The Kimberley – what a place full of incredible people. People who are resilient, kind, and committed. I have had the opportunity to go to these people and their land four times now. Each time I’ve left with a sense of, “man, God, you are good, and so committed to your people here.” God has been persistent in pursuing people in the Kimberley area. I’ve seen this as communities and people have softened towards God, individuals willing to talk for extended periods of time on multiple occasions about faith and Jesus, young people making a decision to follow Christ.
The Kimberley is a region north of Perth that is home to many of Australia’s indigenous people. Each time I’ve gone after my first trip in 2014, I’ve seen more and more openness. When I first went I began to see the depth of stories and knowledge and life lived among those living there. On my second and third trips, I was able to go to the same town again. On my third trip, I wasn’t expecting people to remember who I was, someone who had been there last year for a few weeks. Just a blip in time. However, as I ran into people they remembered me and the names of students that were with me last time. We shared and caught up and were able to build on conversations past.
There is so much more behind these four years, though.
Long before I went, teams had been going up into the Kimberley and laying foundations that myself and others have been able to stand on. And before any of that happened, there was prayer. All that has happened is because people have seen and heard from Jesus about what He dreams for the Kimberly. Where His heart breaks, how He wants to reveal who He is. As we were preparing for this last trip up, we had times of prayer as a team as well. We wanted to know what our role was to be on this specific trip. We felt that God was sharing about continuing to make a way for teams to go further, as well as the fact that He is hope and wanted to bring that hope. The school was split into two teams and both saw God come through on His word, as He always does. The team I was a part of saw the persistence of God and commitment to a community as there was another team there recently. God moved in the form of communication with people, being able to sit for hours day after day with the same person talking about Him. In this one community, I was able to witness God’s faithfulness. I saw His faithfulness to answer prayer and practically show He is with people. As the team went out day after day for the three weeks we were there, each member was able to make a connection with either a family or a few of the youth around.
In our next location, we witnessed God move and answer prayer in a different way.
As we were walking and praying through the town, we came across a secluded dirt road that was overgrown a little. Going about 100 metres down the track, we came across something that made our spirits ache. From what we saw, it was an area that had for years been used as a place to escape and drink. There were layers and layers of cans, bottles, boxes. The reason we felt so strongly was because that was how God was feeling. Again, we asked, “God what can we do? What do you want to do?” He gave us a game plan to go back and physically clean and pick up the rubbish in the spot. As we were doing that, we were also to pray. We prayed specifically into what had happened in the area, speaking the truth about God’s love over people and situations. We did this twice while we were in the town. As we went back the heaviness and the atmosphere had changed. Before, a few of the team members had found it emotionally overwhelming and were moved to tears. Going back, the team felt lighter and we noticed that there weren’t any new cans since our last time there.
These are just a few of the ways that I saw God’s faithfulness on this trip up. He works with His people to see change on the earth. Prayer matters and He is listening so intently to your voice.