In half a second we unconsciously evaluate others. What we look for are levels of warmth and competency. It only took this fraction of a second for me to realise the YD staff are both - extremely warm and highly competent! As a result, it’s a joy working with this team and to see YD growing because of “each part doing its work” (Ephesians 4:16).
For example, Student Focus and Senior Lounge are back. Blue Moose is building. YD's Internship program is evolving and making room for folks who want accreditation and others who don't. Gravitate is exploding. The Media Department’s vision for reaching folks for Christ is dreaming huge. Finally, YD’s Wellbeing Department is exploring partnerships with the Bendigo Bank and Cheekymac Productions (https://www.cheekymac.com/) in fire-affected Gippsland, the AFL’s players association, Chaplaincy in Victoria, school and church contexts, and, is currently building Australia’s first school’s wellbeing program integrating theory with praxis. Wow! A lot’s happening at YD.
But of course, it's all the Lord's work, not ours. Recently, I spoke at the opening of Donvale Christian College’s Year 9 campus, built on the old YD site at Warrandyte. As I spoke, I was reminded that Jehovah Jireh sustains all that we do at YD. His provision, largely through you dear folks, allows us to bring His plans and purposes to fruition. So, thank you. Your generosity is always muchly appreciated and never taken for granted.
This month's Prevailer is going old-school. Each staff member is giving you a brief report before we list some practical needs Jehovah Jireh may prompt you to sponsor.
Lindsay Tunbridge, Executive Director
The Outreach Department is up and running. Our team consists of Lynda Prout, Jess Lockhart, Michelle Laukart and myself, Owen Prout. Our passion is to encourage, equip and support churches to reach their local schools and communities with the good news of Jesus Christ. We also work closely with the Wellbeing Department at YD as we have an opportunity to serve schools in new and different ways in our ever-changing culture.
Blue Moose has been re-ignited with three teams operating over the 2020/21 new year and another 2-3 teams running “Mid-Moose” and many more over summer this year. We have re-invented Student Focus so churches can easily be trained and access all the materials needed to run a lunchtime program. We’re calling it Student Focus Top Twenty (SFT20) with 20 games days and twenty ‘lounge style’ programs built-in. We are hoping churches will join/re-join us as we support Chaplains and other programs to have a Gospel presence in schools. Thanks for your prayers and support. It’s so good to have you on our team.
Owen and I joined Youth Dimension in February of this year and I have loved every second of it! I am really enjoying learning more, from both Lindsay and Mandy, about wellbeing and how we can best support kids in schools through this vital area. I am currently immersed in the admin side of the Student Focus program as we work towards relaunching it for churches to connect with their local schools. It has been a huge learning curve. It’s an exciting time and I value your prayers as we seek the Lord’s wisdom and guidance in the way forward.
Since going to print, Lynda has had a slip on the tiles at home and has fractured her right heel in several places as well as her right ankle and the second toe on her left foot.
She is awaiting further information about treatment and possible surgery from an orthopaedic specialist this week. It is likely that she will be off that foot for 3 months. Please pray for a smooth recovery as she is feeling frustrated by the interruption to the great start here at YD.
Hello friends! Just as the weather has been cooling down things have been heating up in the Outreach Department. Recently we hosted “Blue Moose Together”, an event celebrating what God has been doing over the summer through Blue Moose (BM) and launching Mid-Moose for this upcoming winter. It was great to see our office full of young people passionate about sharing their faith. There was a great time of worship and sharing what God was up to over the summer, as well as the ongoing impact on people's lives since returning from BM. Owen shared from the word and it was incredible! All this was followed up by great chats and delicious food. Please be praying for us as a team as we seek to send out three Mid-Moose teams during the next school holidays from the 29th of June to the 6th of July. If you, or someone you know, would like to join a team, please contact me or get in touch via our website. On a personal note, if you could please be praying for my support, which is currently a bit low, that would be amazing thanks! Every Blessing Michelle
Our heart for Gravitate is for young people to stand strong with deep roots. This year we have our largest group yet – with classes running at Belgrave Christian School, Donvale Christian College, Heatherton Christian College, St. Andrews Christian College, Victory College in Bendigo and online! I’d love you to pray for our camp coming up in May – where we get all the groups together at Phillip Island Adventure Resort for outreach training. Blessings, Jen.
I’m starting a little Gravitate Lounge in Term 2! It’s for the Gravitate students at St. Andrews Christian College – as well as their friends…to come along and enjoy some hot chocolates and good times before we kick out the extras and start our Gravitate class at 1.45 pm on Wednesdays. I’d love for more students to hear about the opportunity for Gravitate at St. Andrews and at the same time, create a space for fun, prayer, and fellowship. I’d also love prayer for my support. Blessings, Maddy.
My role works behind the scenes, helping things run smoothly so trainers are free to do what they do best – teaching. The Gravitate team have such a heart for the students and a passion for the word. It’s inspiring to be around. And the results are amazing. Each year there are stories of students who have been dramatically changed by Gravitate. They grow in their faith and understanding of the word. They step out boldly to share Jesus. I love that they don’t have to wait until after school to begin Christian Ministry studies. Each year our student numbers grow, training more and more teens to share Jesus!
My prayer – I would love to see Gravitate offered in more schools around the state – Giving a Generation Hope!
