Some Highlights from the Inaugural Diaspora Area Gathering
5 May 2023
16th-20th April at the Upper Plenty Conference Centre, Melbourne
Amongst the rolling hills and gum trees, many from the Diaspora ministry in Oceania gathered at the Upper Plenty Conference Centre, just north of Melbourne from the 16th until the 20th of April. Travelling locally, interstate and internationally, they came together for the first time as an area to connect, encourage, enjoy, and pray with each other while being taught by Peter Roennfeldt on the theme of “Cultivating Movements‑Multiplying Disciples, Churches and Movements.”
As part of the Member Care and Development team at Pioneers of Australia, and in particular, the Member Carer for this Area, it was a wonderful opportunity to be present and available to care for my members by connecting with, listening and hearing how they are getting on, praying for, and talking through issues together. It was particularly significant for me as I have only recently joined the MDC team at Pioneers and for many, this was the first time ever that I was meeting them and for others the first time meeting face-to-face.
The main opportunities for connecting with my members were over mealtimes. I had organised a schedule to meet up with them, so over a cup of tea/coffee and or a meal, I sat down with them, and we shared together across the dining tables that filled the communal dining space. What a privilege and joy to be able to care, encourage and journey with these loving, humble, and faithful servants of the Lord as they share the gospel of Jesus with precious, displaced people groups within Australia.
Matthew Duncan | Member Care & Development Facilitator
As the Pioneers Australia Children and Families worker, I had the privilege of attending a recent gathering where we stayed and worked with families of the Disaspora ministries, serving mostly migrant and refugee groups in Australia. Phil & Jenny Malone facilitated a warm and valuable time of worship, connecting and equipping for all ages. Personally, I was able to serve families, parents and young ones by helping them connect with and process some of the harder aspects of missional work and the losses that come with serving God in this sacrificial way. I myself was encouraged and revived in faith and renewed in purpose for this role and it’s important place in serving the Lord in all He is doing around us. Glory to Him. Some of the highlights were working with whole families (little ones included) and helping parents talk through their concerns, as well as simply playing card games with some of the young people during break times. I am so grateful for the invitation and opportunity.
Analy Alfonso | Children & Families Worker
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