FAITH AND THE ARTS (FATA) Week, Poatina
Jan 8-12th We’ve supported the Faith & the Arts team in many ways including heading up prayer. It was a relief to see the week go ahead online. Over 60 people enjoyed exploring faith and creativity around the theme ‘Becoming’. A great reminder of the importance to enjoy the journey of God’s grace.
January saw Kathryn complete the initial draft of her book! This details some of her story through illness to her encounter with God and early relationship with Him. The editing process still lies ahead but the feedback from the editors has been very positive with elements of the book impacting them already.
SETTING UP YOUR YEAR ONLINE COURSE
It was a satisfying experience to lead four one-hour sessions over a week to help 55 people think about a focus word, priorities, use of time, gifts and key relationships for 2022. We repeated sessions morning and evening to make it accessible for OS people, always a treat to have them join. Hearing people’s testimonies of significant revelations, insights and assistance from the Lord to help them step into 2022 was our highlight.
KINGDOM WOMEN ONLINE
Gathering at the Oasis was the theme for an online retreat in February in partnership with Tina Maree Brown. It was exciting to see how the Lord ministered to His daughters using this medium. Planning is underway for 8 shorter sessions across the year from 9-11am on a Saturday morning Aust. Eastern time. The theme: In the Garden. If you are interested in more info please contact Kathryn.
NEW OFFERING – Stepping Stones Towards God’s Will Workshop
Last week we ran two 3-hour sessions over 2 days to help a national Christian group discern God’s will and their next steps. (The third year in a row). The first day was a version of our Hearing God workshop with the addition of hearing God as a group. The second day we facilitated the group through 4 sessions of listening to God as a group.
Over the years we have been asked several times to lead sessions to help Christian groups hear God about their direction. After positive feedback we feel we can confidently offer these sessions to other groups. If this is of interest to you or maybe know of a church or Christian group/organisation who might benefit, let them know. We do them via Zoom so we can run them anywhere.
In Village life we continue to participate where we can in the community rhythms. Peter is getting an education serving on Poatina Village Body Corporate. Everything from dog issues to writing policy documents. He is also on the Community & People Integration Team. We both volunteer at the Chalet, General Store and Service Station. We continue to have people for meals and be invited to join others as well. There are also community meals every two weeks. Please pray for the Lord’s help as we seek to balance Village life and our personal ministry.
We are enjoying doing short trips in our van so we have had it serviced and now have arranged to have the water damage repaired hoping the leak will be found (& stopped) in the process.
Kathryn continues to edit and refine the book she has written.
Kathryn & Tina Maree have continued to enjoy presenting Kingdom Women online across Australia and now having Canadians join. This is a time of fellowship, reflection and sharing together. It is open to all women.
Peter has been working on a series called A Balanced Spiritual Life in Christ. The intent is to help maintain a spiritual life that isn’t just focused on just one aspect of Christian thought. Once he has tried it out on himself, he hopes to put it out as a Creative Reflection for others.
Started with time out with our Spiritual Daughter, Jade. Spent time at Cradle Mountain and other scenic Tasmanian places. The van has gone in to get renovated.
Had a wonderful Intimate Call Session with people joining us from Scotland, Minnesota, Kenya, Madagasca and Australia.
Kingdom Women continues to bless many women from all over Australia plus Canada.
During the week over Pentecost Kathryn stewarded 7 days of a Festival of Prayer in Poatina. The decorated space provided many niches to creatively connect with God. With a different theme each day led by various team members and rhythms of solitary reflection time and two corporate gathering times per day.
For a few years now we’ve been successfully running INTIMATE CALL – Listening to God for Others as a follow up to our Hearing God workshops. Due to enquiries from people who haven’t attended a workshop, we started RECHARGE – Build Up Stir Up Cheer Up. It went spectacularly well. Please feel free to join by letting us know your interest.
In June we started meeting with our neighbours to do Neighbours Support Group (NSG). Kathryn continues to meet with her ladies for Golden Threads. Kathryn & Tina Maree ran Kingdom Women again. There was a Writer’s Festival in the Village and Kathryn took part. Peter had shingles for 7 weeks. We had a week away in Ulverstone for Kathryn to write and Peter to catch up with family.
The Writers Festival continued. Peter met with Colin, Mario and Guy. We ran a follow up to Setting Up Your Year that we did back in January. This gave people the opportunity to evaluate how things were going in their year. We continue to catch up with our UK friends each month. Our friend Rev Dr Mark Tronson passed away and we attended his funeral on line. Peter continues to serve the Village on the Community & People Integration Team (CPIT) and the Body Corporate Committee. We attend Community Teas twice a month. A Community Meeting and a Team Meeting each month. Kathryn is involved with Faith & The Arts (FATA). There is a Working Bee each first Saturday of the month. Kathryn volunteers in the General Store each Tuesday morning. Peter volunteers at the Service Station and writes the weekend rosters for the Village each month. We also help out with serving and washing up at the Poatina Chalet when there are groups in. We also help organise Poatina Worship on a Sunday morning. In between these we have regular visitors to stay and people for meals. This month we had many medical related appointments as well.
Kingdom Women continues to grow in numbers and influence. Others are joining in helping lead.
This month is both our birthdays. Kathryn had various celebrations. She Zoomed with a few friends and her sister came over from Adelaide. We had an afternoon tea for her in the Village joined by friends on Zoom and in the room. We ran a workshop called Banquet of Prayer for Worldview Missionary Training College.
We are now offering many different Zoom sessions. Intimate Call – Listening to God for others, Creative Reflections, Interactive Reflections, God’s Word for You, Priorities: Hats You Wear, Priorities: What’s on Your Plate, You Kingdom Assignments for this Year.
