SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Hannah Anthony grew up in a pastor’s home in Georgia. Her dad, Stephen Anthony, was pastor of Peavine Baptist Church in Rock Spring for the better part of a decade. Stephen and Jeanna are now in Anniston, AL, where Stephen is pastor of Hill Crest Baptist Church.
The Anthonys are proud of their two daughters. Alex serves the Lord in Amman, Jordan while Hannah is engaged in a strategic ministry near Sydney, Australia.
Hannah stated, “I grew up in a pastor’s family so church was not really an option, but an assumption, I would go every week and be a part of all the events and activities.”
In middle school Hannah admitted to becoming disinterested in the church and spiritual things, but had a rude awakening.
Wake up call
“I got diagnosed with scoliosis in 6th grade and by 8th grade found out I had to have surgery to correct my spine,” she explained. “It was a wake up call, because I was so disconnected from Jesus that I did not really know Him at all anymore. I was invested in my friends and very little else.
“I knew I had to make a decision and come back to God because there was a chance the surgery would not be successful and if something went wrong, I could die or be paralyzed. I couldn’t trust my friends to heal me. I knew the only person who could help me was God. When I finally put my faith in Jesus, I was changed completely. After my surgery I was a whole new person. I wasn’t just healed physically by my surgery; I was also healed spiritually. My apathy was gone.”
During the years following the surgery and while a youth at Peavine, Hannah was a part of a student group that encouraged her to take her relationship with God seriously. Her involvement there replaced any desire to be like the rest of the world.
‘The woman God wanted me to be’
“The church helped me to grow into the woman God wanted me to be,” Hannah stated. “Peavine Baptist provided my first mission/service trips. It gave me my first ministry job and made me realize this was something I was called to do. The people in the church encouraged me to pursue my dream to where God called me – which is Australia. Peavine had a massive impact on my call to ministry and nurtured me from a girl to a woman of God and who I am today.”
Hannah is now coordinating an effort to enlist additional volunteers to go to Australia to teach the Bible in the Land Down Under for 6-12 months. She explained, “Those who come will teach approximately ten 30-50 minute Bible lessons in Australian public schools each week. The curriculum has been prepared by Southern Baptists and the Australian government has approved it. Those who come will also be working with the local church in a variety of ministry roles.
“Opportunities for ministry will include high school and small group leadership, Sunday School, sound desk, one-to-one discipleship, music ministry, working with young adults, and church planting. Housing is provided by the church, but airfare, food, and basic living necessities ($2,500 for six months and $5,000 for one year) will be the responsibility of those who feel God’s call to serve in Australia.”
Those who would like to experience a whole new continent and culture and, in addition, yield themselves to God’s work for a season of ministry could very well find themselves in the center of God’s will and may sense God’s call to missions or ministry in the process.