Sydney Newspaper writes of our Summer mission

The Sydney Morning Herald wrote an article about the Beach Mission activity that we will take part in this Summer! Read on…

Sun and salvation make a divine holiday for fun-seeking souls

SANDCASTLES and surf lessons might seem unlikely places to find the good news of Jesus Christ thousands of children on family holidays along the NSW coast this summer will find the Lord’s word hard to avoid.

Combining biblical messages with holiday activities

Scripture Union Family Mission has set up camp in almost 50 caravan parks to take Jesus Christ from the church to the beach.

The Bible’s religious teachings are woven into sandcastle-building, surfing and cooking lessons, craft classes and the mission’s park carnivals.

Kelly Carlisle, of Pymble, is one of 99 Christians camped at Lake Tabourie on the south coast this year to share her faith with summer holidaymakers.

”The idea is that we come along to caravan parks and run activities for all age groups, from babies through to mums, to have fun with them, create friendships and share our faith,” she said.

A director of the annual Lake Tabourie beach mission, she knows intimately the impact holiday proselytising can have.

She camped at the park, south of Ulladulla, with her family every summer throughout her childhood. On New Year’s Eve in 1996, when she was 18, she became a Christian.

”I went to [the mission] right through my childhood years, so I knew all the stories about Jesus, but I never understood how he was relevant to me,” she said.

Ruby May Thompson, 11, is so enamoured of the Lake Tabourie mission’s ”disaster chef” and Jenga games, she and her parents travelled to the caravan park especially to attend.

”One I like best [is] disaster chef,” Ruby said. ”It’s a game that you play, sometimes at night, and you go and you just throw stuff [ingredients] in and then it might turn our good, it might turn out bad.

”They might have some things about Jesus, but not all the time.”

Ruby’s father, Christopher, describes himself as a non-practising Christian and said the Bible’s moral and behavioural lessons were good for his children.

He first encountered the mission when the group offered free babysitting some years ago.

”They offered to look after my children for a few hours, which is fantastic,” he said.

”They make it quite interesting and exciting for them. We’re not even at that caravan park but my eldest daughter wanted to go.”

The Lake Tabourie beach mission has been running for more than half a century. Volunteers from a variety of Christian denominations, who work 15 hours a day, pay $400 each to cover the cost of camping, food, equipment and activities.

[SGM Lifewords are supplying the Bible resources for SU's beach mission. Over 6000 Bible booklets will be distributed to holiday makers during the 4-week mission period]

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