In just one week, the Day family will board a plane for a new posting in South Australia.
The past seven weeks has been a flurry of activity for Gunnedah Salvation Army's Major Gaye Day and Captain Richard Day as they pack up their worldly belongings and prepare the community for their departure.
The pair had settled in for another year in Gunnedah following a review when they received a phone call "out of the blue" to let them know they were needed in Port Augusta before the end of winter.
"We were expecting to stay here for another 12 months or two years," Major Day said.
"I didn't know where [Port Augusta] was."
The coastal town has been without locally-based leadership for six months and the Days were headhunted to fill the position because "we have the skills and experience they want".
The pair are still coming to terms with the "shock" news but have been working with the Salvos community to ensure all of the programs will continue to run as normal.
Major Day said it has been "pretty frantic" but many had put up their hands to fill the roles until the Days are replaced.
"It's been a huge transition to make sure the programs run and don't collapse after we've gone," Major Day said.
"There are enough processes in place to enhance and continue the ministries.
"The church is disappointed but they say it must be God's plan."
"To walk out when it's really just about to take off is a shame because we won't see the fruit," Major Day said.
"But we're leaving it with Beryl McCormack."
By far, the biggest change the Days have been a part of is the move from the original church building in Barber Street to the former Centrelink building in Tempest Street in early 2017.
The Salvos had been using Carinya Christian School's hall for services for a number of years after outgrowing their original building on Barber Street and identified a need for a bigger building to run all of its programs.
One of our visions for the core was to be self-sufficient and sustainable and we're well on the road to it.- Major Gaye Day, Salvation Army
Over the years, the Days have "made some great friends" and immersed themselves in the community, joining Rotary, physical culture and countless committees. Their seven-year-old daughter Chloe has spent her entire schooling life in town.
"We've invested a lot in Gunnedah and it's a great community," Major Day said.
The Day said it had been rewarding to watch people in the church develop confidence and leadership skills.
Captain Day said he couldn't believe how quickly the time had gone.
"I'm excited for a new adventure but sad to be leaving Gunnedah," he said.
"We've really enjoyed our time here."
The Days said while they were sad to leave their much-loved community, they knew the Salvos was in good hands having seen first-hand "the growth in people" as team members developed confidence, self-esteem and leadership skills.
"One of our visions for the core was to be self-sufficient and sustainable and we're well on the road to it," Major Day said.
"We might be leaving, but the Salvos aren't."
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