Making the most of gospel opportunities
Posted on: 29th April 2021
It is an exciting time to be part of the CMS Fellowship.
Last month, we had the great joy of officially opening the new St Andrew’s Hall (SAH) training facility in Melbourne, and we are already training the first cohort of missionary trainees!
Howard and Trisha Spencer are two of our new trainees, but they are not new faces to CMS. From 1984 to 1995 they served as CMS missionaries to Tanzania, and more recently, Howard served as Chairman of the CMS Australia Board.
Howard reflects: “In 2010, at the CMS Vision Retreat, David Williams challenged the CMS Fellowship that St Andrew’s Hall needed a major reconstruction… I was the Chair of the CMS-A Board for the last 6 years and was deeply committed to bringing this redevelopment into reality.”
“Unexpectedly, God has brought Trisha and myself back to SAH… daily I marvel at the wonderful provision God has supplied in this fantastic redevelopment which will be used for the training of generations of missionaries. What an amazing God we serve.”
After 24 years serving AFES and international Christian student groups, God has opened an opportunity for Howard and Trisha to go and help support the ministry of the Groupes Bibliques Universitaires (GBU) in Belgium.
Working alongside the only full-time staff worker, Alexandre Manlow, and his wife Sara, there will be many opportunities to use their administration and pastoral skills to assist in the building of a sustainable French-speaking national student ministry.
If you tuned in to CMS Summer School this year, you would have noticed their commitment to God’s mission was clear as they considered what they would do with their retirement.
Howard says: “Along with the pressure from many people asking ‘Howard, when are you retiring?’, there was an expectation that we would gracefully just slip into retirement and do the garden and go on the cruise and look after grandchildren.”
“Leaving Australia at this stage of life is challenging. Because everyone is thinking that you are just going to go off into the sunset and be happily retired, but the gospel is so important, and it drives the heart to think well ‘here is an opportunity’.”
“I’m sure there are lots of other people out there in our situation… we have less years left in us now than we have already lived… why not spend them for the gospel’s sake, instead of just for our own personal comfort and benefit?”
As we train and set apart Howard and Trisha for ministry in Belgium, will you commit to partner with them in ongoing prayer?
This article was included in our CMS NSW & ACT May Monthly Update. To receive more articles like this, sign up to our monthly emails.