Day 5 of mission started off with a scripture at Milperra Public and Panania North. Panania North had a special event combining all the primary year classes into a large assembly which allowed for a more elaborate play and presentation. In the end there was a clear gospel message presentation to over 100 students.
The presentation was put together with half a dozen of the team and benefited from the creative input form them all, the collaboration was encouraging to all and a good reminder of the benefits of using each other’s strengths.
At the same time there was another playgroup which proved to be another useful time of engaging with the local community. There have been encouraging relationships which continue to be built.
Some of the team got a little carried away with the toys (not the first time we’ve struggled to restrain the team around the children’s toys), but Jimmy Shepherd was able to see the fruit of his labours as some of the boys made the most of the train track he build (we assume it was the greatest track they had ever seen).
There have been lots of edifying conversations between hosts and billets across the mission as the team has enjoyed being hosted by the local congregation. God has worked and created good combinations of billets who can relate to some of the struggles and life challenges of the hosts to help encourage good conversations with hosts. It has also generally been good to get an insight into the lives of the congregation which is in some ways quite different to some of the team, and to hear their perspective on how the church runs and reaches out.
The grand finale to the day was the womens night. The male team members were again notably disappointed about not being able to attend and participate in the craft. The men supported from the sideline however with a few babysitting to allow some of the women to attend.
The team was greatly encouraged by a break through with some of the local shop keepers who the church have been reaching out to over the previous months. They had been invited to the womens event and having lives primarily consumed with managing the small businesses they were delighted to be invited to an event. They even noted how good it was to see so many of their customers at the event!
The church congregation all brought along at least one friend, which is impressive and shows the eagerness and support they have for outreach. The talk by Shuvah Pun was challenging and evangelistic and Jess Smith’s testimony was also strong and presented the full gospel in her story of growing up, thinking she was a Christian who didn’t really need Christ’s salvation, but then came to be convicted of her own sinfulness; we are all praying the testimony and talk resonate and impact the friends who were brought along.