Your Questions Answered! – by Tiew Tuan and Rose
An Australian Navigators Interview, first published in Compass Winter edition 2020
Tiew Tuan and Rose Lau are Perth labourers who consider their office and neighbourhood as their mission fields. We interviewed them to find out how they create community in their local area in order to bring Gospel conversations into their daily interactions.
How do you intentionally engage with people around you?
Rose: Tiew Tuan has lunch with his colleagues during lunch hour. I take the initiative to approach [people in my neighbourhood] and spend time with them. When a young Indian family moved right next to us, I baked an apple pie and brought it over to welcome them. There is also a lady a few doors away. She is a chef. We visit each other often, with our conversation centred around food.
How do you bring the Gospel into these interactions, and how do you create a community among the Christians and pre-believers?
Tiew Tuan: In my office lunch group, there are some Christians as well as pre-believers. An Indonesian colleague, Rudy, asked a lot of questions about God. So I invited him to do a Bible Study with 2 other colleagues. Rudy accepted Christ and has since been inviting other colleagues to do the (EBS) study. We have now been through 3 rounds of EBS during our lunch hour with different people!
Rose: With a passion for parents with young children, I have a Mothers’ Group that supports young mothers and we learn about parenting using Christian books. There are both Christians and pre-believers in the group. I invite the pre-believers to do EBS separately outside the Mothers’ Group.
Apart from these, we also have potluck dinners, go on holidays or camping with their families. We try to integrate our groups together.
How Do You… ?
With Dan Pass, first published in Compass, Autumn 2020
Q&A with Dan & Beth Pass
From Gingerbread House-making to Ping-Pong-athon … we get the insight on howDan and Beth Pass “do” their engaging and interacting with both Christians and pre-believers, living out their Christian identity within their community. Here’s the conversation.
Compass: Tell us about your mission field or sphere of influence.
Dan: Beth and I live in a cul-de-sac so it is neighbourhood relationships mostly, and then work relationships – staff rooms at school. Beth has been able tohave many faith chats in her work place, which is highly multicultural and so conversations happen naturally.
Our sphere of influence includes our cul-de-sac street and school staffrooms.
C: How do you engage with your community, with both believers and pre-believers?
D: We have hosted a number of parties (house-warming, Christmas, a Ping-Pong-athon!), which have led to the beginning of some great friendships. We seek to include our Christian friends as well as non-Christian friends when we host events, or invite them to events hosted by our church. We also try to attend their events when we can, showing a genuine interest in their lives.
We are continually trying to improve on creating this community; organising bushwalks, outdoor activities, sports. Our friends who are Christians are great at initiating conversations and get to share aspects of their lives and often their faith or the fact that they follow Jesus. The challenge is the clashing schedules of busy people, and finding things which both groups would be keen on (“Spikeball” … movies.)
C: Do you have some examples of bringing in Gospel conversations in your interactions?
D: We always seek to listen well to what they say and earn the right to speak. When we do speak, we feel spiritual conversations come up naturally as we explain how we spend our weekend or what we are passionate about or mention a friend from church who works in a similar field.
We have had the privilege of seeing one family come back to church and for the parents to get baptised. Since then, we have been able to do weekly meals and Bible study with the whole family, a great answer to prayer. We have also attended the “Mark Drama” with a mother and son from our street. They are not Christians yet but we continually seek to include them in our lives – through Gingerbread House nights, Christmas parties, handball competitions and so on.