Alumnus cited for commitment to mission and ministry of local church
Pr André van Rensburg still feels the call to the local church. With almost 40 years of pastoral experience at 19 churches in two countries, André describes sharing the joys and heartaches of his church family as “the greatest honour.” His advice for those new to ministry? Lead your church but also take it with you. “Aussies want strong pastors but also relational pastors.”
Long tenures at the Trinity Gardens, Canberra National, Springwood and now Eight Mile Plains Seventh-day Adventist Churches are milestones in André’s ministry. He has also served as a representative for local church ministers on the executive committees of the worldwide Adventist Church and of the church in the South Pacific.
The death of son Erik in 2006 changed André and wife Margaret’s life. “God uses our wound to help us minister to others who are wounded. We live for God and for the invisible world, but we try to make a difference in this world. To connect people to a loving community, a compassionate God, offering them faith, hope and love, what more can one want?” Margaret and son Martin’s support have strengthened André’s ministry. “None of us live in isolation and we do not accomplish anything by ourselves.”
Connecting with those who’ve found refuge in Australia has enriched the Van Rensburg’s lives. André and Margaret “adopted” a daughter, Neema, from Congo. And they’ve travelled to Iran—Andre enjoys reading the works of Persian poets Hafez, Rumi and Saadi—to meet the families and friends of those to whom André and his church family are ministering.
The Class of 1977 honours Pr André van Rensburg for his commitment to mission and to the ministry of the local church.