During The Bridge year, students are cared for by a dedicated team of experienced lecturers and pastoral care staff. While the program is run separately to the other courses at SMBC, the Bible lecturers are from SMBC enabling students to be greatly enriched by their vast academic, pastoral and life experience.
In addition, all participants meet approximately once a fortnight (for about an hour) with a more mature Christian mentor (men with men, and women with women). Ideally, this is someone who the student knows from their local church. If it’s difficult for students to find a mentor, The Bridge team will help find someone suitable, especially for those who come to us from other parts of Australia and the world.
Meet the team...
Jono studied at SMBC and then worked four years as a youth pastor. With his family, he then moved to Tanzania where he was involved in training pastors and evangelists, teaching at a rural college and leading pastors' groups.
At The Bridge, Jono teaches the mission units and provides pastoral care for the guys. He loves seeing people grow and persevere in their faith in Jesus. He also loves getting outside to wide open places like the beach or the Serengeti. Jono is married to Amy and has four children, whom he loves.
Taani has been serving on The Bridge team since the program began in 2015. She loves seeing God at work in the lives of the students, and is passionate to see them grow to know and love Him more through their time at The Bridge. Taani enjoys providing pastoral care for the students - particularly the girls - chatting to and praying with them, and sharing together the journey that they're on with God.
She loves running, going to the gym, and spending time with friends and family.
Prior to his full-time appointment as The Bridge Co-ordinator, Andrew worked professionally as a telecommunications consultant. He also has served in youth ministry for 15 years, served as a pastoral care worker for nine years, and was on several committees including Katoomba Christian Convention (KCC).
Andrew loves having a crack at anything that’s fun, or even a bit crazy. Coming from a Greek background, he loves cooking and eating barbeque lamb, Greek sweets, and a good coffee! He is passionate about seeing people grow in their love for God, and love for God’s people. Andrew is married to Voula and they have three adult children.
Julia studied at SMBC before joining The Bridge team in 2019. She is passionate about seeing the love of Jesus applied to 21st century lives and delights in sitting alongside people as they discover how amazing He is.
Earlier pursuits of Julia’s include full-time pastoral ministry, editing a rural newspaper, administrative roles and driving tractors.
Michelle has been involved in The Bridge since its genesis, particularly helping to coordinate and lead the South East Asia trip, where she lived for a while. Her passion is to see people serve in cross-cultural, global mission, especially in the least reached parts of this world of ours. Her role with The Bridge/Pioneers is all about coming alongside people and seeing them discover their part in God’s mission.
Michelle’s husband is a youth pastor in Sydney and together they have two school aged kids. When she’s not busy with these fun friends, she’s surfing or finding some other way of being in the ocean!