In September last year, Central Mallee co-operative parish sponsored a visit by Grant Lock, author of Shoot Me First, and his wife, Janna. Released in 2012, Shoot Me First is a first-hand account of the 24 years the couple, along with their three children, spent working for NGOs in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Joy Poole, chairwoman of the Central Mallee parish, said the couple travelled throughout the district sharing their insights with a number of clubs, church groups and schools.
“What a privilege and blessing it was to share time with this courageous, compassionate and humble couple and hear the informative, inspiring and challenging real life stories,” Ms Poole said.
“Grant and Janna’s development work followed their notable success as stud cattle breeders in South Australia. They spoke of supporting micro-hydroelectric systems, empowering Afghan widows and overseeing a massive eye-care program.”
The focus of a gathering in the Parish Centre on the Saturday night was ‘Complex Afghanistan’ and included such questions as: “What were the dangers faced in Afghanistan?” and “What is it like to live in that Islamic culture, particularly for women?”
“Grant emphasised the need to love Muslims, but ask the questions that need to be asked about Islam and human rights,” Ms Poole said.
“Personal experiences and real people stories threw much light on this region which has and is consuming so much of the world’s aid dollars, military man-power, and fears for the future.”