A week in the life
To answer any suspicions regarding my inspiration for this post, the answer is Gilmore Girls. For those of you who may be unaware, Gilmore girls is my favorite show, and I found “A Year in the Life” lovely though maybe not as much of a masterpiece as the original. I digress...my favorite tv show gave me the idea to describe a week of my life as a missionary. A slice of life entry, so to speak. Some of the things I will mention are recurring, but quite a few change from day to day depending upon the needs or the week. For this, I will paint a picture of the week from last Tuesday to this past Sunday in the form of miniature diary entries. I hope it gives you some insight as to what being a missionary in a first world island country can look like.
Tuesday, 2/12(notice the date is written in the form that most of the non-American world uses so that the units go from smallest to largest):
Tuesday is my meeting/catch up day. This is the day where I have my meetings with my various superiors and where I try to call my mom if I’ve been a slack daughter and forgotten up to this point. This particular Tuesday I caught up with my best friend Mattie and boyfriend Sean in the morning then had my meeting with John, the head pastor of the church plant I’m youth pastoring for. Usually our Tuesday meetings look like us discussing church and life matters over a game of squash and lunch, but this particular Tuesday also included furniture pickup. Leigh-Anne, John’s wife had bought new couches, and John needed help moving them from the furniture store to home. Being the agreeable little missy I am, I agreed to aid in his task so long as our usual squash and lunch were still on. That evening I worked through some arrangements of Christmas songs with John to sing this advent season.
During the week, I’ve been volunteering at one of the local senior schools aka middle/high schools. It’s called Kingsway, and the teachers and students and experiences have been absolutely lovely. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in the English as a Second Language(ESOL) department. This day was the end of the year party for ESOL, and it was simply a fun time. The students got to see how far they’d come and make plans to use their English over the coming summer holidays. Afterwards, I proctored the year 9(aka 8th grade) debates whether or not New Zealand should become a state of Australia. In not so shocking news, the arguments for New Zealand’s continued fruitful independence were unanimously more compelling.
This was middle school sports day(aka field day) for Kingsway. I’ve never been much of an athlete, but I did my best to lead the long jump station with accuracy and vigor. Thankfully, I’m handy with a tape measure and give a very hearty “NEXT IN LINE.” At the end of the day and on the way back, I sat with a sweet year 7 who told me all about everything she loves about Disney plus. It was really the highlight of my day. Thursday evening is band practice where we prepare for worship of Sunday and goof around until “O Come All Ye Faithful” sounds the way we want it to.
Friday night is youth group night and therefore Friday day is prep for youth night. Friday is when I get my words, videos, pictures, games, and dinner prepared for the Friday night madness. I love Fridays because the conversation can literally go anywhere from fried chicken to archangels. It’s a wonderful time, and the youth I have the pleasure of working with are truly joys.
Saturdays are a bit of a free for all, but this past Saturday was a delightful service Saturday. The church had organized to grill sausages(aka a sausage sizzle) outside The Warehouse(New Zealand’s sorta Walmart) and hand them out for free to the shopping community. John had requested the youth be particularly active in this event, and so we showed up and got our sausage game on! It was super fun to watch people falter at the word “free” when they heard us yelling out “FREE SAUSAGE SIZZLES!!” Free things really are few and far between these days, so we received an interesting combination of skeptical and delighted participants.
Sunday morning is a bit of a marathon. The day starts with setting up all the instruments, chairs, sound system, tea cups, flowers, and whatever else may be needed. We then have refresher band practice followed by the service. Usually after worship, I lead the middle schoolers in a lesson. However, due to our children’s church leader flying back to South Africa for the holidays, I’m now wearing her hat for a little bit. Children’s church is not exactly in my powerhouse. 2-4 children is great and something I really enjoy; 6+ children makes me feel cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. It stretches me and makes me better but is a challenge for sure. Sunday afternoon is for visiting with various church members and occasionally napping if I can sneak it in.
I hope you’ve enjoyed peering into my week and that it meets you well no matter your walk of life. Thanks for reading!
RIM for World Methodist Evangelism