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Project Update – Diocese of the Northern Territory

Before the advent of COVID-19, ABM had partnered with the Diocese of the Northern Territory to enable a number of ministries to take place during 2020. Although many of these projects have had to be postponed, three have gone ahead.

You can read more here about how your support has enabled the Men’s Music Initiative, the Church Breakfast Program and the Church Strengthening Support project between the more established church at Angurugu on Groote Eylandt and the newer church at Milyakburra (Bickerton Island).

The other projects will go ahead, but will be delayed until it is safe for the government and local land councils to remove COVID-19 restrictions.

Church Strengthening Support: Supporting the church on Milyakburra (Bickerton Island).

One of the highlights of the year was that Veronica, one of the church leaders at Milyakburra, invited Matt from Angurugu (on Groote Eylandt) to visit weekly to help her run a foundational bible study on how to become part of God’s family.

It was great to see the passion that Veronica has for her community come to know and worship the Lord. The bible study was linguistically diverse, spaning three languages: Anindilyakwa, Kriol and English. It was great to see God’s word being read and explained in these languages. It was also encouraging to see the gospel being passed on from one generation to the next. Some weeks there were three generations present. One desire of Veronica is that some men come and get involved in the church, so we both were thrilled to see a mix of men and women attend the studies. 

COVID-19 proved not to affect the group too much due to the isolation of the community and the precautions put in place by the land council and state and federal governments. Lord willing, the virus does not ever make it to the island.

Another highlight of the year was having the Milyakburra church mob visit Groote on a mini ‘mission trip’.  At the initiative of Violet and Veronica the church mob organised a tour of Umbakumba and Angurugu communities on the nearby Groote Eylandt. Over a week they ran fellowship nights and some bible studies. It was great to see this initiative from Indigenous Christians to encourage their neighbours and a privilege to join in action dances at fellowship.

Visits by mature Christians from Angurugu to Milyakburra continue and we all look forward to seeing more of what the Lord is doing in and through his people there.

ABM thanks you, its generous supporters, for helping to enable these inter-island visits which are strengthening the church in both islands.

Community members at Milyakburra engaged in studying the scriptures © Diocese of the Northern Territory
Community members at Milyakburra engaged in studying the scriptures. © Diocese of the Northern Territory.

From the Men’s Music Initiative at Kunbarlanja (Gunbalanya)

Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ from Kunbarlanja!

We thank you for ABM’s support for these two programs. Here is a short update to encourage supporters and donors.

We are thankful for the ability to buy additional equipment for this program. The band members have talked together and recently placed an order for what they needed to continue reaching out through music to the community.

The men have plans underway to travel to various outstations surrounding Kunbarlanja to play their Christian music and encourage community members in their faith.

At the moment the men are rehearsing twice a week, Thursday afternoons and Sundays after church. It is wonderful to see younger men enthusiastic to join in learning the songs of the older people. 

ABM would like to thank its generous supporters for helping to make this initiative possible. We pray that it continues to bear good fruit.

Young men learn Christian songs from older men in Gunbalanya, and are encouraging others in the community in their faith
Young men learn Christian songs from older men in Gunbalanya, and are encouraging others in the community in their faith.

Wurdwurd manme kundung (Church Breakfast Program)

The provision of healthy food options on Sunday morning has encouraged parents and grandparents who attend the morning service to bring their children and grandchildren to enjoy the toast and fruit. Some children who never came to church before have started to come more regularly.

During the Covid19 restrictions we were able to use some of the money to create take-home family packs from the church (pictured). The packs contained Kunwinjku* Bible-colouring sheets, pencils and hot cross buns.

The church leaders were very excited about being able to share the packs with the community as a way of reaching out with God’s love.

ABM thanks you for your ongoing commitment to supporting and encouraging Aboriginal people in remote parts of the country.

*Kunwinjku is a West Arnhem Land language

Hot Cross Buns and bible story colouring materials were able to be taken home by parents and grandparents for their children during COVID-19 restrictions
Hot Cross Buns and Bible story colouring materials were able to be taken home by parents and grandparents for their children during COVID-19 restrictions.