Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Last Few Weeks

We travel beyond the main road and sometimes the drive ways are awesome!

Hi.  Sorry no blogs over last few weeks but I have been on the road a lot ! I posted on Facebook one surprise trip to Narrandera to say goodbye to Julie - it was worth it for the look she gave me when I walked in! Above is a farm out the back of Hermidale and Nymerge.  The early summer growth has dried up and blown away in some places.  The teams I have been working with, like the Uniting Church ladies from Dubbo, Catherine and Natasha, will have their funding run out for drought work at the end of June.  Again there's no word on when the next roll out will occur for farmers like them.  They hang on, waiting for what will be.

The clouds of the summer storms (left pic) have promise but it is like a raffle - your place may come up but next door misses out. The news of rain on a Sydney-based news radio is often heart-breaking for those in the bush who just keep missing out. A number of farmers I have visited of late have raised this as a bit of a hit to them.  Drought is still a big burden on many families.  I have had a number of cases of people who have hung on doing without - not wanting or thinking they need any help - but it's just too hard.  The conversations have grown - connecting points, follow up and feedback calls, common invitations to call in for a cuppa (these I make a priority).  Sharing goes both ways, that's why we are not like other welfare groups; we connect to people, not clients - a very important factor.

A visit to a local farmer's was one of the highlights of the Moderator's visit to the 150th Anniversary of Narrabri Methodist/Uniting Church.  We also toured around the areas where I travel - Pilliga, Coonamble, Walgett and Burren Junction.  This involved meeting some community people and leaders. We also met with Gomeroi Elders of Gunnedah.  We  heard of their concerns for their sacred sites, plus water damage to the Darling River system from mine work across their lands.  The 150th Service and Lunch was a great success.  Kara, who edits this Blog, with her team did the church proud.

These photos are of the drumming and theatre games in Quambone last week.  We had good roll up from town and farm; some old friends from our "Pamper Pack" days.  We are going back for a Camp Oven Cook off - I'm to be one of the judges and am really looking forward to it.  Plus we took the drums and games out to Carina PS.  This was my first visit and I loved it; a bit of offroad driving due to a shower of rain at the top end of the road.
We will be covering the Patrol ministry team over the coming months in this blog.  I hope you get to know the team - all of them do a great job reaching people in rural remote areas of NSW.  As we head to Easter we remember that Christ came to walk among those at the margin, bringing the word of God through words and acts of love and compassion.  This is our call - to be the face of God in the remote lands and to those who are just on the edges of our community.


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