Bushfires have ravaged Australia in the last few months, with 86 still burning in New South Wales alone. A staggering 18.6 million hectares of land have been left barren and charred, approximately 2,176 homes have been reduced to rubble, and 21 lives have been lost. Those not directly affected by the fires have suffered significant air pollution and power outages.
However, amidst such heartache, we’re seeing communities rally together as they rebuild.
Young & old are gathering together in towns, ports and cities to provide practical and emotional support, and we’re truly honoured to be a part of it. As widespread rain falls (thank you Jesus), C3 churches across the country are matching prayer with love in action.
C3 Church Camden
C3 Church Camden (just south-west of Sydney) have been able to offer ongoing support to families throughout December and January.
“Through communication with other local agencies, we are constantly looking to assess the needs and fill gaps wherever we can.” Ps Rohan Bell, C3 Church Camden
Donations so far have included:
- Food hampers
- Supermarket and fuel vouchers
- Bedding and linen
- Meals for the NSW RFS volunteers
- Purchase of full-face respiratory masks for RFS volunteers (many are only supplied with paper masks)
- School supplies for affected families
Funnelled through C3 Church Camden, efforts by C3 Australia have raised approximately $65,000, plus donated goods like food, bedding, clothing etc.
And the funds are still flooding in. Elevation Church (in North Carolina) in particular have reached out and offered a generous donation. We are so grateful for their support, and others like them, from across oceans.
For more information or to donate, head to https://chuffed.org/project/c3-fire-relief.
C3 New Hope
C3 New Hope is also playing a part in relief efforts. Across their 8 locations – Kiama, Mount Annan, Campbelltown, Blue Mountains, Oran Park, Wilton and Townsville – they held an offering to raise funds for families on the far South Coast of NSW.
“Specifically we aimed to help those with school-aged children (and even local schools) to ease the burden of back to school shopping.” Bec Choat, C3 New Hope Kiama
With 2,176 homes lost since the beginning of the bushfire crisis in 2019, and school beginning by the end of January, back-to-school shopping will be a struggle for many bushfire-affected families.
Partnering with locals, and another church in Kiama (Generocity Church), C3 New Hope volunteers have so far compiled 25 backpacks filled with school supplies, to the value of over $2000.
C3 Jervis Bay
A small group of volunteers from from C3 Jervis Bay on New South Wales’s South Coast have been working tirelessly since January 2nd to clear away rubble and remains from burned properties. The volunteers, including Pastor Steve Ahern, have been using their own machinery – mostly bobcats and tractors – and their own fuel to support the clean-up.
“We’re just getting in there and getting it done.” Ps Steve Ahern, C3 Jervis Bay
This less glamorous side of the recovery efforts is often overlooked, but can be extremely costly to residents.
C3 Church Camden & Picton have offered to contribute some of the raised funds towards petrol and machinery costs.
Do you have a story to share?
There are countless other stories of people stepping in and providing relief for Aussies all over the country. If you have a story to share, contact us at email@example.com.
South Asia is a vibrant and emerging region in the world, encompassing the nations of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The people are warm and diverse, the cities never sleep, and urbanisation and development are rapid.
Although industry and commerce are strong, and infrastructure projects abounding, poverty is common. The average income in India is US$250 per month, but it is even less for pastors.
C3 has churches in five of the seven nations: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Almost all of our churches have planted at least one other church, some up to seventy.
The Christian Worldview is uncommon, yet church planting and evangelism thrive here. People are coming to Christ in significant numbers every week, even though all seven South Asian nations are on the World Watch List for Persecuted Christians.
The boldness and courage of the churches is testament to their commitment to Christ. In the midst of growing persecution, there is faith and increase.
Rented buildings are common, but building projects are beginning throughout the region. C3 Siliguri’s church building is almost complete, and C3 Amravati have recently begun a school.
Established in 1994, C3 Pune celebrated their 25th anniversary this year, with over 700 people in attendance. In their 25 years, they have planted over 70 churches, and they continue to train countless church planters in the Bible, ministry and leadership skills.
Sanitation & Medical Assistance
Civil authorities have reached out to our churches to request assistance with sanitation and medical teams. Not only is this another way for our pastors to assist in the development of communities, but it’s a chance to partner with local government – a rare and crucial opportunity in South Asia.
We hold pastoral training events in South Asia twice a year. Training is always skills-oriented, designed for practical application in churches, to provide momentum and growth. This year, our training events were held in India and in Nepal, in the local languages to provide greater access to pastors. For senior pastors and their spouses, an annual summit is held to provide targeted support and skills for senior ministry. We find that these are pivotal moments in our calendar year.
