Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Murrumbidgee Valley trip

The Murrumbidgee River in high Flow  
As we started so we finished with a river system in flood many areas of our trip had it highest rain fall for many years. The tour of the Murrumbidgee Valley open us to a view of the diversity  of this rich area Farming Horticulture Viticulture and Tourism. We drove pass dry land farms massive irrigation  channels Historic houses plus visited a Zoo  that was breeding may endangered spices  of wild animals and a fish hatchery and watched the milking of eggs from  endangered fish to reintroduce them to the river system.


We Traveled From Wagga to Tumut for church  back to Wagga for church and forum then headed out to  then down stream to Balranaled. staying at Narrandera for 2 nights  Coleambally UCA Lunch  1 nights touring round farms and a forum at bowling Club  ,Griffith 2 nights , Hay 2 nights visiting Lockhart  Darlington point Zoo,  Gunbar for church M/T onto Hillston and a tour of district farms +lunch we also had lunch at Coolaman UCA gave us lunch on way home do you see a trend drive eat drive eat it was light lunches (right).  For me a many others on the bus we all  felt the warmth  of the small churches was awesome not just the food but the welcome . Also the local businesses were happy for our use of their service from food shops  coffee shops  motels local papers too.  Visiting the different farmers and tourist (museum/old homes) they too gave us a good picture of life in their district over the years some face both church and local volunteers  this is common in most Small Country towns a sense of mission or community is there a difference as they are known as members of the church in the town seeing them in a dual roll is a good message, same as a group like us touring to hear the voices in the bush . Our role is to bring it back and tell their story to our City sisters and brothers the high and a lows for them.        

Hillston UCA congregation  and tour group .

out the front Gunbar church 
View from the front street 
Setting up Forum at Colly Bowling Club
I think for me the meeting of local farmers and community members in their own grown not have them come to the church  gave us more honest open feedback from them but also many where blown away that we had come to listen not to tell them ! Not them being told what was happening  I learnt a lot but also found that common threads  running across those we have talked to on the upper Murray River I look forward to doing the bottom of the system to hear the stories
I like to thank all the congregations who looked after us as we past through often late due to our busy program and Coffee stops as always this is too big for one post so will leave you with a view from a look out just out of Lockhart  Galore Hill this gave us a great view of the country across the Valley check our "Face book" page for more Pictures of this trip plus "Insights" is doing  a story in next month be a good read

I am hopefully off to Quombone for the Quombone Camp Oven Cook Off this weekend planed for June but rain stopped play. Pray for farmers hit by flood now after 3-4 years of drought  crop under water and stock dying  from being bogged and other complaints  Thank you for your prayers and support till next time.
Rev Phill
Rural Chaplain


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