Going on outreach is an experience that is truly like no other. Throughout my life, I have found that the closer I am to deprivation, desperation and destruction the more I realize that I am an oxymoron. I am pried out of my own skin, pushed to do things I have never done before and to be frank feel like an alien in these new surroundings. However, I also get a sense of being where I’m suppose to be, like I’ve found my place in the world, in a strange way like I’m home. My outreach into Australia was no different.
Growing up in YWAM, this isn’t my first outreach, but every experience is different and has changed me in its unique way, breaking my heart for the things I’m witnessing but determining my spirit to reach out further.
Our team was on our way to Darwin, which meant an extremely long drive through the outback. We stopped off at a small indigenous town called Tenant Creek for two days. I have never worked with Aboriginal people so this is a new culture that I haven’t ever experienced before.
Among the many wonderful things I noticed about the Aboriginal people I met, I also noticed there seemed to be a lot of fear, which I didn’t fully understand. One day, some kids were telling me about a female snake in the lake (which we had swam in the day before) that attacks boys when they went swimming without the girls,
“Miss, the big snake come up and grab the boy and pull him under the water until he stop breathing! But if girl is swimming there, boy is safe,” one of young boys told me. His eyes wide at even mentioning the scene that fills his nightmares.
Knowing how awful fear is to live with, I could feel my heart breaking for these children, having a belief system filled with fears that caused them sleepless nights and haunting nightmares.
I wanted so much for that young boy and the other children with him to understand the perfect Love that makes fear go away.
And I guess that’s where we come in. After 11 weeks of lectures, we were all raring to go and share the Hope and Love.
The happy ending of this story is that five men and women in this community came to understand that perfect Love, which casts out all fear, one of our nights at Tenant Creek when we got to share in the park. It was my first experience of leading someone to life in Jesus and the look on the man’s face after we said, ‘amen’ was a picture I will forever carry with me – freedom.
Meeting these people, loving them and helping to bring life and freedom is a privilege. I am reminded daily of God’s love for us as He uses our team in the outback of Australia.