College Mission Teams

All full-time students at SMBC become part of an annual College mission team, lead by a member of faculty. Mission teams travel to different parts of Australia as well as overseas.

Missions within Australia are usually for one week, while overseas missions are usually three weeks in duration. College mission is an important element of training; providing opportunities to put classroom learning into practice, to work within a team environment, and to develop spiritual gifts and abilities (see Graduate Attributes). After mission, the teams continue to meet fortnightly during the year as College fellowship groups.

College Mission 2023

In 2023 we're excited to be taking College Mission Teams to: Evans Head Presbyterian Church, Gungahlin Anglican Church, Port Macquarie Salt Church, Narwee Baptist Church, Western Sydney Chinese Church, Tuggeranong Presbyterian Church, Western Sydney Outreach, as well as South Asia and West Asia locations.

See reports and prayer points from our 2022 College Mission teams below:

Team Leader – Tim Silberman

The team is back in Alice Springs! Our last few days in Canteen Creek didn't pan out exactly as we thought they would, but we ended up having a wonderful time all the same. On Friday it was very cold and it rained most of the day, so we made the decision to postpone our kids club and run it on Sunday morning instead. Friday also happened to be Territory Day, so once the rain and wind eased the community put on some fireworks to celebrate which we (and the kids) thoroughly enjoyed! 

Saturday was a "day off" from our kids club and to our joy the blue skies returned. Richard took us out in the morning to see a local waterhole, and then we walked around some of the rocky outcrops to catch the scenery. It was breathtaking! On Saturday afternoon some of the Canteen Creek locals came around to the church yard to cook us dinner. They cooked up some kangaroo tails and veggies (using coals in the ground) and damper over the fire. It was absolutely delicious, and so generous of them. 

On Sunday morning we ran our final kids club program for the whole church. We did a puppet recap of all the stories that we had shared during the week and made bracelets to tell the story of the gospel using different coloured beads. Sunday evening we again took part in the church's sharing time, and had the opportunity to say goodbye to our new friends at Canteen Creek. Some of the women had worked hard all that afternoon to paint us some artworks as gifts, which they gave to us on Sunday night. They are already much loved by the team. 

On Monday the team headed off early for Alice Springs. We said goodbye to Richard and Sue, and said a huge thanks to them and AIM for hosting us in Canteen Creek. After nine hours driving, a tyre change, some trailer axle repairs and a stop off to see the Marbles, we made it to Alice Springs! 

Please pray for good rest and debriefing time as we spend two days in Alice Springs, and for safe travels home. Please also pray that God would be continuing to grow His church among Indigenous Australia, and that we might be challenged by our time in Canteen Creek to consider how we can be a part of this.


Team Leader – Tim Silberman

Our holiday kids club here in Canteen Creek has been a hit! We've been using some fantastic material from our friends at Quiz Worx, including puppet shows, songs, craft and games. Every day we've been learning to "follow the signs" which point to Jesus as the only way to God. Each day we've learnt about a new "sign" (a story from John's gospel) which points to Jesus, and the kids have amazed us with their ability to learn and remember the stories. 

On Wednesday it rained in the morning, so we adjusted our schedule and ran the kids club in the afternoon instead. We were thankful for the rain because it gave us a good rest, and it settled a lot of the red dust which has been flying around on the windy days. We've also been working fantastically well as a team and God has answered many of our prayers. The Spirit is helping us immensely! 

The team has also joined the adults for Bible Study and sharing time around the fire. We enjoyed using traditional drawings to learn and then repeat the story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5. We've also heard so many stories from the community during prayer time of death and sickness and our hearts are heavy and sad. But we are also encouraged by the very real hope that Jesus brings to the Church here - a hope that we are learning from. 
Please pray for the weather to improve so we can run the last day of our kids program and spend more time out in the community (it is currently rainy and 10 degrees!). Please also pray for the believers here in Canteen Creek, that God would fuel their hope in Jesus and strengthen their faith.


Team Leader – Tim Silberman

The last couple of days in the community have been busy, but such a fantastic experience for the team. On Sunday we joined the Canteen Creek Church for both their morning service (with Sunday school) and their evening sharing time. The team really enjoyed listening to Bible stories being shared in English as well as the local people’s heart language, and we were able to share some of our own stories too. Between church services we had a chance to meet the kids, and discovered that they love a game of soccer!

