At the beginning of the year, the LLL provided the Glen Waverley Lutheran congregation with an anniversary gift of $2,500. We purchased two tournament grade table tennis tables, bats, nets and balls. There was a considerable delay in their arrival so that we could not use them till November. However, our intention to use them for outreach has paid off and we are delighted with the impact the gift has had in such a short space of time.
Our approach was to use the funds to try and reach out to people, particularly those who are not Australian born to build bridges of friendship. After actively seeking people and talking to them, we now have a core group of table tennis players from the community who have responded to our friendship and regularly come, help set up and provide supper.
As the relationships have grown strong, some are responding to our invitations to attend special events at church. Our next step will be to invite them to a short 3 to 5 week course on the person of Jesus. There have been other benefits as well. One church member has really taken the club under his wing and is providing great leadership. We have also invited other church members to attend and make friends so that they are exposed to what the church is doing in the area of outreach and grow in hospitality themselves. If we had more leaders, we could offer more nights of the week of table tennis!
Finally, we look forward to the time when we can employ an evangelist. Our previous evangelist left for another job but we are praying that the Spirit will lead us to the right person, soon. When this occurs, the evangelist will be able to assist with outreach and extend what we are doing as a congregation with activities like this.