Missionaries blessed to be ‘stuck’ on Coast
WHEN Janine and Craig Robinson flew into Australia for their son's wedding, they never imagined their three-month stay would be extended indefinitely.
"We don't like to use the word 'stuck', but we are 'stuck' in Australia," Janine said, smiling.
They planned to return to Africa on May 3, but the earliest they can return now will be in August.
The couple's son, Ben Robinson, married Brittany Foley, daughter of Chris and Glenys Foley, on March 21 in Maryborough.
Janine and Craig's plan was to spend three months in Australia, sightseeing in the lead-up to the wedding and then resting afterwards from their ministry in Uganda.
"But there are people all over the world going hungry because lockdown means they cannot work. We can't be in a beautiful country like this and not do anything," Craig said.
"We're in full contact with the people at our ministries in Uganda and doing what we can from here."
The former Yorkshire citizens run a charity called Ordinary Heroes to help the forgotten, vulnerable, poor and sick children and families of Uganda.
"I'd been to Uganda since 2012 to help build whatever was needed," said Craig, a former building manager.
"Between 2012 and 2018, the trips got more and more, so Janine and I wanted to go there full-time instead of part-time. We sold the house, packed in our jobs, and out we went.
Janine, a former skin care company director, said they wanted to be in Uganda with hands and feet on the ground serving the community.
"Craig and I absolutely love what we do; we get as much back as we give. While we're here in Australia, we're trying to make the best of the year.
"Everyone here has been amazing. We want to spread the word, let everyone know about our work and invite them to be a part of it."
Using social media as a tool, the couple held a fancy-dress fun run Maryborough at the weekend, called Running for the Hungry and virtually connecting with people all over the world.
"We had people in UK, Canada, USA, Switzerland, Germany and Australia running with us to raise funds that will help put food into people's bellies.
"Everyone was being sponsored individually by their family and friends.
"People are feeling that we're all in the same storm but not on the same boat," Janine said.
For more information visit www.ordinaryherouk.com and www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ohuk-covid-19-response.
Residents can meet Craig and Janine at the Grace Community Church op shop in Kent Street on Friday and Saturday mornings.