Outstanding Partners

Outstanding Partners

Our first full month of worship leading and church-updating is complete. It was a busy and encouraging time for our family. Our relationships with each church grew stronger and we were reminded once again that we have truly outstanding missions partners.

We spent two weeks in Indianapolis at Greenwood Christian Church. We were thrilled to get the news that GCC would continue to support us after narrowing their missions focus over the past couple of years. Our continued partnership with them is significant as we look toward the future and our next church plant in Auckland. The church was very encouraging and many there have become close friends of ours. Thanks for a wonderful weekend, Greenwood!

Our second stop was Paris, Kentucky at Bedford Acres Christian Church. This church is special to us because it's where Nate began his worship leading journey in 1998 and it's where Nate's father, Jim Hutchison, was the Senior Minister for many years. It's always a joy to spend time with these special people. With bluegrass music being a part of the history and culture of that area, we thought it would be fun to treat BACC to a good ol' hoedown worship time. The Graham Family, who travel all over the state pickin' and grinnin', joined Nate and the band that morning. It was so much fun. Thanks for a great memory, guys!

Our final stop in May was Zanesville, OH at North Terrace Church of Christ. NT has been a huge blessing to us from the beginning of our time in New Zealand when they made us their living link missionaries, meaning they provide a significant portion of our financial needs and connect with us on a personal level as much as possible. They take such good care of us. Bill Meaige, Whitney's father, was the Senior Minister at NT for more than 30 years and remains on staff as the Senior Adults Minister. We spent Sunday evening updating the congregation on our work and future plans in New Zealand. This church is always so encouraging and thoughtful. NT, we are blessed to be your living link missionaries. We really couldn't do this without you!

Hitting the Road

Nate leading worship at Kentucky Christian University.

Nate leading worship at Kentucky Christian University.

Road trips have commenced! After spending some much needed time catching up with family, we hit the road first with a visit to our alma mater, Kentucky Christian University, on April 23. We were given the whole hour for chapel, so Nate led worship with the help of a few KCU students, did some speaking, and showed this updated video from the kids, which is always a crowd pleaser. Later that day he was asked to speak to a class of future worship leaders on campus. It was a very encouraging time for us.  Our next stop is Greenwood Christian Church in Indianapolis on May 2nd and 3rd. We'd love to see you there if you're in the area! If not, you'll be able to view the service live online at live.greenwoodchristian.com. Technology...it truly boggles the mind.

Answered Prayer.
For about two years we've been praying that God would lead one of our supporting churches (who was in the process of focusing support on a select few missions) to choose to continue and strengthen their partnership with us. We have recently received the good news that they are fully backing us going forward! This is a HUGE answer to prayer and another confirmation that our plans for a new church in Auckland is truly a call from our great God. Thanks to those of you who have been praying.

Coming to a Church Near You?
On our website, you can view our calendar for while we're on furlough and see where we'll be and when we'll be there. Nate will be leading worship on each of the listed weekends. We'd love to see you there!

Greenwood Christian Church
Indianapolis, IN
Saturday, May 2nd | 6:00 pm
Sunday, May 3rd | 9:30 am & 11:00 am

Worthington Christian Church
Columbus, OH
Sunday, June 21st
8:30 am, 9:45 am & 11:00 am

Bedford Acres Christian Church
Paris, KY
Sunday, May 10th
9:00 am & 10:30 am

North Terrace Church of Christ
Zanesville, OH
Sunday, July 12th
8:15 am, 9:30 am & 11:00 am

Bedford Acres Christian Church
Paris, KY
Sunday, May 17th
9:00 am & 10:30 am

Worthington Christian Church
Columbus, OH
Sunday, July 26th
8:30 am, 9:45 am & 11:00 am

North Terrace Church of Christ
Zanesville, OH
Sunday, May 31st
8:15 am, 9:30 am & 11:00 am

MeadowView Church of Christ
Frazeysburg, OH
Sunday, August 2nd
8:30 am & 10:45 am

Northview Christian Church
Danville, IN
Sunday, June 14th
10:15 am

North Terrace Church of Christ
Zanesville, OH
Sunday, August 9th
8:15 am, 9:30 am & 11:00 am

Family Matters

IMG_9738.JPG

After traveling from Auckland to Cincinnati in record time (3 flights and 2 layovers that were so short we were literally running through airports...so clichè), we are officially stateside! We've spent the first few days here catching up with family and catching up on sleep. The jet lag should wear off just in time to watch the Final Four in Kentucky with Nate's family. And in case you're wondering, yes. Yes we did choose to travel this week for that very purpose. Go Cats!