At the start of each year, it’s been fun to ask the Lord for His word for each of us as a focus. Then as the year unfolds, we watch for God’s work in us re that word.
When two people in two days asked us how they could go about hearing God for their focus word it got us thinking. In the mix of that another friend had commented ‘You guys could run some sessions helping people hear God to set up their year.’ Those incidents came together while we were on holidays (as it does!) and we birthed a new zoom offering – SETTING UP YOUR YEAR. We decided to test the waters by offering four hour long zoom sessions over four days (repeated morning and night) last week. We were surprised to have 28 people join us for one or more sessions. Because of requests we are offering the same four-part focus from 15th – 18th February.
Faith and the Arts – Zoom Event
Early January this fulfilling and unique 5-day event hosted from Poatina enriched & stretched us.
- We learnt some fantastic ways to build team on zoom.
- We teamed in our Creative Reflection elective to give attendees opportunity to respond themselves using their creativity. A first.
Then as part of our role in carrying prayer we had a huge learning curve in providing a prayer room on-line.
SETTING UP YOUR YEAR: As reported, due to popular demand, we repeated our four-hour long sessions crafted to help people sit with God and hear from Him about different aspects of life. Referrals and wider advertising meant 3 ladies from UK joined us, along with one Texan and one from Kenya and all Australian states except Qld were represented. In all over 60 people attended at least one session over the 2 rounds! We are excited and thankful to God at what this has opened up for us.
We are now trying to schedule the many opportunities coming our way to both Zoom and face to face.
- A church in South Australia would like us to Zoom in and lead a Creative Reflection on a Sunday morning.
- A small group of mums in a country town in SA who would like us to lead their mid-week group over 4 sessions via zoom.
- A Pastor in Kenya who wants us to Zoom in for a conference for 50+ fellow Pastors over 3 days. Praise God the funds needed (about $1100), to allow our friend to purchase a data projector, good wifi and feed the delegates.
- An emerging Christian community in Tas is inquiring about having a weekend get-away in Poatina with us leading several sessions.
- A National body seeking God’s direction for next steps has asked us to lead a workshop one morning and a tailored session for their needs the next.
We were asked by a Kenyan friend to run a Hearing God workshop for their conference. This was 3 hours on Zoom each day over 2 days. On the first day we started 45 minutes late due to some technical issues in Kenya. We had allowed for something to go wrong as there are usually tech challenges with this type of session. Then we surprised to be asked if we could be translated into Swahili. This again blew out our time and meant we had to simplify what we said which isn’t ideal in a cross-cultural setting. It was hard to tell how we were coming across. We could only see a small portion of the 50 pastors and leaders present.
They were very gracious with us and very kind in their feedback. It is hard to do something like this over Zoom with the addition of cultural aspects. You don’t get physical feedback. Three elderly pastors came to the front to thank us and said they hoped we would come and teach them in person one day.
For the first time we were invited to Zoom into a Sunday morning church service to do one of our creative reflections. We ran ‘The Beautiful Feet of Jesus’ for them in Adelaide.
Another first was the invitation to Zoom in a women’s small group in South Australia. We wrote a special 4 session series on the word EQUIP for this. We will use it again when a small group who have booked into Poatina and wants us to run something for them.
In January we settled into our new home in Poatina, Tasmania.
In February we went to South Australia where we ran a workshop in Bordertown and in Adelaide (Lightsview). Returning to Tasmania we ran back to back workshop/retreat in Poatina.
In April this year we started running shortened (3 hour) versions of our workshops. This has enabled us to host people from anywhere in the world. When we get enough interest from people where time zones suit we run a workshop. Interest, take up and positive feedback has been very encouraging.
People are welcome to contact us via the email address at the top of this website.
Wow, how the world has changed in a month! Thank you for your interest in us. It helps knowing people are praying for us even during this upheaval for us all. As we think of our third world brothers and sisters, we have so much to be thankful for in this nation as we navigate these uncharted waters. Knowing the One who holds the world in His hands as well as our lives makes all the difference. Despite the turmoil we sense the Lord is opening new opportunities through this unexpected pause to normal function.
We are so blessed by provision of our home for this season of being grounded. Not only that but we also value the gift of having a strong community around us which has already made the jump fully to connecting on Zoom – so we have morning tea on Zoom, Sunday worship on Zoom, prayer times on Zoom, even Zoom community teas! We have no lack of “Zoom” connection.
– Process of going online: The first workshop in our home a few weeks ago answered the question whether people would travel in as well as come from our local village, with 9 attending. (10 will be a full house for a workshop in our home) Almost immediately that door then closed. During the workshop a friend asked if she could read our booklets, especially about hearing God, onto her You Tube channel. There is much interest in this topic. It got us thinking – could this be the time when we explore videoing some of our material and making it available in short clips on our YouTube channel available through our website? Conversations and planning are now underway!
– Presenting Zoom workshops: Then we had a call several days later from a friend in the village asking if we intended to still run our next community advertised a workshop by Zoom. We had not even considered such a possibility. Again, talking it through with her we unexpectedly have been offered access to all the resources we need here in the village to be able to do this. We ran an experimental shortened 3 hour workshop to learn how to best present it online. Stretching!! Due to our friends’ far reaching networks, we have had requests from people in Kenya and China to attend! It indicates the potential global reach that is now possible.
While we have traveled for the last 5 years, we have always worked from home in its many forms. We have not had a paid job for over 20 years, so nothing has changed there for us. Our stretching is the moving into some new arenas that would never have crossed our radar without this time and circumstance. It’s become a surprising gift. We are thankful for our home, living in community, restored health, functional technology again and some financial provision which has been very timely since we’ve lost income from running workshops and don’t benefit from any Government handouts.
