Monday Memories – Part 1 – The GFS Caravan

From 1926 – 1943 (17 years) a ‘little house on wheels’, as the children called it, travelled through the outback of Western Australia, bringing friendship, comfort and the message of the Gospel to the settlers, and a special ministry to their children.
The story of the GFS caravan, which pioneered mission outreach by van in this State to isolated farms and little town, is one of great personal faith and incredible bravery on the part of the women who drove the van and accompanied the driver – travelling through the heat of summer and the bitterly cold, wet winters on roads that were more often than not just bush tracks, with corrugations, rocky surfaces and deep ridges worn by carts.

They found themselves bogged in mud in the winter and facing fallen trees, floods and other hazards. Under the rough conditions, mechanical breakdowns were frequent and very often far away from any help. The women who drove the van soon became, by necessity – very proficient at ‘running’ repairs.

Amongst those they visited were settlers on the Peel Estate and the Group settlement areas of the south-west; people who had come from England to start a new life after World War 1 – the majority without any farming experience and with only enthusiasm and an axe to get them on their way. By 1926, 10,000 immigrants had moved into the Group Settlements in the south-west. A large proportion of the Group Settlers belonged to the Church of England. This placed a very heavy responsibility on the church in WA. The GFS was enabled to help through its van.

But how did GFS become involved in this way?
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