I had the blessing of growing up in a strong Christian family while constantly surrounded by like-minded people who encouraged me and loved me. I feel extremely blessed and therefore called to love those who may not have had such an easy start to life.
In 2019, I was able to go on a mission trip to outback Australia, where I got to serve and learn from remote Indigenous communities. I was able to attend church services and play with kids while I learned about their culture. This experience was life-changing as I stepped out of our intoxicated and selfish world into a beautiful community full of love and rich culture.
Due to a painful past of systemic oppression and racism, this beautiful community suffers from intergenerational trauma. For the first time, I was able to experience what truly breaks God’s heart, seeing his children so vulnerable and left isolated from the fullness of life.
As I grew older, more opportunities to serve my community fell into my hands which further grew my passion and knowledge about the importance of going beyond our four walls to reach people. Just before finishing high school, I became a youth leader at my local church. This gave me the chance to facilitate a program called Shine Girl which equips young girls in high school with the tools to better care for themselves and encourage a bright future.
Being able to encourage someone while seeing them for who God created them to be is crucial in this battle to close the gap between God and his children.
This program quickly revealed the limits the world and their families forced upon their lives and the extreme need for early emotional intervention. Simple words of wisdom I had heard all my life such as “choose your friends wisely” and “you can do anything you put your mind to,” were foreign to their ears. The simplicity of being able to encourage someone while seeing them for who God created them to be is crucial in this battle to close the gap between God and his children.
I find the statistics of the decline of Christianity heartbreaking. The 2021 census shows that only about 40 per cent of Australians identified as Christian, a decline of from 50 per cent in 2016 and 60 per cent in 2011. As the world is caught in the whirlwinds of COVID-19 and life gets hard, people do not know of the love and faithfulness of our God that can save them. As Christians, we must simply love one another and, through our actions, tell people about Jesus.
It says in Matthew 9:35-38, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.’’ We must carry the work of spreading the gospel. I have found in the past year, especially at university, that everyone is searching for something, and the worldly things that they find don’t satisfy them. We just have to invite them to church! I have found that when people find out that I attend a church, they are genuinely interested and don’t hesitate to come along. All we must do is just simply extend an invitation and let God do the rest.
A mission field is at your fingertips. The spirit of reconciliation is alive; empathy and simple actions of love are no small things, so let’s get excited to play our part in the scheme of God’s plan. So I ask …. When was the last time you told someone about Jesus?
When was the last time you told someone about Jesus?
I believe that the biggest ministry the body of Christ is called to, outside of the church, is to people who do not yet know Jesus, people who are broken and searching. I have it in my heart that I am called to be in this world but not of it, to not conceal myself from people or places, but to stand firm in what I believe, my morals and my actions.
We must walk with God into situations reflecting him by loving people through bad decisions and worldly troubles, for Jesus first had dinner with a sinner and ate and loved without judgment (Mark 2:3-17). The words that we speak must carry love, and the way that we act must reflect Jesus. Our actions and the things we say may only be the only Bible that someone will ever read, as it says in 1 Timothy 4:12: “Set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
I strongly believe that God has called us to rise up to answer the ministry of reconciling others to God, and showing people Jesus. Tell them about Jesus!
Avalon Di Mauro is in her first year of studying social work at Australian Catholic University and lives in the Hills District of Sydney. She is currently working as an intern at Bible Society Australia.