We are so thankful for the incredible privileges we have, mindful that many others are facing far harder challenges during this time of pause. As you travel the coming unknown weeks and months, we entrust you into the sovereign hands of our Lord, knowing He works all things for good to those called according to His purposes. Together as we keep looking up it will be interesting to see what the Lord does in our homes, nation and globally through this pandemic.
June 2020 – We continue to run a mixture of Hearing God’s Whispers and Enjoying God’s Whispers as His Family workshops via Zoom. People have joined us on Zoom from Africa, Canada, USA and most States of Australia join us.
As a follow up to our workshops where we teach hearing God for others (Prophesy – 1 Corinthians 14: 3) we have now launched Intimate Call – Listening to God for Others. They have been extremely well received and people are reporting great encouragement in their hearing God as well as receiving to prophetic words for them.
Poatina is a busy place both socially and corporately. We are enjoying:
- taking a turn leading the local Sunday Christian gathering called Poatina Worship, run like a small group. Currently we are studying Acts.
- leading several zoom devotions at the community morning tea held each weekday at 10am.
- being part of an active local prayer team.
- A new role – we have been invited to lead the spiritual/pastoral and prayer support for the team who run an Art expo week here each year in January called Faith and the Arts.
MINISTRY – ZOOMING ALL OVER
- We continue to run Hearing God workshops on Zoom for small groups of people from Aust and OS, which are well received – last weekend with an attendee from Madagascar, others from SA, Tas & NSW. But it is getting more difficult to find people who wish to join, so we are scheduling just one per month. If you know of someone who may benefit from attending, please get in touch. We can provide you with information. Thanks.
Our follow up to the workshop – Intimate Call – Listening to God for others continues to be enjoyed by those who attend. Many have said that they are growing in confidence.
We’ve continued to film and put clips on our YouTube channel that can be accessed from this website. There are stories and creative reflections there among other things. Also, parts of our workshops that we have to leave out due to shortening them are there in video form. Just click on the YouTube icon at the top of the front page next to the Facebook icon.
- We continue in partnership and relationship with friends in Canada, New Zealand, Cambodia, UK and Kenya as well as people from around Australia. A big part of our investment is in other’s lives, as we are getting quite a few invites to pray and pastorally care for people both in the Village and via other media. Some are regular, others ad hoc.
Intimate Call – Listening to God for others continues to be our favourite thing to do. To watch people grow as they practice this is very heartening. To see people encouraged, strengthened and comforted by the words, pictures or Bible verses given to them by God for one another has been amazing. Being agents of God’s love in turn encourages those who boldly step out to deliver it.
Life in General
A local artist was installing an artwork in the new wing of the Royal Hobart Hospital, so Kathryn found others with a passion to pray around this.
Poatina has six facets called pillars that inform how it functions. We are part of a team praying on Zoom for these aspects which has been great.
We have continued regular connection by invitation with other online prayer networks including our UK friends and a Tas Prayer Network. We’ve been given opportunity to lead and participate in the local fellowship called
Poatina Worship. Enjoyed local walks in nearby bushland and spotting wildlife. Kathryn is meeting with 2 other ladies and working through a book
called Artists Way and she volunteers at the local General Store. We continue to sort, unpack & adjust to this new non-nomadic lifestyle.
|THE NEW ‘NEW NORM’?|
People have been saying during our travelling years that they believed we would have an overseas ministry. Our thinking was how could we afford to be flying OS and how could we continue the full ministry
we already have here in Australia?
In March, when our second workshop to be held in our home was cancelled due to the virus, a friend who was intending to attend said, “Will you be doing the workshop on Zoom?” This got us thinking, and
launched. Through the provision of a Zoom account and good internet we have now run six Zoom workshops. These have been attended by people
from Kenya, Canada, Singapore, Texas, as well as all states of Australia and right here in Poatina. They are cutdown versions of our day-long
workshops and people who have attended our “live” workshops say they are just as good. Some of the parts that we leave out we have videoed and posted on our YouTube channel.
|There are some creative reflections and other videos posted on this channel too. You can find it by going to our website and clicking on the YouTube symbol at the top of the page.|
Each workshop has had some form of new element. First, could we do it? Then how many people could we handle? Then can we cut down our number 2 workshop for zoom? Can we get suitable internet to work
from our home? (Previously, been gifted Saturdays in a local school.) Then different times to fit other’s time zones. How does it work with some in the one room across the world and others online in other parts?
One person who joined on-line in our home said, “You guys work pretty hard don’t you?” We would love to have people join us on our Zoom workshops from wherever you are in the world.
THE NEW OFFERING – Live Creative Reflections
This came about when we had to prepare an hour-long session for a National zoom Prayer time. The National call was to sit at Jesus feet.
God downloaded an image of me literally sitting at His feet. I (Peter) turned it into a poem that turned into a video clip. The poem inspired a beautiful song to be written by a dear friend in the USA who we had met in Israel. She made a video clip of the song.
We put this together into a creative reflection that moved many people on the Zoom call that morning. With a few adjustments we now offer it in this form. After the initial presentation and one run with 23 people we now know that Jesus uses it to draw people closer to Himself. Would love you and any others to join us. It is only an hour which it punchy yet meaningful.
We are Zooming in regularly including meeting with UK friends, several Local, State-wide, National and International prayer calls. Many meetings within Poatina are still on Zoom. Our workshops continue on-line as well as our other options.
