Manus Island 2013 – my experiences, pt 22

In 2013, myself and 5 other cadets from Catherine Booth College, along with three staff, went to Manus Island, PNG, as part of our training, to work as part of The Salvation Army’s Humanitarian team working in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. Four years on, I’ve decided to share my diary from that experience. Names have been changed, and I acknowledge that the centre has changed a lot since then, but it is my hope that this will share a bit of light into how our government is treating Asylum Seekers.
27 February 2013. 8 days to home.

An… interesting day today. Started with reading, I’ve started Miracles, by C.S. Lewis. Hopefully I can understand what he’s saying a bit better this time.

This afternoon I helped out in the canteen. All was going fine until one guy tried to buy something with his friend’s card. I enforced the rules and refused to serve him. He flipped, tried to pull the counter off, swore his head off at me, kicked the door of the canteen, and made quite a commotion outside. I stayed inside, out of harm’s way, but it still got the adrenaline pumping.

Then tonight, due to illness, I ended up shift leading, while two families team members came over to help out. It was a quiet night, but one moment really stuck out. One of the Hazaraghis had got frustrated in the afternoon when we ran out of phone cards. He came up to me tonight, and apologized to me. I told him that I completely understood, and that we were trying to get the system working better. It wasn’t much, but that he made the effort to apologize for his actions really stood out to me.

Mentally – Good, but wondering how my energy levels will go; as for the rest of the week I am on nights.

Manus Island 2013 – my experiences, pt 21

In 2013, myself and 5 other cadets from Catherine Booth College, along with three staff, went to Manus Island, PNG, as part of our training, to work as part of The Salvation Army’s Humanitarian team working in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. Four years on, I’ve decided to share my diary from that experience. Names have been changed, and I acknowledge that the centre has changed a lot since then, but it is my hope that this will share a bit of light into how our government is treating Asylum Seekers.
26 February 2013. 9 days to home.

Day off today. I spent most of it reading God’s Politics. It’s a great books, with lots of great ideas – I think I dog-eared every second page in the poverty section.

The overall guiding principle behind the boos was not just to complain, but to provide a credible solution to the problem. I can see many areas in Australian politics where this prophetic voice is needed.

Talked to Liesl tonight. It was her first day at placement, and while really tough, it was a really good day. She’s going to love it there, and do incredible work.

Mentally – Good. Thoughts are starting to turn towards home, so I need to remain focused while I’m here.

Manus Island 2013 – my experiences, pt 20

In 2013, myself and 5 other cadets from Catherine Booth College, along with three staff, went to Manus Island, PNG, as part of our training, to work as part of The Salvation Army’s Humanitarian team working in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. Four years on, I’ve decided to share my diary from that experience. Names have been changed, and I acknowledge that the centre has changed a lot since then, but it is my hope that this will share a bit of light into how our government is treating Asylum Seekers.
25 February 2013. 10 days to home!

First official shift in SAMs today. Worked in the canteen all day with C – was a breeze. C said she came out of shift feeling energised for the first time, because there was no overly tense moments for her.

She noted that for everyone that I served, I tried to use their name. This was something that I wanted to do in families but didn’t get a chance – however I think it is so vital. For so many things, they are known by their boat identifier number, and if we are not careful that is all they will know themselves by.

Last night in church we sane “He knows my name” – never has it had more meaning for me than here.

Received word that I have officially been accepted into my MDiv program today.

Mentally – great. Day off tomorrow, but my pen is dying. I don’t think it will last till I get home.

Manus Island 2013 – my experiences, pt 19

In 2013, myself and 5 other cadets from Catherine Booth College, along with three staff, went to Manus Island, PNG, as part of our training, to work as part of The Salvation Army’s Humanitarian team working in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. Four years on, I’ve decided to share my diary from that experience. Names have been changed, and I acknowledge that the centre has changed a lot since then, but it is my hope that this will share a bit of light into how our government is treating Asylum Seekers.
24 February 2013. 11 days to home.

