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November 2013 News

Reaching out to asylum seekers

  • Written by  Jess Everingham
Anne & Jack Kamst, who have recently moved to Christmas Island to minister to asylum seekers Photo: Provided

When Jack and Anne Kamst hear the term ‘boat people’, they don’t just see an election issue. Or even a moral debate. They see faces.

The Kamsts moved from Toowoomba to Christmas Island at the beginning of October to spend twelve months ministering to asylum seekers living in detention centres.

Jack and Anne’s previous missionary work has taken them on short-term trips to both China and North Korea. But Jack says he has never witnessed anything like Christmas Island before.

“I have not witnessed such a desire to read God’s Word and be open to its teaching as I have seen here.”

This enthusiasm hasn’t been dampened by the recent news that most, if not all, families on the island will be staying indefinitely.

“This of course is difficult for the families in the centres, and involves around 400 children,” Jack said. “However, it does create opportunities for us to spend more time with the believers in the centres, and our aim is to set up a Bible correspondence course.”

The Kamsts have taken on a big job – there are five detention centres on Christmas Island, the largest of which houses over 1,000 people.

And while Jack and Anne’s work involves preaching and distributing Bibles, that’s not all they do.

“Many asylum seekers just need an ear so that they can share their stories and know that someone cares,” Jack said. “Many are traumatised. Many are open to hear about the love of God.”

“The group administering the detention centres have been terrific to us, and we have pretty well free access into the centres,” Jack said.

While the Kamsts have “thoroughly enjoyed” their stay so far, they say there are still areas where people can assist them.

“Of course, since we are in such a spiritual battlefield, prayer is of utmost importance,” Jack said. “And we really do need more Bibles!”

To help supply Bibles, email Jack & Anne on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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