The Lydia Project
Episode 78: Jo Gibbs

Episode 78: Jo Gibbs

October 15, 2021

Host Tori interviews Jo Gibbs on what the crosscultural life is like and how chronic fatigue affected that. Jo talks about the ministry roles that she has been in as well as how she came to understand who Christ is and what He had done for her.

 

EPISODE NOTES:

 

Host Tori interviews Jo Gibbs on what the crosscultural life is like and how chronic fatigue affected that. Jo talks about the ministry roles that she has been in as well as how she came to understand who Christ is and what He had done for her.

 

***

Jo grew up in a non-Christian family but came to Christ while at university. Later on she felt challenged to go serve the Lord overseas and ended up living in a crowded city for 11 years before returning to Australia due to her husband’s health. She took up ministry roles that used her plethora of skills from working in different situations such as, community development, cross-cultural ministry, working with families, kids and youth, then care and discipleship ministry.

 

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

Anglican Deaconess Ministries

    

SHOW SNIPPETS:

 

"I felt like someone had given me some of the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle but without all of them and without the box with the lid that actually helps to put it together. That’s what it felt like."

 

"I was generally the one arguing with the Christian studies teacher, trying to pull out, what I thought were, apparent contradictions in the Bible or tough questions."

 

"I’d heard about the needs of the Muslim world but honestly at the time I felt really uncomfortable around Muslim women."

 

"I developed a love for Muslim women that went alongside that challenge that I’d heard."

 

"Great, huge needs."

 

"At one point I was a part of a women’s Bible study where the only person in the group who could read was the national leader."

 

"It (the Pentecostal church) often felt like it was, intentionally or unintentionally, focused on what I was doing to generate my Christian life rather than what Christ had done."

 

"I could see God taking me on this gentle process of different denominations."

 

"Rest in all that Christ has done and not what I generate in my Christian life."

 

"I think that remembering what God’s done in the past but also remembering who God is is such an important part of our lives." 

 

"So just trying to pull back, reset my priorities."

 

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The Lydia Project: Conversations with Christian Women is a podcast co-hosted by Tori Walker and Taryn Hayes. It features informal chats with Christian women around faith, life, ministry and the ways in which God is shaping their thinking and their lives. The views of TLP guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the hosts.

 

Episode 77: Linda Poole

Episode 77: Linda Poole

September 30, 2021

Linda Poole chats to Taryn about finding joy in Jesus and longing to be someone who chooses gratitude and thankfulness even when times are hard. Linda speaks about her years in cross-cultural mission where she and her family served as part of a hospital mission in South Sudan. She speaks of the transition back to Australia and the struggle that was. She also speaks to how God is growing her today in her ministry to her children, her church and as a facilitator for Pioneers, Australia.

 

EPISODE NOTES:

 

Linda Poole chats to Taryn about finding joy in Jesus and longing to be someone who chooses gratitude and thankfulness even when times are hard. Linda speaks about her years in cross-cultural mission where she and her family served as part of a hospital mission in South Sudan. She speaks of the transition back to Australia and the struggle that was. She also speaks to how God is growing her today in her ministry to her children, her church and as a facilitator for Pioneers, Australia.

 

***

Linda Poole is a wife, a mum and a passionate follower of Jesus. She loves Jesus, her family, mission, people, coffee and Tasmania. She is committed to playing her part in Jesus' global plan for the nations. At present, that includes ministry to her children, in her church – The Branch, Launceston – and as the Member Care and Development Facilitator for Pioneers, Australia. Linda and her husband, Graham, spent a number of years in South Sudan as part of a mission hospital team. Linda is also a contributor to the Australian Christian book, For The Joy, edited by Miriam Chan and Sophia Russell. (link For the Joy to the gospel coalition article - link below in the links section)

 

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

Pioneers, Australia (mission organisation)

 

The Branch Church

 

For The Joy, edited by Miriam Chan and Sophia Russell

 

    

SHOW SNIPPETS:

 

“God is good and we are at His mercy; he is good and he is gracious.”

 

“There is a lot of inequality in our world. There is a lot of suffering and injustice, and I wrestle a lot with our role in it.”

 

“Saying yes to Jesus means saying no to things that are so much a part of their lives.”

 

“I have a really high value on inclusion.”

 

“We struggled with the “uh, what are we supposed to do here now?””

 

“I really wrestled with every dollar I spent.”

 

“How do I live here, knowing what I know about there?”

 

“Gratitude is something that I want to keep getting better at.”

 

“Because we had faced a lot of stuff together, that glued us together.”

 

“There was a lot of shared trauma and sadness, but also a lot of laughter and joy.”

