Rwanda Mission – Meet the Team

With only four weeks to go, our preparations for mission to Rwanda (17th – 29th April) are full steam ahead. The SOMA International Board will be meeting in Kigali Rwanda for the first time, in person, since our 40th Anniversary held here in Melbourne in 2019. So much has taken place since this time, including the global pandemic, which saw international travel shut down, as well as the change over of our Boarh Chairperson (ABp Justin Badi- Sudan) and three new National Directors (UK, USA & SA). It will therefore be a wonderful opportunity to meet, share, pray and discern God’s vision moving forward for SOMA International.

After our International Board meeting, each country, UK, Ireland, Southern Africa, USA, New Zealand and Australia will be joining together to participate in a mission invitation to the Diocese of Shyogwe. This Diocese is approximately 1.5 hours south west of Kigali and our focus at this stage will be Training of around 50 Pastors, around 100 catechists (local church leaders), and around 100 Preachers and Intercessors.

The topic of the training will be the Gifts of the Holy Spirit for the better understanding how they work: Tongues, Prophecy, Vision and Dreaming, Faith, Discernment, Knowledge and Wisdom, Healing, Leadership, Evangelism, and the likes. 

SOMA Australia will be taking a team as part of this mission, so I’d love to introduce you to them as they share a short piece of their expectations before we go.

Rwanda. On mission? Really? I didn’t have to think or pray very long before saying yes, yes please! For me, Rwanda epitomizes hope. Resurrection. The reality that change is possible. The opportunity to be with a team, sharing the love of Jesus, learning from each other, fills me with anticipation. My hope is that the spirit of God goes ahead, fills us, fills me, enables me to become more open to what Jesus wants me to do; and I hope, and have the the greatest expectation, of learning to go deeper with God from our Rwandan brothers and sisters…then bring that hope home to share.

Jan H

“I am looking forward to returning to Rwanda with SOMA, as I was a member the SOMA Team that was there in 1996. This was a large Team, invited by the shattered remnants of the Anglican Church, to help them cope with the horrors of the Genocide, and to begin to rebuild. This was a traumatic Mission, but ended with a prophecy that God was birthing a new church. Although Rwanda, and the Anglican Church there have seen mighty growth since then, there is still a need for God’s people there to learn more of what it means to “Live in the Spirit,” and rise above the evil spirits that still operate there. Our Team this year is small, but our God is great, and we look for great miracles!”

John D

When I found out that I had the opportunity to go to Rwanda, I couldn’t believe it. Going to Rwanda at such a young age, I think, will be an amazing experience. I hope it will give me a better understanding of how fortunate I really am and teach me not to take things for granted. I’m excited to see how God works in the church and communities through a different culture, and I’m also looking forward to what I can learn and takeaway from all of this. I’m not sure what God will do in me, but I am eager to see how he will grow me in my faith. I can’t wait to learn many new things and have new experiences.

Tilly A

As National Director of SOMA Australia, I am really looking forward to this mission. Firstly, I’ve never travelled to Africa, so what a privillege and blessing that will be. Secondly, as mentioned in the intro, meeting with the other National Directors in person for the International Board after so many years of online meetings, will be fabulous. Thirdly, I love the team I’ll be travelling with, especially the gift of travelling with my daughter Tilly. As with all missions I am sent on, my heart will be open to see what God has in store, both in us and through us. May all we do bring Him Glory.

Liz R

Financial & Prayer Support for this mission

If you would like to financially support this mission, you can donate directly to SOMA Australia via the bank details below:

Account Name: Sharing of Ministries Abroad

BSB: 032 681 Account No: 286361

Please reference your transaction with: RwandaTeam

We would appreciate your prayers in the following areas:

  • Preparation for mission
  • Safety in travel
  • Good Health
  • SOMA International Board Meeting (21st & 22nd April)
  • Mission to Shyogwe Diocese (23rd – 27th April)
  • Each team member
  • Participants in mission

We give thanks for your ongoing support. If you would like to get in contact with us regarding further details on this mission, or send an encouragements to our team, please email us at


Rev Liz Rankin

National Director – SOMA Australia

Call to mission in Ireland!

