Day 3: The storm before the calm
On Day 3 (Monday) of mission we were met with forecasts of an unusually warm 28 degrees, but windy with showers – so we didn’t really know what we would be in for! We arrived at the church for our team meeting at 9am and shared stories of encouragement from the previous day, praying to God for those who we had conversations with, as well as for the events that were to come that day.
The day kicked off with a playgroup run in the church for families in the community. Kate, Edwina and Cathy went along to have some conversations with the mums, all but three of whom were non-Christians. The ladies from our team were impressed by how well-structured and friendly the playgroup was; there were about 20 parents and grandparents who had brought their children along for an hour and a half of playing, stories, and songs. We would love your prayers for the Christian mums there to be able to share Jesus through these friendships developing through the playgroup.
Danae and Cathy went along to a women’s connection group, mainly made up of young mothers. They were really encouraged by the faithfulness of the women there in seeking to share their faith with their friends. One lady shared her experience of sharing the gospel with a Muslim friend; explaining that for a holy God to be merciful, he couldn’t just swipe injustice ‘under the carpet’, he had to deal with it. Another lady who was seeking to get a grasp on God’s justice asked shortly after this, “our response is to repent and believe, but who took the punishment for all of the injustice?” This led to a great chance for the gospel to be presented clearly. The end of this study was particularly encouraging as most of the women mentioned friends who they were keen to share the gospel with; one lady, while admitting that she didn’t know much about how to share Jesus, said that she was confident that God would equip her. Please pray that God would continue to build boldness and courage in these women, and that he would give them the words to speak as they share the gospel with their friends.
The team reconvened for a lovely lunch of delicious soup and bread, all the while forward to the planned doorknocking and leafleting that was going to take place during the afternoon. But just as we were about to head out, the “windy with showers” part of the forecast hit us; a seriously gusty storm blew through, battering at the doors with heavy winds and large raindrops (and even some small hailstones). It took some effort to push the door open against the wind for a photo, and the ensuing ten seconds I spent outside was enough to get me very wet; the price one pays for blogs such as these!
As a result of the storm, our afternoon of doorknocking was unfortunately thwarted; but we used the time instead to pray and to do some doorknocking roleplays in preparation for heading out the next day. This was instructional for all of us; of particular note was our English team leader Chris Thomson’s efforts to imitate a typical Aussie homeowner (“I’ve got my family, my home, the footy, that’s all I need really!”) and Thomas Murray’s unrelenting persistence and enthusiasm; as well as Alan’s imitation of an elderly man answering the door. Honourable mentions go to Jack and Edwina’s sound effects imitating the blustery wind outside! Please pray for good weather as we head out into the community over the next two days, and that God would prepare the hearts of those we meet so that they might be receptive to hearing about Jesus and the upcoming Easter services.
There was one more (thankfully indoor) event that evening; “Curries by Candlelight” for young adults. By this time the weather had calmed down, and the tone of this event matched the calmness outside. It was an intimate setting, with four tables set up and around 24 people attending. Ross presented a talk on God being the only place we can find certainty and security, and our team members were able to have some great chats with many of the (mostly Christian) attendees about how they can be shaping their priorities around God as they go through the intense time of change that is their ‘twenties’. Please pray that these young adults would be convicted of the need to prioritise God in their lives, and pray that those at uni would be using that opportunity to grow in their faith and share it with others.
With two full days down, energy levels for some of us are a little low – please also be praying that God would sustain us through the week, and that our team would serve each other and the church well.