Where has the time gone? Ken's 18 month internship with the Manawatu Parish is completed! Our final week of work was spent busy with writing and printing his world religions book for the parish (I did a whole read-through-edit...phew! Ken wrote a great book!) making a care package for the youth attending Parachute (the largest Christian music conference in the Southern Hemisphere), hanging out with Jen, Sam, Tony, and a few other church families, eating lots of yummy desserts at his youth farewell party, and having the the new pastor and his family over for tea.
Pastor Lee was installed on the 25th of January followed with a parish luncheon. We had him and his wife Anna and their son Owen over for tea earlier in the week to introduce ourselves. They are really excited to be here in the Manawatu beginning their ministry. We are so thankful for the way God orchestrated the whole event - Ken and I being in the Manawatu during a period of vacancy and then right before we leave, a new permanent pastor arrives! Woohoo!
The week of the 25th was busy cleaning our house out so that by the 1st we could be moved completely out of the flat. On the 30th we enjoyed spending the night out with the LaGrow's at their fishing cottage. It was fun to have Steve teach us how to spot fish in their crystal clear creek. When we got back to Palmy and finished cleaning the flat, we moved in with the Satherley's, who were kind enough to open their home to us for our final week in New Zealand.
Ken and I were formally done with work on the 1st of Feb. We spent the next few days tramping at Tongariro completing one of New Zealand's "Great Walks," the Northern Circuit. It was great to enjoy New Zealand's wild and rugged beauty once more and experience a hard long backpacking adventure together over an active volcano! The rest of that week was spent saying final farewells to various families and our formal farewell/de-installation was on the 8th with a parish wide lunch at the park. We then played music one last time with Trinity for their evening service and enjoyed the potluck that followed (we were really full by the end of the day with two potlucks!!)
Monday we left New Zealand. We left home to head home. The Lord has been good to us and we thank you for your constant support and prayers for us while we have served in the Land of the Long White Cloud, Aoetearoa.
p.s. I will do a final upload of pictures once we are back and settled in the States...