Uniting Church in Australia President Rev Sharon Hollis met with church partners from across Southeast Asia recently. While she was there, she got to see the fruits of UnitingWorld’s work in partnership with local churches and the power that Everything in Common gifts can have.
On the invitation of UnitingWorld, Rev Hollis joined our Southeast Asia partners conference in Bali, which brought together partners from Bali, Maluku, Timor-Leste, East Nusa Tenggara (West Timor), Papua and West Papua and Sulawesi.
As well as leading opening worship for the 4-day conference, Rev Hollis led a session on the Biblical imperative for safeguarding and gave a UCA perspective on how we seek to be a ‘safe church’.
It sparked a lively and honest discussion about the historic failings of churches to protect people, as well as the cultural challenges of gender equality that our partners are working to shift in their communities.
The workshop sessions were predominantly led by partners, and Rev Hollis loved to hear more about the work they are doing with the support of UnitingWorld to develop their communities and share the good news.
“It was a joy to be there in person and to meet with overseas partners and hear about the work they’re doing, share their joys and their sorrows and share in the good news of the gospel together,” said Rev Hollis.
Conference delegates also got the chance to visit several community development programs run by host partner, Gereja Kristen Protestan di Bali (GKPB, the Protestant Christian Church in Bali).
Rev Hollis met with program participants in rural Bali who were helped to start goat and chicken-breeding businesses and was touched by their stories.
“It was remarkable to see how a few simple things like goats and chickens can provide much-needed extra income and transform the lives of our neighbours across the world,” said Rev Hollis.
“When people have better food security and a sustainable income, they aren’t just healthier but have joy and hope for the future. It fills me with the same.”
Share life-changing gifts this Christmas
You can share the same powerful gifts with your loved ones. Goats, chickens, small-business support, school books… there’s so many opportunities to change lives this Christmas.
Header photo caption: Conference delegates visited a local GKPB congregation in rural Bali, where they shared a meal and heard about the lives of the small (but impactful!) local Christian community.