Monday, July 16, 2007

So on Saturday night, possibly the very first Youth Movie Night ever was held at St Matthews Anglican Church Holland Park. It was a scary scary adventure and I had a fair amount of opposition from a few people and I think everyone, even me had their doubts, but God really came through and blessed the night; everyone remained safe and healthy, the games were fun, the pizza tasted great and the atmosphere was happy.

I had a prayer goal of 15 people and when 13 was the final number (2 people pulling out at the last minuet and 1 just not turning up :P) i was thanking God. We started off with playing funky games like "I've never..." and get to know you activities like the M&M game. The younger kids were a bit reserved, but loosened up as the night went on and by the time pizza arrived, everyone was having fun. We settled down to watch the first movie "The Incredibles" and then played a few more games when it was over.

The under 15's and a few of the St Lukes crowd left at about 10 and while waiting for a late dad to pick up the last of them, we talked about Baptism and what it means for us and why we do it. There was some interesting points raised and it was a fairly comfortable atmosphere, so i don't think anyone was feeling weird.

We then watched Bruce Almighty (Ben fell asleep hehehe) and then headed to bed at the reasonable hour of 1 am. Despite it being a cold night, most of us slept through till about 6:30 or so when we woke up to make pancakes (marshmellow ones!!) and then clean up our mess.

Talking to people afterwards, most were glad to hear the night had been a success. Others were surprised and I just wonder if God can keep pulling off surprises for them - will they change their thinking and jump on board to help out? I wonder what it will take to make someone who continues to doubt that things will turn out all right if you trust God really believe that he will come through for them?

As for me,

"I have told all your people about your justice. I have not been afraid to speak out, as you, O Lord, well know. I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness."

Psalm 40:9&10

It's Steve as Jonah and me as a Japanese Sea Star!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Yay! Post 100!! How crazy is that! And so, as i listen to fiona complain to me about how she needs a second job so she can have something to do on her days off, i'm going to try to be as detailed as i can and tell everyone how MYC 2007 was.

On a side note, for some unknown reason while i was gone, we have aquired "Die Hard: with a vengance" which i think is the funniest thing ever and subsequently - fiona and i are watching it now!

MYC started last Friday the 6th of July with me waking up and knowing i had to pack that morning in about 2.5 hours. Lots of brainstorming and help from mum meant that at 1:00, Steve and I were ready to go. We picked up Aleacia from Garden city and were on the way. Most of the Griffith people got their early, (thanks to me telling everyone to be there at 3:30 :D when things didn't start until 4) and so we took a walk to the beach and came back in time to get everyone registared. Griffith didn't take too long to do that (again, my earlyness as well as most ppl having paid most of their money before hand) and so we hung around until things got started.

Griffith had 22 people there full time and then another 8 part timeers and we had 4 people from Logan turn up as well which was stellar. From 5 full timers last year and 3 part timers to 34 people all up this year - God is amazing and to be apart of his work is so totally cool.

Friday night we had "get to know you games" where we got into a group of random people and then had to do a scavanger hunt with the people in the group. Between us we had to come up with things like, most numbers stored in a phone, most family photos, biggest hole in the sock, longest string of shoelaces. We had a really small group and lost almost everything but it was still fun. We then had our speaker for the conference give us his first talk. He is part of the international youth ministries coordinator for Scripture Union.

He wanted to talk to us about Kingdom culture and how we can live it in a world that opposes it. Through out the week he gave us examples of people in the bible living Kingdom Culture, but first of all he took us through a really great example that showed that we ourselves are part of God's big story. This is probabaly what the thing that i got most of all of his talks, but i feel like it was somethign that was worth alot.

First of all, he drew a timeline of things as they stand in the bible. At the start he put "creation" and at the end he put "Revelation (Jesus coming back)" We then called out events in the bible and added them to the timeline. Something that we noticed as people called out things like "david" "samson" "jesus birth" "pentecost" that loads of things happened in the bible, and then after pentecost and the establishment of the first churches - we've got nothing. And the things that fit in that part - is us.

