Students journey outback to serve kids in community
While their classmates enjoyed a break from study, a team of students from Avondale cared for kids in a far western New South Wales town.
The students organised and presented a program for children in Goodooga as part of a short-term adventure ministry called STORM Co (Service To Other Really Matters). The program, held at the town’s bowling club during the week of mid-semester break (September 25-30), featured crafts, songs and stories that illustrated the bravery and courage theme.
Yvonne Teulilo, one of five students on the team, says the trip helped her feel more thankful for what she had. She most enjoyed “sharing the love of Jesus with the children, especially the ones who do not have a Christian background.”
The effort the students put into presenting the program impressed members of the community. This led to questions about Avondale College of Higher Education and about the student’s faith. “Service is the key to building community,” says team leader Mauana Fepuleai. “We shared our passion for service and in doing so showed love, which is the true essence of God.”
Students at Avondale participate in a number of locally-based service-related activities. But Chaplain Dr Wayne French says it is good to go outback and serve the Aboriginal population. He has been helping organise STORM Co teams for 20 years, many in his former role as Director of Adventist Youth Ministries for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in northern New South Wales. French says he has seen how the trips not only benefit local communities but also the students themselves.
The Adventist Church has been sending STORM Co teams of young adults into local communities since 1992, when a group of Year 12 students planned an adventure in service rather than a school leaving party.
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