The Halfway Mark
Kia ora koutou! Greetings from Ohio, where it has finally started to feel like Spring and Summer. The first few weeks of our furlough were full of cold temperatures that had us breaking out our woollies, but it is finally warming up here in the midwest, and we are loving the sunshine!
It's hard to believe that we are already nearly at the halfway point of our furlough, but time is flying by as we spend our days visiting our partnering churches all over Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Here's where we've been so far...
We've had a lot of fun already and look forward to visiting with many more of you! Here's where we'll be over the next two months:
MeadowView Church of Christ (Frazeysburg, OH)
East 40 Church of Christ (Zanesville, OH)
Church Plant Fundraising
FUMC (Shreveport, LA)
Church Plant Fundraising
Harvester Christian Church (St. Louis, MO)
Bedford Acres Christian Church (Paris, KY)
Stanton Christian Church (Stanton, KY)
Worthington Christian Church (Columbus, OH)
VBS: Worthington Christian Church (Columbus, OH)
Return to New Zealand
The kids have been thoroughly enjoying spending time with the grandparents, aunties and uncles, and of course their cousins. They've also had the chance to rekindle some friendships from previous furloughs - it always makes them feel so special when people remember them.
One thing that a lot of people don't realise about church planting is that the children of the planters go through just as much transition and upheaval as their parents do, but often lack the vocabulary and understanding to articulate the myriad of thoughts and feelings that come along with such an unusual occupation. When we leave a church home to start a new one, the kids have to leave their church and friends behind, too. When we move to a new city or a new neighbourhood, the kids have to say goodbye to their home and their favourite places, too. We often feel like we have little control over when and where and how these churches get started, but our kids have even less. It's our job as their parents to help them understand the reasons we make these decisions and go through these changes, but we love it when other people take an interest in them and invest in them as well. We're facing yet another transition in the near future as we go all-in with this new church plant. And even though this lifestyle is the norm for our kids, we know there will be some changes involved that will be difficult for them. We ask that you pray for them and for us as we navigate this season of parenthood.
Praise: Financial Provision
Praise God that we have received some financial gifts that have been a huge help in covering some ongoing ministry costs, as well as the cost of our furlough. These donations have come from both churches and individuals, and the timing has been perfect. We are constantly amazed at God's ability to provide for our needs through our relationship with Him, as well as our relationships with each other.
Our Teammates: The Taylors
Our teammates - Hamish & Molly Taylor - are currently in the States as well with their three boys, visiting family and raising funds for the church plant and for their own salary. They will head back to NZ next month, so please pray for success in fundraising, for safe travels, and for wonderful memories to be made.
Elaine Hutchison (Nate's mum)
Please pray for Elaine as she has been diagnosed stage 4 Mantle Cell Lymphoma. She has recently suffered from a bacterial infection, please pray for a quick recovery and for continued success with her clinical trial.
Tami Meaige (Whitney's mum)
Praise: Tami recently had some follow-up tests done and they have come back clear, showing no remaining cancer cells! 🎉
Pray that we'll continue to manage furlough well as a family and that the planes, trains, and automobiles we'll be travelling on will arrive to their destinations safely.
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.
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.