One of Across’ mission workers is Angela. She is the cofounder and coordinator of Freedom To Flourish (FTF), a Sydney-based ministry run in collaboration with Pioneers Australia. The ministry seeks to address the mental health needs of refugee and asylum seekers in Sydney who are dealing with trauma. FTF is reaching this community by offering free counselling sessions and therapeutic activities, such as gardening and craft groups.
Angela said, “I know that God is at work in the lives of people in many ways. I see people hurting and God has provided a safe place for them to deal with their hurt through the various activities that we run.”
Miriam is one woman that Angela has connected with through the garden. Miriam*, who recently arrived in Australia, does not have any relatives or friends in Sydney. Miriam started to feel isolated as her husband goes to work every day and her kids go to school.
Angela said, “When I first met Miriam, she told me that she missed home. I invited her to come to the local community garden with me.”
Miriam decided to join the group and she came every week, working hard in the soil and growing lots of organic fresh food to feed her family. She also met like-minded friends.
“We had a few spiritual conversations and she said that the garden was a God-sent activity because she had sun exposure, a purpose, physical activity, fresh produce, friends, and something to look forward to doing while her husband and kids were away during the day,” Angela explained.
Miriam has been introduced to new foods and even learnt how to cook new recipes. Her family are thankful that she joined the garden project.
*Names changed to protect identities
Support Across Ministries