Students from Northpine Christian College (Brisbane, Queensland) recently returned from STORM Co mission trips across regional Queensland and South-East Asia. Due to record demand from students, a total of five teams were sent out in late July this year—three within Queensland (Monto, Blackwater and Eidsvold) and two to Cambodia.
With a focus on building rapport and deeper connections with rural communities, Northpine have visited Blackwater for nine years now and visited Monto for the second year in a row.
“Each year is different [in Blackwater]: different people, different venues at different venues at times, but the result is nearly always the same,” said Northpine chaplain Neil Redman. “Stacks of kids turning up to the kids’ clubs and plenty of appreciative locals who are able to help out in their backyards.”
Northpine also sent a group of students to Eidsvold for a trip that was organised entirely by 22 student alumni.
For the first time, Northpine also sent two groups of year 11 and 12 students to Cambodia this year. Flying into the capital Phnom Penh, the students spent the majority of their time in the area of Kampong Thom building a playground and a main access road to a school.
At See Change International, the organisation that hosted the Cambodia trip, Northpine students taught English classes to over 100 Cambodian local young people every weekday in Kampong Thom.
Mr Redman said the trips gave students life perspective and improved their spiritual health and focus.
“Not only are we able to see clearly the positive impact in the communities we serve, but we see the impact serving others has on the students and staff,” he reflected. “Not only does serving others give an unparalleled sense of satisfaction and a sense of the presence of God, but it also puts our own lives into perspective and what we already have and ultimately need to be happy and content.”
Northpine will run STORM Co again next year and hopes to continue building rapport with the communities it has served in the past.
STORM Co is a spiritually-focused program that encourages young people to serve in their local communities. It is an acronym for “Service to Others Really Matters Company”.