The Bookers are Westside missionaries with YWAM in Sydney, Australia. Here’s an update from Adriel about how they are managing the pandemic and important cultural issues.
Hi Westside! As we’ve been watching the events unfold in the USA (and around the world) recently, we’ve been deeply challenged to examine issues of inequality that have emerged from COVID-19 as well as racial inequality and pain, including our own context with Aboriginal Australians. We’ve had some vulnerable and constructive times with our team, unpacking hard issues, asking questions that have no easy answers, and offering our lament and commitment through worship and prayer. We feel more convinced than ever that the way to address pain is through the eyes and action of Jesus and we’re trying to faithfully lean into him as we continue to serve in our own local context.
The biggest blessing from the pandemic season is our daily “house church” with our team of amazing young people. Through worship and prayer we feel more full of God’s heart for our own city and the nations we serve through our work here. While we’ve had to curb some of our community activity due to pretty tight restrictions in Australia, we’ve also had time to reimagine what reaching our community looks like with creativity as well as online avenues. We’ve been supporting those in our community who sleep “rough” with warm take-away meals. (We really miss getting to eat together though—take away meals don’t lend themselves as much to genuine relationship as sharing a table does!) We have also expanded the Our Scarlett Stories ministry to bereaved families and are currently supporting 80+ women with grief care online. Something that might sound “boring” that is a huge breakthrough for us is that we’ve also achieved government certification for our training which means we can welcome more young leaders to our team through student visa program (when our borders re-open). This has been a major pandemic breakthrough for us! When borders open we have five staff waiting to join our team as well as our next Discipleship Training School starting in September. Please pray our borders will safely open soon!
As we find ourselves in a sensitive time during this cultural moment, our prayer for ourselves and for you is that we would stay both tender and tenacious, engage from a place of hope (rooted in Christ), and always be open to new ways to love our neighbors well. Focused, faithful, fruitful—this is our prayer.
Love to you, Adriel & Ryan