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Mobile mission makes big impact in small towns

Mobile mission makes big impact in small towns

Mobile mission makes big impact in small towns

7 September 2018

The Queensland Mobile Mission team recently visited the Lockyer Valley to support and encourage small rural towns and communities.

By Kevin Elsley

A Salvation Army mission with specific aims to bond, interact and socialise in the Lockyer Valley of south-east Queensland has been described as an amazing testimony to the power and love of Jesus at work in the community.

The band playing in the supermarket foyer, Gatton.

The 30-strong team of mature-age Salvationist musicians and singers under the leadership of Howard McLachlan, brought the gospel message to Laidley and Gatton, key crop-farming towns under the umbrella of The Salvation Army’s Lockyer Valley Corps.

Over three days, the mission presented programs in nursing homes and a shopping mall, led the Sunday worship service and interacted with the host corps’ band practice and youth program, Project 32:1, for an evening of games, musical instrument demonstrations and pizza.

Major Jennifer Cloke, the Territorial Seniors Ministries Consultant, got back on the drums after many years to teach the children.

Band, timbrel and vocal items attracted the interest of many shoppers and has been described by Lockyer Valley Corps Officer, Captain Craig Harlum, as something unique in the street life of Gatton. “An eye-opener and attention-grabbing” was how he put it.

Mission singers at the Tabeel Nursing Home, Laidley

At the two nursing home visits in Laidley, the medicine of music was seen in action when several residents joined in physically to the rhythm of well-known gospel songs. One observer referred to the visits as being a rare and much-needed experience for staff and residents.

Gospel favourites brought back memories for Captain Harlum, who spoke about his time at The Salvation Army William Booth House Recovery Services Centre in Sydney and the role the songs played in his recovery on the road to becoming a Salvation Army officer.

“The songs presented by the mission reminded me that because of them I am where I am today,” he said.

“This mission to Lockyer Valley was priceless,” he added. “It has impacted on many in the local community. Seeds have been planted here for God to bring to fruition.”

Mission leaders Howard McLachlan, Captain Craig Harlum, Major Jennifer Cloke.

Major Cloke conducted a training session on “safe missions, the exercise involving The Salvation Army’s new Keeping Children Safe module, and as a result, the mobile mission became the first fully compliant mobile mission team in Australia.

Major Ray Proud chose the topic “power in the everyday” for the Sunday worship service sermon, during which he reminded the congregation that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead was in us and could be made to work by walking in the direction God pointed out.

Drawing on the healing of 10 lepers “as they walked on the way”, Major Proud said we can experience that power as we walk along life’s way.

The mobile mission expressed gratitude for assistance given by several members of the Divisional Fellowship Band and the Area Officer, Commissioner James Condon.

Kevin Elsley attends the Lismore Corps in northern NSW, and is part of the Queensland Mobile Mission Team.

 

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