“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD”.
~ Isaiah 55:8
It was barely 2 years since the start of Beth EL Fellowship in Petaling Jaya, and since Bethel Community Centre was incorporated, when Pastor Jerry and Elder Yvonne Raj received their next assignment ~ to establish Bethel Fellowship and Bethel Community Centre in Melbourne.
“Could this really be in God’s plan and purpose?” they wondered. It seemed impossible – with Beth EL Fellowship and Bethel Community Centre in Petaling Jaya still in its infancy, that God could be calling them to start another work in Melbourne.
Yet, it was very much in God’s plan and purpose. As they submitted to Him, He made straight their path. Within the space of a mere 4 months, they found the Multicultural Hub in which Bethel Melbourne could meet and fellowship, they found reasonable accommodation close to the Multicultural Hub, their children gained admission into a school nearby even though the school year had already started, and Elder Yvonne and children were able to relocate to Melbourne and set up home within 2 weeks!
Thus, Bethel Melbourne was born!
Upon Elder Yvonne’s arrival in Melbourne on 04.04.2016, it immediately became clear why they had been called to this assignment. In the very area where they found accommodation and where Bethel Melbourne would meet, were many homeless people with whom Bethel had been called to minister and to share the Good News. This is very much in line with the work undertaken by Bethel Community Centre, Petaling Jaya in its partnership with GSM to minister, bring joy and share God’s word with the street citizens in Kuala Lumpur.
Already Bethel Melbourne has started partnering with other organisations to feed the poor and homeless in Melbourne and sourced donations of bread and other produce by vendors in and around Queen Victoria Market. We collected the first donation of bread and distributed it to the homeless in the Melbourne CBD and to an asylum seekers refuge on 05.05.2016 – a sign of God’s grace, not just for Bethel Melbourne, but also for His children who live on the streets.
On 07.05.2016, Elder Yvonne was invited to speak on behalf of Bethel Melbourne for the Mother’s Day service at iHeart, a church that meets at the Multicultural Hub. Elder Yvonne shared on Isaiah 66:13: “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.” The leaders and members of the church prayed for Elder Yvonne and the work of Bethel Melbourne and planted a seed towards our work among the homeless.
On 16.05.2016 Bethel Melbourne received its Certificate of Incorporation and is now officially registered as a not-for-profit.
We are excitedly preparing for the official Opening on 22.05.2016 which will be attended by many community leaders from Melbourne, partners, and a delegation from Beth EL, Petaling Jaya led by Pastor Jerry and the worship team.
Bethel Melbourne meets every Sunday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. opposite Queen Victoria Market at The Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne CBD (Tram Stop 7) for Fellowship, followed by ministering to and feeding the poor and homeless.