Asia Pacific

Valveng Presbyterian Church

We have partnered with Khen Tombing for many years helping to spread God's Kingdom in India. In early 2018 we were able to provide funds for the construction of Valveng Presbyterian Church in Manipur, India.

Construction started on February 1, 2018 and the tentative date for dedication of the building is May 27, 2018.

Khen asks that we pray the Lord will add new believers daily and that they will be able to complete the church building on time as scheduled. 

Ground breaking and inauguration of Valveng Presbyterian Church construction

Ground breaking and inauguration of Valveng Presbyterian Church construction

Laying of foundation for Valveng Presbyterian Church building construction

Valveng Presbyterian Church building construction in progress

Spotlight: Dave Miers & City On A Hill, Brisbane

WE ARE EXCITED TO PARTNER WITH DAVE MIERS AND SUPPORT CITY ON A HILL IN BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA. PLEASE KEEP DAVE AND HIS FAMILY IN YOUR PRAYERS.

What are the names of you and your family members (wife, children)?

My wife, Rowena, and I have three kids: Samaul (8 years old), Thomas (6 years old) and Beth (3 years old).

What is the name of your church and roughly how many attendees do you currently have?

Our church, City on a Hill: Brisbane, has approximately 150+ in attendance each week, with a community size of 200+.

Where are you originally from and where is your current church located?

We are originally from Sydney, and our church is located in Brisbane. Both cities are on the east coast of Australia, Brisbane is 1000km (650miles) north of Sydney.

Tell us the story of how God called you to plant churches and why you chose the current location for your church plant.

I grew up in a Christian family and have always professed faith in Jesus Christ. However, at the age of 17 I had a significant turning point in my Christian life when I joined a one year old church plant. This church plant was the place where I truly understood the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection and was given a vision for gospel ministry. I served in that church plant for 10 years, both as a volunteer and as a staff member. It was during this time that my wife and I first begun praying about whether God might send us to plant a new church to reach new people.

We first begun praying for Brisbane 10 years ago. Both Rowena and I had grown up (independently of each other) visiting extended family in Brisbane. The more we prayed, the more we had a heart to join the mission of making Jesus known in that city. We were also convinced that the needs were greater in Brisbane than where we were previously serving in Sydney.

Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city. With urban renewal; cosmopolitan lifestyle; subtropical climate; art galleries; live music scene; cafes; sports stadiums… it’s easy to see why Brisbane is a fast growing city with on average 1,000 people packing their bags each week to move here. The population is tipped to increase from 2.4 million people to 3 million people in the next five years… the Brisbane skyline is currently dominated by cranes!

Brisbane is also rapidly emerging as a global city: a third of the population born overseas; a young demographic; a booming economy; it’s a gateway to Asia. Brisbane desperately needs more healthy churches planted, to keep up with the population growth and to reach the millions of people who haven’t yet put their trust in Christ!

By God’s grace, we were able to connect with City on a Hill in Melbourne, who were keen to keep planting churches around Australia. Being part of the team in Melbourne confirmed our calling, fuelled our desire to know Jesus better, and further equipped us to make Jesus known through planting a new church in Brisbane.

What is the spiritual temperature in your community/country? How does this reflect your church’s mission and focus?

Australia is increasingly post-Christian and the latest census data has again indicated a significant increase in those who identify with ‘no religion’. This is certainly true of the city of Brisbane as well.

Our state - Queensland - is portrayed as heaven on earth in all the tourism advertisements. The rest of Australia comes here for their holidays. And Brisbane is defined by the lifestyle that we enjoy with warm temperatures all year and the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast beach strips within and hour to the north and south of our city.

This means we need to work hard to show that while Queensland is a great place to live and a gift from God to be enjoyed, it’s not heaven, and Jesus is better. Even among Christians, we need to encourage believers to be present in our church and community and not just enjoying the beach each weekend. For unbelievers we want to affirm the goodness of the creation, but urge people to give worship the Creator rather than creation.

Brisbane has the youngest age demographic of capital cities in Australia, with the highest proportion of 15-39 year old in our city. However, 15-39 year olds have a smaller representation in Brisbane churches compared to other cities in Australia. This means the average age of church attenders in Brisbane is increasing at a higher rate than the rest of Australia.

While we are seeking to be an intergenerational church, and we have all ages in our service, we are seeking to deliberately do church in a way that is accessible for 15-39 years olds knowing that not many churches are reaching this demographic. Our use of design, video, music, illustrations in sermons, are some of the ways we are trying to communicate the timeless message of Christ crucified and risen for sinners in a timely way while speaking the language of young people in our city.

