Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Autumn is in the air
The clocks have just gone back and we notice the difference in the evenings. Still seems funny to be thinking "the nights are drawing in" in April. We bumped into a few of the Black Caps after the third test and Brendon McCullum was keen to get some wicket keeping tips from Ailsa. I like how accessible people are here. Ailsa was a bit mortified by my boldness but the boys were pretty excited to see their favourite player in a picture with their mum.
The boys all took part in the Weetbix Triathalon. It was absolutely pouring and in a very un kiwi like way the cycling and swimming legs were cancelled.
Although disappointed they were happy to do the run and to get their medals.
It was interesting too meeting quite a few people that we knew and realising that gradually we are getting to know more folk in the community.
Luke continues to love Wellington College and is enjoying the opportunities and challenges of the bigger school. He has started doing his Young New Zealnders Challenge, which is the Duke of Edinburgh's Award here. He is doing violin for his skill, hockey for physical, has started helping at Kids Alive on sunday for his service, later there will be an expedition and residential component. http://www.challengenz.org.nz/
Jamie is enjoying his last year at St Marks and is looking forward to the hockey season starting again. Nigel is coaching the Hutt Club Boys 1st XI and Jamie and some of the others from last years 2nd XI will make the step up. The final trial is this week. Then we have two weeks of school holidays before the competitions get going.
Craig had good fun at his birthday party. He had 3 friends from school and two from church and went rock climbing. The kids all did well but is fascinating how fear kicks in at different levels for different ones. We did our best to urge them on to higher things in the knowledge that they were mostly safe.
Craig has a nice selection of friends and after the climbing we went back to the house for some food.
Ailsa made one of her usually amazing cakes in the style of a climbing wall complete with lego people and mini ropes. Ailsa has also been getting into card making and has attended a couple of classes.
I have been speaking a bit in Wellington since getting back from PNG. This has included Victoria CU where there are signs of positive change and growth, Knox, TSCF new staff training and The Street City Church young adults weekend. This is one of the churches where some positive partnerships have begun to develop. There were some great people there and some interesting creativity!
The response to the teaching was very positive. Much of the challenge to people seemed to be in the area of integrity at work and confidence in the gospel. Just having time with groups like this with the bible open is a fantastic opportunity.
James Rees-Thomas the associate pastor who is just heading back into accountancy organised the weekend and I was particularly encouraged by the impact the weekend had on him and his wife. They are a fine couple and it was great to see leaders really engaging and asking what this meant for them rather than just how it might affected other people.
James wrote afterwards saying : "We were so encouraged to have you come and share the weekend with us at the young adult’s camp. Your message was so timely for many people and the feedback I have received has been fantastic. We love your passion for the Word and zeal for Evangelism. But more so than your spoken zeal, is a sincere life that backs up your words. I hope we get to have you share the platform at The Street many more times over the years to come. You’re not half-bad for a Scot. Bless ya heaps mate – have a fantastic week.
James. P.S. if you want to use some of those words in your blog – go for gold!"
There are often a handful of people who get in touch after events. It has been encouraging to get at trickle of encouragement from PNG. Some of these are simply saying thanks, others are exploring partnership opportunities and others are a mixture of thanks and help.
"Hallo and greetings to you in Jesus name from the green land of PNG. I was really encouraged by your teaching about Christian Apologestics being shared during Mt.Hagen TSCF National Easter Conference here in PNG.
As I am currently doing some outreach activities, I have come to acknowledge really that I need the basic foundation of God's word on how to effectively relate to the students for Christ here in The PNG University of Technology, Lae.
Therefore, I am prompted to seek some guidance from you regarding this. That is, especially methods on how to bring people's perspective to the truth about Jesus.
Your support in this will be greatly appreciated as MY Father in Heaven richly bless your life and the Ministry he has given you.
Thank you, and to God be Glory, Honour and Praise forevermore."
I am sure that we are starting to develop some significant relationships in PNG and in Nz but we need wisdom in how to respond to the different opportunities and to put most effort into a few strategic partnerships. At the moment our thinking on PNG is primarily in the areas of graduate work, aids education and bible teaching.
A key part of the challenge with these new initiatives, as I was reminded by this midwives personalised number plate, is knowing when to wait and when to really go for it!