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Leonora 2022 Trip: The Bush Mission Begins

Day 1 of Bush Mission – 26 September: The Straight and Narrow Path
Insight from Claudia Verkerk

Jamie and I were on the bus duty with Sam and Allira. The bus was so full that the kids were sitting on each other’s laps. Everyone was super excited for the program. The day started with all the kids getting signed in at the registration desk, then activities quickly started.

At the K-1 group, we started off with a story, and we got to know the kids. The number of kids grew WAY more than expected, and they kept us very busy. Hans and Franz (Daniel and I) got the kids energised with our MC talk. Then, we sang a bunch of songs which was followed by the drama. It was excellent! It made the kids laugh a lot. The drama talked about the straight and narrow paths, following directions, and characters like Ranger Smith (Mr Taylor) and Grace (Hannah) were all the kids talked about.

The rest of the day consisted of games, reading, playdough, building blocks, and morning tea. After all the kids were dropped off at home, we had lunch, got much needed showers, and prepped for the evening session.

In the evening session, a couple of us were stationed at various spots around the room including face painting, games, figurine paintings, and beading. The movie night started at 7:00pm, and it was definitely extremely jam-packed and exciting to see everybody together. I was able to tell a few kids about Jesus, and some kids asked about being baptised. While cleaning up, a dance battle between the team began at the playing of ‘Single Ladies’. Mr Taylor spun around on the floor, and Mrs Classen was the star dancer, doing slow dancing as well as fast paced dancing that we couldn’t keep up with.

Also, Nathaniel says, ‘Hi, mum!’

Day 2 of Bush Mission – 27 September: Who Will You Follow?

Insight from Vania Handoyo
We woke up ready for another good day! After an amazing first day, we were so excited to see the kids again. After having some breakfast, we listened to an awesome devotion from Claudia and Mrs Howard about how God can work through us. This was encouraging for all of us and set us off on a good start to the day.

Today was a more relaxed day than yesterday and the kids had a good time! We continued the drama and had a Bible talk about the “God contest” between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. We split into our small groups and had some fruitful discussions. Our crafts today consisted of making utility belts, dot paintings and small paper camp scenes.

After a successful morning session, we continued on with our afternoon where the big kids went out to the oval to play sports and the younger kids stayed to do face painting, beading and more. Finally, our night session (the long awaited games night) began! The kids along with the leaders had a blast. It was a blessed day to say the least!

Insight from Elijah Hunter and Alana Beaney
Tuesday morning, we awoke to the beautiful voices of Oliver and Mr Taylor singing, ‘Rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory. Children of the Lord.’ After the ‘bushies’ crawled out of bed, tired from yesterday’s events, they enjoyed a lazy breakfast. Followed by an encouraging morning devotion with Mrs Howard and Claudia. The ‘bushies’ then made their way to the rec-centre.

The morning session began with welcoming the Leonora kids into the rec-centre and connecting with their specified small groups – Yellow (K-Yr 1), Green (Yr 2-3), Blue (Yr 4-5) and Red (Yr 6-7). The atmosphere was a lot more calm than the previous morning. The kids were more comfortable with their leaders, but unfortunately there weren’t as many kids as some were away on a basketball competition in Kalgoorlie. Starting the program with singing and dancing, led by the bush band is always a blast and this was followed by many similar events to the previous day. The drama scene talked on the theme of trusting God’s guidance, and the Bible talk was about God being victorious over false gods. 

A dance battle broke out with some groovy moves led by Oliver and Evanya, encouraging kids to join in and help Evanya’s team win the challenge. After a different game of dodgeball, discussions and craft helped the Leonora kids to reflect on all they had learnt. A break allowed the Leonora team to set up the afternoon session, in which the kids had the opportunity to enjoy more craft or sport on the oval.

The evening session from 7-8:30pm was a GAMES NIGHT. The kids were super excited to play what Games Master, Jordan had set up for them. The kids were divided into eight teams with multiple games run by the bush leaders – bowling, nerf guns, archery, an obstacle course, basketball, water pong, human shapes and marble run. Points were awarded from each station to give the overall winner of games night – Team Banana, led by Hannah Kerrison). After dropping the kids off by bus, the Leonora team gathered for some bonding time with some milo, UNO and some fat chats.

Day 3 of Bush Mission – 28 September: Follow the Signs that Lead to the Garden of Living Waters!
Insight from Hannah Kerrison and Sariek Bongers

With enough coffee to make Nathaniel go to the moon and back, we started our third day of the bush mission. We were very tired, but continued on with the power of Jesus. After a lovely walk to the rec-centre, we prepared everything for the eventful day ahead. It started with Hannah, Elijah and Nala picking up some of the kids on the bus run. 

As the kids rushed through the door, we opened with our songs, Bible talks and drama – which consisted of our all time favourite, the rainbow song and some amazing character development along the way! The children really enjoyed running around in the sunshine during their morning tea. Following that came our craft time, where the children enjoyed making hand fire with paint and many more crafts. Then, we had our amazing small group time. The children learnt more about how to pray to God and what you can pray about – did you know you can pray anytime, any place, any prayer? Unfortunately, it came to the end of the session and we had to send the kids back to their homes with only one more morning session remaining!

During the time between the next session, the leaders had lunch and started preparing for the afternoon session. When the afternoon session came, majority of the kids stayed behind and did a bunch of activities and crafts, including face painting and bracelet making.

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to the kids again as it came to the end of the afternoon session, but not for long as the night session was coming near. The leaders headed into the showers and had a delicious dinner, followed by Sam’s famous cheesecake, topped with passion fruit pulp.

We cleaned up our mess from dinner and set up the games for the evening session with the parents. The children and parents arrived, and we dived straight into our games. The night was filled with lots of laughter, dancing and fun. Once again, we said bye to the children after an exhausting day. 

Eventually we headed back to our humble home for the week (the local high school where we were sleeping in some of the classrooms). We hung out in the staff room while some of the snoozers headed to bed. We wrapped up the day with a little karaoke session and everyone eventually headed to bed after an eventful day. 

Pray that God gives us the energy to give our all tomorrow on our final day of the mission!

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