The Well-Being Australia respite ministry at Laguna Quays Respite on the mainland of the Whitsundays for missionaries, mission and church full-time personnel has proven itself time and time again with its continuity of bookings.
Laguna Quays Respite is situated twenty minute drive south of Proserpine next door to the Laguna Quays Resort and a stone's throw from Midge Point. The local on-line weekly news is the http://www.mpbnews.org/ (Midge Point – Bloomsbury – News and Mews) which caters for 1200 locals but whose weekly reach is 5,500 readership stats.
Once again, two months already have booking dates so tight that one mission family leaves their set time in the morning and the next mission family arrive that same afternoon. Last year there were five months like this.
Opened in 2011
Well-Being Australia developed this mission respite ministry after my wife Delma and I had ministered respite to Australian Institute of Sport elite athlete "respite" in both Moruya (Basil Sellers Moruya) and Tweed Heads (Basil Sellers Tweed) since 1992.
The Laguna Quays Respite facility was a dream of ours to serve our mission community with a no-cost rest and recuperation experience and the Whitsundays provides many such opportunities for relaxation.
Mission people can fly into Proserpine airport inexpensively from Brisbane with either Virgin or Jetstar or direct from Sydney through Tiger – now with additional flights in school holiday periods. Upon arrival they can collect a heavily discounted AVIS rental vehicle under a special arrangement between Well-Being Australia and AVIS for mission people visiting the respite cottage.
There is no charge for the Laguna Quays Respite cottage yet visitors are welcome to leave a gifting to help with its functioning costs.
Mr Basil Sellers our major sponsor visited in August this year and was so engaged with what has been provided that he sought from me to meet with four senior Mission executives in Sydney (23 September) so as to provide a second such facility.
This second facility is planned for Aldinga Beach one hour south of Adelaide with a visit by Mr Basil Sellers, my wife Delma and me on 14 January this year. Plans are well under way. This facility will be designated 'triage missionary respite' with the various Missions themselves locking in missionary respite for their personnel.
Over these past four years mission people have visited the Laguna Quays Respite facility from such missions and denominations as:
SIM, CMS, WEC, SU, TEAR, BCS, UCA, YM, Wycliffe, BCA, MAF, AFES, CM, ASEF, Global Interaction and independent missions have already enjoyed taking 'timeout'.
The community support for the respite cottage has been the key to its format. The closest Protestant church is 25 minutes away in Proserpine, yet there are innumerable people in the area who follow the Lord and sought to help out.
This included fishing, craft, lawn mowing, cleaning, electrical, plumbing, maintenance, pick-ups, tourism, visits and the like. Many helps have been given. There are even four spare keys held by various people in the local area in case a mission family loses the keys.
Certainly a local highlight is the fabulous Midge Point Beach where mission people have enjoyed many a walk and even building sand castles and the like.
Mentioned above is the Midge Point – Bloomsbury - News and Mews on-line weekly released each Sunday. When the monthly hard copy local news sheet closed three years ago I arranged for one of our young writer IT skilled artisans to create a local on-line paper for the district and the same people came on board to run it.
This illustrated to the community how Well-Being Australia has value added, and moreover with the community art prize and business luncheon developed, we've shown in practical terms that Christian ministry input is indeed value add.
Who can visit Laguna Quays Respite?
Missionaries, home mission personnel, school chaplains and professional church personnel needing respite and rest. It is specifically designed and dedicated to such mission personnel.
Over these past four years many family groups have visited in school holiday periods – it is a three bedroom beach house cottage – but they squeeze in somehow. Many missionary families have had family stays before they leave for overseas. Many are simply tired and need rest.
It has also been a wonderful solace for pastors and specialist ministry personnel who need timeout to relax their head space and for those wanting to seriously reflect as they prepare significant messages or writing designations. It is a broad church.
Moreover those at Aldinga Beach have asked that once they get going, any double bookings for Laguna Quays Respite be encouraged to look at South Australia.
Enquiries are welcome for bookings - missionaries / home missions / school chaplains / pastors - to contact us for your respite visit to the Whitsundays – firstname.lastname@example.org 0487 245 207
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html