Using a drone to remember

A drone was a unique feature of this year’s Homelessness Memorial Service on 6 August at Shannon Reserve in Surry Hills, Sydney.

In a short address to the more than 50 people present, event organiser and chaplain of Wesley Edward Eagar Lodge, Michael Tang, described how a drone can help us understand more about Jesus and His role in leading us to God.

“The remote control for this drone has a lot of information,” Michael explained. “It’s called telemetry. It has GPS tracking for 11 satellites, the height of the drone, distance, speed, all sorts of information.”

Michael shared that the information from a drone can help with directions, which he then explained is just like Jesus.

“With a drone, I can get a much higher and wider view. And that is why we look to God. Like a drone, God can see a much bigger picture. God sees the world and our lives in a way which no one else can see. And God can give us directions⁠–He can give us directions on how to get to Him. And the key to those directions is His Son Jesus. Jesus is a bit like the information that I get on the remote control⁠–He’s the telemetry.”

Michael used the drone to remind people that death is not the end of the story.

“We meet here today to remember the many, many people who have passed away. People that we have known and cared about–our friends, our clients, our family, our mates. But if we believe in Jesus and follow God’s directions, death is not the end.”

Referring to the Biblical passage of John 14:1–4, Michael explained that Jesus shows us the way to God and that home is where God is.

“For those who follow Jesus, this is not our real home anymore. Home is not in crisis accommodation at [Wesley] Edward Eagar Lodge or Matthew Talbot or Foster House or William Booth. Our real home is not in transitional housing or in a housing commission unit. Our real home is not in a two or three bedroom brick house. No, for those who follow Jesus, our real home is with God in His kingdom. And everyone who follows Jesus will have a home with God. Everyone who follows Jesus will never be homeless. Because, as Jesus says, ‘I have prepared a place for you’. And Jesus will show us the way there⁠–He knows how to get there, He has the directions. If you follow Jesus, you will never be homeless.”

The outdoor service ended with a time for people to remember loved ones who had passed away while affected by homelessness by lighting a candle or hanging their name on a special remembrance string.

The special service included contributions from staff from The Salvation Army, Hope Street Baptist Church and Cana Communities and was attended by City of Sydney councillors Phelps, Chung and Scully, along with Wesley Mission CEO Rev Keith V Garner AM.

This service is a cooperative venture of Hope St (Baptist Care) and Woolloomooloo Baptist Church, Cana Communities, David’s Place, Jesus Cares, Matthew Talbot Hostel (St Vincent de Paul Society), Sydney Street Level Mission (The Salvation Army), South Sydney Uniting Church, Urban Ministry, Wayside Chapel and Wesley Mission.

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