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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

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News

Wow, what a year we’ve just had! From normality to the pandemic to phase 5, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for individuals, families, churches, schools, businesses and SU. Our financial temperature reflects the abnormal times we are going through too. We rolled into Summer 2019, and much like other years, the appeal was robust and general giving was healthy. However, when our Autumn appeal launched, it crossed over with the COVID-19 explosion, and consequently, the appeal tanked. To add insult to injury, all of our school and camping programs ceased to exist in their usual form and of course, we had to close Camp Geographe. This had a twofold impact, not only have many young people missed out on being exposed to the Gospel, and all that flows from that, also our revenue had substantially dropped.

Nevertheless, you, our family, have stayed strong in your love and support, enabling us to keep ministry going and developing. Additionally, the Government provided stimulus and JobKeeper, which helps keep our staff employed. Then came our EOFY appeal for which you showed how much you value the ministry of SU WA. $174,000 was given to fund the continuing transformation of young lives.

Thank you everyone for your encouragement, prayers, volunteering, support and gifts of love over the last 12 months, you are the fuel in the SU tank.

The financial breakdown shows that 86% of our expenditure during the last fiscal year was spent directly on ministry to young people, children & families, along with the staff.

by Lester Sutton

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News

The journey towards a national SU in Australia has been a long and winding road, and it looked like the COVID-19 pandemic, and its impacts, might make more twists and turns. Much of our financial and ministry analysis has been changed by COVID, and the meetings and member involvement required for merging were unable to happen. Many states and territories really need and want the merger to happen, so there has been a re-commitment to the process and progression towards a national SU this year. “Stronger together” has been a catch-cry of the process and we will be shaping that together for the post-COVID world. Look out for opportunities to engage and pray throughout September and leading up to a vote late in the year.

by Kent Morgan

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News

On behalf of the SUWA Board, I will start by thanking the amazing staff team that we have at SUWA. The way they were able to adapt to keep the ministry of SU ongoing during the COVID-19 restrictions highlights their gifts and talents and the passion they have for “making the good news of Jesus known”. It was fantastic to hear they were able to help resource other SU’s around Australia and internationally as well through their learnings and the tools they developed.

To our Financial and Prayer Supporters – Your faithfulness and generosity over this challenging period has been appreciated more than ever and you are all critical components to the vibrant ministry of SUWA. The positive response to the June Appeal to finish the financial year was such a blessing and, after the uncertainty experienced only a few months ago, we are so thankful to God for his provisions. You all play a key part in many lives being transformed.

Thanks to our volunteers who continue to serve God through the many ministries of SUWA. Many of you would have had April camps cancelled, online camps pulled together at short notice in their place, and July holiday camps given the green light at the latest possible time. The stories of people’s lives being changed through the Hope and Joy of knowing Jesus are evident through this Impact Report.

Continue to pray for SU in WA and across Australia as we continue the journey of looking at a National Scripture Union Movement. The Board continues to explore this despite the changing landscape and ask for your continued prayer as we seek God’s guidance and wisdom through this process.

by Chris Dallin

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