A friend prophesied, “like a tree’s roots go down deeper into the soil, as we establish deeper here in Poatina, the further we will be able to reach out across the nations.”
|A New Writing Journey Begins|
Kathryn – During Covid I joined a small weekly group to work through a course called the Artist’s Way – Recovering and Rediscovering your Creative Self by Julia Cameron. In the process I have been enjoying
extensive journaling. What started out as a personal response to the course has become a writing project toward a book, with the encouragement from the two lovely ladies in my support group, Peter
and the Lord! For a while I have longed to write something of my earlier years prior to and then once I met the Lord and it seems now is the time to put pen to paper. Aware there is quite a journey ahead I am expectant, nervous, and excited.
Peter – For several years I’ve been carrying some thoughts and insights about Christian oneness or unity. I’ve been progressing slowly putting them into book form. I hear bits and pieces of this thinking but not
the whole story of what Jesus is saying in John 17. I believe this is important and will keep plugging away.
|We can now Zoom into your home group, church building or anywhere you have internet. If you would like to attend or host any of our workshops, please contact us. We will be operating more by invitation|
than running our own in the future. We can be flexible according to the need of your group.
Here we are on the brink of leaving Tasmania once more, to set out for our fifth year of itinerant ministry. The three months have gone in a flash. It hasn’t been the most restful time but to be in comfortable environs and not travelling has helped as we’ve trimmed our load, attended to various medical/health appointments, drawn breath and caught up with family and friends. Much of our time has also been taken up with preparation for events and the coming year. We started work on two new booklets too.
It was great to launch our new Resting Together in God’s Whispers workshop on March 2nd while in Tassie, in a beautiful setting that enhanced the sense of God’s presence. However, we decided to rename it a Retreat as it has very little teaching but extensive opportunities to practice hearing God. The feedback was great from the 20 people invited to attend. There will be some tweaking, but we were pleased with how it ran and people’s enthusiasm in hearing from God about particular areas of their lives.
It’s a Small World
While house-sitting at Kingston Beach (Tas) we were walking down the street and someone saw my Canada hat and said, “Canada!” I asked, “Are you from there?” One of the four young ladies was from Vancouver. She stopped. I said, “We stayed in Gibsons (BC). She said, “I attended youth camps on an island there many years ago.” I asked in true Tassie style that believes everyone should know everyone, “Do you know our friends Mike and Karen who used to care-take the campsite?” Showing her a photo, she seemed to think Mike looked a bit familiar. After speaking for a while, we found she had been part of YWAM and knew other people that we know. She now lives and works in Darwin. I said, “We know one couple in Darwin. Do you know Julie?” “I’m in a prayer group with her.” she answered. Don’t ya love it when you get to meet more “family” members.
We last wrote on the verge of leaving Tasmania early March. Now we write to you from Sydney. Since leaving Tasmania we often have commented that this is the year when we have planned our way, but the Lord has overruled. Prov 16:9 “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” We are learning flexibility and it is stretching our faith, though with hindsight we often can see a good outcome. In the meantime, we are in a flow of ministry in the wider Sydney region through to end July with an unexpected delay in our ministry to Queensland with plans to fly up (also unexpected) over two Saturdays early August.
Started off as planned as we attended a gathering in Shepparton, did a workshop near Geelong in an Anglican community and returned to Shepparton for a workshop in the Baptist Church. But then plans unexpectedly changed due to our gearbox needing a major overhaul, detaining us for over a week in Bendigo.
APRIL South Australia
We enjoyed a mix of ministry, family time over Easter and space to plan for May and June. Despite many attempts nothing was landing for ministry in NSW regional centres as expected, despite prior expressions of interest. We put out a fleece to head straight to Sydney. Very quickly we had 6 expressions of interest and pulled the itinerary together over the next weeks. Doing the actual workshop is just the tip of the iceberg in making it happen.
MAY Bordertown and Sydney
To Sydney we headed via a workshop at Bordertown Lutheran when we enjoyed the hospitality of Kathryn’s old school friend, a member of our hosting Lutheran church. Other highlights of a very full May in Sydney:
- the next Saturday presenting our first ever translated workshop into Mandarin for 35 eager Chinese
- doing a taster for a Persian home group, also translated. Being there when two announced their baptism.
- doing a workshop in the heart of Sydney at the Wesley Centre in Pitt Street. The presence of the Lord was tangibly evident.
- Presenting our 100th day long workshop during this month in a private home.
- Having a spiritual daughter attend another multicultural workshop hosted by an Indonesian family. This one spawned 3 other expressions of interest.
AT THE CROSSROADS
We so appreciate your interest and prayers for us during what has been a super challenging three months. A run of colds, Kathryn having a reaction to a room we were staying in while in Sydney, relocating more
frequently as a result and missing having a stable base, discovering our van STILL leaks when it rains, along with mould growing in the shipping container, all brought us to a crisis point. We and our van can’t continue
as we are. People have been regularly saying that our ministry is just beginning and will continue to expand. How could this happen? Heartfelt prayers ascended to heaven.
THE GOD OF WONDERS ACTS – A NEW HOME
Ps 65:5-61 TPT “You answer our prayers with amazing wonders and with awe-inspiring displays of power. You are the righteous God who helps us like a father. Everyone everywhere looks to you, for you are the
confidence of all the earth, even to the farthest islands of the sea. What jaw-dropping, astounding power is yours!” Since those heart cries toward the end of June it has been amazing what our Father is now opening
up – leading to a big change in itinerancy and what our ministry will look like next year. Two people in two days near the end of June mentioned in passing there was very affordable accommodation available at Poatina, Tasmania. In our vulnerable state this caught our attention. With inquiries for a new van leading nowhere the trail in exploring the home option – asking questions, checking photos, clarifying residential policy (you have to apply to live there) all kept leading to more green lights. Miraculously we
discovered that what we had been saving toward another van via Kathryn’s mother’s legacy might just be enough to offer on a home in Poatina given favour from the Lord. A period of discernment from some of our closest accountability partners all led to ‘God’s hand is in this, keep going’.
