A lot has been happening down here in New Zealand. Nate has just finished his first year of part-time Counseling studies through Laidlaw College here in Auckland. He has received straight A's in all of his classes so far, and he's looking forward to continuing his studies next year.
Nate was also able to lead worship for the Military Christian Conference in Taupo, NZ earlier this month. This is a conference for people involved in New Zealand's military forces (yes, we have those) - soldiers as well as chaplains and other personnel. He led a band of volunteers for the weekend and received very positive feedback from the conference attendees.
Another exciting development this month was a meeting with some local church leaders and representatives from SPCF to discuss possible pathways to a more intentional development of Kiwi church planters. This could include scholarships for pastoral training, salary funding, etc. If your church is interested in becoming a financial stakeholder in these developments, please contact us for more information.
There are many milestones in the life of a family: marriage, births, graduations. Our little family experienced a special milestone this month when our oldest child, Lane, decided she wanted to be baptized "in God's ocean." We have been having conversations with her since she started asking about getting baptized over a year ago, and after speaking with the Children & Family Pastor at Shore CC, we all agreed she was ready to make this decision on her own. On the 16th of October, a group of about 30 friends and church members gathered on a local beach, and watched and cheered her on as she made her confession of faith and was baptized by her very proud mum and dad (tear!). If you'd like to hear Lane give her testimony and watch her baptism, click here to watch the video.
At the end of October, we flew down to our "hometown" of Christchurch and began what Nate called "the journey of a lifetime." We hired a campervan (RV) and drove it from Christchurch back up to Auckland...a 7-day trip that covered 1,542 kilometers (958 miles). It was a wonderful chance to spend some time together as a family, and introduce our kids to the in-between bits of the country that they've never seen before. We had a great time, made heaps of memories, developed an even deeper love for this unique and beautiful country, and even got to catch up with some old Rechurch friends.
Praise God for Lane's decision to accept Jesus as her personal Saviour and be baptized. We couldn't be more proud of her!
Please pray for emerging developments and buy-in from Kiwi church leaders around us, for people who are considering joining our team, and pray that we will follow God's leading, not our own, as we make plans for the future.
Please pray for our weekly small group. Pray that we can develop a healthy culture of community and service within this group.
Nate has finished his physical therapy for his shoulder and is nearing full range-of-motion. Thank you for your prayers! We are hoping he will have fully recovered by the end of the year.
Please pray that the kids make positive friendships at school, and that they are nurtured and supported in a safe environment. Please pray also for Nate to have the opportunity to continue studying counseling as a support to our ministry here.
Pray that our financial partnerships remain strong so we can continue to work and live in New Zealand (it's not cheap!). Also pray that we are good stewards of the resources God has generously provided for us.
Pray for good health and positive friendships.