Nick’s story: AFL draftee to outback missionary
July 19, 2015
In some ways, Nick is just a typical country boy, but his journey has been far from ordinary. At 19, he had achieved what many young Aussies would consider success – being drafted into the AFL by the Adelaide Crows.
But football was only ever a part of Nick’s life. From his early teenage years, his identity has been firmly grounded in his faith in Jesus, which has grown in him a strong desire to use his life and gifts for God’s Kingdom.
Last year, while looking for what was next in his life, Nick joined a three-week mission trip with YFC in the Northern Territory. He shares, “I’d already had a real heart to be out in Aboriginal communities… but on that mission trip, I saw a real need for everyday discipleship. That’s where I made a decision to say, ‘yeah, I’ll put my hand up to come out here and just love your people, Lord.’”
With a firm trust in God, Nick moved at the start of this year to take on the role as YFC Remote Missions Coordinator in the Northern Territory. He lives amongst the Aboriginal people he had met the year before. Home is a simple patch of ground, with a swag to sleep in and a tarp for shade. Here Nick immerses himself in the local culture and lifestyle.
As he puts it, “It’s not a 9 to 5 job; it’s not a program or anything like that. It’s all day, every day, hanging out and doing life. Time is in abundance here, so during the day I join the locals fishing, hunting, collecting firewood and just sitting around the campfire sharing. We’re also reading the Kriol Bible together and they’re teaching me their language through the Bible.”
The local Christian leaders believe Nick is the answer to many years of praying for help and there has already been a dramatic decrease in fighting and conflicts that have divided the community for years. But it’s still early days for Nick.
“My plan is that I want to disciple these young men so that they’re not reliant on me being there. I want them to have a connection to the Father and not just a connection to me. However, I do plan to be here for the long term, to be a part of lasting change.
“It’s been an interesting journey so far – from the AFL lifestyle where possessions and worldly gain are really big priorities to being out in the dust, living in a swag and just loving people. But it’s a lot more rewarding than anything else I’ve experienced.”
Thank you for your support and prayers that enable passionate and bold leaders like Nick to make a difference in local communities around this large and diverse nation.