“How do you know that the Bible is legitimate?”
“Can anyone actually prove that Jesus died and came back to life?”
“If your God is so good, then why is my life so hard?”
If you’re a Christian, you’ve probably been faced with questions such as these at least once in your life. We live in an age that demands hard facts and evidence before something can be labelled as The Truth. In its simplest form, faith means trusting that something is, even though you cannot necessarily prove it… so it's no surprise that there seems to be less and less space for Christianity in the 21st century.
IS GOD REALLY WORTH IT?
When we decide to follow Jesus, it’s inevitably going to make some waves. Making an intentional choice to live counter-culturally can be an extremely daunting prospect no matter our stage of life. For young Christians, however, the worldly consequences of putting God first can seem especially earth-shattering. In some situations, targeted jokes and copping flack for going to youth group instead of a Friday night party make up the worst of it. In other situations, choosing God can see kids faced with isolation, ridicule (from both friends and family) and the constant, nagging thought of, “Is this really worth it?”
In Australia, it’s estimated that over 50,000 teenagers and young adults walk away from their faith every year. To put this into perspective: that’s approximately 500,000 empty pews. In 2020, Edith Cowen University carried out a study that aimed to figure out why so many young Christians ‘give up’ on God after graduating from high school. One reason given time and time again was that a lot of people ‘found that things they never questioned when they were younger began to make less sense’. If we don’t take the time to question, challenge and personally explore our faith, how can our religion ever become relational? And what hope do we have of defending and explaining our beliefs to others if we don’t really understand them ourselves?
To be clear: apologetics doesn’t mean apologising for being a Christian. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. The word apologetics originates from the Greek word apologia, which translates to ‘an answer given in reply’. Christian apologetics is the intellectual defense of Christianity’s core truth and validity, and without this, it can be extremely difficult to live as a Christian in a non-Christian world. If our goal is to uphold and share our counter-cultural faith, we need to fully understand what we believe, and be able to explain why we believe it.
Apologetics is incredibly important when it comes to living the Christian life, and it’s something that young Christians need the opportunity to engage with before they step out into the ‘real world’, not afterwards. And while introducing a bunch of teenagers to methods of intellectual theological defense might seem like a massive task, a solid understanding how to hold God's Word in one hand and current culture in the other can be the difference between a faith that ends with high school and one that continues to grow.
STAND STRONG FOR GOD AT ONWARD22
Onward Youth is a one-night apologetics conference for high schoolers and people who work in youth ministry. This year, we’ll be tackling a massive question: Doesn’t Christianity crush diversity?
Christianity is often seen as being judgemental and biased, welcoming some types of people and excluding others. As Christians, we’re inevitably going to cross paths with people whose lives look very different from our own or might not line up with how the Bible instructs us to live. How can we best relate to these people? How can we respond when their values or opinions oppose our faith? And how can young Christians feel prepared for these situations before they actually occur?
Onward22 will be happening on Friday, June 24th at The Concourse in Chatswood, NSW. Our 2022 speakers Dave Jensen and Amy Orr-Ewing are ready to share both their Biblical knowledge and life-learned advice, and our brand-new 2022 DEEP DIVE sessions are here to help you fully explore what it means to believe in Jesus, and how to carry this belief out into the world.
For more information, visit us at https://www.onwardevent.com
 Young, J. (2015). Haemorrhaging faith: why young people are leaving the church.
 Mullen, T. (2020). Young people and the Baptist church: Staying and leaving. https://ro.ecu.edu.au/ theses/2304
Over three weekends, more than 4,600 teenagers and youth leaders attended KYCK conference to be inspired and transformed by the book of Philippians. We praise God that 464 teenagers recommitted their lives to Christ; 62 teenagers put their faith in Jesus for the first time, and another 63 left the conference wanting to know more!
Over three weekends, more than 4,600 teenagers and youth leaders attended KYCK conference. Founded in 1993, KYCK is a Bible preaching conference for high-schoolers and runs during the school holidays to inspire the next generation of believers to live for Jesus alone.
For many, KYCK is a familiar and cherished space that enables them to deepen their faith in God in the company of other like-minded teenagers. For many of our delegates, attending an in-person conference is a “taste of heaven,” as it stands as a reminder that they are not alone in their faith and saved into a bigger spiritual family. This is especially so for teenagers from smaller youth groups or churches in rural areas.
“I am absolutely in love with KYCK! It has helped me build my faith and love for Jesus so much over the years! KYCK makes me so excited for heaven and being able to worship Jesus forever with our huge family!”
“Coming to KYCK has transformed my faith, knowing that there is so much more than just a few Christians at my school and youth.”
“I’ve been coming to KYCK since I was in year 7 and next year is my last year! I have loved the way that KYCK has strengthened my faith and given me a deeper love and longing for Christ!”
