GMP partners with Dave Powell and Kate Appleby who are working in association with IMA as school chaplains in the Kimberly communities of Millijiddee and Noonkanbah, Western Australia.
Using a private aeroplane, Dave and Kate fly out from Derby at first light (around 4am) to these Indigenous communities to work with the staff and primary aged children during class time. There they offer versatile support including counsel for troubled kids, running sessions on emotional well-being, attending local sports days and interschool sports competitions. Dave and Kate also provide an after school care program involving sport, craft, stories and snacks. “Our job is rich and rewarding and the demands on us vary greatly!” They can also find themselves making prison visits, attending funerals, arranging prayer meetings after school hours and generally working with troubled kids as the need arises. “We often work in office admin, maintenance or by assisting the few staff wherever needs arise.”
Chaplains are vital because there can be a lot of pressure on the school principal in a small community with pressures on families and resources, while trying to run an economically marginal and under-populated school. Combine this with the task of keeping families enthused to send their kids along to school, which can be a struggle because not everyone values or understands the need for continuity in education, especially given the wider community tensions in these remote places.
When Dave and Kate aren’t flying to and from Millijiddee and Noonkanbah, they spend time at home in Derby to refresh, restock food supplies, or get to the post office. “We continually meet people in day-to-day life in Derby and support school staff practically and relationally when they have need for ‘civilisation’ or supplies that aren’t readily available ‘out bush’. Every second month we read water meters on Fridays and Saturdays and Dave has offered to read them in Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing because the money is helpful for the main work we do in the schools.” Dave and Kate also attend Daystar Family Church led by a PNG family and are part of a supportive home group. “We love it!”
Please pray for Dave Powell and Kate Appleby:
- For opportunities to encourage the Christians in the various communities, and hopefully rekindle Bible studies and prayer meetings.
- That there will be more opportunities to share God’s love.
- For safety in the skies and on the ground.
- For continued financial support for their work.
- That the Christians in the communities will understand the importance of a personal and daily relationship with Jesus.
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