You have been part of our ministry to people living in the Outback, supporting our Flying Bush Chaplain in the Carpentaria-McKay Remote Area. Thank you!
We are hoping to raise $80,000 for the much needed maintenance and AVGAS (aviation fuel) required to fly his plane. Please consider a donation now to give the encouragement and connection of a Flying Bush Chaplain to people facing hardship and isolation in this harsh region.
Let’s be the wind beneath Michael’s wings!
We recently sat down with Rev. Garry Hardingham our former Flying Bush Chaplain, and asked him to introduce our new and exciting placement of Michael and Di Chapman. What better way to introduce someone to you than from the person who knows what the job is all about and saw something simply captivating in Pastor Michael. Read what he had to say below!
I’m delighted to share with you that Pastor Michael Chapman has joined us in the role of Flying Bush Chaplain in the Carpentaria-McKay Remote Area. A role I once held and now coordinate. I have come to know Michael as a man with a
heart for God and for people, and a willingness to go into the unknown and difficult places. As he continues this ministry, which has lasted over 100 years, he needs your help to keep his plane in the air – bringing practical, pastoral and spiritual care to a vast and rugged region.
“Our hearts are in this”
Michael sat down with me and Frontier Services National Director Jannine Jackson recently in Cloncurry, where he is based, to share how he was going. The Autumn day was a searing hot 46 degrees Celsius. Life here is tough. The people are tough too, but the isolation and constant hardships can push them beyond their limits. For Michael, stepping into this new role meant he had to confront his own vulnerability and fears. “But God has called us here, and our hearts are in this,” he tells me. “We will be able to make a real difference in people’s lives and stand with people in their sorrow, struggles and their joy.”
You can help us make God-given connections with people.
I’ve had moments when I knocked on the door of someone’s property and realised I was there for them at exactly the right time. These conversations can even save a life.
I remember visiting one home and hearing from a distraught woman that her husband had just disappeared into the bush with a shotgun. He couldn’t carry his burden of despair for one more day. I rushed to find him and gently begged him to put the gun on the ground. The privilege of saving a life in such a way is priceless.
Loneliness is brutal in these remote communities, adding to other pressures. The isolation also cuts people off from crucial services and they need to know they can rely on us.
Giving practical help and emotional support.
In emergencies, we deliver groceries and other essential supplies. We facilitate access to education and healthcare. Kids heading off to boarding school or people going to hospital for urgent medical treatment are often passengers on the Cessna, with us as a listening ear during their journey. We also fly staff from Mt Isa School of the Air hundreds of kilometres to meet the isolated children they teach, creating crucial links between them.
We’re there on special occasions like baptisms, weddings and funerals, sharing people’s joy and comforting them in their grief. Our Frontier Services’ Flying Bush Chaplain may be the only trusted person outside of family that someone regularly sees.
People need you when extreme weather strikes.
In this part of the world, the daily forecast rules people’s lives. I’ll never forget when the region was gripped by a drought that lasted 8 years. There was no feed on the parched ground and farmers were hand-feeding their cattle. It got so bad, some had to make the heartbreaking and horrible decision to shoot their herds. People lost hope. But we stood with them. Back in 2011 after the devastation of Cyclone Yasi, we used the aeroplane to make food drops into many isolated communities and keep food on people’s tables. Right now – as you will know – despite flooding down south, Queensland’s north-west has been scorched by a heatwave. Farmers are surviving on the occasional rain-storm. But they’re already selling off their sheep and cattle, bracing for the inevitable drought to take hold again.
When you support Michael’s ministry to this harsh and isolated area, you deliver hope. With your help a Bush Chaplain can turn up on people’s darkest day and share the moment in their happy times, carrying on a long tradition of care.
Please share this opportunity to partner with our Flying Bush Chaplain with as many people as you can. You can also donate now by following this link.