Still for others, it is an invitation to explore the claims of Jesus and to even put their faith in him for the first time! At KYCK each year, we see lives transformed by the Spirit as the Word is preached. In 2022, we praise God that 464 teenagers recommitted their lives to Christ; 62 teenagers put their faith in Jesus for the first time, and another 63 left the conference wanting to know more!
“On Saturday night, seeing young people trust in Jesus for the first time brings me tears of joy. Seeing one of our guys (who almost didn't come) trust in Jesus for the first time was incredible. So much to thank God for.”
This year, guest speakers Alan Au (Lead Pastor, Captivate Presbyterian), Mike Dicker (Principal, Youthworks College) and Daniel Leach (Youth Pastor, Narrabeen Baptist) opened the book of Philippians to teach on the theme of joy. By investigating the life of the Apostle Paul who was imprisoned and persecuted for his faith in Jesus, youth were invited to consider how they too can have “pure joy” in the face of suffering and challenges. The theme was further explored through youth testimonies, worship in song, Q&A, and a memory verse to help teenagers remember what they have learned long after KYCK is over.
“Three great speakers, the best memory verse, the book of Philippians, joy filled friendly vibe. The best Q&A session I have ever witnessed. Powerful worship.”
“It was one of the best experiences I've ever had, it was such a special weekend to connect with others through song, games, the talks, and Saturday night.️”
“KYCK is AMAZING, I'd be crazy not to come back. I love the talks, music, friends, meeting other youth and the whole atmosphere as a whole. I'd honestly come back after high school too if I could!”
Hosted as a hybrid event, our delegates could choose between an in-person conference experience at StayKCC in the Blue Mountains, or KYCK Online; a high-quality livestream which gave delegates a ‘front row’ seat from the comfort of living rooms and church halls.
Delegates who joined KYCK at StayKCC could take part in optional fellowship activities including a scavenger hunt and the Saturday night BBQ which raised $5,000 for Scripture teachers.
While KYCK is designed for high schoolers, it also exists to serve youth leaders who get a break from running youth groups that week. In addition, they can use the weekend to spend extended quality time with their teenagers through intentional bonding, learning, sharing, and praying together.
“Thanks guys, we love KYCK so much. We don’t do a youth camp so the weekend away is really pivotal for our teenagers and the group. Super thankful for what you guys do to make KYCK happen each year!” - KYCK 22 Youth Leader
Do you have a story of how God worked in you or your youth at KYCK 22? Let us know using the feedback form for KYCK in-person or KYCK online, or by emailing email@example.com. We would love to hear from you!
5 Ways to Relive KYCK!
Do you have the post KYCK blues? Here are 5 ways to relive the experience!
Save the date for KYCK 23!
We look forward to having you join us at KYCK 23 as we meet Jesus in the book of Mark. Mark these dates into your calendar and stay tuned for more details!
KYCK #1 14–16 April
KYCK #2 21–23 April
KYCK #3 28–30 April
KYCK #4 22–24 September
Stay up to date with KYCK conference!
We praise God that over the Easter long weekend, over 2,000 adults, youth and children gathered at Katoomba Easter Convention to be empowered in their faith and to live with “True Grit”.
We praise God that over the Easter long weekend, the KCC Convention Centre came alive with the sound of worship music, preaching, conversation and laughter, as delegates across the state gathered at Katoomba Easter Convention (KEC). Hosted by Katoomba Christian Convention, KEC has become an annual tradition for many families seeking to find solace in God’s word in the beautiful Blue Mountains.
This year, over 1,450 adults gathered to hear from international speakers Matt Fuller and Russell Moore, and local speakers Malcolm Gill, Sam Chan and Jonathan Dykes. By exploring the theme of “True Grit” in the Scriptures, delegates were encouraged to see how the gospel empowers courage and faith, not just over the Easter season, but all the days of our lives.
I have been encouraged to risk it all for Jesus. – Stella
A fantastic weekend of Bible teaching challenging me to be prayerful as a I make life decisions, to trust God in the darkness, to get out of "survival mode", and be active in sharing my faith. – Simon
After losing both my parents within 4 months of each other and still feeling fragile, I felt safe, supported and so encouraged and uplifted, reminded that 'God is for us'. - KEC attendee
While adults joined the main session, over 560 children and youth were served by one of eight children’s programs, ranging from Tiny Tots (up to 12 months) to Senior High (Years 10-12). Powered by over 150 cheerful volunteers, our age-specific programs allow parents to worship and fellowship without the distraction of little ones.
It was so lovely to have the KEC community pour into our foster child's life as well as ours. It was a huge blessing. - Juliette
I serve all year round in ministry. It’s nice to attend something my whole family can be refreshed in. - KEC 22 Attendee
Our children absolutely love the programs - junior and senior high. Their leaders were so engaged with our girls. One daughter had a letter written to her from her leaders encouraging her to keep walking strong in her faith. - KEC 22 Attendee
This year, our Senior students were taught by Youth Pastor, Ed Sowden; junior students served by School Chaplain, Mitch Brown; and our Primary students learned the Good News through music, drama and puppetry by Quizworx.
