dcswinford's blog

Macquarie Lectureship

Greetings from the Macquarie lectureship! It is exciting to see Christians from all over Australia here in Sydney for the MSOBS lectureship. At the same time, Catholic young people from all over the world are gathering in Sydney to see the Pope and attend Word Youth Day or what is being called in the news as the Catholic Woodstock, children of God are gathering at the Macquarie Church of Christ to sing praises, listen to words from Scripture, encourage one another to be more evangelistic and fellowship with the saints. It's been great to meet our 4 Aussie students and the wonderful Christians in the Sydney area and beyond.

Fishing In A Large Pond

As we overlooked the ocean with the Auckland church planting team, a fisherman walked by us with his tackle box and pole to fish.  It was a reasonably long and sturdy looking pole, but it looked small in comparison to the rocks and the waves. I couldn't imagine what was in the tackle box, but the man seemed resolute, despite the obvious lack of size for such a task. As I watched him walk bravely to the waters edge, I began to see some parallels. We, whether we are discussing the South Pacific or any part of the world, are fisherman facing a giant ocean filled with a variety of incredible fish (or in our case men and women). We cross the rocks of this world and throw what seems to be a small hook from a small pole into the vast sea before us just hoping that someone will react to the incredible gospel that dangles from the hook.

Enjoying Auckland

Greetings from Auckland! After a wonderful day of worship and relaxation with our brothers and sisters on the Auckland church planting team, we went to the beach and a tasty Portuguese restaurant. Jennifer Cherry was not able to be with us due to an illness, but the rest of the team took Dwight and I to the beach and it was a beautiful site to behold. Pictured here (left to right) are Dwight Whitsett, Morgan and Skylar Ely, Elijah and Kristen Peters, Justin Cherry and little Rylee Cherry (a little shy at the moment). This team is doing a great job of assimilating in the community, making preparations for the actual church plant next month, and setting the stage for a church planting movement in this area of the world.

AIMers in Napier, New Zealand

Greetings from chilly, yet extremely cool, Napier! The AIMers in Napier have dealt with some adversity regarding coordinators and other things, but are serving God mightily and doing great things for the Kingdom in Napier. Pictured here (from left to right) are Michael, Michael, Daniel, Rashawn, and Smokey (bottom). They are innovative and diligent and we should all be proud of their efforts. As you can see, when it is summer up there, it is winter 'down under'. Brrr!

Dwight and I left Napier and are now safely with the church planting team in Auckland. We will worship with them this morning and enjoy two and a half days together. Last night, we watched New Zealand and South Africa play Rugby on TV together (congratulations to Jerry Hogg and the other South Africa fans) - bit of a downer here.

AIMers in Tauranga, New Zealand

Greetings from New Zealand where you can enjoy the beach all winter long! Here I am pictured with our Tauranga AIMers: Jana, Kristi, Ashtin and Kayla (in that order - left to right). As you can see, the water is blue, the trees are green and this quartet of young ladies are very happy to be on the AIM field in New Zealand. They are doing a great job of contacting and conversing with non-Christians, getting to know and minister to their church family, getting settled in their new home, and becoming an active part of the local congregation. Dwight and I have both been very pleased with the comments that we have heard regarding these young Christian ladies and it's obvious that the congregation here is being very responsive to them. I feel confident that their time in new Zealand will go well.

Bouncing Around The Globe

Greetings from New Zealand. I am including a picture of Katie Samsill feeding a kangaroo in Adelaide for the "Ahh" factor it will generate. I have pictures of penguins, wombats, wallabies, etc. as well as pictures of our meetings with local leaders, Bible study groups and times in the assembly I will include in later postings. We had a good seminar in Adelaide and then Dwight and I took off for New Zealand. It is an amazing thing to see the Lord's Church in places like Australia and New Zealand! I am abundantly blessed... as well as a little tired.

A Creative God

There are few places I have been where God's creativity is more evident than in Australia (though South Africa is certainly in the running - I will see the giraffes, zebras and baboons again this fall). Going to see some of the sites with the Samsill family, I have seen koala bears, kangaroos, wallabies, a duck billed platipus, little penguins (their actual name), sharks, sting rays, crocodiles, and other "odd" creations. I have pictures of all of these, and will show them to you if you want. Our God certainly is creative and loves variety. God certainly has created a diverse and beautiful world for us to behold. As I was thinking of how He made these unique and different animals, it reminded me of how much He loves us. Only a loving Father would go to such trouble to create a wonderful world like the one we live in.

Partnership

It is always exciting to visit one of our ministry training schools and to preach and teach in local congregations, but it is even more exciting to do it with a dedicated mission partner. Mark Samsill (pictured left) is a member of the Sunset Council, an elder of the College Hill congregation in Fort Worth (my sponsoring congregation) and a good friend and mission worker. With his family, he came to Australia to bless the Christians here and see this important work.  Mark and I have taught side by side in Malawi, Tanzania, Ukraine, Australia, Texas, Wyoming, South Dakota and probably a few plaves I am forgetting. He has spoken in worship services, classes, seminars and chapel services around the world in Sunset's International Schools and the congregations that support them. We will be returning to Malawi later this year together to continue in the efforts of Sunset and College Hill.

Receptivity

Greetings! What a blessing it has been to be back in Australia!  We had a blessed time with the Macquarie congregation (more on this later) and have been blessed by the team we already have in place here in Sydney to work with the Macquarie School of Biblical Studies.  Craig and Tomya Peters, with daughter Micah, seem to be a perfect fit for the school and congregation here.  They also seem to have a real appreciation for the culture and love for the lost here.  Craig serves as our Administrative Dean/Missionary here.

Heading Down Under

Greetings. I am, once again, on the road. I am presently in the LA airport awaiting a flight to Sydney, Australia. I will be visiting the Macquarie congregation, meeting with MSOBS (Macquarie School of Biblical Studies) personnel, having a seminar in Adeliade, Australia, meeting with our 2 AIM teams in New Zealand, meeting with the Auckland mission team, and speaking at the Macquarie lectures. What a great opportunity!  I will be meeting the Mark Samsill family (Mark, Kelle, Tyler, Colton and Katie) there and will enjoy being with our good friends from College Hill in Fort Worth.

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