I’ve recently been travelling a lazy 8000kms of outback roads in Queensland and the Northern Territory with Billy Williams, kamilaroi fella and pastor at dhiiyaan Indigenous church in Brisbane, Jon Owen (UNOH) and Kyle Slabb, Bunjalung fella from Banaam.
Conversations between us have circled back to: what is God doing in our land among its first peoples? It is rare to have this time set aside to see and hear for ourselves how the Creator Spirit is moving. We talked a lot about what the desert gives or, more aptly, what it takes away. As you drive into the heart of our land there’s a real sense of a stripping away. Man-made environments transition from being a ubiquitous presence to isolated ‘outstations’ of survival.
We spent time in Alice Springs and it was inspiring to catch up with Steve Bevis who has been ministering at the Flynn Memorial Uniting Church right in the heart of the Todd Street Mall for six months – a brilliant new drop in center has opened and some significant Indigenous theological work is being done with some central desert elders.
Our growing and overwhelming sense is that God is inviting us back to a place of humility, learning and vulnerability. Particularly in relation to how we walk together with the people he first placed in this land. It’s a feeling that frees us to be brothers and sisters in equality. It’s centered on a campfire, and the invitation is for us to come back to the campfire into the light and warmth.
Nick Wight, VIC.
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