 

“My biggest ministry is my kids.”

 

“There are just so many opportunities to serve the Lord. Let’s not get complacent.”

 

“As much as I am distractible, I love to pray with people and for people. Prayer changes things. What a privilege to speak to our Father.”

 

“God gives us all that we need to do what we need to do today.”

 

“I’m learning to choose thankfulness and gratitude … and I’m learning that a lot of that is choice.”

 

“He is the one who keeps us!”

 

“There is a King and Country song called I Choose Joy. And that is what I want to do. I want to choose joy.”

 

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The Lydia Project: Conversations with Christian Women is a podcast co-hosted by Tori Walker and Taryn Hayes. It features informal chats with Christian women around faith, life, ministry and the ways in which God is shaping their thinking and their lives. The views of TLP guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the hosts.

 

TLP Book Club - 03 - Book Chat about In His Image

TLP Book Club - 03 - Book Chat about In His Image

September 15, 2021

EPISODE NOTES:

"Sometimes we ask What is God's will for my life? when we should really be asking Who should I be? The Bible has an answer: Be like the very image of God."

Hosts, Tori Walker and Taryn Hayes chat about Jen Wilkin's book In His Image. Jen Wilkin is an American speaker, writer, and teacher of women's Bible studies with 20 years of experience in ministry. Her book, In His Image, explores ten characteristics of who God is - holy, loving, just, good, merciful, gracious, faithful, patient, truthful, and wise.

Tori and Taryn discuss the premise of In His Image, why they think it is a valuable book to read and share, and their big takeaways from some of the chapters.

To get your own copy of this book with a 15% discount, head to The Wandering Bookseller and use the code LYDIA15 at checkout.

***

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

The Wandering Bookseller: The Lydia Project Collection

 

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The Lydia Project: Conversations with Christian Women is a podcast co-hosted by Tori Walker and Taryn Hayes. It features informal chats with Christian women around faith, life, ministry and the ways in which God is shaping their thinking and their lives. The views of TLP guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the hosts.

 

Episode 76: Jill McAlpine

Episode 76: Jill McAlpine

August 30, 2021

 

Jill McAlpine knows what deep emotional pain looks like - she has seen it in her practice as a Clinical Psychologist and she has felt it herself, acutely, through church-based ministry and the terminal illness diagnosis of her husband, Stephen. In this episode, Jill shares with Taryn her gratitude for the pain, hurt, sorrow and grief because of how God has shaped her and her husband through some of the more difficult moments in life and ministry. 

 

***

 

Jill belongs to God, first and foremost. She is grateful for his gift to her of her husband and best friend, Stephen. Together, they embrace the challenges of loving and parenting two children (an adult and a teenager) and they are looking forward to retirement together.

 

As a psychologist, Jill has been blessed to meet and work with people from all walks of life in a diversity of settings, from schools to prisons; around the world, including in the UK working with Muslim women in a refugee centre; and currently in her clinical psychology practice in Perth with women (and men) across all life stages and contexts.

 

As someone involved in church-based ministry – that has included a couple of church plants – Jill has been entrusted with an intimate awareness (personally and professionally) of the struggles and pastoral care needs of congregations, of those who lead them, and of their families. Jill also enjoys teaching in Pastoral Care at theological college to help equip the next generation of students to care well for others.

 

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

Providence Church

Handle With Care

 

Every Moment Holy

 

    

SHOW SNIPPETS:

 

“I’m a huge introvert and so for me it was quite a challenge to open myself up, so instantly, to people.”

 

“We were told that our parenting was not up to speed, we were told that I should not be working as a psychologist-because it’s not good for the family.”

 

“We were told that Stephen was not cut out for ministry or for leading a church.”

“We felt that at that moment we were so deconstructed, we had nowhere to go then to seek God out.”

 

“We soothed our way through our suffering, just praying.”

 

“Even though we thought that we had let them down, there was enough grace there to continue to love us.”

 

“The clutter was more my despair and my disbelief, I knew I couldn’t fix this. I was trying to work out ‘how do I manage this?’ And I realised that it was beyond me.”

 

 “Everything just did not make sense and we were completely vulnerable and exposed to God’s plan for us.”

 

“We had nothing. It was a very pivotal moment for us in our ministry.”

 

“We are thankful for the pain and the hurt, the sorrow, the grief, we are thankful for how God has shaped us through it.”

 

“My time is very much with people-and sometimes those contexts blur.”

 

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The Lydia Project: Conversations with Christian Women is a podcast co-hosted by Tori Walker and Taryn Hayes. It features informal chats with Christian women around faith, life, ministry and the ways in which God is shaping their thinking and their lives. The views of TLP guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the hosts.

