AUSTRALIA FOR CHRIST
IS RMA's PRIME MINISTRY FOCUS
OUT OF WHICH FLOWS MINISTRY TO THE NATIONS.
Visit the various sites of the nations to see what the Lord
is doing in other parts of the world.
Here in Australia,
RMA has travelled widely over
the years to many parts of Australia, mostly ministering
in house meetings and fellowshipping with families
and small groups.
Victoria - Bright
Report from Paul and Janet: a mission in Australia
The emergent apostolic company
Brethren from north Queensland (nearly 2000 kms away)
On Wednesday 27th April, we left Toowoomba in the early afternoon to take our sister Melissa Walker and two of her children to the Brisbane airport as they were flying home to Cairns in North Queensland. They live on the Atherton Tableland, west of Cairns. Rick and Melissa had been down for the Easter weekend but Rick had gone home earlier because of work commitments; he is a geologist working in the mines.
Brother Bill Evans – truly a father in the faith
From the airport we were able to go to visit an elderly brother, Bill Evans, in a nursing home, in north Brisbane. Bill was an active member of SHILOH Apostolic company. Bill had come to join us in the apostolic ministry many years ago. He had grown up in Christ in an apostolic church that had heralded the apostolic restoration many years ago. Bill had told us of a prophesy that he had believed, which said in summary “the apostolic will belt the globe”. Bill was a great help to our ministry as he brought a powerful prophetic gift and prophesied among us for many years, always exhorting and encouraging us in the great mission that God has called us to. When Bill had to go into nursing home care, his natural family moved him to Brisbane closer to where they live. Whenever we visit Bill, we are so blessed. He loves the Lord tremendously and is very sharp, understanding all that we tell him about the mission as it continues to unfold in the nations. We always worship with Bill and leave his presence very encouraged.
The Samford connection
Then we went to fellowship with Michael and Trish Hopkinson at Samford, a village north west of Brisbane. Michael and Trish are wonderful members of the apostolic company. They often host meetings in their home and receive ministers from SHILOH. We had arranged to stay with them overnight, and they took us to the airport the next morning, as we were flying to Victoria, leaving our car with them while we were away, so they could pick us up again on our return. They did this on Tuesday and we were able to have further fellowship with them, before driving back to Toowoomba.
Caring for each other
As we drove up the Toowoomba range we were wondering about some soup for dinner, thinking that would be nice. At that moment our sister Margaret Hooper rang to find out where we were as she was preparing some soup for us. Thank you Margaret.
Another State: Victoria (a southern State of Australia, at least 18hrs drive from Toowoomba)
We had been invited to visit some brethren in Bright, Victoria. Bright is a beautiful country town, set in a valley and with many trees [imported trees] that are displaying beautiful autumn colours.
New contacts through the website
Nick and Rhoda had been to visit these brethren in early March. Our hosts were Geoff and Margaret Tarran and Margaret’s brother Bob Dudley, who lives in Wodonga. These brethren had made contact a few months ago after finding our website. They had received the word of God through Nick and had pursued the teaching since then through DVD’s and manuals. When they realised that Janet and I were available to come down, they sent us the airfares. This was awesome as the drive would have been over 18hrs each way.
Continuing in the house, teaching the word, breaking bread ...
We arrive in Bright on Thursday afternoon and were in fellowship with brethren from then until we left on Tuesday morning. During that time brethren gathered for teaching and sharing sessions, morning, afternoon and evening. We experienced church in the house, just as we read in the Scripture.
Geoff and Margaret have a small cottage at the back of their home, and we were accommodated in the cottage. Most of the meetings took place in Geoff’s home, but we did go for special meals at the home of two sisters, Beverly and Margaret. They have a wonderful grace for hospitality. A total of 16 brethren attended at least one meeting with us, with the largest being 13 including us. Brethren had travelled from over 4 hours away and one of them was a pastor. Another ministry couple came from over 2 hours away for the Saturday. Another pastor came from 1 hour away for three of the days.
There had been a core group meeting since Nick’s visit, but others will probably join that group now, even travelling from away as they have imbibed the living word and want to continue in the pattern of meeting house to house – Acts 2:42-47, and many other references in the book of Acts and the Epistles.
The brethren were very appreciative of sessions such as: Doing the First Works (apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers); the Church in the House and Being a Pattern People. These sessions gave a working understanding of the Biblical pattern. Other important teachings were: looking at the role and ministry of apostles and how the apostles link the church together, no longer on a denominational base, but by receiving the ones God sends. Teaching on Who is the Son of God, was very challenging and rewarding for the group. We ministered on sonship and that brought clarity – many of the brethren had some understanding and one who was new to the teaching, found the teaching very confirmatory, affirming what God had been speaking to her heart in recent times.
Two of the leaders among the group have committed to coming to our mid-year training school in Toowoomba.
Being part of an apostolic company
In the apostolic we have always said that ‘there is nothing to own, and nothing to join’, but there is a grace to discover that releases us to realise that we belong to this emerging remnant church that God is raising all over the earth. We were led by God in June 2001 to see ourselves as an apostolic company and over the years that company has grown to include related brethren in many parts of Australia and to be a pattern for brethren overseas. There is a tremendous sense of belonging; the brethren are free to continue where they are already linked; they are free to form a new house church or start an apostolic school in their area; to pioneer a new ministry that embraces the restoration of the five fold ministries and the building up of the body of Christ.
