Since our return from the states seven weeks ago we've reentered the rhythms of family, school, and ministry life. Our focus leading up to the launch of our new church is one of preparation. We're preparing our own hearts and minds through focused study and soul care, we're deepening current relationships and engaging in new ones, and we're accomplishing some of the many tasks associated with church planting. But we believe deeply that the most important work being done now is one you can help with. Prayer. Would you join us? Ask God to continue to guide us and provide what is needed to set up a church that stands the test of time and is honouring to the King we lift high.
Honouring Māori Culture
We're passionate about understanding and honouring Māori culture (the indigenous people of New Zealand). So the overwhelmingly positive response to this video from the New Zealand community and specifically the Māori people warmed our hearts. The video shows Nate leading American kids from one of our supporting churches in a Māori waiata (a spiritual hymn). This waiata is based on the angels' proclamation of Jesus' birth in Luke 2. Surprisingly, the video has been viewed over 132,000 times and has been shared and talked about positively in social media by thousands and even by a popular secular radio station. All for the honour of the King...Tinorangatiratanga.
Surrounded by Kiwi Leaders
From the moment we were called to this project we had a passion to hand it over to local kiwi leadership from day one. So our church planting team and the eldership at Shore Community Church have been "putting in the hard yards" to make sure this happens. We're close to being able to hand the baton to our eldership team which will include both Nate and our team leader, Hamish Taylor. Once that happens we'll be able to move forward in a number of critical ways. Please pray for God to lead us and to call the leaders He has prepared for this role.
Nate Interviewed on "Hope is Here"
We were honoured to have our family and ministry in New Zealand featured on a radio show called Hope is Here with Greg Horn. If you'd like to learn about how we were called to New Zealand or about the spiritual state of the nation, listen to the first of the three interviews. And while you're at it, subscribe to Hope is Here! Greg's show generally focuses on his own personal journey of overcoming some of the obstacles that caused him pain and shame and helping others to do the same. You can subscribe on Podbean or iTunes.
Church Plant Funding Update
As many of you know, we were not just connecting with our personal financial partners, we also had to spend time raising start-up funds for the church plant.
Here's where we are:
This amount covers start-up purchases as well as operating costs for the first five years, on a diminishing basis. This does not include our salary or personal ministry expenses.
If you are interested in getting involved as a financial partner with a one-time, tax-deductible gift, please visit this website and follow the instructions.
This month we celebrate 16 years of marriage. We recently ran the numbers and learned that the time we've been together is now the majority of the time we've been alive! It's hard to even imagine a time when we didn't know our other half. Our 16 years has been full of major life events - some that brought joy and some that brought stress. Each event was a stepping stone...an opportunity to learn and grow. And with the help of godly counsel and a whole lot of grace, we've grown closer and closer to one another. These days we often look at each other and wonder how we got so lucky. God has been good to us. OK we'll stop now.