Six days were way too short and flow away too fast!
Tuesday evening was our last time of street outreach with the Big Red Bus, summing up the 20 hours we spent on giving out free tea and coffee, performing puppet shows, playing worship songs and engaging with young and old throughout the week.
The bus set off from the local church and headed to the town one last time, carrying a sweet mix of people from OM Ireland, Ryttargårdskyrkan Linköping, OM Sweden and the local Irish church, who by then have become buddies with each other. Personnel-wise we were all doing well. But technically we had some difficulty to park and had to turn round and round to get the bus parked at the most ideal location possible. It felt quite frustrating to lose minutes when we already had not much of it left and would soon be gone…from this little town that we have learned to care and love.
But as the bus struggled to settle and wandered back and forth on the streets, the infamous gang of teenagers spotted us right where we were and came up to beg the door to open. They ended up chasing behind us until we could finally park the bus and welcome them in again. Somehow it felt like they were coming home.
Of course it was not just the young ones. A drunk guy came to us, wanting a cup of tea and begging for a cigarette. He got a long conversation instead and was nearly in tears in the end.
The young members of our Swedish team had been stepping out of their comfort zone the whole time, overcoming language barriers and social background differences, just to connect with the locals. Anthia even got to pray with two girls of the rebellious gang! The boys called us the “holy bus” and “holy people.” The good news is, sinners and saints are not far from each other at all.
Then it came many goodbyes, sudden and hard for some of us. While knowing, thankfully, that the local church and OM Ireland will keep up the good work here, we headed back to where we just came from not many days ago. We will go back to families, schools and workplaces, carrying some new discoveries about God and missions, as well as some new faces and names in our prayerful hearts.
What a short but sweet clash of red and green!