Back of Bourke

Today was the first day of my Prayer Tour of Western NSW. From today until Friday I am travelling to some key points on the map to pray blessing on the region and particularly on the churches in the towns.

Today, Tim and I took off early to visit Bourke. Bourke is one of the most remote towns in NSW and the term “Back of Bourke” is a vernacular phrase to describe a remote bush location. It has never been established which is the more remote of “Back of Bourke” and “Beyond the Black Stump.”

For the first time in my life, I have now been to the Back of Bourke and a photo to prove it.

IMG_8391This is the Back O’ Bourke Exhibition Centre, where they have a daily show, which we missed by about 45 minutes, and art exhibitions etc.

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The town is located on the mighty Darling River which is looking splendid right now, being full of water after good widespread rains last month.

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In the middle of town there is a tourist precinct featuring paddle steamer cruises, coffee shops and the like. The Crossley engine is a fuel oil engine nearly 100 years old, which found its way to a property near Bourke after starting its life producing electricity in Sydney. It has been lovingly restored and now the Shire pays someone to maintain it and run it for a short time each day. Doesn’t sound like much, but there were 50 people watching an old stationary engine turn over. this afternoon.

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From the stats on the notice board this engine produces about 138 BHP or 103 kW of mechanical power. The tiny engine powering Tim’s Hyundai i20 produces 55 kW. Engines have come a long way in 100 years!

I prayed by the river for apostolic blessing to be released in Bourke, for the Darling to always be a source of prosperity for the town and for the churches to grow in their love for Jesus and for their neighbours.

Seeing Bourke alive with hundreds of visitors made me realise what potential there is for development of the tourist industry in Narrabri. We are a bigger town with as much history as Bourke (albeit with a much less spectacular river) and we just don’t seem to do anything much to encourage people to stay in town.

Today was the north-western extremity of our Prayer Tour. Tomorrow we head south, again to pray blessing on God’s people.

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