Name: Isaac Harrison
Occupation: Youth Pastor
Place of Residence: Skye, VIC
Tribe/Language: Kabi Kabi, Butchulla people
Isaac Harrison grew up on the Sunshine Coast and is a descendant of the Kabi Kabi people of southeast Queensland and the Butchulla people of Fraser Island on his mother’s side. His father is of Irish/Scottish descent.
The Salvation Army played a significant role in the establishment of Isaac Harrison’s strong Christian roots. They accommodated and supported his grandmother when she was forced to leave her husband due to his chronic alcoholism. Isaac’s mother fell in love with God because she witnessed their charitable deeds and was stuck by the fact that they didn’t want anything back.
“My nan’s a Salvation Army girl. She’ll be 97 this year and if you walk past her little granny-flat, you’ll hear her praying, praying, praying for all her grandkids. There are around 50 or 60 of us,” said Isaac.
“I love Jesus, my mum loves Jesus, my nan loves Jesus. He turns to those who are broken with no judgement and says, ‘come, I’ll forgive your sins, I’ll wash you clean.’ That’s why I love Jesus,” he said.
“There are broken people everywhere, not just in my culture. Jesus has helped me understand that. He’s light to those who sit in darkness. If they call upon the name of God, the name of the Lord, they shall be saved. They will get an instant peace in their hearts.
“I’ve got friends and they’re like, ‘Isaac, I don’t know how to witness to an Indigenous person. I feel if I talk to him he’ll get angry at me because I’m a white person.’ I just say, ‘Go up and say, hey Uncle can I please pray for you? Can I bless you? If you give someone 5 bucks and they buy ciggies or alcohol, it doesn’t matter. You did the act of love. You’re being loving.’
“True churches expose us to God’s love and who God is. They say, ‘I’m extending my hand. I’m never pulling my hand away. This isn’t a trick to keep the peace. This is real. I genuinely care.’ That’s what the Salvation Army did for my nan and that’s what Indigenous people need.”
Isaac Harrison is a talented musician and serves as a youth pastor at Fire Church in Seaford, Victoria.
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