“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph 2:19–20).
Praise God for the Communion of Saints—the fellowship we have in the Lord Jesus Christ within True Life BPC, and between True Life and other churches locally and overseas.
I praise the Lord for a blessed time of fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ in Australia. This year, the Lord gave me the opportunity to visit Australia three times. The first was in March, for the Bible seminar and anniversary thanksgiving of the Brisbane and Vietnamese BPCs (Rev Hien Nguyen); the second in April for the church camp of Bethel BPC in Melbourne (Rev Paul Cheng), and this time, the third, for the 24th anniversary thanksgiving of Faith Presbyterian Church (FPC) whose pastor, the Rev Errol Stone, is a dear friend and fellow servant, and loyal alumnus of Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC). By divine appointment, I came at the right time to fill in the gap because Rev Stone had knee surgery that very Friday I arrived. He was to rest and I was to work. Thank God for Elder Maaik Noordzy who readily stood in for his pastor to do the necessary leg work during the time I was there. I appreciated very much the brethren’s hospitality and fellowship over the weekend.
On Saturday, I lectured on the End Times at the Aboriginal Bible Training Centre at Harrisdale. We thank the Lord for the Rev and Mrs Clive Hayden for their warm welcome and hospitality. We had about 20 who came to hear these four lectures: (1) The Signs of the Times, (2) The Great Tribulation, (3) The Second Coming, and (4) The Millennium. Two lectures were conducted in the morning and two in the afternoon with a lunch break in between. My book Charismatism Q&A was distributed freely, courtesy of True Life. Rev Stone said that those who attended the seminar expressed how blessed they were. Praise God!
At lunch, I was told not to miss the kangaroo dish, an aboriginal specialty. I have been to Australia many times, but this is my first time savouring kangaroo meat. What a treat! It was cooked with peanut sauce and tastes very good, like satay. Had a blessed time with Mr Len Noordzy (Maaik’s father) whose beloved wife Grietje was called home to the Lord in 2019. He shared how he and his wife enjoyed coming to our church camps. He now spends most of his time studying the Bible online.
On the Lord’s Day, 3 September 2023, FPC commemorated her 24th anniversary with a thanksgiving service at the church meeting hall in Daniella. Thank God that Rev Stone, though on crutches, was well enough to be in church with all the members and visitors for the service. It was a blessed time of worship and fellowship. I spoke from Zechariah 4:10 on “Despise Not the Small”. The Lord specialises in using the small, the weak, the lowly to do His great work of saving souls and extending His kingdom (1 Cor 1:26–29). Church growth is a horizontal and not a vertical movement (Matt 28:19–20). We are not to build a tower of Babel but to plant a mustard seed for the good of His people and the extension of His kingdom. Jesus said the kingdom of God “is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.” (Mark 4:31–32). FPC may be small, but she has been a blessing to many through the years. One example is FPC’s support of a new FEBC student from the Philippines. Their sacrificial support for the Lord’s work in missions is very encouraging. This is the mustard seed principle at work. If you are ever in Perth and looking for a church, you will find a warm welcome at FPC.
What a blessed time of Holy Communion when we kept the Lord’s Supper and ate together at lunch with delicious food lovingly prepared by church members. It was good to see Robyn—Rev Stone’s faithful and capable helpmeet—so active in the ministry. I praise the Lord for Elder Harold Watkins who is keeping strong in the Lord despite the homegoing of his beloved wife Georgina in December last year. It was also good to see Hahn Nguyen (Rev Hien’s daughter) at the service. She will be graduating from medical school this year. I was also glad to see True Lifers Richmond and Kezia (with their little ones Hezekiah and Adalia) who have been a blessing to the church there, serving in the choir and wherever there is a need. Rev Stone’s grandson Jayden is now a young man and mans the PA system in the church. He is about to graduate from university with a degree in cybersecurity. I encouraged him to study at FEBC for a semester or two. It was also good to get acquainted with Chris and Diana and other church members.
On Monday, Elder Noordzy and I went to visit Mrs Lois Macfarlane, a long-time FEBC online student. She is already an Octogenarian and still going strong in the study of God’s Word. She said the happiest years of her life were the four years she spent at the AEF Bible College under Rev Hayden (Principal) and Rev Stone her favourite lecturer. After she completed her studies there, Rev Stone encouraged her to sign up for FEBC’s online classes and to keep studying God’s Word. She thoroughly enjoyed the FEBC courses. I read Psalm 103 and prayed for her, and we sang “God will take of you…” before we left.
After that, Elder Noordzy and his wife Skye treated me to coffee at a beachside café. We talked about the many challenges we are and will be facing in this godless age, and spent a time of prayer together.
Elder Noordzy later brought me to see the local cemetery called Pinnaroo which was also a kangaroo park. It was beautifully landscaped with local flora and fauna. His beloved mother was buried there.
Tuesday was the day of my departure. I had breakfast with brother Ivan Toms who studied at FEBC in the 1990s. He is a New Zealander but has since relocated to Australia to help out in the work at FPC. After breakfast, we spent time with Rev Stone at his home.
Ivan was kind enough to show me his home as my final stop before sending me to the airport. At the airport, we enjoyed a Snapper and chips dinner before we said our goodbyes. What a joy it was to have this kind of a warm fellowship with fellow brethren of like mind and faith. I felt so blessed and thanked God for those precious few days I had with them. Till we meet again!
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