UPDATE FROM RYAN AND KATHLEEN

Pictured: Ryan and Kathleen Grace ready for a new adventure.

Pictured: Ryan and Kathleen Grace ready for a new adventure.

Thanks for your ongoing interest in the Grace family and our team. Here’s a few words from Ryan Grace:

Our life in this season is one of the unknown at the moment, living out of suitcases and trusting God for His leading and provision. We had planned to do some seasonal labouring in the Northern Territory for a few months to save some money but realised we probably need to take some time out and wait on God for what He has next.

It looks like we will be working with Teen Challenge in Kyabram, Victoria for 2018. This is really the only door that has opened since graduating with a mental health and Drug and Alcohol counselling diploma. We hope to start early in the New Year. Thanks for your interest and prayers for all God is doing in our lives. We are excited for this new adventure together. Ryan and Kathleen.

SONGWRITING WITH KIDS

Pictured: Steve sharing some songs with students from Cannonvale State School before the songwriting and music workshop last week.

Pictured: Steve sharing some songs with students from Cannonvale State School before the songwriting and music workshop last week.

During two 2 hour sessions last week we managed to write, record and video a brand new song for the Whitsunday region. The enthusiasm of the primary aged kids to share their traumatic stories and help write a song about the catastrophic cyclone that hit their region back in March this year was inspiring. Cyclone Debbie devastated the entire region as a category 4 system causing $2.4 billion in damage and claiming the lives of 14 people across Australia. 

The song ‘Whitsunday Morning’ emerged from the stories of survival as kids recalled the disaster and weeks following the ordeal. Teachers and school staff were amazed at what can be achieved in a few hours with the kids captivated with the creation of ‘their' new song. Ian Bail has documented the events of the day and we will produce a YouTube video to share with the students and families of the school. We love doing this kind of work…. Letting kids know they are important to God right where they live. Pray with us that more opportunities will open up to encourage and inspire hope in hurting towns.

BOOM TIMES AND BUST

Pictured: The historic Catholic Church overlooking the remnants of the former gold mining boom town of Ravenswood, North QLD.

Pictured: The historic Catholic Church overlooking the remnants of the former gold mining boom town of Ravenswood, North QLD.

"Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations." Isaiah 62:10

We did a concert in the historic gold mining town of Ravenswood last Saturday night. A crowd of 65 turned up. About 300 people live in the area these days… but back in the 1870-1890’s boom times over 5,000 people lived in town. There were 48 pubs and it was the administrative centre for the region… then came the 1912 miners strike followed by WWl and the town was deserted. There’s a beautiful timber church up on the hill overlooking Ravenswood that is still used to this day. Through boom times and bust it has been used for weddings, funerals and the building up of faith for sinners and saints. It stands as a symbol of grace in a town built by gold and greed. 

It’s been a tough year for our ministry.. and yet a year of miracles as well. We’ve worked hard to clear past debts and keep serving rural and remote communities with the Gospel. We look back with so much gratitude at the friendship and support we’ve had from many who receive the weekly updates. Thank you.

Through boom time and bust we believe God has called us to this. Like an old church on the hill standing strong and symbolically declaring the goodness of God. We are determined to pass through the gates and prepare the way for people to know Christ… to build up people who have lost hope and clear the road so that a banner of hope can be raised over our nation. 

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:12-13

Expect mistakes and expect miracles. And keep going.. through boom time and bust to achieve all the God has called you to.

Thanks for your support.

Godspeed,

Steve Grace

KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE

Pictured: An old school '58 prime mover still working hard on the farm in the Mallee country of Victoria.

Pictured: An old school '58 prime mover still working hard on the farm in the Mallee country of Victoria.

We have a dream of doing another 100 town and city tour of Australia in 2018. Friends have suggested purchasing an old prime mover and finding a mobile stage that could be used as a concert stage in many remote regions of the nation. So we are on a search for a good old truck. If you know of any that could be used as a prime mover for a mobile stage please let us know. It doesn’t need to be a flash rig just a good workhorse. We truly believe a mobile stage set up will help us reach thousands of Australian’s with the Gospel message and bring hope to hurting towns. If you would like to support the vision you can donate via www.stevegrace.com.
Thanks heaps.

60 YEARS YOUNG

Pictured: A wonderful weekend with Pastor Stewart and Jane Moncrieff and the Freshwater Church Family.

Pictured: A wonderful weekend with Pastor Stewart and Jane Moncrieff and the Freshwater Church Family.

It was such an honour to celebrate a few milestones with our friends Stewart and Jane Moncrieff a few weeks ago in Cairns. 30 years ago as newly weds, they both stepped into full time ministry serving as Youth Pastors at a large church in Brisbane. We became good friends back then and took on a few faith ventures, including youth camps and Teen Church and eventually the recording of our first ‘live’ album ‘One Night in a Million’ which Stewart and Jane helped to organise at their church auditorium. Over 6,000 people turned up to be the ‘live’ audience for the concert. 

