~ the Eastward team ~
Meet the Team
We are a closely knit team of families and young adults, with different skills, ministry experience and background. From Emmanuel Higgins (President) and Rod Bailey (founding member & agriculture director) to Paul Pannekoek (industry & accounting), Desley Bailey, Wojtek Janiuk (secretary), Katlyn Bailey (music and event planning), Tim & Andy Hopkins (agriculture & canvassing), Scott Thomas-Tong (business & HR), or Alex Murchison (construction & maintenance), each team member has unique life-experience to draw on in assisting to further God's work here at Eastward.
All Eastward members are Seventh-day Adventists in good and regular standing, and are actively involved in their local churches.
Change of Name
Established in 2003, Eastward strove for 10 years to provide missionary training and to establish college facilities. We are thankful for those who were trained and inspired during this time. After reaching a peak of 20 students in 2010 we saw a decline in numbers, with the last full-time student attending in 2013. This decline is due in part to financial limitations which halted property development.
70+ students were trained between 2003 - 2013, initially with our own Bible and health curriculums, and eventually with a Medical Missionary curriculum developed by LIGHT (Lay Institute for Global Health Training).
From 2013 to 2017 Eastward has been in transition. We have been shifting direction from property development and running a 'college', to evangelism, mission and youth camps. We have had to overcome challenges, learn from the past, re-focus our vision, and embrace new directions with the addition of new staff and leadership.
in 2016 our name was officially changed from 'Eastward Missionary College' to 'Eastward Missions', reflecting this change of direction.
The Eastward property and all infrastructure is owned by the EASTWARD UNIT TRUST established by the trustee EASTWARD PROPERTIES PTY LTD, (ACN 117 057 066).
Under Rod Bailey, a market garden is being established at our property with the aim to provide substantial income for Eastward staff and activities. In 2016 the market garden proved financially successful, opening the way for further expansion.
Eastward seeks to be a Supporting Ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Our approach is gives us opportunities to supply programs to individuals and to churches in a totally complementary manner. We seek to emulate Madison College and other institutions that have had a positive impact on SDA mission by working closely with local Conferences and churches to provide training and outreach opportunities.
We support SDA churches through canvassing (LE) programs, health expos, musical concerts and community outreach (service projects, etc.) to help promote local churches and their ministry to their community.
Emmanuel currently lives and works about 2 hours south of Sydney, at Cedarvale Health and Lifestyle Retreat, whilst continuing to work with Eastward to provide leadership to the team and strategic planning and coordination of events.
He recently married in November 2016, and is excited to serve the Lord together with his new wife Liesl.
Rod has been with Eastward from the very start in 2003. Prior to joining the team, he and his wife Desley started and successfully ran a health retreat in Western Australia, called 'Shalem'.
Rod is a gifted teacher, and enjoys teaching natural remedies, Bible and agriculture subjects. He has a background in agriculture and is currently working hard at building a market-garden industry on our property at Rollands Plains. He also works hard, along with Alex Murchison, to plan and implement stages of development on the Eastward property. Rod can be found outdoors in the garden, doing deliveries of fresh produce, helping people in the community or spending time with his wife and six children.
Rod and Desley and their family live in the manager's residence, and help maintain the Eastward property.
Paul has been working with Eastward for more than 10 years at keeping Eastward's books up to date. He is a qualified accountant, working hard behind the scenes to make ends meet.
Paul and his wife Sharon also run an important (and growing) foods industry for Eastward (called Eastward Foods). Eastward Foods does monthly home deliveries of health foods between Taree and Kempsey on the east-coast of NNSW. The business averages about a 100 customers each month and provides income for staff and for Eastward's ministry activities.
Paul and Sharon live about 45 minutes south of Eastward at Coralville, between Port Macquarie and Taree.
(Canvassing Leader / Agriculture)
Tim has a passion for the canvassing work, and enjoys taking books door-to-door. If he is not doing that or spending time in his tree nursery at Eastward, he is at home with his family at Launching Place, Victoria. Tim takes a leading role in Eastward's canvassing programs, and teaches youth how to canvass using the 'magabook' style of canvassing.
Tim studied at Wildwood College of Health Evangelism in the US, and strives to see Eastward become a similar college, modelled after the blueprint of true education seen in the historic Madison Institute (1904-1963).
Tim spends a lot of his time abroad canvassing, and visiting different churches to inspire them with the LE work and the vision for true education.
(Canvassing Leader / Agriculture)
Andy (Tim's identical twin), shares the same passion for canvassing and agriculture. Together they have planted 70+ Jacaranda trees along the driveway, 50+ Pecan trees as an orchard, and quite a number of other ornamental trees on the Eastward property. Their nursery is bursting with plants ready to go in the ground!
Andy also studied at the Wildwood College of Health Evangelism, and spends his time travelling and canvassing with Tim and helping run and lead our canvassing programs.
Alex has contributed much to Eastward in maintaining machinery, in construction projects and helping plan and implement the development of our property. Alex is an electrician by trade, and has a very innovative and practical mind. He enjoys working with machines, installing solar equipment and spending time with his children.
Alex and Susan and their 4 children live in Rollands Plains about 5 minutes from the Eastward property.
Scott joined the Eastward team in 2011 after attending our training program the previous year. His time at Eastward was a life-changing experience, which turned his focus from the corporate world to a ministry/mission focus.
Scott enjoys spending time with his wife Tania, and their three beautiful children.
Scott and his family live in Rollands Plains about 5 minutes further down the valley.