Tasmania, 2001

 

Get Ready ...

Get Set ...

Gooooooo!

They arrived during January, 2001. Seven young adult volunteers from different parts of Australia and New Zealand ready to start a new adventure-based, therapy ministry for youth in crisis in Tasmania, Australia's only island state.

Now, one year later, they have completed their task. So how did it go?

"Lives have been changed because of this team of volunteers in Tasmania. The work that the team has done is somewhat hard to quantify but every life that may have been saved I believe has been worth it. The team has also had a positive spiritual impact on our own church youth right throughout the state as they have traveled and lived with the church community," says Youth Director and Volunteer Coordinator Pr Jeff Parker.

So, just what does the Pinnacle of Terror team do? Fifty percent of their time is spent doing ministry with the Youth Department of Tasmania - Youth camps, leadership development, networking with the Tassie youth, promoting spirituality and an exciting Christian life, etc. Jeff says the pinnacle team made a huge impact in this area, really lifting the whole tone of youth ministry in Tasmania.

Forty percent of their time is spent in the schools around Tasmania (mainly public schools). They run a positive life program they have developed in a classroom setting, then get the kids out on the Pinnacle of Terror. It is designed to build self esteem, particularly in those who have little.

The remaining time is spent in street ministry - soup kitchens, street beat, etc and with youth drop-in-centers in the main towns and cities.

Rick Hergenhan, who was the manager of the team for 2001, says that "this year and its program was one of the most challenging and fun years of my life." Another team member, Bronwyn Obst, puts it this way, "this year was an amazing experience, meeting people that I wouldn't usually talk to and leaning on God while at the same time getting to know Him on a more personal level." She also throws out the challenge to other youth "Do something similar in your own life if at all possible."

Lex Goodchild, a teacher in one of the schools that the team had traveled to says, "I was not prepared for the change that the team could have on the students’ outlook. It was a buzz to see students who were ‘never, no-way’ type students, have a go and make it.”

Plans for 2002 include starting a new youth drop-in-centre in Hobart, the main city in Tasmania, and the pinnacle team will be heavily involved in this.

Sponsored by ADRA and its New Day Foundation Program, and endorsed by Australian cricket heroes Brett and Shane Lee, the Pinnacle of Terror initiative is in its infancy. It's an attempt to build self esteem, confidence and a sense of life possibility in kids who have lost hope.
   
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