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From the Field

Be encouraged and inspired by stories, articles and happenings about the people and work of AMT.


Come & See 2023

Early one Thursday morning in April 2023, two vehicles – a “Big Red” AMOS bus and a HiAce van – departed Mueller College in Rothwell, QLD. Destination: St George, QLD. Distance: 525km. Some eight hours later, as they finally rolled into the riverside campsite, the convoy had grown from two to six vehicles, from 17 to 33 travellers. The Come & See 2023 team was ready for adventure.

Click here to watch the highlight reel!

That evening, following the construction of our tent village, we proceeded to play some “get-to-know-you” games, explore the river (i.e. throw stones in the water) and collect firewood, before settling around the first of many campfires for a hearty dinner and fireside chats.

Wearied by the day’s journey, it wasn’t long before people took to the showers, their eagerness stifled only momentarily by confusion about whether the reported “green tree something” in one of the bathrooms was a frog or snake. Thankfully, it was a frog, and the commotion soon mellowed as people withdrew to their tents, the night-time silence broken only by occasional snores from several suspect tents.

Friday was no exception to the early mornings that were to become the norm. Despite the half-awake nature of some, we managed to eat breakfast, dismantle the tents and pack the vehicles for a slightly-delayed 7:30am departure. Destination: Brewarrina, NSW.

One would expect a 330km drive in the outback on mostly-straight roads through mostly-flat countryside to go smoothly. Turns out, Come & See likes to keep things interesting. A communication hiccup resulted in some of the group powering ahead to Brewarrina, while the remainder, upon losing the others, conveniently stopped to “wait” for them – at a renowned bakery in Dirranbandi.

Several hours later, the team reunited at our next campsite by the river in Brewarrina. Up went the tent village again, in no apparent order or form – again. Then, after downing a quick lunch, those who were part of the Scripture Union Kids’ Program team headed to the oval for an afternoon of fun and games. This was a great opportunity to begin building relationships with the locals and other River Convention travellers.

Evening came, and so too an occasion many from Come & See 2022 were looking forward to (and everyone from 2023 will now look back on with fond memories): community dinner. There’s nothing quite like a Convention potluck, with choice after choice of food – meats, curries, salads, stir fries – stretching 5-6 tables long, and the line of hungry people seemingly never-ending. One thing we definitely were not is underfed.

But if you thought you couldn’t top a delightful dinner, the best was yet to come. No, not dessert, rather the gospel outreach meetings that truly make Convention the joyful experience that it is. Live country gospel music, heartfelt testimonies, life-changing gospel messages and fruitful fellowship. That’s Convention – sharing Jesus wherever we go, with whoever we meet.

Over the next week, this was our routine-less routine. Not boring or dreary, but an exciting, can’t-wait-for-what’s-next one. From Brewarrina, we journeyed to Enngonia, Weilmoringle and Goodooga. Each new location opened our eyes to different needs in the community, especially that they – as much as we – need Jesus. Each person we met impacted us, and we pray we also touched their lives. Friendships within the team grew stronger, as did a collective desire to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22).

Finally, as the date of our return to Brisbane loomed closer and the comforts of our own homes called, there was an apparent sadness at the thought of leaving the people we’d met and the places we’d visited. The team’s feedback that follows is proof of this. What a blessing it is that even when we’re hundreds or thousands of kilometres away, we can still pray for these communities and the work God is doing through his faithful followers serving in those communities.

Come and See 2023 was great all around. It was fantastic to experience God working and to be a part of that. My faith was strengthened as I heard brothers and sisters share their testimony of God’s faithfulness in their life, and it was a blessing to be able to build up the body of Christ with believers from all across the world. God is working in the small communities of the River Convention, and I’d love to go back soon to be available to partake in that work.

Come and See 2023 was another fantastic trip to remember. Being my second time, I already knew what was to be expected. Yet it once again surprised me. A whole set of fresh faces from across Australia riddled with a heap of old ones. My favourite moment was walking and talking in Engonnia with a new friend, Wayne. Sharing that glimpse into his life was really special. Overall, I was once again reminded of the challenges rural Christians and communities face every day. Challenges I can now pray for!

If it was possible, this year's trip was even better than last year! It was great to reconnect with friends and hear from the missionaries and outback workers. It was excellent to hear Bible teaching every day from a wide variety of speakers, join in worship, and hear many testimonies. Knowing more about the workers in that area means we can now pray more specifically for them and the communities they reach. Dila and Gabrielle were amazing in their catering for such a big group. Absolutely loved the drives and outback beauty.

My family and I enjoyed the Come and See 2023 tour. Whilst we only joined the tour for the initial five days, it was a great experience to be camping with other Christians. Reading God’s Word in the morning followed by singing praises of worship to our God have been unforgettable. The food was cooked with love, and everyone helped to clean up after the meals. Everyone looked out for each other and not just their own interests. To be able to hear the stories of how the gospel changes people’s lives in the prisons reminds me again that the gospel of Christ is “the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). We are thankful to God that we were able to come along again after Come and See 2022.

One highlight was meeting the local kids on a few afternoons. I saw the team from Brisbane playing ball games with the local kids, and my kids and I also joined them. We all had an enjoyable time. I was amazed that the Brisbane team were so enthusiastic to present a skit, play different games and do crafts with the local kids.

Another highlight for me was attending the community meetings in the evenings. The fellow believers sang praises and shared testimonies. The songs and testimonies encouraged me because God is at work in their lives actively. God is real and alive. I also thank God that Uncle Isaac preached the gospel boldly and encouraged fellow Christians.

What did I get out of the camp? I learned lots of songs. It was a wonderful time to praise God in this manner. It also encouraged me to love God and to love others including people from different cultural backgrounds. I enjoyed the morning group devotions from 1 Thessalonians: a) The Thessalonians were loved by God and God chose them; b) Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to be imitators of Paul and God despite the severe suffering; c) Paul and his team loved them so much. They shared the Gospel and their lives; d) God turns evil into good even though Satan tries to stop believers from following God; e) We may leave the place physically but the spiritual things such as the joy and glory of believers remain.

The Come & See tour is intent on exploring what God has to tell us in a different and challenging environment. I thank God for the tour this year. We had a wonderful team from all walks of life and different life stages. For me the highlights are summed up in fellowship: meeting old and new friends, community meals, Bible teaching sessions, Gospel meetings, worship, and team devotions. Travelling and camping was not easy, but it was so worthwhile given the impact the team members had on each other. I walked into the camp one day and there was the kids’ ministry team sitting together and praying. Others were quietly sitting down writing down their own testimonies. Some stepped up courageously to take a lead on some of the responsibilities or share a testimony, others were working on it. As team members worked through their own personal challenges, we were able to be encouraged by each other as well as encourage the communities we visited.

If you're interested in joining a short-term mission, check out our upcoming trips here!


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