Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What have I been doing?

Above: The Excel Family @ Laidlaw.I know this photo makes the webpage freak out being this big, but any smaller of a photo wouldn't do it justice. Pictures update!, click the link to the right ------>

What haven't I done, would be a better question. From hustling around Auckland trying to sort out the medical scene for the visa, to welcoming the new Laidlaw Students and new Excel Students to the campus, proceeding in and out of all sorts of meetings, it has been full on.

Hebrew has proved to be on this side of ridiculous to learn, and I have never been this scheduled/meeting'ed out in my life. For two weeks I maintained a strenuous early morning regiment of study and exercise, which ended up exhausting me as I was burning the candle on both ends by not sleeping well as my brain was fully engaged upon going to bed. From about the 11th-13th I began to get the flu, which I shrugged off for a time then relentlessly took me out as I slept 40 hours over a two day period. I'm on the mend (10 days later), feeling better and now "sleeping in."

From the beginning I have embraced my role on the student council, seeking to meet all the students in attendance at Laidlaw and to encourage them in their studies and walks with Christ. It was a bit nostalgic to remember being greeted just a year ago by someone like myself now considering the journey since then. Kinetic Youth Group at ABC has drastically shifted in demographics going from equal number of sexes to female in a matter of weeks. The Bible study and Youth Group are going well and ABC has begun the process of looking for a new head pastor.

Were I'm currently at is journeying/pastoring a young performing arts community experiencing the joys and pain that comes with this spot. Pain in reference to enforcing the expectations of the community we live in but joy in doing life along side guys that are 17-19 years old. I share this role as Resident Leader with Christine Bachelor leading the women and I can already tell that this year is going to stretch me like few other seasons in my life.

I still am having trouble with my eyes, but I think it is caused by lack of sleep. There was a night last week were I didn't sleep at all being sick/wired from study, learning, discipline issues with students, bible study teaching and speaking to a group- I just stared at the ceiling all night. I pray that doesn't happen again. Please pray for me to establish and maintain boundaries as well as the ability to do sabbath well. Today was the first proper community worship at Laidlaw since school started and I was moved to tears while experiencing Gods love during the singing. Praise Him. Thank you all for the love+support+encouragement in the last few weeks, I really feel the warm embrace of community here as well as the States. 

Prayer Requests:

-My friend Daisuke in Japan is still navigating the junk around his home. I can confirm to my knowledge that no JP people from Peninsula College or their families were killed.

-The Excel students I'm leading at Laidlaw that come from various backgrounds across NZ.

-Health, energy, eyesight, humility, leadership, study, time, boundaries and maybe some fun in there somewhere : )


Monday, March 7, 2011

How many posts can I have in a week?

Sorry to spam you all with posts, it's just that my eyes physically hurt. I'm not sure if it's from reading alot or not sleeping well etc, but it gives me headaches to read (which is crucial right now) and is hard to focus. I'm not sure where this came from. Please pray for me. Maybe I need glasses?

Edit 3/9/11
My friends mother (Yeri Ahn) had her ribs crushed in Christchurch during the quake and is stable but critical condition. I just found out about this and would be overjoyed if you kept her in your prayers.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Update on Isaac.

Isaac was confirmed dead as his body was found in the CTV building. I received this email from Jeff today. Thank you for praying until this point.

 "Isaac's body was found in the CTV building last week so he was confirmed dead, sorry to have to report such grim news.  Please thank those people for their prayers, and could you please ask them to pray for Isaac's family as they grieve, if they still want to be praying for that situation?"

We can pray for his family now, and for others who have lost.


Friday, March 4, 2011

A week in the life. (click here for ChCh update)

Photo update on the right in the NZ 2010 folder and NZ 2011 subfolder (the sub folder can only be accessed through the 2010 folder) .                           ----------------------->

The new school year is upon me and all is set to go from my end. This Wednesday I was deemed “fit and well” by a NZ Doctor so the next day I mailed my visa application which cost a silly amount of money ($720 + my time and gas etc) but it might prove to be worth it come march 31st if the government allows me to stick around for a another year.

Later that thursday night, I kicked off Kinetics new year as we are discussing 'The Case for Christ' by Lee Strobel and partaking in a pizza dinner at 5:30, which is an hour before youth group for the students that are really keen to go deeper in their faith. I was greeted this Thursday afternoon not with a church building that was a complete mess, but with brand new florescent lights and a PA system for the first time in my time at ABC. It's funny how much proper lighting and good music can change the energy of a place, what a great Thursday night!

This week at Laidlaw it was fantastic to meet all the new students and make them feel welcome as well as introducing myself to the student body. It's a strange place to not be able to transfer the various questions I get asked to anyone else, as I can't afford that luxury now, needing to be the person who knows. Now more than ever it's critical that I submit my pride before the lord. Earlier this week I engaged someone over email that I feel was just generally prideful/disrespectful, as I crossed a line. After consulting a respected friend, I had to ask that other person for forgiveness. I thanked the Lord for making me sensitive/aware of my lack of humility, but it did put a damper on that Friday evening as my spirit was low. It doesn't matter if you (myself) are a leader, it's fatal to have a exalted opinion of yourself which can manifest itself as lack of grace and compassion. The model of leadership to copy is that of Christs: a servant- this is the goal. It was good to have  a little more heart surgery done this week, almost an extension of my summer reflections, a continual and ongoing process.

Today, rising before dawn, I got to participate in Tear Fund Aucklands: Cycle for Poverty Marathon. As a keen cyclist, I had the opportunity to be the course guinea pig, touring through a beautiful 6mile stretch, checking for obstacles and downed signs. School starts Monday and I'm ecstatic for this year of study and challenges.

Shifting the focus to Christchurch now, the situation is still dire. The current death toll as of yesterday is 161, with estimates above the 200 mark. Everyday the confirmed death toll rises and at this point the rescue effort in Chch has shifted to the traumatic process of body recovery. There have been beautiful stories of admirable citizens bringing in pumping equipment to fully tap into their water wells capacity to provide free clean water for those that have lost everything. Crime has been relatively minimal as criminals as well as stores that are exploiting earthquake victoms are shamed daily on the national level. Judges are readily available to dish out justice, and offenders have reportedly began carrying out those sentences in as little as 6 hours after commiting the crime (being put into prison). This small country has fully rallied behind one of its biggest cities. The city is unofficially divided into 3 zones: “refugee camp, tent city and hot water city,” to signify the levels of destruction in different sectors. “Hot water” city was the least affected. Thousands of people have been displaced and are seeking relief. I still have not received any word from Jeff about Isaac and will update this as soon as I know something.

You can support Christchurch during this time of need by clicking here:




-Timely student visa approval.
-Servant Leadership/humility
-Hebrew Alphabet memorization
-Avondale Baptist Church and the pastor situation.