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GAME 3: City Mission, Christchurch, New Zealand


Absolute madness! What a fantastic game! My wonderful friend Sine introduced me to the very soulful and football mad Penny Taylor, Regional Manager for Presbyterian Support in the Upper South Island. Both Sine and Penny suggested I visit the City Mission. The City Mission in Christchurch provides, amongst other things, food and shelter for the cities homeless. I popped down there on Friday 11th March for a nosey. They invited me back on the Saturday for a chat and to meet the people that use the service. It was tea-time and I was met by Keith who offered me a chicken dinner and a chance to meet everyone. After eating, I met the incredible Julian Rata Moka, a young man with an incredible understanding and connection to the needs of vulnerable people, who works at the Mission. He directed me down to Latimer Square, just around the corner, as he said a lot of people gather there for food supplied by another service at 7.30pm. I later discovered that Latimer Square was the site of a make-shift hospital at the time of the 2011 earthquake. Around 7pm I walked round there with 3 guys I'd met at the mission, the 2 Josh's and Tony. Plonking the jumpers down I invited others in the park to join us in a game! We ended up with a 3 v 3 and random folk joining in from time to time. We soon lost track of the score when a few dogs turned up and started literally biting peoples ankles in all the excitement! Really good fun and all the troops had a great laugh. A humbling and amazing experience!! The City Mission really is a life saver for so many......oh, and to cap it off, we had a mini earthquake (4.2) about 11.30pm!! Madness!

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