Melbourne Haystack Celebration
In 1806 in Williamstown, Massachusetts USA, five college students caught in a sudden thunderstorm sought shelter beneath a large haystack. Like a flash of lightening, revelation struck, and a new vision for international mission formed in their minds. Their renewed dedication and subsequent actions were remembered around the world during September 2006 at numerous “Haystack Celebrations” throughout the world. God has been at work!
The Tamil Christian community of Melbourne gathered on 30 September, 2006, to remember their heritage and celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the formation of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mission (now Global Ministries) whose first missionaries headed to India and Sri Lanka. Many Australian Anglicans and Uniting Church members claim their faith roots from the American Ceylon Mission, the Arcot Mission and the Church of South India, all results of the ABCFM mission work.
Highlighted in the service were the singing of the Kootu Pirathanai, led by Mrs. Vasantha Wilson, a graduate of the Uduvil Mission School for Girls in Sri Lanka, and a presentation by Dr. Jacob Lucas, trained at the Vellore Medical College in India.
Uniting minister, Rev. S. Manopavan preached on Isaiah 51:1-5, “Remember the Rock from which You are Hewn.”
Greetings were brought from Global Ministries by missionaries Ana and Tod Gobledale, currently serving in Australia as chaplains at the Churches of Christ Theological College, the venue for the celebration. The ecumenical planning committee was chaired by Rev. TS Premarajah, an Anglican, and the driving force behind the event.
God has been at work!
Tod & Ana Gobledale
The Gobledales serve the Common Global Ministries Board at Churches of Christ Theological College (Seminary) in Australia. Currently, their son, Mandla,attends Occidental College in Los Angeles, and their daughter, Thandiwe, has begun a 2-year appointment with Global Ministries at the Family Village Farm near Vellore, India.