Volunteer profile – Andre and Eloise Thompson
Andre and Eloise have been working at the Hermannsburg Historical Precinct for the past month helping run the tea rooms and doing general maintenance. One of their four children, Cloie, also worked at the reception desk near the entrance. They originally came to Hermannsburg as tourists, spending the last half of this year travelling Australia. When they read something about an historic mission they decided to stop for lunch and check it out.
Noticing the ‘request for volunteers’ sign at the tea rooms in exchange for free camping they decided to give it a try for one week. They ended up staying for four, doing paid work for the last three.
‘What really impressed us was the community spirit of the FRM staff and the whole town. We would have loved to stay longer and get to know the people and their culture, but we had to finish our trip around Australia. We would certainly do it all again one day for the people there and for God.’
Andre and Eloise are not Lutherans; both were brought up as Baptists. But the most important history lesson they learnt was how the early FRM missionaries tried to learn the local culture and language so they could share the gospel without expecting the Arrarnta people to become westernized Christians.