Last weekend Stewart turned 60 and we were privileged to be there. It was also the 10th anniversary of their time at Freshwater Church in Cairns. Hundreds turned up to enjoy a full weekend of events make some unforgettable memories. Well done mate!! and well done Jane!!

HOPE FOR HURTING TOWNS

Pictured: The Main Street of the town of Ashford, NSW on a Sunday afternoon.

Pictured: The Main Street of the town of Ashford, NSW on a Sunday afternoon.

But he said, "I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent."
Luke 4:43

As we depart for our final country towns tour for the year we have grateful hearts and a renewed vision for 2018. Thank you for standing with us over the past year as we’ve travelled throughout Australia encouraging local churches and communities in the bush. 31 years ago Kerrie and I both saw the great need for evangelism in remote and rural regions but never imagined back then that God was calling us to a lifetime of serving through music and missions. Three decades later we see the significance of travelling those long distances just to tell people how important they are to God. We constantly meet people who have come to faith in Christ through a humble concert in the town hall many years ago. It is inspiring.

Our vision for 2018 is ‘Hope for Hurting Towns’ and we plan to once again go wherever we get invited. Whether its regions devastated by droughts, cyclones, bushfires, floods, the ice epidemic, unemployment or depression…. we know that the message of hope that comes through the Gospel always brings revival to people. 

In Luke chapter 4 Jesus spoke out these words. 

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free".
Luke 4:18

We are all called to this magnificent mission, to bring good news, to help people find freedom and help them see the way. We value your prayers and support as we begin to make plans for the coming season.

Godspeed,

Steve Grace

PROMOTED TO GLORY

Pictured: The precious violin and belongings of a humble hero and mentor. Maurice Edwin Bentley 19-7-1918  - 17-10-2017.

Pictured: The precious violin and belongings of a humble hero and mentor. Maurice Edwin Bentley
19-7-1918  - 17-10-2017.

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me". Galatians 2:20

Last week we said farewell to an amazing inspiration of a man. He was 99 years old and his hallmark words to almost every conversation he ever had were, 

“Be Encouraged”. 

When Uncle Ed Bentley said those words to you, you knew he meant them. He was an artist and a musician.. He loved God and shared his faith in Jesus Christ every day on his century long pilgrimage on earth. When WWll happened he refused to carry a gun and so enlisted as a non combatant medic to help his fellow soldiers. He survived the horrors of war and became a military chaplain and then a missionary to Papua New Guinea with his beautiful wife Laurel. They had three sons and the Bentley family flourished as they served the Lord. To this day they are all an inspiration and live to encourage others.

Uncle Ed inspired me with art and music in my early years growing up in Ukarumpa, PNG… but even more so to love people like Jesus loves people. Last week we said goodbye for a short time. 

Thank you Uncle Ed. 

Steve Grace

 

SLIM DUSTY COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL

Pictured: Steve and the band performing some encore songs at the Kempsey Showgrounds Pavilion..

Pictured: Steve and the band performing some encore songs at the Kempsey Showgrounds Pavilion..

We all travelled a long way to take part in the opening night of the Slim Dusty Country Music Festival… but then so did most of the audience. 600 people packed into the historic timber hall last Monday night for a 4 hour concert! It was an amazing night with two great bands. The organisers of the festival told us later it was the best opening night in the 14 years that the event has been running. The response from the audience was very positive with many thanking us for ‘bringing God back into country music’. 

We want to thank the ‘Change of Heart’ Bluegrass band from the Sunshine Coast for their performance on the night. A huge thanks to Mark Moulynox (pedal steel - dobro - banjo), George McArdle (Bass guitar), Brendan Huxley (Electric guitar), Jordan Huxley (Drums) and Trentan Kruger (Electric guitar). Thanks also to Peter John from Epik Films and Cheyne Grace for helping out behind the scenes. It was a great team effort!!

SLIMS BEEN HERE BEFORE

Pictured: The historic timber hall at the Kempsey Showgrounds 

Pictured: The historic timber hall at the Kempsey Showgrounds 

I reckon Slim Dusty would have sung many of his songs over the decades in this old timber pavilion at the Kempsey Showgrounds. Kempsey is the home of the iconic Akubra Hat company and proudly considers the late Slim Dusty (David Gordon Kirkpatrick) as it’s favourite son. Born at Nulla Nulla Creek 56kms north west of the town back in 1927 he set his sights from an early age on a life of music. Today his legacy lives on and Slim Dusty is remembered as the ‘Father of Australian Country Music’. His heroes were bush poets like Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson, and singers like Jimmie Rodgers, Buddy Williams and Tex Morton… He went on to record 106 albums during his lifetime career and sales over 7 million. 

It was such a privilege to sing the song ‘Slim’s been here before’ a few weeks ago in this old hall. In fact we had to perform the song twice as the audience requested a few songs as an encore.

Thank you to the volunteers and local community of the town of Kempsey for keeping the memory and legacy of Slim Dusty alive every year with this great Festival in his memory. If you are ever passing through Kempsey please take some time to visit the Slim Dusty Centre south of town.