Saturday, November 15, 2008
School Blitz 1st and 2nd November 2008
My church, the Mt Albert Baptist Church in Auckland carried out it's community project at the Mt Albert Primary School. This school is a state school, and is just down the road from the church.
Though I have done a few charity projects like helping the Deaf Children in Kenya, and raising funds to separate a pair of conjoined twins from Nepal in Singapore, this is my first ever big project I have been involved. For a quick glance of how massive this was, the catering team under M. fed 300 people. Many did not stay for lunch.
There were plenty of advanced planning and the logistics of the whole thing was phemominal.Darren our teaching and Outreach Student Pastor held the helm, with some team leaders who wore their distinctive green T shirts.
The landscaping of a far end of the field was totally transformed. When the local train went past, some of the passengers waved at the working bee. I was awed by the many volunteers. I was weeding with senior citizen ladies, and their endurance put me to shame. One of them told me that it was alright because I was not used to it. The school got new seatings, a big sandpit, a vege garden and a mural, and we did a lot of tidying up and painting.
Besides the church family, there were some 60 people who came to help. Some were staff of the school, and others, parents. I saw this Polynesian/Moari man and I talked with him. I asked if he was from the PTA, and he said yes, then he said, actually I am the principal. He was there the whole two days. Then when I was doing the edging, there was this lady who told me that her husband is the head of the Board of Trustees. Later, I find him with a long brush cleaning the roof of a building.
During the celebration, there was a balloon lady twisting balloon for the children. Some year 4 students performed a Maori Dance. Among them was a boy from Sabah, Malaysia. I spoke to his mum. The boys had tattoos painted on their faces and bodies. Each time, when boys dance their Maori dance without their shirts on, I always feel sorry for them especially if it was in Winter. That day the wind was very strong, and I had to wear my winter jacket.
Judy Ashman, the Care and Connection Pastor shared in church service today that a lady read the notice in our local newspaper, the Western Leader and came to check us out. She did not believe that we were doing the blitz and she came to ask why.
As I was going home, I talked to a mum who I have seen working very hard. She thanked me and her little daugther said she was going to tell her friends that the church and her mum help fix the school. The first thing she will do on Monday when she arrives at school was to go to the ginomous sandpit.
Some one told me that Kiwis do more work in the weekend than the whole of the week. There we were, painters, construction workers, gardeners, babsitters, cooks, supervisors. The children did their bit, they had a kids run fundraiser. There were many behind the scene involvement.
As a fairly new member of this church family, I am impressed. I have a friend who is a staff of this school, and she was delighted.