What God has prepared
GOD's Story – Simply Aussie
Rites of Passage
News Around Australia
Praise God for His presence in work on this project! We expect to receive the first delivery of copies before the end of June.
In April we sent out an email from Alice Springs inviting people to pre-purchase copies of the DVD to distribute in outreach ministry. Within days, we received an offer of a loan to pay for the master DVD & CD. That meant they arrived in Perth before we returned from our trip. We also received orders for over 100 copies of the DVD and a large donation towards costs from someone who had been praying for the right means of using some money for outreach. The result is that we have been able to get a Christian professional graphic artist, Dawson Cook, to design covers, and have sorted out ISBN number, barcode and production of the DVD.
Please pray about how you and your friends or church can distribute copies of the DVD or CD for teaching and outreach and place your orders now. Could you join those who pre-purchased 10 DVDs for $100 to distribute among friends or in their neighbourhood? We thank God, and those who have already ordered copies to help with finance and distribution in this way, as well as those who have made donations.
NO eye has SEEN, NO ear has HEARD, NO mind has CONCEIVED what God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9
Editorial Comment: by John Blacket
We have a remarkable opportunity before us, with signs of an incredible renewal among indigenous Australians needing support, and clear expectations that this move of God's Spirit will impact non-indigenous Australians and migrants in this land.
Many young Aborigines in Central Australia and Arnhem Land have turned to Jesus Christ from drugs and petrol sniffing, worshipping the Lord in new songs in their own languages – this is sooooo beautiful to experience!
There is deep repentance that we haven't seen for over 25 years, with a real outpouring of Holy Spirit fire. There is also a lot of prayer and symbolic acts for healing the land, and a move to work through deep Gospel/culture issues like we have never seen. So many of our dreams and heart cries of 20 years are beginning to happen!
But there is a need for Holy Spirit revelation of God's word - both the Word and the Spirit together. There still tends to be too much of a divide between those clinging in loyalty to the historical roots of missionary evangelical teaching and understandings of the literal, old-English Word of the Bible – in rather legalistic ways -and those moving in the power of the Spirit, that is so often just personal emotions, lacking in Scriptural foundation. At times this has even led to fist fights in the church between the 'concrete Christians' and the 'singers'.
Conservative values so often lock us into the empty shell of religion – a powerful tool of Satan. Holy Spirit, please also keep us from seeking shallow, selfish, thrill-seeking experiences of Your gifts! Thank You Lord, for recent releases of scriptures translated into Aboriginal languages that help people to know Your Word!
Revelation of the Word of God by the Holy Spirit is essential, with the power of God's Love constantly tearing down of the walls we build that divide us.
Jameson Easter Convention
The fire of the Holy Spirit has been at work since my last visits to the Central Desert 2-3 years ago. Three years ago Ernabella and the Pitjantjatjara lands were the worst we have seen them - total hopelessness of spirit with youth suicides and drugs, but we have been told there is no more petrol sniffing in the area - not because of the Government' program of 'opal fuel' which doesn't give the 'highs' - but through Jesus Christ.
Before we left Perth, I was crying out and asking for prayer for a change from singing Christian songs to real worship of God. At the Jameson Easter Convention, there were large numbers of young people with older Christians supporting them, really worshipping God - original songs written in their own languages, accompanied by keyboard and guitars. There is a deep searching for all that God wants to do - repentance and commitment to the Lord like we haven't seen since the revival and crusade times of the early 1980s.
There were groups at Jameson for the Easter Convention from Ernabella and Amata and other Pitjantjatjara/Yungkuntjatjara communities [an area about the size of Victoria on the western end of the NT/SA border], as well as from Yuendumu [300km NW of Alice Springs], where the Holy Spirit has also been released recently in new ways. Also at the convention were large numbers from the Ngaanyatjarra region [west from the NT/SA border for about 500kms towards Laverton], where the Holy Spirit has also been moving, as well as from the Goldfields and Perth.
During the revival time of 1979, God moved at Elcho Island, then the movement spread from there to many other parts right across Australia. This time it seems to have started at a number of places around the same time.
There were times of prayer and symbolic acts for healing the land. Richard Evans spoke briefly on Psalm 24 about the gatekeepers who need to open up the Gates so that the King of Glory may enter in. This was a powerful word from the Lord, which brought a lot of response and symbolic opening of the spiritual gates of the Central Desert lands to the Lord. One rather conservative Aboriginal pastor later publicly apologized for keeping the gates shut, and said he wants God's help to open them and keep them open.
