Note: Khesed Ministries Board made the decision on 9 November 2019 to cancel its registration as an incorporated association. The decision was made to cease operation as we felt the organisation was no longer needed, having fulfilled its God-given calling. The ministry will go on through John & June Blacket and a number of other organisations and people. We particularly want to thank all our supporters - those who have prayed, given in finance and practical support over the 30 years ministry, especially our Board, Advisors and Evangel Christian Fellowship in Perth.
See the 2019 Director's Report for more explanation of this decision.
Khesed Ministries Director's Report November 2019
Times of Change
It is now 31 years since June and I first felt the Lord speaking to us about a new ministry with Aboriginal people, and that we were to move to Perth from the parish ministry in Geraldton.
Our time since we established Khesed Ministries in August 1989 has been extremely rewarding and challenging.
We have built on the foundations of many denominational churches and other mission organisations that were so important in many ways. The self-sacrifice and commitment of those pioneer missionaries and their supporters and the mission boards and administrators was an incredible work of God. We give credit for their work that made it possible for what God has continued on through us.
Khesed was formed during a time of massive changes for indigenous Christians and communities as they moved from a time when governments and mission organisations administered or controlled almost all of indigenous people's lives. They came through to a time in the 1970s and 80s of community self-government with support from churches and Christians in resourcing, training, and also spiritual encouragement and prayer, as well as support from governments and non-profit organisations.
The support has included a large network of specialist Christian groups like Nungalinya College, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Bible Society, Missionary Aviation Fellowship, Gospel Recordings, Mobile Mission Maintenance and others, who still continue to play a very significant role today. For most of them it has also involved changes in their support roles.
When we felt God's call to move away from parish ministry in the Uniting Church back into indigenous ministry, I pleaded with God to allow us to join YWAM or one of these existing organisations, but we felt very strongly that God required a new organisation where we could be free to achieve what God was calling us to do, and Khesed Ministries was the result.
God's Indigenous Calling – Relationships & Spirit
Over the last 30 years many people have asked me what my role is. I have always found it very difficult to give a concise answer. It has been very nebulous and changing. The best I can do is to say it has been to partner with indigenous Australians to help them fulfill their God-given calling in this land, and to help the wider church and community to celebrate and partner with them in this.
In particular, it has been a time of raising awareness among non-indigenous Christians of the needs, and of the special God-given abilities of indigenous individuals and communities. It has been a time of learning from them the significance of relationships in life and the importance and reality of the spirit.
One of the changes has come through the input of the Pacific Islanders, Asians and Africans coming to live in Australia and joining in the work of the Gospel. They have added a spiritual dimension to the intellectual British emphasis.
The huge increase of prayer during the last 40 years has made indigenous 'revivals' possible and they have brought major changes in indigenous communities - bringing release from the effects of western dominance, into new confidence - being valued as the people God made them to be. There is still a long way to go before the Christian church realizes how much it needs their unique gifts and authority in this land so that together we can fulfill the Great Commission and take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Khesed's Role - Partnership
When I asked God for a name for this ministry, I felt He gave me the Hebrew word 'khesed' from Deut. 7v9 – God's covenant of loving mercy. I had little idea of how significant this, and our logo of black & white praying hands, would be in many aspects of the ministry. That is the primary motivation of all we have sought to do.
For a number of years we took a busload of Aborigines and non-indigenous people to the Central Australian Christian Convention each January. We always told these teams that we were all going to serve the people and learn from them. The result of these trips was life-changing for many.
June and I seldom went anywhere around the nation as guest speakers. Often when I was asked to speak, I would find an indigenous Christian to speak, sometimes with my support.
God taught us and used us in sharing around campfires, as well as in conducting holy communion in 'the ceremony of the cross'. This developed into a celebration where everyone present took a stone to represent all the sin of our lives – that satan would want to throw at us before God’s Judgement seat. I would remind people of the woman brought to Jesus - wanting Him to convict her of adultery. Our stones were then dropped at the foot of the cross and a spear used to pierce a foam container of grapejuice attached to the cross, allowing us to see Jesus’ blood washing away our sins.
Khesed Productions At a very early Khesed planning meeting there was a prophecy: that I had to write a book to train people working with Aborigines. That was fulfilled 11 years later when Fire in the Outback was published. I am still absolutely amazed at what God has done through this book: He wrote it, but somehow HE used me in the process!
