Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Thank you for your Prayers



Looking from Little Bay across the Bay at Sunset .
What this it me healing spot  as the sun set and the wave slowly rolled over the sand, the smell of salty air filled my lungs the view was not this clear but my camera caught it and its beauty .  I just pointed and pressed the button  looking to the light . The last month I have been seeking treatment to my left eye the operation  took place in Newcastle  2 weeks ago I haven't driven a car since then I healing but still a bit swollen.   I have struggled with my grounding  Guilt and Borden  lots of support saying give it time, be patient, behave  easy for them . when you don't look sick or broken .  But I know there right so I am putting down this blog with my $24 reading glasses font pump up.  It is going good the Doctor prayed with me the church and many more prayed so I am going forward.
 I walking am lot  as I can't drive I walk to the shops get a few things and the mail and then walk home always a conversation along the way. I have to ask people for help as Doctors in Tamworth long walk no buses  you get to know people more on a road trip , I start to see more ask what the story with that ?.

Boats at rest
I still talking to those out west praying for them as they set themselves up for dry times again feeding and selling off a few more of their assets: Stock land etc. storing up for the times ahead for many rain to late till spring  when it warms up. The hard part is the spike  the flush time then wham! back out hand feeding , " I never thought I be doing this again so soon"   this is a hard blow for many, I ask for your prayers for them in the areas of NSW with little or no rain or coming through the bush Fires floods .  You see the pain does not always show green pick  tall dead grass  the boats at rest move with the tide and dance on the waves but the currants pull and strain below the surface if the their ropes get weakened deep below you don't see it  till it lets go. Pray for the wife's who stand beside their families working out the next weeks food which bill to pay and which can wait , For the husbands to remember to talk to their mates and their family  pray for the children too young to understand and the ones who wish they could do more.   Thank you for your prayers  they do so much


The new moon climbs through the night sky
As the new Moon  climbs up into the night sky reminds us, God's light shines on our journey even in the darkest times brighter than the streetlights .
shalom  Rev Phill




Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Frontier Services "Outback Links" comes to Outback Cobar NSW.

On Monday the 26th June, the greater Cobar district was greeted by the arrival of the new Director of #frontierservices Janine Jackson, and some of her staff members Glenn, Sofia and Shane with the purpose of meeting up with the 26 "Outback Links" volunteers.
The volunteers had travelled great distances, from Victoria, the ACT, Queensland, South Australia and many areas within NSW, to offer their skills and abilities to assist those who are "doing it tuff" or were in great need of help.
The volunteers ranged in age from the young, 19- 23 (representing the Royal Agriculture Society) to those in their 80's. This shows that age need not be a barrier in offering help to others in need. Many of the volunteers have had experience with Outback Links in earlier projects where they have assisted on remote and rural properties where the help was required.
  Reverend Jo-anne Smalbil from the Cobar Nyngan Patrol, had liaised with Glenn and Sofia over many weeks to identify the property owners who are in need of help and also a project that would benefit the whole of the Cobar community. The properties were chosen because the owners had suffered through drought over the last number of years, leading to greater debt and increased financial pressures. They also had suffered from other severe impacts to their lives, such as a death of a partner after a very long illness, ill health, frailty, injury or simply old age and not having the ability to carry out the required work load.
The "Youthie" is a Youth and Fitness centre and is a much loved community asset that is fully utilised, meeting many of the needs of the community, but sadly was in dire need of an external facelift. Consultation between all stakeholders led to an agreement of forming 3 work parties, one each going to a property and all work parties returning to Cobar on Thursday to paint the "Youthie".
 The volunteers came together on Monday afternoon at the Cobar Uniting Church, where they were inducted, and had a light lunch at the manse before making their way out to their assigned properties. This enabled them to meet the property owners, settle in for the night and be ready to start their tasks on the following morning.
The tasks were varied over the properties but they did include painting, cleaning and sorting, demolishing, rebuilding, painting, more painting laying some pavers, cooking, washing and so on.


The work performed brought about a level of restored dignity to the property owners, improving their surroundings, their safety and giving them a healthier environment in which to live and work.

 left and below -
 volunteers hard at work inside and out
                                           















right and left  -            Janine Jackson (director Frontier Services)  meeting with  the property owners.

Even though there was a great deal of hard work and incredibly long days the volunteers worked solidly together, supporting one another and enjoying an amazing time of comradeship and fellowship. Lasting relationships were formed with one another and also with the property owners. There was even time for a little fun and entertainment, as the bag pipes came out and a little dancing took place.
 
