Peter and Avrienne Austin have been at Tree Tops Lodge for three years now. Tree Tops, in Cairns, northern Australia, provides a safe and relaxing environment for those involved in missions work throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Literally thousands of missionary families have passed through Tree Tops on their way to or from the ﬁeld.
People come to Tree Tops for a number of different reasons. Many come because they are desperately in need of rest after a stressful experience on the mission field. Others come and stay to recover after an accident or medical emergency. Some come in the later stages of pregnancy to have their babies in clean and safe surroundings. No matter why people come, Peter and Avrienne—and the rest of the staff—are there to offer encouragement, a listening ear and times of prayer.
The Austins focus on making sure the Lodge is well run and that all the rooms are clean and ready for their next guests. They are responsible for the day to day bookings and running of the office, meeting the guests and making them feel welcome, organising tours as required and being on 24-hour call when on duty. Peter and Avrienne arrange bookings for large groups and make sure that functions happen smoothly. Peter also controls the finances of the Lodge, including reporting to the Board and setting budget targets. Both Peter and Avrienne are involved in training new staff and managing the contractors who work at Tree Tops Lodge. They must also be ready in case of disasters as Cairns is in the Cyclone zone, as well as handling medical emergencies as they happen.
Much of their day-to-day work may go unseen and unnoticed by the guests—but it makes a tremendous difference to the overall experience of staying at Tree Tops.
Space at Tree Tops is at a premium and unfortunately people have recently been turned away. Staff then resort to phoning around to ﬁnd local people who can host families for a short time. Yet another project the Austins have been part of is the building of new Family Units to help alleviate some of this pressure!
Recently Peter has been training to get his ASIC (Aviation Security Identiﬁcation Card), which will allow him to work on the airside (tarmac) of Cairns International Airport so that he is available to assist missionary folk arriving by medical evacuation.
Peter and Avrienne love serving in Cairns as Managers at Tree Tops Lodge with the skills and acumen they have acquired over a lifetime of service.
At this point in their service at Tree Tops Lodge, Peter and Avrienne are seeking more financial partners so that they can keep working in this vital ministry. The Austins rely on financial sponsorship to cover their costs at Tree Tops.
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