My list of favourite moments at our bi-annual camp, held in the historic town of Malacca. The theme: World missions.
8. Being part of a convoy of four cars entering the town on a quiet Thursday afternoon, pretending the empty streets were just the way they were when I was little, and making a beeline for the six-table Teochew restaurant off the touristy and historical Jonker Street.
7. Practicing the team cheer and our Wacky Nite skit in our big cool hotel room when it was sweltering outside. Boom-chicka-chicka-boom in pow-wow circles, pulling out invisible samurai swords and spouting Hokkien as Mafia Missionaries with a Mission (MMWAM).
6. Chatting with two 16-year-olds who have endured personal trials by fire, developed true compassion, and have come out with a deep understanding of the calling on their lives. How blessed.
5. Being able to be there from Day One so that slowly, irrevocably, as my missionary friends spoke in turn, my heart and my mind by Day Four, like the turning of the tide, became reoriented towards the 21st century idea of world missions.
4. Finding another locals-only Teochew restaurant near the mountain cemetery where they served slow-roasted pig trotters and fish cooked four ways.
3. Having Japanese, Vietnamese and Burmese church planters on the team. Dinner conversation was always fun and funny.
2. On the last night, walking the quiet streets into the chaos and crowds that was Jonker Street with foodie friends. Eating iced papaya while everyone else was digging into chendol, then walking back into the quiet, past the 400-year-old fortress.
1. Deciding at the last minute to get up and be prayed for. Not expecting anything and being surprised by the unexpected.