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News

Looking over the articles in this SU News fills me with genuine excitement and gratitude to God. In a year that has been deeply challenging for our world and for so many of us, SU ministry is flourishing. People want to be part of the Christian community that SU builds and through that, God is reaching young people. New ministries have been possible and with summer nearly upon us, we are blessed to be running our usual gospel-centred fun, community activities. This culminated when the desire of young people to go on our summer camps broke the internet (or at least our patch of it!) I hope that you are encouraged and excited too, at what God is doing in and through you and us.

Of course there are challenges too. Many people are still doing it tough from COVID, including among our church and SU family. Many of our churches are still feeling COVID impacts and our heart remains to work together with churches, strengthening each other and bringing the Kingdom of God across WA, but this isn’t easy. There is not yet any news on moving from Phase 4 COVID restrictions to Phase 5 and this would impact summer programs in November and January.

You, the volunteers, supporters and staff of our movement do so much, but we simply cannot meet the demand from families and schools for the programs and activities of SU. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few! I’m grateful to each one of you and the part you play in this ministry of making God’s good news of Jesus known and I invite you to share the stories of what God is doing with others and invite them to be a part of it too.

In Acts 16, Paul is prevented from going to some places and led to others by the Spirit of Jesus and it is my prayer, as we seek to share the love of Jesus, that we would do the same – in strategic decisions about ministries and in the programs we run this summer. May we be deeply shaped and led by the Spirit in our work.

The proposed Nationalisation of SU across Australia moves towards decision point. We have journeyed this together and I look forward to our AGM to continue exploring this for SU WA, as we move to a vote early in 2021.

My heart goes out to Jill Cass, wife of Alan Cass who died recently, after a long health battle. Alan was a long term SU camping volunteer and Council member and we are thankful to God for his contribution over the years.

In Galatians, Paul rejoices in life in Jesus – saved, made new and full of purpose and joy. This is my prayer for you; that a tough 2020 and ongoing challenges would not steal from you a knowledge of the joy of Jesus and the heart and excitement to share that, this summer and beyond.

Blessings, Kent Morgan

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News

LEAD Summer is almost here!! Last year we had over 40 young adults head to Busselton to learn more about how to live a life of faith and be Godly leaders to those around them. We asked one of our Interns, Cosi, to share a little about her experience of LEAD camps:

Why did you go on LEAD?
I went on LEAD because I believe that I should live more like Jesus and LEAD helped guide me in that direction.

What did you love about camp?
I love the love that everyone has for each other and Jesus. The community was rich from the get go. I’ve only found that sense of fellowship at a few places.

What if you haven’t led before or aren’t sure if you are cut out to be a leader?
You don’t have to be in a leadership role to attend. I wasn’t at the time, but I learnt skills and gained knowledge still applicable to my life.

Dates: 2nd-4th February @ Camp Geo, Busselton
Cost: $120

Head to our website to register!

by Heather Pitman

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Uncategorized
SU WA Summer Camps applications are reopening from Monday 26th October.

Camp application openings will be staggered progressively over three days. This will be on the following schedule:

9am Monday 26th: Glen Echo 3

12.30pm Monday 26th: SUPA Splash and Camp Odyssey

9am Tuesday 27th: Glen Echo 1

12.30pm Tuesday 27th: Sailing and Beach Camps

9am Wednesday 28th: Glen Echo 2

You will not be able to apply for a specific camp until after the time listed for it above. We will not be taking phone applications.


Please note

Due to venue capacity and COVID restrictions, camps have a limited capacity and this is different for each camp and for each gender combination on different camps. As a result, registering your child does not automatically mean they have a place on camp. We will acknowledge receipt of your application but you will receive a followup email confirming if you have a place or are on a waitlist and requiring full payment to reserve your position. We aim to send this to you in a week from application.

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News

Jesus had a marked influence on those around him. He spoke and lived a winning formula – unity with his father, close relationship with his inner circle and love for all people. His impact was transformational.

While our SU representatives (staff, volunteers, supporters, donor, helpers) don’t claim to be Jesus, we do aim to be witnesses through our programs. We do this by keeping close to God, having unity in our teams and loving our participants. This Jesus winning formula is evident in our programs, and the impact that SU has is life-giving, transformational and longlasting.

Here is what one parent shared in a recent letter to our CEO: “…what moved me to write was our experience with the performing arts camp. Our youngest attended that camp this year and [my wife] and I went to the performance on the Friday night. Our child has a variety of challenges that he needs to cope with, and mum was wondering how he was going to be when we connected with him on Friday night.

