Our final day at the Detective Agency; a mission to remember!
We all struggled with today knowing that this would be the hardest day because we would have to say goodbye. Despite being very tired and exhausted we used all our energy! We danced more than ever and used every little bit of energy! Not a minute went past today when we gave up; we gave everything we had to make this day the most special and build stronger relationships with the kids. This morning we had fun singing songs, doing dances, making crafts, and hanging out. In the afternoon we all met up again at the Prickle Patch for even more fun. We saw chickens, ducks, swans, rabbits, llamas, horses, dogs, goats, kangaroos, and donkeys. After seeing all the animals, we sat around and sang songs and ate sausages! After having a delicious dinner, we played a huge game of raiders, and everyone had a blast and enjoyed every bit of it. Sadly, after the game of raiders, we had to say goodbye, and this was incredibly hard because of the relationships we have made with the kids and we didn’t want to have to say goodbye.
Today was the last day of Leonora and we ended with a long tradition of playing raiders. Raiders is a game about raiding other bases while defending your own, all completely in the dark and only lighted by the bonfires to mark each base. For me, it was amazing how many children showed up to the final event. It truly shows how much the Leonora Mission has impacted the lives of all the children here and even their parents. With the Mission being put on every year for thirty years, it meant that there were children whose parents went to the very same Mission that the children were attending! By the end of the night, we had to say goodbye to the kids we have spent a week bonding with, and it is safe to say that we did not only impact their lives, but they impacted us as well. The Leonora Mission Trip was a truly great experience and is something I would strongly encourage any Year 10s in the future to do.
Nathan and Toby
After a week in this beautiful area of our land that God has created, we have a greater appreciation of the land and a greater love for its people, especially the kids who have come every day. We have been challenged each day by how to improve in the way we have presented the skits, music and actions, talks, puppet shows, small groups, crafts, and how best to love and care for the kids of Leonora. It has been amazing to see all of our Year 10 students grow and develop their ability to run the program, step up into leadership, and serve in big and small ways. They have lived out the words of Jesus when He says ‘… as you did to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me’ (Matthew 25:40).
As we all pack up, we are saddened to be leaving, but many of us are looking forward to seeing family and friends, to returning to some of our creature comforts (where we don’t have to race to the showers to get hot water, or the shower stall where the shower head randomly falls off). For some of us, tonight we will be staying up as long as we can, in an endeavour to get the last little drop of time out of the trip.
We have been blessed by many amazing people on this trip:
- Mr Taylor (aka Philbo Baggins) – for his organisation and energy, in making connections with the locals, organising the itinerary for each day, making sure we kept to it, and being the most engaging MC. His support and encouragement of each team member helped us all to do and be our best.
- Emily Taylor – for her incredible creativity and diligence in pulling together the entire program, from the ‘detective badges’ that the kids wore each day, to the craft and her patience with our never-ending questions. Thanks also to Helen (Mr Taylor’s Mum), who came to support and look after everyone’s favourite team members: Hamish and Daisy.
- Sam and Kev – for the amazing lunches and dinners they have cooked each day. Our favourite including Sweet and Sour Pork with noodles and fried rice, chicken schnitzels, and the most amazing passionfruit cheesecake.
- Mr and Mrs Claasen – sues chef extraordinaire and all-round support. Thank you for your prayers for our team and always being willing to serve.
- John – (Emily’s Dad) Our incredible bus driver, who stepped in at the last minute, when our original bus driver fell ill just days before we had to leave. John has been great in not only making sure we got everywhere we needed to be but also doing a bus run twice a day (morning and night) to pick up all of the kids of Leonora.
- Allira and Sam – for their quiet encouragement of our students. Allira has been the person that so many of our students could look to for support and help in knowing what to do and how to love the kids, and knowing the actions and words to all of the songs. Sam, for always being there to capture the moment on film so that we will have memories for a lifetime to share.
- Daniel (aka Dancing Dan) – who lead all the songs and actions, encouraged our students to use their musical talents and to step in and play during the songs. His energy with singing was infectious and his love for the people of Leonora and God was evident in everything he did.