FROM THE CRESCENT TO THE CROSS 

Dallas, Victoria, (Melbourne, Australia)--July 2014: Every Wednesday night just before 7:00 pm you'll see cars pulling in at the church in the northern Melbourne (Australia) suburb of Dallas. From the distance you'll hear discussions in Farsi, Arabic, Albanian and Bangla as well as the occasional English as people from a variety of backgrounds such as Australia, Iran, Arabian Peninsula, Albania and Bangladesh are gathering for a time of spiritual quest as they get together to study the Bible and discuss life in the new country. The facilitator is a friendly, vibrant and jovial 60 year old pastor, an immigrant himself who for the last few years has been immersing himself in helping ministering to the immigrant community that settled in the suburb of Dallas, about 10 miles north of the Melbourne city center. Pastor John as they address him left the oppressive communist regime of Romania in the late 70's and found freedom in Australia where he was granted political asylum. Now with great enthusiasm leads the ministry of Hume Community Baptist Church also known as Dallas Baptist, where he is the pastor and with unusual dedication to the work of the ministry works tirelessly in helping these new immigrants to find not only freedom in the newly adopted country but also significance and spiritual fulfillment as they explore the claims of Christ as Savior who claimed that the Son of Man came to seek and save that which was lost. In the last few months many of these immigrants and refugees found freedom and fulfilled life in Christ and were baptized with seven new believers professing Christ as their Lord and Savior at the last baptism service which took place in July. The 50 year old Hume Community Church building is out of use for renovations but meeting regularly at Hume Valley School in Dallas. The heart of the church is greatly expressed in their vision which says that "We will be a church of people who worship God in our everyday lives. In our work, our friendships, our serving... and even our singing! We love God, and we'll work hard to show it in all aspects of our lives". The church's vision is to also make disciples through biblical teaching, constant encouragement, small groups and sticking by each other through the journey. That's what they do as they are encouraging other believers to make disciples of all people as commanded by the Master himself, baptizing them and teaching them obedience to Christ's teachings. Well done! You're inspiring all of us to do whatever it takes to make disciples of Jesus from all people (ethnos) as evidenced by the group of the new believers who made public profession of faith in their journey from the Crescent to the Cross! 
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Pastor John with seven new believers before baptism
(For encouragement contact Pastor John Izvernariu at email)