Did you know that Australia has the longest fence in the world, a cattle station larger than Israel, and the most liveable city in the world (Melbourne)?! All those who attended the Mission Update Meeting found out these facts (and much more) about the “Land Down Under”! On Tuesday 24th October at 7.30pm we gathered in Faughan RP Church Hall to hear Graeme and Allison Hart (from McKinnon) speak and we enjoyed learning much about the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Australia.

There are three congregations in and around Melbourne, Victoria – Geelong, Frankston and McKinnon. Graeme told us about the work of revitalisation in McKinnon congregation where he has been a pastor since 2011. Revitalisation involves hard work and much prayer. Graeme emphasised the need for a focus on the Gospel and shared with us how God had answered their prayers for growth in an amazing way!

The city of Melbourne is an increasingly multicultural society and Graeme told us of the challenges of reaching out to people from different cultural backgrounds. At one point McKinnon Congregation had people attending from Australia, New Zealand, USA, China, Singapore, India, Peru, Brazil and Pakistan! Though ‘Aussies’ are often hardened to the Gospel he said that migrants are generally more receptive.

Allison challenged us to have a missionary mind-set and an ‘open home policy’. Are we willing to use our homes to welcome people and show them God’s love? She told us about their ministry to those around them through community involvement.

Thanks to Graeme and Allison for sharing so honestly with us about the ups and downs of their ministry in McKinnon. They extended a warm welcome to anyone wanting to visit them Down Under!

Helen Fallows, Gateway Christian Fellowship, Derry