“I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:1-2).
As King David pens this psalm, he both remembers the steadfast love of the Lord in the history of his people, and prophetically looks forward to the coming of the Lord Jesus who inaugurates the promised Kingdom as the Christ, who is Lord of all. So it is fitting that a song based on these words was sung in Urdu by the Moore College Mission team who visited Liverpool South Anglican Church’s Pakistani congregation.
This year’s Moore College Mission was, thankfully, able to take place face-to-face in partnership with churches, a refreshing contrast to the circumstances of our hurriedly ‘re-imagined’ online mission of 2020 which took place in lockdown in the early throes of the pandemic. Mission has always been part of the makeup of Moore College, as it provides students with different models of the theory and practice of mission, in a variety of contexts. Not only are theological students invigorated by preaching the unchanging gospel of our crucified Christ, they are also able to see first-hand an expression of the real partnership that the College has with churches and ministries across the globe. This year, groups went to Armidale, Maitland, Naremburn-Cammeray, Emu Plains, South Sydney, Asquith, Normanhurst, Oatley, Peakhurst, Liverpool South, St Andrew’s Cathedral School, and churches planted through Evangelism and New Churches (ENC).
Mission 2021 did not disappoint. Students learnt models of ministry, met people from various socio-cultural backgrounds, helpfully questioned and gleaned wisdom from experienced gospel workers at various life stages, and proclaimed the gospel to young and old, familiar faces and new friends, in churches, schools, shopping malls and many other places where they had opportunity. Story after story came pouring through student mission blogs. It caused the entire Moore College community to thank God for the opportunity to partake in his grand purposes, and it fuelled our prayers that the work of mission might continue until our Lord returns.
While there are too many stories to do all of them justice, here are a few…
Some of the students at Normanhurst were encouraged by a woman at the shopping mall who attends St Andrew’s Cathedral and loves to hand out scanned copies of handwritten Bible verse postcards and shares amazing stories of God’s faithfulness with everyone she meets.
The team at St Andrew’s Cathedral School spoke to 120 Year 7 students about the Roman centurion who discovered Jesus’ innocence, with a Moore student sharing his own story about finding the truth in the gospel when he was in Year 7.
Women at Emu Plains Anglican Church invited their friends to a ‘chocolate and chat’ night where one of the female students on the team shared a powerful and vulnerable story which led to many conversations all through the night.
The Kindergarten kids at Peakhurst Public School were captured by the re-enactment of the story of Jesus and Barabbas, at the Easter Assembly. As a team member said: “Pilate asked them, ‘Which one do you want me to set free, Barabbas or Jesus?’”, the students yelled out, “Jesus! He’s done nothing wrong!” And when the Kindy students heard that the crowds called for Barabbas to be set free, not Jesus, they cried out: “No!”
In Asquith, fifty men gathered into a tin shed with machines, meat and ice cream. What ensued was a beautiful gospel opportunity. Local church members gathered with thirty men who were invited along, and they report that they bonded over how machines turned big bits of wood into smaller bits of wood. A student gave a talk about how Jesus gives us food that is truly satisfying.
Thanks be to God that this year’s Moore College mission was a success as faculty, chaplains and students partnered with local churches and ministries to learn and grow and proclaim our Lord crucified and resurrected.
You can see the students in training, as well as find out what they got up to, and how God has been at work through his word and by his Spirit as the mission teams spent the week in their various locations: https://moore.edu.au/tag/moore-mission-2021/.
As students reflect after mission, and pray for the churches and people they interacted with, we pray that students will have their horizons widened to the vast possibilities of Christian ministry all over the world. And as we pray for the College, please also consider partnering with us by hosting a mission in the coming years.
We wish for Moore College to be your College, and to learn from your ministry and context as we partner with you in God’s great mission of reconciling all things to Jesus through the peace achieved by the cross (Colossians 1:19-20). If your church or organisation is interested in hosting a Moore College Mission team in future, you can find out more here.