A friend in the bush
When Rev John Dihm explains to people what Patrol Ministry is all about, he has a simple answer.
“It’s a ministry of friendship more than anything else,” he says simply.
John is a Frontier Services Patrol Minister in South Australia. His patch, the Parkin Patrol, covers 500,000sq km. Based out of Hawker, the Patrol includes three iconic outback tracks, the Oodnadatta, Birdsville and Strzelecki tracks.
John first came to the Parkin Patrol nearly eight years ago. His role is to provide practical and emotional support to people across the region. Travelling in his trusty Patrol vehicle, John visits families on more than 90 stations, health clinics, schools, mine sites, hospitals and also tourist spots.
Extending a hand in friendship, John is there to listen and to help, supporting people with whatever they face, whether it be drought, flood, the ups and downs of stock prices, illness or financial difficulties. He also is there to minister at important celebrations - Christmas, Easter, weddings and baptisms.
John says it has been a privilege to get to know families personally and to become a part of their lives along the way.
“You spend your first couple of years settling in to the area, then you start forming bonds with people and for the next couple of years, people really get to know you. Now people know where to find me. It becomes a ministry of friendship,” he said.
Frontier Services has 21 Patrols across remote Australia. They provide a network of care and support for people who face isolation every day.
John Dihm was at Bungaree Station for our Centenary Dinner recently and offered a personal thank you to all the people who support Frontier Services and make Patrol Ministry possible. Watch the video.