The Athas Muscat team had a fantastic first Sunday, our team of 13 participating in 7 services and feeling very welcomed by the people at Engadine, Heathcote, Helensburgh and Stanwell Park. 3rd year Alan Reader preached at Heathcote in the morning from John 18:1-27 about how Jesus who, remaining in control, is faithful to the Father’s will to the end and preserves those he loves. George Athas preached at Helensburgh and Stanwell Park from John 18:28-19:15 with a message called “Jesus is guilty as charged” reflecting on the true kingship of Jesus.
Sunday was otherwise a training day for our team, rehearsing some excellent SRE programs prepared for us by Engadine Anglican (with puppets!) and training on the Espresso gear for running free coffee carts later in the week. Needless to say, everyone was well caffeinated by the time we turned up to the evening services at Engadine and Helensburgh!
A fun little experience at Helensburgh was the 15-minute intermission during the 6:30pm service, giving the largely teen and uni-age congregation a great chance to catch up and encourage one another. An extended passing-of-peace for a different demographic, it looked like grabbing some mid-service snacks, and experience fellowship in a really organic way. It was a great opportunity for the congregation to transition from corporate activities (singing, prayer, community time) into a time of sitting under God’s word.
Monday was our team day off, which felt very strange so early in the mission, but with a full day of training and activity, refreshed us well to set out again on Tuesday. George hosted us for the ultimate of chilled out BBQs, where we got to meet Alice, the naughty dog.
Our team is essentially split between Engadine/Heathcote and Helensburgh/Stanwell Park, with distinct programs for each, but with some cross-over at key events and for team meetings. With Tuesday rolling around, the team up at Engadine/Heathcote hit the train stations to advertise upcoming events with the church, as well as preparing 100s of coffees for school parents after dropping kids off for the day at the local primary schools. A new activity for Engadine, having the Moore team on the ground to help gives a great opportunity to test what kind of impact this might have in the community. The team also had a chance to put their SRE training into practice 3 times, dashing between schools to kick off the next assembly!
The Helensburgh/Stanwell Park team also spent the day doing two Easter SRE assemblies in the local primary schools, as well as spending time with the fellas at the Men’s Shed, operating out of the Stanwell Park church hall. It was a great chance to ask the men there who they think Jesus is, and to see the investment the Christian members have been making into the lives of those they’re working alongside.
The evenings were filled with chances to meet with growth groups within the church and spending time with our Billets.
You can pray for the Athas Muscat team as we head into day 4/5 that we will remain united despite being split for large portions of the day, that we will be bold to make the most of every opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus with those we meet, and to be full of energy for the full program of SRE opportunities we’ve been given.