Making the most of every opportunity
Posted on: 8th June 2021
CMS missionaries David and Jenny Juniper are waiting to begin their ministry in DR Congo. With their departure delayed due to the Coronavirus, they have found other opportunities to serve God’s people. They share how God has opened a door to serve on Christmas Island while they wait.
“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” (Philippians 1:12)
Paul wrote to the Philippians from prison to thank them for their generous gift, and to reassure them that their support of him was still resourcing gospel work.
Like Paul, we have been frustrated—but God has given us a wonderful opportunity to be engaged in gospel work. Recently we heard of a church on Christmas Island that was seeking support. They have been labouring away faithfully for years and were looking for some encouragement. CMS agreed to lend us to them for a few months while we wait for our COVID-19 vaccinations.
Christmas Island is culturally diverse. We have been told it is 30% Chinese, 30% Malay, 30% Anglo and 10% other. So, our cross-cultural skills are useful here and we have been warmly welcomed by the church and people in the community.
Small world, big family
The church where we are serving, Christmas Island Christian Fellowship, is also diverse. It was originally shaped by the Chinese majority, but as the island has changed, so has the church. However, sermons are still translated into Mandarin each Sunday, so David must have them fully scripted by Monday to be sent away for translation.
Jenny is excited to be doing Christianity Explained with a woman from the church. And there are local family connections to friends in Albany, Bunbury and Byford, which has been very encouraging.
After months of living out of suitcases it is a relief to unpack. While we are settled for a little while, Jenny has decided to finish the final unit of her Moore College PTC course. We also continue to chip away at our Swahili online. The internet here is sketchy (2G), so people don’t walk around with their heads in their phones (yay!) and we are getting a little taste of life in a remote location.
With all the uncertainty about our timeline for going to DR Congo, we are so grateful for this opportunity to serve God’s people, even if it’s not what we had planned.
Give thanks for this opportunity for David and Jenny to support Christians on Christmas Island and pray for continued open doors for ministry in this time of waiting.