 

Episode 75: Marion Birchley

Episode 75: Marion Birchley

August 15, 2021

Host Tori Walker chats with Marion Birchley about life and student work in PNG.

 

EPISODE NOTES:

 

Host Tori Walker chats with Marion Birchley about life and student work in PNG.

 

***

Marion lives and works with her husband Keith in Papua New Guinea. She has three adult children and one granddaughter. She enjoys serving and growing in her knowledge of God through involvement with different churches in children, youth and women's ministry.

 

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

The Church Missionary Society (CMS)

    

 

SHOW SNIPPETS:

 

“It’s exciting to see how God can just continually grow us right throughout life.”

 

“Sometimes when you have very little or nothing, then there’s only one place to turn: that is to the Lord.”

 

“How much do we (in the West) really cry out to the Lord to help us through things?”

 

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The Lydia Project: Conversations with Christian Women is a podcast co-hosted by Tori Walker and Taryn Hayes. It features informal chats with Christian women around faith, life, ministry and the ways in which God is shaping their thinking and their lives. The views of TLP guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the hosts.

 

Episode 74: Kate Motaung

Episode 74: Kate Motaung

July 30, 2021

When Kate became serious about her Christian faith, she chose to explore mission work abroad. Little did she realise that a 5-month mission trip would turn into a lifelong ministry that involved a cross-cultural marriage, three children, and a venture into authoring books and supporting other Christian women in their writing. Grief, heartache, and much uncertainty are just some of the things that Kate shares with Taryn. Listen as they chat about her journey and God’s incredible compassion and care as Kate trusts Him and learns from those around her.

 

EPISODE NOTES:

 

When Kate became serious about her Christian faith, she chose to explore mission work abroad. Little did she realise that a 5-month mission trip would turn into a lifelong ministry that involved a cross-cultural marriage, three children, and a venture into authoring books and supporting other Christian women in their writing. Grief, heartache, and much uncertainty are just some of the things that Kate shares with Taryn. Listen as they chat about her journey and God’s incredible compassion and care as Kate trusts Him and learns from those around her.

 

***

Kate Motaung is the author of A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging and Letters to Grief, and co-author of Influence: Building a Platform that Elevates Jesus (Not Me). She is the host of Five Minute Friday, an online community that encourages and equips Christian writers, and owner of Refine Services, a company that offers writing and editing services. Kate and her South African husband have three teenagers and call Michigan their home state. 

 

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

Five Minute Friday 

Refine Services

Personal website

 

Kate’s Books:

31 Day Writing Prompt Journal

Influence

A Place to Land

 

SHOW SNIPPETS:

 

“When we do have conflict, we can go back to Scripture and agree that that is the basis - and that wins.” 

 

“I thought I was going for a five-month mission trip … I ended up living there for 10 years. I met my husband there and all three of our children were born there.”

 

“Scripture is the ultimate authority and truth and that is what brings us back together.” 

 

“It has been interesting with race relations in America becoming more heated.”

 

“It has been a blessing and opportunity for my husband to listen and educate others.”

 

“I have learned a lot from him: just watching him, listening to him, learning from him about how we an treat each other in a way that reflects that we are all made in the image of God.”

 

“I have also been passionate about supporting women of colour particularly in the writing and publishing sphere, because those are the circles I am often already in.”

 

“Wherever we are in the world, we can take comfort in knowing that this world is not our final home.”

 

“We want to be a city on the hill pointing people to Christ.”

 

“It is very tricky - whenever I post about myself or my work on social media it feels very much like “look at me, look at me”, yet at the same time we have been called to be obedient to use the gifts we have been given.”

 

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The Lydia Project: Conversations with Christian Women is a podcast co-hosted by Tori Walker and Taryn Hayes. It features informal chats with Christian women around faith, life, ministry and the ways in which God is shaping their thinking and their lives. The views of TLP guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the hosts.

 

TLP Book Club - 02 - Author Interview with Catherine Parks

TLP Book Club - 02 - Author Interview with Catherine Parks

July 27, 2021

EPISODE NOTES:

 

Host Tori Walker interviews Catherine Parks, who is one of the Contributors to the book “Beautifully Distinct”. Beautifully Distinct aims to help Christian women engage with our culture by being beautifully distinct. 

 

***

Catherine Parks grew up with a love for reading biographies. Now she is the author of Empowered, Strong and Real: The Surprising Secret to Deeper Relationships as well as a contributing author to the book, Beautifully Distinct. She lives in Nashville, with her husband, and two children, where she attends a church and helps to lead the worship there. 

