It’s Father Dave back with you again, and I’m feeling a bit sick and a bit annoyed this week.
The fact that I’m a bit sick is a good sign actually because I’ve been a LOT sick over the last day or two, and have spent most of that time in bed!
I thought it was food poisoning initially, but it seems to have been more persistent. Anyway, you truly don’t want to or need to know the details, beyond that I am getting better and stronger by the hour and hope to be fighting fit again by tomorrow.
The reason I’m feeling annoyed is entirely unrelated to the illness. It’s more to do with a certain local character who continues to plague our Youth Centre.
I mentioned him last year (though I’ve refrained from using his name). Mr X is only 17, so is still technically a youth (though he is larger than most men). He has been involved in numerous assaults of persons smaller than himself, and I have it on good authority that he is also involved in the local drug trade. He has been banned from our Youth Centre.
He has reappeared at our Youth Centre this year and has refused to leave when asked. Each time he does this I call the police. Each time I call the police he leaves and is gone by the time the police get here. On the last few occasions he has done malicious damage to our property on his way out.
Below is a picture of the new sign we’ve just had completed for the front of our Youth Centre. Above it (and out of picture) is an arched window where the glass has been broken.
Now … in a sane society what would happen in such a situation is that the police would arrive, find that the culprit has gone, and follow him to his known place of abode. They would then charge him with malicious damage and with trespassing (and hopefully with a few outstanding assaults) and our Youth Centre would be safe from him. But that’s not how it works in our system!
No! The police ask me whether I can prove that he knows that he is not allowed on the premises. I tell them that of course he knows this because he has disputed with me over it at the top of his voice in the presence of all our other clients! They then ask me whether I could get him to sign something wherein he acknowledges that he knows that he is not allowed on the premises!
The police ask me whether I have evidence that he committed the malicious damage. I tell them that not only do we have eye-witnesses but that one of our team actually videoed him doing the damage on their phone-camera! The police watch the video and agree that it is clear, but tell me that the video would not be admissible evidence in court because we didn’t get his permission to film him before capturing the video!
I wonder how many people ask “do you mind if I film you while you commit this crime?” and receive the answer, “sure! No problem!”
So I’m feeling annoyed – not so much with the young trouble-maker, and not so much because of the cost and effort that will be required to repair the damage, but because of the inane system we have that allows young people between the ages of 16 ad 18 to get away with this sort of crap with apparent immunity!
It all changes when they turn 18 of course. Then they suddenly have to face big-boys’ court and the prospect of big-boys’ prison, for which they are totally unprepared. And while I don’t like this lad much, I genuinely fear for him once he reaches legal adulthood. With his brash and arrogant attitude, he won’t last long in a real prison!
Time to go Bush!
On to more pleasant topics, this is the year I hope to take a lot of our people out into the bush – young and old alike!
My vision for Binacrombi was that it would one day become Australia’s premier adventure camp for young people,and a place where confused and disorientated youth could make a fresh start. 2013 is the year I really hope to see that vision come to fruition!
- This weekend (March 1 to 3) our church is having a weekend away at Binacrombi. We’ll be spending some time swimming, go-karting and caving, as well as singing, praying and discussing how to build ‘Christian Community’, and if you’re free this weekend there are still plenty more beds and cabins available!
- March 22 to 24 will be the first of our Boot Camps for 2013. We will be targeting young people primarily, but everyone is invited! We are flying in world-renowned Boot Camp expert, Mick Richards, to run the camp. He’s coming to us all the way from the Netherlands for the event. The weekend will be focused on fitness with an emphasis on boxing.
- May 10 to 12 will be the second Boot Camp. Again Mick Richards will be flying in from the Netherlands to run the camp. Again it will be a fitness camp with a boxing emphasis.
I am hoping that a goodly number of members of our online community will be able to join us on at least one of these weekends in the bush. Having a virtual relationship is great, but it helps if we can balance it every now and then with something blatantly physical!
I’m giving you plenty of notice! If you can’t make it to the church weekend, put one of the Boot Camps in your diary now!
- If you’d like our latest general information pamphlet about Binacrombi, click here.
- If you’d like to download a promotional poster for the Boot Camps, click here.
A Blessing from the Bishop!
(and if you can’t see the video above, click here)
It was pointed out to me many years ago that, as a Parish Priest, you can’t lose when you invite a visitor to give the Sunday sermon. If the congregation like him or her, they thank you. If they don’t enjoy the new preacher they look forward to having you back!
Either way, I’ll look forward to being back with you next Monday, though I’ll hope to see some of you in the bush with us this weekend!
Until then I remain …
Your brother in the Good Fight,
P.S. And as I’m apt to remind you, if you’d like to support our work, the best way is to become a financial member at fighting-fathers.com. It only costs you $10/month but it makes all the difference at this end!