Day 7: Full-on Friday!
Fridays are a bustling, busy day at St Marks. The church run an op shop every Wednesday and Friday, with a variety of people from the local community coming in regularly to seek a bargain. On Fridays the op shop is run in conjunction with a coffee shop, serving drinks and snacks and full meals. On top of that, a traditional church service is held on Fridays at 10am. Friday evenings are also packed, with a year 3-6 kids club from 4:30-6pm, and a youth group from 6:30-8:30pm. As you can see, and as we were about to experience, Fridays are packed days at St Marks with a whole lot of fantastic ministry opportunities.
Tom Murray spoke at the traditional service, sharing his personal testimony in light of Matthew 6:25-34. The service was then followed by a connect group made up of members from that congregation, that Danae, Alan and I were able to be a part of. It was awesome to hear stories from the ladies about how they are sharing their faith with those around them in the community; especially their desire for the gospel to be heard by all people.
We were able to enjoy the awesome hospitality of the coffee shop for lunch, before a quiet afternoon during which team members were able to prep for the youth events in the evening, while some had a less quiet afternoon and went out to do some more doorknocking. Once again some rejections were mingled in with some very engaging and encouraging conversations!
4:30 eventually rolled around, and with it, a wave of primary school kids bursting with energy. The group, known as Alive, had about 30 kids; the first task was burning off some of that energy, so an impressive array of NERF guns were brought out, and along with the enthusiasm from the youth leaders and five of our team members, a lot of that energy was suitably expended. Edwina then got the kids thinking about what is true and what is not – before using Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 15 to explain to the kids that Jesus’ resurrection is a true fact (this moment was met with a shocked exclamation of “WHAT?!” from one of the girls – a genuinely shocked response to the news that Jesus’ resurrection is actually true).
The Crosswired youth group (from year 7 to 12) started up from 6:30, again with an awesome and energetic group of youth leaders doing an awesome job at engaging with the 20-or-so youth who came along. Five of our team joined in with the group and participated in the “Japanese game show” activities to ‘warm us all up’ (which involved going outside in the cool night air, putting blocks of ice under our armpits, and then taking off our shoes and socks to balance over a raw egg on the cold ground).
Once we had all made it back inside, Jack gave his testimony, before Danae gave a talk on Jesus death and resurrection (also from 1 Corinthians 15). She talked candidly about how each of us will face death, but also described the incredible hope that is on offer through Jesus’ resurrection!
PIease pray for:
- Energy for our team to throw ourselves into the last two days of mission
- A quick recovery for Tom Murray who had a bike accident on Friday evening and fractured his elbow!
- The many and varied ways that the church is able to engage with the community on Fridays:
- that many new contacts would be made through the op shop and coffee shop, and
- that the people at the traditional service, and the kids and youth, would continue to grow in knowledge and love of God.
- Thank God for the energetic and faithful service of the leaders of Alive and Crosswired!