Grey Nomads raise $21K for Solomon Islands bomb victims

Police clearing the area after the blast.

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After a year’s hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual Australian Grey Nomads camp was back this year (May 7 to 15), with attendees raising more than $A21,000 for the victims of the recent bomb blast in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

More than 470 people gathered at Stuarts Point Convention Centre (NSW) for the event, including former pastors and missionaries who had personally worked at or visited the place where the explosion occurred. Pastor Ray Eaton, who was in attendance, said, “The whole camp got behind the project. It was very enthusiastically supported.”

The young men who died belonged to the Topaz Youth Society, an arm of the Kukum Young Adult Youth Ministry. They were cooking food to raise funds for the church’s Pathfinder club, the same club that the Grey Nomads intended to raise funds for, before the incident occurred.

“They were told that the bombs had been cleared from the area, so they went ahead . . . those young men were cooking when they died,” said Pastor Eaton.

Grey Nomads enjoying a “Paint and Patriti” event hosted by Adventist Senior Living during the camp.

The money raised at the Grey Nomads camp has been divided up equally to be given to the families of the deceased victims, as well as the Pathfinder club. “We encouraged them to use the money on permanent things,” said Pastor Eaton. “Some are putting it aside for school fees for their kids, another is using it to complete her house.”

The money was sent to the Solomon Islands less than a week after the incident occurred. “We jumped in behind it right away!” said Pastor Eaton.

“It shows that Adventists care,” added Pastor Alex Currie. “We have two people who died, and others who were injured. I think that’s a tremendous response from the Adventist family.”

This year, the theme of Grey Nomads was “Be Ready”, with speakers Dr Darius Jankiewicz and Pastor Geoff Youlden preaching sermons that were well received. There were people in attendance from every state of Australia, except WA.

“The speakers were highly admired and loved, [their message was] be ready to accept Jesus, stop hanging onto the trivial and hang onto Him,” said Pastor Eaton.

If you would like to support the fundraising effort, please contact RayEaton@adventist.org.au for bank details.

One of the evening programs at the event.
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