Have you ever lost anything – or anyone – really precious to you? God has – us. But he didn’t let us stay lost. He came and found us.
Lost and found – this was the theme of the Finke River Mission women’s Bible Study camp, held this year at the Mission Block in Alice Springs. Around forty women from communities in Central Australia met to learn from the Old and New Testaments how God acted to save his lost people, and what this means for us today.
Each of the five studies centred on a well-known hymn which has been translated into Aboriginal languages. Various communities led a devotion to open the study, and after a brief teaching time, we sang, discussed what we could learn from the hymn, studied related Bible passages, and prayed together – all in our preferred languages. The women expressed their faith and their learning through artworks they created to take home to their communities, and took turns sharing these with the whole group. In our final session, we wrote words in Anmatyerr, Arrarnta, Luritja, Pitjantjatjara and Warlpiri to the Taize chant ‘Jesus, remember me’.
It wasn’t all hard work. On Friday evening we watched the movie ‘Amazing Grace’, and on Saturday we sang for the Heritage Week visitors to the old church. This came with a bonus: sharing their German lunch of sausages, sauerkraut and kuchen! The rest of the time we organised our own food (supplied by FRM) under the watchful eye of our faithful ‘cookie’. We are all thankful for the practical help FRM staff and others (too many to name) gave us, for the women who travelled to the camp and joined in so enthusiastically, and especially to God for a wonderful weekend of multi-lingual learning and fellowship.