 

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

Wandering Bookseller: The Lydia Project Collection

Catherine's website

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Psalm 42

    

SHOW SNIPPETS:

 

“What are the longings of the people around us?”

 

“In light of eternity, what does this matter?”

 

“That God was not casting me out, because I was struggling with faith and doubt in that moment was such an encouragement.”

 

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The Lydia Project: Conversations with Christian Women is a podcast co-hosted by Tori Walker and Taryn Hayes. It features informal chats with Christian women around faith, life, ministry and the ways in which God is shaping their thinking and their lives. The views of TLP guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the hosts.

 

Episode 73: Catriona Pine

Episode 73: Catriona Pine

July 15, 2021

Host Tori Walker spends a morning with Catriona Pine on her Brisbane balcony chatting candidly about her faith, her friends, her love of stories, and her work with kids with complex special needs. 

 

EPISODE NOTES:

 

Host Tori Walker spends a morning with Catriona Pine on her Brisbane balcony chatting candidly about her faith, her friends, her love of stories, and her work with kids with complex special needs. 

 

***

Catriona is a beautiful, warm individual who uses her gifts to love her family, her church family, and the kids she works with.  She works as a speech pathologist assisting kids with complex special needs to eat and communicate.  She lives in Brisbane and is a member of Living Church.

 

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

Wide Eyed Stories

    

SHOW SNIPPETS:

 

“You emotionally connect very well with stories.”

 

“I think it’s really important to make sure that that kid knows that you’re present and that you’re there.”

 

“These are beloved children.”

 

“Church has a lot of politics that I don’t want to get involved in and I think don’t want to mess relationships.”

 

“When you’re working with someone who’s, in the beginning, not giving a lot back because of a variety of reasons, turning up for them every week is really important.”

 

“The pressure to be a certain size is so prevalent.”

 

“Buy bigger jeans. I shouldn’t get sad, just buy bigger jeans.”

 

“I’m the biggest person in the class but I can do it.”

 

“Constant encouragement from everyone around you.”

 

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The Lydia Project: Conversations with Christian Women is a podcast co-hosted by Tori Walker and Taryn Hayes. It features informal chats with Christian women around faith, life, ministry and the ways in which God is shaping their thinking and their lives. The views of TLP guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the hosts.

 

Episode 72 - Alison Eloff

Episode 72 - Alison Eloff

June 30, 2021

Alison Eloff has worked in ministry with women for 35 years in various capacities, including church planting, student ministry, curacy and ministry to women at St James Church in Cape Town. In this interview, Alison chats to Taryn about how God brought her to faith at the tender age of 11, when a friend persistently shared gospel tracts with her, despite Alison’s lack of interest or any kind of family interest in Christian things. She shares about working through coming from a broken home, why she chooses to minister to women, and much more. Alison’s years in ministry enables her to share much of her wisdom in clear and enlightening ways.

 

EPISODE NOTES:

 

Alison Eloff has worked in ministry with women for 35 years in various capacities, including church planting, student ministry, curacy and ministry to women at St James Church in Cape Town. In this interview, Alison chats to Taryn about how God brought her to faith at the tender age of 11, when a friend persistently shared gospel tracts with her, despite Alison’s lack of interest or any kind of family interest in Christian things. She shares about working through coming from a broken home, why she chooses to minister to women, and much more. Alison’s years in ministry enables her to share much of her wisdom in clear and enlightening ways.

 

***

Through the persistence of a friend, Alison eventually agreed to read the growing pile of gospel tracts she had shoved under bed. That decision opened her eyes to the gospel and brought Alison to a trusting faith in Jesus at the young age of 11. Since then, God has led her through a lifetime of serving Him in various ministry roles, including partnering with her husband Mervyn in ministry from Bible college and church planting in Cape Town, curacy at St Helen’s, London, to student and family ministry in Stellenbosch, theological training and student work at George Whitefield College in Muizenberg and then again to church ministry at St James Church, Kenilworth in Cape Town. Together, Alison and Mervyn are parents to their two, now adult, daughters. And while gardening and sewing are among her favourite activities, seeing the 'light go on' when women study the Bible has been among her favourite ministry experiences of the last 35 years in working with women. Alison says that she always finds the Lord to be the faithful rock He promises to be in His word and that she loves sharing this reality with women.

 

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

St James Church Kenilworth

George Whitefield College

St Helen's, London

Christ Church, Stellenbosch

    

SHOW SNIPPETS:

 

“She said to me, do you know of the Jesus you are meant to be learning about at Sunday School? I had no idea what she was talking about. It was a totally foreign idea … then she started feeding me a series of booklets.”

