I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
So then neither is he that plants any thing, neither he that waters; but God that gives the increase.
1 Corinthians 3:6-7 Bible
Before the Sunday Evening Service the small congregation in Camooweal gather together for a BBQ
Working as a Missionary is not like an ordinary job – the kind that earned my living as a teacher for 44 years. It has more in common with being a farmer or a fisherman. This might be why Jesus encouraged His followers to be “fishers of men”. Fishermen depend on the fish being there for the net or taking the bait. Jesus also used analogies from the land like planting, watering and reaping crops. Farmers like my friends the Horsboroughs in Tullamore, can do everything right, yet the weather or a locust plague can leave them with nothing for a year’s efforts.
While in most jobs hard work and talent reap rewards, many Missionaries, spiritual men with talents as teachers, pastors and leaders, work for years with little apparent, measurable impact.
It is like this in Camooweal, a small village on the border between Queensland and the Northern Territory where my friend Jono Wright, with his wife Grace and children Elijah, Tjanarah and Manoah, preach the Word of God to the local aboriginal people.
A few of his flock live in Camooweal but most are found in tiny settlements along the Sandover and Plenty Highways, 4 wheel drive tracks that lead through the wilderness to Alice Springs.
Talent and hard work are not sufficient in convincing people that they are sinners and require salvation – that change needs the hand of God through His Holy Spirit. Jono has worked patiently with these people for more than 5 years now, is well accepted and respected by this community but has not seen new and younger people seeing any need for a change in their lives.
I admire men like Jono for many things, but most of all for the patience they display in relying on God rather than their own strength.
While Camooweal is isolated, the Wrights have plenty of visitors offering support.
l to r Alison Muller, Bob & Norma Wright, Tjanara, Julie Lawrence, Elijah, Peter Muller, Manoah & Grace