As four teenage girls driving home in the car after Voices for Justice, we were all reflecting through tired minds, on the incredible experience these four days have been.
We've written our personal thoughts and reflections down as the wheels roll and we get more and more tired. We hope that these thoughts encourage you to reflect more on your time at Voices for Justice this year.
Tahlia Richardson, 15
For me, Voices for Justice is always so encouraging. It's so empowering to be able to speak to our nation's leaders about issues that I feel are so important; particularly as I am a follower of Jesus. I consider it a great privilege to be able to raise my voice with so many other Christians who believe that justice needs to be done. I love being around such inspiring and incredible people who, in my opinion, are heroes. Something that stood out to me was what Pip Berglund said:
our voice to do justice is not silent or weak. Together our voice is strong.
Another highlight for me was the simulation experience, Resilient. The whole church was set up as a fishing village in the Philippines, and it really opened my eyes and gave me a tiny glimpse of what it would be like to be personally affected by climate change. The prayer vigil was another highlight of my Voices experience. Being able to pray together for such an important issue was amazing.
Rebekah Stacey, 16
I think the greatest thing I gained from Voices for Justice was a sense of empowerment and inspiration. It blew my mind away that me, a sixteen year old girl, could walk into an MP's office and speak to them about things that I'm passionate about, things that are worth changing. It stretched my comfort zone heaps and I learned so many communication skills.
Another sense of empowerment came through the media engagement talk as I learned how to effectively share the message about increasing Australian aid and stopping climate change. I also felt really empowered by learning about the issues that affected vulnerable people so I could actually do something to help them.
Finally, I felt really empowered by our great God and his heart for justice and the amazing, inspiring Christians I met who were all passionate about God's desire for justice too.
Georgia Culey, 15
This year Voices for Justice has been really inspiring and encouraging. It is amazing to be able to speak up to politicians for the worlds poor and be inspired by being with many other followers of Jesus this weekend. I have been really strengthened by learning more about what God wants us to be and how we can help bring justice and love to the world in the way God wants us to.
One of the highlights for me was the way the simulation challenged me about climate change and that in the world it is actually happening. During that experience I thought about what it would actually be like to lose family members, all of your belongings and having everything you know ruined and destroyed.
Voice for Justice has empowered me to do more to bring about justice in the world and encouraged me that our voices can be strong when we do things with others.
Tara Culey, 18
I have loved coming to Voices for Justice, it is awesome to be equipped and empowered to speak out for justice to our politicians. We met with three politicians over the last two days. It was great to meet with our local MP and talk about climate change and Australian aid. We felt listened to and are pleased to have let her know that we are passionate about these issues. It was encouraging to also meet with an MP from another electorate who is championing for these issues.
I know that Voices for Justice is not just a weekend but something we should carry on doing as we follow Jesus. So I am challenged to worship Him by being a voice for those who are so close to his heart.
We pulled into the driveway and Voices for Justice 2015 is over. But it's not really over at all. We need to carry on seeking justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with our God.