Day shift today. There was a car accident this morning with left the SAMs team short, so I helped them out today. Looked after the iPads, which was good, but I don’t get much of an opportunity to interact with the guys.

When the new roster came out, I saw that I’ve now been moved to SAMs. Some of the other cadets wanted to move to Families, and I was ok with moving to SAMs after a couple of good shifts in there.

Church tonight was good, and I was able to show W and the others my daughter. They loved her – commended on how beautiful she was.

Mentally, I’m doing ok. A couple of good shifts in SAMs has me feeling OK about a permanent move there.

Manus Island 2013 – my experiences, pt 18

In 2013, myself and 5 other cadets from Catherine Booth College, along with three staff, went to Manus Island, PNG, as part of our training, to work as part of The Salvation Army’s Humanitarian team working in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. Four years on, I’ve decided to share my diary from that experience. Names have been changed, and I acknowledge that the centre has changed a lot since then, but it is my hope that this will share a bit of light into how our government is treating Asylum Seekers.
23 February 2013. 12 days to home.

Day off today. Went to the beach for a swim with N and C, then went for a walk to see the Mangrove. Even though I put sunscreen on, I got pretty badly sunburnt. Will be much more careful from now on.

This afternoon, I finished some more sketches of music. I now have ideas for the beginning, middle and end. I can’t wait to get home and start orchestrating it and putting it together in full. I think it should be really good.

Tonight, we had a local band and dancers come to entertain the fmailies. It was so wonderful to see them with huge smiles on their faces, dancing, and interacting with each other – no matter the age or culture barriers.

I was reminded of numerous episodes of M*A*S*H, where such celebrations were always put back in their place when the hard reality of war came back with more casualties. I was wondering whether it was worth it, and whether the community members will face the harsh reality of tomorrow, that of continues indefinite detention. But then I am reminded of the numerous times Hawkeye or Father Mulchahy sucessfully pointed out that even just an hour where people can forget about the fact that they are living in a hell hole is worth all of the harsh realities. And I think that is the truth. While the reality may hit hard, the hour or two of joy tonight was certainly worth it.

Mental state – Great. Got to talk to Liesl and Annabelle today, and was great to see them. It’s tough for them, but I know they support me through this, and I couldn’t do it without that.

Manus Island 2013 – my experiences, pt 17

In 2013, myself and 5 other cadets from Catherine Booth College, along with three staff, went to Manus Island, PNG, as part of our training, to work as part of The Salvation Army’s Humanitarian team working in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. Four years on, I’ve decided to share my diary from that experience. Names have been changed, and I acknowledge that the centre has changed a lot since then, but it is my hope that this will share a bit of light into how our government is treating Asylum Seekers.
22 February 2013. 13 days to home.

I’ve started planning my days – putting it into the calendar of my phone. It’s working pretty well, and is allowing me to start achieving stuff, like learning Greek, and getting through my books.

Night shift today. Worked in canteen and helped the Tamil guys spread some sand around their volleyball court. I love how much pride they take in it – it’s gone from a vacant space to a proper beach volleyball court, with poles cemented in, and wool and pegs marking out the boundary. All they really need is some stronger string, as the wool keeps breaking.

R came up to me at dinner tonight and asked if I could go into SAMs, as they were short staffed. I said sure, and then freaked out a little bit. I went into my room and had to psych myself up a bit. The night went well, with only a couple of hiccups, and I think I handled myself well. Makes me a little less nervous if I get moved to SAMs next week.

Mentally – good. While I needed to encourage myself, I was strong and competent throughout the night.

 

Manus Island 2013 – my experiences, pt 16

In 2013, myself and 5 other cadets from Catherine Booth College, along with three staff, went to Manus Island, PNG, as part of our training, to work as part of The Salvation Army’s Humanitarian team working in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. Four years on, I’ve decided to share my diary from that experience. Names have been changed, and I acknowledge that the centre has changed a lot since then, but it is my hope that this will share a bit of light into how our government is treating Asylum Seekers.
21 February 2013. 14 days to home!

