Twenty women from Aileron, Alice Springs, Docker River, Ilamarta, Imanpa, Mutitjulu, Ntaria (Hermannsburg) and Utju (Areyonga) attended the second FRM course at Ampiyata Outstation, north-west of Yulara on the weekend of 15–17 April. Last year the women had decided to hold camps at different communities hoping this would encourage more local women to attend. As that wasn’t our experience this year we have decided to meet closer to Alice Springs in 2012, hopefully at Simpson’s Gap.
As the small group who started the course last year – Lily Roennfeldt, Marion Swift, Renita Kantawara and Deborah Myers – had intentionally limited the presence of non-Aboriginal women, so that the women themselves would take responsibility for facilitating the course, we’ve been thrilled that Susan Abbott, who works as the cook at Ilamarta – a rehabilitation centre for young male substance abusers – has been our cook for the past two camps. Small groups assist her with preparation and we all wash our own dishes. Leaders from the different language groups – Anmatjara, Western Arrarnta, and Pitjantjatjarra – work together to co-facilitate the camp and also to lead morning and evening devotions or ‘eating house’.
Having discussed leadership and mentoring in 2010, our teaching sessions this year dealt with conflict (Pastor Peter Pfitzner) and reconciliation (Pastor Rob Borgas). Deborah outlined ‘The Faith 5’ – faith acts in the home – from Faith Inkubators. Marion and Rita Okai facilitated large group discussions and translated as necessary.
Singing was a highlight as different groups would quietly start to sing together and others would join in. On Sunday most of the group worshipped at Mutitjulu in an effort to encourage the people there before we lunched at the oval and headed home.
The women have already made suggestions about the next course, that:
- Simpson’s Gap be the venue
- the theme of prayer be explored
- two courses be planned for 2012
Will you join with us in praying for the women’s course next April?