Bush Chaplain Sunny

By Frontier Services

Posted in Faith

Bush Chaplain Sunny has a big job. His patrol area of Parkin-Sturt in South Australia includes 49 towns, around 170 farming stations, and multiple mines. But while his job may be big, he says it’s the small things that make a difference.

'Mother Theresa once said, "We can’t do great things in our life, we can do small things with great love,’ says Sunny. 'I hold these words dear, and I know when I do small things with great love, that’s when I make a big difference.'

The communities that Sunny looks after face a range of challenges: drought, the flow-on effects of COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, isolation, and an overall sense of uncertainty for the future.

For Sunny, the best way to build a connection with the community is through visible and tangible practical support. On that foundation, Sunny deepens the connection by offering emotional and pastoral support.

One interaction that sticks in Sunny’s mind was with a local business owner with whom he spent three days to help clean his property. The man was struggling to find staff after the pandemic.

'At the end of three days, he turned to me and said he had never been a religious man, but to him, my helping him was the very definition of faith,' shares Sunny.

'That was so touching. He could begin exploring his faith because of something so simple that I had done for him.'

Beyond the small projects, Sunny also runs a program of big projects. This year, a particularly exciting project is Clean and Green where volunteers help the local community to deep-clean the town, plant trees, and establish new waste management processes.

'We designed Clean and Green around the feedback from our communities,' says Sunny. 'Many complained that their towns are too hot, have too many flies, and don’t have enough shade. So we’re going to do something to make these things better, with sustainability for the future at the forefront.'

For Sunny, the most important part of being a Bush Chaplain is actively demonstrating to the people he serves that Frontier Services is there for them, whatever challenge they may face and regardless of their faith. 

'I am there with them to witness their life’s joys and successes. But more importantly, I am there with them through their sorrows and hardships. People in the bush are not alone in their life’s journey. Frontier Services - the Bush Chaplains, the Outback Links volunteers, and donors - are always with them.'

Frontier Services Frontier News February 2024.


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