On Monday, we started our five day kid's program titled 'Jesus is the only way to God'. Monday’s story was about Jesus feeding the five thousand, and the puppet show was a hit! Monday afternoon was spent playing more sport with the kids, and then we joined the church for their weekly prayer meeting. It is such a joy to pray with these people – different culturally, but enabled by the same Spirit who dwells in us all. To finish the day, Sue and Richard showed with us how they use traditional symbols to share the gospel. 

Please pray for us as we continue with the kid's program on Tuesday to Friday, and join Bible study groups and sharing meetings with the adults in the evenings. Pray that we would have lots of energy with the kids, that the Bible verses and stories from our own lives that we are sharing would be helpful, and that we would continue to support each other well as a team. 


Team Leader – Tim Silberman

Our team has made it to the NT! On Friday afternoon the team arrived, picked up the car and purchased supplies in Alice Springs. Our kind friends at Alice Springs Baptist Church lent us their building for the night, and we had the chance to hear some stories from their pastor about what ministry is like in Alice.

Saturday morning the team was up early and shared a devotion and prayer before starting the eight hour drive to Canteen Creek. The country here is absolutely stunning! Our God is endlessly creative, and even gave us blue skies for the journey. We made it to Canteen Creek just after 5pm on Saturday and have been busy setting up our camp-site for the week, as well as spending some time around the fire with our hosts, Richard and Sue. We look forward to spending time with the church here tomorrow, as well as preparing for the kid's program we will be running this week!

Please pray for energy, gracious teamwork, humility and love for the community here.


Team Leader – Tim Silberman

Our team departs Sydney on Friday and will travel to the Canteen Creek community on Saturday where we'll spend a week meeting with the church, learning about the indigenous community, running a kids club and spending time with long-term workers and locals.
Please pray for health and protection (especially from COVID or flu) for the team in these last days before departure, as well as during the trip. And for the students as they juggle studying for exams as well as preparing for the trip. While the team are away, we request prayer for good learning experiences and conversations, and that the team might be an encouragement to the local Christians and long-term workers in the community. 

Team Leaders – Ian Maddock and Katy Davis

We finished our time at Wollongong Baptist Church with a busy couple of days, including a women's event where we shared talks and interviews, and then church with preaching and more interviews.

To finish the week we enjoyed a team picnic, capitalising on a beautiful day of sunshine at Kiama blowhole.


Team Leaders – Kristen Young and Geoff Harper

To finish our week in Bega, our team had a fun night teaching at youth group, followed by a big "Teach-In" on Saturday. While the team provided a kids' club (complete with puppets), Geoff Harper taught the adults from Leviticus. Team members also helped out in Sunday services again, preaching and leading the kids' talk. It was sad to leave town, but a generous gift from one of the church members left us with reminders to pray for Bega every time we used our souvenirs!


Team Leaders – Matt Vander Heiden and Kiri Vander Heiden

Praise God that the SALT kids club, ladies' lino printing and blokes’ backyard butchery evening went well. Please pray for effective follow up at Lake Mac. 

For this afternoon’s church service we’re preparing music, kids church, a testimony, and dinner. Please pray also for safe travels home, helpful debriefing and reflection. 


Team Leaders – Alan Thompson and Alayne Thompson

We've finished off an epic week with a birthday party to celebrate Coast EC's 13th birthday! Praise God for the incredible growth he has given the church in those 13 years, both in numbers but also in maturity.

We're looking forward to spending church with them together today, serving the kids and youth and wrapping up our time together in Forster!


Team Leaders – Anthony Brammall and Jasmine Lee

On Thursday we had an awesome opportunity to teach scripture at two Walcha and Niangala schools. In the afternoon we went to Armidale to an unreached people group (refugees) gathering to hear their stories. 

On Friday we enjoyed our day off hiking around Apsley Falls, and ending the day with some bonfire fun. The team couldn’t help but look at God’s awesome creation and break out into song of praises to the Lord!

This morning we had the women’s event which had the SMBC ladies sharing testimonies, giving cooking demos and participating in painting pots.

Please pray:

  • Praise God for all the ministry opportunities this week and pray that He would use them to glorify Himself 
  • That God would have used the women’s event to encourage women to seek Jesus 
  • For two Armidale refugee boys the team had met and pray they would join the Easter services and put their faith in Jesus
  • For the Men and Meat event this afternoon. That it would be a helpful time of deepening fellowship and encouraging the men to keep walking alongside each other in faith.


