‘Is It God Or Is It A Crazy Idea?’: How Two Nuns Signed Up For 'The Amazing Race'
It sounds a lot like the plot for a new 'Sister Act' film -- two nuns sign up for a reality TV series to try and raise money for their mission.
But it's a real-life decision made by a pair of Missionaries of God's Love sisters Judy, 53, and Therese, 45 who will be jetting around the world for 'The Amazing Race Australia'.
"We haven't got heaps of money, so we'd been talking in our leadership team about creative opportunities," Judy explained to 10 daily.
"And then this idea came up and I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, maybe this is God’."
Judy managed to convince her long-time colleague Therese to lead the team but had never considered joining the adrenaline-filled competition herself, thinking one of the younger nuns from their mission would fill the second spot.
"They were all committed to studying, they all had things on they couldn’t pull out of so it came down to me. Which, in the end, I’m really grateful for, I think it was God’s plan right from the beginning but I didn’t realise," she said.
The final decision to apply was discussed with the rest of the nuns in their community long before they were confirmed for the show.
"We were very discerning, [saying] ‘Well is it God or is it a crazy idea?’ and they were really positive about it," she said, adding, "it made me realise they’re a very adventurous group."
Judy and Therese's previous mission work in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the Philippines helped to prepare them for 'Amazing Race' challenges -- but Judy insisted that their real secret weapon was prayer.
"We knew that we had God on our side in the sense that we could draw on more courage than we actually had, that when we ran out of our own resources, when we felt exhausted or inadequate we could say, ‘Lord it’s up to you now’ -- which is how we live every day."
Their dedication to their faith meant that their luggage was a little heavier than the other ten teams, bringing a few items that Judy said gave them a real edge.
"We made prayer books and bibles essential because it was like a secret weapon, we carried a bit of extra weight for the advantage that would bring us," she said, adding that rosary beads were also thrown into their luggage for good measure.
They also had some prayer power radiating from Australia with their fellow sisters saying Hail Marys around the clock to make sure Judy and Therese were "going well and would come back in one piece".
But even with all that prayer, Judy said that nuns are just like everyone else, and the duo knew thir relationship would be tested with all that international travel on boats, buses and the back of camels.
"Oh yes, we’re very normal," she told 10 daily.
"Everyone who’s a human being has their moments of tension, especially if you’re in a committed relationship and you work together and do challenging things together. Everybody faces those bits where you want to kill each other."
But their faith helped them to keep focused and channel their energies into trying to win the $250,000 cash prize for their youth ministry work.
"Before the race, we were saying, ‘Oh well, the purpose of it isn’t to win the money, there are other reasons’ but when we got into it, we really wanted to go the whole way, our competitive side came roaring to the surface."
Tune in to see Judy and Therese (and their prayer books) on 'The Amazing Race' premiere next week!