Khesed News #77 Nov 2008

Simply The Story
Nhä: God's Standards?
God's Strategies through Indigenous People
WCGIP7 Israel
Current Khesed Projects & Program
News Around Australia
Aboriginal Pastor ministers in China


{mospagebreak title="Simply The Story"}


Earlier this year, I felt the Lord strongly prompt me to attend a workshop on storytelling. I resisted, because I was really busy, and besides, Aborigines are natural storytellers. But I felt the Lord show me clearly that they are not telling the stories in the church, but following the western preaching style of missionaries and others.
Dorothy Miller, writer and producer of God's Story DVD, has developed Simply the Story over the last few years, as growing numbers of mission organizations have realised that a different style is required with people whose communication is oral, rather than written. About 80% of the Bible is stories.
During the workshop, Dorothy shared some figures from a national survey in USA which showed that 30% of Americans cannot read, 30% cannot understand a paragraph when they read it, 20% prefer to get information orally, and only 20% like to read. The figures are probably very similar around the western world. Modern media, especially TV, are increasing the numbers of people who don't read. The number of indigenous people who can't or don't read is likely to be much higher.
Simply the Story is a simple means of sharing what God has chosen to put in His Word accurately in a way that people will know and apply what God is saying to them today. It consists of a method of learning and preparing the story, then a five-step presentation.
The story must be learned accurately, without adding or taking away any details that God has chosen to put in the story [Rev. 22:18-19]. God has even included difficult names that seem irrelevant to us – include them! The best way to do this is to read the story aloud, close your Bible and tell it to the birds, trees, or animals aloud in your own words, then read it through aloud from the Bible again to check on the details. Do this several times, and within 10 minutes you can learn a 10 verse story.
Other preparation includes thinking through what background information needs to be given to your audience, and what terms need explanation. These should be kept to a minimum. Thought and prayer also needs to be given to how the present the story: what actions can be done, and what emotions and feeling are expressed in the Bible in this story. Do not put in feelings like anger etc. that are not clearly in the words of the Bible for this story.

{mospagebreak title="The Five Steps of Simply the Story"}

1.    Tell the story. Begin with any explanation that may be needed.
2.    Get someone to tell the story back to everyone. Help them when they miss out details, but encourage their efforts. As an alternative, you can get them all to tell it to each other especially if it is a large group. The story can be told to audiences of hundreds of people – or with an audience of just one person.
3.    Step through the story, asking questions to get each detail of the story in order from the audience: 'What was the name of the woman at the beginning of the story?' …. 'What did he say then?'  Try not to ask 'why?' questions, unless the answer is clearly in the story.
4.    Ask the audience what treasures they can see from God in the story.
5.    Ask them how they feel God is speaking to them in their life through these treasures.

I have talked with a number of Aboriginal people and groups of people about this way of telling stories this year. I have told them that I felt God was saying they are using western missionary methods of sharing His messages, but He wants them to use Aboriginal ways through telling stories. I have been surprised at the response.
They are excited to see that they can take the stories of their Bibles and share these stories accurately in an Aboriginal way, rather than trying to preach in whitefella ways. It is significant that the Kriol Bible, Ngaanyatjarra Shorter Bible and Djambarrpuyngu New Testament have all been released in the last year, after over 30 years work on each of them.
At Elcho Island when I shared the story of Nathan and David at a rally, there were more children than adults present. The children would normally run around and play during the whole meeting, but they came and sat quietly and really joined in the story excitedly. I told the adults that this was not just for children, but also for all of them to join in.
The next morning, John Ives told me that the children have started gathering on the lawn of Maratja & Gapany's house for times of prayer – totally their own initiative! Maratja also said that the people were really excited about telling God's stories like this. It is another sign of breakthrough after many dry years. There is real hope!

{mospagebreak title="Nhä: God's Standards?"}     "...Bäpa, we've been talking about God's standards, but what does that mean?"

