The Lord has blessed SEAAM and the Australia Mission in providing servants to minister to His Saints in several areas. Last summer Priests Troy* (from Brisbane, Australia) and Micah Bates (Independence, MO) arrived in Australia to begin their mission. Prior to their departure, there was a sending forth service at the Atherton Restoration Branch. Testimonies were shared on how the Lord had touched their hearts to serve while opening doors to make the mission a reality. The saints in Australia had faith that the Lord would prepare the way for new missionaries, even to granting a testimony of who would be sent.
After first ministry in Brisbane, the Troy's family brought Troy and Micah were brought to Tamworth. While living in Tamworth and serving in the Restoration Branch located there (Elder Peter* - Pastor), they were able to travel to many other branches and provide ministry to pockets of saints scattered throughout Australia. Their means of travel included the train and the "missionary car" that Gary and Marge Holmes donated to SEAAM several years ago. They were able to visit such places as Port McGuire, Queensland, New Castle, Victoria and Sydney. They were able to serve the Sacrament and provide much needed home ministry.
Troy and Micah continued to serve through the January Reunion Retreats and during this time, two additional missionaries arrived in Australia (Brett Smith and Frank Sheperd). Brett (son of Doug and Judy Smith) and Frank had to overcome some early illnesses, but through God's grace, were able to teach and share. Brother Smith returned to Australia after a family mission there a few years before. This turned into a blessing in that Brett was able to rekindle the bonds with his brothers and sisters while introducing Br. Sheperd. Brett and Frank traveled between a retreat with the Brisbane area saints and another retreat for those saints traveling to Europe. Patriarch Vernon Darling provided ministry and helped build bridges with several families. Brother Darling is the second Patriarch, in the last several years, to have provided ministry to the saints in Australia. Please continue to pray for the saints and the mission currently in Tamworth. There is a tremendous need for ongoing ministry as well as an opportunity for at least two more to serve.
Elder Steve Mapes
*last names removed for privacy.