May-August 2008 Missionary Report from Albany, Western Australia - Ron Bainbridge

Loving greetings to all of our dear valued brothers and sisters in Christ across Australia and other places in this wonderful world, who so willingly partner with Moya & myself through your prayers and other practical ways as we reach out to men and women here in rural Australia with the Gospel message. We are so thankful and humbled by the incredible generosity and support we continue to receive from each of you.

We realize that it has been a long time since you have heard from us, but there are many good reasons for this. Moya & I have only recently returned from a 3-month, 11,500 kilometre missionary journey across Australia. Since our return, we have been catching up on a multitude of correspondence in regard to responses received from our newspaper articles, website and radio programs. There have also been new articles to write for my regular weekly newspaper column which appears in numerous newspapers, along with other important matters that were waiting to be attended to. We know you will understand.

While we were away, Moya & I were privileged to meet with some of the 3,000 people who have made contact with the South Coast Church in Albany, Western Australia, (during the past 18-years), through our Discovering A BETTER LIFE MINISTRIES Outreach www.discoveringabetterlife.org.au It was indeed a joy for us to put faces on previously faceless people in remote rural areas who had been communicating with us via email, snail mail, fax, and telephone.. We were also privileged to encourage others we met along the way to develop a more meaningful relationship with our Lord.

As we journeyed across Australia, we were overjoyed to visit with family, friends and brethren whom we had not seen for many years, as well as meeting many brethren we had not previously met before. In all, it was a very rich experience for Moya & myself. We thank God for His protection and provisions as we journeyed across this great nation. Our journey took us through FOUR of the SIX Australian states, (Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales). Along the way, I was privileged to preach and share about our Outreach ministry on numerous occasions. We were also able to distribute many pieces of gospel literature, along with numerous CD’s of our radio messages to many interested people. We praise God for the wonderful response and hospitality we received from so many hospitable brethren, family and friends as we journeyed.

Macquarie School of Biblical Studies Lectureship (Sydney)

Moya & I, along with brethren from 17 Australian and 3 U.S.A. congregations attended this year’s MSOBS lectureship on the theme “Is there a message from the Lord?” The MSOBS lectureship was held at the Macquarie church in Sydney from July 16-20. Speakers included Dale Hartman, David Carr, Chris Swinford, Dwight Whitsett, Brett Christensen, Craig Peters, Bob Marks, Marvin Ancell and Ron Bainbridge.

Brethren, Moya & I, along with the South Coast Church of Christ here in Albany, Western Australia are continually blessed by the many testimonies we receive weekly that demonstrate how the South Coast Church’s Discovering A BETTER LIFE MINISTRIES evangelistic outreach is making a profound and positive impact on the lives of so many people who are living in isolation from any established church. I have pasted a sample of these testimonies below for you to read.

Dear Mr. Bainbridge, further to this weeks Farm Weekly article (what a beauty!) I would really like to receive the copy of your mentioned pamphlet. either on line or by post.
Thanks for the reading of hope in the midst of so much rural uncertainty.

Hello Ron, could you please send me the pamphlet titled The Success Plan - it sounds very interesting. I have received literature from you in the past – thank you very much, and still enjoy reading your column in The Extra each week.

In the letter I got about better life ministries, it said you can help find someone to talk to about spiritual issues. Would that be in my area where I live? I wouldn’t mind having someone to talk to about stuff like that. Please send me an email about that. I live in Estes Park Colorado. I’m not in Australia so I’d need someone in my area. I just moved here a year ago and there’s really no one here to talk to about spiritual issues. If you find someone you can give them my email and tell them to email me, I don’t have my own phone. Write back soon.

Dear Friend: In spite of having a Bible handy and living comfortably there are moments when I am overcome with loneliness as I was today. I found A Better Life and your messages. I wonder if you know how your words give comfort and hope to me as well as to many others? Thank you very much.

Dear Ron and Moya Bainbridge: I sent an e-mail to you after reading two of your messages and then I found who you are. Your messages are indeed a great help and again I thank you for them. The Lord be with you.

Hi Ron,
I read your article on Loneliness and would love to read the book you
mentioned and more. Please send it to me? And thank you for an inspiring
message. I'm writing to you from South Africa.
Thank you

Hello, I reside in Brisbane QLD and was quiet moved by your article on the DO’S and DON’TS of helping someone that has lost someone close by suicide. I am 43 years old and found my young brother (40 yrs) suicide in late 2007 and I am struggling to get up and do things every day, I just cry my heart out and go back to that day I just dropped in to see him (as I had been in WA actually with my job for 14 days working at a craft trade show and visiting all the craft stores in Perth and coastal stores as I did for past 3 years) it was just a quick “hi ya!” visit on my way to work something I not do much as he was a shift worker and most days he is at work. I relive that shocking day in my mind so much and it haunts me. There was only the 2 of us and I feel like I have lost my twin it hurts so bad and I cannot get angry, nor can I even ask myself could I have done more cause I am in shock still and so, so numb of the sight that is embedding in my mind it is like a movie that has no off button.

The other sad thing is trying to find a support group in Brisbane is so hard, they are always out of QUEENSLAND and sights like yours are gold.

