Each year after their annual meeting in Sydney the Presbyterian Inland Mission host a public event during which they update supporters about developments in the ministry.
Superintendent Stuart Bonnington gave an opening address in which he outlined plans to:
Consolidate and grow the two congregations in the Northern Territory; Darwin has been established for seven years and Alice Springs for seven months.
Bring to fruition the desire for placement in the Darling Patrol in regional New South Wales as a priority.
Continue to move toward Padres a team support model for financial support.
Staff a placement in the Mid West Patrol of Western Australia.
Install Colin and Alison Morrow into the Mungo Patrol of lower regional NSW and Mildura.
Locate a pastor to serve the church and patrol located in the Mount Isa region of north-western Queensland.
Supply funding for a manse in Meekatharra in the North West Patrol (Pilbara region) of WA in cooperation with APWM if suitable workers are able to carry out work among indigenous peoples.
Revive patrol work in Tasmania.
Develop a patrol area around Bombala (south-east NSW).
Many harvest fields. Prayer for the workers.
Kevin Murray (Australian Presbyterian World Mission Director) introduced a short video featuring Surendra and May’an Wesley who it is intended are coming to Mount Magnet WA in a partnership between PIM and APWM to carry out Patrol and Indigenous work. Pray for the process by which Surendra will be able to live and work in Australia.
Rob Duncanson, PIM Convener read from Isaiah 35 and spoke of its themes of life in arid places; awareness of God’s glory; and an experience of God’s saving grace that leads to rejoicing and testimony.
He introduced David and Gae McDonald from the John Flynn Patrol in South Australia.
David and Gae spoke of bringing the fellowship of the Christian Church to remote people.
It’s a ministry which begins at gates and fence lines, but flourishes inside at the kitchen table over a cuppa. Time and willingness to listen are imperatives.
They meet Christians, and others who don’t know Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
Both of them are passionate sharers of the Gospel. There are opportunities to share at Beltana and Leigh Creek. A young man accepted Christ as Saviour at Leigh Creek and further opportunities for witness have arisen from that.
The new vehicle and camper has transformed the work. They return home from Patrol more refreshed and less worn out than previously than with their previous camper. The new unit can carry more water, fuel and Bibles and resources.
Patrols are for three weeks a month, with one week home.
Rob Duncanson introduced a new logo and unified branding for the ministry which will be seen on all PIM related materials in production from this point.
Finally, Stuart Bonnington returned to provide brief updates on the PIM Churches.
Beltana: no regular services, but opportunities for community gatherings.
Mount Magnet: regular meetings
Meekathara: no services as yet, the building was secured when Mount Magnet was purchased and awaits a worker. The cooperative purchase of a residence by PIM and APWM should support this.
Albany: A PIM church which has become part of the West Australian Presbytery and is continuing to grow.
Darwin: Two congregations seven years. Around 350 people have entered and left through transfer. Still waiting for stability (thought that may not eventuate given the surrounding culture), but present life continues fruitfully.
Alice Springs: turnover issues as well. Keith and Jenny Bell have settled in well.
A wonderfully encouraging and informative evening.