As worshipping numbers are growing, the people of Areyonga community decided to donate more than $100 000 towards the renovation and extension of their church originally built in the 1940s.
Meanwhile, the Bethel congregation (near Kapunda SA) no longer used their pulpit (built in 1940), so they contacted the Finke River Mission (FRM). When the need for a new baptism font at Areyonga was also mentioned, Pastor Les Pfeiffer offered to make one. A special bowl and water jug were also donated by Ron and Margaret and Gary and Natalie Schmidt. Neil and Roxanne Weichert provided the transport of these sacred items from the Bethel congregation to Areyonga, a massive twenty-hour 1700km journey, starting noon on Monday.
On Tuesday afternoon, Pastor Les and Neil arrived at Areyonga and met local parish worker, Daphne Puntjina, who was very happy to receive the pulpit and personalised baptism font; but the pulpit was far too high.
So they discarded some steps, reduced the pedestal height and made it secure. By 6 pm that day the alterations were complete. They then took the old Areyonga pulpit with them to the church at Lilla (which had no pulpit), about 200kms away, on a rough dirt track, and swagged the night at King’s Canyon Resort.
Both Neil and Pastor Les reported positively to the Bethel congregation about their experience, and the honour of meeting Daphne. They had travelled more than 3500 km in three and a half days to make the ‘pulpit exchange’ at Areyonga a reality. They arrived back at their homes early Thursday morning, just in time to start work!
FRM congregations often require sacred furniture. In 2015, a new church will be built by the Australian Army at Titjikala community, 120km south of Alice Springs. They will require a new altar, pulpit, baptism font, and other accessories such as number boards. If you can help the Titjikala congregation access such items, please contact Pastor Rob Borgas at the FRM.