Why come back to Sydney?
That was the question my wife Betty and I faced last year. Through our time in the EU, we’d become convinced of the value of living and serving in contexts where people are less reached by the gospel or less resourced for gospel growth (also called the LRLR). We’d been living and serving outside of Sydney in Taree, a less resourced place, for three years.
So, why did we leave? It wasn’t so that we could be closer to bookshops, good coffee or even to family – as good as those things are! We left so that I could be trained in the Howard Guinness Project, trained up in the short term so that Betty and I might better serve the LRLR in the long term.
This left us with a challenge, the challenge of keeping our vision for serving the LRLR wide and seeing our love for the LRLR grow even while I serve in a context that is relatively well reached and resourced. God has worked in many ways to do just this, both through decisions we’ve made and through my time serving alongside the EU.
On our return to Sydney we decided to live in Campbelltown, in Sydney’s less resourced southwest. Though this has meant a longer commute for me, God has grown in us a love for our church family and for this area of Sydney.
As I’ve served with euFOCUS, the EU’s ministry amongst international students, I’ve been part of a community imagining how they might serve the LRLR across cultures and outside Australia. I think of students who are making sacrificial decisions now that will equip them to serve the LRLR in Asia in the future; one is planning to study ESL teaching after graduation rather than going straight into full-time work, another will complete a teaching placement in Indonesia rather than the simpler option of a placement in Sydney. As much as I seek to encourage them in this, these students are an encouragement to me; one more way God is keeping our vision wide for serving the LRLR.
By Will Steele-SmithBack to News