While we live in a world of fear and insecurity, we hope that KEC gave delegates the opportunity to reflect on God’s call for His people to live with True Grit, and how the death and resurrection of Jesus empowers us to heed the call with confidence. It is our prayer that the church will continue to respond to fear with faith, and that we can keep our eyes fixed on the One who empowers courage today, tomorrow, and in all our days to come.
5 ways to relive the KEC experience!
1. Download the KCC One App to gain free access to the KEC talks
2. Sing along to the Katoomba Easter Convention Spotify playlist
3. Reflect and share your stories and feedback using the KEC Feedback Form
4. Dive deeper into the theme of “True Grit” by picking up one of the KEC Recommended Reads
5. Save the date for KEC 2023 (Friday 7 – Sunday 9 April)
Stay up to date with Katoomba Easter Convention
In the third instalment of our 2022 Mother's Day series, Megan Walsh celebrates the ordinary faithfulness of her late mother and spiritual mothers in her local church in regional Queensland. In a world that pushes women to strive for significance, Megan invites us to slow down and to see the power of persevering faith and discipleship in the body of Christ.
1. Share a bit about yourself!
I grew up in rural Queensland, but now live in a sufficiently leafy suburb of Brisbane. I got addicted to opening God's word with others during my time at uni. Now I get to do this as a job! Both at our multicultural Church, Providence, and in the Hebrew language with my students at Queensland Theological College. In my spare time I love exploring a new camping spot with friends, creating handmade gifts, and exercising my imagination with my niece and nephews.
2. You grew up in a Christian home! How did your mother lead you to love Jesus more?
This year will be my third Mother's Day since my mum went home to Jesus, so thank you for the chance to share. One big way my mum led me to love Jesus was to let me enjoy a daily, front row seat to her faith in action—even in small and ordinary ways.
I saw Mum's love for Jesus in the timbre of her voice as she sang to him at church or in our kitchen. I saw it in her commitment to be present at Church, even though it was a weekly feat to wrangle my three brothers and I into the car for the drive to town. I saw it in the way she spoke about her relationship with Jesus and shared the story of how she came to trust him. Growing up, I would see tonnes of ways that mum said, "Jesus is worth it," with her daily actions, and later they would add weight to the evidence of Christ’s beauty that I would find myself.
“Mum's ministry of "bringing us along" into Church community was fundamental in giving me opportunities to see Christ's love for me all throughout my life.”
The other foundational way that mum nurtured my love for Jesus was by actively including me and my brothers in Church life. There she provided a world of opportunities for me to see the gospel spoken and lived out by the members of our Church family. We were always the youngest ones sitting in the Worship Service after Sunday School had finished, and other families had gone home. Mum would bring me alongside her to serve in Church choirs or as her junior helper at "Girls Rally" as soon as I graduated from the Children's Program myself. Mum brought us along whenever she visited her friends from church, so that they became people that we looked up to and learned from too. I believe Mum's ministry of "bringing us along" into Church community was fundamental in giving me opportunities to see Christ's love for me all throughout my life.
3. What are some biblical life-lessons that your mother taught you that you still hold onto today?
I remember Mum teaching us biblical discernment from an early age. She had grown up in the Catholic Church and sent us to Catholic school. Mum encouraged us to listen and learn from what we were taught there, but to always come back to the Bible to know what is true. Thinking back now, I'm not sure how many of my nine-year-old classmates were listening to the Priest talk about Jesus and thinking that his version didn't seem quite as powerful as the Jesus who I had seen in the Bible. These lessons have continued to pay off for me when I left home after high school and needed that discernment to find Christian communities who would teach me the Bible faithfully.
“I cherish Mum's example of expecting God's word to give hope, even when she felt her faith was faltering and she could not make sense of her suffering.”
Mum also taught me about turning to Christ for comfort in the face of suffering, when she experienced many years of mental health struggles. I saw how precious and life-giving God's word and prayer are, as they gave her the grace and strength to navigate those years. I remember, as a teenager, being given a tape recorder and a long list of Mum's favourite Psalms to read out so she could listen to them on dark days. I cherish Mum's example of expecting God's word to give hope, even when she felt her faith was faltering and she could not make sense of her suffering. These days you can probably see the tear stains in my copy of the Psalms too.
4. In Titus 2:3-5, older women are commanded to teach and disciple younger women in the body of Christ. In what ways have you been encouraged by older, spiritual mothers in the church, and how has this shaped your ministry to younger women today?
My impulse is to be quite self-dependent in my faith; to think through my questions or pray through my situation for myself much more readily than turning to others for help. Thankfully God's impulse is different! He has graciously provided many godly women as older sisters and spiritual mothers to me over the years; who draw me out of the echo chamber of my own ideas, share their hard-won wisdom, and model what is possible in the life of faith.
