DREAMS IN THE DESERT
I’ve spent the past two weeks traveling to remote communities in an old Toyota 4X4 and sleeping in a swag in some of Australia’s western desert regions. The overnight temperatures have been sub- zero. One morning as I rolled up my swag a young brown snake slithered out from the warmth it had enjoyed underneath my feet during the night. It woke me up with a start but that’s just the reality of this environment. It is both beautiful and deadly. That’s life in the desert.
There is nothing easy or comfortable about ministry in tribal communities of the Outback. The Government and tourist advertising never let people know what life is really like for many of our indigenous people. It is a life of hardship and pain. Ancient cultures forced to deal with the overwhelming force of the modern world. Despite decades of education and development the primitive people groups of Australia exist in a very complex world that all too often ends in self destruction.
I’ve seen young Aboriginal’s die of petrol sniffing addictions, heard of countless deaths and injury due to alcohol abuse or neglected nutrition. I’ve talked with elderly tribal elders who struggle to comprehend our rapidly changing world. I’ve seen Aboriginal mothers pleading for the Gospel to be preached in their communities. The older people long for a return to the days when Church missions had a presence in the now dysfunctional tribal towns. There are no easy answers.
Returning to the old law from past generations only brings the curse of pride, fear and unforgiveness. The curse of pay back.
The curse that Ishmael passed down to his children. “And they lived in hostility toward all the tribes related to them”.Genesis 25:18
Jesus made a new law when He said: He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. Luke 10:27
That’s the only message that will eventually bring real hope and life to Australia’s people. The blessing of Isaac. The blessing of humility, faith and forgiveness.
That night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.” Genesis 26:24
My dream is that the tribal people’s of inland Australia will see themselves in light of the promises God gave to Abraham. That by being grafted into the family line of Abraham through faith in Christ they will receive the full picture of God’s eternal love and intention for them.
That’s my dream.
Thanks for standing with us in prayer as we reach people with the Gospel of Jesus.
Pictured: Beauty in the dry desert place. Mt. Liebig in the distance.