Half way point! S and G left today, and C arrived. We now have less days to go than we have been here. While I am very much looking forward to going home, I will miss the people here a lot as well. I am starting to form close relationships with some of them, and it will be hard to say goodbye.

Today, I had a good chat with V and W and with U at the end of the night. I played Monopoly and Volleyball, and looked after the internet room.

I worked on my Greek this morning, and I feel I’m getting more confident with the letters and sounds.

C brought a package for me from Liesl. My running shirt and shorts, a USB of photos and videos, some printed photos that I can take on shift with me, and a painting that Annabelle did. It’s wonderful – I just need to figure out how to display it.

Mentally – good. Missing Liesl and Annabelle a lot, but getting to the halfway point seemed really quick, so I’m sure I’ll be heading home soon.

Manus Island 2013 – my experiences, pt 15

In 2013, myself and 5 other cadets from Catherine Booth College, along with three staff, went to Manus Island, PNG, as part of our training, to work as part of The Salvation Army’s Humanitarian team working in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. Four years on, I’ve decided to share my diary from that experience. Names have been changed, and I acknowledge that the centre has changed a lot since then, but it is my hope that this will share a bit of light into how our government is treating Asylum Seekers.
20 February 2013. 15 Days to home.

Day off today. Started off with a bit of a walk with S and N around Lombrum. There’s some wonderful scenery around here, and the old army base provides some interesting photos. I didn’t get everywhere I wanted, but I will have more days off to explore further.

This afternoon was spent reading and watching Star Trek. I also had a chat with G about NT Greek. I realised that I really needed to have been doing more while here, as I’ve missed my opportunity to have G help me. As such, I’m on my own now, so I’ll be spending an hour a day to try and get my head around it.

Talked with Liesl tonight on Facebook. She’s doing well – didn’t hear about Annabelle. It’s tough over Facebook, especially with such little time.

Mentally – great. Feeling refreshed after a day off. Night shift for the next two days, then I get to Facetime Liesl and Annabelle.

Expanding our idea of love

As has been my tradition, every sermon that I preach will be posted here. This sermon, Expanding our idea of love, was given at The Salvation Army Rochester on Sunday 19 February, 2017. The Reading was Matthew 5:38-48.

Who wants to hit me?

Last week, I talked about how Jesus expanded the law from just the command against murder to say that we shouldn’t get angry. Bill cornered me after the service to remind me that there are different sorts of anger – there is violent anger, which is was Jesus was speaking about, and there is a just or a holy anger. And sometimes it is good for us to get angry about some things – for example we should get angry about injustices. However, in all things, we should  not get violent in our anger – instead, we should seek a response that is grounded in love, and invites the oppressor to change their ways.

So to start with today, I’d like a volunteer who is willing to hit me. Continue reading “Expanding our idea of love”

Manus Island 2013 – my experiences, pt 14

In 2013, myself and 5 other cadets from Catherine Booth College, along with three staff, went to Manus Island, PNG, as part of our training, to work as part of The Salvation Army’s Humanitarian team working in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. Four years on, I’ve decided to share my diary from that experience. Names have been changed, and I acknowledge that the centre has changed a lot since then, but it is my hope that this will share a bit of light into how our government is treating Asylum Seekers.
19 February 2013. 16 days to home.

Day shift today. Spent the day in the canteen. Out of the list that I thought would happen, today certainly wasn’t on that list. I got abused over a toy car by a mum.

It was a continuation of the toy cars from yesterday, and the kids wanted to buy the extras. Once we had tracked down all the names on the list, we started selling the cars. They went super quick. One mum was angry that I had told her to come tomorrow, then sold the cars today, so there wasn’t any for her. There wasn’t really anything that I could do, but it still shot my adrenaline levels up high. Once canteen was over, I removed myself for about fifty minutes, so that I could calm down and finish the shift. The rest of the shift went well.

I’ve been reading God’s politics and it’s a really great book. While it focuses on US politics, I think it has a lot to say about Australian politics, especially in an election year.

Mentally – a bit tired from today, but glad to have been able to chat to Liesl. A day off tomorrow will be most appreciated.