Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fair Go - Transforming Lives with Fair Trade

Here's a social justice idea for you evangelists and Christian activists out there...
A mate of mine (Mr. John Logan of Darwin Salvos) has got involved with helping a local Christian group whose main passion is for justice. A large part of their ministry is to run a "Fair Go" stall at the famous Mindill Beach Markets (a place well-known for applauding their sunsets) in Darwin, NT. They source fairly-traded products and sell them to tourists in the midst of a market filled with hippy-style New-Age stalls and a multicultural mix of ethnic foods (the classic was 'Road Kill Cafe' selling possum sausages... sorry Dibbie!). The stall raises some cash for Fair-Trade projects in needy areas and the team incarnationally 'infiltrates' the world of tourists, Hippies and night-lifers.

It's a great way to get the message of Fair Trade out there and connect with the unsaved in a genuine way (with a cause that they respect). What do you reckon?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jo's News

Wow... time is flying by fast, seems like yesterday we were still on out-placement in Darwin (NT)! Since then we've had holidays, which was a week off (bludging) followed by a week at Hillsong Conference with the Werribee Corps Crew...

Hillsong was awesome, we had planned to take a guy with us from our time in Darwin, but that fell through, so we took Shauny from Altona Corps who had never been (one word - 'road-trip'!). By far the highlights of the conference was hearing Judah Smith and Joyce Meyer preach, also the awesome worship leadership of Joel Houston and seeing an increased focus on Social Justice throughout. God really worked in that place and it was a huge joy to see the hunger and response in the Werribee crew. Personally I felt God doing a new thing in me... a deep refreshing and a new empowerment of love (holiness) - a huge blessing to my personal spirituality and for facing this last long semester in college!

College has also started back classes, it actually took a while to get used to the old routine again! Some great news, is that we have two cadets from Indonesia staying here for the next couple of months, Olwin and Nilla are two special "Witnesses" who already feel like part of the family!

Baby news - I finally had my first ultrasound! It was awe-inspiring to actually see a tiny life on the screen, moving around and hiding from the 'camera' (to the the utter frustration of ultrasound technician!). I can't believe a baby can be so beautifully formed even at the 20-week mark - human life really is a miracle... I have a DVD and some photos, so for those who see me often, ask me for a look! (I promise I'll post them on my blog soon). Not feeling any kicks yet, but thats ok... I'm healthy, the baby's healthy and everything's 'normal'. The due date has changed to early December, which is a bit of a relief considering our commissioning/graduation is the 30th of Nov! I'm trying to figure out maternity uniforms now... the joys of pregnancy in college!

Friday, May 23, 2008


I was feeling pretty average the other day, so sat myself down to relax with some mid-morning TV (on ABC), I found myself enthralled by a documentary on war strategy (Dad would be proud)!

Here is some of what I learned about Defensive Battle Strategy (as used in World Wars I & II):
  • OBJECTIVE - Have a clear mission and battle plan. Defend your lines and counter-attack in order to advance into enemy territory.
  • INTELLIGENCE - Gain reliable information on the enemy's tactics, their capabilities, weapons, mission etc. to inform your own battle plans.
  • TIME - Don't allow your enemy time to prepare their battle plan or gather their troops - it will work against you.
  • CONCEALMENT - Effectively hide the troops you have, so your enemy is unaware of your true numbers; OR don't conceal your impressive numbers - in order to give them a scare!
  • ABSORB ATTACK - Withstand and absorb enemy attack, even in the most intense part of battle. Slow down the enemy's advance, then counter-attack!
  • REALISM - Be realistic about your objectives, don't over-stretch yourself in counter-attack or try to achieve too much too quickly. Be detailed and ambitious, but allow that your troops will need to regroup and resupply.

A couple of other points were made about this kind of strategy. The PSYCHOLOGY of your troops is important, they need to believe in the cause they are fighting for, in order for them to be willing to risk their very lives defending it! Making HIGH RISK decisions is also necessary and important, this is where you are able to turn the tide on your attackers...

