Loaves and Fisherwick7:18 AM
Many people have been asking me what exactly I do for my job. I mean, the term "intern" is pretty vague. So I thought I'd describe some of the programs we interns are involved in at Fisherwick.
Our biggest outreach would most definitely be student lunches. Fisherwick is only about a block away from Queen's University and has tons of hungry students filing past every cold, wet day. In an effort to get to know some of these students, they hold a free lunch every Thursday for these poor, wet ones. Yesterday was the all time largest turn out with about 750 people. Two hours beforehand, all of us little Fisherwickers ran down to the church to set up dozens of tables, fold hundreds of napkins, butter endless baps (hot dog buns) and every other little thing imaginable for the feeding of almost a thousand people. All I can say is that I have a new found respect for Jesus' loaves and fishes and I can completely relate to the disciples' stares of derision and horror when Jesus decided to throw a nice little Sunday afternoon picnic for a couple thousand families.
Once the students arrive, my job gets a little bit more fun, as I am specifically assigned to go hang out and chat with people over a hot dog and some soup. Rough job, no? :) Sometimes, however, it can be a bit awkward to just sit down with a group of people and get to know them. Once they find out I work at the church, they get super awkward , which is to be expected, I suppose. I was trying to figure out how to overcome this impediment, when it came upon me yesterday. Starting a conversation over a cup of soup isn't the answer. It's trash!
Here's how I came to this conclusion. At one point I was picking up trash and asking people if they had anything to throw away, when I started making some real conversations. Suddenly I was not a church spy in their midst, but a creepy, American, trash lady! You have to admit, it would spark your curiosity to know why someone would come half way across the world to pick up trash. Naturally, I told them that we don't have opportunities like this in the states! This is a fine job! After this, we generally have a downright, jolly conversation and they open up just fine to the trash lady.
Now, I don't want You to get the wrong idea and think that maybe I really did fly thousand of miles away to pick up trash and creep out college students. There are, in fact, many other programs to stick one's hand in at Fisherwick. One that I particularly enjoy is called the Wednesday Club. The Wednesday Club is made up of mostly older ladies and gents (in their 80's and 90's) who meet every Wednesday for a cup of tea, a biscuit and some chat. They usually live right around Fisherwick and some have gone to this church all their lives. So, once a week, I have a cup of coffee with them and get to listen to some of the most fascinating stories I've ever heard in my life. Last week, a wee, little, old lady of about 85 was expounding on her adventures in Antarctica and how she was attacked by penguins. Apparently its not all "Happy Feet" and Coca Cola commercials up there.
On Friday nights we also have Youth Club. Youth Club has about 70 of the most chaotic, crazed youngsters you've ever seen in your life. Generally, I help run the candy bar, also known as the "Tuck Shop". This includes tons of screaming children jumping on the counter, screaming, "where in America do you come from Rachel? Are you from the O.C.?! Is life like "90210" there?!". Then they get their sugar fix, help me with my pounds and pence, (I'm sure I've been swindled by more than one tot), and go on their merry way to destroy some other part of the church.
These are only some of the many programs going on during the week, but that aught to give you a basic idea.