Monday, October 1, 2012

Movi'n right along.............

It is hard to wrap our minds around the fact that we will be sitting on a plane heading for the USA in just 48 hours!! (I'm sure it will become a huge reality when we hit hour 15 on the 1st flight!)

I'm hoping that by now you have had a chance to either read the letter that was sent to you or work your way through our last post. If not, take a few minutes now (warning, you might need a cup of coffee to sit for a while) and read the post previous to this one. It will fully catch you up on what God has been up to in the lives of the Reynolds and in this corner of the Globe. We are so blessed and privileged to have the next 6 weeks in the States to sit among loved ones.

Our house looks like some one shook it upside down, suit cases are laying open 1/2 full, the boys are getting a little more whipped up every day, my to do list is shrinking and some how growing all at the same time, ya know.....all things considered pretty normal around here for a family about to travel for 6 weeks. All in all things are going really well, we feel that we are leaving things "well" here on this end and feel fairly relaxed walking through these last few days. Please pray for us that all the details fall into place, that stress levels would remain low, for safety and smooth travels and for our adjustment on the other side.

We have a need/request that we would like to put out there to those of you in the NH area. We need a vehicle for our family during our time in New England. If you have one you could share with us or know of a lead for one that would be a Huge weight off our shoulders. Please email DaNae at dreynolds422@gmail.com if you have ideas.

Thank you for being a part of this, we are so grateful! We will post again once we are settled and thinking clearly in the northern hemisphere.

Grace and Peace,
DaNae and Family

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A much needed cup of coffee and chat with all of you.....

It feels so good to have an opportunity to sit down with a cup of coffee and be able to catch up on what God has been doing here in the South Pacific.
I was recently thinking about community……..I was talking and praying with a sweet woman who was going through a rough time. I shared with her that when things are tough and life is intense, a natural reaction is to become isolated. It is so easy to stay safe in our home (or in our own heads) and we “think” it will be better this way…………when in reality the very thing we need is to “be” with someone. We were not meant to be an island, to go it alone, or to just figure it out. We were deeply and beautifully created for community.
I believe community can have different forms and can fill different needs. Writing this blog and you following us on this site, means you are a member of one of our beautiful communities. A few years back when we started to build our team, we had no idea who God was working on to come along beside us as prayer partners, financial supporters and churches, but God knew and He created this amazing community that has surrounded us on our journey in New Zealand. It’s a community that has cried with us, celebrated with us, prayed for us, supported us, believed in us and followed us. Even though we are separated by half a globe we carry you with us. Our family is very aware that we would not be here in NZ, ministering to this very unique and special community and walking this journey if it wasn’t for so many of you and our team.
Because of so many of you that have supported us in a variety of ways, the past several months have seen:

• More than 480 children and parents/caregivers come to our Easter egg hunt and program. The stories from that day are countless, and the story of Christ was shared

• 150 people walk through our Stations of the Cross art gallery. Our church community came together and turned our little community center into 1960’s get away cabin,(referred to as a “Bach” here in kiwi- land). Patrons walked through the nostalgia of the rooms while they experienced art that shared the emotions attached to the Passion Story. Along with this, 40 people sat in the Kitchen of the “Bach” and took part in a Good Friday Service.

• The congregation of cession|community build healthy relationships both within and outside of her walls

• New families and individuals finding courage to walk into our services and have now found a “home”.

• The growth of our kids program (22 kids now) and the birth of a youth program.

• Leaders discovered and mentored to bring out all that God intends them to be.

• The growth and development of our Mainly Music program, which reaches out to Moms and Caregivers of little ones from our local community. We now average 60 people attending each week.

• The beginning of a “seekers” study called Journeys, which will move into an Alpha class study

• Opportunities to encourage and be involved with the National Church here.

• A new role for DaNae as she moves into a role with the church that will focus on spiritual formation

• Rob absorbing a role with TEAR Fund. You may remember that this past January we were almost sent home. We trusted God and his vision, all while feeling in our hearts that we were not released from the ministry here. In the 11th hour, God tapped us on the shoulder and said “I’m not done with you here yet”, and Rob was offered a part time position with TEAR Fund, a humanitarian aid organization that responds to the needs of the poor and oppressed in our world (including over sight of Compassion International’s efforts in NZ). Rob was responsible for training churches throughout NZ to respond to needs in their community. This position allowed us to meet the monthly deficit we had with Global Partners, which would allow us to finish our term. It also afforded opportunity for Rob to work with churches on a national level here in NZ.

I feel like I could add another page of bullet points to share all that the last 6+ months have held. As we approach the end of our first two year term here in NZ, we are humbled by the fact that we made it to this date, and have had the opportunity to be a part of what God is doing in the South Pacific. There was a time that we didn’t think we would make it to last January, let alone this fall.

