Above: At the book launch of "The Gospel and the Land of Promise: Christian Approaches to the Land of the Bible" edited by my Hebrew professor, Phil Church (on the left). To see this photo in original context/purchase the book click here http://www.laidlaw.ac.nz/_webapp_866137/Laidlaw-Carey_releases_new_book
UPDATE 6/24- Please pray for me and my Excel Students. 3 students are being permanently sent home on drug/alchohol/relational infringements. That has been real hard on me as I love all the students here, I know it is the right thing though. I haven't slept well for 4 days now given the tremendous surge of pastoral care for the students, and now I'm coming down with a cold after being woken up early in the morning by a student issue. One guy in particular is losing his passion for everything as his mother died when he was 12 and his father currently has around a month left to live from cancer. Another student was arrested for being drunk in public cursing God and mumbling in a bizarre state. It took 6 policemen to bring her down. Myself and the Womans RL picked her up from the station this morning, and she remembers nothing. In all of this I somehow need to keep it together to finish a major project Sunday night. Your prayers would be a blessing.
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If you are interested in supporting my education next semester, please click here http://www.theministrysupport.blogspot.com/ I have 4 weeks to raise the funds required.
After finishing my project on homosexual hermeneutics this Wednesday, I began an all out assault on my Hebrew text book. Tomorrow is the big push (cram?) before the final exam on Tuesday and it's currently 12:24am and I'm working on vocab. Please pray for my brain to be on its A game on exam day. According to my blog title, I at least certainly know one Hebrew word+definition... that's a good start.
There have been a few moments of 'extraordinary' to break the tension and monotony of study. This Friday I attended a Highlanders vs. Blues, rugby game with friends at Eden Park Stadium in Auckland. My Cromwell (Central Otago) team was soundly defeated but that didn't stop the group from having a good time (group was made up mostly of Blues fans). My friends Lachlan+Anna and I were selected randomly to participate in the games half time show consisting of tug-o-war vs Blues fans. Again, my team was soundly defeated- but it was a real crack up of an experience to walk onto the field with all the cameras etc, during a televised rugby event.
On a more somber note Christchurch has been rocked again by a series of earthquakes that have leveled many buildings that were holding on by a prayer from the previous earthquakes. Christchurch since the Feb 22nd earthquake might have averaged one 4.0 magnitude or above a week (don't quote me), but this one has done the most damage. Water pipes have been fractured again in a city that has seen more than its fair share of devastation. The death toll is at 1.
In this last week New Zealand as well as myself has seen it's ups and downs, but I get a tremendous sense that God is going to something big here, and soon. I don't even know why, it's just a feeling. Evangelist Greg Laurie from the United States is coming in to do a Harvest (the new word for the politically incorrect, crusade. On a totally irrelevant note the preacher at my church today, with regard to the political incorrectness of the previous term, referred to it as a "campaign." I found this ironic given the fact that evangelists are try to move away from war related terms... but this is beside the point :) ) at the Vector Arena, in the heart of Auckland. All the churches NZ wide have rallied behind this cause, setting there differences aside for the sake of the gospel. The other thing that has stoked my feelings of God doing something big here is the outpouring of healing this last two weeks between the Sunday evening church I attend (St. Pauls) and my Excel students. This has been strongly reaffirming to me that the gospel of Christ is much much more than a series of mere "good ideas." At church, a leg was healed by a ordinary person that prayed Jesus's name over a stranger, but even greater was the outpouring of Gods spirit at the Excel Academy. Various students (some 10-15?) were healed of physical ailments. For the person who holds to the understanding that God doesn't work this way in the present dispensation will have to come face a (a most noteworthy) young man who was previously blind in his left being able to now SEE. He was blind and now he sees. I talked with him today and he was BEAMING, praising Christ through and through. Sunday afternoon, a regular Excel student after seeing the power of prayer was compelled to pray for a Hindu woman that prepares food for us at Laidlaw. I heard rumors of her being healed of the back pain that wouldn't allow her to put on her own apron, but being skeptical, I followed up. I talked with Bharti (the Hindu woman), and she was quite speechless. I asked her how it happened and she said, after the girl from Excel (a non-resident who's name I don't know) prayed Jesus name over her, asking her to be healed, she felt a wave of heat come over her neck, shoulders and arm. Even a practicing Hindu couldn't deny the power of Christ. Something is happening here indeed, please pray for lives to be touched this Friday and Saturday at the Harvest in Auckland. I have asked God to let me partake in what he has already got going on in the city, please join me in prayer for this country.
Above: Why so serious? Lachlan and I in Highlanders gear.
Above: Go time