Since we arrived to serve in an international church in the Middle East with CMS, many have asked us what church here is like. Is it different than back in Australia? Is anything the same?

Well, yes and no!

It’s the largest church we have ever been part of, with up to 1000 people joining us across our two services. And it truly is an international church! There are so many people from all over the world, brought from the kingdom of darkness into God’s marvellous light by the same Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Our church cannot currently own a building here, so we meet in a hotel ballroom under grand chandeliers—a little different from most Aussie church buildings! The kids’ ministry meets in the conference rooms one floor above.

When we first arrived, there were many unfamiliar songs. But we were surprised to find ourselves enthusiastically singing a song by CityAlight from St Paul’s Castle Hill in Sydney! We asked around and found out it’s not the very small number of Aussies who most request these songs, but our Filipino brothers and sisters!

Our church services typically last an hour and a half, with the sermon lasting 45 of those 90 minutes. Scripture is threaded throughout, and we pray, sing, and share the Lord’s Supper once a month. Baptisms happen outside of regular services since the ballroom has no pool! Most importantly, though, we sit together under God’s word every Sunday, just as you do.

Outside of Sundays, one of the most encouraging aspects of our church is the active role our members play in sharing Jesus with nonbelievers. Because of how permissions for church gatherings work here, we cannot run outreach events to invite our nonbelieving friends to come hear the gospel. Instead, our faithful church members share the good news of the Lord Jesus with their friends, colleagues, and neighbours over coffee, a meal, or even at the office. This often leads to reading the Bible with a nonbelieving friend or colleague. Then, through these personal interactions, many come to faith in Jesus. Our brothers and sisters in our city are truly living out Jesus’ call to make disciples of all nations.

We’re so thankful you are partnering with us and our church here in the Middle East. Keep praying that we will share Jesus boldly, see many come to faith, and then take the gospel back out across the world when they leave our transient city. We’re also excited to be praying for you all at Wollongong and Corrimal during your 1-2-3 challenge – that every one of you would have two people you intentionally and prayerfully introduce to Jesus over the next three years. We’ll be visiting next year and are excited to see how God has worked through you to grow his kingdom in Wollongong and Corrimal – that through your faithful sharing of the gospel, more and more would join you as shining lights for Jesus in your city.

8am Mission Partner, serving with CMS in the Middle East

Mission Partner Sunday23 June 2024

Here at St Michaels, we want to support mission in a way that is deep, practical and prayerful. This Sunday 23 June is our ‘Mission Partner Sunday’; that is, an opportunity to gather with our church family to highlight and celebrate God’s mission among our mission partners. Church will run as normal, but we’ll have an opportunity to hear directly from some of our mission partners, including preaching from mission-focussed passages (note: our Hebrews sermon series will resume the following Sunday!). We look forward to this intentional time together as we remember and pray for those who are following Jesus’ Great Commission to make disciples of all nations.