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Our Neighbour Day

by on May 30, 2012

Well, it’s a bit late to be writing this, but I have been hoping for a chance to tell you all about our Neighbour Day bbq.

We told yall we were doing it but then I didn’t manage to report back.

Michael took charge of preparations. He produced an invitation flyer that we delivered to a few streets around us. I visited everyone on our street,  Jeffery, and gave them a personal invite.

The weather forecast was rain. We prayed. As the week progressed, the forecast turned to sunny.

We were having trouble booking the park at the corner, but a friend from our Playtime Cafe gave us good tips on how to handle to council bureaucracy. We got it booked at last.

One neighbour offered to help with transport – has a ute.

Another agreed to lend us his bbq, and a third neighbour overhearing this, offered his bbq also.

People have been giving us big ‘market’ umbrellas recently, so we had a few of those to put up.

So the day arrived, we had a brief team meeting to prepare ourselves for the day, then it was ACTION.

The sky was clear.

The chairs arrived in the ute, and got set out. 50 or so. The bbqs were wheeled across the road. The tables were set up. Drinks went into ice buckets.

The jumping castle arrived, and was inflated.

The banner went up, and the pavement decorators got to work.

The espresso machine was lugged up the slope and into place, and started warming.

The face painters set up their stall near the playground equipment.

The barbies heated up and the cooking began. Aprons and tongs everywhere. 300 snags to cook.

The neighbours started arriving in dribs and drabs. Last year we invited just our street. This time we’d invited four streets.

Many people brought plates of food to share. We had Nepali, Korean, Italian, Indian, Greek and – sausages.

The lunch line started to form, the coffee began to flow, the kids were jumping. A warm, neighbourly atmosphere of  bbq smoke drifted across the park.

The food disappeared effectively. Neighbours met and talked with each other. There were more people than we could meet and talk to. Anglo people. Chinese people. Greek and Italian and Lebanese people. Indian and Nepali people. Vietnamese and Irish and Hungarian people. There were single mums with kids, single Grandpas with grandkids. There were some friends of ours from a local group home for intellectually disabled people. There were old folks and kids and young singles and tired looking parents who were just happy their kids were staying in the castle!

There were painted faces everywhere. Some local girls got involved in face painting, and they were good!

There was ice cream and cones, and coffee cups and cokes everywhere. Everyone talked to someone, and most people met someone they didn’t know before.

We knocked off at 3, and the team worked hard to pack up by 4 in time for our Gathering up at St Pauls. Assisted by several neighbours and ute.

By 5 we were pretty tired. But it was a good day. We saw and served around 150 neighbours. Community was strengthened in these streets. Friendships solidified.

All in the name of Jesus.

From → General

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