The Coastal Team on the October RTO DTS has been on Palm Island for one week now. Palm Island, a two-hour ferry ride from Townsville, is an indigenous community off the coast of North Queensland. The team has come to the island to serve the local churches and community, build relationship with the indigenous people, care for the ones that haven’t seen love in years, and connect with the next generation that is rising up to see them pursue a greater future.
There has been a lot of opportunity here on the island; everything from hanging out with the youth at the Jetty, to community service projects, to severing the local churches. The team has jumped in at every opportunity presented to them, while embracing the cultural differences. They have had the privilege of staying with one of the DTS staff members’ parents, who have been pastoring one of the local churches for the past four years on the island. The students have learned a lot about the culture, history and stories from the locals and are excited for the next two weeks.
“God has been putting into my heart and my teams heart His love for the indigenous people of Palm Island. He is opening our eyes to see how great they are and how much He loves them. We have enjoyed our time playing with all the youth down by the jetty and getting to build relationships with them. On Thursday, Holly and I were playing with some of the local youth. We made sandcastles and tunnels with them and played in the ocean. During that time I prayed for these children silently and asked if I should ask them a questions about Jesus. I asked them “do you guys know who made this sand we are playing with?” And one of the girls answered ‘Yep! Jesus!’ Once she said that we all started saying what else he has created. One of them said’ He created all of us and from that we talked about how much he loves us so much and makes us happy when we are sad’ Through all of that conversation I knew God was working in my heart and theirs as well. After about a day went by I was talking with my leader and I told her we shouldn’t worry so much whether or not we have made a difference in someone’s life. The fact that we put ourselves out there and we are doing what God is calling us to do. I know that we all make a difference in people’s lives everyday with God’s help. I am constantly thinking about those five beautiful people that Holly and I played with and that tells me that most likely they are thinking about us or at least that we took the time out of our day to play and talk with them for a couple hours. I know there is a seed planted in their hearts and God is going to use that. On Friday I had the opportunity with the team to go to the retirement home and sing some Christmas carols and decorate a few ornaments with one of the ladies there. Looking back at the time we had there I never once asked her anything about Jesus because I knew she had dementia. I know now that she is just as capable as anyone else to know about our Lord Jesus. I know God is challenging me to some how talk about Jesus in the conversations I have with whoever he puts in my path. We have only been here for a week and I have two more weeks to really put to practice this challenge and ask for Gods help with it every day.”
– Mollie Cunnington, USA