One of the things that’s been on my heart for a while is that, as a church, we would be training, developing and helping people to become missionaries, leaders, church planters and disciple-makers. We are St Barnabas’ Church, and Barnabas was one of the people in the Bible who was fundamental in encouraging, equipping and releasing people into all that God had made them to be, and helping them to discover who God had called them to be.Read More
Tanya and Peter have been fellowshipping with us at Barney’s for a little while now, and they are about to embark on some exciting stuff in a local school. We interviewed them last Sunday to find out a bit more about them and what they are about to do. Tell us a little about yourselves and your backgrounds
Peter: I started here at Barney’s about 60 years ago when I attended Sunday school! I later moved to Perth, WA, where I went into business and got involved with Teen Challenge (a Christian organisation that helps people with drug and alcohol addictions). I remained involved with them for 25 years, sitting on the WA and national boards. In that time we saw about 10,000 people go through the programme.
Tanya: I’m originally from WA and have been in the automotive industry for about 20 years. I became a Christian after having met Peter and getting involved in Teen Challenge and other ministry work. Coming to Tasmania has been very enlightening, and has been a time of massive growth for me spiritually.
Before you came to Launceston, you were in Mathinna. Can you tell us a little about your work there?
Peter: We moved to Mathinna, at upper Inveresk, four years ago. It’s a very remote area right in the middle of nowhere. In consultation with the minister at St Mary’s, we started “Church in the Valley” which provided people there with the opportunity to meet together and communicate. We meet every three months and at Christmas about 50 people attended. There have been many great things happen there and a number of people have come to know the Lord and been healed.
Tanya: One example was a young guy of about 30 who came the first time but left immediately. The next time he came and stayed, then came with his family. It turned out he was suicidal because he had a brain tumor and had been given only 3 months to live. He got more involved with us and St Mary’s, and he’s been prayed for a lot and has become a Christian. He had an operation they said he either wouldn’t survive or that would leave him in a vegetative state but he did survive and the tumor is completely gone! He is about to achieve his lifelong goal of driving around Australia.
Tell us about the vision God is leading you to now
Tanya: When I was in WA, I heard someone speak about Kids Hope, a program that connects with kids at risk in primary schools and provides mentors for them. I was very moved and touched by that and when we came to Tassie, I started to look for opportunities to be involved in something similar, but nothing turned up. Through the business, however, I kept getting connected with one of the local schools which has a program that gives at risk kids a pathway into the automotive industry. Through helping from a business point of view, I had some insight into some of the kids’ lives, and found it very moving to hear what happens with some of these kids and then seeing the difference an 8-week program based around cars can make.
By chance (!), I heard someone at the school say that they really wanted a mentoring program for the kids to go through. That clicked with me and I talked to them at the end of last year about what I’d like to do. I didn’t know what program I would use but knew I wanted it to be a Christian based one, which they were very open to.
I’ve done lots of homework over the holidays and have had many prayers answered. I met with the school again last week and have been given permission to start the mentoring program. Six at risk students from years 7-10 are being selected to take part and we are seeking mentors to come on board as well as people to support the mentors in that role. We are also setting up a steering committee to ensure we keep the vision in mind and are achieving our goals for the kids.
Peter: With Teen Challenge, we were dealing with kids who had fallen off the cliff, but we’ve always wanted to try and stop that process from happening. Hopefully with this program we can make a difference and reach some of the kids before they fall off that cliff.
How can we pray for you and the program?
- For the overall program; that the school staff will remain positive about what we are doing
- For the young people; that they can know that God is a God of order, and they can have order in their lives
- For the mentors; that they establish good bonds with the young people
- For those supporting the mentors
- That we, as a community at Barney’s, can also support some of the families the program encounters through the kids
Please join with us in praying for Peter and Tanya and this exciting opportunity that God is giving them.
You might have missed this a couple of weeks ago, but Andy had a chat with Steven Weeks at WayFM and got the chance to tell a bit of the story of Barney's over the last couple of years. You can listen to the interview here. Also, have a read of Andy's latest blog post, about God using WayFM to really encourage him to invest in Barney's almost a year ago.
Are you interested in developing your English language skills?
Why not join the English Language Cafe!
Monday evenings 27th February to 28th May, except 12th March & 9th April Time: 7:30 - 9:00pm
Wednesday afternoons 29th February to 30th May, except 11th April & 25th April Time: 4.0pm - 5.30pm
Join us for conversation with a coffee and snacks.
1 Jan - 10am New Year's Day all-age Gathering at Barney's 8 Jan - 10am Gathering together with Newnham Baptist Church at Barney's 15 Jan - 10am Gathering at Barney's 22 Jan - 10 am Gathering together with Newnham Baptist Church at Newnham Baptist Church, 319 Invermay Road (Behind ANZ Bank) 29 Jan - 10 am Beach Gathering and BBQ with Newnham Baptist at Lagoon Beach, Low Head
There is an article in the new BCA Magazine about Barneys. You can download the magazine from the BCA Website. You might also want to have a look at the rest of their website, read about the many different missional church projects they are supporting throughout regional and rural Australia, and even sign-up to receive their magazine and prayer notes through the post.
After over two years of waiting, preparing, building, and more waiting, we're almost ready to open the doors on the hall again. And we're not only looking forward to a new building, but a whole new season in the life of our community. We're excited about exploring new ways of being church, building healthy relationships with one another and engaging with the local community here in North Launceston.