’s Purse. The organisation provided $30,000, which we turned into vouchers at the local Nepalese store for the students and families. See photos below.

The consequence? The little Nepali congregation, led by former refugees, has moved to a position of leadership in the broader Nepalese-speaking community. Some families have started attending the church as a result of the care they received in their time of need.

Matt Garvin
Senior Pastor, Citywide

Below: Presentation of food vouchers to Nepali students
Supporting Nepali students
Supporting Nepali students