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While leading an outreach team to the Kimberley region of Western Australia on the 4WD Discipleship Training School (DTS), we had the opportunity to build a Sunday school building for the church run by our contacts. We were able to transform a shipping container into a classroom for the ones in Sunday school. This was a great chance for our whole team to witness the growth of the church in the Kimberly, work together as a team, and see God’s hand in the construction process.

Growth in the Kimberly

My first trip to the Kimberly region of Western Australia was in October of 2014 on my DTS outreach. We stayed with and worked with a husband and wife named Keith and Pauline in Fitzroy Crossing. They relocated to the Kimberly region about 30 years ago in order to see transformation among indigenous people. Keith is a mechanic and Pauline makes herself available to visit and care for people in need. They built their home themselves with a church in mind. I have been able to go every year so far since 2014.

In the three years since I’ve been going to Fitzroy Crossing, I’ve seen a lot of growth. There are now 10 or so children at the church compared to 3-5 before. It’s not just about numbers, and the church in Fitzroy is seeing more consistent and regular members come as well. The fact that it is even necessary to build a separate structure for the children is amazing.

Working as a team

The team was great. I am so thankful that we saw the project completed in the three weeks that we were there. We didn’t have heaps of time, as the afternoon is much too hot to work in. The entire team spent mornings and evenings joyfully working on their part of the construction. Some of us built, some cut, some put in installation, and some painted the outside of the container with colourful animals and flowers. Keith and Pauline always serve our DTS teams with hospitality and flexibility, and I loved being able to give back to them. The work went quickly and smoothly when we kept our hearts set on the purpose of the build.

God’s hand in the construction process

Recently in my personal bible study time, I have been reading in Exodus about the construction of the tabernacle. There is a scripture in which God empowers the builders to create His vision. It says that He filled them with, “the Spirit of God in skill, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship.”

I could really see this idea played out as we built the Sunday school room. I was surprised at how smoothly everything went. Even the timing of the shipping container being delivered just in time for us to work on it was definitely from God. The measurements were spot on and we didn’t have any major issues. In the previous paragraph we talked about the strength of the team – the team was strong because God was leading us! We saw an amazing outcome because everyone involved was working to see God’s glory in providing something for this entire community.

We finished just in time for a Sunday service, so we could see the children use the new classroom! It was great to see them have a space of their own. God is really moving in Fitzroy Crossing. My hope is that this new room will help encourage more families to come to the church and, ultimately, to see the community impacted. Hopefully next time we can make it a double-wide!

I will be leading the 4WD Discipleship Training School for three years starting in 2018. Click here to sign up to receive our updates by email. Who knows what the next stories from the Kimberly will be!

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we are the rileys

We are a newlywed couple serving in Christian missions.

God has called us to Youth With a Mission in Perth, Australia. We have a heart for the city of Perth and for reaching Aboriginal people here in Western Australia. We would also love to see transformation and mobilisation through partnering with local initiatives in other nations in short-term outreach trips. Together, we have a passion for mentorship and discipleship of young people. Chris is gifted in meeting practical needs, and Leanne has a big desire for the sphere of Media & Communications.

This is our blog, a place to share what God is doing as well as things we learn as we journey through the adventure of following Jesus!