Kia ora koutou! We're right in the middle of scheduling visits, planning meetings, and organising service plans for our upcoming trip to the States. We'll release the dates of where we'll be when in next month's issue, so watch this space! While there's a lot to look forward to and plan for in the USA, there's plenty to keep us busy here in New Zealand. We've been supporting a team in planning Shore Community Church's 20th year celebration which is coming up on the 11th of March. We've found roles to play in our areas of strength - Whitney in design and graphics, and Nate with music. He's been asked to put together a bluegrass band for the country-fair-like event. Playing off his Kentucky heritage, they're calling themselves Finger Pickin' Good.
A New Website and A New Video
Jump over to churchplant.nz and have a quick look at a recently finished website promoting our church plant. This site will be central to our fundraising campaign for the new church. If you'd like to be one of first to make a US tax deductible donation to our Auckland church plant, that site will direct you to the right place. That's another place you can take in the scenes of the Auckland region in the promotional video we've just released.
Our Evolving Life Group
ABOVE: Over the past few years we've grown closer and closer to this lovely group of people we call our life group. We've walked beside them through good times and hard times, an engagement, a wedding, career changes, callings, illness, and births. We've also had the privilege of doing one-on-one discipleship with a few of them and serving alongside each other at Shore Community Church. About half of our group will soon be heading off on overseas adventures and in pursuit of God's call on their lives. Most of them do plan to return to Auckland eventually, so we'll be able to pick up where we left off. In the meantime we'll be working closely with the leadership at Shore CC to determine how to best proceed with the group as our new church emerges.
Helping New Church Plants
Nate traveled to Tauranga to assist a group launching a new church plant last month. He and a team of musicians led the music for the first two weekend services at Current Church. Although it was in the middle of a very busy time for us, it was nonetheless a nice distraction from all the church plant admin work and furlough scheduling as well as a good reminder of why we're doing all of this in the first place. We're passionate about supporting and collaborating with other churches. This concept is already becoming a core value of our future church.
The whole family had the opportunity to join Nate on his second weekend in Tauranga. The new church he was helping rents a venue right on the beach, so it was a perfect place for mum and the kids to relax and play while dad rehearsed the band. On the ride home we made time to stop at one of our favourite places in New Zealand: Karangahake Gorge.
Elaine Hutchison (Nate's mum)
Please pray for Elaine as she has been diagnosed stage 4 Mantle Cell Lymphoma. She is receiving cutting edge treatment from an excellent hospital in Houston. Her scan in January showed no new growth and the doctors are hopeful that she'll be in remission as early as April!
Tami Meaige (Whitney's mum)
Tami has recently completed her treatment for stage 1 breast cancer. She is expected to recover fully, praise God!
Preparing for Furlough
Things are beginning to fall into place with our furlough schedule and with some important church plant setup tasks before we leave. Please pray that we'll be able to manage all of it well.
Potential Church Plant Venue
Please pray for favour with the developing community centre management. We have been advised that they've taken note of our interest but we will need to wait until later in the year to formally apply to lease the auditorium.
Please pray for our teammates, Hamish and Molly Taylor as they raise their salary and as we join them in raising additional church plant funds. We've got a big journey ahead of us! If you'd like to join Hamish in Molly in their journey, you can catch up with them here.
Praise: Church Plant Progress
We've secured a solid partnership with Shore Community Church. Continue to pray that God will stir the hearts of the individuals he's chosen to be heavily involved in our NW Auckland church plant. Please pray that we follow God's leading in this, and that He will provide the workers and opportunities we need for the spiritual harvest.
Please pray for our financial partnerships to remain strong, that God will provide for what we need, and that we will be good stewards of what He provides. If you'd like to help, you can donate here.
Pray for good health and positive friendships. The transition to our new house wasn't easy. Please pray for peace and a sense of belonging in our new home.