This Peter Christofides interview can be viewed on the Australian Missionary News IPTV at either
Peter Christofides told the Australian Missionary News IPTV anchorman Mark Tronson that he grew up in South Africa where he became an evangelical Christian and offered his life in service to Christ though ordination and then in theological training.
He accepted a call to Australia to the Casuarina Baptist Church and wondered why this Call was offered by the Lord. It was not until he got to know something of the Darwin community when he discovered that 10-12% of the population are Greek or of Greek descendants. This represents approx a 12,000 person Greek community, mostly Orthodox people.
Peter Christofides realised any ministry to his fellow Greeks would need to be through the general community, that as a Baptist minister, such moves would not be well accepted by an Orthodox community.
He saw an advert in the paper for volunteers with the OzHelp Foundation which is a program whereby men assist other men in the prevention of male suicide and it centres on each man caring for another man, a mate. The concept of mateship was intrinsically important, and Peter Christofides said that this Aussie idea of mateship is ideally suited to OzHelp.
This involves taking down to construction sites a free barbecue for the men most of whom are from the Greek community and building rapour and talking about suicide prevention. The month of November is referred to as Suicide month as that is when Darwin's intense humidity summer heat hits the city. Darwin has the highest suicide rate in Australia and Australia has the second highest rate across the world..
The work outside in the blistering heat needs to be done and in this capacity Peter Christofides has connected with the Greek community and their families. As a result he and his wife have developed friendships and provide a beautifully cooked and mouth watering Greek souvla.
His focus in ministry centres on the needs of men and this area of his ministry he has gathered together a strong sense of community amongst the Greek men under his care through the OzHelp Foundation.