Our South Asian churches are strong and vibrant, focused on evangelism and church planting, and situated in a part of the world with incredible potential – South Asia holds 25% of the world’s population – 50% of them under 25 years of age.
The future is bright, but your prayer support is crucial to the spread of the Gospel in South Asia.
If you have questions or are able to support the mission, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might know them as MAMILs (Middle-Aged Men In Lyrca) but there are many Australian families who call them everyday heroes.
Formed in 2010 at C3 Oxford Falls, the home church of Ps Phil & Chris Pringle, the C3 Cyclists are passionate about making a difference in the lives of sick kids through the Humpty Dumpty Foundation. Their annual fundraising ride through rural Australia is always a test of strength and endurance under soaring outback temperatures, and this year was no different.
Their 2019 Country To Coast Tour took the cyclists from Tamworth to Newcastle over 5 days – a gruelling 740km journey which ended at John Hunter Children’s Hospital on October 20th.
Thanks to the generous donations of hundreds of supporters, the cyclists were able to raise $47,809, which has enabled the Humpty Dumpty Foundation to donate life-saving equipment to paediatric, neonatal and maternity wards in need.
Brisbane was flooded with volunteers last weekend for C3 Bridgeman Downs’s annual Love Brisbane event – a community-wide working bee to benefit locals.
From revamping the local drug & alcohol rehab centre, to backyard blitzes for returned servicemen, the volunteers spent all day loving on Brisbane.
Check out some highlights below.
Photos by C3 Bridgeman Downs.
For the third year in a row, C3 Church City Darlinghurst has raised funds for farming families in the Dubbo area, who have been hit particularly hard by drought. This year, United Petroleum has also risen to the occasion by matching the $25,000 donation with $25,000 worth of fuel.
On Friday 15th November, volunteers from C3 made their way to Dubbo to distribute the goods, including:
- 100 fuel cards to the value of $500
- 15 tonnes of free food and water
- thousands of fresh meals
- consumable items
Overall the day was a huge success.
Dubbo, we’re with you! Farming families are the heartbeat of this sunburnt country, and our continuing thoughts and prayers are with you.
Photos by C3 Church City Darlinghurst.
Senior Pastor C3 Church Ryde and C3 Reach
Rarely do we get a full picture of where our journey with Jesus will take us, but in C3 we are blessed to have leaders, Ps Phil and Chris, who live and model a life of prayer. It’s their prayerful, steady walk with Jesus that has paved the way for C3 across the globe. It’s prayer that has carried Cathie and I to places we never imagined or dreamed about.
We never dreamed we’d stand in a C3 Church in Baghdad, or sleep and eat in the house of our church planters in Iraq, or have a friend who was once the head of a Mosque for radicals who persecuted the church. It’s beyond the imagined and undeniably the work of the Holy Spirit. I’ve seen churches planted in Syria, where Christ’s name has been actively targeted for destruction. I’ve seen churches planted where Christ’s name has never been heard at all. Every moment, every victory, reminds me of the reality of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.
What an honour to be given the responsibility to stand in the midst of men and women who proclaim Christ even in the face of death. What a privilege to be a carrier of the C3 culture to our church planters – a culture they love because it is so freeing to them.
This year has had so many highlights:
Our church plant in Cairo has itself planted 4 more locations, creating a combined membership of well over 1200, despite being in the midst of much persecution.
In Baghdad the building is completely packed, with more and more people coming to faith in Christ. On my last trip there earlier this year, we baptised 16 former Islamic radicals and every one of them came out of the water speaking in tongues.
We saw our Iraqi pastor and his 17-year-old daughter translate the New Testament into a dialect that represents 6 million people who have never heard the name of Christ.
Recently we have seen another 3 churches planted in Kyrgyzstan, 3 in Tajikistan, and several weeks ago we sent our first church planters into Iran.
My favourite highlight is not about “the many” but “the one.” I was invited to share a meal with the relatives of one of our pastors in Iraq. The same relatives had tried to kill our pastor several times. Still, our pastor was so full of love for them, that he organised for me to go with him to share about Jesus in their village. The presence and peace of God filled that village – so much so, that those family ties were restored. The elder leader of our pastor’s family was so happy to receive us, that he set out a banquet in our honour.
The message we carry has power to bring peace to all people everywhere. That’s why the vision of C3 to carry Jesus and His presence into all the world is so important. People need Jesus to bring peace to their hearts.
On behalf of all our church planters, I want to thank you for praying for them. They love being known as C3, because for them, C3 is their family and they are not alone.
