An Emerging Leader
It is always a wonderful feeling seeing God’s handiwork. We recently received an email from an endorsed student which is a timely reminder of the part that everyone of us plays in God’s Kingdom. Luke Morgan is State Coordinator of Fusion Australia in Tasmania and recently received a bursary from The ACF which which made it financially possible for him to undertake “The Emerging Leaders Program” with Arrow Leadership. Arrow Australia is the premier Christian provider of training, in the non-tertiary sector, for emerging and mature leaders.
2 Corinthians 9:12
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
Dear Geoff and Jasmin,
I have been mindful of you in recent months and looking for a moment to pause and attempt to capture the significance of your investment through the scholarship I received for the Emerging Leaders Program at Arrow Leadership.
This time two years ago, I found myself part of an organization that had experienced a tumultuous journey due to undesirable and exceptionally challenging circumstances. The organization was ill equipped for the complex set of circumstances it faced and those with the burden of responsibility and leadership in this phase courageously gave their all, but one by one were overwhelmed by the heart wrenching dilemmas they faced. I myself, as I watched events unfold around me, went through a period of soul searching. I looked for other avenues to pursue what was in my heart and perhaps escape the mess, but the exit strategy did not eventuate and I felt like God was asking me to remain in Fusion and carry the weight of leadership amidst the untidiness.
It was in this context that I came across the Emerging Leaders Program. Upon reading about the opportunity, I felt a sense of hope. After being accepted into the course, your scholarship assisted in making it financially possible for me to participate. This was significant, particularly as we were expecting our third child and live as faith workers without a regular income. That said your investment has been far more than the money that contributed to the scholarship.
The input and companionship provided as a part of the course has been revolutionary for me. Journeying with other emerging leaders has increased my appreciation for others, while also helping me to welcome my own circumstances, however challenging. Regular contact with my mentor has provided me with new tools to apply to my leadership setting, assisting in clarifying the vision and executing the path towards it. The Program has helped me to step forward, to take risks, and be courageous for the sake of the Kingdom, despite what others around me may think.
The course has helped me to take choices to prioritise the important things at work and home, and I have instituted habits that have sustained my spiritual growth through stretching times. It has allowed me to see God through fresh eyes, after a number of years of disillusionment, and to rediscover a God full of generosity and love.
As I commence the year, Fusion’s work in Poatina is re-emerging. We are preparing to launch a school for at risk young people next year. We have people applying to move to Poatina, wanting to contribute in their own ways, some with particular needs and others seeing that this could be a place they could make an investment. Numbers of people have been helped by the time they have spent here in the last year.
My wife also wanted to communicate the difference the course has made to our family, as she reports a more patient, settled husband and father to our children. She has also appreciated the personal notes from Jasmin, and the assurance of your prayers for our daughter, Aimee, and for us as a family.
This might makes life sound more resolved and straightforward than it is, and while we can never fully measure the impact of our actions, I hope you can glimpse something of the significance of your contribution to my life, my family, my community and to Fusion as an organization and the people whose lives it seeks to impact.
We are thankful to God for the way He orchestrated events and to those of you at the Annabel Charitable Foundation for your generosity, your prayers and your care over the last two years. We hope this provides some encouragement to you in the work that you do as you commence the year, and prepare for what is ahead.
With thankful hearts,
Luke and Alison and Family
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
The ACF relies almost entirely on donations received from the public in generating funds to provide bursaries for Students just like Luke. So, this is where we would like to ask you for your help so that we can work together in providing them the support they need while studying. Generally students who are studying for Christian ministry have a supporter base, which prayerfully and financially support a student through this most rigorous period of their life. It is The ACF’s desire to help garner this support and offer the supporters of students a more effective way of giving by offering a tax deduction for their donations. Therefore, we would encourage you to move amongst your friends and encourage them to make tax deductible donations to The ACF, so that we can continue to help people, like Luke Morgan, spread God’s loving Grace.
Testing Times During Exams
The end of the year is quickly approaching which for many of our students means final exams. Preparing for exams can be a daunting and stressful process however it is a great way to remind ourselves of everything we have learnt and the words God has spoken into our hearts over the last year.
We decided to pull out some timely bible verses to encourage our endorsed students during this time, however we believe they will be a blessing to all our newsletter readers at this time of the year and we hope they minister to you also.
Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Seeking His kingdom is our number one priority, for all our endorsed students this is a large component of why you decided to study, to know more about who God is and what it means to be part of His Kingdom, during this time of study remember that your main goal is to seek after Him, allow him to refresh you and fill you with greater understanding as you go over what He has taught you this year. Allow Him to fill you with peace and do not worry. This is much easier said than done, but there is a sense of peace in knowing that God already has tomorrow in His hands, and He is in control. You can do your part and be diligent in studying and preparing but the rest is in Gods hands, give it to Him in prayer and ask Him to give you peace and rest.
