Jordan got baptised!
By Andrew Oldfield, Canberra Labouring Community.
One of the highlights of this year’s ministry at ADFA was seeing one of the cadets, Jordan, get baptised. I’d met Jordan for the first time at the start of the year as I started with Navigators at ADFA. Before this he had met with Thomas, another staff worker, in 2021 when COVID had often made it impossible to meet in person.
Andrew (left) has come alongside Jordan at ADFA, and was there to support Jordan at his baptism.
Jordan had had a dramatic conversion experience after seeing his dad healed from a life threatening situation four years earlier. Before ADFA, he’d been involved in a school Bible study in Year 11 and 12, as well as attending a local Church. He hadn’t been able to get settled into a Canberra Church during COVID, but is a real sponge, enthusiastic and motivated to learn about his faith. When we met, as well as discussing weekly goings on in his life, we worked through the Navigators 2:7 study book; Growing Strong in God’s Family: Rooted and Built Up in Him. This was a helpful resource as it covers some of the basics of the faith, and the Navigators approach to discipleship and growing with God. As we met together it became apparent that Jordan’s background had meant that many of the things we talked about were unfamiliar to him.
During Study 5 in the book, we discussed our assurance of salvation (1 John 5:11-12). Jordan sheepishly said that he was embarrassed to say that he hadn’t been baptised. It seemed like no one at his church or school Bible study had got to know him enough to cover what baptism meant in any of their talks. This had left him too embarrassed to bring it up, as well as worried that he’d left it too late after becoming a Christian. I was able to reassure him, talk about what baptism meant, and said I’d help him through the process of getting baptised. By God’s providence, the church which Jordan had started attending was having a baptism information night that week. The baptism service was held the next month, and Jordan was happily baptised.
Praise God for the growth in faith in Jordan’s life and the way Navigators was able to help him take this step in his faith. I think this episode is a great illustration of the value of the Navigators ministry model. It takes time to get to know people, and to understand where they’re at and what their needs are. It’s a privilege to come alongside cadets like Jordan at ADFA, to be with him at his baptism and continue to support him next year at RMC. And I’m thankful for all of those who support me, enabling me to do this.
God Behind the Scenes
By Luke Midena, Canberra Labouring Community
Connecting with people during COVID-19 restrictions can be a challenge, but I wanted to share with you a story about Ethan, who I meet with online.
Ethan and I started meeting a few years ago, about the time he finished high school. Although he came from a strong Christian family, he wasn’t convinced about Jesus. Nor was he into ‘self-help’ strategies to improve his life.
Fast-forward a few years and Ethan is literally ‘a new creation’ – everything from his attitudes, priorities, passions, and whole life direction have been turned upside down. In a very short time, he’s gone from unbeliever to now training to be a missionary pilot with a Christian aviation organisation!
I genuinely wonder, how on earth did this happen?
- Was it the conversations we had on every imaginable topic while walking up hills or playing pool at the Irish club?
- Was it the time we spent reading and discussing the gospel of Matthew?
- Was it that he connected with a church and recognised the genuine goodness in the people as evidence of God’s influence?
- Maybe it was the many people who have prayed for Ethan over the years and the spiritual seeds planted in his life?
Even though I was in the vicinity of Ethan when this change occurred, I didn’t see it. The evidence of Ethan’s new life is obvious, but I couldn’t begin to explain how God did it.
It’s just like Jesus said:
‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come’ (Mk. 4:26-29).
Isn’t it both wonderful, and also a little bit frustrating? Watching God bring someone from spiritual death to life is nothing short of breathtaking, but since I can’t even begin to know how he does it, I can’t bottle or control it. Everyone can see that Ethan was changed by God’s power, but that power remains mysterious and beyond our grasp.
‘The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit’ (Jn. 3:8).
Even in a world distracted by many other things, God continues his unnoticed work of adopting children into his family!
Ethan and I have been meeting online while he completes pilot training.
- that Ethan’s experience would be mirrored by many people in his life through his work as a missionary pilot.
- for the Canberra university ministries (ADFA and ANU) as they work hard at connecting with new students. (Social restrictions have made recruiting challenging over the last 2 years).
- that God would continue to use our campus ministries to train and develop labourers for his kingdom.
Thanks again for your investment in guys like Ethan, through your prayer and giving.
The Gospel at Work
By Adrian Cassar, first published in Compass, Summer 2020
Gospel in Me
I didn’t grow up going to church but after uni, pondered the big question – why am I here? Over the next year, God put several people in my path that led me to the Bible and to giving my life to Christ in February of 1998. (more…)
What is the cost of discipleship?
Robin Dennis has been a Christian for 46 years and a Navigator for just as long! In his own words, discipleship is the most exciting journey as well as the saddest. Compass caught up with Robin to ask why living life alongside people is a labour of love that’s truly worth it.
What has discipleship cost you?
I suppose it depends on what you mean by “cost”. There’s outlay of “money” for meals, and “time” spent with people. But I count those as investments. Relationships are so important.
“Labour”, sometimes I get tired but then I look at why I’m involved and remember Isaiah 41:10. And when I think of the “trouble” I go through with someone only to see rejection, I remember the Holy Spirit is in charge.
Yes, I’ve counted some “costs”. But cost is also “sacrifice”. And Jesus gave His all as a sacrifice. In this light, there is no cost to me.
What has been the greatest reward of labouring alongside people?
Seeing people come to an understanding of Jesus Christ and the miracle of their new birth through God’s mercy, and allowing me to be part of that. Then seeing that person start another generation, and that generation start another generation. I’m always amazed that God has used me when all I deserve is death because of my sin before a Holy God.
Robin has been used by God to lead literally hundreds of people to faith in those 46 years and he continues to actively share the gospel and disciple others. – Ed.