I think of my parents' friends who took the time to see me, often the quiet girl in the corner, and refused to talk down to me, who loaned me a Christian book they loved, or found some small way to encourage me.
I think of Glady, who played the adopted grandmother to all the students who would move to our university town. She went out of her way to greet me when I arrived at Church and wrote my name and course in her notebook so she could pray for me. Glady would invite me around to her retirement unit to share a meal after Church. She even joined the Young Adults bible study group one year to encourage us, and her faithfulness and prayerfulness rubbed off on us all.
I think of the women who may have only been a year or two older than me; who invited me to read the bible one-to-one with them or asked me real questions about how I was going in my faith. All these women taught me to love opening God's word with others, to love praying together with others, to love hearing about how God is working in someone's life--and that is the shape of my ministry now.
The multitude of examples of these women in my life encourage me to expect that all of us together as the Church can play a beautiful variety of roles in each other's lives. I don't have to possess all the wisdom, energy, and charisma myself, but together as the body of Christ we each play our part in pointing each other to Christ's grace.
Currently I see my ministry amongst the women at my Church to be just as much about fostering opportunities for women to serve and share God's truths with each other, as anything I might do myself.
Enjoyed this read? Read the rest of the series!
In the fourth instalment of our 2022 Mother's Day series, KCC team member Patrizha Yeomans, shares the joys and challenges of being a first-time Mum. In this interview, Patrizha shares her struggle with anxiety, sleep deprivation, and feelings of failure, and how through all the challenges, she’s learned to trust in God, the “perfect parent”.
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m Patrizha and if you’re wondering, it’s pronounced like Patricia! I was born in the Philippines but grew up in Singapore where my parents still reside. In 2015, I moved to Sydney for University and have since moved to Albury to be closer to my in-laws. I’m married to Matt, and we have a four-month-old named Henry. I’ve grown up in a Christian home and have been blessed to know and love Jesus for as long as I could remember. When I’m not on maternity leave, you’ll find me working from home coordinating social media for KCC! In my spare time, I’m usually whipping up something in the kitchen, making a mess in my sewing room or I am curled up with a good book.
2. What are the joys and challenges of being a first-time Mum?
Just watching them grow is such an incredible joy. Experiencing all the firsts–their first smile, their first babble and watching them interact with the world is genuinely so special.
On the flip side, sleep deprivation is a form of torture! Physically, it does take a toll on you and as someone who gets cranky with little sleep, that has been a huge struggle. On top of the tiredness, the time spent looking after a little one means that it’s been a challenge to read my Bible like I used to. Some days I’m so exhausted that my eyes may be reading the words, but my mind has completely spaced out. I’ve had to adapt and do things a bit differently, like praying on the go while I’m feeding or washing the dishes. While I miss the time I once had to read and pray, I know that this is also a season of life that God has placed me in.
Another challenge of being a first-time mum is being a first-time mum! Even though I feel like I prepared for motherhood like an exam with all the reading, google searches and more, nothing’s quite prepared me for the real thing. I thought babies would be predictable but in fact it’s been quite the opposite. You think you’ve figured out their sleep or feeding, but then they change things up in an instant. I thrive on routine and predictability, so I’ve had to be more flexible and adjust as they grow.
There are many joys scattered within the challenges. God seems to provide them when you least expect them, and it gives you that encouragement to keep going.
3. What does being a Christian Mum mean to you? What makes Christian motherhood distinct?
Being a Christian mum means having the responsibility of raising Henry with my husband to know and love Jesus so that one day, he can call Jesus His Lord and Saviour too. As many parents say, ‘time flies’. They are only little for so long and it’s a privilege to have so much input in their lives in these young years. I want to not only teach him God’s Word but also ‘walk the talk’, modelling what it means to be a follower of Christ.
I think what makes Christian motherhood distinct is that we rely on God’s unchanging Word and His wisdom to parent. It’s so easy to turn to culture to get the answers and I often find the wealth of information and opinions on the internet can be overwhelming. Have a question? There’s probably an online forum or a Facebook group where you can find a million different answers. But as the authors of the book, Risen Motherhood phrased it: “The gospel proved more hopeful than any online article… more helpful than any book we could buy, and more sustaining than any quick fix we shared with one another.”
“What makes Christian motherhood distinct is that we rely on God’s unchanging Word and His wisdom to parent.”
4. How does knowing God the Father shaped your parenthood so far?
There have been days when it feels like nothing has gone right and that I’m completely failing as a mum. However, I’m reminded that Henry already has a perfect parent in God, and I should trust in Him. While I am quick to be irritable, impatient, and tired, our God is always ‘compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love’ (Psalm 103:8). Knowing God the Father also means that I’ve been given the opportunity every day to show His love through my parenting. He extends me grace even at my worst and that is a humble reminder to extend that same grace as a parent too.