I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Never forget that you are a servant of God, He has chosen you and set you apart. He has a plan and purpose for you far greater than you could ask or imagine. We are so encouraged by your sacrifice, setting aside this season of your life for study in order for God to prepare you for what He has in store for your future. He called you to study and He is still with you on the journey, He is your strength and your help at this time and always.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
We all want to do our best and to achieve great results but we sometimes get so caught up being the best that we forget it’s not about us! It is God who calls us, it is God who graces us for the tasks ahead, He can use anyone who loves him, who is willing and available for Him. He chooses us despite our weaknesses. What a privilege it is for you to receive a quality education for ministry, how blessed you are to have this opportunity to further your understanding and experience so that God can grace you for all that lies ahead. Don’t forget to thank Him for the opportunities you receive and to thank Him for using you in all your weaknesses.
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Press on towards the goal, keep running after the call of God on your life, when things get overwhelming take a step back and look at the bigger picture. God has chosen YOU! He has called you and set you apart, He has given you a heart for ministry, a heart for people, a heart for His church. He has graced you with gifts and abilities to serve His kingdom.
Please accept our encouragement and remember that all of us here at The ACF are cheering you on and covering each of you in prayer as you finish this year strong in Jesus name!
Please allow me to introduce Jason Robinson. The ACF has been supporting Jason as a Student from the Australian Centre for Mission Aviation (ACMA) since his endorsement in 2013. Undertaking exams is a stressful time for anyone studying and being assessed and failing is part of our life’s journey that everyone will experience.
Exam Time again for Jason
Exam time again!
Well it’s exam time again.
Just over a week ago we had prayed for a miracle but unfortunately I failed my exam. Not the kind of miracle I was expecting or wanting and to be honest! I was very disappointed to get 69% and just miss out on a pass.
I need to share something with you all.
As I was driving to the exam last week I suddenly thought, oh no imagine the exam was cancelled or worse I got 69%!! Needless to say it got me thinking because as soon as I walked into the exam room I was told the exam was on hold and could possibly be cancelled.
I prayed it would go ahead as I had studied hard and I had drove all this way and I just wanted to pass.
I was shocked when the exam ended and I received my mark of 69%.
As I drove home disappointed I was asking “why God, why did I fail I just wanted to pass that’s all just a pass”. This is my most difficult longest exam, out of all of them this is the one I didn’t want to resit.
The next morning I woke up with two thoughts racing through my mind – “The measure of a person is not how they act in success but how they react in failure” and the other “Why is just a pass good enough” ?
I have no idea where that came from maybe I read it somewhere or maybe God put those thoughts in my mind. But it reminded me that God called me to do this training it was not my idea and for the first time I just wanted a pass that will do, I’m tired I don’t like this exam I just want it over with, my attitude was totally wrong.
This week those thoughts plus those of you who have sent encouraging emails and texts have spurred me on to continue to study hard. To learn as much as I can in the time that I have and that I should be aiming to get the most out of this subject not just get it over with.
So I would appreciate it if you could pray with me as I try this exam again tomorrow at 9am pray that I can do my best and trust God for the result that I need.
Also this last two days Jason has been feeling really unwell with flu like symptoms.
We would really love your prayers at this time.
Jason & Ally
Results are in!
Jason & Ally
Meet Brad Konemann
The ACF is proud to support Brad and commends the very successful way that he gains financial support by directing his supporters to donate through the ACF where they gain tax deductibility.
Brad Konemann is currently studying in his second year at Moore Theological College. He has been married to Katherine for seven years, has a two-year-old daughter (Eva), and another child due to be born in July 2015. Before going to college, Brad worked for Voice of the Martyrs where he founded their youth program, Thirteen Three, and equipped Australian teenagers to support the persecuted church. He also served in various ministries at Springwood Anglican Church before he decided to study at Bible college and be trained for a lifetime of ministry. Brad is now serving at Anchor Church Sydney, a new church in Erskineville that is seeking to make disciples by living in community, on mission, for Jesus. The ACF is proud to support Brad as he raises support for himself by directing his supporters to make tax deductible donations through the ACF.
Happy New Year from The ACF
As we focus on the start of this new year after recently celebrating our Saviour’s birth we would like to send a big thank you for your generous support, both financial and in prayer, of our many ACF students throughout 2014. It was a wonderful year with many students receiving support because of people like you.
One ACF student we would like to introduce you to is Joel.
Joel has just finished his second year of a Master of Divinity at Sydney Missionary & Bible College. Joel grew up in the Blue Mountains, an hour west of Sydney, and was greatly affected by the raging bush fires there in October 2013. His family home, filled with all of its treasures, was tragically lost in the fires and Joel’s thoughts about his loss have been a great encouragement to many Christians throughout his community.
Here is part of Joel’s story: …”Standing in the smouldering rubble of violently twisted metal and blackened walls which had provided such unappreciated security was a sobering reality check, the likes of which one never imagines would happen to them. We had just lost stuff, but no amount of reassurance could disguise the fact that that house was full of stuff that I loved. Dearly. As though farewelling so much of the past were not enough, the task of rebuilding now sapped away what little emotional energy we had left.