Ps Richard Green
To find out more about Ps Richard and C3 Reach, visit c3churchryde.com.au.
A letter from Thierry & Marianne Moehr
Dear C3 Church Global family,
2018 is a year of revival at C3 Lausanne! We have seen so many answers to prayer. Earlier this year we secured larger offices and a larger space for outreach events – something we have been praying for for a long time. The aim is to invite as many people as possible to these outreach events. And our congregation has been extending invitations all across this beautiful city! Many people have been coming forward on the altar calls, and heaven is rejoicing over every life that is touched by God’s love and saved by God’s grace.
There are two stories in particular that fill our hearts with joy:
Recently a young man named Martin* came to church, invited by his sister. He had been raised by an alcoholic dad, so Martin had picked up his father’s way of life. When he came to church he was deeply impacted by God’s love and peace. He has been in church every Sunday since, and is currently in a rehabilitation centre. Recently, he decided that he wanted to be water baptised to signify his new start in life. His whole countenance has completely changed and Martin’s sister still can’t believe that this is actually happening.
Another miracle story is of a young woman named Amelie* who first visited C3 Lausanne about a year ago, invited by a friend. Amelie was in a complicated marriage and was desperately looking for hope and guidance. Her catholic background had given her an image of God that was judgemental and lifeless. In a Sunday service she was suddenly touched by God’s love and grace. For the past year she has been attending a connect group and is so eager to learn and to make progress in her knowledge of the Bible.
Our purpose as a church is to create that atmosphere of love and grace where people like Martin and Amelie can encounter Christ. Their stories are nothing short of miracles, and we are so honoured to be a part of God moving in Lausanne.
The last 12 years have been such an adventure for us here. We’ve been so touched by the move of God and by the supernatural growth of our church. To Him be the glory! We stand in awe of His greatness and goodness.
In October we will be hosting the C3 Europe Conference and we are very much looking forward to gathering. Hopefully we’ll see some of you there!
Thierry & Marianne
*Names changed for privacy reasons.
To find out more about C3 Lausanne, visit www.c3lausanne.ch.
To find out more about the C3 Europe Conference, visit www.c3europeconference.com.
Campus Pastor C3 The Bukit
When my lead Pastors, Jason & Emma Schroeder, asked me if I would consider taking on the role of campus pastor of a new church plant in Bali, it felt like I had been sideswiped by a truck. I had been the kids pastor at our church, C3 Hepburn Heights, for 6 years but it felt like a giant leap from that role to that of a campus pastor based overseas. Yet even in the midst of this surprising offer I recognized that God was leading and guiding me. I decided to take that step of faith into the unknown.
I arrived in Bali in early January, 2017 with a team of 3 from Perth. In the midst of the complexities of starting a church I felt God’s favour at specific moments along the way. He provided people, finances, insight and resources at just the right time.
It could only have been God who gave me the grace to adapt to a different culture and way of living. When I first arrived in Bali the thought of driving a car made me feel nauseous and at one point I considered hiring a personal driver just so that I didn’t have to drive myself! Yet it was remarkable at how fast Bali felt like home for me.
Our campus celebrated its first birthday in February this year. We’ve seen salvations, young people getting water baptised and people reconnecting with Christ and the church. What a joy it has been to see people being discipled and growing in God. The team that God has gathered feels so much like family.
When you move countries to start a church it tends to broaden your perspective on many levels. Bali is known as “the island of the gods.” Yet even in the midst of this type of spiritual environment my confidence in God’s power and authority has grown more and more. We’ve had some incredible moments in the presence of God, where His power has been so tangible.
Church planting is not without its challenges. However even in the moments of loneliness, times where I’ve battled feelings of inadequacy and been consumed with discouragement, God has been my constant refuge and comfort. At every low point, there He has been, graciously picking me up and filling me with courage to take that next step forward. Matthew 16:24 has become more and more real to me. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’.”
I’ve been living in Bali for around 1.5 years now, and I know without a doubt that this is where I’m meant to be. It hasn’t been easy leaving my family and friends, and the comfort and security of living in Perth. Yet I have been so blessed with the support of my family and home church in this journey. The love and care from my pastors and C3 Hepburn Heights has been extravagant. And what a huge blessing it is to be a part of the C3 movement, under the outstanding leadership of Ps Phil & Chris! The future is exciting!
Visit http://www.c3thebukit.com/ to find out more.
Ps Carly Lewis
C3 Cares Pastor and Location Pastor of C3 Merrylands
If you have ever felt like you stuffed up so greatly that you passed the point of no return, we probably could have thrown a rockin’ pity-party together in the late 90’s.
