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In Acts, we see the beginnings of Jesus’ Kingdom movement that spread through Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. In Acts 11:19, we see a particular moment where the gospel is taken to the Greeks in Antioch. This was a group of ordinary followers who had been scattered by persecution, who responded to a need they observed and took the gospel of Jesus to a new group of people. It wasn’t a leader-driven initiative, but a responsive movement which was then encouraged, supported and equipped by the leadership.

What a great picture of a Jesus movement and what we dream of for SU – a movement where people see new ministry opportunities and are supported and equipped by the staff to develop them. Summer is a great expression of that. Hundreds of Christian people share life and faith in caravan parks, country towns and with children, young people and families. I love seeing fresh new ministry happen as we share the good news of Jesus in relevant and personal ways.

This year there has been discussion among the state SU movements about the possibility of forming a national movement, driven by a deep desire to see greater effectiveness in mission by simplifying governance to maximise ministry. There is a national project group to guide the process and we had some WA consultation opportunities in October. I’d love you to be praying for the process and outcome and if you want to chat about it, get in touch.

Thanks for being part of SU and for your partnership in the gospel.

Kent Morgan, State Director

Camp made a huge impact on me when I first went at 15. I didn’t have any Christian friends my age… I wasn’t even sure if there were any other Christian teenagers in Perth! I viewed camp as the first week of my year, the week that charged me up to persevere as a Christian for the rest of the year. Those friendships were a great encouragement for the rest of my life and around my non-Christian friends at school.

On camp I loved learning about God’s graciousness to us in sending his Son. All I need to do is repent and believe in Him. Each year a camp community grew over the week, and my favourite part was always the small group discussions where we had time to chat about life’s big issues.

The first camp I ever went on (formerly Windsurfing Camp), I was so nervous I was actually crying as I got on the bus. But after I arrived it took no time at all for me to feel comfortable. I returned every year, and now I’ve notched up around 10 years as a leader.

My closest friends on camp for the last two years of being a camper were actually the leaders; I looked up to them and thought ,“They’re so cool, I want to be like that.” I was really excited to be a leader – they were cool, relatable, normal people who were fun and worshipped God and could have proper conversations. I didn’t have any friends in my normal life who were Christians who I could have deep conversations with.

I became a leader because it felt like a natural progression – if you had come to camp for a few years and had accepted Jesus as your Saviour and Lord, you would join the leadership team. In my first couple of years leading, everything was very new to me, including learning how to be an adult in general. I was only given a few responsibilities and paired with an older leader to run small group discussions. That was really great as I had lots to learn and was quite nervous.

Over the years I have gradually taken on more responsibilities. I’ve found that being a camp leader complements the other leading I do at church, and my responsibilities at work too. All the experiences work together to grow life skills, each role improving the other.

In Acts, Paul constantly takes a sidekick along with him on his missions, to teach them how ministry is done. That person is then equipped to have a trainee of their own. Even though SU camps only last for one week a year, they are a great opportunity for the campers to first of all hear about Jesus, and then to go on to become leaders. We had 7 new leaders from Beach camp attend SU Lead program this year, and be trained in what it means to be a Christian leader. Now they get to come on camp to put what they’ve learned into practice.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how God will work through them to share his Word to campers who attend Beach camp in January 2019!

Kat Ollis

Summer is a time when many of our friends & neighbours take time out from their lives and jobs to reconnect with family and friends. Our family celebrated Christmas and New Year in Augusta each year and there encountered an amazing group of people whose only purpose at our caravan park seemed to be to bless and encourage us.

Our summer mission team in Denmark has the advantage of a lovely steep slope of grass. This year, I sat down on the lawn with a group of families who were delighting in the joy of their children’s fun as they raced down the slopes on a ‘slippery slide’ the team had set up. In this relaxing atmosphere, I and many of the team members were able to sit with them and share the message that brought the team there. A message of joy in the midst of pain, of encouragement when hope was fading and to point them to the one who sustains and directs our lives. Did any of them really capture the spirit of our message? Only our Father knows; but we were grateful to be able to plant the seed.

Paul Edwards

We always love having families attend SU activities. It can be a rich experience for the parents, children, and the participants who see a variety of ages live in Christian community together. Coming from a longterm SU family, and a participant herself as a teenager, Nicole Kingwell has recently been on SU camps with her husband and three young children. Here, she shares her experience of leading on camp as a family, ministering to campers together and enjoying the role they can all play

“We loved doing SU camps all through our teen years – Cam (husband) and I led, and team-led, on lots of camps… And then we had lots of children! We were hoping at some point we could get back into leading camps, even with kids on board. As it turned out, we actually had no worries taking our kids with us.”

“For all of us, right down to the littlest (6 years old) the God-focus of being on camp and the Christian community they were exposed to was just excellent. My 7yr old boy reminisces so much about camp; how nice people were to each other, how great it was being in that community.”

“And it’s special for kids from broken families to see happy and whole families. A girl from a broken family on one camp showed me this – it really struck me how much she wanted to be around us. She couldn’t relate well to her own age group, but it was evident that seeing a loving, caring family was something she really liked and was missing in her life.”

“If you see that family can be a positive experience, your grounding can start from a positive place. And if we can offer some element of that to those kids post-camp in reunions and catch-ups that’s even more valuable.”

Our SU Camps and Missions absolutely love to have families minister with the team. If your family are up for the adventure, contact the office.

Nicole Kingwell

What's Up
NUA (Old Irish adjective meaning new) is all about exploration: it’s a short film series that encourages questions, acknowledges doubt, and offers an engaging perspective on the Christian faith. Eight short films (15min each) watched at your leisure, in a group or with friends. Discuss your worldview, wrestle with things that don’t seem to make sense – this is a life-changing journey of working out your faith.

Nua is a great tool for young people and Youth Ministry. Get your copy from SU WA today. You’ll get:

· NUA USB – 8 HD episodes, 9 training videos, and lot’s more.
· NUA Guide –Lesson plans, summaries, discussion topics and challenges.
· NUA Journal –Where participants can honestly record their journey of faith.

NUA, created by SU Ireland and reviewed by trusted critics including an inter-church theological group, chaplains, clergy, youth workers and young people, is a great resource that can be used stand-alone or as a follow-up to Alpha.

View the trailer and get more details at: www.suwa.org.au/nua-video-series/

Our Internship program for 2019 is looking to be an exciting opportunity as we plan an increase in practical equipping and training opportunities. Through the program, we aim to strengthen and impart in a new generation the SU DNA whereby we’re able to share the Good News through adventure-based, outdoor ministry within temporary Christian community. Interns will spend at least ten weeks of their year on SU camps and other programs as well as time in the SU office planning and supporting our programs and staff and possibly completing some form of study.

We’re looking for people who are teachable and able to take initiative, with a desire to see children and young people experience God’s power to save. To find out more, head to suwa.org.au/internships and click the ‘register interest’ button.

“I feel like I have really matured in my faith and my relationships with other Christians. I have recently come to a couple of realisations about what has been holding me back from my personal relationship with God, so I am correcting the priorities in my life and focusing & turning to him”

“I’ve grown in my maturity and approach to camps. I still have lots of fun but now I can look at things from an organisational point of view rather than just as a participant”