How could I reconcile my loss with an all powerful, all loving God, who seeks the best for his people? In my experience the more I ponder this question the more I am forced to stand in awe of the sheer magnitude of God. The more I study the life, teachings and work of Jesus, the more I am blown away by just how relevant He is to me in my suffering.
If it is a fundamentally true statement that God is good, as the bible claims then His goodness is true, no matter what my personal circumstances may be.
I was reminded of Jesus’ agony as he wept in the garden before his horrific crucifixion. Abandoned by everyone He held dear, the Son of God was about to taste the bitter cup of suffering and begged that what was to come might pass him by. Jesus did not question his father’s goodness, nor did he question his father’s power. Indeed at this point nothing about God was in question. Rather, there was a complete recognition that all of this was part of the plan.
If there is a divine plan and purpose behind all that we see, then the invitation is opened to us to take on a greater perspective, which recognises Gods sovereignty over all things and the great plans He has for his creation. It is in this perspective that I have come to find peace and hope that transcends the parochial materialism that characterises our culture and have been drawn into a deepened understanding of who God is.
For me, this has been such a profound experience as I have come to understand more of what Jesus said when he gave us the loving command to store up treasures in heaven where moth and rust cannot destroy, and fire has no power. When our treasures are safely hidden away in eternity then what grasp can the fleeting distractions of this world have on us? Instead we will be free to live life as we were designed to. In deep authentic relationships with the people around us, acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with our God. I look forward to the chance to one day look back and see what God’s plan was all along….”
Joel has been enjoying his study at SMBC and he looks forward to a future in ministry, serving wherever God may lead him. Joel is one of nine SMBC students who have received bursaries in 2014.
To financially support people like Joel click here.
We take this opportunity of thanking you for your support during 2014 and we look forward to partnering with you again this year and beyond to assist faithful men and women of God to study His word, thereby fully equipping them to spread His gospel of saving grace to our needy world.
Happy New Year from all at the ACF.
Young families studying to spread the Good News of Jesus
Imagine the following scenario…….
I have been a Christian since my teens, following Jesus as I got my first job, fell in love, married and started a family. However, the still small whisper of God’s voice has become a steady roar and I know that it is God’s call on my life to study and train for full time ministry. But what does this look like? I have to give up my job to do this, but I still have to support my family, buy shoes for the kids and make sure there’s enough food on the table. How could I possibly give up my job and still find the money that is needed just to survive. I know that when I leave this job we will be eating a lot of pasta!! Does my wife have to go back to work to support us financially? But if she does who will look after our kids? What a juggle. What a struggle!
How many of us in our churches know families like the one above, who faithfully want to follow God’s call, but don’t know how they will manage financially. Current statistics say that 48% of Australian pastors will reach retirement age by 2022 – that’s only 10 years away! We urgently need to be equipping the next generation to rise up and take their place as the leaders of our churches.
Meet Dave and Cath McLennan, William (7), Anna (6), Maggie (4) and Jack (2). Dave is in his third year of a Bachelor of Divinity at Moore College and is working at St. Anne’s Anglican Church in Strathfield Sydney as a student minister.
Dave is eager to preach Christ wherever he is sent and is willing to make financial and other sacrifices to spend his life in God’s service. He notes that any sacrifices he makes to achieve this are shared by his family. There is an impact of God’s call on our lives and as a father his great concern is for his children with the prospect of several house moves and school changes in the future. Each donation that is received helps to relieve the financial burden for someone like Dave and facilitates parents to engage in full time study to equip themselves to preach Christ to the best of their ability.
Easter 2012 – Celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus
Easter is a time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the good news of salvation. For students it is also a time for a welcome mid semester break from the rigours of study. The Annabel Charitable Foundation’s (The ACF) mission is to serve God and the Christian church by providing financial assistance to students undertaking theological training. When people study to equip themselves for ministry they carry a vision of what that ministry will be like after the completion of their studies. This fuels their determination to continue down the hard road of study. Students try to communicate this vision to us in their scholarship application and our hearts are excited at the prospect of more people being reached with the good news of Jesus. What a pleasure and delight to journey alongside these students through their season of preparation before being unleashed into their next season.
We are delighted to update you on one of our scholarship couples who have finished their training and are now out in the field putting their vision into practice. God placed a vision in Dave and Ruth Muller’s hearts to work in an orphanage in China. They realised that to be as effective as possible they required training. So began the long haul of deciding where, when and what to study and then the challenge of actually completing their study with CALAM Training in Queensland, while supporting themselves financially and raising funds. The sweat and tears paid off and they completed their study at the end of 2011. Dave and Ruth were accepted to go to China and are now working in an orphanage with new challenges of coping with culture shock, learning the language and developing new relationships.
ACF is taking to the air with ACMA
Exciting things are happening on the mission aviation field.
Several endorsed candidates are benefiting with more to follow. To see how you can support this important work click here.