The Bible is full of people waiting...
Noah waited for the waters to recede.
Sarah waited for children. Abraham waited for God to fulfill His promise.
Jacob waited for his opportunity.
Joseph waited for redemption, and then he waited to forgive.
All of Israel waited for their Messiah.
The Messiah waited for his destiny.
We find ourselves in familiar territory these days. We want so badly to know what our future holds, in nice, tidy, definite terms. We want to know when and where and how. But God doesn't seem too concerned with those details. Just as in those stories in the Bible, God seems far more concerned with our hearts than He is with our circumstances. He allows us to wait - perhaps He even causes it - because the waiting produces patience. And the patience produces endurance. And the endurance produces a complete, well-rounded faith that "lacks nothing." [James 1:2-4]
So we wait. And in the meantime, we work.
Nate continues to assist with the worship ministry at Shore Community Church here in Auckland. His goals are many, including improving their worship database, encouraging and mentoring other worship leaders, and encouraging the staff and leadership (as well as leading worship, of course). He has also been writing and recording music with another worship leader. Have a listen. Whitney has also had a few opportunities to assist Shore with graphic design projects, including a booklet that the entire church will be going through together in preparation for Easter.
Nate is also researching an exciting opportunity to continue his counseling training through a local Bible college. He is in the process of transferring credits and determining which prerequisite courses he needs to take. He hopes to begin taking 1 or 2 classes this semester, starting at the end of February!
Thank you for continuing to walk this journey with us. Thank you for your prayers and your support. Thank you for waiting with us.
It's our first summer back in Auckland in seven years, and one thing's for sure - it's HOT and HUMID! We've been beating the heat by enjoying homemade ice blocks (popsicles) and hanging out near the heat pump (we don't have central a/c, so we use a wall unit - called a heat pump - in the afternoons when the sun is at it's hottest). Sun safety is also of high importance in New Zealand, where the ozone layer is thinnest and the rate of skin cancer is the highest in the world. Hats and sunscreen are daily necessities, and we avoid the sunshine as much as possible in the middle of the day.
Our baby, Finn, is not such a baby anymore! He turns 2 this month, and he's keeping us all on our toes these days. Talking, running, tickling, wrestling, dancing...he never sits still for long!
Both Lane and Henry will be starting school early this month. (New Zealand does year-round schooling, from February to December each year.) Henry is starting school for the first time, and while we are sad not to have him at home during the day, we know he will have heaps of fun learning new and exciting things! Please keep him in your prayers as he transitions into this new routine.
Another local church planter whom we've gotten to know has very recently lost his wife (age 31) to cancer. She leaves behind two young children, Bella (5) and Benji (1). Please pray for Gavin and the children as they grieve their loss and begin to find a way forward as a family.
Nate's Temporary Role At Shore
Pray that Nate can be a positive influence on the worship ministry at Shore Community Church in Auckland, and that he will be able to learn more about ministry with and for Kiwis.
It seems like Nate has been battling one injury after another for the past two years. He's currently undergoing physical therapy on his shoulder, and may eventually need surgery. He is also having difficulty with his knees and back. Please pray that these areas will improve and surgery won't be necessary!
A new school year is starting this month, and Henry will be joining Lane at school this year. Please pray that they both make positive and long-lasting friendships, that they feel safe and nurtured, and that they have good relationships with their teachers.
Pray that we connect well with other church planters (and potential future team members) in the Auckland area. We've been trying to be intentional about making these connections. Pray that God would build our team and a strong network.
Continued Financial Partnership
Praise God for continued and strengthened partnerships. Please pray that our support base remains strong as we continue our work in New Zealand.
Please pray for us as we work toward a new church plant in Auckland, New Zealand. Pray for God to raise up the right team, the right partners, and the funds to bring this church to fruition.
Please pray for our family: for good health, a positive marriage, and a sense of security and stability for our children.