Australian Mustard Seed Organisation AGM
Letter from Chairman Albert Sander, 20 August, 2020
Fellow Board Members, Ladies & Gentlemen:
Welcome to the 2020 Annual General Meeting of the Australian Mustard Seed Organisation Incorporated.
It has been almost exactly a year since our last AGM held on 29 August 2019. Once again, the year seems to have passed so rapidly and I give thanks to the Lord for His gracious provision for the Mustard Seed throughout the past year.
I cannot help but commencing my report with a statement of profound loss at the sudden and unexpected passing of Johanna Sanders in May this year. Johanna was the founder of this mission and it was her deep and passionate love for God and His children that inspired this mission which commenced over 17 years ago in Myanmar -a vast compassion for the welfare of the fatherless, oppressed, widowed, unwanted and underprivileged, and a sense to practically demonstrate God’s saving love, care and provision to these peoples. Johanna’s humble love for God found its expression in her persistent and dogged determination to provide ongoing, practical, physical and spiritual care to those who have no “human protector”; those who are special in the eyes of our Lord and for whom He has a special love. A personality like Johanna can never be replaced. My great consolation is the certain knowledge that she is now in the very presence of the One whom was most precious to her. I thank the Lord for Johanna, and for the example she set, and ask for His guidance and provision as we seek to carry on with the work that she started and to glorify God with its future growth.
Additionally, through the year, we also lost Margot Clarke and Les Walton. Margot had been a faithful supporter of Mustard Seed for over 15 years and had contributed a large part of the costs of the buildings on our Quarantine Centre in Yangon. Margot was well known to the children and staff at the orphanage centres in Myanmar, having travelled with Johanna on many visitation trips. Les was a fine and humble man and was our main representative at Maida Vale WPC. Les had a very special place in Johanna’s heart and she loved and respected him for his zealous love for the Lord and compassion for His children. Les will be greatly missed and I pass my respect and condolences to Bev and the Walton family.
Another challenging characteristic of the past year has been the Covid-19 pandemic which has been sweeping the globe. We can be very thankful for the fact that within our centres in Myanmar, none of the staff, children, or widows have been physically affected by this virus to date. We seek the Lord’s ongoing protection over our Myanmar family. I am very grateful for the fact that several travellers from Australia (representing or associated with AMSOInc) were able to spend time in Myanmar with the Mustard Seed family during the early development of the virus and prior to travel restrictions being put in place. Johanna was one such traveller.
During 2019-20, the AMSOInc Board of Management has again sought to strengthen the integrity of our organisation and build on the work achieved in this area in 2018-19. This has again included more detail around setting out clear policy around the works of our organisation and the standards we wish to maintain as the ministry in Myanmar grows in complexity and size. Some milestones achieved during the course of the year include registration with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and acceptance and endorsement with the Australian Taxation Office for DGR Status, which means that donors can claim their donations from their tax returns. We maintain our Charitable Collections Licence CC20828 with the Charities Branch of the Western Australian Government.
2019–20 has again proved to be a difficult year in terms of raising funds and we have had a real struggle in some months to send adequate funds for the essentials such as food, clothing, and medical costs. Our support from WPC Bull Creek has fallen away sharply through the year but it has been very gratifying and extremely encouraging for our organisation to have received increased interest and support from Eastern States WPC congregations. I would like to particularly thank Rob Clements, his family and wider church family, for the practical support program he developed, implemented, and continues to support. I would also like to thank Tiffany and “Oakseed Ministries” for the faithful and ongoing encouragement and financial support of our work in Myanmar.
The Board of Management recognises that we are falling behind in the key area of providing urgent repairs and ongoing maintenance of our buildings and assets. The Board has had to make the unfortunate decision to cancel classes at Hosanna Bible College for the time-being, in order to save funds and redirect these into the urgent maintenance and repair items needed. We look to the Lord for His provision in this important area and are positive of good outcomes.
The Board has continued working towards providing as best we can for the physical and spiritual needs of children and widows and the underprivileged under our care in Yangon and Shan State. I very much appreciate the ongoing prayerful consideration of our supporters for wisdom and ongoing servant-love. Additionally, the Board is keen to improve our stewardship of this wonderful mission and greatly values any advice its support base may offer.
I would like to express my gratitude to our local Board members for the time they volunteer to administer the organisation, it is greatly appreciated.
Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who support this work through prayer and giving. Without your support we would be unable to maintain this valuable outreach to those who need it most.
Thank you once again for your faithful support of our organisation and may the Lord bless you and keep you.
Albert Sanders, Chairman
Australian Mustard Seed Organisation Incorporated. CC20828.