The apostolic company is simply coming into relationship with like minded brethren who are pursuing Jesus Christ and His word with all their hearts.
For people who have felt isolated because their Christian experience seems to be different to the normal denominational way, it is a wonderful discovery for them to realise that they are actually following the call of God and can be part of an apostolic company which in reality is international.
The joining in the apostolic company is by voluntarily coming into relationship. We ask for no particular commitment; we never ask for finances and amazingly that seems to release people to give generously. The way the company functions is to keep in contact with brethren even living far away, by regular text messages and emails, and by making recordings and teaching manuals available. The availability makes it easy for brethren to gather in fellowship to watch a DVD or whatever. Our goal is that teachers emerge among each group so that the word is being shared by members of the group.
One big apostolic family
Those who are in relationship through being part of the apostolic company can know that they are part of a company that extends to many nations – one big apostolic family. Through the medium of text and email communication folk are being kept informed about current mission and reports of what is happening in the nations; and those who out on mission, know that there is an ever increasing company of people who are supporting them in prayer and sometimes in financial ways. This adds a wonderful strength to the company and sense of excitement in being part of what God is doing in Australia and in the nations, in these days.
For example, while we were in Bright we were receiving texts from Nick and Rhoda in southern Africa, from Arend and Paul in north east India and other texts from international brethren. This was a lively example to the brethren in the fellowship in Bright as to the international nature of the company. By the end of the weekend, new ones were asking: How can I be part of this? Others were saying: We are a part of the apostolic company, and they were very encouraged and edified by that realisation.
News from the Nations:
Andrew Mataka, the apostle in Malawi who hosted Nick and Rhoda, wrote after their departure: Dad and Mum, Jesus said, ‘I only speak what I hear My Father speak’. I have seen this word fulfilled in Nick and Rhoda. This family is a duplication of you, Dad and Mum Janet. God bless you so much for your commitment towards Africa and to the whole world. I will come up with a report this Thursday. Son Andrew.
Deborah Wright, who has been a part of SHILOH Apostolic company and was with us in Toowoomba for over five years, went to Zambia in July 2010 to live as a missionary for one year. She is now thinking of staying for an extra year as the doors have opened for her in that nation. This has been further facilitated by Nick and Rhoda coming into Zambia for a three day conference which was arranged by Deborah through a pastor friend of hers.
Deborah accompanied Nick and Rhoda for the two weeks of their mission in Malawi and was blessed to be with them. She has written to us since they have left, telling us of her good experience and sharing that she really learnt from Nicks practice of keeping in close contact with the home base of the apostolic company. Deborah confesses that she had become isolated partly by not realising that regular communication – even a text message – is the key.
She wrote: I realised that I have been flying a little under the radar here, for many reasons usually excuses like no network, until I saw how diligent Nick was in reporting to you on sms. I think apart from the washing of the water of the word in these last couple of weeks, the main things I have gotten from the special time of fellowship, being on team with Nick and Rhoda, apostle George from Kenya and our host Andrew from Malawi, God ordained that I am to maintain my relationship more diligently with Jesus, within His word, and with you (Paul); and with the disciples which Jesus has given me all the way out here in Chama. I realise that I am very isolated out here but equally very loved by Jesus, by you, by the brethren and now after my home coming by the folk whom I know in Chama.
She also wrote:
When the team left for Lilongwe (6.5hr trip) for their onward flight to Kenya tomorrow, I left by Canta (small truck) for 6.5hr drive to Chama [where Deborah is based]. Where I received a very warm welcome lots of hugs which is just what was required after a tearful good buy in Lundazi.
I made myself an omelette with vine ripened tomatoes fresh spinach fresh parsley and a Italian herb whose name escapes for now; it was superb.
Margaret your skirt and shirts are very lovely and very handy as will be the seeds especially the zucchini not to mention the special gift. You are a wonderful sister, as are you all.
I've got lots of home work now I've been sharpened up. More in a day or two love to all. Deborah
God bless you all. Please feel free to write to us. We will be leaving for Chile and Peru on Sunday 15th. No doubt we will see many of you before then, but would love to hear from the folks in the regions.
In His love
Paul and Janet.
In the fourth quarter
of 2009, a discipleship class has begun to meet
in the Caboolture/Beachmere area, 50 kms north of
Brisbane. This class meets every Thursday. Sister
Jean Manning has been the primary teacher, travelling
from Toowoomba each week. A number of brethren in
the class are taking the teaching they have received
and sharing it with others within the week. 2 Timothy
2:2 is happening in reality. We trust that this
discipleship class is the first of many opening
in Australia. A related brother in Tamworth is planning
to begin a class in March 2010 in that city.
RMA hosts apostolic
training schools twice yearly [January and mid-year]
at SHILOH Centre in Toowoomba. You are welcome to
attend these schools. They are currently for three
weeks duration and are open to all ministers and
committed disciples of Jesus Christ, within Australia.
There are no fees for the schools or for anything
RMA does as we freely minister all that the Lord
gives to us. You are welcome to attend the school
for a few days if you cannot afford the three weeks
There are functioning
house churches in a number of places in Queensland
and New South Wales, who relate to the apostolic
ministry team at RMA. We are always ready to help
you initiate a house church or to help you begin
a discipleship course.