Coming to a Church Near You?
You can view our calendar for while we're on furlough and see where we'll be and when we'll be there. Nate will be leading worship on each of the listed weekends. We'd love to see you there!

Back in New Zealand
One final note to share with you. We're so proud of the church we'll be working with in Auckland while preparing to plant another church there (Shore Community Church). We spent the month of March getting reacquainted with the church, the city, and catching up with some friends there. On our final Sunday at Shore before we left for the USA, we witnessed seven people accept Jesus as Saviour and get baptised in a tiny pool. It was the perfect reminder of why we're called to bring the gospel to New Zealand.

Ready Or Not...

Here We Come!

We've been hard at work over the past few weeks nailing down the details of our upcoming furlough. Nate will be leading worship at least one weekend at each of our supporting churches this time around. We'd love to see you when we're in your neck of the woods. Here are the whens and wheres...

Greenwood Christian Church
Indianapolis, IN
Saturday, May 2nd | 6:00 pm
Sunday, May 3rd | 9:30 am & 11:00 am

Bedford Acres Christian Church
Paris, KY
Sunday, May 10th
9:00 am & 10:30 am

Bedford Acres Christian Church
Paris, KY
Sunday, May 17th
9:00 am & 10:30 am

North Terrace Church of Christ
Zanesville, OH
Sunday, May 31st
8:15 am, 9:30 am & 11:00 am

Northview Christian Church
Danville, IN
Sunday, June 14th
10:15 am

Worthington Christian Church
Columbus, OH
Sunday, June 21st
8:30 am, 9:45 am & 11:00 am

North Terrace Church of Christ
Zanesville, OH
Sunday, July 12th
8:15 am, 9:30 am & 11:00 am

Worthington Christian Church
Columbus, OH
Sunday, July 26th
8:30 am, 9:45 am & 11:00 am

MeadowView Church of Christ
Frazeysburg, OH
Sunday, August 2nd
8:30 am & 10:45 am

North Terrace Church of Christ
Zanesville, OH
Sunday, August 9th
8:15 am, 9:30 am & 11:00 am

The Shift to Auckland

In addition to getting our furlough plans in place last month, we were also hard at work getting our belongings ready for the big move to Auckland. There was plenty to be done: packing, sorting, cleaning, a garage sale, finding a dog-sitter, and about a trillion other little details all whilst looking after three kids, continuing to say goodbye to friends, and undergoing two surgeries (see family update below). Whew! We are now safely in Auckland, getting reacquainted with the area and with Shore Community Church. When we return from furlough in August, Nate will be looking after the worship and creative arts at Shore while preparing for a new church to be launched in Auckland in 2017 or 2018.

Family Update

Both Henry and Whitney had minor outpatient surgeries in the month of February. Henry had an operation on both of his eyes to correct vision problems. Whitney had an ovarian cyst removed. We are happy to report that so far both have come through without any complications. Thank you so much to those of you who prayed. Please keep praying for good health as we travel.

Turning a New Page

The month of January has been a special one for us. We wrapped up our ministry at Rechurch in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand where we've been since 2009. We've been focusing on leaving well, spending time with friends and preparing ourselves for good-byes. We've also been working through the many tasks required for our next steps: a move to Auckland and a furlough in the USA this summer. 

If you have a minute, watch this short video which highlights our time at Rechurch and includes a timeline for the steps leading up to our next church plant in Auckland.