 

below- Reverend Jo-anne Smalbil with Janine Jackson 
            
 On Thursday morning all the volunteers came into the township of Cobar to tackle the massive BIG task of painting the "Youthie". The Shire Council had prepared it for painting and supplied the paint and some materials. As people arrived in town from the properties they armed themselves with brushes and rollers and by mid afternoon the task was complete and in readiness for the "professional" painter to do the art work. The local paper picked up on the story and wrote a very complimentary article with a follow up next week. 
                                                                       
 


 Whilst the volunteers were working on the given properties and the Youthie the NRMA mechanics had been visiting a number of properties repairing farm machinery and vehicles. Their work and their stories and their great personalities were greatly appreciated by the property owners.


Thursday evening everyone came together, the Outback Links volunteers, NRMA mechanics, the property owners, the Cobar Shire management (apology from the Mayor due to illness) and the Frontier Services team, in  the Cobar Uniting Church hall to have a BBQ, prepared for us by Cobar Rotary Club. This allowed time for them to share their experiences and to share fellowship and allowing time to say their farewells as Friday was a day of departures as most of the volunteers were to make their way home.

The Cobar community is so much richer for having had everyone that was involved in Outback Links share their skills and volunteer their time to those in need.





 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Back from Holidays


Hi all.  I am back on the job. It was really good to have a break, and a long one at that. Many said "you're taking how long?"  As I work with the people in the remote areas I find there is little space for them to take time out. One of the messages we spread is: getting away, doing other things you enjoy, even for a short time, which is often for many, even hard to do. For them the cost and who will look after the farm business is a worry.  I was getting stale so, Lyn had some leave, I had lots of leave,  off we went. As driving in NSW is work fof me, we headed north. We drove to Mt Isa, across to Charters Towers then back down to St George for a restful few days, including a cruise on the Balonne River.

The Balonne River on a sunset cruise 
I talked to many people on the trip. We did a couple of farm tours, one at Charleville and the other at Charters Tours. The first was linked to the Caravan Park,  where the owner also worked off site at Department of Primary Industries. He was able to share a lot of resources, which will be handy for the Murray Darling Basin group if we do the top part of the river system. The other farm was a Longhorn  Cattle Stud in Charters Towers. Both areas are affected by the drought that won't go away so had to reinvent  themselves -  running tours and events on the property - and both were very interesting . I found many towns that had sought to stop the travelling public in their town.  It is a way to bring badly needed $$s into the tills of local business and jobs for town folk and young people. 

Dog proof fences for Bilby enclosure  

Some Long Horn calves above 
Well the coming months will be busy. We have The Field days at Dubbo 26-29th  August then MDB tour 2nd-10th Sept. Bookings are open for that - looking at the lower Murray river System and I have put a link at bottom of blog. I will also give you more details of the Field day as I get them.  Then Synod will be held in Sydney. 
I also will be working with those in the dry areas and fire affected areas and those starting to see the light. As chaplains we stay connected, by building connections and growing relationships through visiting and talking to those we meet along the way. The schools are still keen for me to visit as I pass through their area and be part of their life. I also found a new school at Big camp and am going to see them at some stage.  Well I look forward to bringing you more from the Rural Chaplain  Travels.  


Lyn reading the information on ground at Julia Creek Info Centre
   
Lark Quarry area

Longreach river cruise at sunset
My holiday worked - I was able to empty myself of the stress that had built up, relax and refresh. Letting God's creation be a healing tonic for you is a great way to find your way back - no drugs - just the ever changing views as you travel through the Outback. Sunrises and sunsets, the red earth, shapes of hills and creek beds and of course, good company and coffee.

https://ucansw.goregister.com.au/mdbtours2017/info/

Don't forget our Face Book page. I put short stories and photos on there. 
The reading this week from Matthew 9: talks about the harvest being ready. We need workers. Your prayers and support help me go out  into the field. I just had a bit of a set back on my plans I will be having a visit to Newcastle Eye Hospital as I have a operation on the back of my eye plus cataracts done time off  isnot known Prayers please.    Shalom and thank you

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Super Camp Country and City come together

The back bone of the week  Nyngan and Gordon  Uniting Churches  Volunteers
This Super Camp is for the small schools in Bourke  district. We had Wanaaring, Engonia, Girilambone, Quambone, Marra Creek Hermidale  & Carinda Public schools and distant Education - 110 children. We also had students from Knox Grammer,  PLC and Ravenswood, plus staff who all played well together for the whole week.  I not going to do names as too many.  UME allowed the Next Gen worker to attend for 3 days.

