Well the last 2 days have been great for getting to know the locals and the church. Most of Saturday was spent preparing for the Saturday Fun Day and the Rock Concert. There were a heap of kids at the fun day with a puppet show, minute to win it, face painting, kite making, bubbles and even a jumping castle. Lots of fun was had and many great conversations. Following the BBQ Ben Pakula and his band setup for a rock concert with a talk and a testimony from team members. A good night over all. Today, the last day had us attending church and having lunch with our billets and hanging out with them in the afternoon. Then evening church and dinne afterwards. The 8 days at Oak Flats was great and the Good News of Jesus was told!
A lot of what we’ve been doing at Ashbury this week has been pre-evangelism type stuff; getting the name of the church out there, and letting people know where they can go to find out more about Jesus. It’s also been about showing people in the community that Christians are not scary, that we’re friendly and willing to get alongside them to lend a hand.
A bunch of us got together with some parents from Ashbury Public School at the school/community gardens yesterday. It was a great morning, digging holes, concreting fence posts, moving a (small) mountain of dirt and grass, and setting up a garden bed. The school parents seemed really happy that we’d come along to help, and that St Matts was keen to participate in the project. And us soft college students benefitted from a bit of manual labour after our week of delicious morning teas and lunches!
It was fun to be part of the project for a day, and to know that we played a part in something that hundreds of school kids will work in and use. Hopefully the seeds of goodwill that we helped sow will bear fruit in the relationship the church has with the community. And, God willing, gospel seeds can be sown further down the track! (okay I’ll stop pushing that metaphor now)
Friday afternoon was spent running the first Kids Club for St Andrews, which they are now planning on making a regular event.
Thanks for praying for the weather. Apart from a few drops around lunch time the rain held off. Praise God! He is very kind to us!
Neighbour day was ace! There was coffee and a barbecue and a jumping castle and helium balloons and face painting and balloon animals. FUN! Saturday morning also happens to be the time when Erskineville Church Hall is rented out to a number of different dance and yoga groups so there were plenty of people around. I had a long chat with Vanessa, who had been raised as a Catholic but adopted an almost Buddhist worldview with some Christian overtones. She thinks that the God of the Old Testament is angry and the God of the New Testament is loving. Please pray she’ll read The Essential Jesus and pray that we can catch up again and keep talking about Christianity.
What do you get if you mix jazz with crepes and coffee? Jazz in the Graveyard! The weather turned cool this afternoon while we were setting up for the jazz night, but a few jackets and scarves later the stage was set up, the crepe batter made and the coffee machine buzzing away. People brought picnic blankets and sat amongst the tombstones chilling to the laid back tunes. One lady said, ‘You guys do community events so well’. Praise God! Please pray that she may one day come into the church and hear the greatest news of the King who laid down his life to save hers.
Today has seen the team at Hurstville Grove involved in lots of different things…
Some of the team have been at a patchwork day encouraging the people who attend.
Some of the team have been involved with a community helping hands program where we helped those in the community with household chores that they are unable to do themselves. This saw gutter clearing, gardening, washing curtains and dinners offered. We cleaned gutters this morning on a house that was about 4 metres high. It was scary as the ladder only just reached, but praise God that no one was injured.
Others in the team have been preparing for church in the park tomorrow.
Pray for good weather for tomorrow as the big church event of the week is outside.
Here’s a pic from a lunch earlier in the week… it was just sunny and nice :-)
Men’s Breakfast; a good number of men showed up (about 110) with a decent number of new comers. David spoke on “Renovation rescue” and how you are a new creation in Christ. Pray for the guys who said they prayed the prayer. Pray that the congregation would be able to follow them up.
Youth Group: Dave and Fletcher gave fantastic talks and Ben and James gave awesome testimonies. Pray for the kids that came along and heard the gospel. Pray for the guy that committed his life to Christ.
Pray for the us as we prepare for the Saturday and Sunday services.
- Neighbour Day @ Erskineville
- Community Garden
- Jazz in the Graveyard
Please pray for good weather. Please pray for conversations about Jesus to come up naturally. Please pray that God will work in people’s hearts. Please pray that as all of us participate in two or more of these events that God would strengthen us for his work in Newtown and Erskineville.