With no Interns this year, my initial challenge was to discern how the Lord wanted me to use my time. While things are constantly cropping up that I can help with, including schools’ programs, two key things that I am focussing on are:
1. Catching up with past students, to encourage them in both their walk with and service for the Lord.
2. Revising subjects for Internship for future years. We have decided that we will retain accreditation for the Certificate IV course but also offer students the opportunity to study without accreditation, to cater for those who would like to study, learn, and grow without needing to focus on the more technical requirements of accreditation.
This year of refinement of the Internship course, while the schools’ ministry of YD is re-established, is a blessing, as involvement in schools is a significant part of Internship!
This year I also have my 19-year-old nephew from Tassie living with me while he studies Engineering at Monash. It is so great to have him here!
I would really appreciate your prayers for wisdom and direction as I meet with past students and revise subjects.
I have decided to teach a short course to anyone wanting information on an important topic. I’ve just started a PhD on Romans 1:26-27 and so I often have Christians asking me questions about biblical passages on same-sex relationships and related issues. Most people hear soundbites and are not sure how to respond. YD exists to serve the local church, so we thought one good way to do that would be to offer a free short course exploring various perspectives on this topic. This summarizes the research I have been doing over the past 3 years.
Since going to print, Alex has run the first sessions in both night and daytime formats. All those attending could see the great value in what is being taught. Alex is equipping us to have informed perspectives and respectful conversations with others. Also, we all appreciated Alex condensing his years of work into a concise and usable format.
At the moment, YD is taking this course for a run-round-the-block. So far, we have enjoyed respectful and lively conversations that have deepened our appreciation of the various perspectives help by Christians. Stay tuned for further opportunities to be equipped in this vital space. On a personal note, in my 22 years of pastoring, I have never encountered such a useful set of resources on this important topic. Thanks Alex!
April Williams – Finance Manager – Praise God for new staff, which also means new supporters to YD. Please also be praying for many more supporters to come on board for not only new staff but for existing staff too, as well as general donation income to assist in the day to day running costs of YD. Thank you for your faithful and sacrificial giving to YD. We really could not do it without you.
Wendy Waddell - Office Manager and Events Coordinator - It's a busy time in the YD office. We have lots of prep work for upcoming events. This week is our Graduation Service for last years interns and on the 13th of May, we are all joining our supporters and sponsors to celebrate God's ongoing provision to YD at our Thanksgiving Service. It's a time of celebration for our new home and all that God has done for us. Please join us here at Tram Road in Doncaster and hear about what's happening. You wouldn't want to miss it!
Lins and I continue to marvel at where we are and the directions God has called us, both at work and home. We love working with our YD team. They are such a humble, professional, fun group of people who really want to serve the Lord. They have been so welcoming and open to any new schemes and ideas! We have loved being part of delivering a new home for them and really look forward to sharing that space with all of you at our Thanksgiving Service on 13th May.
Every day brings new challenges…I recently finished Barack Obama’s latest book ‘A Promised Land’ and found myself jotting down thoughts that sparked my thinking regarding our journey here at YD…
1. Delivering change is hard…
2. You need cooperation from those outside of yourself, willing allies, and informed and mobilized citizens, not a solitary saviour (YD)…
3. Around 90% of a job is fixing problems and unanticipated crises, doing that with discipline and purpose shapes the future…
4. Choose people for whom the work is personal…
I believe God is holding out a new future for everyone here, all are equally important to God’s plan. Much is learnt in the dark, as C.S. Lewis said, “Holy places are dark places. It is life and strength, not knowledge and words, that we get in them. Holy wisdom is not clear and thin like water, but thick and dark like blood”. Much of our work has been “bloody.” Time and experiences are continuing to shape us all and give us holy wisdom. Jesus is the solitary saviour, not YD, and we need one another. We need you and we need other organisations to achieve all that God holds out for us His people. Please continue to pray for YD and for each staff member. It is not always easy. We need people to uphold us and our families as we continue to seek God and His ways. Please feel part of our journey. We value collaboration, creativity, and community…please bring those words before the Lord on our behalf.
On a personal note, for those who don’t know, Lins and I share two adult children, our son Indiana is 25 and our daughter Alexandra is 23. These two have been our greatest joys and our greatest teachers in life. We would always value your prayers for them too. My work at YD spans two spheres. As General Manager I oversee some of the administrative needs here and I also work as the head of the Wellbeing Department. Surprisingly, I feel my greatest strengths in both these areas is my creativity and empathy. It is amazing what God can use. I look forward to seeing you on 13th May so we can give thanks together and talk about God’s future.
Please do pray for the families of all YD staff. We, like many of you, are holding on and trusting "the Father of all compassion and the God of all comfort, (to) comfort those in any trouble..." (2 Corinthians 1:3).
Please pray for additional sponsors for all our staff. If you feel drawn to someone's ministry, your prayer and financial sponsorship will change lives and build hope through their ministry.
Due to growing staff numbers, YD requires additional computers. It's a big ask as the price comes in at $9K.
Finally, a bold one: YD's Media Department is developing partnerships with industry leaders to produce some high-end productions for schools and wellbeing initiatives. To do this, we need to increase our equipment capacity. The cost is $31,944.
Thanks folks for taking the time to read our Prevailer. May God continue to bless you and keep you and give opportunity for you to share the reason for the hope we have, Christ!