Now that we have had a chance to share a bit of what our last several months have been, we now want to bring you in on the next big journey step God has us on. We knew when Rob accepted the part time position with TEAR Fund, God was also asking us to extend our stay here and our work would go beyond November of this current year. For the last few months, we have been taking steps to renew our ministry term with Global Partners. During this time, God opened some incredible doors for Rob. TEAR Fund has approached Rob with a full time position with them. After a lot of prayer, wisdom seeking, meetings with both ministries, and support from family and friends, Rob accepted the offer. There were several reasons why. First of all, it creates a model that is sustainable to continue serving cession|community in the long term…..still our #1 reason for being here. Secondly, our heart beats for NZ and what God is doing with his people here. This an amazing and humbling opportunity for Rob to have an influence with churches across this entire nation as He encourages them to respond to the needs of the poor and oppressed in our world. We are blown away that God has brought us to this place and that we get to be part of not just one ministry but two.

So what does this mean for us? We have entered into a “tent making” ministry here in NZ. We are still missionaries to cession|community church and the local community. Rob’s time with cession will be very focused on the skill set and hours he can give. He will continue to be a Pastor and do ministry. DaNae’s role will step up a bit as she becomes responsible for working with spiritual formation within the church including mentoring, encouraging leaders and continued support to the pastor and his family.

What does this mean for you? We absolutely cannot do this without your continued prayer and support. Having a prayer team around us through our time of raising support and during our ministry here has been the most important part of having a team. We carry you with us on this journey and would not be here if it wasn’t for God’s work through many of you as you invest your prayer time in His work here. The only way this “tent making” model will work is with your continued prayer and financial support. We need both pieces of the puzzle. We are prayerful that those who have financially given to our ministry would consider re-newing their financial commitment. You can also pray for us as we need to raise an additional 300.00 a month in support plus extra gifts that would go to supporting the cession|community. This continued support is what enables DaNae to invest in her role at cession and respond to ministry needs within the church.

We would be honored and blessed if you would take some time to talk with God and consider if He is prompting you to continue to be a part of our “community” and also if there are any other steps He might be leading you to take either as a prayer partner or finical partner.

One of the wonderful things of making it to the end of our first term is that we now have the opportunity to return to the states for 6 weeks. We are beyond ready for rest, recuperation, and connecting with our family and friends. We will be home in NH from October 5th until November 14th If you have questions and want to talk We look forward to time for phone calls/skype or possible coffee dates for those nearby.

For now, our family is well and the boys have been growing and thriving. We continue to be amazed that God has us in this place to serve Him, and we are anticipating a much needed trip home.

Thank you for praying about your continued involvement with our ministry. Enjoy your conversations with God.

You can continue to connect to Global Partners through the links here on our web page. If you are interested in learning more about TEAR Fund you can go to www.tearfund.org.nz

With much love and grateful hearts,
Rob, DaNae, Caleb and Aedan

Make sure you check out the prayer list on the left side too.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Forget about the fat lady singing - it's not over until God says it is...

OK – I hope I grabbed your attention earlier today with my brief post about ‘Hail Mary’ passes. No, we are not expecting another child, as one of our friends suggested. Let me walk you through the last 4 days so you can feel what we’ve felt. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy this little journey.

Most of you should know our funding situation. We’ve been on the brink of coming home early for 11 months now. God has worked in spectacular ways to keep us here month after month (each month, He’s answered our $2000 monthly shortfall!) but, as we approached the holidays, things didn’t look very hopeful. Our support balance was below the threshold set by Global Partners and, unless a miracle happened by January 15, we would be making plans to come home.

January 15 came and went with no significant change in our account. Ministry was at an apex here with the church just finishing our national youth camp where we saw God really move in the lives of our young people. We expected a call or email but kept saying, “It’s not over til we are getting on a plane” and struggled to hold on to hope. On Friday AM, the email came – Global Partners needed us to make arrangements to fly home and they needed us to get on it by Monday. Our hearts were pretty heavy that morning – we were heading away with DaNae’s parents for two days and were trying to keep our emotions in control. We still wanted to hold on to hope.

As I was walking out the door, my phone rang. I got the look from DaNae – the one that says, “leave work at home and lets go away” – but I saw it was one of our Servant Leaders (elders) so I answered it. I think Frank said something like this – “Hey, I have a part-time position I need to fill in my department to be responsible for the Discovery programme and you’re who I want. Would this help you funding shortfall and are you interested.” I’m pretty sure the conversation involved more than that but that’s what stuck because, as Frank explained the role and the pay, my mind was saying, “God, is this for real? This is a great fit for what we are doing here.” The pay he was able to offer was the amount of our shortfall (he didn’t know what that was before offering it) and the role was to promote a programme we’ve already used with our trust – a programme I hope to bring to the states when we return one day. And, it was with a Christian aid organization that our church supports. I would be able to continue my role with cession|community AND be able to promote DISCOVERY (Tearfund’s community development resource that we use) to churches all over New Zealand.

We still had a few hurdles in front of us – Frank still had to get final approval at Tearfund, we had to work out how my visa would work with the restrictions it has as a religious worker, and we had to secure Global Partners approval. All of this happened in a 48 hour period and it seemed like someone greased the gears, it was so smooth. I still sit here tonight a bit dazed as I think of how quickly God moved and changed things for us.

