If you found yourself surrounded by people of many tribes, tongues, and nations Saturday night, November 3, you might be in heaven. But if you’re still respirating, you were probably at Missionopoly.
Teams of families, teenagers, international students, and self-proclaimed “old folks” traversed Fellowship and Reception halls, jumping into games and activities. Anees Zaka, founder of Church Without Walls, animatedly told teams about meetings for better understanding with Muslims, a least-reached people group. Crafty volunteers fashioned origami birds from paper and Chinese dragons from cups, and instructed the smaller ones on how to make whimsical shadow puppets. Skillful team members sewed up incisions on oranges and caught a vision for John and Lori Kempen’s eye clinic to reach Ethiopia. Flat Liam even made an appearance in a display about his visits to global partner children in Africa and Asia.
Philip Maniscola, Paige Backenstose, and Tom and Jan Witmer served up straight-from-the-souks-style falafel and pita at Delancey Diner, plus dishes cooked by Tenth International Fellowship members. The Colombian empanadas disappeared almost as soon as they were put on the table! Sandwich-type finger food came in by way of Singapore. Paella represented Spain.
But the night held a hint of danger. A lone team member wandered off to get a glass of water, and the entire team was immediately apprehended by the Secret Police and dragged off jail at the Suffering Church square in the Catacombs. After watching a video about two pastors who were imprisoned for their faith, the teams were set free.
Teams whipped through the different tables (did you catch sight of the minister of pastoral care clad in a keffiyeh?) until time was called and prizes awaited the victorious teams. David Wynne kept folks laughing with his running commentary as teams received prize baskets from different world regions. Japanese gummi candy was a crowd favorite. And in keeping with “the first shall be last and the last shall be first” perspective, the hindermost team received an award. The big secret is you can find most of the international prizes in your local food market. The mission field (and the cuisine!) has come to us. We have only to reach out and take the opportunity God holds before us.
Don't worry if you missed Missionopoly or other Global Outreach Conference events this year. Just be sure to make space in your calendar for next year's Global Outreach Conference.