SOMA International is facilitating it’s largest mission call yet, bringing all teams from across the globe together, at the invitation of Bishop David Mclay of Down & Dromore Diocese Ireland.

Take a look at Bishop David’s invitation…

We at SOMA Australia would like to extend this invitation to you! If you would like to be a part of this mission, please make contact with us, as you’ll need our recommendation to participate, and we can give you further details. Email

We would love to have a great representation from Australia as part of this.

Dates of mission: 2nd to 16th June 2023. That’s right THIS YEAR!!! so get in fast to get the process going, to fulfil God’s call!

Sharing from Nepal – Susan Liersch

Reflection on SOMA trip to Nepal

In the lead up to going to Nepal it became apparent to me that the upcoming mission was going to be something special for I noticed many spiritual attacks in the few weeks before leaving, culminating in Graeme getting COVID 5 days before we left. Therefore I had high expectations and yet having never been on a SOMA trip I was not able to really define those expectations. Irrespective I was not disappointed for God had much in store for us as we took on this adventure.

Like any new adventure several challenges arose before me. Firstly, I am a person who likes to be organised, engaging in much planning in any of the tasks I undertake. This level of planning was impossible for we had little information other than we would be talking at a women’s conference and visiting several places. When we met with the organisers of the conference on the first day in Nepal, we came away none the wiser which was somewhat unsettling. As a team, seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we were able to develop a rough plan which for the most part came to fruition and not unexpectedly seemed to hit the spot with the women.

I was very conscious that we were entering another culture and that we would be relying on the use of interpreters. I was expecting very little English during our visit but on arrival was surprised to find a lot of English signs in the city. Many of the younger women had at least some understanding of spoken English for I was to learn that English is taught in most schools. When we visited the school run by the Nazarene church I was surprised when the primary aged children initiated a conversation with me in English. Their teacher actually confessed to me that her English was better than her Nepalese. On one level working with an interpreter wasn’t that difficult. The most challenging part for me was bringing my language down to a simple level. In my first talk on Hannah from 1 Samuel I struggled with this aspect and felt very disappointed with my performance and was ready to quit there and then! Thankfully the Holy Spirit through the challenges of our fearless leader, Liz, did not allow me stay in that space of self-pity for He had work for me to do. I was reminded to trust in Jesus and not myself and so I recovered and before I knew it, I found myself surrounded by eager women seeking prayer.

Wow! It was amazing! Here were women with very open hearts, hungry to be touched by the Lord. It was a new experience for me. In Australia my experience has more often been to be knocked back by Christians within the churches I’ve worked in when I have offered to pray for them. I have found non-Christian Australians to be more open to prayer. It was such an honour to be encircled by Nepalese women who were not only open but also expectant that my prayers would be answered. The reality of the Lord’s words to Paul ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:9) became my reality as I ministered to these women. I felt a huge responsibility being the intercessor for these women especially around prayers for healing. One mother brought her son for healing prayer for a blood disease. I have never really considered myself as having the gift of healing and I felt a little overwhelmed that this mother was asking me to pray for him. Again I had to battle with my own self-doubt. I had to grow in my trust of Jesus, to remind myself that I was His vessel, and it was Jesus that was responsible for the healing and that healing would take place if it was His will. Many women came forward on both days seeking healing, spiritual growth and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. One young woman asked to receive Jesus into her life. Hallelujah!!1

One of the things I noted was how these women saw their situations through spiritual eyes, for example, several asked for prayer because they were struggling with distraction, so they asked for deliverance from distracting spirits. One woman, who has stayed on my heart, asked for prayer because her husband was into evil spirits. I remember thinking what a hard space that dear sister was in and how she needed our prayers for courage and protection. Another, woman held up a bottle of water and asked me to pray for her son. She believed that if I prayed over the water and he drank it he would be blessed At first I was unsure about praying over the bottle thinking I don’t want to reinforce potential magical thinking however the Holy Spirit brought to mind the following from the book of Acts 19:12 ‘so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.’ So again I was challenged to step out in faith and believe that Jesus could act through my prayer and meet whatever need this lady’s son had.

