From the Field

Be encouraged and inspired by stories, articles and happenings about the people and work of AMT.


Compelled by Love

On June 11th 2022, a very large group of enthusiastic women, who had travelled to Brisbane from as far as Northern NSW and the Sunshine Coast, enjoyed the Women2Women about Mission gathering at Wavell Heights Christian Assembly in Brisbane.

Throughout the morning, speakers from a variety of missional experiences centred their presentations on the key Scripture for the day: 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 “For Christ’s love compels us…that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

Three years ago, Amber and her family moved to West Africa where her husband works as maintenance manager for a medical facility that provides crucial health care in a rural area. Amber’s life is varied: home-schooling of their three children, hospitality, village visits and training are among her many responsibilities.

There have been many encouragements, but living conditions can be difficult. Yet despite security issues, remoteness, family illness, the challenge of language learning and several failed attempts to return to Australia during COVID, Amber was eager to emphasise that they do not live with fear. Why? Because it was Christ’s love that first compelled them to work amongst these people, and it is His love that compels them to return next year – while using the intervening time to undergo more intensive language learning in a third country.

When Carol Luttah first felt the call of God to cross-cultural mission, doubts and questions came from all sides in her home country of Kenya: Why would you waste your education? What can a single woman possibly accomplish alone? Why not stay in your own country where there are pressing needs? Why give up a real job with a secure future? And where in the world is Papua New Guinea?

Compelled by love, Carol persevered – and for the past 3 years, she has worked as the manager of Christian Books Melanesia in PNG. It has been a time of learning and unlearning. She quickly learned that a woman who is single, non-Western and engaged in business as mission, did not easily fit the local people’s idea of a ‘missionary’.

Carol has had to unlearn an inclination to make unhelpful comparisons between her own country and her host country. In so doing, she has learned that it is God who places love in her heart when facing difficult situations, that His help arrives just in time, and that He has been moulding her character as He teaches her grace and patience. After a COVID-delayed leave in Kenya, Carol will return to PNG later this year.

Tess has just completed her first term in a largely unreached country of Western Asia. Language and culture study – both intriguing and stressful – have occupied much of her time. Friends have been made on the way, and different parts of the country have been explored with other team members. She is now in a position to decide: what next? Where would be a good place to live on a more permanent basis? What ministry will she be involved in? Who will she work with? How might constantly changing visa requirements affect her placement?

Tess invites us to continue to pray with her as God reveals his answers to these questions as she returns in September to her host country. Despite being a populous nation, it has no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to share the Good News with their neighbours without outside help. Compelled by Christ’s love, Tess’s desire is that God will make hard soil fertile; that the people she will live amongst may come to know Him.

Who would take a ‘holiday’ to travel almost 2000 kilometres to ‘come and see’ what God is doing in north-western NSW? A busload of people did just that over the Easter school term break. Compelled by love, members of the Wetzel, Skinner and Fawssett families joined with the indigenous communities that the Strahans and Mosses serve. Louise Skinner shared some of the highlights with us: participating in the Outback River Convention, supporting Ike and Eileen Gordon in their ministry, enjoying early morning Bible studies, and being enlightened and confronted by our Australian history described by the local indigenous tour guide at the Brewarrina Aboriginal Cultural Museum.

As our keynote speaker, Allison Howell highlighted that the 2 Corinthians text begins with the love of Christ. It was love that compelled Him to step into our world to live with us and to die for us – and it is His love that compels all of us to share the Good News with a world in need.

She then drew on stories of 3 women who have lived lives compelled by the love of Christ ­ each in very different contexts. The first was Mary Magdalene, who having been healed by Jesus, and having been there at his crucifixion, was the first witness to his resurrection. After she was told not to be afraid by the angel and Christ himself, she obeyed their instructions to go to the disciples and let them know that Jesus was indeed alive. The first evangelist.

Emma Geraldine Henrietta Hamilton Hooper grew up in England in the mid 1800s where she became a committed evangelist, and perhaps the best-known female Bible teacher of her time. When she died at the early age of 31, a well-known church leader wrote, “She not only knew the love of Christ, but it constrained her…she not only knew the value of souls but she had a heart yearning for their salvation.”

The third woman, Kolamwea Dinah Abanapawo, is Ghanaian. When she first saw the visual resources that had been developed to help people understand the message of God’s love in the Bible, she was saddened that there were so few willing to teach those in rural areas. Compelled by Christ’s love, she overcame her own fears and took up the challenge to become a Bible teacher where no one else was available. Many have come to Christ through her commitment.

We are grateful for the Bible teaching given, the testimonies shared, the hospitality provided by Wavell Heights women, and the opportunity during lunch to support the work of cross-cultural missions by purchasing items generously supplied by the Kuraby Ladies Craft group and Transform the Nations.

Date Claimer: W2W 2023 will be held on June 10 at Village Avenue Community Church in Coopers Plains


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