I had not only journeyed off the narrow path, I had gone head first, slip-sliding in the direction of the ‘anything goes highway.’ I felt like a major failure – failed marriage, newly single mother and forced into a job I hated to pay the bills. I’d had my house, my money and my peace stolen from me, all by the ripe old age of 25. I felt like life was just not worth the effort. I escaped the disappointment by binge-drinking and party drugs, but I felt used and joyless. I had reached a point where I had nothing left.
I remember one weekend, while my young kids were at their dad’s, I was getting ready to go out and had popped a pill. My mum invited me to Saturday night church and, because the pill had left me feeling rather high and happy, for once my answer was “yes”. After bouncing along to the music, I heard the voice of God speak straight into my ear in a loud, fatherly and serious tone, “What are you doing in my house like this?” It was the first time in a long time that I acknowledged that God was real and that He was paying attention to me.
In a later conversation with my mother, I came to a realisation. I had spent the last decade ignoring God. I knew that if I died, the place I would go wouldn’t be heaven. This was the wake-up call I needed. I repented a week later in Church and handed my life firmly over to Jesus. I decided that if I was going to do this Christian life then I would be all-in. I had tried life the other way and it had no value.
Jesus is a great redeemer and as His grace began restoring my broken spirit, I was awakened to His heart for those around me. I realised where they were headed, too. So many people walk around with blinders over their eyes to Jesus Christ and His redemptive power. I did for nearly a decade.
A burden built within me for people who had also experienced the enemy coming hard at them, but whom perhaps did not have Christian mothers praying for them. What about those people? What about the people that have never heard there is hope in Christ? Those who would never ordinarily walk into a Church service?
My heart began breaking for the lost. I had found the answer to the human condition and was compelled to share it.
Ps Carly Lewis
C3 Cares Pastor and Location Pastor of C3 Merrylands
Romans 10:14 says, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”
In 2010 the Lord started speaking to me about starting a service specifically to reach out to those outside our church walls who were struggling in need, crisis and isolation. It was outside my comfort zone but I was reminded, ‘How will they know unless we go tell them?’
A small team of us began with one lady who was a local shut-in. We had a meal together and shared the gospel, helping her with a food hamper and clothing. It wasn’t a dramatic event and I’m not sure if she even accepted the Lord, but it was a start.
We started to help people struggling with addiction, homelessness, mental health challenges, poverty, loneliness and refugees every Thursday. Local agencies referred their clients to us and we’d help practically, chat over a meal, share the good news of Jesus and give them a Bible.
Since then we have gone into local community halls and cast the net wide, inviting people in for dinner and a message of hope. From those early beginnings C3Cares has grown to 20+ locations, being run by a variety of C3 Churches.
The provision of the Lord has been phenomenal! Over the past 5 years He has taken what we have and multiplied it. To date we’ve distributed nearly AUD $1 million worth of food, clothing and household items. We have started job skills programs, English groups, life skills classes and even ‘Sydney’s Largest Free Clothing room’ all with the goal to share the love of Jesus.
In this time over 1000 people have responded to the salvation prayer at outreach services. We watch people who come in guarded and broken, soften to the love of God and His transforming power through simple acts of kindness and miracle answers to prayer.
I’ll never forget the day Trevor* walked in. He was older and tired-looking. He opened up and shared with us that he had two choices that day. The first one was to walk in front of a train. The second was to walk to “that church that had helped him with a food hamper that one time.” He accepted Christ and we are so glad he chose the second option that day!
We see Muslim people regularly walk through our doors of community dinners eager for a Bible and to know more about Jesus. Fatima* is a local Afghani woman who came to Australia recently with nothing, her husband left her when they arrived and she has no support. We were able to connect with her and she now attends Church every Sunday with her children learning about Jesus in C3 Kids!
Gerald* lost his wife last year and has no other family. He tells us the isolation is overwhelming. He now joins us every week and is going great with the Lord. He has also become mates with Gerry* whom we met at one of our community dinners. He accepted Jesus, was water baptised and we are so proud of him as he is now, a year later, attending C3 College to pursue his dream of ministry to others.
Waw* is a Burmese tailor who has struggled with unemployment. We met him in our job skills program. He now attends Church each week, has his own Bible in the Karen language and even helps us when other Burmese people come along to services.
There is story after story of lives being transformed. It’s all the Lord’s idea, all his heart for people. He devises plans to bring the lost home to Him (2 Samuel 14:14). It’s exciting to be part of His team!