Mission News–June 2020

Nungalinya College­­–fire across the Northern Territory

Wayne Oldfield, the Dean of Nungalinya College, received a phone call from one of the College students Jamie Nyaningu, who had returned to his country Pukatja(Emabella) due to COVID-19.

The caller said, “There was a bushfire across the APY Lands.” (Large, sparsely populated local government area located in the remote north west of South Australia.)

Wayne paused trying to comprehend what had been said and the caller continued, “You know what I mean about the bushfire… the Holy Spirit.”

His people have been gathering most nights across the Lands to sing together and hear the Tjukurpas Palya (the good stories) about God’s love and about Jesus. Some of the young men are interested in coming to Nungalinya to study and become leaders in God’s kingdom.

Another wonderful story that Wayne has received from Rev. Lindsay Parkhill at Jabiru was the occurrence of forty baptisms and 4 new Elders in the community. Current students along with other leaders have been leading daily fellowship gatherings at the ‘Town Camp’. (Look on the Nungalinya Face Book Page on Day 15 of Nungalinya Chapel Posts if you would like to see the singing and dancing).

Wayne concludes by saying that during the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020 some seeds have fallen into fertile soil. Thanks be to God.

Tony with some Anangu women from APY lands at Nungalinya College


 Alfrene Wright at Gulargambone Central School­–Bush Church Aid Missionary

It was wonderful to receive a phone call from Alfrene and hear about her work with the Indigenous Community first hand. Gulargambone has a population of around 400 people.

Gulargambone Central School is K to 12 and has about 70 enrolments with 75% identifying as Aboriginal. The school is well resourced and has 4 Indigenous Teachers Assistance as well as Alfrene, who is the Chaplain.

Alfrene’s work at the school involves not only assisting students but also supporting the local community at various times especially when there is a death in the family. One of the main concerns is that the local farming communities tend to by-pass Gulargambone and send their children to Dubbo or Gilgandra so compromising the size of the school.

One new exciting venture that the school has undertaken with the help of the Royal Flying Doctor is the GROW program. Students and the community come together to learn skills in Aquaculture, a way to farm aquatic organisms in both coastal and inland areas. This is a hands-on way for students to practice innovation and resilience.

Alfrene is very dedicated to this community and says she loves her work with the students.


Jerome and Indra–with CMS in South east Asia

Exciting News from Jerome and Indra saying they have been able to book flights home in July for their Home Assignment. Hopefully, we will be able to see them at St Jude’s, during the second part of the year, depending on COVID-19 restrictions.

Over the last months Jerome has been helping to host on-line- Christianity Explored and Life Explored Courses with good attendance. His ministry with international students continues and two cross-cultural training sessions have been held as well as a more general meeting bringing together university students, lecturers, Christian  fellowships, churches and parachurch organisations, for the first time, to learn more about this ministry.

St Jude’s Mission group joined with Jerome and Indra in a joint zoom prayer meeting in April which was most encouraging for us all.


Prayer Points

  • Praise for stories of spiritual growth in remote Australian Communities.
  • Thanks for protection for people from COVID-19 in NT Communities.
  • Pray for Nungalinya Staff as they work and study in new areas during this time of isolation. Pray for safety for Students and Staff when the College reopens in the near future and that students will be able to return to their study.
  • Praise for the wonderful resources at Gulargambone Central School and BCA’s provision of Alfrene.
  • Pray for more students to attend Gulargambone Central School.
  • Pray that Jerome and Indra will have their flights go ahead and safe travel back to Australia.
  • Pray for wisdom regarding David and Elijah’s education as the family return to Australia for home assignment.
  • Thanks for the good health of all our missionaries through the COVID-19.

 Philippa Skuja- Mission Secretary