That book was the beginning of a number of Khesed resources: booklets like GOD's Dirt, documentary films like GOD's Firestorm, and working with Rodney Rivers on teaching videos like GOD's Campfire Stories… Rod & I may produce a few more of these, but I believe my time for producing books and documentaries is now done. Others can take this ministry on using technology and social media in new and developing ways. I pray these resources will be produced from indigenous western worldviews rather than my western worldview.
2018-2019 The last three years has been a time of passing on of the leadership baton for God’s next moves. The Lord has taken some significant missionaries and indigenous Christian leaders home to be with Him – people like Rev Cedric Jacobs, Ps Jonathon Bates, Dorothy Hackett and Peter Taylor and the baton is passing to the next generation of Christian leaders.
Khesed News and Khesed Prayer are no longer being produced, although occasional letters may be sent out for information and prayer in the future.
Other people and organisations are now doing a lot of this work.
June & I have recently become more active in the Westralian Intercessors Network monthly prayer meetings for indigenous ministry. This is becoming a small but powerful force, and we wait to see what God will do through this.
But there are many other groups: the Australian Prayer Network training tens of thousands of warriors; a network of intercessors involved with Neale Gaston, some with Ps Chris Millin at Pt Augusta and Coober Pedy; The Good Damper group serving homeless people in Perth with music, food and the Gospel under the leadership of Ps Dulcie Donaldson, Dellie Stokes and Liz Roberts; Ps Keith Truscott who writes daily devotional poems that are published on Khesed’s website; Ps Tim & Di Edwards, and Ps Robyn & Anthony Beezeley (Green) travelling the nation in ministry; efforts to develop regional gatherings with the National Act of Recognition; Harmoni House & Arrowhead Church developing a local indigenous community centre in Armadale WA (Ps Gloria Miller)… These are just a few of the things God is doing today.
Its now time for change… In 2003 I rewrote Khesed's information leaflet:
• Khesed Ministries is an apostolic and prophetic expression of God's covenant love to the church and the world, as well as being a bridge between indigenous people and others.
• KM actively networks with a wide range of indigenous leaders, groups and organisations in the Body of Christ in Australia and beyond.
• Khesed is also involved in aspects of culturally relevant Christian education.
I believe we have done this.
We partnered with and promoted Praise Corroboree in Canberra, Central Australian Aboriginal Convention, the British Reconciliation team that came to Australia in the 1990s, Praise Corroborate in Cairns, the National Act of Recognition, Intercessors For Australia and the Australian Prayer Network, indigenous Bible translation and many other initiatives. We have pointed out the truth of Australian history and heritage and tried always to point to Jesus and His Word.
God is passing on the baton to a new generation of Christians who will take His purposes in the world in new ways to produce much fruit for the Kingdom of God. My role will be as an elder or father to this ministry, rather than to continue doing the work as a facilitator.
Your support has been essential In closing, I must acknowledge with extreme gratitude the support we have received in so many ways from those who have caught the vision of what GOD is doing among and through indigenous Australians. I particularly want to thank Rodney Rivers & our previous Fieldworkers, Ps Selvam Joseph and all the Khesed Council of Reference & Board members over the 30 years for their incredible support.
The encouragement, prayer, finance and practical support of soooo many people from across the nation and other parts of the world have made possible all that God has done through Khesed Ministries. THANK YOU ALL HEAPS!!!
Khesed’s Assetts: Khesed’s only remaining assets some DVD stock, worth less than $ 500. On 8 October 2018 ownership of Khesed’s physical assets (mainly photographic and computer equipment) was transferred to the Director in a trade-off for unpaid allowances. Khesed’s SLR camera has been given to Evangel for their indigenous ministry. On 9 Nov 2019, Khesed’s two bank account balances totaled $224.37. These accounts will be closed and the money used to pay accounts owing. Remaining DVDs will be made available free. Khesed’s website will continue to operate, and I am working to make all resources available as free downloads. The Board decided that a note will be placed on the website directing any future donations to be made to me personally.
Fire in the Outback is already available as an ebook download from Koorong and from Khesed’s website, and I am currently working with Digital Print Australia for them to print and post single copies when ordered online or by phone, costing about $31 posted.
Conclusion I pray that, as Khesed Ministries ceases to exist as an organization, its ministry will always continue in new ways as an apostolic & prophetic expression of God's chesed bereeth, continuing to serve and work in partnership between indigenous and non-indigenous people in whatever ways God leads.
God bless you all HEAPS – as you continue to bless HEAPS of others,
John Blacket, 12 November 2019
Chesed Bereeth = God’s covenant of loving mercy (Hebrew) Deuteronomy 7:12