Before I had even returned to the States I had began to process and evaluate our trip to Australia. While I was there, I daily kept a journal in order to remember the intricate details of each day. However, this attempt failed. There were no words written on a page that could encapsulate the experiences of the trip. So I began jotting down words to commemorate these experiences in hopes I could recall those experiences once I was home. Now that I am back and re-read those words, they seem empty and disappointing. Those words cannot convey my experience; however, I am hopeful that you will be able to get a grasp on the impact all parties experienced during this trip.
In Australia we were incessantly greeted with grateful attitudes as we explained our reason for being there. Every individual we encountered was amazed that we would come from America with the single purpose of helping them recover from the flood. As our time down there progressed we were able to see a tangible, positive change in the work we were doing. While we were in Texas, Australia a group of us worked for four days with a farmer by the name of Ian. In talking with Ian, we found out that between equipment, property, and product damage he lost about $300,000. That doesn’t include the carry over to the next few years as his land and production will not be back to full capacity. One day in working with Ian, three of us had just finished doing a line of fence posts. He looked down the line and said, “Thats about $200 worth of work.” And that was the third fence line of that length the three of us had done that day. Wow, in just a few hours three of us had done about $600 worth of work! Imagine how much work all 13 of us did in the time we were there. That is a brief idea of the monetary impact we had while we were there. There was also a large psychological impact as we were humbly able to positively lift the spirits of those we encountered. Other group members have written on that psychological impact as well, so I will not elaborate on that.
In no way do I say this out of some sense of self righteousness or self justification. We went to aid the Australians, but I believe we each came away changed in some way by our work and the people we encountered. I want to convey, to whomever is reading or gracious enough to sponsor TWCD, the actual impact a small group of people can have in a time of distress. This is written out of gratefulness, but also as a challenge. You are able to make a difference. Your donation makes a difference. Your willingness to support TWCD makes a difference. Please continue to sponsor and please continue to make a difference. TWCD does a great job of mobilizing people who are willing to go and serve as well as providing opportunities for people to donate who may not be able to go themselves.
Personally, I am very gracious for the opportunity to go to Australia to aid in rebuilding their flooded country. It was undeserved but I am very grateful for the chance to help out. Without the help of TWCD this trip would not have been possible for me and many others