A day can probably have as many parts as you want it to. My Friday May 20, 2016 on my last Moore College mission (pending B. Div) had two halves.
The First Half
I woke up and made an instant coffee. Earlier in the week one of the three guys I’m staying with had gone out and bought it especially since no one drinks coffee in the household. He picked up Moconna Special Blend. It has the added description of ‘Velvety and Full Bodied’. I actually love instant coffee.
I walked into the church office about a half hour stroll away, praying for the day. Our school scripture team were meeting at 8.30am ahead of four assemblies or ‘performances’ as one teacher would later call what we did. I would be interacting with a puppet called Victoria (Mathea) for a few hundred primary school students at Forster and Tuncurry Public Schools while others in our team—Evan, Talar, Luke, Jeri, Avril, Rebecca and Rachel—would run games, songs and memory verses.
The message was Psalm 23 culminating in the fact that Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
We used props like a tea towel headdress indicating shepherd get-up; an MJ Thriller-inspired dance to sheep noises; and the old but useful ‘can-you-repeat-this-in-a-really-soft-voice-now’ trick. The kids were engaged with the big idea, and seemed to stay with us the whole time. They laughed along with our jokes and no doubt more than we realised at us. Good times. Cue pre-arranged team Chinese lunch.
The Second Half
I had a short nap, hung at my hosts’ house, and then headed to where the church’s youth group were gathering at the local sports field.
We piled into cars and took off a little way out of town to a family from church’s house. We followed snaking dirt roads under a nearly full moon and made our way to the family’s back paddock where a large, dusty cleared area was set up with several potential bonfires and an array of entertainment including a pool table, dart board, ping pong table, and strings of fairy lights. It was basically the perfect set up for a youth night.
Probably 30 or so youth milled around with each other and the church’s youth leaders and members of the mission team, playing games and listening to top 40 pop songs. A concerted effort for collecting kindling also roused just about everyone before we ate BBQ’d hamburgers and lit the bonfire. It got big and hot quick.
Chris shared his testimony about how he’d come to know God’s love following his parents’ divorce. Alex facilitated a discussion about what everyone wished for and shared from Philippians. Dev, one of Coast EC’s pastors, also gave some reflections on the fragility of life following the news an elderly member of the church had died in the early hours of the morning. He talked about how it’s good to slow down and think about our lives and consider God and having a relationship with him.
They were good words and the location beneath the starry night was a good place to consider them.