What's Community Dinner Like? || Ellie

Community Dinner is an event that happens every other Wednesday 6-9:45 p.m. This is an opportunity for HBSM students to invite people from the community they've met while being here, whether it’s someone from the beach or a co-worker. I have mostly invited my co-workers and regular customers at McDonald’s. Three of my co-workers, Tam, Bow, and Fay, are from Thailand and it’s been so great getting to know them. They were really excited to come to our Community Dinner nights and have attended almost all of them. One night they even brought Thai food to share with everyone! 

So, the night starts off with dinner and then we have some ice breaker games that help lead into spiritual conversations afterwards. After the games, we wrap up the night with watching the fireworks on the beach. As a Community Dinner planner, our goal for each dinner is to create a Christ-centered, open, and inclusive environment for everyone. The Community Dinner Team meets on the Monday before, so we have about two days to plan the food, games, and shopping. It can be stressful trying to plan so many things in so little time. Since most of Tuesday and Wednesday are spent at our jobs, it can be hard to focus on planning when we're tired from a long day at work. There's also always something that comes up that throws everything off a little. However, God really has provided during every one of these situations through everyone on this trip. They're all so willing to step in at a moment’s notice. Because of this, He really has shown me how I need to trust Him in everything. I have struggled with trying to control situations when something goes wrong or not as planned, but this has helped me fully rely and trust in God’s plans. Community Dinner has definitely been a highlight of mine during missions and God has taught and grown me in many ways through planning and inviting others.