This past week was a Blast - literally! Trinity in Feilding held a three day long "VBS" program (they don't call it vbs down here) called BLAST. It was awesome to work with some members from Trinity and help lead music with Ken, do crafts, or participate in games. We had a small turnout the first day, but prayed as a group that God would lead the kids to invite friends. And He came through - the second day we went from only 10 kids, to 14, and the last day all the way up to 17! It was a great blessing, and the kids all really enjoyed themselves. They were able to make friends, play games, do crafts, participate in Bible story time, and learn some silly songs. Unfortunately, there is usally an evening service at Trinity the Sunday following this outreach. It's close to the event so that the kids are still pumped up and want to come and bring their parents to the service to show them what they learned at Blast. But this time, the service will not be until October 14th. So please pray that the energy is still there, and the kids want to attend the service to sing songs and act out a Bible story for the congregation, bringing their families along too.
If you look close, you can see Ken and I leading song time in the front
Ken was sick over the entire week, but by God's grace pulled through the camp with enough energy to play guitar and lead games. It was great! He was a great role model for the kids, since most of the other leaders were females...it's always good for young boys to have a male role model in the church so they don't start viewing it all as "girl stuff."
After those three days at Feilding, we met with some of the leaders interested in having live music for October 14th. Trinity is excited about this idea since they always use cds. Next week we will be practicing for the first time as a music team! I will be on keyboard, Ken on guitar, Richard on drums, and Summer, Ashleigh, and Rachel on vocals. This is ground breaking for Trinity, so please pray that everything will go smooth as we "sing to the Lord a new song (Ps.33)."
This week brought something else new for Ken to do - there is a minsitry at St. Luke's called Share 'n Care for the homeless/needy. It takes place fortnightly on Wednesdays and a free meal is offered for anyone, no questions asked. There is always a short talk from a leader in the church, followed with an optional Bible study for any interested. This past Wednesday Ken was the speaker and leader for the Bible study. His message touched a lot of people's hearts, and one lady asked to pray with him after dinner. For the Bible study he used a Nooma video, which was a hit! Everyone enjoyed being able to watch a DVD, and the discussion afterward was all focused on what the show was about: how God's spirit is in us all, with us all the time from the moment we are born, to the moment it leaves us and we die. Ken went on to share this video with the youth group on Friday night and they also really enjoyed it. They never thought about their breath before and how each one is a gift from God to everyone because He wants ALL to be saved and come to knowledge of Him.
Saturday we decided to go to the last Turbos game of the year - and yes, they lost. But we enjoyed a short fireworks show and Haka after the game anyway. We ran into a few people from church, so we ended up sitting with them for the second half.
A Turbine for the Turbos
A gorgeous New Zealand sunset!
And Sunday was out of control! It began with me getting to church early to practice with the praise team. I was leading from the keyboard, and then during the service I was officially installed as a Director of Parish Music and Worship! Ken led the children's message and focused on baptism, since that morning we had celebrated the baptism of a little baby girl, Amadea. All the children were able to remember their own baptism by dipping their fingers in the baptismal water and touch their foreheads. The service itself flowed very nicely, although I was nervous since all the songs were changed at the last minute on me! But musicians have to take it as it comes. That night we had our first church meeting where I played the piano for the Thanksgiving Service that we started with (the church has a lot to be thankful for - over the past few months, they have been financially blessed in many ways.) Ken and Butch shared their vision for a church partnership with another Lutheran church. The vote was unanimous to go ahead and begin the process of finding the church, and parterning with them! This is an exciting step for St. Luke's. They also are starting a church mission plant in a neighboring community, Summer Hill. Lots of big changes, but are going to be a blessing to St. Luke's as well as the people they are helping. It's awesome to be with a church that is so understanding that they have been financially blessed, and therefore are called to turn around and be a blessing to others.
I think the biggest thing Ken and I are learning here, is how to be generous. When you read in Acts 4 that there were no needy among the church, that everyone gave willingly to anyone, it's hard to imagine that type of life. However, after coming to New Zealand, Ken and I have been shocked at how open, giving, and loving these people are at St. Luke's. It's mind blowing, and also a challange, to take and live that way as well. The people here are truely living out Acts today, and we pray that we can learn from them and give as passionately our time and resources as they do!