Imagine every time you said goodbye to your family before going to work, it wasn’t just ‘see you tonight’, it was ‘see you in a week’s or month’s time’. You hug your children with tears in your eyes knowing that the sacrifices you’re making to provide for your family will mean missing your son’s first day at school, not being able to cheer on your daughter at her netball game, being able to kiss your spouse goodnight.
That is the reality of life for many of the fly-in-fly-out workers living in the mining community of Tom Price, WA. To give you a true appreciation for just how vast Australia is and how remote some of these towns are, you would have to drive for 16 hours non-stop to reach Perth, their nearest capital city.
The average age of people living in Tom Price is just 29. The town of 2,721 people has an aboriginal heritage and is made up of mining workers, tourists and young families. But don’t just skim read past that number, stop and pause for a moment – that is 2,721 souls created uniquely and desperately loved by the God we serve.
There are just two churches in this isolated community and since 2001 Vision Christian Radio has been right there broadcasting a message of true hope 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
One of those churches is Tom Price Baptist Church, where Gavin Douglas serves as the senior pastor. He and his young family were called to the township in 2014, and have been diligently serving the people of Tom Price ever since.
Before embarking on this chapter of their lives, Gavin, who is an avid fan of American football, was a chaplain within the Western Australia prison system. Gavin’s wife Alana is also the chaplain at Tom Price Primary School – speaking life into some of the town’s youngest and most impressionable residents.
Together they have a heart for sharing Christ with the locals and helping their congregation grow in their daily relationship with Jesus. Vision Christian Radio plays a key role in the work that they do, connecting Gavin and Alana’s congregation to Christ on a daily basis – going beyond the physical walls of the church building where they meet on Sunday mornings.
Gavin phoned recently to share the impact that Vision is having in the lives of his community.
One of the men attending his church is a truck driver in the mines. “When he jumps in a work vehicle he immediately turns the dial to the Vision frequency. Then, when he gets out, he leaves it on.” This is where the Holy Spirit kicks into action, finding the right person at the right time to get into the truck next and hear Vision.
We here at Vision not only have a heart for the people of Tom Price, but also for the pastors themselves. Through Vision family members joining together from all over Australia, pastors like Gavin are able to access Biblical teaching and uplifting music to continue to fill them up spiritually.
It doesn’t take long for pastors in these communities, giving all they have day in and day out to run their personal wells dry. Vision is there to as a conduit to fill up their spiritual wells every day, whether they just need to hear a song like ‘Joy’ from for King & Country, a friendly voice of comfort from one of our announcers or inspiration on how to answer life’s tough questions from fellow pastors like Jeff Vines.
So, we encourage you to be blessed in reading this story - the seeds you are sowing into this ministry are having a big impact into the furthermost reaches of Australia. The testimonies of lives changed like those in Tom Price, are only made possible through the generous financial support from everyday people like you - and the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit.
Will you dream bigger with us, to see more lives changed, to live our lives with eternal purpose? Donate online here or phone our Visionathon team on 1800 316 316.