Church Visit number 2: May 18-27 – The Coona’s
The year is flying by and we’ve just come back from our second church visit for the year. Out west 6hrs or so we went to Coonabarabran and Coonamble to do some health work with our churches out there. The purpose of this trip was to educate the Coonabarabran members and Coonamble member in running Health Expo’s and reaching people through the avenue of health. It started with us sharing stories of how the Lord has blessed us in the past as we’ve used His method’s to reach people. God showed Himself clearly to the Coonabarabran members as we shared and they gave us an expenses offering of $600. What a blessing this was, how God can provide for those doing His work is still amazing to me. Pastor David Fletcher, Coonabarabran’s pastor, shared a message about the great commission. During his message, Pastor David shared “even if it is just for one person, the health expo will be worth the time of these people, and your support church members.” During Sabbath School we were able to share stories from our recent trips to Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. The church members were happy, in fact they were aroused in a way that they hadn’t been for a while.
We were very well cared for during most our stay by Kim and David Canham in their Bugaldie home. We were really blessed by our stay there, and I think that our time at their home was also very profitable for them. On Sunday the 20th of May, Rod led out in the training for the church members in running health expo’s. It became apparent during this training that the people needed to go through the health expo and apply it themselves before they were ready to run it. They were open though, not afraid to make changes to their lives to better their health and their witness. After the training was complete Danielle and I were blessed to be able to offer some fomentation treatments to a church member called Mark. He had torn the meniscus in his right knee several years before, and after two unsuccessful operations he was willing to try anything. The treatment certainly was a blessing to us and him, and sure helped the pain. I look forward to hearing the results of continued treatment!
Coonamble Health Expo
On Monday we went across to Coonamble and started preparations for the show on Tuesday and Wednesday. The show opened and we setup for the Expo. We weren’t aware until most of the morning was gone, but the show never really gets into gear until mid afternoon on the Tuesday. Despite this we soldiered through and took the few people that came through a quite thorough version of the health expo. A good number of people through, we called it quits at 8:15pm that night.
Wednesday is the big day for Coonamble show with the whole town having a public holiday for it. This being the case, we put quite a considerable number of people through on the Wednesday and were not just blessed with quantity, but also with a quality of people that was amazing. Coming though our expo we had: Sophie (the multiple times running ‘Miss Show girl’), the Post Office owner and her husband, a police officer, 3 fire brigade officers, a nice guy nicknamed “Cog” who brought a few others through, the deputy principal of the High School, a few very interested nurses, and a range of the other important people of Coonamble. We were also blessed by the support that we received from the small membership of the two churches in that there were consistently at least 6 members to help in the running of this program. With our main purpose now accomplished we commenced with some other important activities. Rest, seeing the town, a bit of a spring clean for the somewhat unkept Coonamble church hall, and some recreation in the Warrumbungle’s.
We returned to the Canham’s house on Friday after climbing the “Grand High Tops” on the way, and met their son Greg and had a lovely evening. As we were calling it a night we somewhat jokingly, and yet somewhat quietly confidently, asked David (Kim’s non SDA husband) if he’d come to church with us in the morning. He said no, he thought he should probably do some other things. But in the morning to our surprise, He’d changed his mind, and decided to come along. I’m sure that this was a direct result of us being genuine in our way of treating Dave during the week of our stay. So, we journeyed on to Coonamble again with Dave, as our personal tour guide (he is a truck driver, and thus has travelled those roads MANY times). We went past a fence, where Dave started the odometer and told us that he would tell us when we got to the other boundary of this (Mr Pie’s) property. We drove on for approximately 20km, and Dave said, this is his other boundary. It was a 50,000 acre property! Church went well, with Rod’s Sabbath School lesson, and Dave’s sermon blending perfectly together. We had a total congregation of 10 people, Dave and another man called Neville (we met Neville at the show and I invited him to attend on Sabbath because I could see that he thought similar to us, though he was a Catholic) were the Non-Adventist’s in the audience. Both Neville and Dave commented that they had thoroughly enjoyed their time at church with us, and as Neville was about to leave on his scooter Dave Canham said to him “We’ll have to give you a call next month to remind you to come along again.”
Coonamble Church Group
Reminds me of this quote: “No sooner does one come to Christ than there is born in his heart a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus” Steps to Christ pg 78. God really blessed our time there and as Pastor David had said on the first Sabbath, we would have thought it worth it for one; but God poured out his blessing and we did it for two, and the 40 who went through the Expo. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! We are praying that Dave will be open to continuing to attend church from time to time, and that he will be able to see genuine Christianity at our churches. We also pray for Neville that he will be able to make friends with our church members. And we pray for the church members that God will continue to ignite a fire for lost people in their hearts and that they will use the appointed method of Jesus for reaching out to the world.