Ongoing property maintenance is constantly required at the Mission Block in Alice Springs, church and store at Hermannsburg, and also at twenty churches and other buildings scattered throughout central Australia. This is a huge task that Finke River Mission (FRM) shares with the local congregations, communities and traditional owners, who actually own most of the land and property.
FRM volunteers assist these local congregations to maintain the structures they feel they need to help proclaim the gospel in their local area and beyond. Each year, dozens of people from various congregations all over Australia, give their time, money and labour to help maintain these physical structures. Although the conditions in which they work are often challenging and extreme, the relationships they build with the local congregations, and the unique country they get to see, often far outweigh the difficulties they endure. After volunteering with the FRM for seven weeks in 2013, Nannette and Trevor Hartmann from Immanuel, Novar Gardens, decided to recruit addition helpers for 2014. Consequently John & Mal Moran from Victor Harbour and Helen & Daryl Miegel from Novar Gardens answered the call, undertaking a huge range of tasks.
‘You name it, we did it!’ said Trevor, ‘From driving the truck into Alice for supplies, to erecting fittings, fixing pipes and even a washing machine. Nannette is currently making new altar cloths and vestments for the old Hermannsburg church.’
Phil Ruge, Brendan Roll, Ross Roll and Martin Mibus (from Portland) achieved a significant bush engineering achievement, dismantling a large, heavy shade structure at Areyonga, with the help of a few young and strong local volunteers. They then ‘monster’ moved the structure in a tandem trailer almost 1000km to its new home outside the Docker River church. But, according to Phil, ‘We are still keen to do it all again – Martin and Ross would have turned around the next day and gone back!’
And then there were the Hahndorf volunteers, led by Andrew Hein, who spent a number of days laying large areas of cement at the Hermannsburg manse, adjoining car shed, and the pathway to the church. They also worked on the plumbing at the historic precinct, where they serviced the air-conditioners, and performed countless other repairs and maintenance. FRM is truly thankful for all these volunteers!
If the above stories have stimulated your interest, then please contact Wayne Beven through the FRM office in Alice Springs, or at email@example.com – there is still much more to do!