Thursday, March 31, 2011

America Day

We decided a few weeks ago to have an American day where we would drive around and take photo's of things that remind us of America. So here we go. Please note, all spelling will be in the Mother's English.
Would you believe it but 5 minutes from our house is an American football field. This definitely reminded us of the States.
If you can't see the sign I'm holding up it says, "Hershael." This is Hershael York avenue. We pass it most days when we take the kids to school. What a wonderful reminder it is of the love shown to us by Dr. York while in Frankfort, Kentucky.
KFC is not the same in NZ that is was in Kentucky. But passing this sign reminds us that we have been there, and that our hearts are still somewhat there.
We spent an amazing 3 weeks before we came home in beautiful, northern California with our dear friends, Ben and Chelsea. We experienced Alta, Sky Mountain, Lake Tahoe, and Yosemite national park, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
Cornhole, that wonderful American game we learned. We came home wanting to make some, and what do you know, our neighbours, had already made some. All I had to do was paint them up, and only one colour came to mind, Kentucky blue!!
No, I am not worshipping the sign, but almost. This sign reminds us of the four and a half wonderful years we spent in Kentucky.
Never went to Wisconsin, but these burgers are quite good. So, that was our first America day. Just an excuse to think about you all, not that we need excuses. How about one of you doing a New Zealand day and go and take photo's of everything that reminds you of NZ :)
Now a couple of local scenery shots. This is looking down on Wellington harbour, Wellington city is in the background. We are up on Wainuiomata hill, about 8 minutes from our house.
Anna-Marie and I on the Petone wharf. Wellington city again in the background. Petone is about 10 minutes from Naenae.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Some Random Photos

During our first few weeks here in NZ we went away with my sister and her family to Lake Taupo. It was a wonderful time and now that we are well and truly into the school routine we are pleased we took the time to do it.Joel in the process of falling off.
Mark kneeboarding.

Celebrating Matthew's 10th birthday.

Matthew went out on the boat on the morning of his birthday and caught this trout. His cousin, Caitlin, caught one also.Joel water skiing.
Our first trip to the ocean and our first fish'n'chips just a few days after we returned for my nieces birthday.
Anna-Marie and Ashleigh.
Matthew and Grace.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sunday afternoon outreaches

The Naenae for Christ team (made up of believers from Heretaunga Christian center in Upper Hutt, and ourselves), have started opening up the Naenae community hall on Sunday afternoons. The Lower Hutt city council has kindly allowed us to use it this year on Sundays, for free. Below are some photos of some of the things we do.
Part of the afternoon involves us giving away sausages (A sausage in bread with ketchup and onions). There is always a good line-up for this.

We have just developed a kids corner which has gone over well.

Meet my younger sister Joanne. She is available to mend items of clothing or other items, she also teaches crafts to those that want to learn.

Table tennis is a big part of the afternoon with three tables available.

And, surprise, surprise, we have cornhole. It is such a hit, we have since painted them up. Cornhole is not really played in NZ so we were surprised when our neighbors, the Grahams, said they had made some. We also serve a snack for everyone sometime throughout the afternoon, and we have a give-away table that even the community people have started bringing stuff to put on it. Throughout the afternoon you can see Naenae for Christ people sharing the gospel, teaching a little child how to play table tennis, or just chatting with those in the community who come because they are lonely.

The afternoon finishes with a time in the Word of God. This is not compulsory to attend but we have had around 10 members of the Naenae community stay for this. It is such a privilege to serve your community with food, a place to come, prayer, and the Word of God.


Friday, March 04, 2011

New Zealand Update

Wow, where do I start? I am sorry that I have not posted anything about being back in New Zealand yet. I keep taking my camera with me places and then not taking any photos so I have finally decided to just go ahead and post without any.

We spent our first 5 days home at my parents just relaxing, getting over jetlag and enjoying being with family. We then went on a little vacation with my sister and her family to a little place by Lake Taupo. Uncle Paul took the kids fishing and we went swimming, boating and walking and just relaxed. It was a really sweet time with family.

We then went to Hastings, where we came from 41/2 years ago, to visit and to arrange the pick up of all our stuff which was kindly stored by good friends all this time.

We came back to Upper Hutt and got straight into tidying up the house in Naenae. We spent almost three weeks painting, hanging curtains and fixing up. We have lived here now for nearly three weeks and Mark has only just got his office completely organized. We are enjoying our little house. It was nice to be able to paint it just the way we wanted it.

The children all started school. Anna-Marie, Rachel and Joel are at Heretaunga College, a high school in Upper Hutt. Matthew goes to a little Christian school called Maranatha. It has been quite a change for the family for them to all be in school. The older three have been quite challenged at High School and have been a little surprised at the level of disrespect and the openness of sin from their peers. They have already had some opportunities to share the gospel with their friends which is exciting. Matthew had a hard time at school at first but is doing much better now and looks forward to it every day now.

Mark has been very busy getting the house organized. I am so blessed to have such a diligent husband :) He has also preached twice and has begun meeting with a couple of guys in Wellington for a bible study. He has been visiting a new believer in the neighborhood and has been running with a young man who is interested in the things of the Lord. He begins preaching this Sunday in the local community hall. Please pray for this outreach. It is a group of very sincere, faithful believers who hope to reach our community, Naenae, for Christ. We meet to pray every week on a Tuesday night and will be out in the community every week.

You also would have heard about the earthquake that we have had in the South Island in a city called Christchurch. Thanks to everyone for their concerns and prayers for this country and for Christchurch. They are still pulling bodies from the rubble and people are still without power, water and sewage. We have had two earthquakes here in the last three days which is nothing unusual but has people a little nervous because of what has happened in Christchurch.

We are definitely missing America. We talk about our lives there all the time. It already feels like some distant memory which saddens us. We miss the fellowship with all the wonderful dear people we met and came to love but we are thoroughly enjoying seeing and being with our extended families, seeing old friends and beginning ministry. We are excited about the future and what the Lord may do.

More updates to follow, hopefully with a few photos.