Raymond Terrace Mission (RTM) is an Adventist church on the main street of Raymond Terrace, a town of 13,000 just north of Newcastle, NSW.
At street level is the Newstart Juice bar, which sells juices dubbed “Redemption”, “Three Angels” and “Garden of Eden”. The smoothies have names such as “Blueberry Blessings” and “Strawberry Salvation”. The shop operates with volunteers from 11 am on most weekdays. Next to the juice bar is the OpShop. When I visited the OpShop was not yet open, but will sell pre-loved clothing and small household wares in similar ways and times to the juice bar. A furniture section operates downstairs on request.
RTM has ministry activities in meeting rooms behind the two shopfronts every day of the week. Craft classes, youth groups, Bible study groups and prayer ministries attract local people. Faith FM, the Australian Union’s radio network, is also rebroadcast from the site.
RTM pastor Blake Penland told me that every ministry they run brings them in contact with people who begin a discipleship journey with Jesus. The growing ministry is blessed to have the support of Avondale University College ministry students and Arise participants.
Pam and I visited RTM on a Sabbath. The worship was inspirational and included testimonies of God’s activities in people’s lives. Various people were affirmed and prayed for—there was joy in the Lord. The group study was biblical and practical and I felt the warmth of fellowship as we ate together. It seemed that more than a quarter of the people present were very new to RTM. I was reminded of times in our ministry when we planted churches and saw new people become disciples of Jesus. I dream of the day when every Seventh-day Adventist church in the South Pacific has such relevant ministries and makes such an impact on people’s lives.