Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How Much IMPACT Can Ping-Pong Have?

Last Friday was the second night of the Hawai‘i Summer Olympics hosted by IMPACT. Normally on Thursdays at KUC, this one was held on Friday at the Palama Settlement Gym because it was the night for the Ping-Pong and Dodgeball Tournaments. That’s two separate events; they didn’t make the kids dodge balls while ping-pong-ing, though the PS gym is a lot bigger than the KUC gym and probably coulda held something like that.

Registration, I’m not gonna lie, it was a little messy. There were several things to sort at one time. There was the sorting of the kids who were registered from the previous week from the kids who came for the first time, then the choice of playing ping-pong or dodgeball, and also the collecting of fees. Finally, they tried to keep all that in order. I said ‘they’ because I wasn’t doing the registration this time; all I did was get the pens.

My assignment was to pray every so often: over the kids, over the leaders, over the entire night. I thought different leaders were supposed to rotate in and out to pray with me, but I guess something was lost in the communication. Aya and I prayed, then we prayed with a few other leaders, then I prayed quietly here and there. I’m sure others were praying on their own as well. I sure prayed whenever I watched the dodgeball going on!

We all gathered inside so that James could make announcements and give some instructions. Then the kids were off to their various activities. Inside the gym, ping-pong was separated by the advanced and the beginners. When they said ‘advanced,’ they meant it; the players were movin’ and groovin’ to the rhythm of the game, too fast for my camera to capture. The beginners were varied in techniques and skills, but they sure played just as hard. Some of them were as serious about winning as the advanced players.

Now, it’s been years since I’ve had any part in dodgeball, but it sure seems a lot dangerous than I remembered! The balls were bouncing of walls and tables and railings, the ceiling got a ‘love pat’ or two…I mean, it was BOOMing! At first, the dodgeball was gonna be on the court area outside, but got moved under the shelter [yet still outside] when it started to drizzle. I didn’t get good pictures if only because I was trying to stay out of the line of fire.

James gathered everyone to sit in a circle on the floor. He then directed the kids in another “Choose Your Champion” challenge. Each church sent up two representatives. One rep was to stand in an inner circle [around Kendal] and walk counterclockwise. The outer circle walked clockwise. While they walked, some music played. When the music stopped, James called out two body parts that the partners needed to connect. There were some spotters to point out which pair was the last to connect and that pair would be out for the next round.

Living Season provided us with some good rockin’ music! They turned down the lights and had the lyrics projected on the screen. I know at least the younger kids were jumpin’ around and dancin’; a few of the older kids started to get into it also!

Pastor Ed Ganigan of New Hope Kapolei gave the message. He talked to the kids about “Seizing a Divine Moment”, about making a turning-point decision for Christ that would change the direction of their lives. At the end, with everyone’s eyes closed, he invited them to ask and receive Christ. Then Pastor Ganigan closed with a prayer.

The pictures will be on the next entry. Geoff [New Hope] and Henry [LCC] made the security rounds. Anne [FCF] helped Lisa [FCF] with the registration. Kevin, Tad [Crosscurrent?] and Joel [KUC] worked the media equip. James [FCF] managed the beginners’ ping-pong tables and I believe Li was managing the advanced tables. Many other leaders provided additional support and/or cheered on their kids. Please, if you can think of anyone else and would like to acknowledge their work, go ahead and post it in a comment!

Next [this] week, we’re back on Thursday night at KUC. The challenge: the Mission Impossible IMPACT Edition! The scheduled entertainment is Mr. Tony Fuller and his crew with the message given by Barret Awai [Fellowship of Christian Athletes]. I’m going! Have you replied yet? Come anyway, no problem!

Mahalo and see you Thursday night [tomorrow]!

[Links to the IMPACT websites are to the left under ‘I Recommend,’ or find them on the first IMPACT entry!]