There was a lot of public platform time given to the relationship between the Word and the Spirit, and the need for new Holy Spirit revelation of the Word rather than human thinking about it. See my comments in the editorial What God has Prepared.
Pray that NO attack from the enemy - or any person or group - will hinder this move of Holy Spirit powered transformation and revival, and that it will flow right through the whole land effectively.
Rites of Passage
There is also a move to work through deep Gospel/culture issues like we have never seen. On the Saturday night, I showed a short film, The Great Day of Forgiveness, from a DVD called Shadows of Good, produced by SIL and filmed at the Katherine Christian Convention in 1995 using Aboriginal actors. It shows how the priest could only enter the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle once a year after sacrificing an animal to God, and links it to Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. Afterwards, I made the comment that I believe Satan has tried to steal the power of the blood of Christ from Aboriginal Australians. It produced a lot of thought and discussion, as well as a public reprimand and private commendation to me for showing it publicly. I was also assured that the old men will be taking action on the issue.
Several Aboriginal men talked with me privately about the rites of passage for indigenous youth. They are strong Christians – one is a senior tribal elder – and they are keen to work with tribal elders to find means of bringing children through to adulthood that honour God, as there are things in initiation ceremonies that need to change.
300kms NW of Alice Springs – a Warlpiri community where the Baptist Church have done a great work over many years, that has resulted in pioneering Christian art and dances using traditional styles in new ways. We were shown an old photo of the people sitting on the ground where the church now stands and dedicating it to the Lord. Their Christian 'pulapa' [corroboree] use boomerangs rattled together for rhythm, and body paint. We first saw this at the 1979 Central Australian Christian Convention in Alice Springs.
Today there are about 400 people living there, with two Pentecostal churches and a Catholic order of nuns – the Little Sisters of Jesus.
We met a group from Yuendumu who had travelled in their bus over 1,000kms to the Jameson Easter convention. The AOG pastor, Robert Robertson, invited us to visit them, so we had several meetings with them on the basketball court. There is a deep hunger for Holy Spirit inspired teaching from the Bible among them. After a time of teaching at one meeting, we prayed for about 50 people and anointed them with oil. Then I turned around to see ten men behind me, leading in worship to the Lord. Earlier there had been a group of men and women leading the worship, but this was a definite answer to my cry for real worship to God among the people.
It was 30 years since we had been to Yuendumu, but we feel the Lord will have us back there again soon, and we are looking for ways to help resource the church there.
Khesed Directors, John & June Blacket had a great trip and were packing up at the end of the Katherine Christian Convention, when our plans were drastically changed. June had her arms full of gear to be packed into the 4WD, when she tripped in the doorway of the camper-tent and fell, injuring her right ankle. A doctor was camped next to us, and checked it out and bound it up. The next day June was still not able to put any weight on her leg, so we went to Katherine hospital, where an X-ray revealed both bones broken at the ankle.
Change of Plans: It was clear that at least five days on the road would present major problems with June's leg in a heavy plaster cast from above the knee to her toes. So we realised we had few options, and drove the 300kms to Darwin and caught a plane home, organising to have our vehicle and trailer trucked back to Perth. In Perth, there was talk of the possibility of her needing surgery and plates inserted, but we praise God that was not required and she has had very little pain. Our GP suggested it would be 8-12 weeks before her cast was removed, but it was less than 6 weeks, and she now has a 'moon boot' to give her ankle support while her muscles and skin get back to normal. We pray it will not be too long before she is back to walking normally and driving again.
So John has had to become very domesticated and cut back on a lot of planned work. The 4WD arrived in Perth with a damaged roof, which had to be replaced, because the jib of a crane on the truck was bouncing up and down on our vehicle's roof. It is now back home in good condition.
Before we left Perth, we knew the camper-trailer was a temporary solution to our accommodation, and we have now purchased a 15ft off-road caravan for future trips – 14 years old, but in good condition.
Camper trailer – manufactured 2009
Oztrail Camper 6 camper, with annexe and walls.
Tent 3m x 2.2m Annexe 3m x 2.4m – Double bed
Erde Daxara 198 galvanised tipping trailer with heavy duty 750kg suspension, drop stays & spare wheel.
Located in Perth – will sell camper separately: camper bolts or clamps on a 6 x 4 trailer
$2,500 camper, $3,950 with trailer phone John Blacket 0409 209 023
Khesed Directors' trips, 2009
- a season of encouraging and facilitating the healing of the ancient lands of this nation and its people.