“There have been days when it feels like nothing has gone right and that I’m completely failing as a mum. However, I’m reminded that Henry already has a perfect parent in God, and I should trust in Him.”
5. What is something God has been teaching you in pregnancy and parenthood so far?
It’s been a journey learning how to surrender everything over to God and remembering that things are not in my control. I struggled with severe anxiety during my pregnancy and even now as a mum, I find myself worrying about a myriad of things. However, God has been reminding me that He knew Henry before he was even formed, and Henry’s life is in His hands. Even when I’ve felt completely helpless as a mum and not knowing what to do, He's taught me that I can always bring things to Him in prayer.
God has also been reminding me that my identity is not in my accomplishments but in Christ. So often I find myself striving to find value in how much I accomplished in my day. How organised my house is, whether I’ve cooked all the meals for the week, or whether I’ve deemed myself a ‘good enough’ mum. And while productivity isn’t a bad thing, I’m reminded that I’m limited. I’m thankful that ‘His power is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Cor 12:9) and my worth doesn’t lie in my works but rather, what Jesus has already accomplished on the cross.
“I struggled with severe anxiety during my pregnancy and even now as a mum, I find myself worrying about a myriad of things. However, God has been reminding me that He knew Henry before he was even formed, and Henry’s life is in His hands.”
Enjoyed this read? Read the rest of the series!
In the second instalment of our 2022 Mother's Day series, Cecelia Koch shares her intimate story of losing her mother to cancer. In this reflection, Cecelia shares the impact that her Christian mother had on her life and how she's been able to find hope in her grief. We hope that this piece can be of comfort to our readers!
I brought my face close to Mum’s and kissed her soft cheek.
“Goodnight Mumma, I love you”.
I said this just as I had done many times, over the last 24 years. Although, this time I expected to hear only silence. My Mum was fighting her last days with Cancer. She hadn’t been conscious or able to talk for a few days, but to my complete surprise, Mum’s eyes suddenly opened. She looked up at me, straight in the eye and replied:
“Goodnight darling, I love you too”.
She spoke these familiar words in the same loving tone as she had always done. I was speechless. I stared longingly at her, wondering where this strength had come from, and wishing she could stay with me longer. She held my gaze for a few seconds, reading my face without me needing to say a word, and then her eyes shut again. She passed away two days later. I never heard her voice again. This memory epitomised Mum. She was strong, gentle, determined and always had strength to love.
Mother’s Day is a day I’ve tended to avoid. I avoid the TV and radio. I avoid social media and the onslaught of Mother’s Day posts. Mother’s Day is a painful reminder that my Mum isn’t here. I can’t spend the day with her, I can’t give her flowers, a hug, or take her out for coffee. I can’t share my life with her.
Today was one of those days I was prepared to not think too much about, until a friend messaged me. She’d never met my Mum but texted to say that she was thinking of me, and that my Mum must have been an amazing woman. It made me pause and reflect. Yes, she was an amazing woman.
I celebrate that this isn’t the end...I can’t wait to stand with her once again, and with the even more beautiful and glorious One that she reflected.
This is something I celebrate today. I’m thankful for Mum’s love, her graciousness towards others, her optimism, her genuine and sacrificial care, her wise counsel, her love of people and cultures, and the craziness and fun that she brought into life. I love that she seemed to understand life, was quick to forgive, and that she could understand a person so deeply that she would know exactly where they were at.
I loved listening to her talk about God and how He was working in her life, even during those hard days over her last 2 years. God gave her joy, hope and an unshakable trust in Him. I’m thankful that Mum’s character and faith was shaped so much by the grace and forgiveness that she had been shown through Jesus, such that this radiated from her life.
This Mother’s Day even though I can’t celebrate with Mum in person I celebrate the amazing gift that she was. It is a hard day. But I celebrate that this isn’t the end. I’m thankful that Mum is now home with her Creator and Saviour. I can’t wait to stand with her once again, and with the even more beautiful and glorious One that she reflected.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
- Ecclesiastes 3:11
Enjoyed this read? Read the rest of the series!
Ahead of Mother’s Day (Sunday 8 May), we will be sharing stories from Christian women who will share what this special day means for them. Whether Mother's Day brings about feelings of joy, grief or a mix of both, we hope that this series can be a celebration of all the mothers and mother figures in our lives.
In this reflection, KCC team member, foodie and first-time Mum, Kat Fernandez, shares the joys and challenges of motherhood, and how her faith in God makes her parenting distinct. We hope you are encouraged by her words!
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m Kat, 29, born and raised in Sydney. I have been married to Josh for almost four years and this year we welcomed our first baby boy, Leon. Josh and I both have parents who migrated to Australia from the Philippines. I love the Lord and have been a Christian since my early teens and I’m currently attending a Baptist Church in Western Sydney.
I enjoy dinner dates, weekend staycations and eating delicious food that releases our internal foodies. I used to own a food blog many years ago, so even though I’ve made the switch to Event Management, I still love to bake, take endless photos of food and secretly critique everything I eat as if I’m going to write a review about it later down the track.
