The Frontier Services Patrol Ministers have travelled from remote and isolated locations across Australia to be in Darwin this week.
The biennial Patrol Ministers Conference is an important opportunity for the ministers to share with each other the joys and also the challenges of providing pastoral support to people in isolated locations.
The Patrol Ministers provide practical help and a listening ear to people in remote communities.
At times, they travel hundreds of kilometres to visit people living on a remote station, in a national park, at an Aboriginal community or a mine site. Two of the Patrols use planes to navigate the vast distances.
Pilbara Patrol Minister Rev John Dihm describes his work as a “ministry of friendship”.
“You’ve got to be with people, mix with them, work with them and cry with them. You become part of the fabric of the community,” he said.
Yesterday, the Patrol Ministers formally welcomed Rev Colin Batt, who was inducted as the Frontier Services Associate National Director yesterday.
Colin’s role includes the leadership of the Frontier Services Patrol Ministry.
The induction service was a wonderful opportunity for all the Patrol Ministers to meet Colin and formally welcome him in shared prayer and worship.
Colin told the Patrol Ministers he looked forward to walking alongside them and supporting them in their ministry.
“Through that ministry you will save lives, one by one,” Colin said. “I look forward to supporting you and encouraging you as we journey together.”
The Patrol Ministers are based in locations across Australia, including Alice Springs, Jabiru, Tennant Creek and Katherine, as well as the Pilbara, Meekatharra, Cape York, Charleville, the high country of Victoria, the west coast of Tasmania and beyond.