Eight months after he left us, Christian Stern is still changing lives.
Before he died, the former St James Hervey Bay teacher shared his dream of getting his community involved in ALWS’ Walk My Way challenge, to help a preschool in Cambodia.
He even had the catchphrase and 26km route all worked out – ‘from Point to Pier and end with a ginger beer’!
How Christian must be smiling now, after more than 200 people came together to Walk Sterny’s Way in Hervey Bay on Sunday 10 October. As a celebration of Christian’s life, it was about as good as they get! The sunny Queensland skies. The stunning coastal views. And people joining together to help others.
The 778 people of Mean Serei village are smiling too – because they’ll now have a preschool for their children. Inspired by Christian, the generous and kind community of St James have raised $18,658!
Christian’s 10-year-old son Jasper welcomed Walkers on Sunday morning, with some beautiful words his dad would have loved: ‘It’s amazing to see how many people there are here today, and how many people are excited and ready to walk.
‘I hope your Walk can be a time of reflection and a chance to think about how blessed we are and how we can help those in need most.’
Jasper’s words show how Christian’s passion to serve others shone through everything he did, and inspired so many, beyond what seemed possible.
Ingeburg Dell’Antonio, who coordinated the Walk with Christian’s wife Tanya, agrees. ‘When Christian spoke about Walk My Way earlier this year for the final time, we never imagined a sea of over 185 babes, children, parents, staff, church family, friends and neighbours would be bedecked in blue and would walk point to pier in record timing for many.
‘Quite a few of our teens and primary students were so tired, yet wanted to complete the journey.’
To continue Christian’s service to others in Queensland, a Walk My Way Brisbane is in the works for 2022. Simply email email@example.com to be the first to find out what’s planned!
ALWS is grateful to Ingeburg, Tanya and Jasper for their tireless efforts in making Christian’s dream a reality…
…and to everyone in the St James community who Walk-ed, donated, packed breakfast boxes, laminated signs, marshalled Walkers, prayed, cheer-squaded, or helped in any other way.
As Christian said: ‘Something I have learnt in the past few years is all we can do is our little bit. And God will bring it to fruition.’