Sandboarding at Birubi Beach, Port Stephens (Photo B. O'Donnell)

Spring Holidays Get-Together

The Sydney community's camping holiday - God calls us to reflect on and share the gifts we are given.
Louise, Sydney

September school holidays in New South Wales hold the promise of blue skies and longer days in the spring sunshine. With this in mind we booked a beachside cabin to enjoy a holiday with our good friends, and to make new friends, at the Communion and Liberation gathering in Port Stephens.

As our holiday approached, it was clear that spring was running late this year, so along with our sandals and beach towels we packed scarves, snow jackets and woollen socks.

Cold rain fell as we arrived at the caravan park and wild wind whipped our faces as we explored the tall sand dunes and walked along the beach. The kids, of course, still happily swam in the icy waters of the swimming pool!

Despite the ‘four-seasons-in-one-day’ weather of sun, rain and chill, my memories of this trip are warm. Our family experienced the warmth in gathering to enjoy community and friendship in the name of Jesus Christ.

Our days began with the call and answer of Morning Prayer and it was special to hear beautiful Italian voices praising in song in the middle of an Aussie caravan park! We were challenged and encouraged to think about the ways God is calling to us, to ask ourselves if we are making space to hear his word and to explore the ways we can share the gifts that we have been given.

The call and answer continued, now in excited little voices, as the kids talked about their fun for the day; swimming, science experiments, bushwalks, beach walks, sight-seeing, sandboarding and eating spiral cut potatoes on a stick!

In the evenings we enjoyed delicious meals together and it was a joy to be surrounded by the enthusiasm and lively conversation of our Argentinian and Italian friends.

The clouds held onto the rain long enough for us to enjoy a campfire one evening. I will always remember toasting marshmallows and singing together, seeing smiling faces in the glow of the flames.