Birthday bowling event opens doors in Australia

Dandenong, Australia, Abby, Weller, youth ministry, Sikhs

It was her 28th birthday and CMF team member Abby Weller decided to spend it with the kids she loves — the church youth group that she serves in Dandenong, Australia. And in doing so, God gave her a special gift.

“As we were ready to go to the bowling alley, a man and his daughter, Soli, came to the front door of the church,” said Abby. “My teammate David talked to them and found out they were there for youth group. I had never seen them before, but explained we were going bowling and asked if she could join us. I could tell from the father’s turban that he was Sikh and would probably say no to a stranger driving his daughter to the bowling alley, but to my surprise he said, ‘Take her; I trust you!’

“We got in the car and started chatting,” continued Abby. “She was vague about how she heard about us but expressed great interest and desire in not only coming to youth group but church, as well. For a Sikh girl she was extremely open!”

At the bowling alley, the kids surprised Abby with cake and gifts, but the best gifts were still to come.

“After bowling I dropped Soli at home and was invited in to meet the rest of the family. I invited her and her family to our Family Night at youth group the following week, and walked away with tears in my eyes, thanking God for the incredible opportunity He gives us on a daily basis to share Him, but especially that I could do so on my birthday.”

When Abby called her teammate David later to debrief the night, she learned that Soli’s father had told him that Soli had been bullied at school and ran away from home, and the local police even got involved.

Dandenong, Australia, Abby, Weller, youth ministry, Sikhs

Abby Weller leads a youth and family event at the church she serves in Dandenong, Australia.

“To our total shock, it was actually the police who encouraged this family to get their daughter plugged into our youth group!” said Abby. “We had no idea we were on their radar.”

But the story doesn’t end there. Soli and her family did attend Family Night at the church the following Sunday, which was a special celebration for Father’s Day, attended by more than 40 young people and their families.

“The coolest part for me was praying together before our meal,” added Abby. “We do this on a regular basis with our youth, but I’ve never had the opportunity to pray with their Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist fathers! I left that night overwhelmed with how far we’ve come and the relationships that we have developed.”

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