Adapting, Creating, and Persevering at Balnarring SUFM

  Monday 14th December, 2020
  Categories: Connect Stories

Adapting, Creating, and Persevering at Balnarring SUFM

Sophie (top) and Hannah (bottom), Directors of Balnarring SUFM

How do you plan a summer mission in a time of rapid and continuous change? Would we be heading to the Balnarring campground in person, or would we be online? We couldn’t plan for two programs, but we could make a decision to run an online program that is flexible enough to adapt into an in-person program if that became possible. Our priority is to maintain relationships we’ve built with kids and families in the Balnarring campground, and still be present in some capacity. We recognise that whatever this year is going to look like, it's not going to look like previous years, but we couldn’t just throw in the towel and say, “Well, it’s not like last year, I don't want to do it” - we've got to persevere, and recognise that we're not an in-person-mission-team, we're a team that does mission that can look a lot of different ways. How we meet is just logistics.

Over Summer we’re planning to take our daily program with small groups, activities, dramas, and games online. We’ll bring the kind of fun and interactivity we’re known for to our online program, so that people can have Balnarring SUFM at home. I hope families are eager to connect with us, and we’re embracing the possibilities that come with no longer being bound by geography. We’re hoping to see some new faces among the familiar ones! Of course, we’re also prepared to embark on in-person activities too, if restrictions allow.

Creativity and adaptability are really important for us this year. Navigating this constantly changing landscape has been one of the most difficult, and one of the most rewarding, things we've done. I've never felt so much concern and fear and friction and sadness and conflict as I've had this year, but I’ve learnt we don't need to shy away from the messy stuff. Our team has risen to the challenge, and is working through these challenges together. As a Core Team, we’re used to shouldering these hard conversations that we kind of forget that there's a whole bunch of other people who are willing to invest emotionally. We're a team, and this is something that affects all of us. By God's grace, we're still continuing and we're still able to meet together and pray together and make decisions together.

I'm sure God will use our program in new ways that we haven't had the opportunity to do before.

— Hannah, Balnarring SUFM Director

This story is part of the December 2020 issue of CONNECT. Read the latest update from our State Director here. For other stories from this issue, click on a tile below.