Excerpt from Fall 2013 student Anna Moga’s blog “The Land of Aus”. Reproduced with permission.
First week of classes, done! Successful, but a bit stressful. I won’t be doing as much dancing here as I had hoped, but the classes I have will be stretching and challenging in many ways. Homework is already piling up, as things are usually overwhelming in the beginning, but I have faith that I will be able to do well in my classes as long as the beautiful city of Sydney doesn’t distract me too much!
This Saturday morning was my first street teams experience with Hillsong church! Each student in my program must complete 35 hours of service in a service placement we are put in. Couldn’t be happier about working with Hillsong! We saw parts of Sydney that tourists don’t see. My housemate Sarah, a man from Cambodia named Lee-Fong, and I went to government owned apartment buildings, which reeked of toilet and cigarette smoke with graffiti covering the walls. The three of us vacuumed one man’s apartment…he was an outspoken but lonely man with a little something against Americans. The next apartment we visited was this sweet 90-year-old Russian man. We washed his windows and mirrors, and as is Russian tradition, he had us stay and eat biscuits (cookies) and drink some tea. Though the cups were dirty and the biscuits out of date, we were happy to bring this elderly man some company. He told us about how he used to be a boxer, and showed us this BEAUTIFUL picture of him and his wife at age 21. It was the sweetest thing I had ever seen. His wife died 16 years ago and he says he is very sad and alone. My heart breaks for him, but I’m excited to return in a fortnight to talk with him some more. We also spoke with this younger Columbian man who had just moved in, he was very kind. The people we encounter there simply want someone to share tea and talk with. Many people did refuse our service if they knew we were from Hillsong, but we were just there to spread God’s love through service. Hillsong has been working with these people for years and they’ve seen a lot of breakthrough, I feel very blessed to be a part of it!
It is easy to reflect on how much we take for granted after experiences like this. All the “stuff” we feel like we need, which are really all unnecessary. God has called us to be His hands and feet on this Earth, and that does not involve us being distracted by worldly things, but involves helping those in need, and seeing God’s fruit develop from that. It is HIS kingdom we are preparing for, not our own. I know I will be able to learn so much from the people I encounter through street teams, and pray that I can be used in some way for God’s glory!