During the Term 2 holiday break, 3 teams of enthusiastic Year 10-12 Northpine students volunteered their time to serve 4 rural Queensland town communities. Alongside a crew of Northpine alumni and ‘Refresh Church’ youth, over 100 students, young adults and staff travelled hundreds of kilometers to the small towns of Surat, Injune, Monto and Eidsvold.
This unique opportunity was made possible through the service initiative, STORM Co. STORM Co stands for ‘Service To Others Really Matters’ and is a unique school trip with the sole focus of serving others with no strings attached – a present-day application of Jesus’ biblical example. With service at the core of their mission, these teams sought to build genuine relationships with their local communities while also listening and learning from them. They achieved this through the Kidz Club program, a place for local children to come and learn about Jesus through songs and activities, as well as community maintenance projects. Each community was receptive, touched and thankful for the STORMCo teams.
Through this experience, students not only built connections with their communities, but also with their fellow STORM Co teammates. Teams became ‘families.’ Students were encouraged to challenge themselves to learn new skills, lead groups, meet people and give humbly of themselves. Each day was opened and closed in worship with staff sharing personal testimonies about how God has impacted their lives.
Every staff member, student and young adult who accepted the invitation to join one of the STORM Co trips made a difference in another’s life and from this we believe the experience has made a difference in our own lives too. We look forward to returning to these towns next year and continuing to build on the relationships formed.
Sharyn Harrington – Chaplain