Friday, March 30, 2007
Opportunities and Encouragements
I have been doing a bit of travelling in New Zealand to speak at a number of different events. The feedback has been quite encouraging and the views from the plane are always good and sometimes spectacular.
We have developed a new set of icons to portray the key things we are trying to develop in working with students and graduates in New Zealand. It has been great to see these and the fern logo being taken up enthusiastically by students.
"We are amazed at what you have already achieved in TSCF and are very encouraged.to see the direction that you are leading in. It is an incredibly strategic ministry for the church in New Zealand and we want to encourage you and thank you for coming and becoming one of us. I am learning a lot just by watching you" Church Minister
I visited the Christian Medical Conference in Queenstown as part of our agenda to build a professional network in NZ and the Pacific. There were some great students there and a good response to my speaking and some good conversations.
"You are the first person who has ever been able to help me understand what the bible has to say on sex and relationships and why it makes any kind of sense. It has totally changed my thinking - thank you!" Medical Student
I spoke at the Baptist Tab Church Family Camp in Auckland. This was a very positive experience. It was themed on "Survivor" with different tribes in different colours and I did 3 Bible Readings. One of the highlights was a baptismal service on the beach. Outdoor baptisms always feel a bit more authentic and it was good hearing the stories of the three being baptised.
"Thanks for the investment you are making in churches in NZ. These were the best talks I have ever heard and have really helped me to see that God is concerned with my work and that I can worship him through it. I have fresh vision for my life."
There was also a trip to speak at Lincoln Baptist near Christchurch. These opportunities have been both humbling and encouraging. Thank you to all who pray and give financially to make these things possible. I could not do it without you. I have another great opportunity coming up at The Central Baptist Youth Camp at Fielding over Easter weekend, where I am doing three talks to the young adults and the final plenary on Easter Monday. www.eastercamp.org.nz
On the home front the boys are coming to the end of first term already. They are standing on a slope here!
Craig had a great 8th Birthday last weekend and has his party tomorrow with 4 friends coming to the house and going bowling.
Jamie has been playing softball, and was the pitcher in his first match. I have done my NZ Hockey Association Level One Coaching badge and have started coaching at the Hutt Club this year which is fun. The boys are all going to play Hockey this winter (ie starting after Easter Northern Hemisphere sports fans!).
The last ten weeks weather has been fantastic and we continue to make progress in the garden. Ailsa's great achievment has been creating this new flower bed near the front door.
Ailsa's sister Fiona arrived last Monday with husband Grant; Kirsty, Ross and Shona. They will be here for three weeks and doing some travelling but we are all really pleased to have them here. Friends in Wellington lent us a car for them to use which has been a huge help, especially with Nigel being away over Easter.
As part of our new look blog (did you notice?) We are going to feature some of our friends. Our featured friends this blog are the Boughs, who I had a lovely visit with In Edinburgh.
Like all our friends - they and you are - much appreciated and missed and wished a very happy Easter.