He was fantastic and was clearly having a ball. [We] left the night realising that we had seen something quite special. Here was a space that had been created for a group of very eclectic, creative young people, some of whom I have no doubt don’t necessarily fit easily into the more common social moulds, and they were flourishing in that environment. They were stepping out beyond their comfort zones, they were enjoying their leaders and each other and were getting a kick out of performing. Such a space of safety and inclusion does not happen by accident and I came away recognising that I could not do that but was profoundly grateful that [SU] and [their] team there do.

Our son had an absolute ball, and I have no doubt will want to be there next year.

Many will not understand all of the challenges of leadership, coordination, energy, prayer, thought, planning and general struggle that goes on behind the scenes to enable these camps to occur. From a Dad and a Mum who do, can we say that we are very grateful for the gift that SU provides to our kids and to so many other young people across WA.”

Over the last 18 months to 2 years SU WA has embarked on a project, to gather as much feedback as we can to measure the impact our programs and ministries are having. While we do want to grow in numbers, we also want to grow in quality, influence and impact, while also getting better at journeying with people outside of our programs. We know extraordinary things happen in our SU ministries and this project provides evidence that we are on the right path. Through our ministries people come to know who Jesus is and more about him, grow in their faith, feel loved and cared for and become connected with a church or faith community all while having fun.

by Joyce Arnott

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News

In the last 12 months, real challenges and incredibly lifechanging moments were experienced in the lives of young people on Holiday Camps. Summer Camps had such an influx of registrations that many camps were full within 45 minutes of registrations opening! There was a large number of campers who reported a greater understanding of Christianity ‘being a relationship and not just a religion’ as a result of attending camp. Summer Beach Camp campers were led on an apologetics journey through Galatians, which resulted in one teenager walking up to the speaker and asking how he can give his life to the Lord, which he did so in that moment. Another girl expressed her surprise that Christianity was not just about following rules, but that Christ shows us grace and loves us. Another camper on our Winter ‘Camp vs Wild’ camp said, “I learnt more about The Holy Spirit. It was more about reconnecting with God than learning”.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, camps continued in an online setting with a high focus on small-group breakout rooms. One girl on our Online CHIC program has been connecting with her camp leader on an ongoing basis over Zoom and is being mentored in how to lead a small group of her own. In addition to the written feedback from returned campers who expressed a desire to “start going to church” or “tell my friends about Jesus”, one of our primary aged SUPA Splash campers, on a visit to the dentist during camp, couldn’t stop talking to the dentist about all the things he’d learnt about Jesus over the previous few days.

Even through all the trials of 2020, there is a steady and constant buzz of excitement for learning more about God and connecting with him on a more regular basis.

by Bea Wickham

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News

Camp Geographe has been in the hands of SUWA for 51 years. 20 years ago, it was staffed for only 10 hours a week; these days we run on 44 staff hours each week, plus up to 50 catering hours when required.

The site was formerly used just for Summer Camps, plus a few family and church groups. It is such a blessing to report that we are now full of SU holiday camps every school holiday period. We have 4-8 school camps run by SU during the summer terms as well as many other ministry groups using the site. Over this past year, we had 116 bookings (representing 2942 people). Of these, 29 were SU programs, 47 non-SU programs, and 40 individual bookings. We love welcoming SU volunteers when we aren’t hosting ministry groups, and they generally enjoy a wonderful rest. We were also able to help out a family in need of accommodation during COVID-19. God uses Camp Geographe to minister to people in unexpected ways.

“Thank you so very much for your kindness and generosity while we stayed here… it was such a blessing to our family.”

“We had a wonderful stay. So relaxed and pleasant. The campsite is beautifully maintained and very functional. Thank you so much for your warm hospitality.”