2. What are the joys and challenges of being a first-time Mum?
If I can be honest, I have been met with mostly challenges in my first three months of motherhood. Of course the joys are there, but this newborn stage is tough! The biggest adjustment and challenge for me was the transition into motherhood. It wasn’t exactly smooth and no matter how much preparation I did in the lead up, I felt it was either thrown out the window or I didn’t prepare enough. For example, I couldn’t know what my baby’s temperament was going to be like during the day. Would he sleep, would he scream and cry, would he cluster feed? So as someone who thrives on schedules, routines and having everything planned and in order, I was forced to embrace flexibility, spontaneity and messiness.
However, with that said, in these three months I have experienced joy with each development and growth spurt he goes through. It’s a joy to watch him change and grow, knowing that my husband and I have the pleasure of nurturing him through these significant life stages. It’s mind blowing how the little things he does can bring so much joy. Like when he finally can hold his head up when he does tummy time, when he talks to me when I read to him, when he gives a huge burp after he feeds or when he finally does a poop after a long day!
3. What does being a Christian Mum mean to you? What makes Christian motherhood distinct?
Before we became parents, my husband and I joined the parenting class that was offered at my church to learn about how we could raise our son God’s way. This meant a lot to both of us because we wanted to make sure we had the right foundations in this new stage of life. We needed to be on the same page on how we would raise him.
I think this is what makes Christian motherhood (or Christian parenthood) distinct. God has planned for and called me to be a mother, so I must bring my son up to know and love the Lord. It’s my duty, alongside my husband, to be an example to him and to instill in him the biblical teachings and Christian values that will shape his life so he too will know Jesus as his personal Saviour. I can only trust that God will soften his heart as he grows so he can follow this path too.
4. How does knowing God the Father shaped your parenthood so far?
When I was really struggling the first few weeks of parenthood, I had to seek some counselling. My counsellor asked me at one point during a session ‘‘what’s motivating you to keep on going?”. I remember answering two things. One, that despite how difficult this all is, I knew God was not going to let me go. He’s got me. I know my strength comes from Him and I know that, like anything else in my life, He is there and I can get through it because of Him. And secondly, because of my love for Him, I love my husband and I love my son and it’s my responsibility to be there for them as wife and mother. God planned this for my life and I am to embrace it wholeheartedly.
After this session, I remembered to keep this always at the forefront of my mind. Knowing God the Father has been pivotal in my motivation to be a good wife to my husband and be a good mum to my son. It has helped me to have a better attitude through difficult situations. I can’t just throw in the towel, give up and say ‘I’m done’. Sure, it is not easy, I fail multiple times. I am definitely far from perfect. I still stress and complain. I still don’t know how I am managing to get through the day on minimal sleep. But I am always reminded, especially by my husband, to pray and seek God’s counsel and guidance, to forgive me for my failings and to help shape me into the mother He wants me to be for my son.
"God has been reminding me to live out the fruits of the Spirit...There’s a whole extra level of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that I am learning as a mother."
5. What is something God has been teaching you in parenthood so far?
So far, I think God has been reminding me to live out the fruits of the Spirit during this time. As Christians, the fruits of the Spirit are qualities of character that we are instructed to live out, but in the case of motherhood, I feel like all of these qualities are just heightened and are on another level that I have never experienced or thought of before. There’s a whole extra level of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that I am learning as a mother.
When my baby is crying and I have tried everything I possibly can to calm him down, I have to practise more patience, kindness and gentleness than I ever have before. When my baby smiles at me in the early hours of the morning when I have to feed him despite how exhausted I am, I feel more love, joy and peace than I could have imagined, and in this moment can only thank God for the gift of motherhood. It is a conscious daily effort and is a lot of hard work to put these into practice, but it’s something that God has been teaching me and strengthening me to keep on learning.
Enjoyed this read? Read the rest of the series!
1. Wen Wei Chieh (Jeanette Li), China
“He [God] used sickness and death to break up the home in which I had been lovingly nestled. But He did not cast me off and forsake me. As the eagle He ‘spread forth His wings, caught me up in his wings,’ and carried me even to His own Home to become his child, and obtain such blessing and peace and joy as this world cannot give.”
Born in 1899, Wen Wei Chieh was a Chinese missionary who remained steadfast in the face of arrests, imprisonment and torture. Wei Chieh converted to Christianity when she became dangerously ill with a fever and was admitted into a mission hospital where she would cry out to her dead father. Her treating physician, Dr. McBurney comforted Wei Chieh with the truth of her loving “heavenly Father”, and from that moment, Wei Chieh prayed to God and believed. At a time when many were abandoning the faith, Wei Chieh felt a great call towards the evangelization of China, serving in a mission orphanage and standing firm in her public witness. Despite the ongoing threat of arrest and imprisonment, Wei Chieh insisted on travelling everywhere with the Bible, claiming: “If the Lord allows me to go, the Bible will cause no difficulty or trouble.” She spent the latter years of her life serving the Chinese community in Los Angeles and penning her autobiography, ‘Jeanette Li: A Girl Born Facing Outside’.
