Sometimes where you are changes what you see.

Mark Short - National Director Bush Church AId

Gabrielle Chan is the city-born daughter of a Chinese migrant who trained as a metropolitan journalist and later worked in the Canberra Press Gallery. Then in the 1990’s love and marriage took her to a wheat and sheep farm in country New South Wales. In her new book Rusted Off: Why Country Australia is Fed Up she describes the process of shedding her city skin, including the time she first felt outrage at the way her new home was portrayed by an out-of-town reporter:

“Using the true story of the tragic disappearance of a teenage girl, the journalist neatly packaged my home into the quintessential redneck settlement with a dark past, in the tradition of weirdo country towns featured in horror stories such as The Cars That Ate Paris, Harvest Home or Wake in Fright.”

Gabrielle’s is the latest in a series of books and articles seeking to describe and explain a growing divide between city and rural Australians. How real is that gap? Certainly city people are less likely to have country cousins or spend school holidays in the bush than they were a couple of generations ago. Natural disasters such as the current drought bring the bush to urban screens but once the immediate crisis has passed it remains an open question whether any new relationships or understandings have been established.

Since its beginnings almost 100 years ago BCA has always sought to address needs as they arise. In this edition you can read how your generosity means churches in drought-affected areas are providing care in Christ’s name. However, we are also committed to supporting the kind of long-term ministries and partnerships that will see lives and communities transformed over time. That’s why we are thrilled to get behind new church planting ventures in Tasmania and that’s why we are thankful when families like the McDonalds make a big move to the outback for the sake of Jesus.

Where are you? If you are a follower of Jesus, you are ‘in Him’ and are part of His mission. That will change how you see everything and everyone.

Thank you so much for sharing the journey so far and don’t forget to come to the party on May 26 next year!