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Do you have an hour a week to invest into the life of a child?
Children of prisoners have often experienced trauma and benefit greatly from connection with a safe, faithful older person who can show them the love of God.
We’re running an Information Session for those interested in learning more about a Scripture Union and Prison Fellowship mentoring program for children who have a parent in prison.

Where:  Prison Fellowship Office – Greenslade Lane, Maylands
When:    Monday 16th December
Time:      6pm – 7:30pm

Please email or call us to register your attendance.
e: suwa@suwa.org.au t: 9371 9100

Click here for the flyer
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Feature Story

You might remember Mariah’s story from a recent letter we sent you, about her encounter with Jesus on CHIC camp in April. I caught up with her again at the recent camp reunion, held at an ice rink. SO much FUN! And such a challenge for my over-50 year old body! It was great to connect with her again and ask how she and God were going. Part of her reply was telling – “well, of course it isn’t like camp.”

No, life away from camp isn’t the same as the peak highs of camp, however peak experiences are one of the reasons young people stay connected to a faith community (see here2stay.org.au), and we trust the work of God’s Holy Spirit and the power of his Word. We are also working hard at SU to find ways for our camp leaders and churches to make connections with young people between camps. It was wonderful to know several of our CHIC leaders were going to try to set up small groups with CHIC campers post-camp. There is a strong young Christian leader development path in CHIC where campers have the chance to come back on the leader team as Junior Leaders once they finish Year 10.

I thought you’d also enjoy more quotes and stories by other CHIC leaders to get the full picture of the vibe on a camp where careful and extensive preparation is integral and which relies on prayer as its foundation.

“Seeing beautiful girls open up as the week goes on, realising they can be strong and rely on Jesus Christ in EVERYTHING.”

“Rowena was so scared of the ocean that she was sobbing but she also wanted to surf sooo much. So, some leaders and the instructor got around her and we got her surfing. You should have seen her face!! Nothing could wipe that smile off her face!”

“Christine is someone who has grown up in the church, in a Christian family who has never practically thought about Jesus actually being REAL and dying for HER. She met with him this week and gave her life to him! Praise Jesus!”

“On Heart Night (last night of camp) seeing how the Holy Spirit was working in each of the girls whether that be laughing, crying, singing and just explaining to the girls what it all meant and that it’s a good thing to be feeling God’s Spirit within.”

“(On camp), I really felt there was a significant shift to (campers) recognising Jesus as a personal Saviour who loves and changes their lives. Actually, knowing Jesus is in fierce pursuit of them is transformational knowledge they began to thrive in.”

“Just seeing the love spread from person to person constantly on camp was insane. What a beautiful community it was.” Friends, can I hear a “Hallelujah”? Amen!

Sally Howe

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News

Over the past year, SU has reached out and touched the hearts of young people and children with the gospel of Jesus. Jesus met them at Glen Echo Albany, Camp Geo Busselton, Bibbulmun Track Darling Range, Murray River Dwellingup, Kalbarri, Maida Vale, Melbourne, Ningaloo, Parkerville, and Safety Bay, just to name a few. Some commenced a journey of discovery and other accepted Jesus as their saviour, and all this transpired because SU is propelled by volunteers and supporters who make things happen.

A sincere thanks to everyone who responded to God’s prompting, whether as a volunteer, team supporter, ministry partner, or donor; we genuinely appreciate your love and provision in helping influence the lives of children, young people and families across the state through SU WA.

Our income involved fees for service and donations, which solely financed the ministry as we strove to meet the annual budget. We would appreciate your prayers for those who love the mission and ministry of Scripture Union and who may never have partnered through donating, that they will this year decide to give.

Below, the financial breakdown displays that 85% of our expenditure during the last fiscal year was spent directly on ministry to young people, children and families, along with the staff. But of course, all of our expenditure is in aid of our ministry and aims as SU.

Lester Sutton

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News

God is so good and gracious! Hearing how His love and grace has spoken into the lives and hearts of children and young people through SU this year is always wonderful. When we live as Paul spoke of in Thessalonians, “sharing the gospel and our lives as well”, people meet Jesus.