I wish people, friends and family would stop to say life goes on and you have to take steps to go and do stuff to keep busy, it takes time I know but I am in this moment and I know my husband & 2 teenage children are also here but I had 40 years with him and I was his big sister who took care of him and in hard times we had a lot of them from our teens, but it is very hard to change of the things I have done for my family. This world we live in has no time allowing us to grieve and go at ones pace that is ok for them, it is all about life goes on but it is not them that is living this turmoil, I am! I am also dealing with our father who hasn’t seen him or spoken to him in 30 years but as he had no will our so called father with the concession act here in Queensland share his estate with our mother and he is taking it and it so, so wrong, my brother would be mortified to know this, this too is my pain and I can do nothing about it cause it is the law. Our mother struggled in those days to keep a roof over our head and feed us educate us but he morally so out of line.

I thank you again for you letter from the sad parting of the rural man friend. I know what he is going thru.
I would love a copy of your free booklet “surviving a loved ones suicide” if possible.

Many thanks

Ron,

I read your article in the Mount Gambier Border Watch this week – Bossing v Blessing.

I am interested in your “ Looking Out for Number One” booklet, I hope it follows along the same lines as your article as I observe that Bossing / Bullying remains a 1970’s style of management that people of the 2000’s do not cope with at all.

Cheers

Ron,

I left a message on your phone last June and you sent me some brochures. I have continued to enjoy your column in the Albany Extra.

If you have any of the following booklets could you please mail them to me:

"Can I be Forgiven?"
"Cultivating Goodness"
"7 Ways God Can Help You Be Happier"
"No Time for Your Family? Here's What To Do About It".

Thank you Ron,

Mr. Ron Bainbridge,
Dear Ron, I have been carrying around last week’s letter of yours, as published in the Farm Weekly, to forward an email to you and request a copy of " Letting go of Painful Memories" . After reading today’s Farm Weekly I find I would be very grateful to also receive a copy of " Need a Friend "

Please be advised I find your writings very informative each week. To me your segment adds a lot to this publication.

Keep up the good work! Thank you in anticipation.

Kind Regards

Brethren, I have included the above letters as a reminder that the Evangelistic Outreach of the South Coast Church of Christ, here in Western Australia, (Discovering A BETTER LIFE MINISTRIES), is used by God to help us reach real people, who live in real places, and who have real needs that we are able to minister to by sharing positive messages of hope centered in Jesus Christ. During the past 18-years we have been privileged to send some 45,000 pieces of Gospel literature to such people as mentioned above. Some of these people have enrolled in Bible Correspondence Courses and a number of these have been baptized into Christ, while others have been restored to a more meaningful relationship with Jesus and His church. Others have been provided with much food for thought in regard to their need of Jesus in their lives and we sincerely pray that some of these will eventually desire to put on our Lord in baptism.

Our ministry for Jesus is of an extremely practical nature, along the lines as mentored by our Lord and Saviour (Matthew 9:35-38). It is so important that we get out of our church buildings and into the marketplace in order to compassionately care for men and women as Jesus did!

Our ministry is predominately reaching out to men and women in rural Australia, many of these are adversely affected by the disastrous drought conditions that have ravaged this nation for many years. Some who have farmed a particular area for generations are now faced with the prospect of losing the family farm. Many are experiencing negative income while having to make crippling interest payments on borrowings. These circumstances are putting individuals, families and communities under enormous stress. They are producing feelings of guilt, failure and despair. Marriage breakdown is occurring. Stress related illness is increasing, and some have felt so overwhelmed that they have finally taken their own life.

Brethren, as Moya & I traveled across this nation recently, we saw first-hand the terrible effect that an 8-year drought had on people in rural Australia. We heard about families walking off their farms, some who had banks foreclose on them because they were unable to pay their bills. We discovered couples whose marriage had broken up because of stress, and were also told of a number of farmers who had committed suicide.

The situation is grim. But good things are also happening, ‘bad times’ can become ‘good times’ for some people. Such is the case, when the loss of something valuable leads to the discovery of something more valuable. What Moya & I discovered as we traveled in remote rural areas of Australia, is that in these ‘bad times’ of rural drought and uncertainty some people have rediscovered important marital or family relationships, reassessed their personal values, or gained a stronger awareness of their need for God’s presence in their lives. We have been most grateful to God for enabling us to minister to some of these people and trust Him to provide the spiritual fruitfulness to the seeds of faith and hope we are planting.

Brethren, the same recession or drought conditions that close bank accounts has, in effect, opened doors which enable the church to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of these doors have never been open before. Today, here in Australia, people who once disregarded the church or looked on it with suspicion are gaining a new appreciation for it when they see that it cares and is trying to help in practical ways. Many times people simply need Christians to be friends who will care about them, listen to them, and stand beside them in tough times. The important thing is that we Christians be seen as a church that cares and brings the love of Christ into rural communities in a practical way. This way, in the middle of a rural crisis, (or financial crisis, such as the U.S.A. is presently experiencing), people can become convinced that God has not left them alone. After all, isn’t this what Jesus was trying to convey to us when He said “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Brethren, Moya & I say a big THANK YOU for all of the words of encouragement, prayers, friendship and support each of you provide us.

Thank you for your partnership for the sake of the Gospel of Christ – as together we continue to take ground for His Kingdom throughout this hurting and insecure world.

With much love, from your brother and sister in Christ’s service,

Ron & Moya Bainbridge
Ephesians 3:20-21

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