Three months ago a mission trip almost came to a devastating halt when a 12 seater van carrying a team of international mission workers crashed and overturned just 60 kilometres short of their destination Blackstone, Western Australia.
They started out travelling from Uluru, one of two vehicles for the Blackstone mission, the other vehicle coming from Perth. Startled, two of the mission party from the crashed vehicle walked forward until they found mobile phone reception.
This was when the alert was given. Contacts were chased up and finally the police, ambulance, the doctor and nurses arrived at the rescue point to tend to those who were remarkably only scarcely injured.
A place unreached
The story behind this mission trip was due to the theory that parts of the red centre of Australia have a satanic stronghold and that Blackstone has had a spiritual resistance to seeing a Christian church established in the region.
The goal of was to finally broach this stronghold with the formation of a Christian church and to face the battle head on through good will and with an emphasis on reaching the young.
The two teams, one from the east (Sydney) and the other from the west (Perth) were to converge on Blackstone so as to engage in this long-planned outreach.
The people from Perth were Pastor Jongil Kim and an Aboriginal pastor who travelled for 22 hours to reach Blackstone.
Those coming from Sydney were David Lee, Yang Yun-Chi, Park Yong Hyun, Aaron So (Mildura), Jwan Park and Jung Bae. Fred Schaeffer from the Brisbane team joined them at Uluru. Those coming from Sydney had been on the road for 35 hours stopping overnight at Copper Pedy and Dockers River.
Having collected Fred Schaeffer at Uluru they kept driving south west in the full 12 seater van when it slid off the road around some curves and overturned 60 kilometres short of Blackstone.
It was a miracle no one was seriously injured or worse. Two were flown out without life threatening conditions and the rest of the mission party was able to continue to Blackstone with a police escort.
The Blackstone outreach
The Blackstone outreach went from Good Friday to Easter Monday. When the mission team arrived they were warmly and gratefully greeted by the local Christians, their leaders, community pastor Winston Mitchell (shown above) and youth workers Mark and Emma Holberton.
Pastor Jongil Kim and the Aboriginal pastor (Winston Mitchell) had been developing a Christian community in Blackstone for four years and the Easter weekend was the culmination of these years of commitment by seeing a flourishing congregation with both young and old.
The aim was to bring a governance to the Christian community and to this end a church was formally established. The other part of this outreach was to build the congregation and this saw 31 young people and 6 adults responded to God's saving grace.
In the midst of God's providence there was a Wycliffe Bible Translator in that community for some years along with a Christian couple running a sports ministry and together the touch of the Lord came upon the community to see revival in the local church.
The aftermath is that this outreach team is now working with the expanded church with the people on the ground discipling these new Christians. Today Jon Sibtain reports the new church is meeting bi-weekly with the worshipful singing of children in the community.
Bridget Brenton has been researching apologetics, philosophy and the paranormal for years. You can check her apologetic effort out at 101arguments.com
Bridget Brenton's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/bridget-brenton.html