40 Stories: His name is Rock

Maurice Larui is an assistant teacher and youth leader at Wadeye, a remote community in the Northern Territory. His Aunty Angela Ninnal, a community elder, helped to raise him.

Many Indigenous people find a very difficult time in Wadeye. Some are suicidal; some of them go to jail. I had so many problems in my heart and I asked the Lord to help me – I don’t know what I’m doing.

I grew up with all the grandparents.

Aunty Angela Ninnal: When he was very little, the mother had all these little other kids to look after and he was really sick.

Maurice: I was very happy and I enjoyed them teaching me about cultural ways, hunting, crabbing, fishing, and they taught me how to pray to God.

Angela: I think when he was five years old, we’d light the candles with the other cousins. He was standing there laughing at us. So by listening, little bit, he was really good after that, but before he was really cheeky.

Maurice: God had a plan for me. And then he was carrying me into his heart.

Aunty Angela: He was growing up slowly and learning more about God.

Maurice: And I learned things from the Catholic church. In 2005, that’s when I started praying.

Aunty Angela: One day I was really sick, had a strong headache. So he was praying over me and that’s how he started to learn, his spirit started to grow stronger.

Maurice: I had so many problems and I asked the Lord to help me and God just gave me his strength and he changed all my heart and my mind. His spirit came into my heart and I felt joy.

We go out to the bush. That’s where I felt God was there and I started to listen to his voice.

One of my eldest uncles was hit by a road train and he was at the Royal Darwin Hospital and I started to pray for him, pray over him. The Lord gave his life back to him. And it was amazing. And I was thanking the Lord for what he had done for me and my family.

My mother started to come to church with me and started praying with me. Jesus was calling me. “I will always be beside you, as you call for others.”

I work at the school as an assistant teacher and started to open my heart to all the people up in Wadeye.

I decided to come to Nungalinya [College in Darwin] to learn more, for the music course, and I was very excited and I recorded some music from Wadeye. I brought it from English to my language, Murrinh-patha, and took the songs back to Wadeye. Anywhere I go, I always listen to that song and I started working in the church and helping the community.

Then I came back to Nungalinya for my ministry and I do theology [to know] more about God’s words, knowing God and to love others, to becoming a leader in the church.

Jesus changed my life. I wasn’t helping other people. When I started to follow Christ, he said “My father wants you to call your brothers and sisters back to me.” And I started to do prayer with all the prayer team. We go out to do some services in the outstation, and I go with them.

Aunty Angela: They do Bible study, or music – supporting, helping.

Maurice: And we need younger people to grow and build their faith.

Aunty Angela: Young men, especially young men.

Maurice: Sometimes I sit with them and I pray with them to accept Jesus in their heart. They start to come to every Sunday service. More important for me, it’s all about God; as I know God, and he knows me and I keep family in my heart, God in my heart,

Sometimes I take my red Bible to the bush or hunting. I started to read that the Lord is my Shepherd, Psalm 23, and I know the Lord is my shepherd. Thank the Lord for what he has done to his own son Jesus, that he was crucified and he forgives our sins.

His name is Rock and he’s here in my heart.

Maurice Larui, Wadeye, NT, by 40 Stories is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0