A highlight of our month in July was the Worship Leaders' seminar that Nate had the opportunity to organize and lead for Shore Community Church. Shore is a church that has been blessed with many volunteer musicians and leaders, so this was a time for them to collaborate, edify one another, and talk about Biblical worship. Nate received quite a bit of positive feedback from the day, and he is already looking for more opportunities to do similar sessions for other church plants around Auckland and conferences around the country.
Another exciting development that happened this month was the start of a weekly Bible study group in our home. So far the group is made up of Christians who live around us and attend Shore, and we look forward to developing a sense of community with them in the months to come. Please pray that this group is a positive environment to talk about faith and learn about the Bible. Please also pray that our kids cooperate by going to bed on time! :)
We've had a fairly mild winter here in Auckland, especially compared to the arctic winds we're used to down south in Christchurch. It has been nice for the kids to spend some extra time playing outside during these short, dark days of winter. That said, we're starting to get excited about Spring as it will be arriving soon!
Nate is continuing his recovery from shoulder surgery and sees a physical therapist every 2 weeks. He is making progress, and we are still praying for a full recovery by the end of this year. The kids have started back at school after their 2-week winter break. It's always a trying time to reestablish those routines after some time off of school. Lane has started taking piano lessons this year, and is progressing steadily. Our dream is that she will someday be able to lead worship alongside her father (though we'll leave that decision up to her, of course). Our family loves music, and it brings us great joy to see the children beginning to take an interest in it as well. In fact, this morning Nate and Lane held a piano workshop at Lane's primary school teaching some beginners a few piano playing basics.
More than anything this month we have been reminded of all that we have to be grateful for - three healthy children, our own health, a God who loves and cares for us, and enough money to pay the bills and even do a few fun things as a family. When we went through the Canterbury earthquakes a few years ago, we very quickly realized that there just a few things in this life that truly matter: food, clean water, heat, shelter, the people you love, and the hope that we're here to share.