Ministering at the Shawlands Caravan Park for 11 years started with monthly, Sunday lunch, barbeques. From the beginning the Shawlands Work Group, realized that the need in the park far exceeded our involvement, however we endeavoured to show compassion, offer a listening ear and at times an encouraging hug.
Once the management changed, together with a new lease holder, it became clear that our efforts were very much appreciated and working hand in hand with them, now with two caravans, in an undercover area was established, the managers have a real heart for people, an ideal combination to offer accommodation to the “bruised and battered” in our society.
Shawlands Caravan Park is much like a transit station, a place to stay, until such time they can afford something better or get housing via the Service Providers (Vic. Government). Many, if not all residents are doing it tough and therefore the Workgroup, on behalf of our church, want to show them Jesus’ love, by means of emergency supplies, Friday night monthly cook ups, rotating weekly opportunities each Thursday to chat and various activities for all ages.
Over the years the Workgropup have come across many grateful people and a few takers, however we know from God’s word, that Jesus also encountered this during His earthly ministry. There are also those people who even after leaving the park stay in touch,
“What does our presence in Shawlands achieve?” We’ve been told we have saved lives in different ways”; as the residents welcome us at all times in their own individual ways which we cherish as a real privilege. There are also those who are happy to be left alone and we respect that, always acknowledging and encouraging them when we can.
Our Op-Shop, provide the means, turning second hand merchandise into dollars, enabling us to be engaged in this local mission field, often challenging and yet such a meaningful ministry, which is so richly blessed.