Team Leaders – Matt Vander Heiden and Kiri Vander Heiden

The Coffee, Cards and Cake event was well received with several first-timers coming along.  Some team-building games of laser tag got us active after our meetings and prep time.

Pray for much fruit from the SALT kids club, ladies' lino printing and blokes’ backyard butchery evenings this weekend. We’re also preparing for Sunday’s music, kids church and a testimony.


Team Leaders – Janson Condren and Christine Dillon

The Tamworth Team were warmly welcomed by St Stephen's Presbyterian Church and have been involved in their Sunday church service, pre-school teaching, pastoral visitations, seminars, farm work and a women's morning tea.

Please pray:

  • Praise God for the faithful followers of Jesus at St Stephens
  • Praise God for the encouraging week so far and the generosity of the church
  • Pray that those in the congregation who don't follow Jesus might consider His love for them
  • Pray for the health of the families of our mission team at home
  • Pray for the Bible study, art night, BBQ and Sunday church services over the coming days, that it might be mutually encouraging those we speak with and for the team
  • Pray for wisdom for the leaders of the church.

Team Leaders – Anthony Brammall and Jasmine Lee

The past two days have been chocka blocka full of exciting things! The men led the men’s Bible study on ‘Godly Decision Making’ whilst some served in the chapel service at the senior homes (in full PP gear!). We all made more pastoral visits getting to know locals and attended the weekly prayer meeting praying for more people in Walcha to know and love Jesus. We also had some special times racking the brains of Rod Chiswell and the ministry couples in Walcha about country ministry. 

We’re excited to teach scripture at two schools today. Please pray that the message we preach, about Jesus being the ultimate rescuer from sin rings true in the kid's and teachers’ hearts. 

Please pray:

  • Praise God for the faithful men and women making disciples of Jesus here in Walcha 
  • For the reported encouragement the team (and their unity) has been to the Walcha folk
  • For the conversations our team has had with unbelieving locals in and outside the church to be used to plant seeds of faith
  • For the scripture classes and the rest of our ministry plans to be effective and used to bring more to know Jesus
  • For weary team members to have good sleep and sustained energy levels.


Team Leaders – Kirk Patston and Lisa Patston

It’s been exciting and eye-opening to immerse ourselves in multiethnic ministry here in Fairfield this week, learning from the best and getting amongst it too! Several of our team members have been taken out by Covid but they’re gradually reappearing, and our team is getting into a rhythm.

On Sunday we met the vibrant, multiethnic congregation at our home base, Parkside Church. Parkside’s multiethnic makeup is a powerful testimony of gospel unity to the community, and makes it easier to invite people from any culture to church as they are bound to meet some of their own people there. Since Sunday, we’ve been busy door-knocking, connecting with people in the community, visiting a mosque as learners, exploring, and eating (like kings).

Please pray for us in the coming days as we share Bible studies, testimonies, talks, training sessions and personal conversations with people - that the Holy Spirit will pour God’s truth and love through us. Please pray that people might be impacted and nourished in their faith. And please pray for good weather on Saturday so Parkside’s massive basketball event can go ahead!


Team Leaders – Ian Maddock and Katy Davis

On Tuesday we heard from the church leaders about church governance and leadership structures at Wollongong Baptist Church.

On Wednesday some of us helped run the morning playtime group, joined the ESL class on an excursion to a cafe, visited a local SRE lunch time group and recorded an episode for the church podcast! We’ve also been enjoying visiting home groups in the evenings.

On Thursday morning SMBC Lecturer Ian Maddock will share about Dietrich Bonhoeffer in a seminar. We will also be joining the FOCUS group at Wollongong University in speaking to international students about Jesus on campus.

On Friday the women will help run a women's event on the theme of perseverance while the men will join the youth group.

Praise God for so many wonderful opportunities and ask him to sustain us in our busy days.


Team Leaders – Ed Grudier and Kathy Grudier

Please pray:

  • Thank God that we have been able to share in many conversations of peace
  • Thank God for the unity of our team, with many people working together from different backgrounds and in different roles
  • Ask that God might provide clear weather in the evenings: our outreach space can only open if there’s no rain
  • Pray for the opportunity for many more peaceful conversations about the Prince of Peace!


