We’re moving back!

Screen shot 2016-06-07 at 2.12.47 PM.pngThe faces of Melbourne, Australia, one of the world’s most global cities. All in the image of God.

Screen shot 2016-06-08 at 9.51.08 PM.pngThese are the 150 men and women of Cru (called Power to Change here in Australia) with whom we’ve loved serving alongside. We help people know Jesus in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne–and just in the last few months–Perth and Adelaide! We all got together for a conference in January and Angie led a recruitment training session that got some wheels turning in hopeful ways for the future.

45,523 in 2 years!

That’s the number of gospel presentations that have occurred within Cru in Australia during our time here!

Of those, 5,442 decided to put their trust in Jesus Christ! {That’s a big deal in a country that’s seemingly apathetic to spiritual conversations.}

It’s good to step back and look at the bigger picture, especially now as our 2-year assignment is drawing to a close and we are within two months of returning back to America.

Yes, we’re moving back!

What an amazing time it has been!

Angie and I are both sad to be leaving Australia soon, but very excited about what God has planned for us with our next missionary assignment back in Orlando at Cru’s global headquarters.

(We’ll clue you in more at the end of this email.)

The memories start flooding in when we recall our first few months in here in Melbourne.

We think of Hannah.

Hannah, above, is a new believer and our beloved babysitter.  Recently, Hannah’s dad put his trust in Jesus through his daughter’s influence!

 

Hannah: A changed life, telling others

We remember how, in December 2014, our family was invited to spend time with college students on a summer mission trip in a nearby town called Lorne.

Angie gave a talk to the young women, encouraging them to find their identity in Christ alone.

It was there that we met Hannah, who had just become a Christian. She was boldly stepping out in faith telling other students about Jesus.

Fast-forward to today, Hannah is now in her last year of college and engaged to Tom, who is studying to become a pastor.

Hannah has a desire to be in full-time ministry herself, particularly reaching out to women who have had similar challenges she’s had to over-come.

God is changing lives here!


Left to right: Scott, Josh (our newest addition who is almost done raising his financial support to report full time!) and James (our team leader) We love the opportunity to serve our missionaries on the field and in our country’s HQ office.


My (Scott’s) role: to simplify and stabilize our computer infrastructure

Before we got to Australia, my anticipated role was to have a heavy focus on teaching and training our missionaries in the field how to best use technology in evangelism, administration for ministry, etc.

Soon after we arrived, James (above) and I put fresh eyes on the needs of the organization. What rose to the top were the critical computer systems at our country headquarters in Melbourne.

These systems manage the ministry’s finances, donations, human resources, missionary care, etc.  They function in the background, often without notice until something goes wrong.

What were the main problems?

  • The setup had become bloated and unmanageable for James (we were running 50% more computer servers than was necessary)
  • These critical systems and our missionaries’ computers who were connecting to them were at significant risk of accidental infection from computer viruses, which could spread system-wide and cripple operations at headquarters
  • When power to the office goes out, our servers would crash within a few minutes. When this happens, it puts these complex systems at risk of corruption and not working when power returns.

Even if James wanted to fix these issues earlier, he didn’t have the capacity to, since he alone was trying to manage all of the technology needs of the ministry.

These in-depth projects took me over 18 months to complete amidst all my other responsibilities (like desktop tech for our missionaries in the office and on the field). But, by God’s grace I feel confident that our systems are far more stable, secure and much easier for James to manage going forward.

I created a method for James that only takes a couple of hours a month to complete, which helps ensure all of our critical systems and missionaries’ computers at headquarters continue to run as they should.

All this work is so that everything stays “up,” to allow our missionaries to do what God has called them to in proclaiming the gospel!


The Matchmaking Event (above) might seem like a speed dating night, but played on the idea of getting a great match. The day-long event just turned annual this year. It’s been one of Angie’s recruitment highlights from our time here. She designed from scratch a hands-on session in the afternoon that highlighted how a person’s strength plays out differently when mixed in different contexts and groups. This year’s event was last Saturday.

Angie’s role: believing God for the next wave of missionaries in Australia

Enough about me! What about Angie? Most of her time is spent being mom to Lizzy and Joshua.

But, on top of that, she was asked to help create a plan for how to recruit new missionaries in Australia. Below is a snippet of what she’s done with her one day a week in the office:

  • Helped launch an annual day-long event last year and this year to help college students and mid-career people process if God is calling them into full-time ministry.
  • Helped redesign the recruitment section on the Cru website, creating lots of new content.
  • Helped redesign the ministry’s recruitment brochure.
  • Led training events with our missionaries to help them effectively engage with others who are considering full-time Christian work.

I’m so proud of Angie and the legacy she’s leaving here!

God is doing great things through the ministry here and it also appears that He is planning something bigger.

I had a water cooler conversation with someone in our human resources team last week who said, since the beginning of the year, they are receiving more requests for applications then he’s ever remembered.

I believe God brought us here to help lay the groundwork for a wave of new missionaries in Australia.

We’ve prayed for over two years to not just fill “holes” while here, but rather that God would enable us to invest our time in ministry that would last long after our time in Australia is done.

We are getting glimpses that, by His grace, He is doing that!

What’s next?

As our assignment in Australia ends this summer, we will move back to the U.S. in time for our kids to adjust to a new time zone prior to school starting. I will begin my new role at Cru global headquarters in Orlando that is very different and VERY exciting!

To give a small taste, I’ll be part of a team that explores how Cru (both in the U.S. and globally) can match each person we cross paths with in the digital space (think: internet, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media) to the next best step in their spiritual journey.

Are you familiar with how Amazon or other online merchants use the data they have to suggest relevant purchases for you? Now imagine if we could do that and scale it for our ministry and people’s spiritual growth, ultimately with the desire to introduce them to Jesus! Again, this is only a small taste, so we will share more details in the coming months.

Whether it’s in the U.S., Australia or wherever God calls our family to serve, we love helping people get connected to Jesus. Thank you for praying for and with us!


P.S. Visit our blog for updates along the way, including bits about how our kids are doing.

Screen shot 2016-06-08 at 9.50.05 PM.pngGod has marked our hearts (and hopefully yours too!) with His love for Australia.

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3 thoughts on “We’re moving back!

  1. Dawn June 9, 2016 / 1:54 am

    You are all so precious and I love how God has blessed your family through Australia and how Australia has been blessed by God through you!

  2. Ellen Cox June 9, 2016 / 2:22 am

    Scott and Angie:

    It is hard to believe that 2 years have gone by.

    We will be praying for you as you finish responsibilities in Australia and transition to your next God planned positions back in the states.

    Terry and Ellen

  3. Pat Ritchie June 9, 2016 / 5:52 am

    Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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