With COVID-19 restrictions in place it was challenging to know what to expect for the Feast in Merimbula this year. Up until about a month before the Feast, members were planning to travel to Merimbula only to watch a live webcast from their accommodation. However, we were pleased that a venue became available for daily services. We thank God for this blessing and realize that we need to wait on the Lord to provide.
Around 70 people from across the state of New South Wales assembled each day of the Feast to fellowship, sing with joy and learn about the meaning of the Feast. Some had not seen each other for six months due to COVID-19 restrictions. In previous years, members from the state of Victoria would also attend Merimbula. This year, those members were not able to travel out of their state, so they were greatly missed.
The smaller number of people meant a more intimate Feast. Members took the opportunity to have meals with each other and talk about how they got on in the troubled year of 2020—and why it is so important to have the hope of the coming Kingdom of God. The messages were very encouraging this way, too.
Each day we were able to webcast services. As there were many who stayed home this year, they were able to join services and be part of what was taking place. At the start of each service, the video camera panned around the hall so members could wave at those watching online. We also had members from Tonga tune in, which was appreciated by them and us.
Usually several activities are organized during the Feast. This year we weren’t able to have those same activities. It meant members had to take it upon themselves to arrange to fellowship in small groups, which members did. This showed that a Feast does not need a lot to be very enjoyable. One activity that was organized for the teens was a cooking challenge. Two teams had to make dishes from scratch using only two theme ingredients—milk and honey! It was a fun afternoon.
Despite not knowing what restrictions would mean for the Feast, it was truly a wonderful Feast had by all!