November 15, 2009
Praise the Lord for our annual Friends’ Day which started with a combined Sunday Service. Against a colorful and flowery stage backdrop, Sisters Nicole and Elaine of the Youth Group led the congregation to an energetic Praise & Worship.
Afterwards, Sister Peri from SD7 gave a timely testimony on how the friends from her Church back in Australia had extended her countless assistance and blessing during a period she was struggling to find a job. Peri testified that her friendship with her best friend back in Melbourne was stronger than ever, despite the fact that the two of them were apart for almost a year already. This, according to Peri, was possible because their friendship was a covenantal one built on our Lord Jesus Christ.
The preaching of Pastor Gavin further elaborated the quality of true friendship, with parallels drawn between our earthly friends and the most trustworthy friend of all – Jesus. Quoting from Proverbs 18:24 – “”A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother””, Pastor shared that in each quality of genuine friendship with our friends – which we call horizontal friendship, there exists a corresponding true friendship with Jesus – called vertical friendship. Pastor cited the following qualities that both Jesus and our true friends do: 1) Listen; 2) protect; 3) tell the truth; 4) bear burdens; and 5) express love. Each of these qualities proved that friends are indeed very important in our lives, and Jesus shows the example. Finally, Pastor called out to those friends and visitors who had not yet come to know Jesus to grab the opportunity to let Jesus become their friend; to “Accept” Jesus’ invitation in “faithbook”. Praise the Lord that before the end of the service, there was a total of 10 visitors who accepted Christ.
Right after the Sunday Service, about 500 of us went to Tai Lam Country Park for an afternoon of picnic and outdoor games. It was an unusually cool November day with cloudy sky, ideal for extensive outdoor activity.
The programme began with a “”Blessing”” activity – each Sub-District giving a special dish to an assigned Sub-District so as to show that we were in the family of God.
After lunch it came the time for games. There were 3 group games prepared beforehand:
- Game 1: Gospel Code – first player was shown a picture, which he/she had to memorize the details and described to the next player, and so on to the next player until the sixth player which had to draw out a picture based on the last description received. The winner was the group who could draw out the picture closest to the original.
- Game 2: Save a Life – each group build on the ground a “”nest””, using only materials found in nature. This nest should successfully protect a raw egg, which would be dropped from 10 feet above, from breaking.
- Game 3: Jumping Mission – a game which combined rope skipping, word guessing and balloon delivering. A designated player, while skipping the rope, had to guess hidden words from clues given out by teammates.
Thanks to efforts by the Activity Team, and with the support of all Sub-Districts, the games were able to garner intense participation not only from church members but also from first time visitors.
Eventually, there were more than one group who won in each game, but overall, everybody was actually a winner because of the warm atmosphere and great harmony created. To top it all, the weather managed to hold up despite the threat of rain, and even a brief drizzle failed to dampen the high spirit of the brothers and sisters, who before headed back home gathered together for a gigantic group photo taking session as a special remembrance for this God given special day.