Beverley Donald: Joy, tell me a little bit about yourself, how you actually got to be here in the first place.
Joy Barwell: Here at Yennora?
Beverley Donald: Yes, but leading up to that too. A little bit about yourself.
Joy Barwell: Yes, in my own life I've worked, I've been a born again Christian now for around 30 years and in that time I have worked for the Lord in many different ways but mainly, teaching in the schools, doing school Ministry and the overseas mission work, doing crusades overseas, where I saw a lot of people who have been, had sicknesses and healings and great miracles, healings took place through our crusades for healing for people.
But the main thing is the Salvation message of course, bringing salvation to people where ever they may be, here or overseas. And, just developing their faith really, developing their faith. And helping to deal with those things that happen inside each one of us so that we can be set free from the bondages of things like anger and resentment and bitterness and all those things. And move on in a real Christian faith. So, basically, yes, and that's what I've been really doing. But when I was younger, I had a lot of young people and training for netball and things like that and in amongst that they were getting the Christian teaching. And I set up youth groups where ever I was and bring the youth in too and train them up and get them involved in youth bands and give them…
Beverley Donald: Youth work.
Joy Barwell: Yeah, it was when I was younger, yes, but now it's a bit of everything (laughs). But the youth I don't seem (.. unclear ..). Well the youth mainly relate to youth, younger people. But it's great they really need the stability of an older person standing there behind you know, to support. And so I've found that's more my role now with the younger people. But I still go into the schools, High School's over at Fairfield and Yennora Public, Villawood North school which I'll be going to shortly. So it's mainly encouraging young people in the Lord, but I do that work for all the clubs and churches. It's not just for the Pentecostal Church it's for all the clubs and churches.
Beverley Donald: A so how did you get to work for gospel church?
Joy Barwell: Well mainly because I really, I really… I really like, the meaning because you teach the Full Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Beverley Donald: So tell me a little bit about the Church?
Joy Barwell: Yeah, the Full Gospel, well we don't just take a little bit of the Gospel, we take the whole lot and we apply it to our lives and that means, you know, the Ministry of body, soul and spirit. And it's not just a matter of coming to church on Sunday, it's living a Christian life and overcoming those things that happen inside you, the soul area of our lives. And of course the spiritual area is that part where the Holy Spirit comes and lives. But the soul area is that (.. unclear ..) our knowledge, our understanding, our emotions, our work, our relations, that's in the soul area. And then we have the body, and the body is just the carrier of that spirit inside isn't it, really? So, it's the dealing with the whole, the total person, body, soul and spirit to bring wholeness to a total person through Jesus because he's the healer. So he's the one who mends the broken hearts, he's the one who heals the body and soul. So, it's dealing with the total person and a I — that really, it applied to my life. So I went through that experience and experienced healing through Christ for body, soul and spirit myself personally and in my family. So it's something that I wanted to share with others and that's really what — so the Full Gospel is the Full Gospel. You know, it's not just a matter of coming to church on Sunday, which that is a major part of course. You need to come to church on Sunday. But it's that everyday living isn't it? Living a Christian life, and how to live a Christian life. So I came here, the Lord showed me this place and, and it was mainly I came here because I could see the way the old devil has destroyed this whole area. It's just like a valley of dry bones, does that make sense? It's just a valley of dry bones. You've got a hotel across the street and a bottle shop up there and there and the whole place is just evil infested. And I thought, somebody's got to stand here for the Lord. There's got to be light in Yennora some where. So I really focused in on that and then I had to take the idea of all these demons, because you know, once upon a time I believed, many years ago, I believe, that they used to have witchcraft meetings here.
Beverley Donald: Oh, did they?
Joy Barwell: I was just told that, I don't know if it's true.
Beverley Donald: As I say, I came to a few 21st birthday parties here.
