08 September, 2014

Origami, rubbish sorting, and all sorts of fun

Musical night
On Friday night I went to our younger sons' school musical. The kind where everyone has a role, there were hardly any main parts. It was written by staff and fairly well done. The whole thing was exploring freedom and what that means, especially when we walk away from our Creator.

A scene from the musical. Most of the kids were dressed
 the same: in white shirts (Grades 1-6), so it wasn't easy to
pick out  your  own child! I'm also not used to having
so many Caucasian faces in my boys' classes, reverse culture shock?
What I didn't expect was to run into so many people who I knew. I met two people I knew from my high school Youth Group. I didn't know that either of them had children at the school. I also met three other people from more recent times. Two of them didn't know we were back in the country. It was a bit awkward because I'd walked up on a conversation the three of them were having. For a second or two it looked like they'd seen a ghost!

Relaxing start to Saturday
On Saturday morning I stayed home with David and the boys went to wrestling training alone. I chatted on the phone with a long-term friend who I'd been playing phone tag with for several weeks. Then I got dressed and baked some biscuits. It was a lovely morning in. 

Up the mountain

Doing origami (in the foreground). The boy in the black
shirt (our son) is teaching a group of people. The gomi
game is on the other side of the room.
Mid-afternoon we headed off for Tamborine Mountain. This "mountain" is a 28km square plateau 525m above sea level. It is inland from the Gold Coast and has a strong tourist element. It also has a strong Christian mission link, with a Convention Centre (a flashy name for something that isn't actually that flashy) which holds many Christian conventions and camps. OMF used to own a campsite up there and we spent many a weekend "on the mountain" in our young adult years. We actually first started our application to OMF back in 1998 at a mission convention up there.

We've also got strong connections with the Presbyterian Church on the mountain. This was the fifth time we've visited there over the last 15 years. It was a joy to be back, even though two of our most enthusiastic supporters who happened to be from this church have now gone to be with the Lord.

Gomi Game
This group is trying to understand
the sorting instructions. The green sheets
are the "bags" they have to sort into.
The church organised a bring and share "curry night" as a fundraiser for three of their young people who are going on short term mission trips in the next few months. Each of them had a short time to be introduced to the group. It was a great idea to combine that with our visit, because we ended up with more attendees than we would have alone. About 30-40 adults and 20 children came along, more than either we or the organisers expected.

We shared fairly briefly an update on what we'd been doing and then jumped into some fun. We ran a Japanese slipper-chopsticks relay. It nearly derailed because we gave them MnMs to use the chopsticks on, and that was just a bit too tricky for most people.

After that we split into two groups. David ran our Gomi Game (Garbage Sorting Game) with one group. Two of our boys and I did origami with the other group. Unfortunately we ran out of time and didn't get to swap the groups over.

An adult helping a girl change her shoes
in the relay.
We finished by playing a Youtube video of Japanese Christians singing "Blessed be Your Name" in Japanese, with subtitles. I don't know how many sung along, but I certainly did. I had a lady come up afterwards saying that she'd never heard Japanese people worshipping and was quite touched by this short video. We missionaries do spend a lot of time talking about how many people don't know Jesus, and sometimes forget to encourage people to pray for those who are Christians. It was the first time we'd tried this and it seemed to work well.

We had a 10-15 minute slot in the morning service and filled that with some stories and a couple of videos. I didn't feel that great about what I'd said, but sat down afterwards truing to remind myself that "It's not about you, it's about God." I was, therefore, amazed afterwards to have people come up and say things like "You are a breath of fresh air." and "We loved hearing from you today."

Our eldest son loves making cranes. Here he made a tiny
one out of some left-over paper. The coin is a 10 yen
piece, about the size of an Australian dollar coin.
During the sermon all five of us went out and ran the Sunday School. It's days like that that I love being married to a teacher. He just ran with it and I followed along like his assistant. After an introductory talk we dressed up two children in summer kimono. Then we did a slipper-kindy hat relay (a whole lot easier than the night before). And finished off the time by  teaching origami. Our boys were fantastic with this, all able to teach a couple of different figures.

Afterward I caught up with a missionary from Wycliffe who I'd known through my church during my uni days. Actually a whole bunch of Wycliffe-associated folk were at church. They'd been doing some training at the Convention Centre. Several of them talked to us afterwards. One said it was so nice to be at a church where another missionary got up to speak about some other ministry. Yes, I would agree. Sometimes as missionaries it gets to be a bit lonely, being the only "visitor" and the only ones talking about mission. This church is such an encouragement because they are very mission minded and often have mission-related events on.

I came away tired, but elated. It was an encouraging weekend. One where we got to do "fun stuff" more than serious "talking from the front". Quite up my alley!

The bonus yesterday was that our point person forgot to organise for someone to have us for lunch before we drove back to Brisbane (he'd organised overnight accommodation with a family from church, though). So instead the church gave us money to buy our own lunch, apologising all the way.

The bonus of this was being able to just be ourselves over lunch and go home when we were done. We arrived home at 2pm and had a lovely long afternoon chilling at home. We finished this weekend in better shape than we did last weekend. Very thankful.


Hillary said...

How do you play the go I game? Looks like it would be fun to have that as part of our "bag of tricks" for furlough too!

Hillary said...

*gomi! (Silly autocorrect!)

Wendy said...

Hi Hillary,
It is a game we made up ourselves, so it is mostly a collection of documents on our computer. You're the third person to show an interest, so we'll have to get it organised into a format that we can pass on to others. Another project!

Hillary said...

That would be great...but no pressure at all! :) (I know you're busy, especially now!) thanks!

Wendy said...

Hi Hillary, It just so happens that my husband had time to do it today (and two other people asked for it too), so if you could email me at wendymarshall04 at gmail dot com I can send you the link to where he put the documents.