 

“She gave me one a week and I dutifully took the booklet and stuck it in a tin under my bed. …  We eventually got to the end of the booklets and she asked me again “have you looked at the booklets”. I thought, the only way that I am going to get this woman off my back is if I actually read the booklets and then I can say in good conscience that I read them and give them back to her and that would then be the end of the story. And I read in them about the reality of the claims that God makes that he is actually King. He is the creator. He is the one who in authority. As an 11 year old, I have chose to live as though he has not existed and that in fact is treason and is deeply offensive to him and I need to do something about that and I thought, if he said it and he is God then I really am in big trouble if I don’t say something or do something about it.”

 

“I've got to make my peace with the fact that God will do what is right and He cares for them the way He cared for me and His plan for them may not have reached its completion yet.”

 

“Every place we have worked and lived we have just learned so much from the people we have been working with. And we keep learning. There is always more to learn.”

 

“Being in the ministry is an enormous privilege.”

 

“We are learning again that you’ve got to keep holding onto the basics.”

 

“Keeping the main thing the main thing is what we are learning again and again and again.” 

 

“We are learning how to do better, to be honest, and there are some real growing pains.”

 

“I think it all comes back to really embracing the reality:  if God is the creator and you look around the world at the extraordinary beauty and diversity - God got it right to have an extraordinary mix of everything … it’s beautiful and works so well.” 

 

“I think that as human beings if we keep acknowledging God as our creator - if we are in a relationship with Him - we shouldn’t be scared by other people’s diversity or their opinions. At the end of the day, we are all working on our relationship with Jesus and are we all doing what we can to be as fruitful as we can for Him … altogether that should be creating a beautiful thing for Jesus. Maybe it’s too simplistic but it is one of the best ways that I can make sense of what we need to do.”

“For me that has meant picking up all the balls that I used to hold (and doing things smarter in the Covid context).”

 

“It’s not even in the same room as my skill set, it’s in a whole other building!” 

 

“I think that is the privilege of being a part of God’s family - we do carry each other’s burdens.”

 

“I think we have not yet seen the kingdom stories that are going to come out of Covid.”

 

“We are both broken and sinful. The reality is our brokenness sometimes won’t be fixed. Ecclesiastes says that. So we limp along as broken people, but we are also sinful. God in his grace gives grace for one and deals with the sinfulness of the other.”

 

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The Lydia Project: Conversations with Christian Women is a podcast co-hosted by Tori Walker and Taryn Hayes. It features informal chats with Christian women around faith, life, ministry and the ways in which God is shaping their thinking and their lives. The views of TLP guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the hosts.

 

Episode 71: Tenielle Neda

Episode 71: Tenielle Neda

June 15, 2021

Host Tori Walker catches up with singer-songwriter Tenielle Neda about people who have encouraged her in her faith, her latest album “What is My Hope?”, and the real story behind making beautiful music videos.

 

EPISODE NOTES:

 

Host Tori Walker catches up with singer-songwriter Tenielle Neda about people who have encouraged her in her faith, her latest album “What is My Hope?”, and the real story behind making beautiful music videos.

 

***

Tenielle drives big trains!  She lives with her husband and two boys in the red sands of Karratha, WA.  She loves pointing people to Jesus whether in word or song. Tenielle is a singer-songwriter who writes devotional music with the aim to point people's hearts and minds to Jesus, to encourage and bear witness to the world of his saving grace.

 

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

Link Tree

Tenielle Neda's Music

    

SHOW SNIPPETS:

 

“I had a few key people in my life that really loved me, and took me under their wing and discipled me and were super patient with me.”

 

“After I became a Christian I just naturally was writing songs about that faith journey and my faith.”

 

“I got all these really encouraging messages from people saying how much the songs had ministered to them and pointed their hearts to Jesus.” 

 

“On this EP I really did contemplate a lot this idea of our hope in Christ and our future hope and that it’s secured because of the person and work of Jesus.”   

 

PRAYER FOR...

Where I live, there are very few Christians and I work in an entirely secular and male-dominated workforce. I find the workplace difficult at times, but I pray I can be a light in that place and I do see it as an opportunity for me to bear witness to Christ in a place that is at times hostile to that. I was also a "secular artist" signed to Universal Records before I became a Christian/Christian artist. So please pray for my journey with faith and music.

 

 

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The Lydia Project: Conversations with Christian Women is a podcast co-hosted by Tori Walker and Taryn Hayes. It features informal chats with Christian women around faith, life, ministry and the ways in which God is shaping their thinking and their lives. The views of TLP guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the hosts.

 

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