Scripture, study and song under the desert sky
The first Finke River Mission (FRM) Bush Course for 2022 was held recently outside Mount Liebig community on the western edge of the greater MacDonnell Ranges, some 325km west of Alice Springs. Known locally as Watiyawanu, Mount Liebig is a go-between community for families with connections to Haasts Bluff, Papunya, Kintore and Kiwirrkura.
About 30 people were registered to attend, including FRM staff and volunteers. However, around 60 people turned up to participate in the study sessions, including many women and a group led by Pastor Russell Bryant, who had travelled more than 2500km from the Yalata community in South Australia.
The topic for the bush course was ‘The Letters to the Seven Churches in the book of Revelation’. During the day, Dr Stephen Haar, Australian Lutheran College (ALC) senior lecturer and vice-principal (pictured above), taught on Revelation 1–3, while Pastor Paul Traeger of FRM interpreted into Luritja and David Strickland (Australian Society for Indigenous Languages) interpreted into Arrernte.
‘God promises great blessing to those who listen, trust and respond to the message of the Book of Revelation’, Dr Stephen said, reflecting on the course. ‘Pastors in the Centre wanted to learn more about how to read and teach what this beautiful book has to say for the church.’
As with all bush course experiences, some moments stand out. For Stephen, one such moment occurred at lunch on the first day when more than 100 people turned up to share the meal; including one less-welcome visitor – a king brown snake! ‘There was no shortage of advice in many languages about how to dispatch the danger’, Stephen said. ‘Thankfully, one senior Ingkata (pastor) was mighty in both word and deed.’
The next bush course ALC will lead in partnership with FRM is scheduled for September.
This story first appeared in Australian Lutheran College’s (ALC) eNews. Subscribe to receive the monthly updates here.
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