Monday, March 5, 2007

UNOH discipleship camp

the weekend with folks from UNOH was fantastic.  we showed up weary from a busy day with meetings and travel across the city in several directions by train, but we were welcomed so warmly.  the evening was underway when we arrived and we sat to the side (there were maybe 60 people) and enjoyed the music.  DSC_8234the stunning woman who performed is named Shobie Owen and her music was powerfully prophetic and pierced with lyrics of biblical justice.  she lives in community and works with asylum seekers in melbourne.  we bought her cd, which was launched that night, and all the proceeds go to assist burmese refugees and indigenous australians.  we plan to send her music home.

next, the guest speaker for the weekend - mick duncan, a kiwi - shared from the story of rahab, "two hebrew boys in a brothel."  it was a good missionary message about the people across the water.  he and his family worked with the organization "servants in asia" (viv grigg connection) in the slums of the phillipines.  the crowd listening was a mix of UNOH community members working in melbourne, thailand, and indonesia and people from local churches and organizations (most things seem to be ecumenical here) .  what permeated the room was a rugged passion for mission to the poorest of the poor in whatever context.  (maybe comparable to the "word made flesh" organization out of asbury college in wilmore).  we stayed up late meeting people and talking of shared interests in mission work in the west and issues of sustainability.

saturday we woke to the amplified sounds of the bush - a loud kookabura, cockatoos, parrots and magpies.  we were at the top of a mountain in the middle of groves and groves of eucalyptus.  it was a mesmerizing sound to these foreign ears.  we had breakfast with a lovely couple training to be missionaries in indonesia.  we listen to mick duncan share again, this time on sexual sin among missionaries.  it was direct and full of wisdom.  late morning, kath arrived with isaac and he cut loose for the rest of the day with a boy that could have been his twin.


in the afternoon, we lead a workshop on mission in the u.s. and our life with communality.  to my surprise, people were very interested in the state of the church in the states and the new monastic movement - it seems like everyone is reading shane's book.  as we shared about communality and the formation of a missional church, people asked thoughtful, practical questions about the "how to's" of life together.  we loved being able to brag about our communality family.

finally, we sat on panel with mick duncan, ash barker (the director/founder of UNOH), and two women in ministry in melbourne.  we were asked to share about "the cost of following jesus" and what were non-negotiables in our life in mission.  the crowd asked some insightful questions and we learned a lot from the answers from other panel members.  the entire time we felt honored as special guests and friends, as people genuinely wanted to hear what we had to say and understand our perspective.

we're looking forward to more time with the UNOH mob during our stay, especially at their major conference, Surrender 07 (in July)...see this link for info.


Barro said...

Hey guys

Was great to catch up at the weekend and to have you guys share, lookin forward to more catch ups to come, especially once the Pies start rollin in 07

geoff and sherry said...

thanks barro,
we were honored to share and inspired to hear from the UNOH tribe.

...and bring on the footy. go pies.