At first, I was worried that the women would not be able to understand my English spoken prayers however Liz told me just pray and so I did. On both days a minute or two into praying Jesus sent me one of the interpreters and it was such a privilege to pray together with them and it forged a great relationship with them especially the young girl who interpreted for me when I delivered my talk. It has been wonderful to keep in touch with them both. Toward the end of the ministry time on the second day when we thought we were done some women requested that Graeme pray for a woman at the back of the room that was clearly manifesting something that was not of God. I joined him and as we prayed this woman went from being physically contorted and stressed to being relaxed and at peace. God is good and He only has good for His people, and it was so uplifting to be part of His life-giving work.

I was also greatly uplifted by the joy the women had which was tangible in the way they worshipped. Worship was led by a team of young women and a few young men. Their exuberance in singing to the Lord was contagious. I really wanted to bundle them all up and bring them home to lead worship in our church. We were also blessed on both days with traditional Nepalese dancing which was delightful. It was also lovely to see several children at the conference who had come with their mothers. We hardly heard a peep out of them, and I was greatly impressed that they could sit through two days of talks without a fuss. It was lovely when mothers brought their children to be blessed during the ministry time.

Several young women reported that they had come out of Hindu families that had rejected them when they had become Christians. One young woman shared her story more fully. It was a heart wrenching story of difficult beginnings and of being stabbed at the age of 15. It was through nuns placing a bible on her wounds and praying for healing that brought her into the Kingdom of God. Despite having such a difficult beginning Jesus has done amazing things in her life. She has become an actress, has looked after orphan children and breeds dogs so that she can assist the poor who live around her. I offered myself and Graeme to become her family and she readily accepted. So now we are her adopted Aama (mum) and Buwa (dad). On our free day she invited us out to her farm where we were able to meet her husband and her adopted daughter. She and her husband were having marital difficulties and we were able to counsel them and pray for them. I really felt God working through us to help this couple. My prayer is that God will heal the rift in their relationship. I was overwhelmed when she and her daughter travelled one and a half hours by taxi (which would have been very expensive) to come to the airport to see us off. Such a sacrificial thing to do.

Visiting the school and bible college that Reverend Rinzi’s church has set up was very interesting. The bible college has 19 students some of which are still completing high school. The facilities at both the school and college were basic but the enthusiasm of the students certainly made up for this. On our final day we were invited by Reverend Rinzi to attend the Nazarene Church. This involved attending two services in Nepalese. Graeme and Liz were asked to preach. It was wonderful to be part of a church service that encompassed all age groups with young people predominant. We met the other ministers at the church. At the site was Reverend Rinzi’s home and accommodation for the orphaned children he and his wife had taken in. Over the years they have reared 70 orphans, many of whom are now adults, have faith in Christ and are active in the church.

If there were any doubts that it was God’s will for us to participate in this mission, they had completely evaporated by the end of our time in Nepal. It has been a life changing experience. Praise be to God!

By Susan Liersch – Team Member

Online Commissioning Service

As we prepare to send off our first mission team in three years, please join us for an online commissioning service, 7.30pm 9th November, 2022, via ZOOM.

Please email to gain access to the zoom link.

If you are unable to make the online service, be sure to be praying for our SOMA team as they travel between 10th – 20th November.

Monthly Online Prayer Gathering

We are pleased to announce the establishment of an online prayer space once a month, to be the backbone of all of our ministries (especially now that we have our first mission booked in for November.)

Please mark your diaries and join us online through the below zoom link, at 7.00pm, on the 3rd Wednesday of the Month, beginning Wednesday 19th October, 2022.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 738 7995 2326
Passcode: 1JgtSV

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to praying with you.

Dear SOMA Supporters and Parishes… Thank you!