The unique SU mix of Christian community living, activity, relationship, and sharing our stories and the gospel, remains profoundly impacting. Sally’s stories from CHIC Camp (check them out on the front page) are just so exciting and indicative of what is happening in SU ministry in 2019.

The next challenge is to grow this in local contexts. We have been focused on strengthening and partnering with churches to do this, with a focus on schools. Reel Change Digital Story-telling, student ministry, Christian Teachers Network and schools programs all seek to give churches the opportunity to reach children and young people in their local areas and to make the good news of Jesus known. It’s been exciting to see each of these things slowly build over the last six months.

Being responsive and innovative in the face of missional and cultural change has been a feature of the SU WA story for decades and remains so. We continue to seek God as to how best to reach unreached children and young people, and how to share God’s love and good news with them in 2019. It’s exciting to be on this adventure together.

Any adventure is not without challenges, and the 2019 June appeal did not reach its target. A $70k deficit on the 18/19 year was not the result we were hoping for. We now try to respond with prudence, while being led by the Spirit in what God wants SU WA to be doing, to reach the young people He wants to, through us. God will enable the ministry He wants, but He does that through you and I. Thank you for your financial support and involvement, that means children and young people meet Jesus and are grown in faith and leadership through SU.

We turn towards a new year, where the ministry opportunity is as large as ever. It’s a year of significant development and change, but our unchanging God who loves each one of us dearly and wants to draw us to Him will continue to lead and use each of us for His glory.

Blessings, Kent Morgan

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News

One of the girls said that she learnt more about her relationship with God over the past two days on camp, than in the past four years of high school in a Christian school community.” This speaks to God’s power at work through SU’s School Camps, and the value of these camps particularly for Christian schools.

School Camps are a ministry partnership with each school community, with a focus on spiritual growth, leadership development, and supporting the Australian curriculum. Partnerships with schools have strengthened significantly over the last year, and numerous new opportunities for partnership have presented. Over the last year we have facilitated 13 school camps and three one day camps, reaching approximately 800 children and young people with the Gospel, and we expect this to continue growing. We praise God daily for the outpouring of opportunities to speak into and impact young lives.

Please give praise to God for His continued faithfulness and blessing over the school camping ministry, and the many children and young people who have come into relationship with Christ as a result. Continue to pray for the awesome School camping team, for sustainable partnerships with loca churches, and that God would continue to bring volunteers into the ministry who love and fear the Lord.

Mike Bezant

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News

This past year has seen many stories of discovery, challenge and growth in our campers & leaders on SU Holiday Camps. Our camps provide safe, supportive places for children and young people to be challenged. Through trusting relationships built on camp, participants and leaders grow personally and spiritually.

A recent camper, Ryan, has suffered from anxiety and panic attacks, as well as not being physically strong, so going on Wild Camp was going to be a stretch. The leaders journeyed with Ryan to help him build friendships with other campers, support him on the hike and enable him to participate with joy and humour.

Ryan’s mum says, “I have never seen my son SO enthusiastic and animated – he came back on such a high from completing this camp. When he came home totally animated, loving every part of it (even walking backwards for 6km?!!!) and he had stretched himself and been able to complete every task put before him, had seemed to integrate well with others and completed each task with fun and humour too, it was more than I could’ve expected.”

Our leaders are also challenged when they serve on camp, growing in character and leadership, discovering the need to rely on God. One leader says, “I learnt that prayer is important and essential in both the lead up and during camp. I think that I often try to rely on myself rather than give it to God.”

Holiday camps are a wonderful opportunity to see life transformation though discovery and challenge. We are growing children and young people in Godly character and leaders who focus on God and are servant-hearted.

Joyce Arnott & Dan Rodin

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News

Thanks to SU supporters, it’s been another fantastic year for making God’s Good News known to children, young people and families.

