Challenges, Inspirations and Future Directions
A Note From the Director
As I sat with a cuppa reading Tammy Pitman’s testimony, I found myself in tears. You’d have read it with the June appeal. Her story of God working through SU and the volunteer camp leaders she met was an incredibly powerful encapsulation of the work of our SU movement. Leaders taking the time to invest in a young person over years and between camps, sharing the Gospel with them; programs that holistically facilitated this; and God working undeniably in people’s lives. Wow!
“Canoemup was a camp that I just really loved. I met Ros Wadley (now Appleby), who is probably responsible for my faith. Ros kept in touch with me after camp and I remember being quite confused by that because I’d never met people like her before. It was a love that I didn’t know much about.
It took three years of me going on SU camps before I finally decided to give my life to God, and that was on Canoemup in 2003, on the 3rd of October. I gave my life to God with Ros. She was such a huge part of the journey because she walked with me the whole way, even between camps. The leaders I met just kept on investing in me and my faith. Once I became a Christian everything changed.”
It’s been a challenging few years for our movement. Cultural and community changes have affected ministry, some ministries have concluded resulting in flow-on financial impacts, there’s been significant redirection of ministry, a financial slowdown and drop in donor income, huge changes in the way people and churches volunteer, and we’ve had significant personal setbacks for staff and volunteers. All this has impacted on the work and ministry of the movement.
But God is so good! Testimonies like Tammy’s keep being told through SU ministry. It is this life-changing work of God that makes it all worthwhile.
God has also been good financially. At the start of June, we were staring at a $100,000 deficit and facing the need for significant change. Through your generous donations and the work of God, including an unexpected bequest, we finished the year close to neutral and are now able to focus on building longer term sustainability. Thank you for keeping SU a float and thriving.
Building long term sustainability is a slow process. It involves campaigns to reach new supporters, promoting the work of SU across the Christian community, looking for new income sources and prayerfully restructuring ministry and staffing. Please, join me in prayer for this.
Exciting new ministry opportunities are opening up too. Light Party is a new collection of resources and programs for churches and Christians to bring the light of Jesus to communities at Halloween. Veta is a school discipleship program for VET students. Holiday Camping continues to strengthen and be a powerful life-changing ministry, with new camps added to the long-term favourites. We are prayerfully rebuilding our schools ministry, and engaging in discussion to grow sports ministry within SU WA and Perth. We are doing this in deeper partnership with local churches and seeing great blessing for them and us in doing so.
Praise God for the way He is leading us to creatively share His Gospel with young Australians, so that they can know life in Jesus. Thank you for your part in it.
Thank you for your time, heart, passion and financial support – you all enable the ministry that changed Tammy and will change so many others into the future.