Team Leaders – Alan Thompson and Alayne Thompson

After a big day of hearing about ministry at Coast EC, the Forster team headed to Tuncurry Memorial Hall to run a storytelling training workshop to add another evangelistic tool to the Coast EC family's toolbox. Aaron hooked us in with a much loved story about Mr and Mrs Dursley, while Jez then shared why having these tools matter, before Sophie led the group through how to learn a story. We heard it from her first, talked through it together, spoke it to a wall, then practised a few times in pairs. 

One great conversation that came out of the night was a mum who was truly excited to learn more stories so she would be equipped to share them with her adult son who is investigating Jesus. It was also a joy to see a 90+ year old lady coming along to continue to be trained up in evangelism. Praise God that he speaks to us in so many different ways, and ask God that he will use this training and these new skills to equip the saints in Forster to share the gospel. Pray that the team will have a wonderful day of rest tomorrow in the beautiful sunshine!


Team Leaders – Matt Vander Heiden and Kiri Vander Heiden

The team at Lake Mac have enjoyed a church service, settled in with our billets, and shared testimonies at home groups. We've also benefited from time learning with pastors Liam and Rob and a fun trip out on the lake.!
Please pray:

  • For community building with unbelievers at Wednesday morning’s coffee, card and cake event
  • For continued encouragement sharing testimonies at home groups
  • For the team as we prepare for Friday's SALT kids club and the ladies' lino printing evening.


Team Leaders – Kristen Young and Geoff Harper

The Bega mission team is enjoying the best of country hospitality this week! On Sunday, we met the church family at Grace Church Bega, and helped out with the kids' talk, preaching and an interview. A couple of our team members also went to Bega Baptist church to preach and be interviewed.

On Monday the team spent time with our billet families, visited a local SRE class and went for a prayer walk through the town. Tuesday saw more SRE involvement, time with local church Bible study groups and preparation for our Saturday kids' club event. We've been encouraged by friendly and welcoming church members, too. We're looking forward to the arrival of some more team members this afternoon.


Team Leaders – Anthony Brammall and Jasmine Lee

The team spent Sunday at three church services. We preached, played music and shared testimonies. People were encouraged by the sermons and testimonies and really good relationships are growing. We also had a lot of fun games – the competition was ‘fierce’, just look at those sack race faces! Then some of us went to a farm and rode horses, some for the first time ever.

On Monday we had some pastoral visits, just meeting people and being encouraged by unexpected connections! They were unexpected connections either by culture (like how the two Korean ladies at SMBC met the one Korean lady living in Walcha!) or unexpected by the genuine passion of locals to see God continuing His work amongst the people in Walcha.

In the afternoon we celebrated ‘Teas of the World’, a high tea and fellowship event. Some of our team dressed up in traditional clothing (Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Nepal and Korea) and shared what it means to be a Christian in that country along with some prayer points, as well as serving some special tea from that country. We even sang Amazing Grace in different languages. Everyone seemed super encouraged and challenged by the stories.

Praise God:

  • For how smoothly the ministry plans are going at the moment- especially in encouraging the Walcha believers
  • For the wonderful connections and relationships being made in pastoral visits
  • For all that we are learning about the unique joys and challenges of country ministry

Pray for:

  • Energy as we continue our ministry plans
  • Patience as plans change due to COVID but also a focus on God and others instead of programs and plans
  • God to continue using our team to strengthen and encourage the Walcha folk in their faith


Team Leaders – Ian Maddock and Katy Davis

Praise God for a great Sunday service where Ben preached. There were some great conversations with people over lunch and dinner. Please pray for students door knocking in the local area, running playgroup and visiting a school SRE lunch time group over the next two days.

Team Leaders – Alan Thompson and Alayne Thompson

'Flexible' sounds like it's going to be the word of the week here up in Forster Mission. Covid-19 has reared its head and thrown in a few spanners.

This Sunday afternoon at Coast EC's 4pm service we heard an interview with Alan Thompson, a testimony from Sylvia, the Bible reading from Amy and a sermon preached by Jeremy (a week early!). It was an awesome afternoon meeting many church members, getting to know some of their stories and getting to challenge a few younger guys to seriously consider Jesus.