Come and get it great food and fruit   
 The food was shared with Gordon doing breakfast and dinner shifts and Nyngan doing morning tea and lunch, afternoon tea was fruit - help yourself.
The food was from local shops or home- made. Drinks were water  which was in high demand as Monday to Wednesday were in high 30's, the cool change was welcome but bit of a shock.

craft 
What did they do?  


this group made a record of the Camp
               

They made a maze in the yards
Sporting events 
Singing and music lessons

There were art lessons plus, in free time  knitting. I helped with chess lessons and board games, plus they had games with the older students - running and footy -
the friendships grew. This camp gave the group an insight into each other's lives. This applied to all there. In conversations I had  with students,  staff &  volunteers, all were learning about each other's lives and dreams.  The camp helped with those who wish to go to  these Sydney schools after they finish Primary. There are some pathways for this to happen. The best thing is, it is the opening of the minds of those living on Isolated Stations and in isolated townships as to what is out there for them. I think for the Sydney students it also opens up for them life beyond their suburb. Service in the the small school towns teaches them of the fact that we are all the same - just some have been blessed to live in a culture and environment full of wonder and challenges. The towns folk never knew year 5-6 children are able to drive a truck and tractor.  The last morning was a show of what they had learnt and their great talents.




 The question in the picture above was asked of a few of us. It makes you think and focus on the things God has given, shown and done. The teachers and support staff of the small schools stayed with their children in sheds on sleep mats.  I am grateful for such caring  people, not only living in the outback but caring & sharing moments like this with their students. In a small school you see them grow from kindy to year 6. The relationships are strong both ways, you can see it in the way they interact with each other.
Well, as I find more photos, the last 3 are from Lou's keen eye. Thanks for allowing me to share. Don't forget to check our Facebook page.
shalom

Dear friends sorry for your change of post code Pymble was not doing the food it was our Gordon Uniting Church group I very sorry plus I left 2 rural schools out Distant Education and Hermidale  it shows I need a holiday thanks for my BBQ friend for passing on my over sight 

Friday, 17 March 2017

Doing the rounds



Well It's time to get out there !

The road calls, have to know  what is round the bend

As I covered in my last post, I had some time on the DRCN team at Coolah NSW after the fires. I also spent some time at meetings covering normal church issues at Presbytery level.  NENW, my presbytery,  cares for me on a number of levels.  Care is important - no one can do ministry without good levels of support and care. I go out meeting families, communities and individuals - the level of needs in their lives cover so many things - personal, work based, health/mental health, plus grief and loss. This can be a cruel death ifily members to loss of farm, or results of drought, floods and fire .  These issues roll on - often one to another - plus we have people having one-off crisis in areas with little access to services. You have to watch your own needs. 
I often have told you one of my care plans is taking myself off to take photos  for my collection and for use in this Blog or on our Face Book page. The one below was a coffee  break spot, it reminded me that often the road is blocked 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


As I went to drive out  the road had a few tons of gravel on it so I just turned around and went back to the road. I spent a full day visiting - started at 8.am, got back to motel at around 9.pm -  so many cups of tea and the odd  salad roll.  I visited with about 10 people over 2 half days. Sadly for some,  life on the land has not been kind - fences down, wind damage to farm buildings. 
But there was fun with all - in just meeting over tea and buns. I had another go at doing a video - got it right way up. I also took a look around the back blocks and crossed what is left of the Bogan  River -pictured below 

  

The river was flooding not so long ago - now the hot summer has  dried it to pools in places - life in a boom and bust land. Hope is still at a high as many big rigs plumed dust across the land,  as they work others spray weeds over night,  as it needs to be cool .  The Good News is we are still here, slowly building relationships and growing community, passing from piggy backing other groups/services, to a stand- alone part of the community - welcomed in to visit, but also grow relationship.  



As I prayed for this trip at the rest area bin,  I thought back over the last 4 years - the places I have been and the people I have been  involved with.  I now am used to being called "Rev Phill"  - not just in private places but as I walk down the street,  work in evacuation centres, non-church meetings with Government  and NGO personnel. I now know people across the NENW from Broken Hill in far west down to Wagga and up to Lightning  Ridge in the North. "When I was a Stranger, When I was Hungry -  for as much as you do for the least of these".  As we head towards Easter, I am going on holidays to allow me to  recharge and refresh, to come back and go forward into whatever the risen Lord has for the adventures of Rural Chaplain. 

No, it's not another Emu picture Beep! Beep! it is the Road Runner. Don't forget to go to Facebook for the travels of a Rural Chaplain.
Shalom 
Rev Phill




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