The get-to-know-you game in Mitch’s kindy scripture class this week was designed to show that sometimes things don’t work out the way you expect. In a funny old way it feels like we’ve been playing it all week (Photo Above: Mitch teaching his 3rd kindy class of the week)…
For instance, there’s the moment you sit down in the staffroom for a break between Christian studies classes, only to be asked about which bits of Scripture are written in Aramaic and why it matters. Or there’s the time you duck out for coffee and the school chaplain tags along for a casual chat about women’s roles, feminism and submission in marriage. Maybe it’s the morning tea question about healing or the lazy breakfast with your host where you swap stories about the family members you long to see saved. It’s that feeling of realising, mid-conversation, that THIS is the reason you’re on mission – for these few snatched words. And you pray, as you listen, to make them count.
There’s the walking into a classroom and seeing the eyes of the kids widen at the nose-ringed, man-bunned dude standing beside you. Hearing them ask hopefully if he will be their teacher, seeing their delight when he affirms he will. A bunch of guys on our team have never taught Christian studies before, or for years, and yet their impact here is profound and unable to be overstated. We walk through the school and their names are screamed out by the kids we pass, desperate for a high five or a smile. It is the same everywhere we go, kids desperate to see people modelling Jesus to them. People who look like their big brother, or next door neighbour, or best friend. People who look like the person they may grow up to be.
One of the joys of Port Macquarie mission is the variety of things we have going on each day. It means the team is divided into sub-teams, who reconvene each afternoon, slumped around a table to swap stories and pray together. Sometimes the only way I know what’s going on with the other guys is by George’s faithful stream of instagramming. Here we see the mens dinner, the touch footy with CSU, the radio interview with Rhema. I didn’t get to climb the tower today, but I can still see the view from the top. It’s a bit like that on this mission, and I’m thankful for the way each person shares their part.
As we approach our last few days, we still look ahead to doorknocking, a few more testimonies, a Senior Cru group and a women’s night tonight. Much of the rest of the week will be spent together, after our disparate start. Pray for us as we work, and as we rest on Saturday? Please pray for the conversations we have in between the timetable, which are proving to be the most important ones.
We are thankful for the cacophony of primary school children losing their chops at the sight of a puppet, but we are far more thankful still for each small moment, person to person, where the name of Jesus is lifted high. Will you pray for more of those, with us?