Firstly, Rev Liz (SOMA National Director) and Bishop Ian (SOMA Chair) would like to thank you for being a SOMA supporter.  Should you be reading this as an individual or as part your Parish Missions’ Committee, may God bring abundant blessings to your local ministry context as you also consider the needs of the world mission – that all may know the Gospel of Jesus and the power of the resurrection in their lives.

We have some significant news to share, and fresh opportunities for SOMA ministry now that the world is learning how to live with COVID.  And to be candid, we cannot meet the upcoming ministry opportunities without further financial support.  Below are four opportunities that SOMA has, to make an impact for the Kingdom, and we encourage you to pray and identify these initiatives is worthy of your support.

Nepal November 2022 – SOMA Australia is sending a team to Nepal to assist in the inaugural Anglican Women’s Conference in Kathmandu with follow-up meetings in Pokhara. Our team will be led by Rev Liz our National Director and be bolstered by a couple from the Diocese of Gippsland, which includes a first time SOMA Missionary.

Indonesia May 2023 – A SOMA Team from Newcastle and Sydney are planning to assist a Medical Mission Team from the Diocese of Singapore. Our team would provide pastoral support to patients as well as encouraging local pastors with night-time community rallies. Three of the Team will be first-time team members – the youngest 18yr old.

Vietnam September 2023 – Since SOMA’s last visit to Hanoi there has been a new Anglican church plant in Halong. A teaching and ministry team of 6 will be encouraging and equipping church leaders in the North and assisting the leaders and folk in HCMC (Saigon) with raising the next generation of leaders in a country with an emerging interest in Christianity.

Rwanda & Beyond Apr 2023 – The International SOMA Board will meet in Rwanda in April next year before spreading out with their mission teams to either Tanzania or Congo. SOMA Australia is planning to send 4 clergy from Melbourne and Geelong Diocese.  

The African continent is not normally considered to be on SOMA Australia’s radar simply because of the cost of travel.  All SOMA mission teams commence as self-funding, yet on occasions we have been able to offset their costs when funds are available.

3 John: 5-8 speaks of how those who offer hospitality and support to travelling missions become co-workers with the truth.  If you can support these initiatives, you will be a co-worker with our mission teams, and we will commit to providing special updates as the Team prepares and enters the mission field.

If you would like a deputation team of SOMA ministers/speakers to visit your church, please let us know so we may coordinate a visit at a suitable time.

Your generous donation can be made by direct deposit to:

SOMA Australia

BSB: 032 681

Account: 286 361

Please be sure to let us know your donation is coming through, by emailing us at, we will then return a thank you letter and receipt.

Yours in Christ

Rev Liz Rankin                                                                                         Bishop Ian Lambert

National Director                                                                                    SOMA Chair

Come Holy Spirit…

As we draw near to celebrating Pentecost, may we not allow it to come and go without intentional reflection, prayer and action. To assist us to journey through the season of Pentecost with hope, and expectation for the Holy Spirit to renew the church, you may like to participate in ARNA’s (Anglican Renewal Network Australia) Online Pentecost Retreat, delivered daily (Monday to Friday) over 5 weeks, beginning today 30th May 2022. Take 10 minutes of your day, or linger longer, listening to reflections from the Word of God, soaking in God’s presence and preparing to partner in God’s will for such time.

The Pentecost Retreat can be found by visiting

Get involved!!! God desires to shift atmospheres in this world, shining light into darkness, bringing back life to dry bones, and restoration to the chaos in the lives of His children whom He loves so dearly. Come Holy Spirit and change OUR hearts, that we may humble ourselves to take your lead, be empowered by you to do just as our Lord Jesus modeled and all the more you desire.

To God be the glory!


The 2022 Annual General Meeting of SOMA AUSTRALIA INC will be held Wednesday 4th May, commencing at 7.30pm.  Due to our National support, we will be offering an online platform in order that our members, wherever they may be across Australia, can join us for this year’s AGM.  If you would like to join us via online Zoom link, please contact me directly on and we will forward to you the correct link.

