Our 2011 Australia GO! Team has had an incredible experience so far! We just returned from 4 days in Eidsvold, a small community about six hours from Brisbane. Our goal was to serve the Christian Center there, along with its new pastor, Mark, and his wife, Alex. We had such a great time with kids and adults alike, playing sports, working through Bible lessons and crafts, singing, eating and running around together. We also got better acquainted with different adults in town, learning much about the issues and circumstances surrounding this small community of both white and aboriginal residents.
It's tough to quantify our take-aways from this experience, or the impact we were able to have. One local businessman did tell me that he appreciated our group being there, even for a few days each year, because he saw positive influence in kids' lives from our interaction with them. He told me that our presence is a reminder of normality (imagine someone referring to us as normal!), that the world is bigger and more functional than what is seen only through the local lens of the town. He thanked us for coming again, and offered his encouragement for our return next year.
The following are some more snaps of our last couple of days. I'll write more about Eidsvold and other good stuff a bit later:
|Pastor Mark and his wife, Alex|
|Prayer circle before leaving Eidsvold|
|Captain Luke, superhero of the crafts debris!|
|Lianna mixing it with kids during crafts|
|Craft Woman Leslee and her monkey|
|Beautiful Eidsvold kids|
|Josh and Clinton|
|Which way back to Brisbane?!|
|Alexis singing to an appreciative audience|
|Don (aka Papa Fresh) and the girls, Leslee and Daun|
And those around us can't afford that either.