Sue & Warren Chapman
We had been caravanning for many years and wanted to put a purpose to our travels so last year we joined the BCA Nomads. Our first trip in 2019 was to Longreach where we saw first-hand from Graeme & Susan Liersch what a difficult job it is to be BCA Field Staff.
Our main task was to visit graziers on outlying properties and hand out IGA vouchers from Samaritan's Purse. Longreach had received a lot of support and drought relief funds but Graeme didn’t have the time to distribute the vouchers. We travelled long distances and got an idea of what it is like to bring up a family in remote places. The people we visited usually had a connection to the church, but not always. They were all appreciative of our visit and the chance to tell people who care about their drought story. We always prayed before we left.
We then travelled with Nomads Anne & Ralph Latimer to the NT to help out at the Katherine Christian Convention (KCC). This was an amazing experience where about 650 Aboriginal people from remote communities came together to hear God's word and praise Him. It was a great time of fellowship with fellow Nomads, Maitland Evangelical Church volunteers and our Indigenous brothers and sisters.
This year has been different with KCC cancelled and borders closed due to COVID. We managed to enter Queensland in July when the border opened briefly. After visiting friends and family in Northern NSW and Queensland we went to Longreach at the invitation of Graeme.
It was good to catch up with parishioners we had met the previous year. Our aim was to be an encouragement not a hinderance. We were greatly encouraged by the Liersch’s enthusiasm and commitment and their faithful ministry of God’s word. They face the challenge of small and elderly congregations spread over some 200,000 sq kms.
A highlight of the trip was having morning tea with a Christian lady who has Bible verses displayed on the walls of her home and even on the chook pen. Her husband has the words Isaiah 40:31 on his truck and delights in the opportunity to explain to those who ask what that means. They live their lives in difficult circumstances, including long-term drought, plane crashes and truck accidents, but trust in God's direction and provisions.
Despite the long distances travelled, being a BCA Nomad is very rewarding as we can encourage the Field Staff and the people we meet, using the spiritual and practical gifts God has given us, which in turn encourages us. Romans 1:12.