Oceania Region Reports
Building a Culture of Values and Peace in Australia
Ambassadors for Peace Leadership Training
The 2018 Peace Building Seminar series theme is: “Building a Culture of Values and Peace in Australia”. The series of seminars seek to open a conversation about universally shared values that can be used to build peace. This seminar was the first for the year, in a series of four; held to explore the moral, spiritual and methodological principles that underpin the work of WFWP and UPF.
Dr John Stewart, author of the book entitled, From Genocide to Generosity spoke about the importance of having the right mind-set for peace building. His book documents the lives of people who were deeply affected by the genocide in Rwanda. He has monitored changes in Rwanda from 1977 to the present day with respect to the healing and personal recovery efforts of amazing individuals affected by the genocide. He said, “The practice of healing and forgiveness is more likely to make human development a success”.
Anne Bellavance, President WFWP Australia, and IVP for the Oceania Region, urged leaders to go the path of living for the sake of others. A life of living the sake of others opens the gates of peace. She noted the importance of learning from historical successes, when loving the enemy brought reconciliation and peace.
John Bellavance, Vice-President UPF Australia and director of UPF Victoria, spoke about peacebuilding as the battle between selfish love and unselfish love. Self-love is the source of the misuse of people, the misuse of love and the misuse of material wealth at the detriment of others. Peacebuilders must master self-centred love, pride, jealousy and anger in themselves.
Report regarding the Opening of the New Brisbane Centre
Rev Steve and Susi Evans were installed in Brisbane as Co-Pastors of the Queensland FFWPU in early January of 2017. Soon thereafter, Steve assessed the potential for church growth and spiritual development for the future. He felt that re-establishing a new Centre was foundational to achieve those two goals.
During Steve's trip to Korea in February '17 he met President Merly Barlaan of the WFWP Philippines and discussed the opportunity to welcome 2 missionaries to Brisbane as soon as our new Centre was found. On Jan 20th 2018 that was realised as we leased the building and immediately organised the visit of Merly to see the home for her youth. On the 9th of February, we welcomed her to Brisbane and Australia for 7 days.
She also visited Melbourne hosted by Australian WFWP President Anne Bellavance on the weekend of the 10th and the 11th. Merly was very impressed with our Centre and we are working to get the visas for 3 Philippines sisters, one additional being the new wife of a Solomon Islands brother as a Centre Director at this time.
Confirmation of these plans was shared by Rev. Kim who visited Australia and Brisbane as an International Itinerant Worker in 2017. Rev. Kim has much experience as a church planter in both Japan and Korea over many years. He requested permission to offer his perspectives on the continued development of Brisbane.
Rev. Kim stated we are still in a pioneering stage and it may require both a full-time Pastor as well as a physical building as soon as possible. Rev.Park inspired by this conversation requested Rev. Lim call a meeting of the community to convey this message to everyone.
The members agreed and the hunt for the Centre began soon thereafter.
Currently we are continuing to furnish the home located at 60 Furiore St. Sunnybank Hills Qld. Members are fully supportive and participating. The house offers a double garage, tiled meeting area, 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. The land size in around 800+ sq. meters. Plenty of off street parking offered.
Historically the Brisbane Church held Services twice a month. We have had church service now weekly since opening the new Church building. We are also holding Friday evening DP introduction talks currently and tailoring our Services for new quests as well.
Our gratitude to Rev's Park and Lim who visited on 11th February and shared heart and hope for the future. We are encouraged and excited for our new future.
Report by Rev Steve Evans, State Leader and Pastor of FFWPU QLD