First thing on for day 4 was assisting with Panania Public school scripture. It was a privilege to watch some of the really experienced scripture teachers in action and we learnt a lot from them about how to teach the Bible to kids in a classroom setting.
Meanwhile, the women had a high tea. The males were offended not to be invited particularly as there was a lot of cake. But we hear it went very well and that Xerri did a great job explaining Luke 5 and how we are supposed to respond to Jesus. Chim Ho also shared her testimony which we hear was very encouraging.
After this we held an over 55’s lunch. Jose gave a cracking talk on Galatians 3 challenging people to think about whether they are one with Christ. The event was a success however there were some practical challenges, for example lots of our ‘young at heart’ guests had trouble hearing each other across the table.
We also had a street stall running in the city centre promoting the open day on Sunday and just generally trying to raise awareness of the church in the community. The underlying intention was to have a positive presence and interactions with the community. We were also keen determine the exact number of Jelly Beans contained within a large glass jar; to this end we run a jelly bean guessing competition.
We were really encouraged by some of the congregation members who came to help that used the stall as an opportunity to publicly share their faith with people that they knew from the area. Their boldness and fearlessness was inspiring: it is easy for us as strangers in an area to be bold, but for someone who has grown up in the community and has to see all these people again day in and day out it was especially courageous. They were happy to leave behind their reputation for the sake of the gospel.
The church is already seeing some responses from the leafleting, and mission efforts to connect with the community with David Milne receiving two two phone calls from mums asking about how to join in with the mums and buns groups.
In the evening we helped run the CQ Group, for teenage boys. John Batten gave a great talk challenging us to think about what it is that fuels us for gospel mission. He vividly illustrated this, appealing to the inner pyromaniac of the boys, by lighting a fire twirling stick in the church. We aren’t sure if he had approval from the church OH&S committee or the mission risk assessment officer, but with so many reference to fire in the bible, it was hard to imagine how God would have disproved.