The question came at Elcho Island after Bible studies on revival and the Holy Spirita few months ago. Nungalinya College lecturer, Rev Jovilisi Ragata, led the studies. Jo was recently in his homeland, Fiji, when hundreds of people were turning to the Lord, and the King of Fiji came with tears in his eyes and gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jo has poured his heart out for the Lord at Elcho Island and Arnhem Land for well over 30 years, and this was his last trip to Elcho Island before he retires later this year.
This question comes from a longing by Arnhem Land Yolngu to live God's way and not just talk about Him – a growing hunger in many Aborigines over the last few years. It was the one thing I have felt has been missing from the time God poured out His Holy Spirit in revival in 1979, and I am excited to hear the issue being raised. John & Annette Ives, Christian staff at Elcho Island, have been talking with Yolngu about it for several years, and this was the motivation for Yolngu asking June and I to minister there five years ago.
But somehow we are still looking for a clear way of explaining it in ways that speaks to Yolngu worldview and thinking. During one of the Bible Studies that week, Rev Dan Armstrong stood back to back with a tall Yolngu leader, showing that Dan was shorter, and didn't meet the standard. Jesus is our measure, and our standard should be: 'What would Jesus Do?' 
We talked of rulers and measures, but that is western thinking. At the rally just after I was asked the question, I felt the Lord led me to tell the story of Nathan telling King David of the rich man who stole a poor man's lamb [2 Samuel 12]. I used the Simply the Story method of telling this story in different ways to involve people and draw from them the treasures God has put in the story [see the separate report on this sent out previously]. The people saw more of God's holy ways in the New Covenant where we need to live by standards that are better than the Old Covenant of law. But they are still trying to grasp holiness and live it!
It is a major breakthrough that people are hungry for God's ways and His holiness. Please pray that they will see clearly what this means, and find Holy Spirit power to live holy lives for God.
There are also discussions over traditional leadership styles. Western leadership of 'bosses' has taken over from traditional shared servant leadership, and Yolngu are starting to realise this is destroying their community life.

{mospagebreak title="God's Strategies through indigenous people:"}

Restoring order & direction to the church and the nations

Dr Bruce Mulder is a white African from Namibia with a strategic Ministry with native Africans, called Eagle Rock International Network. It is having a profound effect on the church and nations of Africa.
Ps Tim Edwards first met Bruce in 2000. Bruce has been very keen to share in ministry in the Australian indigenous church, but God's time was yesterday, 9 November 2008, when he shared a powerful message and ministry. We believe the message released a total new dimension of ministry into Eagle Rock Community Church, Perth, and to indigenous ministry in Australia and the world.
I have personally only heard Bruce's name a few times before, and knew nothing about him, but this was an incredible watershed occasion for Eagle Rock Church and for June and I – the likes of which I have only experienced 3 times before. I sobbed right through the message with joy and gratitude, as God affirmed the things he has put on our hearts for the last 30 years.
Bruce gave us Biblical basis for many things that we had never found before, but knew deeply in our hearts were true. A summary of his teaching in the article 'God's Strategies'. We can supply a CD of his message – cost is $10 posted to Australian addresses.

{mospagebreak title="World Indigenous Christian Gathering, Israel"}
WCGIP7 Organiser, Gavriel Gefen reported: "437 international delegates from more than thirty countries and nearly 100 different tribes presented songs, dances, and prayers each from their own tribal tradition and all in honor of Jesus. Some of the traditional singing and dancing presented had never before been done in honor of Jesus anywhere much less openly and publicly in the land of Jesus. It was truly historic."
Khesed Ministries have produced a DVD of the World Christian Gathering of Indigenous People in Israel, which was held in September. It is in two parts: the land and the places we visited [60 minutes] and the story of the WCGIP in Israel and its message and action.
At the 1st WCGIP in Rotarua, New Zealand in 1996, the Australian indigenous delegation laid at the foot of the cross objects that symbolised bondages experienced by indigenous Australians. In Jerusalem in front of the empty 'resurrection tomb', the Australians took up objects that symbolised the things we want to see restored to our people. It was a powerful time, and Australian leader, Ray Minniecon said afterwards that he just felt like dancing, and hadn't felt like that for years.

See our Photo Gallery for photos of the Gathering.


