Praise and prayer requests are a huge part of missionary communication since people want to know what’s going on in our lives and how what they can pray for us. That’s why I always share them but recently found myself using “bullet point prayer and praise” or requests that only take up one sentence and don’t give a lot of information about the need. It’s true that there are times when you can’t share the whole story but most of the time bullet point prayer and praise aren’t necessary.
That’s why today I would like to share some requests that are in the paragraph variety instead of a sentence in the prayer that it would help you know more about ministry and needs in Melbourne.
1. Praise the Lord for my religious education classes, particularly the one with fifth and sixth graders I teach on Monday afternoons. Opportunities have been given to not only teach lessons but also share the Gospel one on one with a student last month, pray with another student who is very upset about moving to another Country, and answer many questions they have about God.
The relationship I have been able to develop with these young people is a huge blessing since now they trust me, and have started sharing deeper questions or struggles they have about the Lord and Christianity. Pray God would give me wisdom to answer these questions with Scripture and continue to share the Gospel.
2. Praise the Lord for my mentorship ministry at a local school on Wednesdays. Last year I began volunteering as a teachers aid and mentor for children from an area known for poverty, poor family backgrounds, and violence. During the 2011 year I volunteered for an hour a week, which was a blessing, but left me wanting to become a stronger influence in their lives.
The Lord answered that prayer by allowing me to work for two hours a week in art (which proves He has a sense of humor) and tutoring children with homework on Thursdays. Its been incredible seeing God give me opportunities to reach these young people who desperately need to know Christ.
3. On a personal note the Lord answered a request that I had been praying for a long time when He brought a woman named Amanda into my life. Right now we are in a relationship (which is interesting when you’re in two different Countries) but look forward to dating once I get back to the States in September and see what the Lord has planned for us.
4. The Lord has also allowed me to become involved in ESL (teaching English as a second language), which involves not only tutoring a young man from Bhutan but also being part of a practice English group. This is a discussion time for those who recently came to Australia and want to work on their conversational English.
Through those conversations there have been many opportunities to share the Gospel, including a forty-five minute discussion of what happens when we die. They all know I am a pastor so religious questions come up many times during our time together.
1. For my parents who coming on June 27 for a three and a half week visit in Melbourne. This is actually a praise as well but I am a bit nervous about planning activities for that extended period of time. Of course my parents will be happy to simply spend time with me, but I really want to show them the city that God has placed upon my heart and Australian culture. Pray everything goes well and we can enjoy our time together.
2. Please pray for my financial needs as the furlough approaches. The business account that I am reimbursed from for ministry expenses is critically low…as in you don’t have enough money to pay for your expenses low.
The good news is lots of money can be set aside while on furlough since I won’t be paying rent, but still don’t want to start paying bills on a credit card since I have been debt free in Australia. Pray if it is the Lords Will one-time gifts would be received to help with the situation.
3. The biggest need in my ministry now is to receive a Permanent Residency Australian Visa. This has been an ongoing struggle since I came to Melbourne in 2007 since businesses during early 2000 brought in immigrants to work and paid them very little. This means they immediately went on Government assistance, and National health care.
I totally understand why its necessary for Immigration to stop people who are taking advantage of the system but it affects me….and new missionary couple Mark and Sarah Pitts as we try to meet the qualifications for a PR Visa. The fact that new Immigration laws are made two or three times a year adds to the frustration since we could meet the earlier requirements and still be turned down.
Obviously this situation needs the Lords guidance as we learn what needs to be done. There is also a need for lots of new support since I am below the minimum yearly income line required by the Government.
There are other needs and blessings but they will come later…I pray these personal updates can help you know how to pray for my ministry and the missionaries in Melbourne Australia.