The weekend of 5-7 October was significant in the life of the Presbyterian Inland Mission. It was in 1912 that Rev Dr John Flynn convinced the General Assembly of the Australian Presbyterian Church to establish the Australian Inland Mission (the Presbyterian Inland Mission [PIM] is a successor).
The first Mission Church was established in Beltana in South Australia, which served as a base for Flynn to visit the people of the outback as pastor, Bible in the saddle back of his camel.
This service grew as other padres, stationed in other parts of the outback, were sent out with the purpose of spreading the Gospel of Christ to people who just could not make it to a local town for worship – distances in the outback is vast! Besides – there were no towns and no churches!
Flynn, ever a visionary, also established bases for bush nurses. This was followed up with a pedal radio network, School of the Air, and eventually an Air Medical Service (now known as the Royal Flying Doctors).
Heila and I drove to Beltana for the Centenary Celebrations of the Australian Inland Mission – a trip of more than 3,600km return. It was certainly worth the while.
If you want to get yourself a coffee table sized book with splendid photos and text about the Inland Mission (then and now) visit www.pim.org.au and follow the links to “View Beyond the Furthest Fences”. Be quick, a limited number was printed. They are all numbered; your name will be recorded in a register. Most importantly, funds raised with the sale of this publication will go a long way in supporting the work of the PIM.