As many of you know, Lemuel and I were asked to join PAC (Performing Arts and Celebration) team for an outreach opportunity.
After weeks of planning, several fundraisers leading to $1,400 raised, we joined with a team of 7 to go into the communities of Murgon, Cherbourg, Kingaroy and Gladstone. We also were excited to join with half of the January DTS (Discipleship Training School) team, which we united together with, making us a team of 16!
We traveled from Townsville to Gladstone the first night (roughly a 9 hour drive), where we met up with the DTS at our new radio station, to get some sleep and head out the following morning together!
The next morning began the actual adventure driving from Gladstone to Murgon (about 4 hours).
WEEK 1: Cherbourg, Murgon and Kingaroy
The first week was so good and so full on. We stayed at a local church in Murgon with the entire team, with the first night including some dance and singing practice for a performance the very next day.
(Below is a short video of a snippet of the drum performance our first full day there)
Our first performance kicked off the next day after arriving. All 16 of us performing for the community. It was honestly so powerful to come together with 16 other people, of all nationalities, cultures, backgrounds and revive culture and show Gods love through our performance. It wasn't a huge turnout, but a great way to kick start outreach.
The rest of the week we travelled between Murgon, Cherbourg and Kingaroy. We were given the opportunity to join Chappy Deb and visit some state schools, serve breakfast or lunch while just hanging out with the kids and helping give them a safe space to just be together, play sport, sing, paint or talk. We did this almost every day we were there, at a few different schools throughout the week. We also performed several times at different schools.
It was so cool to be able to come along side Chappy Deb who is the chaplain at Murgon primary and state school. Not only could you see her love for her students, but for God as well. She opened up space for us to be at the schools, as well as her home as she even invited us to one of her bible studies to be present there, eat amazing food and sing a few worship songs.
Unfortunately, in most cases we were not able to take photos due to the age of the kids, nor were we allowed to talk about God in the schools, but God showed through us. The conversations we were able to have with the kids were so good, the performances they got to see showed sparkle in their eyes and faces, and we go to love on them the way Jesus would. We not only united as a team, but as a community as well.
While there for our first week, we also got to visit Kingaroy, just under an hours drive away from Murgon, where we joined up with Malinda Tankard-Reist & Daniel Principe (see image) bringing awareness of PORN into some of the schools. This is a bit of a touchy subject for most people, but I was so honoured to be able to attend just one days worth of seminars. When I was little this was never talked about. Not in schools, not in churches, not in families. And the statistics on the effects of porn IS SCARY! So to be able to be with two people who are so passionate about breaking the cycle of addiction of something so gross was so powerful. I sat in awe through 4 different sessions amazed at what God can do in this area.
Another AMAZING opportunity we got in week one was getting to visit the Cherbourg radio station. A group of 4 of us went after church to check out the local station since 3 out of the 4 of us had been involved in radio. We met an amazing announcer and Pastor Max who not only allowed us to visit, but actually speak on air. The announcer told us this amazing story of how the radio is actually a secular station, but during COVID he saw his community really struggle. In hopes to help, and thinking he could actually be fired for it, he decided to play gospel music on the station to bring hope into his community. Not only did he not get fired, but the community responded so well they gave him space on Sundays to run gospel music, pray for the community and bring pastor Max on air to bring hope for three hours! During this time they asked the 4 of us to perform some songs, which was not prepared, but fun nonetheless. We also each were asked to share a bit about our testimony.
Darren getting asked to pray over the sick as well as speak into the lives of some of the men listening.
(See video to the right)
Lemi getting asked to talk about how he came to know God and to pray over those who may not yet know God. They asked me to give a testimony as a young teenage girl and the lessons I learned in trying to seek God.
A bit of Lemi speaking- including his humour about his amazing american wife ;)
I gave a testimony of trying to find happiness in all the wrong places but only truly finding it in God, and then I was given the chance to pray over every young girl tuning in that may be trying to find happiness.
(And yes, for those that know me at all, it took ALL of me to keep my emotions under control being given such an amazing opportunity to try and reach young teenage girls running in the opposite direction away from God- but my prayer to bring them back to the ultimate source of joy).
And lastly, Chris was asked to give a testimony to dads,
to call them to be spiritual leaders in their families and then to pray over them, for strength for them and for them to step up and be the leaders these families so desperately need. I WAS IN AWE!
Over all, week one was amazing, to be in a huge indigenous community, speaking life over kids of all ages, bringing joy and love with performances and brining hope through radio.
At the end of the week we decided to go on a detour, and over the weekend actually travelled from Murgon to the Sunny Coast to spend some time with Lemi's family and family friends. It was SO refreshing.
We visited Life Church, where a lot of Lemi's family friends attend, even run it. The sermon was NEEDED. Talking about being blessed, and how we should be using that word or not using it, during times of difficulty. We also got to visit some YWAM friends, The Rox family, who blessed us by having us stay at their home and hosting us so well all week, and loving on little Talei.
We caught up with Lemis second mum and dad, which was so refreshing, as they helped us continue celebrating Lemis birthday.
We had a picnic with the church. We also got to join Lemis Uncle Roy and the House of Prayer for an AMAZING POWERFUL night of prayer and worship that left us all in awe of God. Being able to all come together and truly just worship in spirit was a refreshing I didn't even know I needed. Plus the food was SO GOOD! :)
Week 2: Gladstone
After our refreshing weekend on the Sunny Coast, we made the drive to Gladstone, and although we couldn't wait to be there, we made a few stops along the way ;)
When we finally got to Gladstone, a beuatiful sunset welcomed us and we were ready for a brand new week.
We were there to help prep the station for the appeal the following week, as well as build relationships in the community of Gladstone.
The vision since I joined staff was always to grow our stations reach beyond Townsville, so I was thrilled when YWAM decided to support 91.9 Fresh FM in Gladstone, to continue brining hope and life into other communities. We were able to help clean up the station, as it's been vacant for a few years, both inside and out. Painting buildings and fences and doing inventory on some of the supplies at the station.
We also got to take a marquee out and do a few community engagements just making the station present in the community and getting to know the locals. We learned of the good, and the needs of the community in hopes to be able to come alongside them and help.
We were able to also do a few performances and a school seminar while there. One of them being at Faith Baptist School. It was so refreshing to meet the pastor, whos heart is to be a sending school. Sending his kids out into the world for missions. So to be able to stand there as missionaries and be a representative of what it could look like was so powerful.
Being able to come alongside the community and just get to know them was so refreshing, and a bit overwhelming when you think about the need in the community. However, it opened my eyes to the hope the radio can bring to the community.
We met so many people who impacted us and let us come alongside them, it was so inspiring. We even met a couple from Papua New Guinea, that made us all laugh until we cired. Meet Unle Henry and Aunty Marcella. They were so hospitable to us, letting us shower at their place (All 17 of us were staying at the station, which had no shower), provided dinner and a lunch for us, and let us sing with them. While also telling many many hilarious stories about their life and their dogs, yes I said dogs. They were so refreshing, and instantly felt like we had family in this new community.
Overall, our outreach was beyond expectations. We were so blessed by the people we met, schools we performed for and hangout with, being able to join up with the DTS, help sow into the new radio station, and sing lots. I wish I had more words to go even more into detail, but hope this helps sum up how our outreach went! Feel free to message us for more details and subscribe to our website to stay up to date :)