While winter technically begins on the first of June here in NZ, the end of June is when the weather changes in Auckland and it really starts to feel like winter. One way to stay warm in the winter is to stay busy, so that's what we're doing...
Nate is currently in Hamilton, New Zealand leading worship for a 5-day conference for Student Life. University students from all over the north island of New Zealand convene at the conference to worship God, and some of them bring their non-Christian friends who may be interested in finding about more about Christianity.
At the end of this month, Nate will be conducting a Worship Leading Seminar for Shore Community Church. This will be an opportunity for him to share some of his knowledge and experience with other worship leaders at the church, as he continues to develop the talent and passions of other leaders. This opportunity is especially exciting as it is giving Nate a chance to trial this type of seminar, which he hopes to be able to do to support churches throughout NZ. We don't just want to plant churches in NZ, we also want to equip other leaders to be able to do ministry and church planting as well.
Also at the end of this month, we are starting a weekly small group in our home. This will be an opportunity for us to build some community with other Christians who live near us, and to possibly develop some core members for a future church plant.
In the meantime, Nate has enrolled for another semester of studying Counseling through Laidlaw College, which starts this month as well. We have just received a donation that will cover the costs of his studies for at least another semester, and we continue to be humbled by the way God provides for our every need. He will also continue to lead worship at Shore CC about once a month, and to mentor and develop some of their other leaders. He is also spending two days a week in Shore's office, restructuring their worship admin process. Like we said...we're staying busy, but our busyness has a mission and a focus that has us excited about the future.
We had an exciting month of birthdays last month, with Lane and Henry turning 8 and 6 years old, respectively. They're growing up so quickly, and we are regularly reminded that New Zealand is their home country, making them brilliant mini-anthropologists. When we disagree with Lane on matters of philosophy, parenting, or the weather, she'll often respond by saying "Mum, that's because you're from America, but I'm from New Zealand." Touche!
Whitney continues to focus primarily on managing the family and keeping these kids on the straight-and-narrow, which is always an adventure. While we pray that our children will someday be actively involved in ministry, we know the most important thing we can do for them right now is to nurture their personal and spiritual growth. Sometimes it's hard to know how to do this while negotiating the chaos of the everyday, but we are thankful for the people and resources we can call upon to help us figure it out. We've really enjoyed being involved at Shore Community Church, and taking advantage of their parenting resources and seminars. It really does take a village!
Worship Leading Seminar
Please pray for this seminar that Nate is leading at the end of the month for other worship leaders at Shore Community Church. This will be the first seminar of this kind that he has done, and he wants it to be an encouraging time for other leaders.
Please pray for the development of a small group that will be meeting in our home, starting at the end of July. We are looking forward to having community with this group.
We're having some crucial conversations. Please pray 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.
Nate's shoulder surgery in April went very well, please pray that he continues to get stronger and makes a full recovery.
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.
Praise God for a recent donation that is allowing Nate to continue taking some Counseling classes. 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.
Thank you for your continued prayer and support!