We left Perth on 2 April and spent a weekend in Kalgoorlie, ministering at Ninga-Mia church, before heading out through to Warburton Ranges and Jameson for the Easter Convention. After another day with Christians in 'Ranges, we went on to Yulara and Ernabella, with some valuable time with people there, as well as some teaching on Sunday night. We had a few days in Alice Springs before heading out to Yuendumu, and then on to Katherine for the convention there, 2-4 May. This was a great time of meeting many people, including an interview on camera with Millie from Beswick, who has been a leader and Bible translator for many years. Details of this trip are in other articles in this newsletter.
Our next trip is planned for two months in SA/VIC/NSW/QLD, leaving Perth early August. We have some teaching commitments with Ganggalah Training Centre – a week teaching on Spiritual Warfare, 24-28 August, and several days on learning styles and personal educational issues around 22 September.
We would like to meet and pray with indigenous and other people during August, September and early October, especially in rural towns and communities. Please let us know if you would like to meet with us and we will try to include you in our program.
Khesed Projects delayed
The CD version and reprint of Fire in the Outback, plus the Outback Fire DVD project and Dhurrkay Praise CD, and website upgrade have all been put on hold – hopefully some of these will be completed in July.
Research on Indigenous Mission
Rev Willie Pickett has asked us whether anything has been done – or if it is now time - to compile a historical assessment of the effects of the church's missions and outreach among indigenous Australians, and what is the current situation. We feel this needs some action. Please pray for wisdom over what, how and who should be involved. Please let us know if you are interested in helping us produce a questionnaire or to answer one.
Reports from Milingimbi and Ramangining [300km east of Darwin] are that there is a strong move of the Spirit there. Over Easter many travelled from around Arnhem Land and even a large group travelled thousands of kilometres from Ernabella in South Australia.
One email from Arnhem Land reported [edited to reduce its size]:
Over the last few months it has been exciting to see what God is doing amongst little groups of people all over Arnhem Land… such occasions have been rare, or we have seen isolated pockets of enthusiasm spring up for a short period of time, and then die down again… [but] we are seeing some good things happening. Over easter at Numbulwar a number of people were baptized... The outreach trips in Nhulunbuy have also been well accepted by the homelands involved, with a number of people confessing faith in Christ recently… Weeknight fellowships at Ramingining and at Milingimbi have been occurring where they had not occurred for quite some time... The folk at Manmoyi continue to grow in their faith… this is only just the mere surface of it, that God is doing far more than we can ever know.
I am also writing to alert you all to the spiritual battle in which we fight. Last week some of you may have heard about a large snake/anaconda like creature roaming around western Arnhem Land… Regardless on the myth or otherwise of this story, or your personal ideas on spiritual forces, what IS real about this story is peoples FEAR. And a very real fear it is. It is interesting how this is occurring at a time when God is also moving in the lives of many people here.
[We heard later that the cause of this fear was a photo being circulated on mobile phones which had been taken from a DVD someone was watching. Ed.]
A Healthy Vision – please pray for this
- from Associate Professor Christine Jeffries-Stokes from Kalgoorlie, [wife of Ps Geoff Stokes]
University of Western Australia and University of Notre Dame
Honarary Research Fellow Telethon Institute for Child Health Research
August 2 is National Tree Day where everyone is encouraged to plant a tree. Usually this would be a Native variety but I have had an idea - you may or may not be aware that the Goldfields has unacceptably high rates of nutrition related diseases - the obvious ones like diabetes and obesity - but also the hidden, more tragic ones like birth defects, still birth, miscarriage, learning problems, depression and other mood disorders, kidney disease, heart attack, stroke and cancer. These diseases all have a link to not enough Folate in the diet. Folate is a vitamin found in fresh fruit and vegetables.
I would like to get a public campaign going to encourage people to plant fruit trees - in their gardens and in public places (like parks, schools, church gardens etc). These will grow to provide shade and oxygen but also much needed food - and in addition they will become places where people meet, chat, exchange news, gardening tips and recipes, children discover the excitement of picking fruit and eating it straight away - as well as the nutritional benefits people will experience the satisfaction and pleasure of seeing something flourish under their care and then sharing the fruits of their labour.
I have a vision that the Goldfields becomes known, not as an arid, harsh place in the desert, but as a delicious, generous, fruitful oasis.