Another thing about this timeline is that from the garden of eden, to the time when Jesus comes again - there is a line of evil that also runs parrallel to the timeline which we live in. And that's the culture that we live in, but it's also the culture that we need to live against if we want to live God's culture.

That night i went to bed fairly early. The rooms we were in were really funky (different to the dorms of last year) they had three beds in 2 of the corners stacked on each other as well as 2 in the other corners as standard bunks. In the middle was a box pillar thing with shelves for things. It was cool. There were 3 asian chicks in my room from QUT, as well as Shannan, Emily and Rachel (who instead of sleeping in their beds slept together because it was warmer) Kelly and then on the second day, we got Kellie from casldine too - she was late becuase she went to the korean Campus Mission conference. Super cool.

Day 2 started with optional prayer - the Griffith QUT campsite had over 30 people there which is cool as to see. We had so many people that it was a bit hard to pray because people just kept on coming in, but it was cool none the less. Breakfast was yummy and i got Steve and Jon kilchester orginised to do the powerpoint by getting them to the main room early and then our day started. Ross and Kristin, who were MC-ing got everyone excited about the day and instigated the "Love seat of Love" where thoes who got the random trivia question of the day right could chose another person to share the "love seat of love" with. They got cookies and milk on the first day. pretty cute.

After some worship with a great worship band and Clayton, talking about how the Corinthians struggeled with living Kingdom Culture in their world, we had quiet times, morning tea and then into Trainings. At this point, steve and i nicked off for a while and went to Katie's wedding. It was on top of a mountian at a winery, and it was a beautiful day. Everyone looked lovley (as you do at a wedding) and i'm gald it was not a windy day or the bride would have been freezing.

After the wedding we skipped merrily home down the mountian and back to the end of some free time at MYC. I had a nap and woke up just in time for the afternoon electivies. I wondered for a while if i really wanted to go, or if i wanted to just roll back over and sleep some more, but in the end, i got up and went off to "Depression".

I'm really glad i went to the elective, the speaker Marylin Cook, was a councler and really well experinced in dealing with people who have depression. It was a really informative session with alot of practical advice on what to do when people you know have depression.

After dinner we had Saturday night Games which was a "MYC Amazing Race". Some of the challanges were really grose, and some were intereesting. Steve's team was coming first and got the "Fast Forward" which they took and consequently made them loose the game. My team came somewhere in the middle. Firstly we had to decode a message which sent us to the pools and then we went to the BBQ's where one of our team had to eat 3 dry weatbix, a raw onion and then a cup of straight cordial. In that Order. If they failed half way through, someone else had to take over from the start. We were really encouranging our guy Gordon to make it. The guy on steve's team (James flyn coincidently) took their onion whole - amazing stuff).

After that we got another code which took us to the tennis courts and then to complete a 3 legged obstacle course and off to the car park. This was probably the hardest of challenges because we had to count all the wheels in the car park and they had sneakily added the 4 wheels of the rubbish bins. After a few tries we were on our way though and on to the last challange which was to have everyone standing with one foot in the air and the other on a square of news paper. In the end, i crouched in the middle and everyone leaned in on me to get their balance to make it. :D Yay for being small.

The night was then over - a few more silly games and we were off for supper. Another fairly early night for me - after a few cups of hot water and some socializing in the dining room. After everyone had split up for the night, mostly everyone hung out in the dining room or at the beach. Jim rawson always brings loads of games to play so someone always has a game of Risk out and there are usually multipul card games going on as well. The griffith Girls in room 9 chilled there for a while with loads of junk food and Sarah's mp3 player plugged into some speakers.

Sunday started with some more optional prayer - but this one a bit more orginised than the last. For some reason we took my suggestions to be in groups of 3 and pray around. It was good though, quality time with God before breakfast. Breakfast followed with the ususal worship, and speaker, this time Clayton addressing Ruth (giving us a dramatized version of the whole book) and talking about who lived "Kingdom Culture" and how.

After our Quiet Time and morning tea we hit training again. I joined in with the "Evanglism as a Way of Life" guys (led by Emily and Ross) who were pretty over numbers as it was (some not so great orginisng when it came to training but anyway). It was good to talk about ideas of how we could create interest in the gospel and how to have spiritual conversations with our friends in every day life.

