On a recent trek across South Australia we were looking for kinfolk to come alongside and learn from. We put the word out to any and all who might be up for a visit and found a handful of folks willing to share a glimpse of life through their eyes.
On the southeast side of Adelaide, in a place called Christies beach is a community house full of surfer dudes. We meet Andy, our host, at Surrender Conference a few years back and when we were getting ready to head through his area we reached out. He and his wife Jessi, set up a super fun house concert at their friend Kenny’s.
About 40 kinfolk showed up, families and all. Andy, a fantastic muso in his own right, played an opening set and we finished out the night with a word of encouragement and merrymaking. What a blast was had by all!
Meet Jayne! Jayne is a Saint with the super power of “sincere love.” She daily offers herself up to those around her providing a safe space to journey through life’s hardships. We met Jayne through Craig’s old muso friend Darren, from back in his hardcore days. Darren lives in Adelaide and was volunteering with Baptist Care SA and introduced us with Jayne.
Jayne’s official title is “Support Worker” with the Aboriginal Elders Program at Baptist Care SA, where she supports Aboriginal women elders in day-to-day life by offering them encouragement, counseling, and advocacy. She is also the founder and leader of Club Tutti, a choir program at Minda Homes. Minda enables people with intellectual disability to embrace & enjoy experiences of life through disability care, disability services & disability education.
Jayne invited to participate in a week of her life, offering us opportunities to share music and story.
We shared sacred space with kinfolk at the Aboriginal Berean Community Church Inc Queenstown SA.
It was an honor to share a meal, story and merrymaking with the Narungga mob down at Point Pearce Station on the Yorke Peninsula, SA
One of the greatest gifts in life is being able to ask questions. Google is a great way to find answers but face to face conversations with those who have expertise is even better.We have a curiosity about cultures and people groups and our desire to listen and learn has broken down walls and allowed us to hear more than any text-book could ever teach. Because of Jaynes introduction, we were honored to be able to sit across the table from many Aboriginal elders and ask them questions. They were patient as we fumbled our way through and they were gracious in their gift of response. For the moment, these interactions will stay personal, however the over-riding themes have now been woven into our very fabric, as our understanding has been awakened. That is what some call growth and it is essential for any who call themselves peacemakers.
One sunny afternoon, Jayne took us to sing with her Club Tutti choir. Having done music therapy in nursing homes for years, our time with Club Tutti at Minda Homes was a sheer delight. It was a familiar and joyful experience engaging with those kinfolk as they sang their hearts out.
Traveling through Australia with just back packs and instruments often left us vulnerable to not knowing where exactly we’d lay our heads every night. However, the generosity of our hosts continued to give us a peace of mind. It’s funny how connection happens. We had a few conversations with Jayne before our visit and during one of them we mentioned that we would be so grateful for a host, a hub, a place to call home while we were in town. Jayne put us on to Sparky and she welcomed us with open arms.
When we arrived, Sparky was just leaving for work. Jayne had mentioned that Sparky was a fire performer but were tickled with she opened the door and she welcomed us in her fire-red costume. She was a sheer delight! She gave us the low down on her place, showed us to our rooms and wished us a great visit.
Between our outings with Jayne we enjoyed learning more about Sparky and her love for her dog, traveling, community, faith and her art form. Sharing her space with us was natural and informal and just what we needed on our last leg down under. Thanks Sparky!