{mospagebreak title="CURRENT KHESED PROJECTS"}
During the last five months, I have done more travelling and ministry than ever before. It has meant that two printed editions of Khesed News have been cancelled this year, and has delayed work on projects that we now want to complete over the summer months.

New Khesed Website

We began rebuilding Khesed's website to make it more user-friendly in May, but since then it has been on the back burner. The aim is to able to add articles and photos more often, and include links to other useful sites, with less use of PDF files that take too long to download. A new on-line shop-front will be incorporated, as the old website ordering was not working well.
After we return from teaching in Tweed Heads at the end of November, I hope to complete the job. Check it out sometime in December or the New Year.

God's Story Down Under

Translation and editing of the simple English version of the 80-minute DVD God's Story [from Creation to Revelation] was completed early this year.
Some of us have been working together on the narration for this project, and we hope to have the final audio track sent off for adding to the visuals so that a master DVD can be produced early in 2009.
We believe God will use this DVD in powerful ways in Australia and other lands, but there are still a number of significant issues needing to be sorted out.

New Revival DVD Project:   Outback Fire

Over the last year or so, a lot of government and media attention has been given to issues among remote indigenous communities, which indicate a serious sense of powerlessness, lack of hope for future quality of life among the people, and deep problems with spiritual and moral standards. Government and welfare organisations are not able to address the deeper issues behind the problems.
However, we saw a significant movement among indigenous people in 1979, which began at Elcho Island and spread through Arnhem Land to Warburton Ranges, Central Australia and many other parts of the nation. This brought significant changes in health, employment, education and family and community life.
I was involved with that movement among the people, and went back in the 1990s to research and write it up into a book called Fire in the Outback. This has been widely read, but it has not impacted many indigenous Australians who are non-readers.
Last year an older Goldfields Aboriginal elder asked me for a CD version of the book, as his eyesight is failing. John is in the middle of narrating the book onto MP3/CD, and we plan on releasing it before Christmas. Cost will be $10 posted to an Australian address. It may be available on-line next year.
A number of indigenous leaders have encouraged me to make an updated version of the story from Fire in the Outback on DVD, to encourage the younger generation as well as older indigenous people, to seek a new movement that will go even deeper, to bring change in the very spirit of the nation through its original people.
We were greatly encouraged earlier this year when God provided one major sponsor for the project. This made it possible to purchase a new Sony High Definition camcorder and microphones. I have been able to interview people and film places and events in Arnhem Land, Kimberley and Perth for the project during the last 5 months, and we are hoping to get film from TV coverage of events in 1982. If you know of any photos or film that might be relevant, please let us know.
This will be my major project in first part of 2009, and i hope it will be completed by Easter 2009. We are praying for additional sponsors to help with additional costs including the production of the DVD. Total costs for equipment, travel and production are expected to total around $15,000.  We are also praying for the right people to assist with scriptwriting and editing.

{mospagebreak title="NEWS AROUND AUSTRALIA"}
Aboriginal Pastor ministers in China
Monday 10 November 2008, 3am      Ps Tim Edwards flew to Hong Kong, then an 11 hour trip by mini-bus to the southern parts of China for ministry with the underground church. As far as we know, Tim is the first Australian indigenous Christian to minister in China, especially in the underground church. He is travelling with leaders from a Korean Church in Perth, WA. Ps Tim has been involved with Korean churches in Australia for many years, but this will be challenging work, with his messages translated into Korean and then to Mandarin.
On 15-16 Nov. Tim will be the guest speaker for the 21st anniversary of one of Yongi Cho's churches in Hong Kong. He will then spend 5 days training 30 underground church leaders in another Chinese city before returning to Perth 21 November.

