Thursday, January 27, 2011

Answered prayer and a prayer request.


Thank you to all who prayed for me regarding the Resident Assitant position at Laidlaw. Yesterday I was officially offered the spot by the Laidlaws Principal and Resident Services Manager, and after prayerful consideration, accepted.
Today at work, one of my coworkers was let go of and another group of six will be sacked on Tuesday as well. Work is slowly coming to a halt as the vines are all prepared to be covered. Thankfully, I'm on the final job that puts up the nets to guard the ripening grapes from the clutches of evil (birds), but was told my job could end in as soon as 7 working days as all work on the farm is virtually done for 3 weeks as grapes change color and are ready to be harvested. Please pray that I make the money I need for school, as of now I'm $750 ($7200 of the $7950+ has been paid) short for next semesters tuition and the chances of not making the total amount plus visa fee and medical exams are high. God has always taken care of me though in times like these, that much I have learned.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Things are coming together.

So many great things have happened
recently, I will try to run through them all. I have been working and
reading a ton, respectively and my wonderful south island family that
is hosting me has taken me out jet-skiing on the lake and out for
tennis, prayer nights at church etc, how fun! Nearly two weeks ago I felt compelled to respond
to the beckoning of the pastor to receive prayer up front at Cromwell
Presbyterian. I was quite apprehensive at first to go up for prayer
as usually I'm on the praying end of things- I can't remember the
last time I went up for prayer at something like this. When Pastor
Rob came round to me I shared with him my frustrations and struggles
with Christian life and when he prayed for me I felt a certain level
of refreshment I hadn't experienced in some time. He asked me if it
would be ok to anoint my head with oil, (which my mind instantly
pondered the various Christian experience over the ages and deemed
this as within the tradition) to which I agreed.  After church I had
lunch with two lovely Kiwi families outside of town in a fantastic
garden setting, a very restful afternoon.

The following Thursday I was invited
over to Robs house for dinner, and more was divulged to me about the
surrounding details of that Sunday morning where I felt Gods
presence. The pastor told me that at the last moment, God spoke to
him about the service alerting him to the fact that he would need the
anointing oil from his office as he would be using it on someone that
very morning. As he made the call, a handful of members from the
congregation went up and he asked God if it was “for this person,
or that one,” to which he was answered no. Then being fashionably
late in my reluctance, Rob was instructed that I was the person. From
this point on I felt hugely humbled and Rob and his wife Erinn began
to pray over me, my calling was affirmed as they shared with me about
the future. They affirmed to me that in this season there would be
pain, but that God was preparing me to run, without revealing his
plans for me as it would overwhelm me at this stage. Needless to say,
it was a powerful night of prayer and fellowship.

On Tuesday the 18th I
received word that the scholarship I had applied for was awarded to
me, at the tune of $1500 Kiwi!!!! Praise God and thank you for all
your prayers!!! At this point I might have nearly enough for tuition
(8,000 Kiwi) in 3 more weeks as I currently have $5,000 saved. I
still need your prayers in this area as other factors come in like
paying for my visa and the medical checkup/xray needed for this visa
as I have past the 1 year mark and fall into new requirements to
obtain a visa. Those two things will cost around $500 kiwi alone,
then I have to fly back to Auckland from Cromwell which could be
$200? Please pray that the Sun continues to shine (can't work on
rainy days= less money) and that these extra costs would be met.

On Friday afternoon we had a work BBQ
to celebrate the completion of a massive vine straightening job with
the whole crew and if you click on my pictures link you can see pics
of the vineyard/my awesome coworkers. (
a link to the vineyard I work and more photos)

This week I have been putting together
a night for my coworkers that are from Czech, Chile, Argentina,
Spain, Slovakia, Canada and America. Traditional Chilean empanadas
are on the menu and my coworkers Maria/Mihwa spent 4+ hours at my
house as we prepared for baking. I have found that if you invite
people to something (like Church for example) they will accept or
reject it based on how they feel that day or other factors.... if you
invite people over for free food, people come out of the woodworks
and it provides an awesome opp to share the gospel. I have been
praying for tonight for over a week, thank you to those who have been
praying. To my knowledge, I'm the only Christian at Zebra Vineyard so
tonight should be cool as it is the first gathering of all my friends
and coworkers outside of the vineyard... hopefully more times like
this to come. In my photos link above, you can see the empanada
making process as well as scenery from Cromwell, the town I reside in
that reminds me of what Sequim use to be, in a very similair
geographical setting with equally fickle weather- it can be 90
degrees one day then 33 degrees the next morning as a cold air front
moves up from Antarctica.

With love,

Monday, January 3, 2011


Home on the Range: Happy New Year from Cromwell.

This last week has been great. I started work on the farm alongside 3 guys from Argentina and Chile and it has been a neat experience getting to know them and talk with a few of them about Christ. I'm currently a vine technician (actually that's not true, I just gave myself a cool sounding title) working in cozy temperatures of around 82-88 degrees which is so much nicer than working in Australia's 95+ degree heat daily.

New Years was uneventful, sharing the time with new friends. I subsequently fell asleep on a deserted couch at 11:30 after being exhausted from work. You know your getting old when you can't make it to 12am. Over the weekend I had a chance to go to Lachlan and Annas great Presbyterian Church as well as swim in the lake. I love the small town feel and pace, much different from the big city where you can feel like a number. In Cromwell, everyone knows everyone and the church is like family.

I went out rabbit shooting (a service to farmers) with my roomate Ben Winstanly that has been graciously hosting me, and it was fantastic. At one point I climbed up a rock face amongst the sweeping hills and seemingly limitless acres of farmland to get a better view, and was thoroughly impressed with the desert-esque beauty, similar to Bishop California. I scoped a rabbit, and prematurely fired the 12 gauge without considering my location. The concussive blast of the shotgun knocked me off my perch as I descended backwards 11-14ft off the rock and towards the ground. God was watching out for me as my fall was  somehow padded by razor sharp bush that somehow barely even cut me. Nick and Ben began to sprint up the hill as they witnessed what had happened and to their surprise, they found me uninjured and in one piece. I found the rabbit that had nearly killed me, and we took it home to prepare if for a BBQ.... ahh, the farm life.