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.
-Hebrew Alphabet memorization
-Avondale Baptist Church and the pastor situation.