 

USA Furlough: April - July 2015

We're looking forward to our upcoming visit to the USA this summer. We'll be spending time with family, friends, and supporting churches, leading worship, updating missions teams, and raising funds for our next project. We're currently working on our furlough schedule, so watch this space for more updates. We hope to see you in the summer!

Family Update

While we're loving the extra time we have together as a family in Christchurch this month, we're faced with the reality of more health issues. The silver lining is that what's coming will be improvement. The down side is that minor surgery will have to be the remedy for both Whitney and Henry. Whitney will have an ovarian cyst removed and Henry will have an operation to correct muscle issues in his eyes. Both should recover quickly with little complication. Please pray for this outcome.

On a brighter note, our little Finn is having his first birthday on the 3rd of February. He is a source of so much joy for our little family. We're so grateful for the little guy.

happy birthday, baby!

Today is my hubby’s birthday.  He’s 32.  I’m 32 too.  We like each other.

As a birthday gift to the blogosphere, I am linking to the ULTIMATE recipe (yummy+easy+made from scratch) recipe for the ultimate birthday breakfast: pancakes. Add blueberries or chocolate chips or banana slices and walnuts…whatever your flavour, this recipe will never do you wrong. And you probably already have all of the ingredients in your kitchen right now.

Kinda makes it hard not to whip up a batch just for fun, doesn’t it?

Tip: If you have trouble with your pancakes sticking to the pan, grease the bottom of the pan with butter BEFORE heating it up. Your pancakes will not stick and you don’t have to mess with that chemically cooking spray…win win!

Love. This. 
  Warby Parker  is an online eyeglasses retailer.  “Online?” you ask. “How can that possibly work?” you ask. Simple. You order a few sample pairs to try on (for free). You return the samples and order your favorite (for $95, including prescription lenses). They make your glasses and ship them to you (for free). And if you decide you don’t like them, you can return them within 30 days (again, for free). 
 And the best part - for every pair purchased, Warby Parker gives a pair to a person in need. What’s not to love?! 
 Go ahead…buy you some glasses online!

Love. This.

Warby Parker is an online eyeglasses retailer.  “Online?” you ask. “How can that possibly work?” you ask. Simple. You order a few sample pairs to try on (for free). You return the samples and order your favorite (for $95, including prescription lenses). They make your glasses and ship them to you (for free). And if you decide you don’t like them, you can return them within 30 days (again, for free).

And the best part - for every pair purchased, Warby Parker gives a pair to a person in need. What’s not to love?!

Go ahead…buy you some glasses online!

For the second installment of our Classic Holiday Movies week, we watched “ Holiday Affair " (1949). It’s a classic love triangle story, starring Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh (she’s SO pretty). Throw in a cute kid, lots of snow, and a happy ending, and you’ve got yourself one undeniably cheery Christmas movie. 
 The film was entertaining all around, and much shorter than the previous selection (about 90 minutes). I enjoyed some of the signature moves of Old Hollywood (two characters having complete understanding of each other about 5 minutes after meeting, the mouth kiss that looks like it would leave a bruise, and falling in love in about the span of a week)…they just don’t make movies like that anymore…or do they?

For the second installment of our Classic Holiday Movies week, we watched “Holiday Affair" (1949). It’s a classic love triangle story, starring Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh (she’s SO pretty). Throw in a cute kid, lots of snow, and a happy ending, and you’ve got yourself one undeniably cheery Christmas movie.

The film was entertaining all around, and much shorter than the previous selection (about 90 minutes). I enjoyed some of the signature moves of Old Hollywood (two characters having complete understanding of each other about 5 minutes after meeting, the mouth kiss that looks like it would leave a bruise, and falling in love in about the span of a week)…they just don’t make movies like that anymore…or do they?

"That Home" by The Cinematic Orchestra

I can’t stop listening to this song that I just downloaded. So romantic. A perfect wedding/video song…or perhaps I just have weddings on the brain as I’m designing some invitations for my brother’s next-yearly nuptials. Or maybe it’s because it’s Spring, either way…

This song makes me say “mmmmm”…

I might just have to buy the whole album.

