It’s almost Christmas and the universities have finished up their exams for the year. Keira and I have said our goodbyes to those international students heading home for 3 months but we’ve also planned some summer events for the students who are hanging around Melbourne, making the most of the Christmas season. It’s a great time to celebrate and to invite people into our home.

Speaking of which, I’m not sure how many people know this, but Keira and I have been hosting students in our house for the past few years.  Basically our heart for students has meant that when we came across someone in need and we had the capacity to meet that need, we offered them food and a bed (sometimes a couch) in our house.

Emily and I with Val at his graduation from his Bachelor of Nursing degree, Deakin Univeristy

I remember when Alex (Chinese) was taken advantage of by an unscrupulous landlord and then had nowhere to stay. He called me and asked for help and he’s been living with us ever since. That was two years ago and he graduated this year from RMIT with a Masters in Business Information Systems. Our other housemate, Val (Filippino), had his graduation ceremony at Deakin Waterfront, having completed his Bachelor of Nursing. He thanked our family and said that the Johnston family should have their name on the back of his testamur symbolising the support we provided to helped him earn his degree.

But back to more orthodox campus ministry, I’ve been connecting with some students at Victoria University in my official capacity as a chaplain. As a chaplain I’ve had quite a few interaction with students who have a religious background and have questions for me or are seeking some kind of advice. These are good opportunities to pray for students.

With Kevin and Jabob in the Chaplain’s office at Victoria University, St Albans.

I’m particularly excited, though, about a group that’s forming with Kevin, who’s Burmese, and Jacob, who is from South Sudan. These guys have come to me to be discipled and in the case of Jacob, learn how to play the acoustic guitar. As much as I love praying for students who come to me with questions, I have really enjoyed praying and worshipping with Kevin and Jacob to see God move at Victoria University. We simply meet in the chaplain’s office, which strategically happens to be next to the only place to get coffee on the St Albans campus.

Thank you for another year of prayer and partnership in the calling that Keira and I have to make a difference in our nation and the nations of the world, by making a difference on the university campus. It hasn’t always been easy but it’s always been worthwhile and at the moment it’s becoming a lot of fun. Thanks again, we couldn’t do this without your support.

Prayer Points

  • Pray for God’s provision regarding our partnership development. Our next big expense is our children’s school fees for 2018.
  • Pray for continued open doors to serve the community at Victoria University through Ken’s role as chaplain.
  • Pray for the student leaders we are raising up as well as the new contacts we are building relationally with. We want them all to grow more in their journey with Jesus
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