4/13/2003 05:28:00 pm

Canberra

Posted by Tom French |

I got back from Canberra a few hours ago. It was very cool. I had fun.

I drove the van down with 6 other people in the car. I like car trips with lots of people. The passengers was fun to have them all. We played "I Spy" and some of the male passengers had discussions and competions concerning Fords and Holdens. I was generally quiet, but tended to help out the Ford bloke a bit as he was out numbered. (In case you're wondering I would be a Holden man, but I'm not all that concerned, I drive Nissans.)

We were encouraged to pay the tolls for the people behind us as we drove, as a small gesture of kindness. We did that and it was quite an activity. We pull up to the toll gates and I'd hand over double the amount needed and say "Can I pay for the car behind too?" and the toll-person would say "Yes" and off we'd drive. Then the whole car would watch the car behind to see the reaction of the following motorist as they were informed that the toll had been paid. It was a lot of fun. It's a kind thing to do and the whole car thinks it's a "hoot" (what a Grandma word). I think I'll do it more often.

One thing I noticed was that if you paid someones toll they would not overtake you. I guess I wouldn't want to overtake someone who paid my toll for no good reason. I would stay back and try and avoid eye contact.

In Canberra we met up at a church with a bunch of youth groups from there and we were sent out on our kindness projects (like big toll paying). The idea behind these is that we want to show Christ's love in a practical way. That doesn't mean we tell them the Gospel, but we do something good for them because Christ has done something very good for us. If they ask why, we say "We want to demonstrate God's love for you in a practical way" or something like that.

My group got sent to move firewood for a man who had a pre-arranged "kindness project". The man was in a suburb that had been affected by the Janurary bushfires. We were moving the wood from a tree that got burnt and had to be cut down. The man had lost his fence but his house was fine. He told us stories of when the fire came through and him and his neighbours fighting the fire which were just amazing. The man was a Christian and they were really good stories of God's provision.

The strange thing was that this man's house seemed to be in the middle of suburbia. The was bush around but nowhere near his house. The fire had just rippped through masses of suburb to get to where he was. The whole area was amazing. Every tree is brown and burnt. There is very little green. You drive through the suburb and there are frequently empty blocks of land with rubble and maybe a burnt out car or scorched washing line. Other houses houses haven't been pulled down yet and are just shells. And other houses seem compleatly un-touched. It really is very strange.

After we finshed moving firewood we went an washed a lady's car and she was very happy about that.

We all went back to the church and ate food and played soccer or talked. I filmed these activities and did a little bit of talking (about kindness projects and Coke cans mainly) and no soccer playing. For the evening we had a worship session and Matt (my boss) talked about the good Samaritan. It was a good talk. And the worship was good too. I filmed these also.

At the end of the night we retired to a motel where people did varous things. In my room we watched a Bruce Lee film on SBS that had been shot in english, dubbed in cantonese amd subtitled in english (I'm pretty sure anyway.) That was way cool. I like Bruce Lee.

All up it was quite a fun day.

Today I came home. This time with only five people in the car. It was again fun, but everyone was more tired and quieter.

So there you go.

I'll be off to church soon, to do churchy things.

I tried to have a sleep today, but only managed half an hour, much to my disappointment.


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