By David Morgan – Field Staff, Paraburdoo/Tom Price, Western Australia
I receive a text message in the middle of the night – “Paraburdoo PFRS Turnout – power pole fire on mine road.”
It’s about 3am on a balmy January morning and I’m stuffed into a fire truck with Wayne, Pete, Cam and Adam heading off to an emergency on the mine road.
Due to the huge lightning storms we get in the Pilbara, power pole fires are pretty common. I don’t know much about fighting fires yet because I’m so new to it. It is kind of exhilarating to be part of this team. On the way home from a fire there is a great sense of comradery as jokes are shared.
My connections in the fire brigade lead to interesting conversations like this one:
Fellow volunteer: “Hey Dave, you know how you are the minister? What do you actually do? Is it like a normal job or something?”
Me: “Well kind of, I usually work six days a week.”
Fellow volunteer: “Really? What do you do?”
Me: “Well it’s more like being a farmer, you do the work when the work is there, some seasons are quiet, some are busy. My main responsibilities are loving people, teaching the Bible and praying.”
Fellow volunteer: “So is it kind of a calling?”
Me: “I guess so. I mean all kinds of jobs can be a calling, but for me there is deep feeling in my guts that I deeply long for people to know Jesus, and that He loves them and what He has done for them.”
Then follows an awkward silence...
Rob Healy suggested I join a community group as a way of connecting. After a few positive encounters with the fireies last year, they seemed a good choice. I have been a member of Paraburdoo Voluntary Fire Brigade since September last year. It’s been a great community connection for at least four reasons:
Being in the fire brigade has seen me on the mine site about 15 times in the last 10 months.
Being a Minister it is easy to have only Christian friends. One of the great things about the Pilbara is that it blows that option out of the water! Some of my best community contacts have come through the fireies and the friendship of some of them has been a real blessing in a lonely place too.
It’s one thing to encourage evangelism in sermons, but actually being out in the community reminds me of just how hard evangelism can be.
There are opportunities to minister. Please pray for more opportunities and courage to bless my friends with the love of Jesus.