(Photos from L to R Graham Wright, Alan Forsyth and Frances Hadfield; Graham Wright Speaking; Group photo)
A very successful seminar was held at the Gosnells CRC in Western Australia on Saturday the 9th of February. There were 71 Instructors and interested parties present. We had Instructors from Albany make the trip. We would like to thank our speakers, Graham – Chaplain from Casuarina Prison, Frances – Chaplain from Bandyup Women’s Prison, Alan – Chaplain from Acacia Private Prison; and Leo – current Tier 3 student. All Chaplains gave most informative and challenging addresses. Also student Leo gave a most frank talk on prison life.
The seminar held at Maryborough on Saturday 7th July 2012 went well, we had 45 attend all speakers were great. The speakers were Tim Roan, Steve Berry and Gwen Lewis all Chaplains at Maryborough CC. Terry also gave a PowerPoint presentation and a talk to update the instructors on CBI. It was such a positive seminar and the 45 people that attended had a great time of fellowship and now have a greater understanding of CBI. They are a very enthusiastic group up here and the Minister Steve Berry and his wife Sharon were great hosts to us.
Terry and Chris West
REPORT FROM OUR SYDNEY SEMINAR
By Anne Bruinsma
It was a busy time on Saturday morning of the 12th of May 2012. Our office staff and volunteer catering people, Marty and Gery had an early start to be ready for a great day. We welcomed 41 Instructors and 12 office workers and 17 other interested people of which 6 were speakers.
Ray gave an excellent biblical introduction from Acts 2, from which we all were encouraged. He also gave an update on the office work and workers and afterwards, the audience was asked to raise any questions. It is so obvious that we have received the blessings of God during the last 10 years, we sure can say “it is the Lord’s work that we are doing”. But also the struggles we have at times were placed before us, the load that is placed on the office staff and the finances often keeps being a concern. However, we do trust the Lord in everything that we do. Besides what is told is helpful, it is called a ‘Continuing Educational Seminar for the Instructors and interested people’ and here is where the Instructors can have their say…. After this we had Terry explaining his part of the ministry and introducing the speakers.
We so enjoyed our first speaker Chaplain Steve who told us about himself and his ministry in the MRRC. He gave us an oversight on what prison and cell life is all about. The struggle it is at times for the inmate. He had a 4 minute DVD, taken from several places off some Websites. This was very interesting and gave us a whole different idea about “prison”. It certainly is not a Motel room where they are. To know that they are locked down from 3.30pm till 8.30am the next morning and at times for a whole day for several different reasons. He was followed by Chaplain Wally who read us an impressive testimony from an inmate and lastly a short talk from a new Chaplain, Gerard, from St Heliers in Muswellbrook, they were excellent presentations.
After this we had 2 former inmates, Ben and Paul addressing us, they were speaking from experience as to what they went through in prison for some years. It was so good to find out, that the ‘Christian Brothers’ in there, looked after and supported each other and even if possible formed groups for Fellowship and prayers or just came together in Chapel services. Ben said how they often read from 2 Cor 5: 20, and found forgiveness from God and were helped with their reconciliation especially by the acceptance and encouragement received from the Instructors. It was wonderful to hear their testimony and to see them continuing in their new found life with Christ, now living on the outside.
It was after lunch that we heard from Paul, who told his story. This was also truly impacting on all of us. It was so good to see that they are life long friends as a result of spending time together in the Oberon prison, where they both played such a significant roll to keep together all the Christian Brothers in the prison. Praying, meeting for Fellowship, studying God’s Word, while being encouraged by you the Instructors and also the Chaplain. They called themselves “TRU” — “The Redeemed United”, what a wonderful testimony this was.
Finally we heard from Kim, one of our Instructors and what a powerful story she had. Her faithfulness and the family’s prayers all through married life and now while her husband, a CBI student, is in prison, he came to know the Lord. It was remarkable to hear how they were led by God through all the hardship and are still going through, which only strengthens their beautiful Christian bond as a family.
We all enjoyed the entire Seminar that day! And wasn’t the food good, on such a cool day as it was on that Saturday of the Seminar. Thank you Marty and Gery and others that helped look after our physical needs.
|Brisbane and Maclean Seminars and Maryborough Training