As we farewell the Sampsons from our mission support (early June), we welcome the Overhalls, dare I say it, our “homegrown” missionaries. Chris and Stef grew up at Jannali Anglican – were converted and grew as disciples through Jannali Youth Ministry. Chris studied as a teacher, taught for a couple of years, and then served here as a Ministry Apprentice. Stef trained as an optician and was heavily involved in Youth Ministry and the Sunday night service. Both came to Africa with us in Christmas 2007/2008 on a short term mission. Chris felt full time Christian ministry was where God was leading him, and so began studies at Moore College. After 4 years he graduated and began parish work in the Penrith area and then worked here in Jannali for the last 3 years. Over that time, the thought of missionary service has loomed and then blossomed.
The family (Chris, Stef, daughter Eliot and son Theo) have just spent 5 months as missionaries in training at St Andrew’s Hall in Melbourne (CMS Training school). In Chris’ words: “We’ve had classes about other cultures and religious beliefs and thought about how we might make Jesus known in different places around the world. We’ve been trained in thinking through practical considerations for our ongoing growth in personal devotion and family life in a foreign culture. We’ve made plans for language learning in our first term and have continued to prepare for long-term service. We’ve been personally growing in trust of God and confidence in his great gospel”.
They return to Sydney mid-June to visit their supporting churches – Jannali, Sylvania, Cranebrook, Orange Evangelical Church and Oatley West. They will be living in the bottom of Loraine and Leo Hillers house – Thank you to the Hillers. Please pray for them as their final destination and ministry is worked out. At this stage Latin America looks to be the place. Stay in tune for ways that you can support and pray for our new missionaries.
Breaking good news is that Stef is pregnant, so pray for them all as they prepare to welcome a new Overhall in the coming months.
Carolyn Woods, on behalf of the Mission Committee
(Picture above – a recent trip to The Great Ocean Road – financed by Jannali’s farewell gift to them.)