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Indonesian Ministry Report

A summary of the Indonesian ministries at St Phil's in 2021

Julie

March 3, 2022

Our first year as SPICE has been one of warm support and encouragement in gospel unity. We are thankful to God for the many who have welcomed us, especially to Bruce and the staff team, as well as the wardens. Through the highs and lows of 2021 we have been particularly grateful to join the regular combined service events of St Phil’s. It is a special joy for our small congregation to worship alongside many brothers and sisters, and to enjoy a culturally diverse communion.

Happily the annual celebration of our anniversary service falls in early February, which provided an opportunity to formally introduce ourselves to the broader St Phil’s community last year. The renovated CMC soon became our home of worship and meals, and a place to host many guests. With no new international students to meet last year the opportunity to broaden our outreach to other community demographics is one we continue to ponder under God.

Prior to the lockdown we enjoyed joining St Mark’s Easter Fest, had Easter services including a Last Supper re-enactment, and a day trip to the Blue Mountains. Our strengths in food fellowship were expressed in a dinner with Mandarin PM service, and by introducing English PM service to an Indonesian dessert kolak (coinciding with Julie’s missionary deputation week). We were starting to find our feet at St Phil’s when lockdown began.

There is no escaping the fact that lockdown defined the boundaries of our life for months. Yet the Lord sustained us in so many ways. From July onwards SPICE benefited from the addition of Julie to the St Phil’s staff team one day per week. Julie designed and led training for our leadership in theological reflection from a contextual and practical approach each month, and read the Bible 1-1 with our women leaders.

On the cusp of coming out of lockdown we were glad to present our postponed ‘Window to Indonesia’ event online from the CMC, and grateful to the many who attended on zoom despite already having their freedoms partially restored. Celebrating Indonesian culture together was a joy, as was having Robin, Sarah and Julie share about their experiences looking into mission and hearing from the staff of the Indonesian NGO Cinta Baca (Love to Read) whom we regularly support.

Just when the usual end-of-year fatigue was feeling worsened due to transitioning out of lockdown, Christmas gave us something to work toward with new hope. International student arrivals began from mid-December, and the Lord brought a couple of new students from Indonesia in time to join our combined carols event. SPICE then held a beautiful outreach lunch the week before Christmas, and enjoyed a Boxing Day barbeque at Kian and Liza’s house without too much COVID stress.

The losses of COVID continue, but so does our thankfulness. Even through the pain of sickness and death amongst our families in Indonesia, reduced job opportunities here and ongoing separations, God is our comfort and strength. We give thanks to God for sustaining our leadership team: Harry, Rani, Livia, Adrian, Ira and Linda this past year. In January Linda stepped down from her role as treasurer, and we have divided this role between the leadership until a suitable replacement can be raised up. We pray that 2022 may bring us new regular members, and already we have seen the Lord start to answer this prayer in unique ways. We continue to meet Aussies who have a heart for God’s work in Indonesia, and build rapport with the Indonesian student association at Macquarie University (who have just welcomed many new members themselves).

As we have felt God’s welcome throughout 2021, may we welcome many people of any generation and ethnicity in his name this coming year.

Julie & Kian Holik
Training and Missions Facilitator (Indonesian) & Associate Pastor (Indonesian)

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    St Philip's Eastwood Anglican Church

    Cnr. Shaftsbury Rd & Clanalpine St, Eastwood NSW 2122

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