Carelinks | Australia
Sunday afternoon: At same time as children lessons, Bro Ray Wheeler helps Elizabeth read her course notes (Bible Course notes that Auckland NZ use for their second language Bible Students, thanks to Bro Neil Todd)
Bro Phil & Sis Miriam Worsnop report as follows about an amazing initiative with African immigrants in Australia.
“Who could have foreseen the great opportunities that could arise via the United Nations and the Government of a western country, for a way that Brothers and Sisters in Christ who live in a safe country with a social security government, can take up the challenge to help spread the Gospel of Christ and the message of the return of Christ to this earth, into a country that is unsafe, where people believe that God is their only hope for life and they will not be killed by others, by sickness, or having to live in a refugee camp. This is the opportunity that the Brethren in Christ now have in Australia, to take the Truth of God’s word into South Sudan without leaving the comforts of Australia. All the Australian major cities and close regional cities now have a growing community of people who have come into Australia since approximately 2005 as United Nations refugees. These communities have now grown both from children born in Australia or other family members being sponsored. All of these people have become or will become Australian citizens. Ipswich, Queensland is one of these regional cities which has a very large and growing community who have come from South Sudan as well as other African countries.
Now to tell you the story of our journey so far, and it is only our Heavenly Father who knows what is ahead for these people who have been brought into our lives. In October-November 2011 the Ipswich Ecclesia conducted it's “Read the Bible Seminars”. A South Sudanese lady received a flyer in her letter box and she asked her friend and her husband to attend the Read the Bible Course. Unfortunately the course notes and presentation were done at a level that attendees who had English as a second language could not understand. With the help of Bro Ray Wheeler and ourselves, personal contact continued with these ladies. We began using the book “Speaking about Jesus” and NEV Bibles as a basis, and from that time developed friendship, trust, acceptance as family within their families, helping with DIY stuff (do it yourself) - understanding of cultures etc. During this time (2012) for one year their ‘pastor’ John was observing us working and helping these families. Then, December 2013 he made a special visit to us, to ask, “will you help to teach me to read the Bible”. John is their pastor and he returned for a visit to South Sudan in November 2014 until January 2015.
John has now done the Bible Basics course, for which we issued him a certificate, and from this his English level has developed and his reading is becoming very fluent. Now he quickly identifies the words he does not know. We have progressed onto doing “The Real Christ” (adapted slightly for second language learners) and we also give a certificate for completing the course. From John’s advertising of the Bible Basics course, four more of their communities ‘teachers’ have started doing the same course. Regular Sunday afternoon and Monday evening classes have developed. (Not all the Bible is available in their language, Dinka, and one of the great things that has arisen from contact with John is that he has now translated parts of the Old Testament into Dinka - so God’s own word is now progressing into new languages for the first time, thanks to this contact).
New immigrants and Brother Phil working to renovate a garage to use it for the Bible Basics seminars
Bro Neil Todd explaining and reading with a South Sudanese contact
This small group are elders in their community and they all have challenges with eye sight problems. We have been blessed to be able to purchase Giant Print Bibles either NKJV or NIV marginal reference and small concordances and maps at very low cost. For anyone who has OK eye sight they use an NEV Bible.
Our Group Program at present:
Sunday Evenings: Speaking About Jesus. Book for beginners / or a Bible Basics lesson. Everyone is at a different level and so it is done as one-on-one.
Monday Evening Group : English Class using a parable of Jesus.
We would appreciate hearing from any Brother or Sister who speaks Dinka Bor, who would be willing to help our contacts via email or Facebook, please contact us. We ask for prayers that our Heavenly Father will give this endeavour His Blessings both for the ones learning and also for the individual Brothers and Sisters who have chosen to help”.
The literature they have been using [Bible Basics, the Speaking about Jesus English learning course, the NEV Bible, The Real Christ etc.] have been produced by Carelinks and are available to those likewise wishing to preach the Gospel to the poor. Just get in touch with us if you would like copies or would like to sponsor copies.
Bible Basics lesson underway in the converted garage of Bro Simon & Sis Elizabeth