The Heart of Australia

Wednesday 27 May

Scott Pilgrim gives an update on Global Interaction's ministry in Outback Australia. 

It was great to connect this week with Mat and Shannon, who serve with Global Interaction in Outback Australia. It was very encouraging to hear some of their story and call to service as well as be updated on the challenges, yet opportunities they see in the heart of our nation.
 
As we serve across the globe, it’s good to remind ourselves of our continuing work in the Northern Territory, in partnership with the Baptist Union of Northern Territory and Australian Baptist Ministries.
 
As we share the hope of Jesus in culturally appropriate ways in Outback Australia, support faith communities and mentor leaders, we as an organisation also remain passionately committed to reconciliation and the need to continue to address indigenous disadvantage. We all have a role to play here!
 
Growing up on opposite sides of the globe God was uniquely working in Shannon and Mat’s lives from early ages. Raised by a Christian single Mum and part of the Alice Springs Baptist Church, Mat learned two important things, the message of the Gospel and a love for First Australian people.

Meanwhile, in the USA, Shannon was raised in a Christian family and introduced to Jesus at home and church. As a young teenager God placed in her a love for people of the world and a desire to live and work cross-culturally.

In 2010 after several short-term mission trips and finishing Bible College, Shannon moved to Alice Springs and started an internship at the Baptist Church. As she got to know Mat, God’s call on their lives became even clearer.

Fast forward to 2020 and Mat and Shannon and their four young children are in their first term of service with Global Interaction, living in Yuendumu, one of the largest Indigenous communities in central Australia, approximately 350 kms north west of Alice Springs. Mat and Shannon are focused on learning the Warlpiri language and culture as well as building relationships with the local people. They see many opportunities for discipleship, assisting church leaders in contextualised theological reflection and supporting a community that faces many social challenges.
 
Please join me in praying for this family on mission, for our Outback Australia Team Leader Viv Grice and the Baptist Churches of the Northern Territory.
 
You could also pray for the opportunity to recruit, equip and support additional cross-cultural workers who will live in both northern and southern communities, acting as trainers, coaches, and mentors of indigenous leaders and believers. This is a need identified both by indigenous leaders and our existing Outback Australian team.
 
There are many need and challenges in the desert, but chat with Mat and Shannon and you also hear stories of hope and opportunity. And as an organisation that has always valued going the distance, we look forward to seeing what God has ahead for his people in Central Australia.
 
Just recently one man in Yuendumu shared his story with Mat. He grew up with Christian parents, but he told the story of how his life was impacted by addiction and violence. He has lived through much community unrest and bitter violent community conflict. He has suffered much trauma, but he desires change in life and for his community. He yearns for hope, he was keen to explore the difference Jesus could bring to his life.
 
Let’s be praying for this young man and all his story represents – challenge, opportunity and hope! We can all play a part in supporting what God is doing in the NT.

Serving Jesus Together
Scott Pilgrim

P.S. Let’s also be upholding our B people this week, already struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and now coming to grips with the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan.
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