From the Director
Ethan was desperate to attend camp. After missing out in January and then again with the ‘COVID cancellations’ of April, he and his Mum were determined not to miss out when camps resumed in winter. Imagine the distress when a website glitch made it look like he had missed out again! When he finally made it, we heard that ‘something happened on camp’. There has been breakthrough, growth and a change in attitude. Mum is ‘so thankful for SU and the person who invited Ethan’.
This story captures the heart of the last year in SU WA. Camps have been full and buzzing, schools ministry steadily growing, and God has used the effort of volunteers along with the finances and prayers of supporters to impact the lives of young people across WA. There has been the real challenge of raising up new leaders to meet the demand for our camps and missions, and a desire to deeply cover the work in prayer, to see God move mightily in our movement. And of course, COVID-19 has been like nothing we expected. What a year!
When the COVID-19 shutdown hit, volunteers and staff met the challenge with the creative and pioneer spirit that has marked SU across generations. New types of online ministry programs were run, continuing to make the good news of Jesus’ love known and growing up young followers, despite a global pandemic. The adaptability and passion of our movement was inspiring, and it was a privilege to lead the energy and creativity of our volunteers and staff team through this time. I praise God for the way He has used us this year.
During the COVID-19 time, we sought God’s heart for our movement. As we move into the next season, we remain fixed on the SU Aim, called to share the love and hope of Jesus with young people and partnering with churches to grow them in active missional discipleship – meeting God in Scripture and serving in mission and ministry. COVID-19 has affirmed SU’s emphasis and use of community in ministry and creating experiences of the good news. New ministry with young adults has been launched, and ongoing discipleship programs developed to complement churches and complete SU ministry. As things in WA get moving again, we still have the vision to grow the volunteer base and expand the camping program so that more young people can encounter the love and hope of Jesus through community. The next year will be exciting.
Amid grave financial uncertainty in March, I began planning for significant change in the ministry and staffing of SU WA. God is so faithful and good, and I am so thankful to Him for a government who put in place a safety net at that time and for you, the supporters and members of SUWA, who gave so generously to meet the financial need in the June appeal. We had a pleasing result and are well placed to continue to creatively and adaptively make the good news of Jesus known to more young people, just like Ethan.
As I reflect on a wonderful, strange, and challenging year, I look across all the activities of the SU movement in WA and see incredible people seeking the heart of God and serving and supporting mission, for His glory. Thank you for your part in it and be encouraged as you read the reports of our impact. Like David in Psalm 26, I am struck by God’s unfailing love, and as a movement, we continue to live in reliance on His faithfulness.
Blessings, Kent Morgan