SUWA staff in the SW are enjoying the new energy and teamwork that this regional hub provides. Please be in prayer for Camp Geographe as we look at new ways of managing the facility and making the best use of the staff hours available.

by Dianne Abbott

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News

‘At the beginning of camp, we received a phone call from a parent saying that her child was begging them to turn the car around. Before they arrived at the car park, we prayed for the camper and that God would help us to get him onto camp and that the devil would not have a foothold. When the camper arrived John and I met with him where we found him in a huddled-up position in between the back and front car seats. After 20 minutes of chatting to the camper we managed to 1) Get him to sit up, 2) Get him out of the car and 3) Get him onto the bus. Over the course of the ride, he opened up and began to chat to me about himself, and over the camp he really got involved and stayed engaged. It was so awesome to see God at work in his heart!’ Chloe (School Camping Fieldworker)

This speaks to God’s power at work through SU’s School Camps and the value these camps hold for schools and families. Our partnerships with schools have continued to strengthen over the last year. Despite COVID-19 and program cancellations we facilitated 14 school camps, reaching approximately 600 children and other young people with the Gospel. We praise God daily for the outpouring of opportunities to speak into and impact young lives. God is so big and good and faithful. And we thank you so very much for your continued encouragement, prayer, financial giving, and your serving on camp alongside us.

Please pray for sustainable and effective ministry, and that God would continue to bring volunteers into the ministry who love and fear the Lord.

by Mike Bezant

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News

In the latter half of 2019, we had some schools reach out to us to enquire about our Mentoring ministry, and our Chic and Blokes programs, on top of the already running SUPA Clubs. In 2020 we had some mentoring programs start up, and we were also training facilitators for Chic and Blokes when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Term two saw all of our school programs put on hold due to restrictions around visitors in schools. Although we were disheartened that our teams were not able to connect with the students, we were encouraged to know that schools really value our volunteers and the relationships they are building with the students.

The following email was received from Mentoring Team Leader Jeannie, Carey Baptist College, Forrestdale: ‘I have received a plea from Carey Baptist College Forrestdale concerning recommencing mentoring. All mentees have returned to school, and they have been asking after their mentors. The Principal is eager for the Mentoring Team to return as part of the wider College Team as soon as possible.’

Knowing that students will be in extra need of nurturing after the uncertainties of the past few months, more schools have been enquiring with us about what SU can offer their students once restrictions are lifted. We have since been able to develop an online SUPA club as well as a new in-school weekly club program which will incorporate elements of our camping ministry. We are excited to see how the students will respond to this new program and how God will be at work in their lives. Thank you for your continued support through prayer, encouraging words and financial giving. Because of you, we are able to continue being there for young people and saying yes to new ministry opportunities.

by Mel Hallsworth

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News

In late 2019 we piloted REEL Change in select schools which provided valuable feedback for rolling out the program more fully in 2020. Armed with 6 new videos, Reel Change started 2020 with some positive enquiries from schools, including Kennedy Baptist College. Although we were only able to visit Kennedy Baptist College twice before restrictions kicked in, it has been a time of renewing faith – even though we might be restricted in what we do, God never is. Our biggest challenge has been to avoid the assumption that students have a Christian Faith because they attend a Christian school. Breaking through to the students on a spiritual level is a journey that we trust God has started and will complete.

‘Be encouraged that God is at work! We are privileged that we’re the first school where you’re presenting REEL. I hope SU can do this many more times at many different schools!’ Liezl, Christian Ed Coordinator, Kennedy Baptist College.

With COVID disruptions, schools have had to readjust their program plans for the remainder of the year. During the downtime we have been able to train further volunteers that will be ready to attend schools at short notice when permissible. We trust and pray that many more students will have and take the opportunity to experience meeting Jesus through the testimonies shared in the REEL videos. Thank you for your ongoing prayers for the hearts of the students and the relationships they are building with our volunteers and our Heavenly Father.

by Mel Hallsworth

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News

We kicked off 2020 with our 8 Summer Missions teams, bringing around 340 enthusiastic volunteers and their families together in mission to share the gospel with over a thousand holiday-makers. Team Leaders reported a really great response and we continue to pray that the seeds planted at this time will bring forth a harvest in God’s appointed time. We continue to plan new missions in Mandurah and Kalbarri in the future.

Our Boost Youth Discipleship program did not receive sufficient new numbers to reconvene in 2020. Out of the core planning group has come a brand-new initiative – a Worldview Academy Camp to be held in January next year. Broad support from churches and other Christian ministries around WA should see our inaugural camp commence well as we spend a few days building a strong biblical foundation into the hearts and minds of the teenagers attending. We would love to extend an invitation to all of our supporters and their families to join with us in this new work. For parents and young people, we would love them to consider volunteering to provide leadership and counsel. For teenagers we would love them to take a little of their school holiday time to build a strong foundation in apologetics and learn how to actively live their faith in high school and beyond.

by Paul Edwards

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