Mates Helping Mates

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Grill ‘n’ Graze is good to go. The Global Care trailer is the latest addition to Resonate Church in Taree, and its members are now ready to be of service to our community during times of crisis.

Mates helping Mates is the Global Care logo, and Graeme Armstrong and Garry Tyrie are two mates who have worked together for around 10 months to give life to the Grill ‘n’ Graze trailer. Graeme, what is Global Care, and how will the trailer help our community?

Global Care is the social justice and disaster relief arm of the church, and this trailer will hopefully be used to service anywhere between Newcastle and Coffs Harbour.

The idea is that when there is a crisis, such as a bush fire, and where there is a need for emergency food and power, we can be asked to grab say, 10 kilograms of sausages, and get to a location to feed fire fighters and people involved in providing emergency help to our community. It’s basic, practical help that can support people when they are tired and hungry.

The Grill ‘n’ Graze trailer looks wonderful, but I understand it needed a makeover after its delivery.

Garry and I have worked on it, as much as our old backs would allow, for about 10 months. 

It came to us with a broken four-burner barbecue in the back and a couple of gas cylinders tied to the back of it. So, I’ve fixed the gas line, we have kitted it out with a new barbecue, put in a gas hot water service, we’ve got a stainless steel water tank mounted underneath it. There’s also a sink, so we can wash up, a little stove, and a generator, so people can charge their phones, or we can provide power if other equipment needs to be charged or operated.

We’ve got some lights that need to go in so we can operate at night, and a long-term goal is to have refrigeration. But right now, the trailer is at a standard of safety and usefulness that means it is ready to be used by our church members, but we are also happy to talk with other groups or organisations who may also want to use it for community service.

Resonate Church is known in the Taree community for its hands-on, practical community support; the Global Care Food Pantry, the Global Care School Snack Packs and its Work for the Dole frozen meal program. Graeme, what are these initiatives – and why have them?

We are not “Sunday Sitters”. In the book of James it says, “Faith without works is dead” – we are meant to be in our community, and we are meant to be helping people in need!

There are so many vulnerable people and families, and our Global Care Food Pantry helps people. The food is trucked up from Sydney and then provided to the community for next to nothing, compared to what they would have to pay for the same items in a supermarket. The pantry is open on Thursday and Friday from 9am until 1pm. 

Garry and his wife, Shirley, also provide snack packs to some of the local primary schools, because a lot of children come to school without having had breakfast or may not have any lunch. The snack packs contain a juice, muesli bar and a packet of chips. The teachers supply it to the children where necessary, because they know the kids and their circumstances, and over time they have given away thousands of snack packs.

Pastor Wayne Tyrie leads Resonate Church, is on the frontline of community engagement and works to try to find practical ways to help people. He introduced the Work for the Dole program to the church and since it began, around 7,000 meals have been prepared and given to people in need.

We gather food from some of the retailers in town that have near out-of-date stuff, it’s brought here to the kitchen, and then our Work for the Dole participants cook it up into wholesome, healthy meals that are frozen. It also provides training and gives them skills required in a commercial kitchen.

Resonate Church is not large – its members currently number around 100 people – but Graeme shares the community is rich with diversity.

It is a beautiful mix of families and individuals. There are South Africans, Indians, Koreans, Chinese, people from the Philippines and our church members are not just Sunday Sitters. We try to reach the whole family every day with our faith and with our works, and of course, we always would love to welcome more people.

To discuss use of the Global Care Grill ‘n’ Graze trailer, contact Pastor Wayne Tyrie on 6552 6422. 

To learn more about Resonate Church in Taree, visit its website www.resonatechurch.org.au or attend its Sunday service from 9:30am at 147 Cowper Street, Taree.

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