2. Anatoly Berezhnyi, Ukraine
Anatoly Berezhnyi was a 26-year-old member of Irpin Bible Church (IBC), an evangelical church on the frontlines of feeding, housing and evacuating Ukrainians from Russian shelling. After sending his wife to safety, Berezhnyi selflessly returned to Irpin to help his church protect civilians from Russian advance. On Sunday 6 March, Anatoly lost his life while helping a young mother and her two children access evacuation buses across a collapsed bridge. According to his Pastor, Mykola Romanuk, Anatoly was a “deeply spiritual man with a good Christian character. When he saw a need, he tried to help.”
3. Esther Anh Kim, Korea
“I knew it would be impossible for me to keep my faith in my own power. God would have to work through me if I was to stand firm.”
Esther Anh Kim was a courageous Christian woman who lived in Korea during Japanese occupation. She converted to Christianity after observing her mother’s faith in Jesus—a decision that would ultimately lead her into prison where she stood in bold defiance against demands to bow to Japanese gods and shrines. To prepare herself for the harsh conditions, Esther fasted for days, slept in the cold, and memorised more than 100 Bible chapters and hymns. Once detained, Esther faithfully shared God’s love to other prisoners, and brought many to Christ. In 1945, Japan surrendered, and Esther moved to the United States to attend seminary and planted a church in Los Angeles with her husband, Don Myun Kim. She went to the Lord in 1977 after a battle with Alzheimer’s. She documents her story in the book, 'If I Perish’.
4. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Germany
“The Church is the Church only when it exists for others...not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell men of every calling what it means to live for Christ, to exist for others.”
Born in 1906, Dietrich Bonhoeffer served as a German pastor and theologian during World War II. He rose to leadership during the rise of the Nazi regime, and at a time when church leaders refused to speak up, he stood firmly against Hitler’s anti-Semitism policies. This forced Bonhoeffer to teach underground and to briefly seek asylum in the United States, but he returned to Nazi Germany, unable to abandon his responsibilities to his friends and people. Bonhoeffer was arrested for his involvement in helping Jews flee the country and was hung in April 1945 when his involvement with Abwehr, a group dedicated to the assassination of Hitler was discovered. A camp doctor who witnessed Bonhoeffer’s hanging describes his last moments: “I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer....In the almost 50 years that I have worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God."
5. Amanda Berry Smith, America
“Since then, I have been a widow, and have traveled halfway round the world, and God has ever been faithful. He has never left me a moment; but in all these years I have proved the word true, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end."
Born into slavery, Amanda Berry Smith was used by God as a preacher, missionary and founder of the Amanda Smith Orphanage. By her early thirties, Smith had already lost two husbands and four out of five children. After losing one husband in the American Civil War, Smith worked extra hours as a cook and washer woman, but ultimately turned to God and trusted in Him to provide for her. Immersing herself in religious activities and meetings to curb her depression, Smith soon became well-known for her powerful preaching of the gospel in the South. This prepared the way for overseas mission, where she was invited to preach in India and African countries of Liberia and Siera Leone. On returning to the United States, Smith founded the very first orphanage for Black children in Illinois, housing 33 children by 1910. Her persistence and humility in suffering earned her the description of “God’s image carved in ebony”.
What does following Christ look like in a world where culture pushes us to seek our own comfort and safety first?
Are we prone to seeking out a 'safe' faith, and how do we have courage for obedience when we are faced with fear?
At Katoomba Easter Convention (KEC) 2022, we will hear Bible talks aimed at expanding our vision of God so that we can be empowered to persevere with a grit that follows Jesus, all the days of our life.
This year, we are pleased to host a combination of local and international speakers including Matt Fuller, Russell Moore, Sam Chan, Malcolm Gill and Jonathan Dykes. Together, they will open God’s word to explore the theme, “True Grit: God’s Call to Fortitude in a World of Fear”.
Visit our website for tickets or more information.
With only one week left to go, the Katoomba Easter Convention (KEC) team has put together a list of ways to prepare your hearts, minds and families for the event this April! Feel free to share this list with your family and friends.
1. Prepare your heart for Easter with our 2022 LENTEN Sessions on the KCC One App
To encourage you in your practice of Lent, we have released a complimentary 4-week video resource on the KCC One App. Produced by L-T Hopper and musicians Brayden and Matilda, each session will reorient your heart towards Jesus and His atoning work at the cross.
