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I am an Honorary Deacon serving The Southern Monaro Parish for the last twelve years. I have lived in the Bombala region for twenty three years now. When I arrived in Bombala, I was not sure where my ministry would take me, having been involved in Lay Ministry for some time in a another parish. But I have been surprised by the way it has unfolded over the years. Even as we tend to resist God’s plans for us, He tenderly prods, being patient with our failures, and continues His ministry in and through us. When I answered God’s call I did often wonder how I would be able to do all that it entailed. But the ‘One who calls us will also equip us’, as I have found over these years. Many doors have opened for me, I just needed to trust God.

When I answered God’s call I did often wonder how I would be able to do all that it entailed. But the ‘One who calls us will also equip us’, as I have found over these years. Many doors have opened for me, I just needed to trust God.

I am involved in many areas of Pastoral Care; to the elderly, the isolated, making home visits and work through the Op Shops in Bombala and Delegate. One could say I work on the fringes of community. I am employed for five hours weekly to oversee, train volunteers and provide Pastoral Care to a local Nursing Home, residents, staff and family members. In ministry to all these people I feel very humbled and privileged to listen and talk with them in their hour of need. Sometimes it is by enabling others to come with me on their journey.

Ministry since COVID-19 has certainly been different. But it gave me time to reflect on my own life, to relax and spend time in the presence of the Lord, a time well spent. One of hardest things I face now is talking to loved ones who have lost a dear relative, who were unable to see their relative under the COVID-19 restrictions. Attending to them in their grief is overwhelming.

The property where I live is a haven for me. It is a very much-loved place in a beautiful valley where many people like to come and visit. It is an oasis of beautiful sunrises and sunsets, rivers where you may see a platypus, if you are lucky. Quiet and peaceful, it is nestled away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.

But this same place can be a challenge when it rains heavily as my home can be cut off by the flooded river. I have chosen to stay at home when flood cuts me off from the town. At other times I have journeyed across the river to stay in town. Following heavy rain, which has been most welcome following years of drought, I recently had a wedding to perform and I needed to cross the flooded river. The tractor in the picture came to my rescue. On another occasion I have been rescued by canoe!

My home for me is a refuge when I return from all my work in town, where I spend time with God. For me, the words ‘Be still and know that I am God’ have much meaning. This is how I recharge my batteries for the work to which I have been called.

by Reverend Judy Holdsworth