MST & Eastern
Mission is at the very heart of MST and Eastern colleges. It’s at the core of what we do and why. Each year, the students choose a mission project to support.
The Mission Project was established a little over ten years ago. It continues to function as a powerful way of sharing the gospel, whilst encouraging students to consider the many different ways we can participate in mission.
Over the past few years, we have raised money in support of a large scope of projects, from Bible colleges overseas, to the homeless community right here in Melbourne.
The wider intention and purpose of the Mission Project is to challenge our students to consider how God can empower them in stepping out from a smaller focus of the local church, and share the centrality of Christ and His Word, within a non-denominational and cross-cultural context.
This Year’s Project
We are excited to introduce this year’s Mission Project.
Over the next six months, we will be supporting a missionary couple who are also members of our treasured MST alumni, Jordan and Kirsty Crispin. We are grateful for the privilege and opportunity to come alongside, and partner with, this couple for a season, while they dedicate the next ten to twenty years to sharing the love of Christ within their chosen mission field.
The Crispins reflect the heart of the College mission outside its walls, whilst advocating for growth, change and discipleship within the context of their newfound community in Rzeszów, Southern Poland, situated just 100km from the Ukrainian border.
If you would like to receive further updates on the Crispins and their journey you can subscribe to their online newsletter, here.
Donations to support the Crispins in Poland are non tax-deductible
SUPPORTING THE CRISPINS IN POLAND
In 2017, MST took a group of students to southern Poland to work with a small group of believers, supporting and encouraging them in their faith. One of those students was Jordan Crispin, who had recently married Kirsty McKane, a graduate of the college. It was during this visit to Poland that Jordan and Kirsty confirmed their call to this beautiful country. Once committed, it would take Kirsty and Jordan four more years to gain the support they required to move to Poland on a long-term mission posting with Pioneers.
The traditional state church has been the custodian of the Polish language and culture for hundreds of years and throughout various foreign occupations. It holds deep national, as well as religious, significance. Because of this history most Poles will identify as Catholic even though very few follow the teachings of the church or have a relationship with Jesus Christ. One study has suggested that you are more likely to encounter the Gospel in Saudi Arabia or Iran than you are in Poland. To meet this challenge there is an extraordinary need for church planting missionaries in Poland.
The Crispins arrived in Rzeszów, Southern Poland, in October last year (2021) – only 100km from the Ukraine border. While Covid-19 was still a significant issue throughout Poland, Jordan and Kirsty set about getting to know their new town, renting a house, unpacking, finding furniture, and, of course, trying to learn a new West Slavic language, one of the most difficult languages for native English speakers to learn.
On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine from the east—1269km from the Crispin’s new home.
The following are some snippets from Kirsty and Jordan's Newsletter
26 February 2022 – Providing a Refuge
“I barely even know what to write or how to describe the last month. At the beginning, everything was reactionary. There were so many needs and we met as many as we could.” – Kirsty Crispin
Last night at 6pm as Jordan was preparing to go down the road to join in a prayer night for Ukraine, we heard that ten people were coming to stay the night at our Area Leaders’ house on their way further west. The people our team were meeting were on foot but they were only letting people with vehicles across the border at the time and our team members were unable to cross over and pick them up from the other side.
The people at the prayer meeting prayed and God moved the heart of the guard to allow them to cross. Praise God! That began 4-5 hours more of processing and waiting. By the time they reached the car, many of these people had been standing outside for more than 12 hours in the Ukrainian winter. It was heartbreaking when we heard the final count, over 20 women and children were coming – but only one man. We have been spending the day cooking meals for 40+ people, even as more arrive, and helping where we can with toys, clothes, directions. The situation changes on an almost hourly basis. We are all already exhausted…
30 March 2022 – Finding New Rhythms
Life has settled into some kind of normalcy again, but that ‘normal’ is quite different to what it was two months ago. I barely even know what to write or how to describe the last month. At the beginning, everything was reactionary. There were so many needs and we met as many as we could.
Our Area Leaders, Craig and Carol Lynn, opened up their home to refugees and we took on the bulk of the cooking. They were long days and our kids watched a lot of TV as we used all our energy responding to the needs of others. Even as we began down that road, we knew it wasn’t sustainable. One day we planned to cook for 20 and no one showed up.
Another day we were taking a day off and ended up coordinating lunch and making dinner for 16. We bought meat in bulk and then had it sit there for days as others made meals for the refugees who were staying. We made plans, and changed plans, sometimes 20+ times a day!
Ukraine has a far larger percentage of evangelicals and protestants than Poland. And so, as many pass through and resettle around Rzeszow, our church is the only church in the region which shares their convictions. That means that last Sunday our church was at 200% capacity! Even with kids and a few parents in the back room, we quickly ran out of seats and had a full windowsill as well. But everyone tried to meet new people and help those who needed it, connecting people for English and Polish lessons, buying cars and many other things.
28 June 2022 – Shifting Goals and a Renewed Focus
Life for us here in Poland has continued to be on the quieter side after the initial surge of refugees through March and April. As the months pass and the dust settles, and the war next door continues to grind on, it’s becoming clear to both Poles and Ukrainians that it may be years before the Ukrainians are able to return to their home country, if they ever do. With this emerging clarity so also begins the long-term challenges as many start to make a new home here in Poland.
Ukrainian members of our church have begun using our small church building as a makeshift classroom for teaching Polish lessons. Our sister team in Kolbuszowa is setting up a house to be used by refugees in need of longer-term accommodation. Poles too are feeling the tolls of war. As the cost-of-living skyrockets and the availability of jobs and housing plummet, some of the initial good will of Poles towards Ukrainians has begun to dry up.
Even in the face of all this difficulty God’s kingdom is still being advanced and the Gospel is still bearing fruit. A few weeks ago I (Jordan) met a young woman at church who had only very recently come to faith. When asked what she thought about the church service she remarked: “It was very strange and amazing when I realised that everyone there knew what they believed and why they were there. Growing up in Catholicism no one knows why they are there or what they believe, it’s just something they do.” There are so few here in Poland who know the Gospel that even for the few who do hear it, it is usually in a different language and on the lips of foreigners.
These two episodes sharply reminded us of why we are here. We want to help refugees to navigate this complex time, while maintaining our primary goal to proclaim the Gospel and strengthen the Polish church.
DONATE & SUPPORT THE CRISPINS IN POLAND
We see it as a vital part of the function of the College – to encourage our students and wider community to prayerfully and financially support the work of God both locally and globally. It also gives our students an opportunity to grow in their understanding of missional service to Christ and how that is being outworked all over the globe in many and varying ways, that they too might be inspired and equipped to go out and serve Him also.
Please note, donations to this project are not Tax deductible.
Alternatively, you can make a donation via the following options:
Over the Phone
Call +613 9881 7800 to make a secure payment over the phone.
Make a Direct Deposit
Account No: 384 543