Monday, September 11, 2006
A Few New Things
We have been developing a new logo for TSCF. It has taken slightly longer than planned but we are pleased with the result. We wanted something which had a distinctive kiwi feel (hence the fern and the pounamu green colour), but which still had the cross at the centre. We are using the maori byline for the first time recognising the biculturalism of the country, (literal translation: students as a bridge over which students meet Christ). The design also recognises the place of the nations in NZ and our part in reaching them with the four corners of the world coming together at the cross in "the nation". People who have seen it have also seen a sail, a flame and a path wending upwards. We were not clever enough to think of all those things in advance but I guess if it works for you!
I preached for the first time at Knox, the church we are attending in Lower Hutt. I was not sure how it would go but have been overwhelmed by the response. People were universally warm at the door, a couple of people phoned that afternoon to thank me, the tape ministry has been in overdrive with people getting tapes for friends who were not there and I have spoken at length to 5 or 6 people since who found it helpful which is all very humbling.
Paul Windsor, principle of the Baptist College wrote to me after the recent Auckland event:
"It was a superb evening. I think you are demonstrating your leadership capacities so clearly and well and people are responding. You are getting people on board and you are articulating vision in a way that is inclusive and hope-filled. Great stuff…
But I am particularly delighted to hear of the good reception at Knox. Because as much as the leadership gift will impact TSCF (and others on from that coal-face) … I suspect that the preaching ability will impact the local church (and then from there into the life of the nation as well)."
I visited Malaysia for the first time last week. TSCF have been holding a series of Parties to Remember to connect with graduates for the 70th Anniversary. We had been hoping to get 300 over the 10 events in total but are nearly there after the first 4 which is great. We held an event in Singapore and then two in Malaysia in KL and in Kuching in Sarawak. There are significant numbers of NZ graduates in all these places and it was great hearing stories of how studying here had shaped their lives. For one graduate it turned into a surprise party! He came to faith in NZ and is the only Christian in his village in Malaysia. One of his friends had arranged to drive down to visit him but when they arrived said "Actually I am driving you to Singapore to see some old friends". It was a 10 hour round trip for the friend but well worth the effort to see their guy sharing fellowship and hearing teaching.
The events in KL and Singapore were quite different in character. KL had many graduates from the 70s and Singapore more from the 90s but at both there was a real sense of thankfulness. We were also able to make some good contacts for our emerging Pacific Professionals Network. We had not much time for sightseeing but did manage to see the Petronas twin towers (above) once the tallest building in the world. I also spoke to the FES staff team in Singapore.
The Malaysians and Singaporeans are very friendly but the great mystery is how they are so thin! They never seem to stop eating. We sampled the market and the fakir food and were well looked after.
Nearer to home Luke won a prize at the Regional Science Fair. His project on DNA discoveries - extracting DNA from fruit and veg at home - was put forward from the school to the Wellington Fair at Victoria University. He was delighted to get a special prize (The Ministry of Education Prize) and the $100 that went with it. We are currently trying to decide what to do about secondary schooling which is not straightforward.
Jamie has had his first chanter lesson in NZ. After investigating a number of options which all turned to dead ends we have found a student at Victoria who friends in the church know. Jamie's pipes are now here and he is enjoying getting back into it and terrorising the neighbours. Pictured here dressing up at the police museum - it is clear that they both subscribe more to the "Police Force" than the "Police Service" philosophy of policing! Still that is the way it's moving everywhere.
Craig has a new teacher at school. His previous had a baby, which was a big surprise to everyone including her!! She went home feeling a little unwell and two days later produced a baby. Everyone seems delighted and she should be back in time to teach Craig sex education. :) Craig also has some new flowers, Grannie helped pick the bulbs in February and Mummy helped plant them in May.
Our friends Sophie, Alastair and Matthew Macdonald are here from Scotland for 3 weeks and we are enjoying having them here. Craig is liking not being the smallest boy in the house and Ailsa is particularly glad of the extra company.
Plus we can get them to take new photos of us!