Our GLEAN opportunity enables students to go to the Northern Territory to learn and experience a different language and culture, and to apply and nurture what they have learnt.
For approximately ten years, Chairo students and staff members have been welcomed as guests into the indigenous community of Beswick, south of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.
Indigenous Christians like Anderson and Lorretta, and the Wycliffe missionary Rachel Borneman, have developed language and cultural opportunities that encourage cross-cultural friendship and Christian faith development.
This optional camp provided students with the privilege to experience the harsh but beautiful outback landscape and to learn from Christian preachers and elders, missionaries and the local children in a desert and bush community.
Partnering with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) to experience an ‘outback adventure’, students were given the opportunity to engage in several days of intense language, culture, faith and character training in Darwin before giving their time and hearts to an indigenous community.
Year 10 student April Beamish explained: ‘I really loved being with the kids. It was so amazing to feed off their joy and happiness. The trip showed me that we need to be inclusive of all cultures and people and that it isn't just about what's best for us. We had to sacrifice a lot for other people, but it was so rewarding to know that we could help. ‘
This year our team of 22 people endured unprecedented challenges in the harsh climate. Having developed a servant heart, Chairo students sang and helped in the local school, developed and operated an engaging afterschool program for children, and participated in the nightly open-air fellowships.
The students also enthusiatically embraced the challenge of blessing the school by giving it a surprise cleaning one evening. The highlight was playing with the local indigenous children and building relationships in the community.
Students also enjoyed swimming in the breathtaking desert waterfalls and the Beswick waterhole connected to the Katherine Gorge.
By encountering a new language, culture and God’s heart for the Aboriginal communities, our students learnt the power of prayer and grew in their understanding and love for their indigenous brothers and sisters in Christ.
The experience was described as life-changing by Year 10 student Adelaide McLean. ‘The training was challenging and encouraging but nothing can prepare you for the different environment in the community’, she said. ‘Personally, I loved learning the indigenous way of life. The whole community is full of pure joy and kindness, and their selfless generosity in giving us the opportunity to work with their beautiful children was amazing. It was an honor to be able to join the community for a week and be truly a part of Beswick.’