It’s been another great month in the adventure of serving Jesus by serving and encouraging students on university campuses. I’m settling more and more into my role as a chaplain at Victoria University and Keira is continuing her raising of leaders at Melbourne University. As I wrote last month, I’ve started in the role of the only Protestant chaplain at Vic Uni. It’s a brand new position and environment for me but I’m trusting God to be able to use it to make a difference in the university community.
One of the things that’s been encouraging in my first few weeks as a chaplain, is that my manager in Student Well-being is excited and accommodating regarding my role. He’s not a Christian but sees the importance of having a chaplain on campus providing a safe space for people of all faiths. I mentioned to him that I was wanting to get a feel for the campus first before rolling out any programs and he said that was fine since it’s all about building community. For some reason that really encouraged me. My purpose here is to build community and allow that to happen in a natural way without trying to force things.
One of the things I’m most excited about is the journey I’ve been sharing with one of the new guys in our church. His name is Olaf and he’s one of the nicest and most generous people you’ll meet, he just happens to have self tatooed most of his body and parts of his face, a reminder of his past days as a gangster. He also happens to live in public housing and survives on a pension. I suppose I could focus on those things or I could focus on who God has called him to be.
Part of this journey has been hearing his heart to be able to find gainful employment that would benefit him and his family as well as wider society. I asked him if he had ever considered Youth Work since his background might provide real life experience that could be valuable for the next generation. He said that he had thought about it but wouldn’t have the first clue about how to go about it.
A few emails later to the head of the Youth Work department and we had an appointment with her to talk about mature age entry in their program. The appointment went great and now we’re in the process of applying directly to Victoria University for a second semester intake. I’ve only been a chaplain for a month but I’ve already recruited a student for Vic Uni!
This is why Keira and I do what we do. We can’t help everyone in the world. We can’t even help most. But we can help one here and one there and help them to help others. Make disciples, train leaders and after a lifetime who knows what will be achieved? Thanks so much for partnering with Keira and I in what we do. It would be so much harder without your prayers and support.
- Pray for God’s provision regarding our partnership development as we haven’t increased our team for over 10 years, we’re losing government income support and our kids are getting more expensive to educate 🙂
- Pray for continued open doors to serve the community at Victoria University through Ken’s role as chaplain.
- Pray for Olaf and his application as a mature age student to VU. Also that his transition to full time study would proceed smoothly and he would be a disciple making disciple through his course.