We are in a battle for the souls of men & women, it is imperative that we don't allow our enemy, the devil, to gain ground because of our inability to be strategic about this war that we're in. Every aspect of this Defensive Battle Strategy can be used as a guide to launch our defense and prepare counter-attacks in this Salvation War (it can be used especially in organising a stretegic direction for your Corps or ministry!). Let's rediscover the strategic, fighting heart of this Salvation Army and launch another attack... let's take some ground in the name of Jesus!!!!

Images - painting by Hank Henke (top), illustration pinched from David Collinson's blog (bottom)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Some Fun News...

I feel like I've told everyone in the world, but I realised, hey there's stacks of ppl who check up on me on this blog that I might not have any contact with otherwise....
Well anyway, my awesome news is:
I'm having a baby!

It's truly awesome, not just because baby's are cute and its nice to have them around, what is most awesome is that Pete and I have been hoping and praying hard for this over three long years. So many times I gave up hope that God would grant us this miracle without some medical intervention.... But it seems that God's power is enough in our case! (who'd have thought! LOL).
Besides the excitement we feel about such a huge blessing, we are sure it is God's timing - right now it seems the baby is due on the day of our commissioning! (NO ONE would plan that!). Cue: jokes about birth on stage etc... ;o)

Well thats our news, we are both stoked at the journey ahead of us and look forward to introducing another Brookshaw into the world!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


It's Pete's birthday today! (the 7th)

Happy Birthday Petey, hope you have a wonderful day!!!!

It's also Mum's birthday on Friday, so Happy Birthday Mum!!!! and Happy Mothers' Day too!!!!

Times like these make you wish you were home again! Still we're having an 'enlightening' time here at Darwin Corps. This week we have 4 days of being the CO's and the 'parents' of 3 teenagers while the Woods' are off on a conference in Melbourne! We're coping pretty good, but can't wait to get a day to ourselves to spend some birthday time just Pete and I!

It turns out we're guns at Mainly Music, who'd have known!!!! "Hip, hip hip, hippopotamus!" (Those songs must be the most irritatingly catchy songs in history!). Having a great time connecting with the mum's and kids, some came to church on Sunday and a women's event the night before (come on God, bring them in!). What a ministry!

Recently we had a go at MASH (Mature Aged Social Hour - group for senior citizens), we spoke about Justice, Human Trafficking and Fairtrade. Full credit to the MASH bunch, they got on board and bought a bunch of chocolo chocolate and Jasper coffee, but more importantly, seemed to really connect with these Social Justice issues.

The African Service celebrated their one year anniversary last Sunday, complete with singing, dancing, testimonies and fervent prayer..... and a MASSIVE lunch! It was great to see the African's sticking around to share with each other and celebrate together with the Salvos!!! Exciting to see a new addition to the African service, a Salvo from Zimbabwe, who was healed from epilepsy as a boy and is now a doctor up here in Darwin - I can see God has big plans for this man of God - in the African Service and beyond! God bless the Africans!

Pete preached at the FUSE combined Youth church last Saturday, it went off! The theme was "Run" (from their "Stand, Run, Fight" series), check out Pete's blog soon, hopefully he'll post some of the footage of his preach that night. Darwin youth are beginning to connect in, hopefully they'll get into spending time with some of these young people at FUSE - they have a huge passion for God that only inspires you to go further and deeper for Him!

A friend of ours that has jumped into life following God, recently went on a night of outreach with us and some officers to connect with the homeless and offer a bit of food and drink to get them through the night. He eagerly changed into a Red Shield shirt and during the course of the night, gave his own shirt to a indigenous man who was shirtless - he's living a life of self-sacrifice! Awesome to see someone getting serious about their beliefs so quickly - lets all live out what we believe, a life of holiness - and yes, that means giving stuff away!

God is faithful!