Joy Barwell: It was probably before that time. And so, well maybe at that same time, but there were still meetings happening. So it took a long time to break through that, you know, break through all that evil and now we're seeing things changing. But it's just been that solid standing, (.. unclear ..) but yeah, and to go around to people and make people aware that I'm here and what I do and give them information that could change their lives and so forth. And a lot of people, I find, you probably find it where you are too, that a lot of people would want to come to church but they've got other things, like they don't want to give up that relationship, they don't want to give up that Marijuana you know. And so they don't feel, as much as they'd like to, they feel that these things are entangling them and so, it's trying to break through those entanglements. So, I have programs, a program a life enrichment program every Thursday night that people can come to. And that deals with all those things, you know, addictive substance abuse, issues with anger, fear, resentment, bitterness, all those things. So it's all part of the Ministry. But I felt well, having it there even though it's a little bit you know, (.. unclear ..) but having it there it doesn't make it seem like that it's just for this church. It's for everybody.
And then we have, of course you have bible study and prayer meetings. What I do here is we have, people can come in and they can feel comfortable because it's not a…
Beverley Donald: Very comfortable looking place.
Joy Barwell: they can sit on the lounge, and they can have a cup of tea, they can just, even if the service is on, I'll go out and make a cup of tea and sit down. And, when it — sometimes when you go into you know, the beautiful churches, you don't feel that same way. But people can feel really relaxed, but there's a very strong, powerful ministry goes on in amongst it. But they can sit back, listen, have their cup of tea and they’re picking up something. And then at the end of the meeting we have a hot meal, we serve a hot meal. So they all sit around (.. unclear ..), they all sit around here and then sometimes there’s too many so people just sit around in the lounges and eat. So, yeah, so it's like a big family thing but people can still come. But what I also do is try to develop all their gifts and abilities and encourage them to learn to play music or learn to do something with their lives. So it's a total body, soul and spirit Ministry. And a lot of broken people come here end their lives have been mended.
Beverley Donald: How do people actually come in, say (.. unclear ..) but how do they get to…?
Joy Barwell: Well when I started here, I had to, there was nobody. Like, I was on, more or less didn't have a congregation as such, so to speak. So I went around to all the houses and let people know that we are here and what was available to them. And then people, because they'd never heard of us, like, this is a strange sect or something. So they didn't really accept it very well. So I had to keep going back. Every few months I'd go, just go around to all the houses. It was really really hard work, just to let people know I was here and eventually people, after about a year of visiting, of just going to the door about three times, four times a year, eventually, and I would take along with me things like bread and yoghurt and then give them to them you know. So of that they could see we were genuine like, and caring about them. And if I found some body that was a really in a very bad way, I'd just go every Sunday cos I'd get nice fresh bread and I'd take them up a bag of nice fresh bread and things like that. So eventually people started to recognise that, are these people still here you know, they must be all right sort of thing, you know. And then I was able to a little used group going, just inviting young people to come and we got that going fairly well. And then I — but going into the schools, and then I would let the children know, we're here for you if you want to. And then I also have a radio — this is only three years ago – I got, by a quite miraculous event, I was able to… invited to go on the radio, on the radio program and talk about life enrichment program I was doing. And then one of the managers there said, would you like to do more you know, and I said oh yeah, I'd love to, you know. So I did the course, the radio course and got my licence for that and now I have a radio program on Saturday afternoon that was a night time performance which was really hard forme. So now I have every Saturday afternoon, 3 o'clock to 5 o'clock, two hours, Gospel Joy Time.
Beverley Donald: Is that on community radio?
Joy Barwell: Community radio at Bankstown, Bankstown community radio. So people, I minister and people contact me and they're people, a lot of the people are people who can't go out to church or anything, for whatever you know, they've got like a child that’s crippled or something that they can't get out. They'll listen. We've got elderly people, people in hospital, we've got people driving their — couriers and so forth around, and they'll listen.
Beverley Donald: So you got feedback from quite a lot?
Joy Barwell: Yeah, people do listen in and they say they really love the program. And some people say, ‘this is like out church program’ because, it's a bit of everything, you know. I deal with all sorts of things, it's not just god, like I'll always have god in the message but I'll relate that fear to something in the Bible or anxiety to what the Bible’s saying. You know, it's like a bit of everything.
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