Any time i found my self in listening situation, i did my hand excersizes which helped streach out my muscles. I've almost gotten full movement back which is exciting and the scar is fading a bit and the lumps are going down. yay!

After Lunch on Sunday we did something that was probabaly the scariest thing for most people: Outreach.

Most people did Door knocking, but for thoes with "serious issues" (aka Sarah, Abby, Shannan, Me and Steve) with door knocking - we went down to the beach and talked to randoms down there about their spiritual lives. It was really intersting talking to some people (steve and i went together (after Jon decided it was nesscary to remind us that "this is not a date" :P)) becuase alot of them were old blokes, with lots of time on their hands. Three of the guys Steve and I talked to had good princiables - 2 of them even said they were catholic, but at the same time said things like "but i don't believe in heaven".

Hearing what some of these guys said to us made me realise that no matter how old you are - you can still be lost. Some of thoes guys had just as much of an idea of what to do about getting to heaven as some people we talk to at uni. It doesnt' matter how old you are - people can still be lost.

Shannan and abby had a fairly bad experince with a guy who ranted for 20 mins to them about how all religions are formed on greed and Sarah and Jon talked to 3 or 4 sets of Locals who gave them really good talks.

Coming back to camp, we heard how the door knockers went - and heard some amazing stories about how people had wittnessed others come to Christ. It was exciting to hear about it, but i'm glad i went with the beach mission. I don't think i would have liked to door knock agin.

After dinner, we had the Prayer and Worship night which was led by Daniel from Griffith. The night started with some worship and then a skit on the Lord's prayer performed by Shannan and Daniel as the voice of God. (funny moment when Daniel got up after playing the voice of God from behind the scenes and started talking and we were like "AHH!! IT's GOD!!!" heheeh)

We then prayed through the Lord's prayer and took time out to really think about what each line meant. The worship band played songs through out which was really cool too. Alot of people got heaps out of the night and while i was sad it wasn't more of a "team Griffith" thing, i did too.

Supper and then bed that night and i realised that even though i was trying to get to bed before 11 each night, it was slowly getting later and later and i was getting more and mroe sleep deprived. *sigh* the goodness of camp :P

Optional Prayer on Monday saw numbers dwindiling, but still a good turn out of 20 or so people. Breakfast, Worship and our Speaker all followed as ususal, Today Clayton tried to define what he meant by "Kingdom Culture" and didn't do so well. I think he was trying to convey it more as an idea, but what we really wanted was a definitive... if that makes sense. Then he moved on to talking about how David lived Kingdom Culture but also failed at it sometimes.

After Quiet Time and morning tea we started our second lot of training sessions: I was going to do Personal discipleship Making 2, but with only 5 ppl expected and 10 manuals (just incase) as well as 16 people turning up, i figured it'd be better if i joined the Advanced Core Group Leading, which only had 3 others.

I got alot out of this training, because we had a small group and we could share alot of experince stuff which was good to hear different senarios and think of ways we could attack them. Something else we did was to draw pictures of how we see our leading now and what we would want to change. Mine consisted of me with a big speach bubble going "blah blah blah" and then a second picture with everyone else having speach bubbles that said "Disscussion" and mine saying "good questions"

For some unknown reasons when we talked about these (mine and eveyrone elses' pictures) it led onto if our family memebers are Christians or not and then we took time out of the training then and there to pray about it. It was really good. I had a chat to Bill (training leader, UQ missionary) too about gender segregated Bible Studies and he gave quite good insite for me. I'm ok with them, provided we arne't kicking other people out. I think when it comes to griffith - they would be good if we had a bible study every day that was over flowing and had to be slpit that way, but as it is, we have 2 or 3 bible studies a week and we can't control who will come to what. So the seggregation is impractical... but anyway!

After lunch we had Campus time which was exciting. I presented the idea of the Servant Team to the students and asked them to vollenteer to help out with orginising things like socials, prayer nights and outreaches. We had over 80% of our students wnat to help wout with Outreach and Evanglisim which was really cool to see.