On a flying visit to Tasmania early July to address the mould issues in the shipping container Peter was able to check out the accommodation and there was one stand out property – a 3-bedroom brick home with an
office. With confirmation from every quarter we put an offer in mid-July and it was miraculously accepted, praise God!! Late July we were approved to live in Poatina village and we now have a contact in place with settlement due September 20th whilst in Israel. We head to Tas for a week upon our return to start moving in though we will only fully unpack mid-December, with itinerancy on the mainland mapped out till then.
An unexpected change in direction yet it sits well. Poatina has been central in our story over recent years as a gathering place including for our prayer events. It is a central location, 50 min south-west from Launceston, 35 mins from the airport. A former hydro village, it was bought by Fusion Mission in 1995 and remains a largely Christian community supporting disadvantaged youth, hospitality, tourism, training and the arts.
We can see the potential of having a base in Poatina and flying out and about for shorter ministry trips next year, God willing. There is also the possibility of taking a car through winter (when we don’t stay in the van)
for shorter times so we can sustain itinerancy. It also allows for people to come to us as Poatina has conference facilities. We never expected THIS provision to be God’s solution. It also comes with a Christian community around us which is also part of what we have missed these travelling years. Big changes as we learn to adjust to a new rhythm of how we live out our ministry from a base. A new step in faith financially as we will have bills to pay related to the cost of having a home.
Who can believe February is gone. We have been blessed amazing house-sits and places to stay during our time in Adelaide. These have included a pool and walks where we would see koalas. Our new workshop ‘Resting Together in God’s Whispers’ is written and awaiting an opportunity to run it. The 3 workshops in Perth have been run successfully. The curriculum for teaching Hearing God at YWAM Wollongong in April has been put together. In between we have been trying to rest ready for a busy time. In January we both got to share at our former Adelaide church Trinity Baptist.
The Same but NEW! This is the way we could describe our fourth year of itinerancy thus far. New partners, new ministry locations, new mercies of the Lord each morning, new ties to our home base church, new patterns of life in the van and new adventures overseas coming very soon. Yet we continue the same activities of traveling, leading workshops on Hearing God and meeting one on one with those God leads our way.
SYDNEY WIDER AREA (June)
For the first time we majored our attention on ministry in the Blue Mountains, Western suburbs of Sydney, then north of Hunter Valley. This led to six workshops over June – Blaxland, Blackheath, Wilberforce, Prospect, Kings Langley, including one in Nelson Bay Anglican (north of Newcastle). Our favourite feedback from this workshop came the next week after their prayer group met when our host wrote to us, “Even those who didn’t come have been talking favourably about your workshop”. Asking how this could be he said, “They’ve seen the positive changes in those who attended.” Our final NSW workshop of this time was in Taree and it came about though a gent we met at the first workshop in Blaxland, such is the way networking opens doors.
Here we are in March. Jan/Feb has been a lovely mix of family and friends in SA, WA & Victoria, travel by land, air and sea, preparation for our Tasmanian tour and presenting 3 workshops in WA and one in Mildura for the first time. Life has changed markedly since Kathryn’s mother’s passing last year. There is no longer the wondering when her life will take a downward turn as she is safe in the Saviour’s loving arms now. We can go more confidently and make firmer plans.
Mid Jan we flew to Perth for 3 1/2 weeks to catch up with good friends from Tas now in WA and conduct 3 workshops for two groups plus Fremantle Aglow. We appreciated the loan of a car for the time we were there. The workshop hosted by Aglow went well. People attended from a wide area. Later people who attended came up to us to say how much they enjoyed it and how they had put what they learnt into practice. One women shared it had been “life-changing.”
March/April Tasmanian Tour
We are now back in Tasmania getting ready to do our AS FAMILY WE GO encouraging and equipping tour of Tasmania, for the next 5 weeks. The equipping facet of the Tour is our Hearing God workshop that we will present in 7 locations. We will run our new workshop for the first time. We are expecting numbers will be small at most events. Our call is to go.
Greetings to you from Wollongong! Here we are in June. So much has happened since our last Newsletter. The AS FAMILY WE GO Tasmanian tour and our movement through Geelong, Victoria, ACT and now in NSW has seen a nice mixture. Catching up with friends and family in each of these areas, running small workshops including our new one (ENJOYING GODS WHISPERS AS HIS FAMILY) and taking time out to write. Plans for the rest of the year are gradually unfolding.
AS FAMILY WE GO TOUR
It isn’t possible to tell all that happened. Comments like: “This has encouraged me” and “What you are doing has changed my life” made all the hard work in putting it all together worth while.
What we did was on a small scale. The Family Gatherings were attended by 12 – 20 people. The 7 Hearing God Workshops were attended by over 100 people state-wide and 50 of our new small group course on this topic were taken (meaning multiplication is underway). The gift of $20 was given to 8 people of the Lord’s leading. Some fun stories occurred!
It started with a visit to dear friends. Some amazing things happened as our friend was able to make 2 of our booklets into apps! We also did two small workshops, one in a private home.
Wollongong and beyond
We were very thankful to be allowed to stay in a cabin in Wollongong to rest, write and prepare for the next leg north. Our did our new workshop Enjoying God’s Whispers As His Family and shared in a local church one Sunday. We also attended a very large National Day of Thanks Prayer Breakfast for the 2nd year in a row. Next we move into Sydney to do 2 workshops before a quick trip back to Wagga to do a workshop and celebrate another birthday with a dear friend. Then it is back to Sydney where we have a workshop with Tongan friends and speaking at WEC before going to Queensland.
