The Journey to Uluru is one that begins even before the participants reach the big red rock or step onto the coach. It begins when they make the decision to go. For some, this is a tough and overwhelming decision. It wasn’t an easy decision for Jackson to go on the 2014 Pilgrimage.  It was his last year of school and all of his friends were going on a school camp at the same time as the pilgrimage. This was going to be the last time he would be able to go on a school camp with many of these friends.

Like many young people who put their hand up to go on the trip, Jackson and his sister Ellie were unable to afford the $1,500 each that it costs to go. Jackson’s decision was even harder because he and Ellie had already started fundraising. They put on a car wash in the church car park. They didn’t get to wash heaps of cars but were encouraged by the support of their church. There were at least 3 people who didn’t want their car washed, but just gave money and there was one man who came back and got his other cars washed too. Jackson and Ellie were also selling chocolates to try to raise money.

Sometimes there are things that happen in life that are way too timely, too perfect and too organised to be explained by coincidence or chance. This was something that happened for Jackson and Ellie. If God heard the prayers for Jackson and Ellie to be able to go on this year’s trip, he definitely answered it in a few ways.

The church wasn’t the only place that was willing to lend a hand of support. Through some very timely conversations and networks that could not be explained by chance, their school and the local youth council put on a rock concert at the school with the $1,500 that they had received from a government  grant. The bands that performed decided to donate much of this money to Jackson and Ellie’s trip.

Jackson was already committed to going on the trip, but when he realised that the school camp was on at the same time, he was devastated and torn. His sister was totally committed and she was prepared to do just about anything to go on the trip. After much thought, Jackson decided that he would go on the Uluru trip instead of his school camp.

The support that they received didn’t end there. After another timely and somewhat accidental conversation, a youth worker in contact with Jackson and Ellie discovered that they were eligible for funding from Carers ACT because both of them are carers for family members.

Carers ACT decided to generously donate $3,000, enough for Jackson and Ellie to be able to go on the trip completely. They also donated two journals for them to be able to write and reflect on the journey as they went. The money that was raised before this went to help some other pilgrims who were still trying to raise money themselves.

Ellie was so excited about this and shared with customers at work about how God had provided the money for them to be able to go on the Uluru trip. If you would like to read more, go to A Pilgrim’s Story Jackson and Ellie Part II.

If you would like to be part of this life changing journey to the heart of our great country or if you would like to make a donation so that a young person can make this journey, please register your interest.


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