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Sunshine has become our harvest field

Mary Sobredo

"If someone had told me in 2013 that I would become a Children’s & Women’s Pastor, co-pioneered a church... I would have called them crazy!"

If someone had told me in 2013 that I would become a Children’s & Women’s Pastor, co-pioneered a church and would be serving in ministry with two of my best friends and brothers (Lucky Ekhator and Peter Matthews) I would have called them crazy!

But let’s back track on this journey…

Rewind to mid-2013, walking into the doors of Harvest Bible College for the first time (in what was formerly the Dandenong Site). There was Andrew Groza waiting at the entrance with his big smile, excitement and a firm handshake welcoming me as I stepped foot into the unknown. He had remembered my name and it was an immediate sense of belonging and an instant validation and assurance that God had me exactly where He wanted me.

I grew up in a household knowing God existed but never having a personal relationship with Him. I took the next step of faith out of obedience to commit to God’s call to lay my life down for him (which at the time could not fathom exactly what that was!) after I witnessed God’s ability to bring my father back to life after he was pronounced clinically dead. At this point I was only a one year old Christian.

It was the first week I started Harvest (undertaking the accelerated Diploma of Ministry) that I met two of my biggest inspirations in life, Amelia Pickering and Andrew Groza (also the biggest coffee fanatic). They are the reasons why I pursued a postgraduate degree in Teaching and this in itself is testimony , as I was a very reserved and quiet person whose number one fear in life was public speaking.

How Harvest shaped my future

Fast forward to 2015: God has given me the ability to overcome these fears and by His grace I have preached on occasions at my home church and have also been blessed to have been offered a position to teach university students. Amelia and Andrew have shaped and moulded me in more ways than they can ever know.

In each class, the table arrangements were always set in about 3-4 linear rows. The man who sat in front of me was Lucky Ekhator (my Senior Pastor); and the man that sat behind me was Peter Matthews (my Associate Pastor). Two men that I equally respect and honour but could have never imagined co-pastoring a church with. Our bond was evident when we all worked together as a group for a ‘Principles of Teamwork’ unit assignment. Little did we know what God had in store for us from this moment on…

Our church, True Word of God Church is in the heart of Sunshine, west of Melbourne. Our fundamental belief is to love and to serve God’s people. In the young life of our church, we have faced challenges and difficulties but these are just miniscule in comparison to the unfailing blessings God has poured upon us and the expansion and evident growth in our various ministries that we have been incredibly blessed to serve.

Sunshine has now become our harvest field.

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