NTE Mission ‘09 – Friday

Okay day 3. Last night’s shenanigans include the following: By 6:30am the sun was already streaming into our room, and for one reason or another, Josef wakes up and in a loud voice declared to the heavens: “Hey guys! Wow it’s so bright already, I wonder what time it is? Oh, it’s only 6:30am, well let’s go back to sleep.” But what the angels can hear, me and Ben could hear too, so we were woken up to no avail. But at least there was no snoring at night haha.

 

Things proceeded just about the same as yesterday. Same program, only more rotation. So for today, my team was staged at the Mandarin Centre, to set up a stall to do face painting, make balloon animals, invite people to our Carol’s Night on Saturday and also to collect donations of Christmas gifts for Anglicare. We were told that on Thursday they only collected one gift, a sort of discouraging sign of our success today.

 

We showed up early, went to centre management to get our stuff from like some weird room, which almost seemed like the car park. Got our table and other stuff which the other team left behind from yesterday. Returned and camped in the middle of the ground floor. We set up two more people at both entrances and we began asking people. A lot of people were walking around real fast; and after asking a few it was safe to say that these people were indeed in a hurry. I think this was a bit harder than door-knocking because people could easily avoid you, and it’s simply harder to confront people. The early morning wasn’t great. It was confusing even, because I accidentally “engaged” people that were already “engaged” at the door; so that doubly annoyed some people. I had my eyes on the escalators, people who were coming down and exiting.

 

We didn’t have our balloons or face painting stuff with us at the time so we had a really slow pace. But things picked themselves up when the centre manager came around with a bottle of helium gas, and a pack of balloons. They just gave them to us, free of charge. He showed us how to do one and then we proceeded to inflate the rest up. It made our stall look really nice. I guess I was touched by his generosity. In fact some of the toys in our collection box belonged to the centre, some reject toys from another occasion.

 

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As you can see, we were placed next to this Korean clothes sale thing, so we had people come around occasionally and go: “How much is this?” Eventually we had lots of kids come by, so we’d put on an act, give them a balloon, or make one of our many assorted animals for them. In the second picture I guess that black and pink thing is a flower; it wasn’t that bad. Lots of kids came, so we had a good chance to talk to the parents. One highlight was when these two “goth” girls came along, and we asked them. We gave them a balloon hat and they walked off, saying that they would come back with some toys. As hard as it was to believe them, they actually did come back like half an hour later, with about $15 worth of toys, it was really generous of them, and so random as well. Again I was touched by such generosity; and the fact that it was so unpredictable that they would be so kind. Our experience for today was quite rewarding.

 

We ran the stall until about 2:30pm where we were relieved by the med/law people. We headed back to church and helped prepare stuff for our evangelistic night. It was something the older people were planning for a while; to have an evangelistic event for uni people at the church on Friday night, with board games and stuff, a nice friendly environment. More recruits showed up towards night, including Charlie, Brandon, Adrian and Nat. Miraculously we had a lot of guests show up, all invited by us via phone or Facebook.

 

So the night came and we set up board games everywhere:

 

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This was taken during our talk, which was given by Josef, who prepared it just in the days of mission, which was a really short time ago. But he gave the talk really well:

 

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There we go, that’s a good shot. We went back to board games after the talk. There was one guy which I had really good conversation with; won’t mention his name for privacy issues, but it was good to hear that he was interested in finding more about Christianity. I was trying to follow up with him, but then again he doesn’t really live close to me. And it seems he spoke to a lot of people, so surely one person who can follow him up more conveniently will pop up and do so. I hope to see him at CBS next year.

 

The night dragged on. A lot of packing up to do; and once again we slept really really late. We tried to do a Bible study by Chris was way too tired; so we just reflected on the things that happened today. Again, quite a challenging and inspiring day at mission. Alice Deng also showed up later at night, and she showed us one of her card puzzles which had a few people stumped for the rest of the night. It was her way at getting back at others for getting her with the “Snaps is the Name of the Game” game. Haven’t seen her in eons, but then again I didn’t really recognise her.

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