Volunteers, financial and prayer supporters are the critical ingredients to the vibrant and engaged movement that is SU WA. The results are represented within this Impact Report; inspiring examples of God’s work through Scripture Union. Thank-you for the part you have played in these and other stories of lives transformed by hope and joy through SU WA.

The financial statement shows another year of provision and generosity. In the context of changing patterns of giving in our community, we are grateful for God’s provision of the resources required by SU in Western Australia, and for those who give.

On a personal note, my own family have continued to be positively impacted by SU WA’s work this year. Our teenage holiday camp devotees have had a lot of fun and have been inspired to mature in their relationship with God (and one day, they may even return home with all their possessions!).

During 2018/19, work has continued in earnest with the other Scripture Union states and territories, exploring and planning for a National Scripture Union movement. Our Board have sought God’s wisdom during this time for the right direction for WA, and have actively participated in the extensive planning, prayer and reflection that has guided this process so far. Thankyou to the dedicated members of the SU WA Board who have provided wisdom and good governance to the organisation.

Phillipa Boldy

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News

For some years we have found Government schools a more and more difficult place to do ministry. This has driven us to God in prayer seeking his wisdom for a clearer pathway for our volunteers from churches to love and serve in their local schools.

As a result of this time of prayer and discernment we now have an invigorated team led by Schools Coordinator Laura Stone, and a renewed focus for working in Government schools in two specific areas; one being supporting Christian students in small groups and the other supporting Christian teachers in Government schools.

This year we have developed a Christian version of our CHIC and Blokes programs, making it an incredible resource for Christian schools. We have also formed two amazing mentoring teams, who have started engaging in their local schools. Sally Howe has been developing our student group ministry, which will encourage Christian students to live out their faith at school both by connecting with one another and a wider network of Government school Christian students.

Our ever-faithful SUPA Club teams at Mundaring and Singleton Primary Schools have continued to bring both truth and fun to the children in these schools over the last 12 months. The relationships that are growing are phenomenal, with over half the children attending being from non-Christian families.

In the coming months we will be relaunching our Christian Teachers Network – so keep your eye out for more info!

Laura Stone and Sally Howe

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News

Though the first years of youth ministry are often filled with great joy, learning and personal formation, they can also be overwhelming, discouraging and isolating. Journey aims to support and encourage emerging leaders through this new phase in a gospel-centred and prayer-saturated environment. The Journey Program does this by growing Leaders of Youth Ministries in WA churches, partnering them with a mentor over a 12-month period. During that time, they have the opportunity to focus on areas of youth ministry where they feel a particular need for growth.

2019 is our pilot year for the program and we currently have three young youth-ministry leaders involved. Each leader has identified key areas they would like to work on and a program specific to their ministry context has been developed. Over the course of the first six months of the program, an SU mentor has met with each leader every 2-3 weeks checking in on the ministry life of the leader, encouraging them, praying with them and following up on previous tasks and goals that had been set. The program continues to develop and improve, and the leaders involved have made steady and consistent growth, have been supported through challenges, and are learning to lead in fresh ways.

Caleb Simmons

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News

Camp Geo is a magnificent haven situated on the edge of Geographé Bay. School groups, Youth/Children, Young Adults, Families, Churches, Boards, Community groups and many others soak up the peaceful atmosphere and at times fill the quiet with the sounds of expressed excitement.

School terms feature a growing number of SU led school camps as well as individual schools using it for their own camps. Together these constitute the majority of term bookings. School holidays are reserved for existing and budding SU holiday camps, which cover 80% of availability.

The administration office is now operational and provides a natural welcome point for camp groups and enquirers alike. Toilets for those with disabilities have now been completed. These are situated to the front left of the main hall and are a welcome addition. Many volunteers and supporters helped to make these two additions possible as well as other maintenance and developments across the site.

Each year we hold a Thank You Dinner for those who have helped out at Camp Geo. This year was a success, with staff and volunteers expressing appreciation for the evening.

If you’re interested in using Camp Geo for a family, extended family, small group, young adult, leaders retreat, etc. please contact the campsite and speak with Dianne about the options.

Dianne Abbott

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