Great news! Reinhild from Themba emailed us twice this week with information about next year! We will begin in mid-March 09 and we are beginning the visa process -- so it's for real! I will be teaching music (and whatever else that entails) and Ken is going to plug in however needed once on the ground. We're just so excited to have heard from Reinhild and can begin to start arranging travel etc.
Well, Tuesday and Wednesday were beautiful sunny days which was perfect since we were car-less. Good thing Palmy is such a small town! Tuesday evening we went over to the Esplanade to watch Rachel Nelson play field hockey - her team took silver (wooohoo)! Field hockey is very popular down here, so it was good to go and see a game and hang out with the Nelson's.
Wednesday Ken had the best class ever - he said that he felt really good about his teaching and also figured out Rob Bell's theology (sometimes the things Rob Bell says on his Nooma videos and/or books don't quite resonate) - Rob Bell sees things from a narrative perspective, which is why he doesn't so much focus on the event in Scriptures from a historical perspective, but instead from a more literary-what-does-this-story-mean perspective. Over the past few weeks in Ken's class they've been looking at how Christianity and it's theology began after Christ left the earth, and are finally making their way to modern theology (hence, Rob Bell). Very much a high for his week! Wednesday night I had the youth team for the upcoming mission trip practice again - just the instrumentalists. And it was a great practice! Things are shaping up - we have a saxophone, keyboard, bass, guitar and percussion instruments in the arrangement! The evening ended with the all-music-team meet. We've changed it so that we only meet once a quarter now, which has been working out great! The meet went smooth and we planned out all the "special services" for the rest of the year. When we got home Wednesday night we were pleased to see our car back! yeay! Perfect timing since the rest of the week was cold and rainy.
Thursday we went to see Rose, our counselor, again. It was good to talk to her about some of the issue's we're dealing with at the church (ie lack of support). We left feeling very refreshed and will probably go back to see her once more before leaving New Zealand. Thursday afternoon I met with Pauline for some coffee - we realized this month we didn't have any long drives together for Segue planning (the music conference next month) so we thought a coffee break would be good. That evening was PLT/Directors. Ken and I are beginning to feel bad about ever bringing up our issues regarding that family...but we've also decided that we're done discussing it, thinking about it, talking about it, etc. We've done all we can. Dr. Ross affirmed us saying that in a counseling situation, often someone brings up how they feel and then feel bad when nothing seems to be done about it. But it is not our job to control an outcome, but simply to bring forth our feelings.
Friday night Ken was sharing about Fair Trade at the salvation army church - some of our youth came which was awesome. The night went really well and everyone seemed to enjoy the coffee and facts about trade awareness. As a consumer, we CAN make a difference by buying fairly traded coffee, chocolate, teas, etc. It may not be as convenient, but then again, what is your convenience worth? After going to Indonesia, Ken is more on fire for fair trade as he met some coffee-growers who are making the transition to fair trade coffee and they said even a few cents more will make all the difference in the quality of their lives!
Saturday morning was the youth sausage sizzle fundraiser event - sold over 500 of them too! South Island mission trip here we come! Ken and I were on shift from 8-10am (although there were other shifts going until 2ish). Then we went home to take Pepper to the pet store - it was Pet Fun Days, so she got to get some treats and visit with some farm animals. Gotta love Palmerston North! After that we took her to the park to run around - wow, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom! Then we went to church to set up for the Five Love Languages seminar led by Pastor/President Rob Erickson. It was a great success (30 people attended from Palmy and Marton and Wanganui) and it ended with a nice dinner for those who desired to come. We also met a woman from Wanganui who was originally from Gilbert, Arizona! Small world!
The first ones there to prep for the sausage sizzle
It's early so I need my coffee! It's Fair Trade too!
The bbq arriving on forklift - sweet as!
Ken and crew setting up
Sizzle sizzle sizzle
Pepper having fun at Pet Fun Days
The Cherry Blossoms in the Esplanade
Ken introducing Pastor/President Rob Erickson
Would you like a book with your registration packet?
Enjoying dinner at The Elm - the woman in the pink vest is Karen from Gilbert!
Going to bed Saturday night I knew I was sick with the cold/flu bug. So I stayed home Sunday morning. Ken went to church where our interim pastor was preaching on God's will...the pastor in Australia we called rejected the call. Back to the drawing board. Please continue to keep this parish in your prayers as they deal with being pastor-less. Then Ken had a final information meeting for the South Island mission trip - we leave on Saturday! He came home to feed me some chicken noodle soup (perfect when you're sick) and then we made some chocolate chip cookies (also perfect when you're sick! hehe). We were going to go skiing on Monday, but I think that will be postponed. Otherwise, Ken finished his New Zealand history book and is starting The Shack (yea)! I'm through with reading Christian books right now, although I'm going to finish Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell (very interesting - you should have a read on that AFTER you read The Shack!) but once it's done, I think I'm going to take a break from God-books. Nothing wrong with them, I'm just getting tired. Instead, I'm going to read Elephant Memories all about this woman who lived 13 years with the elephants in Kenya (Ambrosi National Park). So far, it's awesome! It's just getting me more excited about seeing them in South Africa next year!