Tell us one of the most difficult situations you have faced during your years as a church planter. How did God work through that particular situation?

I’ve been involved in church ministry for 17 years, and so have faced many difficult situations in that time! However, now that I’m the Lead Pastor of a new church, it means I have a front-row seat to all of the brokenness in our church. It’s heart breaking to know the details of broken relationships, abuse, sickness, sin, and other types of suffering of people in our church.

This can be overwhelming, but it has lead me to pray all the more for God to be at work bringing hope in hopeless situations. I’m more convinced than ever that the gospel continues to be the answer as the only lasting hope in the midst of darkness and brokenness.

Tell us about how you have seen God working - maybe share a particular story.

I recently spent time with one young woman from our church. She joined us four months ago and professes to have become a Christian three months ago! She grew up in a Christian family in Singapore, but has since realized that she never understood the gospel of grace. She was trusting both in her own religiosity and had also put her hopes in her idols, and when they let her down, she had a bout of severe depression.

Through the preaching of the gospel of grace, she has understood that she’s saved by what Christ has done and not her performance. She has realized the failure of idols to do anything but disappoint and point us away from the true and living God.

At City on a Hill we talk about "Knowing Jesus and Making Jesus Known"… a lot! I love in her story how she shared that now that she knows Jesus she wants to make him known!! The change was tangible! Please pray she would see many friends and family come to know Jesus through her witness.

If there are any other stories or information you would like to share, please do so here.

We are so thankful for the ongoing partnership of Spanish River Church! I’m personally inspired and refreshed through attending the Church Planters Retreat, and we know that we couldn’t do this work without the prayer and partnership of our brothers and sisters in Boca Raton! We give thanks to God for you, and pray that you would continue to see fruit through Spanish River ministry locally and around the globe. Keep trusting Jesus.

Please list any prayer requests we can share with our SRC family.

  • Give thanks for new believers
  • Give thanks for gospel awakenings
  • Give thanks for a growing staff team
  • Please pray that we will be able to launch a second service next year
  • Please pray for our next round of our Christianity course - Introducing Jesus - that many unbelievers will put their trust in Christ
  • Please pray for God to sustain our marriage and family life

If you would like to reach out to Dave, you can visit the church's website at https://cityonahill.com.au/brisbane.

Ron On The Road: Lucknow, India

Throughout the year, Ron Tobias travels to meet church planters all over the globe. These trips include opportunities to see how God is working through the churches and to make connections for future partnerships. In March 2017, Ron went to Lucknow, India with John Slavic, Hannah Mezzell and David Slavic.

Lucknow, India Update

IMG_0669

Lucknow is located in Utter Pradesh state of India. It is only 1% Christian. The major religion is Hindu, but there are also a large number of Muslims. There are no large Christian churches in this area.

We arrived in Lucknow the morning of March 10th. After a quick nap to recover from the 22 hour flight, we met with 16 Pastors and trainees of the Good News Presbytery. They shared updates from both the churches and the training they are receiving. There are currently two active and thriving churches in this presbytery. Both of them are over 80 in attendance for their Sunday morning worship. Their pastors are training other interns for future church plants in the area. The churches also have a large small group ministry. One of the churches has over 250 people attending their small groups or cell groups has they call them. Transportation is difficult in Lucknow and so the cell groups are the only effective way of reaching many of the members.

IMG_0630

On the following day we held a seminar on Reformed theology. All 16 pastors and trainees attended this seminar. It was a long but a productive day for these men. It was the first time some of them had been exposed to Calvinism, so there were lots of questions.

Sunday morning we attended services at both churches. We were able to share with the aid of an interpreter. It was amazing to be able to worship with our brothers and sisters in this beautiful country. Khen Tombing from Manipur state also joined us on Sunday. Khen is the director of the Presbyterian Church in India.

IMG_0626
IMG_0631

On Monday, we once again spent most of the day at the training center. John Slavic and I trained them in the Gospel Boot Camp. The pastors were eager to learn this material.

Tuesday morning before we left, we spent time discussing the struggles of planting in this region of India. While we were here the people of India elected a new government that is considered to be radical Hindus. This new government will be hostile to the spreading of the Gospel. This will present new challenges in the planting of churches.

The rest of Tuesday and Wednesday were travel days as we made our way to Manipur State. This state is in the northeast of India.