Thursday, 22 November 2018
There is an old saying which says, "Endings are for gratitude, beginnings are for faith". As Omar Djoeandy's chapter as SIM Australia National Director comes to an end after fifteen years, we give thanks to God for how He has grown SIM's ministry over this time. While there has been general growth across the board - we especially praise God for how He has blessed SIM's ministry in South Australia.
When Omar was appointed as National Director in 2004, SIM had no State Representative in South Australia and only three Members (Ross Britton and Steve & Terry Early). There was widespread discouragement and a sense that the state was going through a global mission drought.
In 2006, the SIM Australia Board adopted a new strategy to decentralise. Omar then appointed four new State Directors and Geoff Colton began serving as South Australia's first State Director. A couple of months later, Alan Millhouse joined SIM as an intern. Mission enquirers then began to trickle in, including a woman named Cheryl Day.
In 2008, Geoff handed over his role as State Director to Alan. By God's grace, He brought an end to SIM's Member drought in South Australia. Cheryl Day went from an Applicant to arriving in the field in Ethiopia in 2009 - the first Member (excluding Home Staff) from South Australia for over 10 years! Cheryl was followed by several others including the Steere, Smith and Chew families. Praise God that today South Australia has 3 Appointees and 14 Members serving as Christ's witnesses around the world!
SIM's Home Ministry Team in Adelaide has also grown. In addition to Alan who serves as Regional Ministry Director, the state team is comprised of Steve Early (Naational Ministry Director), Ross Britton (Projects Coordinator) and in more recent times, Jeni Ward (Mission Mobiliser). Alan has developed an intern program which has seen three participants gain hands-on mission experience in Adelaide and overseas. Another new initiative has seen SIM facilitate two workers located in Adelaide to reach out to ethnic and religious minority groups.
The growth of SIM's ministry in South Australia during Omar's time as National Director is certainly a reason for gratitude and thanksgiving. Through this time, SIM Australia has learnt the importance of having long-term ministry presence and perspetive. SIM also learnt how to be responsive to what God is doing in our times, and support this with organisational flexibility when embracing new initiatives. It is also crucual to recognise that while some planted and others watered, it is the Lord who makes things grow. He is the one who provides, sustains, raises up labourers for the Harvest field and therefore He is the one worthy of all praise and glory.
- Give thanks for Omar's fifteen years of serving as National Director and for how the Lord has grown SIM's ministry over this time.
- Give thanks for Regional Ministry Director, Alan Millhouse, and the team in South Australia. Pray that God would raise up the necessary people and resources which are essential to grow the ministry of SIM in SA, as well as neighbouring states NT and WA.
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