Monday, August 27, 2007

August 25-27

(New Zealand poet)

This weekend was a blast! Saturday Ken and I had the grand tour of Kerri and Rick's dairy farm. We began by watching Rick milk 60 cows at a time, then stopped by the calves stalls (wow, soooooo cute!!), and ended by feeding Marge, their son Josh's calf for country school. She was very sweet and calm, and trained how to drink milk out of a bucket! We ended the evening with a venison dinner, which Rick had shot himself. It was amazing. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so no pictures.

Sunday church was an answer to prayer. That morning I prayed again for the Lord to be preparing a friend for Ken and I, someone our age who we could hike with, hang out with...and at the 10:30am service, we arrived late and sat down in an empty pew next to Jennifer - a 20 something year old from Minnesota! She just moved down here this winter (your summer, because we're upside down here), and is living with her sister who just recently married a Kiwi. Jen, her boyfriend, and her sister and her husband all love to hike and enjoy the outdoors! Plus she wants to get involved singing with the music teams here! So we exchanged numbers and hopefully we'll go hiking together this weekend. How marvelous!

Sunday evening Ken and I celebrated Rachel's 13th birthday with her family and the pastor's family. We enjoyed a lot of good desserts at The Aqaba, as you can see the platter was huge!

Monday Ken and I had our second adventure in Wellington. We began our trip with a "cuppa" at a local coffee shop. They serve their mocachinno's with a marshmallow and chocolate piece! Then we went to the Te Papa museum and enjoyed learning more about the Maori culture and history.

This is a Marae, a sacred meeting house for the Maori people. In New Zealand, you are not allowed in one without being invited. The stained glass doors being closed represent the gods embracing you once inside the Marae.

The face cast is a real cast made in the late 1800's of a Maori man's tatooed face. The hut is a replica of what they used to live in. The door is low because it let in less cold air that way.

Another part of the museum dedicated to the Treaty of Waitangi which stated the Maori rights and ownership of their land under the Queen.

We ended the evening with some fish and chips from the local brew pub, Mac's and enjoying the modern architecture of Wellington.

Before heading back to Palmy, we decided to trek to the top of Mount Victoria, to see the city at sunset. In the process, we not only saw a gorgeous view, but we found the set for one of the LOTR scenes! Frodo!

We love you and constantly thank God in our prayers for you! Col 1:3

Monday, August 20, 2007

We stopped crime! Sunday evening, Ken and I were asleep when Ken heard beer bottles. Well, we live in a college community, so that's not unusual. However, he heard one crack, so he look outside to see what was happening. He saw two guys running down the street, and when he looked where they were running from, he saw that they had lined up glass beer bottles across the entire street so that a car driving from either direction would run over them, puncturing the tires! So we called the police, who arrived shortly after to clean up the mess. Wow! Our first crime busting!

For more adventures: we went to Wellington with Chris and Denise (church friends) to watch the Turbo's play the Lions in a Rugby match at the Westpac Stadium. It was a dream come true for Ken. I had a great time as well, except it was extremely windy!

On our drive down there we were able to see our first view of the south pacific - in a storm!

And last but not least are some photos of me driving! So far, we've survived.
Today we traveled to Otaki, to the Tararua forest and were amazed at the absolute beauty of this place. The first song that came into our minds as we walked into the meadows was the Lord of the Rings theme song. Then, in both our minds, it changed to This Is My Father's House. We thought it was awesome that we both were humming that song together, as we walked through God's land. We realized how blessed we've been here. This is a great opportunity to share His love with a country that has turned its back on Him. Church friends have told us that New Zealand proclaims to be a non-Christian country and only 20% of the population are church-goers. This news is so sad especially as we tramped through the countryside today - how can these people not see God at work in their surroundings? We hope you enjoy the pictures, and as you look at them, to keep our ministry here in your prayers. We are constantly hit with homesickness and the trials of moving to a new place, but we "rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering procudes character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirity who has been given to us" Rom 5:3-5

This bridge is a one way car bridge that we drove over, then walked under!

We decided to hike around the river bed - and found some great swimming holes for the summer!
We drove to our next stop, which is now our favorite tramp!

A really awesome one lane walking bridge

More pictures from our hike...

We ended the evening at Foxton Beach watching the sunset...