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Leonora 2020 Day 7: Wrapping Up and Saying Goodbye

Friday 2 October

Today we were a little saddened to have our last session with the kids here in Leonora.

We were blessed by an encouraging and thought-provoking devotion and prayer session from Maggie and Tiaan just after waking up. As it was the last day, the drama and Bible skits wrapped up about how the kids can learn to find and follow Jesus and make the choice for themselves to be a follower.

Everyone did a great job at their year group tents and everyone helped each other out to control the children but still have a ripper time. Many of the kids were sad throughout the morning and not wanting to think about the moment we would leave, but all of us still loved to catch up and make the most of the time that we had left.

We finished the session by dropping some lolly filled balloons and pinatas from the balcony to the kids. I’m also sure that the singing and actions today were the most enthusiastic and joyful. Some of us leaders found it difficult to say our goodbyes, some shed a tear or two, but it reflected some of the strong bonds that we had with these special kids. Not only did we have a hard time saying goodbye, but an even harder time thinking about how we wouldn’t see them ever again (although some of us have promised to return one day).

After we said our goodbyes, we began the tough, long process of cleaning and packing away the recreational centre. It was tiring and hard but we helped each other out and got what we needed to do done. We got back to the sports centre and, after some showers, walked back to the recreational centre for our last meal, CHICKEN PARMI and some tasty pizzas.

After dinner, we did our final walk back to the sports centre and now we are about to have another session of ‘deep questions with Doug’.

Natalia and Tristan

This has been a phenomenal trip!

The students of Rehoboth have put in a huge amount of effort, built relationships, shown the heart of Christ to the children of Leonora, and been a powerful witness of the one true King, King Jesus. This has been a mammoth effort from every volunteer and the whole Year 10 cohort – those who didn’t actually come to Leonora still put in hours of work preparing crafts and decorations and encouraging those who went.

The people of Leonora have shown us great kindness while we have been here and incredible support for the work of the mission. I am so pleased with the witness our students have been to everyone they have interacted with.

I would also love to highlight the work of our adult volunteers, without whom this trip wouldn’t happen:

  • Sam and Kev Downes – the greatest cooking combo we have ever encountered, may we enjoy their catering in the future!
  • Phoebe and Russell Hurren – driving us, supporting us, even bringing their kids to be part of the program
  • Mark, Julie, and Daniel Staer – you guys really are integral to all we do and we are so thankful to have you in our team!
  • Mr Peletier and Mrs Classen – these guys are tireless, they care so much for our students and for the kids of Leonora
  • Allira Terpstra – it is always great to have alumni of the trip come back as leaders, and wow! she has been such an incredible help, support, and encouragement
  • And, of course, Mrs Taylor – the creative genius, organiser, and wonder woman who has worked for months to get everything ready so that the kids in Leonora could have the best Bush Mission yet.

Thank you to all who have volunteered, who have prayed, who have donated, and who have given time or words of encouragement. Now it is time to go to sleep and get ready for an early morning wake up and a long bus ride home.

We are leaving Leonora, but the King is not. We will continue to pray that the seeds we have planted will produce will produce great fruit. Please pray with us!

Mr Taylor

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