Farewell Rod and Judy

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Time flies when you’re having fun! WE can’t believe our time with Rod and Judy, traveling around visiting community and Church leaders, has come to a close. Yesterday we dropped them off at the wharf to catch the local bus to the airport.

It has been nearly 4 weeks since they came on board with their first night of joining us in celebration of Niki’s 14th birthday. Our family, with Bella the dog, was not sure if we could navigate the “process and procedures” pertaining to having a ‘dog’ on board in Australian waters. Of course, Bella does not know she is a dog – which complicated the matter. But it all worked out as we came to this mission by faith, not by sight; to assist them in their timely visit to the Islanders they have known and worked with over the decades.

For our goodbyes on Thursday – warm hugs and well wishes were shared along with a final group photo. It was truly a blessing to all involved that we were able to make it to the Torres Strait and assist them is getting around to their old stomping grounds. They are true saints.

The Torres Strait has a long history in maritime. The body of water incorporates the area between Australia and Papua New Guinea where the Pacific and Indian Oceans meet. There are 113 islands, sandy cays, and rocky outcrops of which 38 are inhabited. The population from recent census indicates there are 7,489 full time residents. It is culturally unique as the area historically has been influenced by maritime activities for many centuries.
The islands visited over this past month include Saibai, Boigu, Dauan, Badu, Moa, Thursday, Horn, and the picturesque Yorkes (aka Massig). Our travels covered well over 400 nautical miles – traversing countless reefs and other islands, contending with the largest tidal flows we have ever seen, meeting with so many people our heads and hearts are full-up from quality time shared. Dozens of updated Yumplatok bibles were shared along with small group times spent discussing the word of God and its relevance to the Four Winds….representing the Island People of the Torres Strait.

Thursday Island Mayor Pedro shared how the formation of an Island begins, with one grain of sand put into position. Then the winds, tides and other natural events build that one grain into a small island – bit-by-bit, over time. Before long come the mangroves, coconut and other plants. Following comes along the birds and animals – just like in Genesis. You start with nothing then you have something. Just 400 meters from our anchorage near Thursday Island is such a place. An island is forming. Unity?

The “Coming of the Light” came to this area in early 1871, bringing compassion and significant reduction in conflict among the communities. Over recent decades the teachings “handed down from our ancestors, from our fathers, to us” has been diluted with the world and brought about many denominations who no longer live together in unity.

Being invited to come and help bring back this unity was one primary purpose for Rod and Judy. WE were so blessed to participate and see the fruits from the effort of all involved.

Please pray for blessings upon the Island People of Torres Straight and the struggling church to find unity in Christ Jesus.

1 Comment
  1. Exciting – thanks for the good report and great pictures! What’s next? When does weather dictate you leave Torres Straits?

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