So much has happened since our last Newsletter. In June we were in Sydney where we did 5 workshops including 3 at WEC International. After Sydney we presented one on the NSW Central Coast then continued north up the NSW Coast to Qld when we returned to Tassie for 10 days to teach at YWAM & celebrate Peter’s dad’s 80th. Upon our return to Qld we have done 3 workshops and are about to reply to New Zealand.
We have now run Hearing God workshops in every State of Australia & Canberra. The two workshops have been run 50 times to hundreds of people. The workshops have been attended by 13 yo and 93 yo. We have run them for Chinese, Aboriginal and Tongan communities as well as other mixed nationalities. They have been run with 2 and 60 present. We have new Christians, occasional non-Christians as well as mature Christians. Recently someone said, “It was like spending a day with Jesus.”
Brisbane to Tasmania and back then NZ
After returning from a week of teaching on prayer in Tasmania at YWAM and celebrating a family birthday we moved to Buderim where we parked next to the House of Prayer. A new friend, Nick arranged and hosted a small but special workshop in Buderim.
The day after we arrive we run a workshop at Lincoln Baptist. The main reason we are going is for a prayer gathering in the South Island. We are also going to attend our friend’s teaching at YWAM Queenstown before about 8 days of touring around. Once back in Brisbane we hightail it to Adelaide via workshops in Sydney and Shepparton for a family wedding early October.
REUNION IN NZ
In 2001 a family with a 2 yo and a day old baby arrived at our home in Tassie. They were Christian travelling clowns living in a van. The baby came early and they didn’t have anywhere suitable to stay. After a phone call from a mutual friend in Queensland we welcomed them. They stayed a few weeks before moving to rent nearby. They lived in the area for a couple of years before moving to New Zealand where we lost contact. It now turns out the host of our NZ workshop asked if we know Tina. They attend the Baptist church where we are holding our workshop. The little baby girl, Hannah will be about 16.
It has been an amazing year for us. More amazing than we could have imagined. Many of you have followed our journey through every State and to New Zealand. We are very appreciative of all the people who have prayed, supported us in many ways, encouraged, partnered and let us stay in their home or park in their driveway. Thank you. It would be impossible to do what we are doing without our wonderful family and friends.
This year we stayed in our van 116 nights and parked in 54 different places. We stayed inside (out of the van) 249 nights in 56 different beds.
As we traveled we ran 28 Hearing God’s Whispers workshops covering all Australian States plus Canberra and New Zealand with over 380 attending. We also ran our new workshop 5 times with over 80 attending. There were several other seminars and other speaking engagements as well. We moved over 1400 of our booklets. A new booklet is about to be published in the New Year. A friend put two of our Spiritual Protection booklets on both apple and android apps. This has been downloaded by well over 10,000 people from all over the world.S
Our March started in Tasmania when we had a chain of ‘global village’ moments. One morning we received an email saying, ‘I was in a prayer meeting in Panama last week and the person leading prayers used a prayer from a booklet called Spiritual Protection for Intercessors. I’m wondering if I could get a copy please.’
The next day it continued. We received an email from South Africa asking for a copy of a vision Kathryn had in 2005. Then the next day. An email request from Wales asking for a copy of our Tasmanian tour report. The next day our global moment was a Skype call to our Canadian friends.
Our only workshop in the south of the State was at St Marks in Hobart. Over 50 people attended with lots of positive feedback about what they gained from the day.
After saying farewell to our friends in the south we travelled to Worldview College where a friend did some welding on our van legs and we later painted them. The ‘global moments’ continued while staying at there in Launceston. We met with trainee missionaries who are heading to Cambodia. In spending time with them we found out that they will be orientated by a good friend who used to be part of our youth leadership team in Adelaide.
We had several meetings including Deloraine and Devonport – when we were invited to share about our year at a retirement village in Devonport with 27 people. After this it was a process of saying farewell to family and friends ready to cross over to the Mainland. The crossing was extremely smooth.
From the Port we travelled straight to Geelong to stay with our friends before heading to Adelaide. Our first workshop in Adelaide was a small group at an Aboriginal Church. This was a more intimate group and the sharing was deeper. There was one person there who said that she was still on the journey to find faith. Our next workshop is with another aboriginal church here in Adelaide.
So much has happened since it is impossible to report. The other day we commented to each other that this has been the most rewarding 3 months of our lives. Our time has been full of well-paced busyness. Most of the satisfaction has come from running our workshops together. (9 so far this year) Topped up with sharing with many groups and in church services, and meeting with many wonderful people, this has been an amazing time. Each part has been an honour and privilege. To see so many people’s lives changed though what the Lord has given us to share is really humbling. While this might sound busy, the pace compared with last year has been easier. There have been some strategic breaks in between the very intense ministry times. The Lord has provided everything we need from great weather to be outside in the van to inside accommodation when the weather cooled. He has led us to some more amazing people that have provided strategic in our understanding of what He is doing in our land. Our plans have changed a number of times for the better.
After our time in Adelaide we headed to Shepparton for a workshop on a week day. On to Jindera where 12 attended from a Lutheran community. Then we were joined by friends to team present at Wagga Wagga to about 30 people. Next came Canberra where 60 attended from the Chinese and 13 other churches. The intended workshop in Wollongong didn’t take place but was replaced by another seminar on Intercessory prayer at YWAM in Port Kembla. We have 2 more workshops here in Sydney and things are taking shape for a return trip to Wollongong.
