Sunday, 7 January 2018

Christmas time again

 The year that was  - 2017 - a year of mixed results
The First trip out was to Broken Hill - can you see for ever  ?
I was home for a little time when the call came - there was a fire - can you report to The Recovery Centre?  First at Coonabarrabran, then Coolah for a week. I stayed - great team to work with. Below: the storm and the team from Community service.




Farm Visit: great drive ways - always ring ahead 
Then I was in Nyngan, Hermidale visiting and getting around

Back in Nyngan for the Smalls schools Big Camp at the show ground - Monday to Friday. Schools: 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 Grammar,  PLC and Ravenswood, plus Next Gen UME star - sadly his GPS took him to Bourke St :(
Could this be rain? 
The RMU Field days -  some came for the first day & stayed for the lot. Good work to those who set it up. It was the end of a great run by Bronwyn Murphy as she passed over the baton to Rev Mark Faulkner -  right - giving his keynote address at the dinner. Powerful words to take us forward. RMU has become part of "Salt Bush" - scattered Communities,  new name, new Vision - forward into the future.

Then down the river with a great bunch of people from across the state - yes even the Moderator -  who is a great supporter of this project .
I finished this trip in Shepperton Vic  and drove to Tamworth for the first of my 3 eye operations. I know I am healing as I can read and write with my $30 readers -they are working well - sorry they have no spell check glasses yet . But I just remembered I did not do a Blog on the Lower MDB tour  - sorry guys but I will get to it. The last 3 months have been humbling - relying on others  for lifts and other care and so much prayer.  I have done much from home and over the phone plus attended some great events -  if you follow my Facebook page you will see lots of Photos.
I once was blind but now I see. So much more to do but 2017 made me take rest like never before  but I found it was needed in allowing others to help, I found new life and God's Love in  the staff of the doctor's rooms and all around me, friends and family. 
Looking forward to new sights to see as God opens his Kingdom  through the lens of my Camera.
Shalom





Thursday, 7 December 2017

Healing with words and being together

 The team of that put the nigh together pink Uniting Purple NALAG  Green Me +Nat the boss not  



The night was a good time in the planing  dates flew in and out then we got one I was free they where free so lets do it. The flyers were sent out to  area and some places in the area .  Then we set up food and table even made a sacred place from 3 trampolines,we covered it in green leaves and a cloth with leave painted on  it. Next the gap before the people arrive . But come they did, it not like other gathering it's different but we soon Seattle in   ,like old friends .

 We put names of loved ones and  requests for a good season next year  and then after a slow start  the right person went first and all followed NLAG centre for Loss & Grief Leader Trudy and others joined in the services  I had 2 prayers it was a moment of change from Chaplain to Minister and they all said it was good. 
.
A few of those who came young and old It was said in the over the meal it's good to have you guys here  plus Rev Phill as a Minister it is different to just talking up the Paddock come and do it again' and so on . The fact we as a group  we came back  and I as individual  (have kept coming) they felt cared for in a real way the NLAG ,Uniting and Uniting Church  showed we care for people in pain (this area over the last 4 years have been in drought , had a triple murder in the Community and lost a great leader to Suicide and a number of key people die from Cancer and other things CWA lost a lot of great cooks) so they needed our prayers and love. I drove from Nyngan to Armidale to preach at my former partner in crime now neighbor Induction service in a wonderful old church . as I was bit worn down I then went had my last Cataract operation as the weeks go by I can know read better as my eyes sort themselves out I am using some make do glasses for read but I drive now with no glasses   other than my old clip over "sunies" aim is for some cool ray bands   (has it help spelling and punkuation) No God bless
Gala's getting the last rays of the Sun 
   

but I can see the colour of Gods creation  Amen 
  

Thursday, 26 October 2017

time is moving forward but the view is the same


As I drove past the tree I stop the heat of the Sun dry ground again we wait for rain  

The dry time has moved back in the toil of feeding and finding feed paying for feed  hangs over us again . Just a dry spell No drought the government says!
 Lord we ask  for strong minds and hi spirits in their hearts and rain in the cage/   
The old tree still try's  ( I aged it with the colour)
Back on the road again Love the Big  Sky 
promise in the sky 
Standing in the rain 
And the Storm begins the dance   

The Salt Bush fight's on the grass has gone



Hi all I hope you been following the Face  book page I am very close to the end I hope of this journey of changing eyes . Those who don't follow face book I had 2 eye operations ,steming for an eye injurey that fixed they had to take  my catarcks  thatwere forming old age. So no reading glasses this adds to not reading well spelling and gramer less life I have lead made doing this very hard but my eyes doing ok with help of view turned up.  I still am able to drive and getting around the state.  13th.November is my day I am looking forward to it thanks again for prays I am so blessed with the resullts so farandgood Doctors in Tamworth and Newcastle .
if you havent or dont like Face book let me know and I try to copy them over to the Blog 
FB is call Rural Chaplains Face Book page  stay safe prayfor the farmers Govermnet support is low and the dry spell is not been seen as a drought and many are strugeling  
Shalom Rev Phill




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

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