Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A note to catch you up from Rob...........

HI team, just a quick note here. We’ve just finished a busy month here in New Zealand. At the beginning of October, our family moved into Oasis Home for two weeks to act as house parents for special needs kids. New Zealand provides families with special needs children 1-4 days of respite care each month. We were asked by a local ministry that runs one of these homes to provide vacation coverage for friends who were the regular house parents. We had 1-3 kids each night and lived life full-on! It was a blessing to be there, love on kids, and support their families. It would be awesome to see something like this in the states!
A week after we finished at Oasis, a team of students from Houghton College arrived as part of a semester abroad. DaNae and I have been helping them with onsite logistics and planning as the students seek to experience what is unique about NZ culture and art. It’s been a fair amount of work but they’ve been great to work with. I find a lot of joy in seeing young adults in environments that expand their worldview.
In the middle of these, we had our national conference. For some of you, just mentioning that puts you to sleep. You think of long meetings of reports and church business. This one was pretty exciting for me. Yeah, there were the business portions but I was also part of the community of pastors growing a Wesleyan denomination here. It was a blessing to be challenged by speakers and grow together. I was even able to lead a few youth breakout sessions.
During the Pastor’s training portion of the conference, one of the speakers was sharing on caring for your Soul and one of his statements stuck with me. He said, “We think the grass is greener on the other side. But, the reality is, the grass is greener where you water and fertilize it.” It was a challenge to us pastors to focus on what we can do where we are and not wish we were somewhere else. It was a challenge to us as individuals to focus on our soul’s wellbeing today and not later (when things change). I left that day with this challenge ringing in my head and it’s continued to ring since then. I wake up asking myself how I’m making my grass greener in a faith-nourishing way. One way has been to change my running tunes to podcasts from teachers/pastors I respect. Another has been challenging Caleb to do a 21-day biblical character study with me (from my Bible iPod app). So, I pass that challenge on to you – how are you watering and fertilizing your faith? As pastors and leaders, how are you watering-fertilizing-even weeding where you are? We’d love to hear what’s working for you.
I’ve updated the prayer list on our blog. Please make sure you read the one about IGNITE Camp, OK?
As for a support update, we continue to minister as God provides. The Oasis Home and Houghton College projects have helped with support and built up a reserve here but we still keep striving for our support target each month. It is amazing to look back and see how God has continued to provide support just as we’ve needed it for the last 7 months. Even though we approach another funding deadline on the 15th, we are trusting God will amaze us once again and provide support for our continued investment here.