Making a difference on a global scale is no small feat, and it can be difficult to see how we can contribute to real change from our own backyard when there is so much to be done. This hasn’t stopped churches across Australia's Sunshine State from engaging in life-changing projects and making a difference together with Global Mission Partners.
Caboolture Living Hope Church of Christ is a small and committed group who are bringing real change on a global scale. One way they are doing this is through the Emmanuel Children’s Program in South Sudan.
The church started supporting the Emmanuel Children’s Program by contributing financially in order to see children take part in school lessons under a tree in South Sudan. Through child sponsorship, the church helped provide daily meals to students who have been impacted by decades of civil unrest.
With continued support from churches like Caboolture Living Hope Church of Christ, the school has experienced significant change. Students now meet in classrooms and have access to a school chaplain who looks after their spiritual needs. The caregivers for these children are being supported by the provision of goats, which in turn provide income that allows them to pay for the children’s education.
With the news of a severe famine in South Sudan, Caboolture Living Hope Church of Christ committed to fundraising for an ox and plough, hoping that this may impact positively on one family. Little did they realise that this valuable gift would be shared between five households, impacting as many as 70 people!
The objective of the ox and plough project was to more than double the production of peanuts or ‘groundnuts’ in their farms by increasing the area of land that each household could farm. With God’s rich blessings, the project has increased production five-fold!
GMP’s Queensland Partnership Coordinator, Vicki Marney, said that God has not only been working in South Sudan, but also within the church at Caboolture.
“We often think that it is us that is going to bring about the change. God often has another plan and that is to bring change into our lives. I have seen this happen in my own life as well as others’ through Church to Church Partnerships and visits with our partners,” Vicki said.
Nigel Potticary, from Toowoomba North Church of Christ, recently shared about the impact that his visits to a church community in Ambae, Vanuatu, have had on his life.
“They showed us how to serve, they showed us how to worship, they showed us hospitality and they showed us family. We are God’s family,” Nigel reflected.
Though Nigel and the community he visited were from two different countries, distinctly different cultures and spoke different languages, he realised that they are all brothers and sisters through Christ. “Through this experience, God has changed me. I have learnt not to say no to God, or to an opportunity to serve Him—mainly because I will miss out on an opportunity to grow spiritually in my faith,” he said.
In 2019, Sunnybank Church of Christ is considering sending a team to visit a partner church in Fiji for the third time.
Kevan Denny, Senior Minister at Sunnybank Church of Christ, has recently returned from a trip to Fiji where he was able to visit and encourage the church leadership there on the Coral Coast. As well as encouraging them, Kevan undertook valuable teaching with the church on themes of Christian leadership. This provided the church with a valuable foundation as it prepares to identify and develop the leaders of the future.
“It is partnerships like these that bring real change in our world. Each one of us can make a difference in the world in which we live,” Vicki said.