In an echo of its beginnings 140 years ago, the LCA’s Finke River Mission (FRM) has again welcomed a German pastor to serve in Central Australia.
Amid the vast landscapes of Central Australia, thousands of kilometres of dusty red roads draw travellers towards distant hazy horizons. Along the way, there’s time to think. To wonder. To be. People who come out here feel a deep connection with God or with creation, often for the first time in their lives. For many, a trip to the Centre is an awakening of their spirit. For the people who have lived here in the Centre for thousands of years, the spirit world has been as real as the red earth and the scorching sun. Long before white people ventured out here, the Aboriginal people were passing down their sacred stories from generation to generation. They have always known there is more to life than what they can see and touch. So, when Lutheran missionaries arrived at Finke River in 1877, the Aboriginal people were ready to hear the new stories about God the Creator, and his Son, Jesus Christ. They had always seen God in nature, but now, at last, they could know him in person. Today, there are around 7000 Aboriginal Lutherans in the heart of Australia. Christ is in the Centre.
A portrait of Docker River Lutheran Beryl Bell entitled ‘Beryl and Jesus’ has won this year’s $10,000 Australian Life photography prize. Amy Jean Harding took the photo of Beryl in April 2016.