Here is another entry from my old blog dated 16 February 2007:
On the 8th of January I arrived in Scottsdale, Tasmania where I and my wife Claire are the Corps Officers of The Salvation Army. Scottsdale is a pretty little town of 1,900 people in the north-east of Tasmania. We are thrilled to be here with our sons Josiah (4 years) and Nathanael (9 months). We have a lively corps of about 30 people (half of whom are children!)
Unfortunately the residents of the Scottsdale region are facing a tough time at present. Last month the two local sawmills were told that their contract for pine logs-which ends on March 31-would not be renewed. It now seems likely that one or both of the mills will be forced to close with the loss of up to 320 jobs! Obviously this would have an enormous impact on the economy and community of Scottsdale.
Yesterday about 500 people attended a rally to protest this situation and call on the state government to act to prevent the mills closing. Some fellow Salvos and I took The Salvation Army flag along to this rally. We were proud to stand there and show our support for the mill workers and this wonderful Scottsdale community. If required The Salvation Army will offer God's love in practical ways to those affected. However we continue to hope and pray for a better outcome.
Scottsdale is blessed with eight Christian Churches. Although Christians are few they certainly play a vital role within the community. On Sunday evening 35 people participated in a combined church prayer walk. We prayed for the mill workers as well as our elected representatives, families, sporting clubs and businesses.
As a newcomer to Scottsdale I share the community's disappointment, frustration and uncertainty regarding the sawmills. Yet as a Christian I know that God is active here & that He loves the people of Scottsdale and has good plans and a future for every person in this beautiful north-eastern region.
I will bless you with a future filled with hope-a future of success, not of suffering. You will turn back to me and ask for help, and I will answer your prayers. -- Jeremiah 29:11-12