A big thank you to everyone who made the Stations of Samuel possible – it was a tremendous time, the feedback was that people got to meet each other in new ways and that God is speaking deep within us. We now begin our series of Proud Humbled / Humble Exalted, looking at the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel. The series will be delivered in two parts, with a break between the 7th and 21st of August for Prayer and Self Denial and a look at the new project Adam Hutchinson is heading up. Part two of the Samuel series will begin August 28th.
Between the 2nd and 20th of August we will be away in Indonesia and Cambodia.
Indonesia (2-10 Aug)
Prior to our arrival at Papanui Baptist Church, we were nominated for and accepted to attend the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering (YLG) 2016, which is a once-in-a-generation gathering of evangelical younger leaders from around the world. The movement was originally started by Billy Graham and John Stott. Their desire was for leaders to realize that because of Jesus, justice and justification by faith, worship and political action, the spiritual and the material, personal change and structural change, are all part-and-parcel of the gospel.
We’ll be among 1,000 other younger leaders from over 160 countries at the conference in Jakarta. During the gathering, participants will be connecting in issue-based workshops and regional groups, strategic brainstorming ‘labs’, and with senior leaders. It will also be a special opportunity for us to pray, worship, and build relationships with peers from all over the world who have the same passion for global mission and evangelism.
This is an incredible opportunity for us, but also for Papanui Baptist Church. It will connect us to some valuable global networks, and provide resources for our missional engagement in our local community.
Cambodia (11-20 August)
After YLG16 we’ll be going to Phnom Penh and Cambodia to stay with Adam and Colleen Hutchinson and their children (one of Papanui Baptist’s mission families), to see where they live and what they’re up to. Adam handed over his work with Prison Fellowship Cambodia to local leaders a couple of years ago and is now working for PF International, coordinating their efforts to care for children and families of prisoners around the world. We’re excited to be spending time with them!
With Adam handing over the leadership of PF Cambodia to local leaders, and as a community that has supported this work for some time, the question for Papanui Baptist is whether we now need to engage more with what these or other Cambodian leaders are doing. What does it look like for us as a church to support the work God is doing, beyond the worker we sent? God moves his people so others can hear his good news and when locals become Christians they join our global body. In this new season where Cambodian leadership has been enabled to flourish, how are we continuing the journey of support and partnership with those people?
Philip Sapsford will also be joining us in Cambodia to show us some World Vision projects that churches there are involved in. God has created a deep connection with Cambodia here at Papanui Baptist, and in light of that, something we are exploring is whether or not we as a church should be investing more of our energy and resource in partnering with a church and community in that part of the world.
We’ll also be meeting some of Sam and Nimol’s friends, which we are greatly looking forward to. As pastors in a different context to our own, we are keen to hear their insights and thoughts.
God has amazed us with these opportunities and we feel blown away by them. With the elders, we feel these 19 days are strategic for the church. We ask that you will be praying for us during that time. We also trust God to be speaking and teaching us all as a church and ask you to pray about our engagement with Cambodia and what God might be calling us into.
Ngā mihi nui,
Sarah & Elliot Rice – Co Pastor