Well, I am back from my mission trip to the Bush. The first day we went to some public schools in some little country towns. We did mostly primary schools, but we did go to a highschool. We did a few programs that included doing puppets (singing), a puppet drama, a drama called "Mankind" about how we were created one way and then it got ruined, and our fearless leader, Paul, did some tricks. The kids really seemed to like it. At the high school Paul did some tricks and we (Cast and Crew) did our "Everything" skit. You can find the skit on Youtube if you wanted to see it. I thought it was incredibly interesting that in this liberal country that we could still go into public schools and preach the gospel without being restricted. We couldn't do an alter call or anything, but we unashamedly presented the gospel in its entirety to these kids. The public schools here even have chaplains that the government pays for, so if they did have any questions they would have someone to go to who is a Christian. I think it's really neat and such a great opportunity for us! After the schools, we went to this tunnel.
It had bats in it! I almost peed my pants. We stayed at a little church the first night, and then from there we moved on. The next couple of nights during our tour of the little schools we camped. It wasn't too bad, and we had tents for these nights. We stayed at a camping "resort" so the shower was super nice. I couldn't really complain about it.
From our stops in Mount Perry and the other little towns, we had a fun day. We went to a place called Grand Keppel Island. It was so very relaxing and fun. It was pretty laid back. We could do some water sports, but I chose not to. I walked along the beach taking pictures and did some light hiking. Here are some pics from the Island:
After our day on the Island we camped (same place as above) and then moved on to Wooribinda. This was the aboriginal community that we worked with. Here it was a pretty rough place. There was a lot of poverty, drug abuse, laziness, and just uneducation. It was mildly disturbing seeing such a place in a country like Australia. Here we did a day program with children near the shopping center of the town (a small grocery store) with puppets and some dramas. Then we went back into the school we were staying at (which was on complete lockdown while we were there) for the afternoon. Many of us were very tired so we took a nap. In the middle of our nap we heard big crashing noises against the aluminum door. Kids were throwing rocks at the door! The children at Wooribinda are quite wild, they are largely left unsupervisied by their parents. Young girls are moms because they get lots of money from the government from having kids, and the older parents are usually too strung out on drugs/alcohol (even though alcohol is banned from the community as per the Australian Government) or are too caught up in their own stuff to care about their kids. Children as soon as they can walk are pretty well left to their own devices and willl often be seen wandering the streets alone. There is a church there that is headed up by a missionary from Germany. Martin, the missionary, and his wife are incredibly discouraged. The people of Wooribinda are very heard hearted and very few of them actually listen to what Martin (or us for that matter) have to say. Martin has been there for nine years and has seen very few results. All that to say, Wooribinda is a very desperate place. I want to see them saved, but unfortunately they just seemed so hard hearted. It made me incredibly sad. Anyway, after the rock throwing incident, we did a program in front of the church that evening. There were a lot of kids that came, so we did a lot of the dramas and puppet shows again. The boys did a lip sync of a boy band song and us girls did a black light song. We wore white gloves and moved our hands under the lights, it was pretty cool. But again I sensed a complete hardness of their hearts. Like our message just wasn't getting in. I just hope and pray that some seeds were planted. After the show it was a relatively quiet night, thank goodness. We had been warned that sometimes weird things happen, but we had a realtively quiet time. We helped with the church service on Sunday morning, and then we were off. Here are some pics of Wooribinda:
These were some of the Aboriginal high school students.
One of the puppet songs we did during our morning program.
Paul doing a trick during our evening show. Doesn't he look so Australian?
Paul drew this while the song "How He Loves Us" by David Crowder was on, during our evening program. I thought it was really cool.
This is the Church. Very small, only one room. The inside was not decorated at all.
After Wooribinda, we went for another fun day to Carnorvan Gorge. It was so beautiful. We camped, this time with out tents, but it was ok because the showers were awesome. We hiked a lot, on Monday I hiked a totall of about 22k. Be impressed. I have so many beautiful shots but here a couple that represent what we did:
Part of the Gorge. This is one of my favorite shots I got.
We finally saw Kangaroos in the wild. There were heaps of them here!
There was a lot of Aboriginal artwork that has been preserved here. In Wooribinda the children took us to some small caves where there was similar art work, but those aren't being "preserved" by the government the way the artwork in the gorge is. The Aboriginals would put pigment in their mouths and spray around their arm, boomering, or other utensils. I learned that Aboriginal art is very different depending on what area you go to and what tribe it originates from.
Danae and I after our 22k Bushwalk (What the Australians call hiking). I'm still sore from that.
Well,this post is getting incredibly long and I need to get ready. My Australian Mum made Mae and I say home from school this morning, so we could sleep in. But we have to go now in time for lunch!