Posted in Chaplaincy
School chaplains are there to support those in their school community who need a helping hand. Sometimes, the whole town needs a helping hand and they step up.
Over the past two weeks, Townsville has been devastated by floods. Thousands of people have lost their homes. As the flood waters recede, they are facing a hot, messy, and emotional clean-up.
Chaplain Travis Johnston works at two schools in Townsville, and is just one of the dozens of chaplains on the ground helping their school and greater community in whatever way they can.
“We were all sitting around as it was flooding, not able to go to school, and we needed to get out there – we couldn’t sit at home and do nothing when people needed help,” chappy Travis says.
“We had a chappy meeting and started a Chappy Team, going around helping any way people needed it.
“It’s been great getting in side-by-side with other chappies and seeing how much they care, not just for our schools, but our community.”
Some of the people the Chappy Team have helped includes a woman, who is 36 weeks pregnant and cut off by flood waters, and an elderly woman with an injured back. The team cleaned, carried out furniture, and pulled up carpet.
Chappy Travis says the community spirit in Townsville was overwhelming.
“Not all heroes wear capes,” he said.
“We’ve had people from all walks to life – teachers, tradies, politicians, chappies – coming to help. We’ve had plenty of people who’ve lost everything themselves wanting to help. It gives you goosebumps.”
Chappy Travis says the news reports and images coming out of Townsville at the moment still not fully capture the devastation that has taken place.
“The water was waist deep through some units. The water came in so hard and high that it pushed the fridge over.”
Chappy Travis says most schools are reopening and providing some kind of normalcy again to the community.
“The biggest thing right now is getting the word out that there that people don’t have to tackle this alone. We’re all volunteers, we are here and happy to help no matter the job, to get their houses clean.”
Please share the NQ Community Support Facebook page and join us in praying for the city of Townsville, and the Outback towns now also in flood.