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Feature Story, News, What's Up
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
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News
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
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News
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
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News
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
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News
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/
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News, What's Up
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”
Suzie

“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”
John
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News
The next wave of Christian leaders here in WA are transitioning as we speak, from being youth group kids and campers to ministers and disciple-makers in their own right. But what kind of leaders will they be? Over the past year, we have been asking ourselves some key questions.

Are we committed to producing Christian leaders?

As Christians, and as leaders on SU programs, in our churches, and in life, we’re destined to hand over the reins to the next generation, and in fact this should be our goal as makers of disciples. Our successors will be younger, less experienced and vastly different to ourselves, but we must commit to doing all we can, as a matter of priority, to ensure these emerging Christian leaders are prepared for the task at hand – to win souls to Christ!

Imagine what it would look like here in WA if every Christian leader with a life worth emulating committed themselves to the worthy task of replicating themselves in the next generation?

How are we creating Christian leaders?

It’s easy to measure or test a person’s competence – their skills, experience and qualifications. Additionally, competence is elevated above character in today’s society, for instance the process of hiring an employee based on a resume and brief interview. Testing someone’s character is far more difficult, time-consuming and is just plain awkward. It involves doing life with them, observing how they navigate challenges, and witnessing the presence of God in their lives.

Here at SU we have tended to lean heavily on equipping and training leaders to be competent. We require particular training to be completed and encourage young leaders to gain relevant qualifications. A key consideration when appointing a Team Leader is their capacity to fulfill their job description. Whilst competency is a key aspect of leadership, we have in some ways neglected the more important matters of the heart.

What will these leaders, and the church, look like?

When faced with life’s challenges – in times of stress, when temptation rears its ugly head, when experiencing grief and loss – will the future leaders of the church be left wanting? We’ve all heard the shocking stories of prominent church leaders, both local and international, failing the tests of life with devastating consequences. When character and integrity are lacking, all the skills in the world won’t help.

Will the church grow as the world is attracted to powerfully transformed, loving, holy individuals? Or will the effectiveness of the church be stifled by qualified leaders who draw the world in for a closer look at their shortcomings and character flaws?

What is SU WA doing about this?

Despite it being more time and labour-intensive, we believe that building character and integrity in our emerging young leaders is a priority. Just as David was, we want our future Christian leaders to be women and men after God’s own heart.

SU WA has always been known for developing young leaders in their faith and equipping them with skills for ministry. State Director Kent acknowledges the significant role SU played in his own leadership development, “I owe so much of my knowledge about small groups, planning, action and reflection and sharing my faith, to the training and experience I got as a young adult with SU”. We believe there is something about SU ministry that complements the local church beautifully, and with our renewed emphasis on the heart, we believe our leadership development opportunities – combined with the experience gained through being involved in our programs – provide a substantial and significant ‘injection’ to the formation of a young person’s character and competence. Character and integrity are tested and strengthened when young people spend day after day loving and serving together. In this environment, there is nowhere to hide.

It has been great to hear church Pastors begin to testify to this: “Our whole youth leadership team went on LEAD Summer and Winter and it has profoundly impacted them personally in their walk with Jesus and ministry with young people, but it has also transformed our youth ministry with purpose and skills.”

El Holmes
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News
“I love that as my daughter explores faith for herself, she has amazing Christian women around her, mentoring her and inputting into her, through her involvement with SU camps.”

“When my children go on an SU camp, there is a noticeable step up in their faith.”

“I learnt that Jesus wants to be my Captain and I want him to be.”

God has encountered people through us this year! Your time, talents, support, donations, prayer and involvement have resulted in these testimonies of changed lives. Young people are meeting Jesus and following Him and are growing in reading the Bible and in leadership through us. Thank you for being involved with SU.

We have been focused this year on building ministry partnerships with churches, to strengthen their witness, discipleship and leadership among young people. It has been a joy this past year to hear from Pastors who have seen this benefit their church.

As Australia changes, we also want to strengthen our focus on taking the gospel to young Western Australians where they are. To do this, we are seeking to rebuild arts and schools ministry. Camping and holiday missions are strong, but we want to find new ways of sharing the good news with children, young people and their families.

God resources His work and I praise Him for his faithfulness this year, that has seen the movement stabilise. We continue to face ongoing resourcing challenges and need to build income to enable this life changing ministry into the future. The need to change tax deductibility for donations poses new challenges for us, but I love that Christian people fund this mission and together change lives. We hope to develop new ministry and income sources too, to build sustainability.

The staff team has been stable and strong and I thank God for their servant hearts and passionate support of the movement and mission.

It is a challenging and exciting time to do Christian ministry. I look forward to God leading us with creativity. The SU movement has so many opportunities to impact the lives of young people. I pray that He enables the new things that He wants for SU and I believe that we are being called to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” and look to God to do His work. Thank you for being part of the team and for the privilege of leading you.

Blessings,

Kent Morgan
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News
It’s been another great and whirlwind year at SUWA.

You’ll read about yet another year in a long stream of years where God has used SU to draw people to himself, out of dark situations into light. Doing this all in the unique SU way. Our staff team and many volunteers are amazing. Thank you all.

Again God has blessed us financially this past year, through the very generous donations of you our supporters. We are not without our financial challenges for the coming year but are trusting and praying for God to bless us with what we need.

At a Cabinet level this year Kent has done a great job of keeping us on track, and we are making the most out of the talents God has given us.

Recent collaboration at a national level has seen possibilities for greater collaboration between state movements. What began, for me, as an introduction to other interstate chairs and directors at SU’s Australia conference three years ago, has turned into a series of workshops looking at what a more unified SU in Australia would look like.

Honestly, I have been so impressed by the level of commitment (everyone turns up, every time!) and earnest cooperation in these meetings. I have met some amazing people, have formed new friendships and believe God is speaking to us as a movement regarding possibilities to work more closely together.

As part of this, I have accepted a nomination to be part of a national governance group which will oversee the development of a potential new governance arrangement for SU in Australia. I’m cautiously excited about this, and ask that you would join me in praying. To facilitate this, Philippa Boldy has been seconded into the chair role in the interim. Thanks Phil, for stepping into that role.

Thank you all for what you do for SU. Let’s continue to seek God together.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 NIV

Dave Stephens
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