Peter, one of the disciples was a fisherman.
More than two thousand years later, another disciple in Christ, Rev Ron Watson is casting his line.
Ron is a Patrol Minister up on the pointy end of Australia, Cape York. For weeks during the dry season he is out on patrol visiting the believers and the unchurched alike, “fishing” in the same style that Jesus was the great fisher of humankind.
(To learn more about Ron and his wife Heather see their story in latest Frontier News)
Here’s a recent photo of Rev Ron Watson, taking a break by his billy and catching his lunch into the bargain! Ron captioned this photo “the one that didn’t get away” and it is a metaphor for all his work bringing Christ’s presence to needy people in the most remote places in Australia.
Last year, Ron and the other men and women Patrol Ministers helped make possible worshipful gatherings of about 15,000 isolated
families. Ministers gave counsel and practical “helping hands” to rural folk.
They baptised babies in plastic tubs on tables in country kitchens, married couples under shady trees by dry creek beds, celebrated Christian burial rites
at family plots; prayed, laughed, mourned and consoled.
Most of all, they called together men and women who do not have a church of their own to worship and praise God inside roadhouses, on bush blocks, in caravan parks and on roadsides.
In this season of Advent, Ron passes on this Christmas message to everyone in Australia:
He writes: “I wish for you this Christmas, that amongst all the cynicism and tragedies that this world brings, that you might once again find delight in, and wonder at the birth of our Saviour.”
The biggest issues for people in the Cape York Patrol are the remoteness and the effects that this can have on people’s mental welfare.
“For many people Depression is something they struggle with constantly, and being remote only exacerbates the issue, and while living off the land is an
extremely difficult way to make a living.” He added.
On Christmas Day, Rev Watson will be celebrating the church service at Weipa, and then sharing a baked coral trout with some friends. “I’ve put an order in for one with a young police man who is going spear fishing over on the east coast.”
And if you’re fishing over the festive season, we hope that yours is the catch of the day.