The purpose of this meeting is to receive reports from the National Director, Chairman, Treasurer and Auditor, and to elect Office Holders for the Management Committee, an Auditor for the on-going period and managing our way forward through this time of our unpredictable season.

We welcome all members of SOMA to vote and to make themselves available for elected positions. Proxies are accepted. If you intend to attend the AGM, or wish to nominate as proxy another member who is attending, please contact Rev Liz Rankin, National Director SOMA Australia, for further details.

Should you wish to become a member of SOMA please notify us via email, there is no membership fee.

Most warmly, yours in Christ

Reverend Liz Rankin – National Director SOMA Australia

ARNA National Launch

The Anglican Renewal Network Australia has its national launch on-line through an ARNA eGathering on Sat 26 Feb at 3:30pm AESST.  Salvation and transformation, can only be brought about through the grace of God – God’s empowering presence – by his Holy Spirit. We believe that it is time to raise a fresh network of Anglicans who are interested in the pursuit of a Spirit empowered ministry for the sake of the Kingdom.  By this new network, we would hope to encourage and support lay and clergy who wish to explore this aspect of ministry.

At the ARNA eGathering we will be meeting via ZOOM for introductions, worship, prayer, and encouragement.  We will also launch the new web-site and resources.  We are organising regional hubs around Australia, or you can link in individually.  There is no cost.

For more info on ARNA please contact . ARNA encourages you to pre-register for the eGathering, by contacting them and they will share the link.

ARNA Origins

Decades ago the Anglican Renewal Movement in Australia coordinated an effective ministry to both encourage and equip clergy and lay people specifically in the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  The Cursillo Movement has also provided an effective link into empowering, predominantly lay people, for Kingdom work.  In more recent times there was an initiative similar to the New Wine UK, based in Canberra which was sustained for a few years.  The only other Anglican organisation with a focus on teaching around the person and work of the Holy Spirit, is SOMA (Sharing of Ministries Abroad) Australia (  SOMA, which celebrated its 40th anniversary of international ministry in 2019 in Melbourne, had as its focus, the sending small short-term mission teams, across the world at the invitation of Anglican Diocesan Bishops.

As COVID19 brought a temporary halt to opportunities for overseas mission, the SOMA Australia Board, sought God in prayer as to what should be their focus during the lockdown season.  The SOMA Board believed that it was called to initiate a new network (not a Movement), to encourage all Anglicans seeking renewal by the Spirit, regardless of tribe. This new network was to be about new wine in new wine skins and not simply a shot in the arm for older charismatics of the 1970’s.  Thus the network would have a different purpose and focus than the previous ARMA (Anglican Renewal Movement Australia) and a broader appeal than SOMA.  An initial canvas of Dioceses through existing known contacts established a data base of over 200 interested members and parishes.

ARNA Working Group

An ARNA Working Group was established in 2020, the original members being Bishop Ian Lambert,  (former Bishop to the Defence Force, current Chair of SOMA Australia , Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn);  Archdeacon Helen Phillips (Diocese of Melbourne);  Rev Mark McDonald (Diocese of Melbourne); Rev Tim Watson (Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn); and recently,  Amy Warren (Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn); Katy Lambert (Diocese of Bendigo); Alisha Moyle and Rev David Perryman (Diocese of Gippsland).

The Need

Observers of the Anglican Communion in Australia, have been witnessing declining numbers and in many areas, a greater focus on survival, rather than salvation of souls and transforming lives. COVID 19 has further exacerbated the Communion’s mission.  As we know, salvation and transformation, can only be brought about through the grace of God – God’s empowering presence – by his Holy Spirit. We believe that it is time to raise a fresh network of Anglicans who are interested in the pursuit of a spirit empowered ministry for the sake of the Kingdom.  By establishing a new network, we would hope to encourage and support lay and clergy who wish to explore this aspect of ministry, which is currently given little attention from the mainstream theological colleges.

