GOLD COAST, QUEENSLAND
It's funny how God works sometimes. Like how that one time (ten years ago!) we invited Amanda's friend from her university days in Michigan to live with us in North Carolina, USA while he attended ministry school. And he met a woman named Geraldine while attending Morningstar University in South Carolina. And Geraldine is an Australian. And in 2016 she needed an intern and sought the aid of social media to find one. And Amanda's friend from uni shared Geraldine's post on Facebook. So Amanda inquired because, why not? And then five months later, in April 2017, they moved their lives from Tanzania, East Africa to the Gold Coast. Leaving the village life for the city life. Leaving the familiar sounds of Swahili and livestock for the hustle and bustle of a developed nation. Moving in with a couple they'd never met in person to begin an amazing journey in the world of business as missions.
We were able to assist the Patersons for 6 months, until it became clear that the Patersons needed to take a sabbatical and begin to prepare for an international move. Both families were sad to end the partnership, but know for certain that it is what God's plan is. Check out some of the things we were able to assist with below - and on the Papua New Guinea page as well!
Geraldine is a creative at heart with passion for writing and reaching the world to expand the Kingdom. She's written a couple of books and plays before, but her most recent venture has been writing a piece about the life of John Flynn - an icon of Australian history (he's even on the $20 note!).
Several years ago God spoke to Geraldine about reaching the entertainment industry through musical theatre. By writing pieces that are true stories of faith, hope and perseverance (but without all the Christian lingo) she hopes to impact the arts realm in a real, Kingdom-focused way. She has since written a musical that tells the story of the first flying doctor service in the Australian outback - an amazing story of the steadfast faith of John Flynn. She hopes Flynn will end up on Broadway someday, and while this isn't quite a commercial production yet, it's one step closer to it! Bill helped with prop inventory, set design and tech, while Amanda developed and maintained the online presence with a new website and a Facebook page. She also managed the administrative details, communicating with the cast and designing the set, prop design & construction. During the production of In Like Flynn in August 2017, Bill was props master and prompter while Amanda was assistant stage manager. Owen was the cute blondie in the front row soaking up every minute of the musical - the kid loves theatre! Check out the trailer here!
The Daily Grind
When God spoke to Bill and Amanda about moving to Australia, not everything was crystal clear. They weren't entirely sure of the roles they'd be in or the exact nature of the ministry. One thing they knew for sure though: they were going to serve the Patersons.
Scott & Geraldine have a heart and vision for the transformation of a nation through a business as mission model. They aim to empower the nationals and leave a legacy of Kingdom-filled fruitfulness and hope for a future that is bright. So even though they weren't entirely sure how ministry would look in Australia, they did know that as long as they were serving the Paterson's they were fulfilling the mission God had placed before them. Transforming a nation is no small task, so every minute counts! Things like cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, researching, organizing, administrative tasks take time. By helping with tasks like these, Bill & Amanda are able free up more time for the Patersons to network, build relationships and get into the nitty-gritty of it all. This looked different every day, but often it involved taking care of the mundane, daily tasks that would hinder productivity for the Patersons. It's nothing fancy, and not very Instagram-worthy. But it was meaningful, appreciated and it helped advance the Kingdom as Scott & Geraldine were able to focus more on their call to transform a nation.
Oh! And you'll be happy to know that the Patersons and the Battersons got along swimmingly! Yes, their names even rhyme! Despite having never met in real life and only having two phone conversations before moving in together, they were a happy house full of Aussies and Americans! With three introverts and two extroverts they somehow found the perfect balance and harmony as they all worked toward a common goal. Two witty men that (think they) are hilariously entertaining with their jokes and sarcasm, and two women that share a love of quiet, wide-open spaces and high-quality chocolate. And a sweet little boy that entertained all with his quick-wits, sound effects and laughter. It's an unlikely pairing that could have only been put together by the Creator of the universe - but it certainly worked!