What does this mean for us? It means we will be able to stay for another 6 months!! And, assuming this pilot works well, it means we will be looking at extending our term possibly to December 2013. It means we will be able to continue fulfilling the call God has for us at cession|community and be able to have a national influence as well. Isn’t that SOOOO cool? Just when we thought it was over and our doors were shut, God opened a window (Aedan says this and then makes a sound like he’s throwing a rock through a window – that’s kind of how we felt ). Once again, my favorite verse has come alive. “My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You” – Job 42:5. We definitely feel we’ve seen a real God through this!

What does this mean for each of you on our team? For us to be able to accept this, we will need to know that our current support will continue and still need each of you to be part of our team. If you are on our prayer support team, will you continue to pray for our ministry as well as one-time and monthly gifts to invest in what we are doing here? We are still operating at a reduced budget and still need to fund a return trip home later this year (about $5,000) if we are to extend our term. In order to be able to return to our original monthly budget, we would need to partner with 8 new faith promise partners at $50/month. If you are part of our financial team, thank you so much for your faithful giving – we wouldn’t have been able to say yes to this development without your commitments. Your partnership has enabled us to partner with ministry here, both at the local and national level. Things like Ignite Camp and the relationships we are building at the local church level wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for you. Would you also begin praying today if God would have you extend your giving to the end of our extended term?

I can’t wait to chat with you to share more of the details – the bits of the story that don’t translate to print very well! Over the next several weeks, we will try to connect with you and hear what God has been doing with you, too. In the meantime, feel free to drop us an email or note – we’d love to hear from you. And, for those who want to learn more about Tearfund, check out www.tearfund.org.nz. While you do that, we’re off to bed – your days just starting but ours finished a little while ago…

Love partnering in ministry with you,



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Grateful!!

Happy 19 days into the New Year everyone!!! We pray that you had a wonderful and joyous Christmas and New years. The Reynolds have enjoyed wonderful Kiwi holidays, and find ourselves peaceful and more grateful than ever for all of you that God has crossed our paths with. I hope you have stayed caught up with our blog updates as we walked through our outreach events prior to Christmas. God used this past Christmas season to connect our church with so many in and around our community. Fruit was evident of this at our Christmas Eve service as we saw some of these families come into join our family on that special night. It was really exciting! Once we got through that busy end of December, we have enjoyed a bit of down time with friends and just soaking in the joy of the season with so many precious relationships we have here.
Rob jumped right back into action in continued work and preparation for Ignite Camp, the national Wesleyan Youth camp that is took place this weekend. It has been an intense time, but we know every minute has been worth it. An amazing team of talented leaders gathered around Rob to make this happen. 147 leaders and teens from all over the island left on Friday (Thursday for the U.S.) for 4 days of camp. Rob has been home for just a few days now from camp, and it has been amazing to continue to hear the stories and testimonies that have come out of those 4 days. They felt your prayers and it was evident that God was on the move in the lives of these young people. In our church alone, we had one new commitment (celebrate!), one recommitment (celebrate again!), and one desire to lead a Bible study to study the gifts of the Spirit(celebrate some more!!). As parents, we’ve loved the conversations we’ve had with Caleb since camp. Thank you for lifting them up, continue to pray for the aftermath of camp, and continue to pray for the churches and young people involved over the following weeks as they open themselves to the work of the Holy Spirit and then most are returning to new school year in just a few weeks.
You know that our prayer and deep request to God was to be able to stay in NZ long enough to see the important community out reaches through in December and to see Ignite camp through to its completion as Rob had accepted the position of Camp Director. I am in awe at the work of God’s hand and the way He used so many of you to make that happen. Here we are on the other side of those Christmas outreaches and smack in the middle of camp. My heart is overwhelmed. Now that we have made it to this point, the Reynolds may very well be facing the beginning of the next chapter in our lives. We are grateful and blessed beyond words to make it to camp, more so to witness Gods provision month after month for over a year and what He has allowed us to be a part of over this year. As you all know, we have had a deficit in our monthly funding , and we are now at a point that unless something happens in the immediate future, we will be making arrangements to return to the States in late February. This is not a surprise to us as we have leaned on God to provide our manna each month, and this is certainly no surprise to God. God is at work (He always is) and some things could be coming into place that would keep us here longer, but we are down to just days to figure this out. We have complete peace as to what the near future holds and we know that either way, God has got this covered.
We need your love, support and prayers now more than ever as we navigate through these next few weeks and begin to lay this out. My parents have decided to make a trip to this awesome country and are here with us now which is a gift beyond words not only to have them here, to share with them but also to process things with them. So please cover us in prayer as Rob has returned from camp and we begin to figure some of this out. We will update you in the next week or so as to where some of this is landing, but in the mean time we are peaceful and rejoice in a God whose mercy in new every single morning.