The most widespread evangelistic tool currently used, the ALPHA Course, which has been adopted by a huge range of denominations, presumes (as a matter of course) that a transforming personal encounter with the Holy Spirit and the exercise of spiritual gifts are a normal part of Christian life.  ALPHA promotes a dynamic, mature and balanced theology of the Holy Spirit, working not just with Anglicans but key Roman Catholic figures such as Raniero Cantalamessa and Protestant theologians of the calibre of Miroslav Volf and Jurgen Moltmann.  The success of the ALPHA initiative and the linked ministry of HTB in the UK, points us to the reality that the spiritual intuitions of charismatic renewal, have a vital contribution to make to the renewal of Anglicanism, and are currently ripe for rediscovery.

The Aspirations of ARNA

ARNA would encourage Anglicans seeking renewal in the Spirit to:

  • Begin in personal and corporate prayer.  There would appear to be certain things that that the Spirit simply will not do unless believers are gathered together in prayer (Acts 2.1). Historically, charismatic renewal began in small, local prayer groups.
  • Work across the Anglican Communion  intentionally abstaining from participating in culture and doctrine wars, steering clear of the more obvious tribal fault lines, and equipping ourselves theologically to have good conversations and to “disagree well”. A key distinctive of Anglican Renewal generally (and ARNA specifically) is seeking to foster theological maturity, ecclesial loyalty, and deeply Trinitarian thinking that engages with the best contemporary theology.
  • Rediscovering our Anglican roots of renewal . “Look to the rock from which you were hewn” (Isaiah 51.1), valuing the deep roots of Anglican theological tradition, especially trinitarian theology, with the aim of broadening the study in pneumatology, and experiencing the person, work and ministry of the Holy Spirit .  
  • Earnestly seek the leading and grace of the Holy Spirit to assist in bringing new life to ‘dry bones’ and refreshment for individuals which has daily impact on their lives and worship. 
  • Explore our sung worship.  Rather than confining ourselves to either Together in Song or a shortlist of recent hits, we should make full use of the “treasures old and new” (Mt 13.52) in our worship storehouse. In assessing the distinctive worship legacy of the “renewal”, we need both a “hermeneutic of suspicion” about language, and also a “second naïveté” which frees us to sing not just ‘Oceans’, but Wimber, Kendrick, Scripture in Song.
  • Explore the convergence between charismatic, liturgical, and contemplative spirituality. Discovering how the Holy Spirit can be encountered in a range of liturgical and contemplative prayer practices, and how these spiritual traditions can enrich our theology and mission.
  • Acknowledge the conversation partners in renewal outside our own denomination.  This would assist in overcoming the staleness and tribality of intra-Anglican conversations, and avoiding endlessly revisiting fruitless old arguments.  As well it would resource Anglicans with the best possible theological conversation partners.

When ARNA starts to hear reports that local churches are growing as they open themselves to the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit; when church leaders, clergy and lay, feel supported and encouraged to continue the hard work of church renewal; when leadership isolation is lessened, connection is increased and people are empowered and confident to lead ministry renewal in their local contexts; when we are sharing better across the Communion, then, ARNA will be achieving its purpose.

How will ARNA achieve its purpose?

ARNA will provide a safe place for conversation and mutual learning, while encouraging people’s spirituality and prayer life. We desire to resource and support opportunities for connection, spiritual formation and ministry development for people from a range of backgrounds and experiences..

 Similar to ReSource in the UK, ARNA will provide access to resources to teach and equip people in the person, work and ministry of the Spirit. This will be achieved through webinars, face to face gatherings, on-line blogs and discussions, retreats, and mentoring of young clergy and lay leaders.   Regionally, ARNA is looking to establish hubs for prayer and mutual support. The end result will be a more effective presentation of the Gospel to the wider community, and a church ministering in the power and authority of Christ. 

Your are encouraged to join the ARNA e-launch 26th February 2022.                                                                           

Brief prepared by Bishop Ian Lambert for ARNA Working Group. 11 October 2021

God remains the same… mission through a pandemic.

