Burpengary students walk in footsteps of Jesus


Students help prepare and deliver meals at the Emmanuel City Mission​

A GROUP of teenagers immersed themselves on the streets of Brisbane for four days to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

​The St Eugene’s College students, chaperoned by two staff members, moved from the comfort of their suburban homes in Burpengary into Brisbane’s CBD as part of the immersion experience.

Based around the Gospel of St Matthew 25:31-40, 13 students slept in the Cathedral precinct for four days to gain an insight into the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens.

During their experience, students visited organisations who help the homeless, including St Vincent de Paul and Emmanuel City Mission.

St Eugene’s College Campus Minister Alison Whitten, who accompanied the students, said reality set in at their first stop, Valley Hearts, an organisation which serves free meals to people in need.

Students also helped pack boxes for the homeless at the headquarters of St Vincent de Paul in South Brisbane. However, it was a visit to Emmanuel City Mission which was the highlight of the trip. 

“This was by far the student’s favourite place,” Mrs Whitten said.

“They loved the opportunity to serve and engage with the community of brothers and sisters that call the Emmanuel City Mission home.”

At the end of each evening, students would spend time journaling their day making a connection to how they had lived out the Gospel passage of Matthew, gaining a true insight into how they were being the Good News to those they encountered.

Participant, Aailyah, said she found the immersion challenging , gaining an insight into real people with real stories and their daily struggles.

“This experience has made me much more aware of my surroundings,” Aailyah said. 

For Cadence, another one of the students, his most memorable part was being able to cook and serve food to the people who needed it most. 

While participant Jasmine said she gained a whole new perspective on life. 

“It has been an eye-opener and given me many experiences I will always remember,” she said. 

But it wasn’t all work for the students! During their immersion they were also able to go to the Brisbane Magistrates Court to observe and learn about the justice system as well as kick-back and watch a beautiful sunrise over St Stephen’s Cathedral from the top of a Story Bridge Climb.

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