BAPTIST MISSION AUSTRALIA
Rev Andrew Palmer – NSW & ACT State Director
Ministering through a global pandemic has been challenging. Staff movements, visa windows opening and closing, frequent legislative shifts and of course contracting COVID-19 in context have all stretched our home staff and intercultural workers. And yet, God continues to grow his Kingdom as women and men find hope and security in King Jesus. We are grateful.
The most far-reaching change for the Global Interaction team through 2021 was preparing for (and rolling out) a change of name to Baptist Mission Australia as of 1 January 2022. This change is designed to more specifically communicate who we are and what we do.
We are birthed out of the very core of what it means to be Baptist: actively looking for opportunities to share the gospel story with those yet to hear it in a way that makes sense to them: by necessity highly contextualised and decentralised, under the firm conviction that God guides his Church in all contexts. Secondly, we observed that God was raising intercultural candidates with a heart for ministry in new and exciting ways, including more workers with a call to what might be terms ‘local intercultural’ mission.
One example is Siddique and Fozia Paul, who as Muslims both had transformative encounters with the risen Jesus and now passionately and effectively share the gospel with friends, family and the wider Muslim community in deeply respectful ways. Siddique and Fozia have tracked the data and have bought a home in the Campbelltown region in order to meet with, eat with, pray for and share the gospel with Muslim men and women. We are absolutely delighted to work with them and encourage Churches to get on board this extraordinary opportunity by inviting them to speak at your Church and become a partner in the work.
All this made a name change obvious for us and we are very pleased with how the shift to Baptist Mission Australia has been received.
Beyond this example, we continue to develop high impact resources for all levels of local Church ministry educating and inspiring around intercultural mission, growing and equipping new candidates, caring for workers on Home Assignment and working alongside local Baptist pastors to develop intercultural strategies for their local area.
And – of course – we continue to train and send women and men, called by God, empowered by the Spirit, under the Lordship of Christ as gospel workers to places that otherwise may not hear the story of Jesus in a way that makes sense to them…we are a missionary movement in the best sense of that phrase.
During 2021 we commissioned three units for intercultural ministry: Gary and Shirley Moore Malawi), Alice L* (South-East Asia*) and Mel d’A* (Silk Road Region*). Of these Gary and Shirley and Alice are now in situ, Mel is awaiting a visa window but will depart as soon as one opens.
We are humbled by the extraordinary faithfulness of Churches and individuals within our movement committed to long term, sustainable, world class gospel ministry. Through COVID-19 we have been faithfully supported. What a beautiful testimony!
Andrew is specifically grateful to the Baptist Mission Australia Taskforce: Arthur Rickersey (chair), Carol Stewart, Graeme Dunkley, Beth Jackson and Shaddy Hanna for prayerful encouragement, assistance and strategic insight.
Please see www.baptistmissionaustralia.org for more details.
* Some workers and locations are coded for security reasons