During the last two years we have all been faced with challenges due to the global pandemic of Covid-19. For me, living in Melbourne Australia, I believe at some point we were deemed to have had the most number of days being in the longest lockdown across the world. And to say the least I felt at times like I was living in a strange land and I didn’t know when we would get out of it. Personally, I chose to try new things to pass my time, jigsaw puzzles, knitting, colour-by-numbers painting, Lego, and I even restored a beautiful big dining table, sanding it back, restraining and varnishing it. I was quite proud of my accomplishments in these strange times. But I also spent much time in prayer, questioning, what is it that the Lord wants from us (SOMA) at this time?

Obviously with no travel allowed due to the pandemic, our mission organisation, who usually spends much of their time planning and doing ministry and mission abroad each year, needed to seek how we could be of use to God through these strange times? I was very aware that although I found myself in lockdown in my home, with my two daughters, I had no needs or massive worries. We were secure in our big house, with all our creature comforts, plenty of food on the table and apart from supporting each other through some times of mental strain, we were safe and well. Yet through social media I could see the devastation taking place in other countries, including one of SOMA’s partner countries, Nepal. As I sat comfortably at my computer, I witnessed my brothers and sisters in Christ suffering greatly in Nepal.

Many were being infected with Corona Virus, many were dying, food supply across the country, especially in the small distant villages, was scarce. Not only were they dealing with the pandemic, they were facing their yearly bout of natural disaster flooding as well. The Anglican church in Nepal were doing all they could to support their communities and the villages spread across the country, setting up medical camps to care for those suffering with the virus, delivering rice and food supplies to those without food, and sharing the love of God to all everyone they met. How could we (SOMA) possibly help them in their time of need.

Thankfully, God always makes a way to meets his children’s needs and this is where, with a bit of thinking outside the box, prayer, and guidance of the Holy Spirit comes in. So we knew that we couldn’t travel to do mission, but what had also taken place through this pandemic was, everyone was doing things ‘online’. Church was online, schools and businesses were all taking place online, so what was to stop us from doing mission and ministry online. I knew that the clergy in Nepal were gaining some spiritual support and meeting for monthly devotions online, yet there are also many woman leaders who work tirelessly in the Church of Nepal. Often when the men are away doing ministry in the villages they can be gone for days, even weeks, and the woman remain behind, caring for the church, their own families and the community around them. It was through this knowledge that God placed on my heart, that this is where God was calling SOMA to minister for a time such as this.

In February 2021 I arranged an online meetings with the Dean and Assistant Dean of Nepal, proposing that SOMA Australia facilitate a monthly online meeting with the Woman in leadership, in the Anglican Church of Nepal. This proposal was welcomed and endorsed, and a month or so later it began. The SOMA team to commit to this online ministry was made up with, Jill Lambert (NSW), Carolyn Goode (VIC) and myself (VIC). On the second Tuesday of every month we meet on zoom with, sometimes up to 40 women across Nepal. Although at times we have difficulty with language translations (which brings much laughter), we worship God, share in His word, and pray together. The time spent together is a blessing for all who participate, as God encourages, strengthens and empowers each to continue to work and ministries within the church, our families and communities, by the power of Christ living in us.

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learnt over this time of travelling, what seems to be a strange land through this global pandemic is, God remains the same. It doesn’t matter, how many challenges we are going through, all the things we do not understand, our feelings of disconnect, ceasing to do things the ‘way we have always done them’… God remains the same! And God’s call on his children remains… ‘to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord your God – for your own wellbeing’, (Deuteronomy 10:12-13). Let us not stop seeking what God is asking of us, it may not look like anything we’ve done before, but as we turn to God seeking his will, may our love for him stimulate our love for others, that we may keep ministering, encouraging and strengthening each other, for a time such as this.

Please join us as we continue to pray for our brothers and sisters of Nepal, and please do pray for SOMA Australia, as we discern God’s will for us moving forward.

Shalom – Rev Liz Rankin, National Director