FRIENDS OF BAPTIST MISSION AUSTRALIA
Carol Stewart, Director
Friends of Baptist Mission Australia, (FOBMA NSW/ACT) is a community of passionate supporters of our intercultural ministry from numerous churches in NSW/ACT, working alongside the State Global Mission Team in order to educate, encourage and mobilise support for Baptist Mission Australia.
We meet as six regional groups, administered by an executive made up of the elected leaders from each group.
We are deeply involved in supporting our NSW Intercultural workers and candidates, both on the field, when on home assignment, and as candidates preparing.
We generously give our support in multiple ways: through prayer, financial support individually, personal relationships, as alongsiders, helping with accommodation, listening to them when they are on home assignment, listening to their journeys during candidacy, hearing stories of their ministry in country that can only be shared with a small group. We often have up to date movement, stories and prayer needs to share in our churches.
Recently, the executive formed an instant messaging network, with each team member partnering personally with one or more of our “units” to receive personal, and ministry related urgent requests that are quickly shared among our executive team for prayer.
When on home assignment our “units” are invited to attend our regional meetings to share their journey and stories, previously in person, but recently much of this is happening over zoom. We are also using zoom to connect our whole network statewide, even interstate, with new candidates, and others on home assignment or even in country. One example is meeting with Simon and Widya where we can hear their story and journey with the Father as He has called them to serve the people of South East Asia. We dream to expand this network to a national level.
As our group members are so passionate and generous with their giving, sometimes we are able to meet urgent personal needs, as well as continually having a Baptist Mission Australia project that we give to.
Our funds have allowed us to give one off gifts for Bible college training, to students who are recommended by field staff, as deserving recipients of a little support and encouragement in the pursuit of their study equipping them for ministry. Most recently we funded one semester fees for a lady at the college in Malawi recommended by the Moore’s; previous to that a lady in PNG, and there have been many others historically. We have also supported this way some of our candidates in fees at Morling College, eg., Margaret, and Alice. We were able to pay for Ngoc’s TESOL course early last year. We continue to look for opportunities to seed into the preparation of folk for further ministry.
We are a privileged people, to journey faithfully and passionately with our ordinary people, whom our extraordinary God has called to serve Him interculturally, in often totally unexpected capacity, frequently drawing them out of their comfort zones, but equipping them for the tasks He calls them to attempt for Him.