Praise God for the safe arrival of all the Covid negative team members. Please pray for God's healing over the team members in isolation in Sydney. Please pray for the team as they work to fill in some gaps, especially for tomorrow's training night which was being led by someone now in iso.


Team Leaders – Ed Grudier and Kathy Grudier

Please pray:

  • For the Lord to bring many people to our outreach activity who are open to dialogue about Jesus and whose hearts are hungering for truth and transformation.
  • For the Lord to grow each of our team in love, humility, and readiness for the spiritual battle.
  • That the week's activities will develop our confidence in Christ and comfort level with spiritual conversations with people from other faiths.

Team Leaders – Ian Maddock and Katy Davis

Please pray:

  • For those preaching during Sunday church services, speaking at men's, women's, and aged care events, and sharing their testimonies, that they would be both bold and winsome in their proclamation of the gospel.
  • That we'd have fruitful conversations/times with our billets.
  • That we'd have rich, thought-provoking time with the pastors of Wollongong Baptist thinking through aspects of church-based ministry.

Team Leaders – Anthony Brammall and Jasmine Lee

Please pray:

  • For God to give us easy entry points and fruitful encounters in a small country town community, without the fear of Sydneyites bringing COVID to Walcha.
  • For the removal of any reluctance, clashes, or obstacles to our team teaching SRE in schools.

For our team to be a blessing to people both in the Presbyterian and Anglican churches and those not part of the churches.

Team Leaders – Janson Condren and Christine Dillon

Please pray for our team as we engage in preaching, evangelistic talks, teaching of pre-school kids, presenting Bible stories, and doing visitations at a largely elderly congregation. Ask God to enrich our efforts to encourage a church that has faced significant challenges for many years, as well as for God to grow our hearts for rural ministry.  Pray also that we will show grace and flexibility with a potentially changing program. 

Team Leaders – Matt Vander Heiden and Kiri Vander Heiden

Thank God for the opportunity mission provides to invest in the lives of others, both those in the mission team and those at Lake Mac church. Please pray:

  • That God would deepen our understanding of, and love for, him and his mission as we see what he is doing in Lake Mac.
  • For good opportunities to encourage one another and the members of Lake Mac church.
  • That God would be bringing people to himself in Lake Mac.
  • For safety in travel, good health, and healthy relationships on mission.

Team Leaders – Kristen Young and Geoff Harper

Please pray:

  • For good health and freedom from COVID leading up to and during the mission. Pray that those who are in COVID-related isolation in the period leading up to the mission will be recovered and in good health by the time we need to travel to Bega.
  • For safety on the roads as the mission team members travel to the Bega region, and home again. For safety during the mission as they move around the area, travelling between Bega and Tathra, and further afield.
  • For the health of billeting families, that they would be safe and free from COVID infection. Pray that the team members would be blessed by their time with local Christians and be able to serve them as they spend the week together. Thank God for the hospitality of these families in uncertain times.
  • For ministry in local schools, that the good news of Jesus can be proclaimed, unhindered by illness or restrictions. Pray for the children who attend SRE in the Bega region, that they'd come to understand and respond to the gospel. Pray for teachers and staff of local schools, that they would also be encouraged by the visiting students.
  • For wisdom in being able to serve in other community ministries such as visits to local nursing homes, that students would be safe, and able to serve without presenting any health risks to residents.
  • For church visits, that God would be with the students who are preparing to preach and to serve. Pray that the ministry of the mission team would be warmly received by the local church members, and that the teaching would be encouraging and faithful.
  • For the youth group on Friday night, that the team would be able to serve the youth group leaders well, and that the young people would be encouraged in their faith.
  • For the teaching event on the Saturday. For Geoff as he prepares to teach through Leviticus. For the team as they provide a kids' club to enable families to learn. For Grace church members that they would be encouraged, challenged, and changed as they hear from God's word.
  • For the ongoing ministry of the churches in Bega, that God would continue to care for and grow his people there.

Team Leaders – Alan Thompson and Alayne Thompson

Please pray:

  • That the team would work well together and be an encouragement to the staff team and church at Forster.
  • For the 'Everyday Evangelism' training night on Monday, the men's and women's events on Thursday night, the kids and youth events on Friday afternoon and evening, and for opportunities in vox popping on Saturday.
  • For those giving testimonies, leading Bible studies, and preaching in church.
  • That the team will be encouraged as we also learn from the staff and church in how they serve the Lord in this location.

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