Just a quick update, haven't had regular access to the internet so this will be brief. The summer overall has been amazing and truly formational for me spiritually. There have been some very hard “dark nights of the soul,” as preacher Matt Chandler calls them as I have worked through some deep theological issues only to come through it with a deeper love of Christ. (EDIT: To unpack this a bit more, I made knowledge of God my god and that god failed me... through prayer and mental anguish God made me aware of this in His mercy.) This year has been huge for me in so many ways. Thank you all for journeying with me and for prayer. Lauren took me to 'The Summer Vineyard Tour' in Queenstown for a early 26th Birthday present and it was a beautiful experience. I have remained healthy since getting over the 6+ weeks of Fiji diseases (goodness!) and have even been able to work the last 8 days in a row and will continue to press on. This coming Friday night, Lauren and I's Jewish friends have invited us to a Chabad Meeting (Synagogue) to my overwhelming delight and I plan to spend at least a few minutes brushing up on my Hebrew and covenant promises in the Torah and beyond. The next day the 4 of us along with our Queenstown friend Dan, will drive out to Milford then take a 3 hour boat cruise into the sound. You need to Google that. Seriously. Milford Sound is one of the top rated tourist destinations in NZ and if I wasn't so exhausted right now I wouldn't be able to sleep at night due to building anticipation. I think the boss is giving everyone a 3 day weekend to cope with doing 10+ in a row during the crunch part of the season and that should be a good time for much needed r+r. On Feb 23rd, Lauren and I will fly back to Auckland then proceed to have a proper 5 day vacation at Laidlaws Piha beach house after putting in the long and hard hours in the field. Please be in prayer as I begin to pray and plan over the direction I feel God is leading the youth and wider church at Avondale Baptist. Exciting times indeed.
You gotta smile if you want to get picked up... Thanks Lauren for the pic.
Waitangi Day Reggae Festival in Queenstown
Lauren in Queenstown
Above: The artist Aloe Blacc who performed for my "Birthday Party," with Lauren. Love this soul, funk, brother.