I received an exciting invitation yesterday to take one of the sessions in next weeks UNOH conference in Bidwell, Western Sydney next week. I have been involved in their men’s ministry for most of this year, and its been a real pleasure to be part of God’s redemptive purposes in doing life with these guys. The conference will include a link with Bob and Grace Ekblad. Bob and Grace are great examples of Christian ministry to the broken and those whom society look down on. They have managed to combine the ministry of the word, social justice, academic, charismatic and contemplative elements of Christianity to minister Christ’s love to the broken.
While my brief is yet to be fully worked out, I will be sharing on the role of the Holy Spirit in bringing me through a real time of brokenness, homelessness into becoming who I am today. In many ways, just as Jacob wrestled with God and afterwards walked with a limp, we too in our walk with the Lord, also will more often than not also walk with a limp. And so I am thinking of giving my talk the title of “The Journey of the Limp.”
Bidwell is considered to be the heartland of broken society. But in spite of the poverty, mess, addictions, abuse and general feeling of hopelessness: I have found a real acceptance and need for love. I have been developing a deep bond of mateship with a variety of guys from different backgrounds and circumstances of life; one in which a real spark of the need for Christ is truly being fanned into fire.
As an aside, one of my social justice heroes is John Smith from God Squad fame. I have never met John, and am looking forward to going with the guys to hear him speak at a men’s dinner, which Hawskbury Valley Baptist Church at Richmond is holding next month.