This weekend the Seven Network and the Australian Christian Channel will be screening ‘Hope in the Summer of Sorrow’, a documentary which shows how Scripture Union Queensland (SUQLD) helped out with the flood recovery in south-east Queensland in January this year.

“There was a wonderful and immediate response from Australians to help those affected by the devastating floods,” said the program’s Producer/Director, Martin Johnson.

“What we wanted to do in this program is look at the on-going support after the event given by SUQLD, a non-profit youth and children’s organisation, through their school chaplains,” he said.

Program host Karl Faase travelled to Ipswich, Toowoomba and towns in the Lockyer Valley such as Grantham, Helidon and Hatton Vale.

The program looks at four chaplains in particular, Nyree Mannion at Grantham, Brad Lerch and Barry Hatton in the Lockyer Valley and Lisa Demedio at Jamboree Heights.

“Each of the chaplains work with their school principal and other school support staff to provide on-going pastoral care to students in need,” Karl said.

“After the floods, the chaplains discovered that some students were having difficulty coming to terms with what had happened. In some cases students had not only lost their home and all their belongings, they had also lost family members,” Karl said.

The Mayor of Ipswich Paul Pisasale, who is interviewed in the program, is very supportive of the work of school chaplains. He recognises that as mayor, he can only do so much.

“It’s that spiritual guidance, of dealing with the emotions that I can’t do but the chaplains can,” said Councillor Pisasale.

“In the school [the chaplains] have been able to engage with the young kids, get them to talk and that tells me they’re being looked after emotionally,” he added.

Hope in the Summer of Sorrow airs at midday on the Seven Network on Good Friday and 3.30pm Saturday on the Australian Christian Channel.