Perth Creative Ministry
A group of musicians from a number of different churches have begun to have informal 'jam sessions' once a month to encourage indigenous young people in their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Pastor Denzil Humphries saw the potential of music recently when Christians held an opening night for a festival gathering in the Kimberley, with children, youth and adults joined together in an alcohol free celebration.
Two other indigenous Christian musicians, Rodney Rivers and John Beeck have teamed up with Denzil and recruited a number of other Christian musicians who have a heart to mentor and encourage young musicians, as well as to draw in others who are not following Jesus actively.
The first event was held in a community centre in the southern Perth suburb of Armadale with an audience of about 40 people. Holy Spirit's presence was really felt. Several pastors who were present were deeply touched at the way the musicians blended together, coming together from different denominations. Some people were sure it was a band that regularly played together, but most of them had never played together before.
There is huge potential to touch people's lives deeply through music and creative arts. In the future this move may lead into annual awards in music, dance and other art forms. The intention is to hold these events monthly in different parts of the city, drawing in people who have no church involvement. Leadership want to keep it open so it is not linked with any particular denomination or Christian stream. Please pray that it will be a means of bringing unity among Noongars and churches in Western Australia, as well as bringing many people into a vibrant, creative relationship with God through Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit.

Hundreds of Aboriginal men from across Australia have issued an historic apology to their women for the "pain, hurt and suffering" indigenous men have caused them. In the icy desert of Central Australia, men of all age groups from Cape York, the Top End, Central Australia, NSW and WA recently met to discuss ways to be better fathers, husbands and sons. They also sought to repair the damage caused in the 12 months since their communities were denounced as hotbeds of violence and abuse.
Since the federal intervention to combat child sex abuse was launched in June last year, John Liddle - from the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress - said Aboriginal men had been painted as brutal and uncaring. Mr Liddle told the gathering at Ross River outside of Alice Springs. "We need to acknowledge the hurt and pain that has been caused by violence which has shamed many indigenous males who are not violent." But he conceded good men had sat in silence, and now felt they needed to issue a collective apology.
"We the Aboriginal males from Central Australia and our brothers from around Australia ... acknowledge and say sorry for the hurt, pain and suffering caused by Aboriginal males," the statement said. "We also acknowledge that we need the love and support of our Aboriginal women to help us move forward."
One of the authors of the report which sparked the Howard Government's emergency response, Rex Wild QC, said the apology was "very powerful and very moving". He said child abuse was not just an Aboriginal problem and it had been unfair of governments to single them out. "They are not acknowledging there is a higher rate - they are acknowledging there is a rate, that there is a level of domestic violence that they have now said sorry for," he said.
Joe Hayes, a father who lives on an outstation 25km from Alice Springs, said he walked away from the gathering "a  proud Aborigine". "We have got to try and be responsible parents and our attitudes have got to change ... saying sorry is the best part of healing," he said.
Source: Compiled by Australian Prayer Network from media reports

Development and Outreaching Ministry – Rev Willie Pickett
Since arriving in Geelong and gladly taking on this role of "Development and Outreach Minister" it has been great, meeting many people both from the church and others who don't have any connection.
Vince [Ross], John /UAICC VICTAS have been excellent encouragers and to be a part of this network is continuing to have positive results on both my family and myself and have had also a major impact on us settling down to which we can grow as a family and certainly a larger impact on the future ministry here in Geelong, Narana, Heywood, Minajarlku and Robinvale.
I anticipate that the nature of this ministry may change throughout the first twelve months as will the dynamics in each location of ministry but I feel reassured with the flexibility given by Congress Victoria to allow those changes to happen.
Café Fellowship at Narana
This service is begins at 6:30pm goes through to 7:30pm -8:30pm.Up to now all is well we are averaging about 29 persons that includes mostly adults with small number of children.
Slowly the service is getting recognized although it would be great to see more people come but the aim is to continue inviting people from the Geelong area.
Overall there is much potential at all locations for future ministry.
I look forward to the next half of the year.

Let The Rivers Flow, Let The Fire Burn
   January 5-9, 2009 
With Gloria Dyer  & special guests
• inspired by a vision of 7 rivers of God flowing into the city of Perth and of a deep well in the spirit and a fire burning at the centre.  These rivers are to do with 7 Indigenous ministries and the anointing of God upon their lives and flowing through them. 
• seeking a gathering of the people and for the nation and nations to come to Perth to receive from Vanuatu and that great promise being released through THE GATEKEEPERS OF THAT LAND AS WE HONOR THEM AS CARRIERS OF THAT PROMISE.  Israel will also be at the forefront of the honoring as God's chosen people and the vine in which we have been grafted onto.  

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