As said before, NTE officially was on in Canberra since last Saturday, up until Tuesday, or Wednesday lunch really. After that became the mission component of the “camp”; 4.5 days to put into practice what we have learnt into tangible service to God. Of course we weren’t really the ones who went through the training and such through camp, so we wouldn’t have the special motivation but it should be okay.
Why didn’t I go to the NTE conference? Because I opted to pay only for one camp (out of NTE and next gen) and pretty much there were more people going to next gen in general, but also that my church is going there, might as well stick around the youth that are just getting started. So yeah I made my choice, whatever.
Jess gave me a lift from her house, she was planning to get there by the designated 5pm. But then Marcus called up and said that he was a tad stressing from his 3U maths exam. So he came home and for about half an hour I tutored him on some stuff; still pretty clear in my mind, oh yeah! We left her house at 5pm, the traffic was really bad along Epping Road and even then on the way to Chatswood; so we actually arrived at 6pm instead. It was hard to find Hope Anglican Church, probably because it was small, and not easy to notice on Google maps. Parking a tad strange because the church didn’t have a car park, only a small driveway; there was parking on the sides of the 4-lane street, but there were certain road rule issues.
We were the first to arrive, though it was 6pm. People slowly poured in up until 7pm and then we finally started to have dinner. All in all it didn’t seem like many people were coming, especially extra that were coming solely for mission. Law people were placed with us along with a couple of med people. Anyway the plan was for the girls to stay with some people from the church in their houses, while the guys were confined to sleeping inside the church; not such a great thing but there’s hardly any reason for complaint.
We had boxed rice for dinner, along with roast chicken, probably from Coles or somewhere. Surprisingly most of the girls couldn’t finish their boxes of rice; Bec Vo in particular ended up wasting more than half a box of rice =.=” wasteful. It’s kind of cool that the church was willing to provide for all our meals; would be a lot of effort which we’d come to appreciate in the coming days.
After dinner we had a formal intro of the activities that we would be engaging in over the next couple of days at mission; a small talk from the minister Brian Tung; short heads up, think SCCCA (how many C’s how many A’s?) and then we met a couple of the other church members we’d be working with as well. The night session included a short intro to face painting as well as balloon animal making. I think that was pretty awesome, learning how to form twisted animals from those long balloons; there weren’t many animals that we were taught, and we mostly had to rely on the knowledge that other people had obtained from other sources. Still it was a fun learning experience which we’d definitely have to practice starting the very next day it would seem.
The night drifted on and eventually it just became us 7-8 guys left in the church at night. They laid out mattresses for us in a couple of rooms in the church. It’s not a big church, but at least there was one bathroom with a shower, which I guess would have to prove to be more than enough for the coming days. Sleeping on the ground isn’t entirely cool but at least we had mattresses. Josef Manalo came into the same room as me and Ben, which we would later find out to be a rather bad experience, more to come on that.
We had a short Bible study on 1 Peter in the common room where there was a kitchen and food in a fridge. That went on until 11:45pm and then we retired to sleep. That was the first night.