Reflections from Chinderah Collective
As the smell of fresh coffee and Spanish delights infused in the air, music played to pick up the beat of the feelings of new beginnings. Local flood survivors and Tweed COC members mingled together for a healing time instead of the rush and harried emergency clean up. Speaking with the still recovering survivors showed how our COC community played an integral role in their healing – emotionally, spiritually and physically.
The owner of a mobile home park said, “I didn’t think you would last a day, let alone still be here.” He also went on to say that after spiritual abuse and burnout he had no faith and no belief anymore. But as time wore on and the church showed up daily with cleaners, food hampers, clothes, listening ears and a continual support network of these things his heart began to change. For the weeks after as carpet arrived, linen, furniture and more support and a continued supply of meals John said his faith in Christians, God and humankind has been renewed. His tearful gratefulness showed his hopeful heart.
Sharon lost much with the flooding and said if it wasn’t for the support and the material help she would not be independent anymore but on the street or in a home.
Ted was teary and shocked when we first met him but at the Collective he was cheerful, cheeky and so grateful. “Didn’t know Christians were such a great group of people” he said.
As the evening passed we heard many stories of gratefulness and of hope. The main theme was the act of unconditional love and ceaseless support that the Chinderah community received. A free massage was given and the group lined up excited to have aching shoulders rubbed. Senior Pastor John Latta prayed for new beginnings, new hope and a continued kinship with the community. The Chinderah flood survivors ate, danced and chatted the evening away and as they headed home with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts Tweed COC knew that God in the community can indeed work miracles.