So I finally got a sewing machine, and I am SEW excited! I have heaps of ideas for little dresses for Lane, and other bits that will help me fulfill my  handmade gift challenge . But I’m also really liking this pattern, especially the blue dress (the pattern is by  Lisette , which is owned by the same lady who makes the adorable, vintage-inspired children’s clothes for  Oliver + S ). I wonder if it would be too much to take on with my very limited sewing skill… 
 Can’t wait to find out!

So I finally got a sewing machine, and I am SEW excited! I have heaps of ideas for little dresses for Lane, and other bits that will help me fulfill my handmade gift challenge. But I’m also really liking this pattern, especially the blue dress (the pattern is by Lisette, which is owned by the same lady who makes the adorable, vintage-inspired children’s clothes for Oliver + S). I wonder if it would be too much to take on with my very limited sewing skill…

Can’t wait to find out!

baby o

Henry and I went to a session of BabyO on Monday, as part of the ongoing Christchurch Arts Festival. It’s an interactive experience for toddlers performed by Scottish Opera. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it ended up being really fun (Henry must have enjoyed it because he barely moved a muscle during the entire 30-minute session)!

Now if only I could get that buzzy bee song out of my head…

challenge #26: clothes swap

Two things I love - new clothes and a cleaned-out closet. The Clothes Swap Party idea satisfies both of these indulgences, and offers some much-needed silliness with friends to boot. Not bad for one party.

Amy and I co-hosted the event. We sent out invitations (above), made some nibbles, gathered up our unwanted/unworn items, and let the chaos begin. We did impose one rule - taking turns. Each girl drew a number and took turns choosing one item at a time. It required a little strategy and a lot of patience, but we all ended up having a good time and taking home a nice stash of our friends throw-aways.

And I got Beth’s yellow cardi(gan).

Yes. It was a good day.

(P.S. Wanna know what these challenges are about? Read more here.)

life after shock: first steps

Ideally, a disaster will strike when one is at home, right? Everyone will be gathered together, playing games by candlelight and listening to music on the radio. That’s what happened during our first earthquake in September 2010, and as a result it was a much less traumatic experience. But the truth is it’s very likely that when a disaster strikes, one or more family members will not be home. Regardless of location, what you do in those first minutes is vital. Here are some tips based on our own family disaster plan…

Step One: Contact Your Family. You’ll likely only have a few minutes until cell phone towers are either swamped with calls or out of service. Have a plan for who will call whom so you don’t get voicemail (but leave a message if you can). Tip: As a back-up, agree on someone to call out of town/state with whom you can call to communicate with or leave a message for other family members, in case cell phones are completely unusable.

Step Two: Move to Your Designated Meeting Location. We now have three meeting locations, which we have informed our regular baby-sitters of, just in case: (1) Home; (2) the local park (in case we can’t stay/get home); and (3) the carpark of a well-known building on the other side of the city (in case of an evacuation or tsunami warning).

Step Three: Know where your supplies are so you can access them quickly and easily. You will need your radio to listen for updates/evacuations/warnings. Ideally, you want to be able to leave the house in about 5-10 minutes with everything that you need.

I used to believe (superstitiously, foolishly) that if I prepared for a disaster then we would have one. It’s similar to the egocentric fears I experience every time I get on a plane or think about preparing a will. So I didn’t have a plan. But disaster still struck. Not to people on tv, not to people I knew from childhood or from college…to me. Twice. Now I live by a different disaster theory, “Don’t be scared; be prepared.” I encourage you to do the same.

a break from the shakes

Lane on the Devonport Ferry to downtown Auckland (via iPhone)

What a nice weekend we had! We traveled to our old stomping grounds, Auckland, New Zealand, to get a break from earthquake-ravaged Christchurch. It turned out to be a great weekend to be away - there was a large (5.3) aftershock in Christchurch on Saturday, temporarily closing some of the city’s shops and infrastructure again. Boo.

We, however, enjoyed a few days of sunshine, warmer temps, family time, and guilt-free toilet flushing. It was just what we needed!