To follow our 2022 LENTEN Sessions, check out the Watch section of the KCC One App. Follow the link below to access and download all our free devotional content: kccone.org.au
2. Lend a helping hand as a volunteer
KEC relies on the power of volunteers who help to facilitate God’s Word preached from the platform. We are still in need of some help on our Logistics and Ushering teams, so if you are willing and able, please sign up to volunteer here: easterconvention.com/volunteer
3. Get the latest updates on social media
Make sure that you’re following KEC on Facebook and Instagram to receive the latest updates leading up to convention. It’s also a fun way to interact with us during KEC, especially during our live interaction segments.
4. Start meditating on passages that will be preached at KEC22
This year we are pleased to host a combination of local and international speakers including Matt Fuller, Russell Moore, Sam Chan, Malcolm Gill, and Jonathan Dykes. Together, they will open God’s word to explore the theme, “True Grit: God’s Call to Fortitude in a World of Fear.”
In the lead up to KEC, we encourage you to meditate on the following passages which have been chosen for the KEC 22 program:
5. Book an unforgettable experience with Fantastic Aussie Tours
Our friends at Fantastic Aussie Tours have put together some great tour options for KEC delegates to enjoy in the afternoons! Here are the options available:
6. Play your part in keeping KEC COVID-Safe
All KCC events will be COVID-safe and compliant with health regulations and up-to-date government requirements. Some things may look a little different to the usual, but it will still be just as wonderful an event as you are used to!
To play your part in keeping KEC COVID-Safe, please familiarise yourself with the measures we’re taking here: easterconvention.com/covid-resource/
7. Make sure you’re fully registered
In 2022 we’re offering both livestream and in-person options so that no one misses out! In 2022, delegates will be offered 1 of 4 ticket types:
While the gospel promises peace and joy to every believer, the stress and burdens of day-to-day life can wear us down. Here are 10 quotes which explain how and why Christians can have joy in all circumstances!
Have the past few years left you feeling down and weary? While the gospel promises peace and joy to every believer, the stress and burdens of day-to-day life can wear us down. To encourage you, we’ve found 10 quotes which explain how and why Christians can have joy in all circumstances!
“While other worldviews lead us to sit in the midst of life’s joys, foreseeing the coming sorrows, Christianity empowers its people to sit in the midst of this world’s sorrows, tasting the coming joy.” ― Timothy Keller, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering
“What was the joy set before Jesus that enabled him to endure the cross? It was redemption, it was resurrection, it was reunion with his Father.” ― Nancy Guthrie
“The truest, purest joy flows from a discovery of Jesus Christ. He is the hidden treasure that gives such joy to the finder (Matt. 13:44).” ― Robert Murray Mc’Cheyne, Letters to a Soul Seeking Christ
“The world looks for happiness through self-assertion. The Christian knows that joy is found in self-abandonment. ‘If a man will let himself be lost for My sake,’ Jesus said, ‘he will find his true self.’” ― Elizabeth Elliot
“The bedrock of our rejoicing isn’t the goodness of our day, but the goodness of our God.” ― Melissa B. Kruger, In All Things: A Nine-Week Devotional Bible Study on Unshakeable Joy
“Real joy looks up to God and beyond to eternity, resting in the certainty of his power and his plan, even though things at the moment may be confounding and hard.” ― Paul Tripp
“Our sorrow prepares us to experience a more satisfying and solid joy than we've ever known before. When joy surfaces, it allows us to see that deep beneath the chaos and catastrophe is the strong current of confidence that we can be content in the sovereign hands of God.” ― Nancy Guthrie, The 1 Year Book of Hope
“Hearts on earth may say in the course of a joyful experience, “I don’t want this ever to end.” But invariably it does. The hearts of those in heaven say, “I want this to go on forever.” And it will. There is no better news than this.” ― J. I. Packer
“The best news in the world is that there is no conflict between your greatest possible happiness and God's perfect holiness. Being satisfied with all that God is for you in Jesus magnifies him as the greatest treasure and brings you more joy―eternal, infinite joy―than any other delight ever could.” ― John Piper, For Your Joy
“We were mad to know fullness of joy by nearness to God as he leads, directs, and satisfies with his presence (Psalm 16:11).” ― Ruth Chou Simons
Discover true “Joy” at KYCK Youth Conference!
Over 3 weekends in April and 1 weekend in September, high schoolers and youth groups will be gathering under God’s word at KYCK youth conference. Guest speakers Alan Au (Lead Pastor, Captivate Presbyterian Church), Mike Dicker (Principal, Youthworks College) and Daniel Leach (Youth Pastor, Narrabeen Baptist) will open the book of Philippians and unpack the theme of JOY.
The book of Philippians is ultimately about JOY, but this can look different in various seasons and situations. Is joy only possible when life is happy? How can we be joyful when following Jesus is tough, or when standing up for Him leads to suffering?
This year, delegates will be invited to consider these questions as they investigate the life of the Apostle Paul—a man who suffered much, was persecuted and imprisoned for his faith in Jesus, and yet he considered it “pure joy” because he knew he was being who God had called him to be.
For more information or to register visit our website: kyck.org.au
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