It's great to know that the students we have on board want to help getting the message of Christ out to other students. This time went over and i brainstormed things i needed to orginise - like who is leading what bible study and when they would be. other than that i didn't really sign up for anything much - i already have much to do and i'm sure with my overseaing capabilities, i'll be involved in more than i need to be. :D besides - with me stepping out - others can step up!

After doing that, i challanged Steve to a few games of Speed and then we played scrabble and got new shoelaces for Kelly and took Rochelle who was stressed out about being sick to get some drugs. Then it was dinner time and after that time for Summer Project talks. Steve went to a dinner with Andrew Bryant (National Director for SL) about working with SL, but i was like... meh :D i came at the end and was genrally disruptive - too much chocolate cake during the day for me. Summer Project talks were interesting. I drank 4 glasses of water and got pretty happy for them. Steve and I went to the Mission Megumi talk - the Project for Japan.

A big feature of the Megumi project is that it's a bit of a trial run for people who might want to do a year of Stint in japan so it could be interesting if i want to do that. I am really excited about doing Mission Megumi - anyone who has any ideas of how i can help God raise my support money then let me know!! I'll need everyone i can get on board praying as much as possible.

I feel like i'm just saying "and then ... and then.... and then..." alot, but there is alot to get through and i'm ranting heaps as it is!

Tuesday morning saw a few more drop off from prayer, but the time passed quickly as we gave thanks to God for all the amazing things that had happened. Standard morning, breakfast, worship, speaker, quiet times, morning tea and then we finished off our training. After lunch we had our group photos and then a little bit more free time. Steve and i spent most of the free time preparing to MC the Challange dinner that night - When Kristin asked us i burst out laughing and couldn't stop. I thought it was so funny that we were asked. Probabaly the funniest moment of camp. hehehe i cuckel now just thinking of it. :)

after that, i had another nap and went to another elective - one on humor in evanglism. I left early, but one of the points that the speaker made was taht if we appear to be sad every day - then people will think our religion is sad. If we appaer to be happy every day - then that's what people will think of our religion. He also said that if anyone insultued religious people it was Jesus and coincidently i read Luke 11 last night and honestly it's like "Jesus insults every religious person at a dinner party". :D so funny.

Then i got ready for our costume challange dinner. I was a Japanese Sea Star and Steve was Jonah (in the belly of the whale :D)

Tim went as "under a water melon" and here he is with Amy who was a Nyad... water nymphy thing. :D

Abby was "Finding Emo"

There were some other really groovy costumes, Gary was a classic - he had a bottle of water taped to his hat and he was "under water"

Steve lost his voice half way through the night, so i had to man the MC-ing fort with his aid. His JOnah costume would have been the best costume of the night, but as he was MC and the Judge - he couldn't win. As a result "Judge Jonah" and i held a cheering vote to decided. There was also a language equation game to play (which i announced in Japanese and Steve translated).

The people who went to Campus Mission 2007 In Korean told us how that was. They said it was amazing to be there with so many people who were all worshiping God. We also had a team from Papaua New Guinie who sang for us. It was amazing to see them sing because they were just so passionate about singing praise for Jesus. They sang with harmonies and just simple repeated phrases lead by one of the guys. It was fantastic.

Again it was a tough choice to go to bed early, but by the time i wraped everything up and even thought about crawling into bed, it was already 11:30, so it was a good choice. A few others headed to the beach for one last night out there and alot of people hung out in the dinning room playing worship songs on guitars and talking about God. The bonds that were made between everyone were really cool. It's always a bit sad as camp winds down becuase you know that thoes times aren't going to come aorund again soon enough.

Steve and I made the final effort to get up at 5:30 and go visit the beach for a sunrise before we left. It was a beautifl and cold morning but so special. Even though prayer was supposed to be at the other campsite with the UQ and Linc-ers, we stayed at our dining hall and played cards giving God our conversational prayer and praise through Pslams.

Clean up and our final session finished far too early, And then MYC was over, people were piling into cars and promising to meet at Maccas and taking more last minuet photos.

And that was MYC for one more year. I hope that satisfies.... i feel i've missed so much, but at the same time - i've written more than ever before. :D Happy reading!