I sneak around into the dark alcove of the Youth Street department. Gripping my glow sticks tightly, I check no one is following me, constantly watching for any sudden movements. Exit signs dimly illuminate our YWAM office hallways, I think I’m safe. Then– within an instant, I feel a flick of plastic on my ankle, and the clatter of a glow stick on cement. I drop to the floor– I’m dead– but also giggling with the realisation that I’d been “sniped” from the mezzanine above. I yell out for my fellow teammates to bring our “ambulance”, and wait in the dark.
Welcome to outreach prep.
Surrounded with the day-to-day of our weekly schedule, sometimes I forget that two months of my DTS will be travelling elsewhere. I mean, it’s in hints of conversation everywhere. People ask me ever so often, “Where are you going on outreach?” and I’ll reply almost robotically, “Bondi Beach and then Amsterdam.”
As if flying across the world with a team of eleven is just another part of the schedule!
Thankfully, we do have times where I cannot forget outreach. After our week of lectures and just before Youth Street, we meet in our various teams to prepare for our travels. Our leaders and teammates share testimonies, talents, and even details down whether we’re introverts or extroverts (very important when you spend so much time together!). We pray, we read Bible passages about living in unity, and learn God’s heart for our outreach countries. However, that’s not all we do to get ready for outreach. There’s more.
I was grumpy. Friday evening– I’d expected to have the night off but instead we were walking down to the Warehouse to play a game I didn’t understand. One of my teammates had an idea that involved glow sticks and something similar to Capture-the-Flag or “Stuck in the Mud”. But despite my initial discontent, I started to get excited. And chocolate chip biscuits on the table–the prize for the winning team– certainly helped.
There was no rule book beforehand. All we had was a good handful of glow sticks and a venue. The rest was up to us.
How many teams are there going to be? How many to a team? What is going to be ammo? We bantered back and forth for quite some time, but finally, all of these questions (and more!) were answered. It was time to start.
I tiptoed around into the dark hallway by the office printer. I only had one life left, after getting revived by the ambulance. Catching my “orange” teammates eyes, I ducked toward the stairs and up to the mezzanine myself. Everything looked different from its balcony– offices now below me– as well as unsuspecting teams. I quickly dropped a glow stick on target– success!
However, that night our greatest success was not a few on-target glow stick throws.
Instead, we learned to negotiate opinions where there was no rule book, and communicate with teammates under pressure. And me?