Steven and Shirley dropped me back home at around 5:15pm this afternoon, from the annual FOCUS Long Termers' weekend away at the Rafferty Resort. Long Term Leaders at FOCUS are those who have finished their degree but have continued to stay in FOCUS for the sake of overseas student ministry, and this weekend away has somehow reaffirmed us what FOCUS is really about. Don't let the term "long term leaders" fool you, this weekend away was more of a holiday than your typical Christian retreat. Though Rev. Ng doesn't want other people to know about this so I won't mention it again :)
Here are some of the highlights/reflections in this year's weekend away. For me at least. Sorry about the point form. Not arranged in any particular order...
Can't believe it is the 5th Long Termers' weekend away! I just had a brief look at the photos of our first one at Wollongong organised by MP -- how things have changed! Many old faces have disappeared. Ironically, it was supposed to be the Long Termers' event! In 5 years time, in our 10th Long Termers' weekend away, who will those people be -- those who attended this weekend, who who were affirmed with the goal of being a long termer? Will Scott be there? Will the good ol' Josh be there?
Didn't have a decent tennis game. It was drizzling. We didn't have enough time, as we were late with our court booking. And I wasn't really "in the mood" of playing. I guess Josh will brag for another year that how he beats me in tennis at the long termers' weekend.
A weekend away without Vivian and Anna is truly weird. Felt like out of place. Great that they are coming back on Friday.
Food. You can't call it FOCUS without over flooding the events with FOOD! Congee for breaky, BBQ satay chicken on sticks for lunch, curry for dinner, pancake for breaky, chicken burger for lunch again (proudly "sponsored" by Red Lea Chicken -- thanks Wilson!). Oh yum.
Scotland Yard was fun. Except when you are playing Mr. X, was cornered right from the beginning, and all the detectives can predict your next move...
"How long is a piece of string?" That was the ultimate question for many long termers this weekend. Not many people, if there's any, can be like the Driscolls who persisted for 21 years. But how long?
"Surprise pregnancies" revealed in Long Termers weekend away. More babies in FOCUS later this year :)
Honda Odyssey is nice, especially with the luxury pack. No wonder they won the People Mover of the year in 2005 with NRMA. It wasn't actually that big -- in fact the third tow is quite small. However it is packed with gadgets and surprises for 3 kids.
What are your objectives and goals this year? These were the same questions that we did last year, which I think I should dug it out and check. Personally I found these questions are also suitable for every graduating members of the FOCUS congregation -- what am I doing and what am I here for? It is just too easy for us to get too comfortable and lazy, and sit back and complain when the core business of the church are not aligned with our own needs.
How do we minister the gospel according to 2 Timothy 3-4?
There seems to be an interest on "internal exports", i.e. providing a list of suitable churches for graduates who decided to stay in Australia, but do not conform with FOCUS's "core business". Again there's a delimma -- Anglo churches with ethnic ministry, or ethnic churches?
DISC -- which one am I? I haven't done the personality test on it, but my guess is that I will be just like the Joe Average -- high in Steadiness and Conscientiousness. I guess that also made me a terrible guy to stand up front.
The list goes on -- and more will be added when more are remembered.