Another Divine Connection
During our time in Wollongong we heard about a City-wide prayer breakfast. We inquired to find that a table still had some seats left and we were put in contact with someone. That someone turned out to be Graham who Kathryn knew 20 years ago when he had a Christian printing ministry. He invited us to see his current printing shop not far from where we were staying. During the conversation we mentioned that we have 10 booklets that we self print. He asked if he could give us a quote and it turns out to be cheaper than Officeworks. He would also fold and staple them as well as freight them ahead of us to save us carrying them.
Since our last Stepping Out our reported plans have changed. Instead of writing to you from Queensland, as we anticipated, we are still in Wollongong. We’ve discovered that God has had bigger purposes for us here. When there were no offers for workshops coming from Queensland by late July we earnestly went to prayer. At the end of our days of discernment we heard of a 10 days Prayer Gathering in Canberra 26th Aug – 4th Sept, which immediately resonated. We also had received many invitations to return south of Sydney (Wollongong/Mittagong and Moss Vale) to do prayer seminars.
We attended Central Church at Port Kembla Sunday last evening and the text for the service was Acts 16 that included the Macedonian call where Paul and Silas had a massive change in direction in their travel plans. This seemed to confirm what we were feeling God was saying – that He had a purpose for us to remain in NSW. We will now complete the two small group workshops here and the Hearing God’s Whispers Workshop near Mittagong. Then write the workshops and booklet that are pending and attend the 10 days of prayer.
10 Days of Prayer
The 10 Days of Prayer is the outworking of something given to Lindsay by the Lord. It is based on the Disciples waiting 10 days for the Holy Spirit in the upper room. This is my experience of the last 10 days. Firstly, I must say that anything I say cannot do justice to the experience. All I can present is a taste. While only 22 people attended at some stage over the 10 days, you would never say what happened was equal to that number. It was far beyond the small group. 10 Days is about giving time and space for God to move in ways that He chooses. Whether it be a discussion on the way God is leading His church in these days or a download (vision or word) He gives someone or some wisdom from experience or insight into a biblical truth or prayer of intercession. Then there is the open opportunity for each person that visits. When people arrive they are made very welcome. The pause button is pushed on what is happening and they are invited to share what God has placed on their heart. Often this fits right into the current theme that is being explored. This sharing may lead to deep ministry or release into a new phase of their walk with God. The emotions over the 10 days ranged from unbridled joy to the deepest sorrow (often within minutes of each other).
Kathryn’s take – at one point, as one taught, then another brought a song, and another gave a prophetic word of encouragement, and there was prayer led by another, I thought to myself – this is how church is meant to be! Sitting together in a circle, in the presence of the Lord as family, honouring each other’s contribution. Just like in the first century.
Perhaps our best year to date! After the ground work and foundation laying of 2015 in developing contacts and learning the rhythm of itinerancy, 2016 has enabled us to bloom in ministry, building upon that deposit. Partnering has once again been rich as we’ve met many fabulous Kingdom hearted people and been invited into their midst as friends and fellow equippers. Some of these contacts are leading to new ministry teaming, like the 40+ Aglow team that came to pray in Tasmania in mid November and joined with locals. This came about when we met the Aglow team leader at one of our workshops in Shepparton in April.
Personally – We are not the same people who began this adventure nearly two years ago, as we discover new things about each other, this big land and her people! The Lord has been working on us too, developing greater flexibility and building our trust in Him in the uncertainties and at times tiring nature of this lifestyle. We’ve also been learning that our true ‘home’ is in Him and among His family no matter where we are. (Though this lesson is an ongoing one!) How reassuring it is to know that ALL our times are in His loving hands. A precious place to be!
2016 – The Stats
- Visited four different states and ACT
- Moved 1400+ booklets
- Travelled over 8500 km
- Slept in over 32 different beds
- Enjoyed 4 different house sits of various lengths
- Ran 20 workshops (13 in 2015)
- Met many new people!
On 21st October we saw God’s fullness of time for Kathryn’s mother. In a very special home coming we were all able to be with her (after a flight from Canberra), singing her favourite hymn, What a Friend we Have in Jesus, when she passed peacefully away. With sister, Julie and the two grandchildren it was special to be able to speak at her Thanksgiving Service and help make the floral tribute for her casket.
This year we will spend Christmas with Kathryn’s family in SA as we house-sit in Adelaide 13th Dec – 13th January. This will give us time to attend to Rita’s affairs, and adjust to her absence, sort the van, take a break from travel and catch up with friends.
Whilst in Tasmania in November we experienced several other key ‘fullness of time’ events. It was with sorrow that we shared for the last time at our partner church, Clarence Baptist, who are closing on 18th December. This marks the end of a 16 year long era of faithful partnership with us.
A week later we were present as the Emmaus Community in Tasmania decided to go into recess. Truly another era ends. Both have acted as a spiritual home for us. But God is incredibly faithful as we wondered where our new base and accountability will be.
Hearing of these changes, Bethel Christian Fellowship in Geelong, who have already been walking with us, and where we have good friends, offered to become the primary partner church during our itinerancy. Through regular phone calls and emails and occasional visits we plan to keep in touch. A new era dawns.
The door to minister in many other regions continues to open up. We are finding a real enthusiasm for what we offer and how we do it. However, we hold things loosely as the Lord leads us and recognise we need to stay open to His will.We often get asked how long we see ourselves doing this. While we don’t know how long, we know there are continuing growing possibilities.
We need to keep working on pacing ourselves wisely. It is easy to become travel weary. While we paced ourselves better this year we still were very tired by the end of the year. Not having our own home to return to, to truly relax is the main challenge we face and ‘the cost’ of this lifestyle. In saying this we are very happy to keep going and look forward to 2017 complete with joys and challenges.
