When Jan Heath began Evangelisation Resources Down Under (ERDU) in her kitchen more than 10 years ago, she knew God had certain plans.
The bible study outreach moved to Petrie presbytery in 1998, continuing to supply the Asia/Oceania region with material in association with the Liturgical Press USA and Little Rock Study Office in Arkansas.
Ten years later, with four paid staff members and up to 40 volunteers, an anniversary Mass was celebrated in Petrie on April 30, with parish priest Fr Peter McCartin presiding.
“What an adventure your life becomes when Jesus Christ becomes real,” Mrs Heath said, addressing those gathered.
Vividly describing the vision for the outreach as given in a dream, Mrs Heath has watched God’s plan unravel, ERDU now reaching as far as New Zealand and Africa.
Mrs Heath is mentored by Marist Father Jack Soulsby who encouraged her first visit to Africa, enabling another “connection” for ERDU.
“ERDU has two parts … The African connection and the resources connection and they often overlap,” Mrs Heath said.
“I thought my first visit to Africa would be a ‘oncer’… (but) now I take others.”
The “others” are members of the parish community who visit to strengthen links between themselves and St Bruno’s, Uganda.
“Pope Benedict said, ‘Don’t forget Africa’ and in Petrie, we haven’t,” Mrs Heath said.
“Now we have more and more parishioners who are involved and want to make the trip.”
With “people so hungry for the Word of God”, the mother of four continues to serve on the ERDU board and is kept busy, both locally and abroad, as a lay evangelist.
Since January, Petrie parishioner Kathryn Robbie has overseen the daily running of ERDU.
Of the outreach, Mrs Robbie said “there’s plenty more work to be done”.
“Our aim is to fan the flame of love to people with scripture … sharing the Word of life with others,” she said.
She thanked past and present board members, including Rebecca Crouch and Peter Sultana, an array of volunteers, particularly her husband Shane, supporters within the archdiocese’s Faith and Life Vicariate as well as Fr McCartin who has allowed the ministry “to grow and flourish”.
Released by The Catholic Leader