Saturday, May 13, 2006
First Term Report
Most of the time we get asked the same questions.
Are you settled in now?
We have unpacked most of our boxes and feel more at home in the house. We do not really feel that New Zealand is home. In fact we are not sure where "home' is anymore! I was in Chicago last week and peoples eyes widened as I explained I was from Scotland and New Zealand. One man summed it up pretty well: "You sound like an ends of the earth kind of a guy!"
Maybe that's what being a Christian is all about. Being an ends of the earth kind of person who does not feel quite at home anywhere.
Are you making friends?
We have started to get to know a couple of families in the church and the Becroft family pictured above. We have really appreciated these folks welcome. We miss having "history" with people. We miss our families and our friends and we miss Davidsons Mains Church. The transition has not been easy but we are doing our best and have been grateful for letters, emails and prayers from New Zealand, Scotland and other places in between.
How are the boys getting on?
The boys have been enjoying school. There has been more sport which they have loved. Jamie's team won their touch rugby league in Term 1 and Luke's finished 4th. Both Luke and Jamie qualified for the Central Zone Cross Country Championship and Nigel has started coaching the Hockey team at school on Thursday afternoons. Science has also been a big hit and Craig especially has enjoyed that. Jamie has a solo in the musical at the end of this term and Luke has just become a "student leader" helping with the school magazine. Craig has started the Rutherford programme at school doing problem solving tasks in a small group and has also joined the choir. None of them would say they have any special friends yet and the move has affected them in different ways. We are really pleased with the way they are adjusting. We have still not managed to fix up chanter lessons for Jamie - despite pursuing a number of leads. Luke is carrying on with violin at school.
How is work?
Challenging. Mostly we have been fixing things which are broken and trying to lay foundations for the future. I can see a team starting to come together and have been encouraged by the response at things I have spoken at. I have felt quite deskilled coming into New Zealand and it has also made me reflect on a number of issues. I feel a much stronger sense of call to influence my generation and to see the gospel engaging with western culture. I am also increasingly convinced that the evangelisation of the world in the 21st Century will involve the Pacific Churches growing their vision for the great commission in a similar way to the Atlantic churches in a previous century. We are still about a third short of our annual budget although we know of a number who intend to support us.
How is Ailsa doing?
In many ways the move has been hardest for Ailsa. She has joined a bible study group on Tuesday mornings and has helped with a few things at school. The weekly shopping has become less stressful and we bought a freezer on Trade Me which was a great bargain. I am away at the IFES General Secretaries conference in Germany and then in Scotland for a week, which will be 3 weeks away. There will be a lot to cope with when I am away especially with less support than we were used to in Edinburgh. We have a tenant in our house in Edinburgh which is good news.