2015 Starting Mobile Ministry
The last few days in our Midway Point home proved extra stressful, owing to Kathryn scratching her cornea right when cleaning needed to happen. However, we saw the goodness of God in cleaning help provided by a Youth with a Mission Team and friends who assisted with furniture moving and stacking the container. All this ensured we were able to wave goodbye to our previous lifestyle and drive out of our Midway Point rental on 22nd December to commence our season of mobility.
Weary and relieved we headed north to Burnie for rest with Peter’s family over Christmas – New Year. However, we found we were ‘spreading the word’ earlier than anticipated. When we stopped we noticed the lid had come off Kathryn’s container for her teaching resources in our side storage. The top layer of notes on prayer had simply disappeared. The wind had picked them up and sent them flying out of a small gap at the top of our storage area as we drove spreading them along the highway! Fortunately they were easily replaced.
Early January we headed west across Tasmania in our van to shake down into our new situation and discovered how wonderful this lifestyle can be. Meeting a friend who we hadn’t seen for 15 years led to our first night of hospitality parked in someone’s yard. We ran into some SA ministry friends on holiday at Sister’s Beach. Then later we ‘stumbled’ on friends down the street of Ulverstone we had wanted to see and enjoyed a rich time of mutual encouragement.
It was lovely to have time to think, discover the world of library ebooks, walk, watch cricket and connect with others after the endless, hectic tempo of life in the previous few months. We also loved attending some family gatherings we normally would miss. This period included taking in the cycling criterion in Burnie streets and Sports Carnival over New Year.
Helping out by serving at a conference at Poatina and spending some time praying and meeting people around the island took up the remaining 3 months of time in Tasmania before heading to Victoria.
Autumn 2015 Stepping Out …..into Adventure
The long drawn out process of leaving Tasmania is over. After 8 farewells, a 40 year school reunion for Peter and a life-changing tour to pray around the state we boarded the Spirit of Tasmania on April 17th for Melbourne.
Into Lives – so far it has been a wonderful mix of connecting with old friends, including some from Peter’s school and working life. This has opened great opportunities to share about the Lord with those yet to know Him. We’ve loved also meeting strangers and sharing in parks.
Into Service – Mid January an email SOS from a FUSION friend alerted us to a need for helpers at Poatina, to serve meals to 140 indigenous folks who were attending a conference there. Being flexible we were able to respond and had a great time helping out in team, whilst living in our van on site.
Into Networking – it struck us as unusual that four new contacts we met seemingly randomly all knew each other. As we listened to dreams we realised two of these new friends would benefit from meeting two of our friends in the south who shared similar dreams to connect people to God through tours in Tasmania’s beautiful scenery. This is underway.
Into Resourcing – We’ve been sharing our materials. After giving one contact Kathryn’s booklet for intercessors she excitedly exclaimed that her friend was needing help in that very area. We have also received our first booking to run a women’s retreat mid-year for Lutheran women around Albury. We are open to invitations to facilitate retreats, seminars or small groups
A six week house sit in Melbourne was welcome when we first sailed as we had the flu and adjusted to life outside of Tasmania. While still in Melbourne we went down to Geelong and did some team ministry with Colin & Tina Maree. During this time Kathryn & Tina Maree taught learning to hear God’s voice while Colin & Peter attended the beginning of a new men’s ministry. Since then we have done prayer workshops in Shepparton, Jindera, Wagga Wagga, Gumeracha (SA), Adelaide (being flown over by a church) and the Hunter Valley. Each one has been extremely well received and many have asked us back. People have loved the interaction and practical nature we present.
Another purpose that God is using these for is bringing unity in particular areas as people tend to come from a number of churches or areas. Some have requested that they keep getting speakers in so they can keep meeting together across the Body of Christ in their region.
Near death experience
Peter was trying to help out on some friend’s farm near Shepparton. The farmer was recovering from Ross River fever and having to milk 150 cows twice a day by himself. Peter was helping to round up the cows (in the dark) on a quad bike. He needed to turn the bike around on a road doing a 3 point turn. After reversing for the first time, he went to go forward and still had it in reverse. Unbeknownst to him in the darkness, there was a steep bank behind him. In going backwards again he almost went over the bank which could have seen him fall from the bike and have it land on top of him most likely killing him. We are thankful to God for his protection both as we travel and as we help out.
Our booklets all over the world – While we were in Adelaide a missionary doctor told us an interesting story concerning our booklets. A friend of ours sent some of our Spiritual Protection booklets to her while she was stationed in Tanzania. They arrived at the post office and a customs officer wanted to look inside the parcel. When he looked at the booklets he asked, “What are these about?” She said, “Spiritual protection.” He said, “What does this mean?” She said, “Do you want one?” He said, “Yes.” And took one. So a Tanzanian customs official has one of our booklets. We have also heard that a pastor in Italy is translating our booklets into Italian. S
Highlights of 2015
The People That We Met – Often we would find ourselves listening to stories being told by ‘gems’ in God’s Kingdom and thinking, ‘How did we get here?’ The wonderful people we spend time with on this journey has been amazing.
The Way God Led Us and Provided – He marked out our way as we went and when we needed something it was there. (Even places to stay when we were sick.)
The Prayer Workshops – To be involved with something that helped people, sometimes changing their lives, was amazing.
The Richness in Working Together – Although we have done many things together over the years we haven’t really teamed up in this way to present workshops.
Trends as we Travel
- Churches are making time in services to listen to hear what God is saying. We have been in 3 Anglican Churches and a few others that have given time to stop and listen then share.
- The desire to meet inter-denominationally. Christians seem tired of divisions in the Body of Christ in their regions.
- The influence of Christians from other countries.
- The increasing awareness that God wants to do something new in and through the Church.
- Increase in healing gifts being used.