Connection and magic moments on Fraser Island
Lawrence Besant is an Outreach Worker at the Villawood Pathways mission in Sydney. He shares his experience with Salvos Online of attending the Fraser Island fishing trip that is held each year primarily for men from Brisbane Streetlevel mission
This year’s fishing trip with the Salvo community made me feel inspired.
One, because there was so much natural creation around us that only God can create, and two, because there was common ground where the love of God could be expressed through human connection that had no expectations or judgement about what people should be. It was men being themselves and our call from God to love humanity unconditionally.
It made me feel hopeful and that everyone is important in God’s eyes. God is with people in the tough stuff of life, as well as the good. I would be lying to say that it was a great place to be, and I did get lost in the space a few times, but it was so much more than just fishing with friends.
I minister to a community in Villawood, Sydney, working with similar communities like Brisbane Streetlevel. It is working with people, listening, caring, humbling ourselves before God and learning from the community.
This can be tough because we see brokenness around us all the time. In being honest with myself, it can feel lonely at times. It was good to spend time with Salvo leaders such as Bryce Davies and Paul Maunder to learn what God was doing at Streetlevel.
I felt connected to the wider Salvos community through the leadership and the welcome from the men in the group. Also, through the common experiences that the men were coping with in their lives.
My magic moment was watching one of the men catch his first fish and first worm. The men spent time teaching him how to cast and use the fishing rod and teaching him how to worm. Watching him catch his first fish was amazing.
The absolute joy and amazement on his face was great, and we were able to share the moment with him.
Sometimes communication is non-verbal. In this case, not much needs to be said. His expression told the story.
One of the participants, Joshua Jarman, summed up the trips when he said this: “The Fraser Island trip helped me with my anxiety and depression. It taught me a lot about patience and a good way of budgeting. I met a lot of new people, and they have been great to have around and to be a part of the Fraser Island trip.”
Mateship, adventure and a sense of belonging on Fraser Island fishing trip. Click here