Sunday, November 26, 2006

Kiwi Kids and Cricket

On Saturday the weather was fine enough for my boys school teams to play cricket. It's a typical NZ sport that's played over summer. I have had many conversations with people of other nationalities who have no idea as to what cricket is or even how to make sense of the non sensical rules. That just makes me laugh. I have no idea about Amercian Football!

Anyway, kiwi kids play a form of cricket through their schools and my two were eager to join ijn on the fun. For the last two weeks it has been cancelled due to the weather but this week, despite a howling, cold wind, play went on. Isaac's opposing team failed to show so it was a win by default fo them. Caleb's team played and lost by just 11 runs. It was fun to watch them enjoy themselves.

We decided that since Isy's team was going to miss out on a game that the adults/parents would play with the kids and have fun. They threw me into the batting side and I have to admit I did quite well. I at least hit every ball that came my way...not like another mother who missed it everytime. I ran between the wickets and, even though my youngest child says I run like an old woman, I quite enjoyed it. Now that's quite and achievement for someone who really hates sports! In the evening the boys played tennis with some friends and I have even considered buying the family tennis rackets when we get to Auckland as there are tennis courts just around the corner from our house. Might be a good way to get some much needed exercise. I would prefer dancing lessons with my hubby but after years of trying to get him into them I might just have to flag that wee dream.

One of the things that I was thrilled about was the way that kiwi kids encourage each other in sports. There was lots of encouraging remarks to boost the morale of someone or just to praise them for a good job. These are 9 year olds I'm talking about. Even the parents were really ecouraging of all the kids, not just their own. It's something I haven't seen a lot of over the past years. Ecuadorians are so competitive that if someone deos a poor job they get hammered by the others. Even the kids are encouraged to discourage or demean someone else's efforts. I was extremely proud of the kids I saw play on Saturday. I hope they continue to behave in such a way as they grow up. What am amazing world we would have if everyone was so encourging.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving.

To all my American blog buddies....have a very happy thanksgiving. It's not something we celebrate here in NZ but in some ways I wish we did. It's nice to have a day to remember how thankful we are for family and friends. We have celebrated a couple with other missios in Ecuador and they were fun days. One year there was a mad panic as the turkey went bad and we had to get ham. I didn't mind though. Guess that's what the Guayaquil heat will do to a good turkey (also unreliable freezers in the supermarket!)

Anyway, have a fabulous day of being thankful and eating too much :-)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The sermon in church today was a thought provoking one for me. In fact it was one of the most meaningful services I've been to in a long time. Our home church has been working through what it calls it's "Roots" series which is looking at the christian worldview throughout the Bible. I think it is based on a recent book but they have incorporated, not only good teaching, but also cell phone poetry, art, flowers, creative writing and worship to make it even more meaningful. Today was the final in the series and was based on the book of Revelation.

What I liked about it was that the guy who spoke acknowledged all the nutty theology that some people expound and then got to the real root of the book....that Jesus is coming. But one thing, in particular, that he said resonated in my brain most of the day. "As Christians we look forward with expectation to that great and terrible day when Christ comes again". Terrible? I guess I had never really thought about it but it made me think that even though my heart cries Amen when I hear of His return there is also a part of me that doesn't want Him to find me lacking in any way, or to find others around me lacking in their lives. But I know that will happen. I know that I will not be perfect (nor will others be) but that it is by His GRACE that I will enter eternity to worship Him with the multitudes. I can't wait! I can't wait to see Him descend from heaven in all His glory, complete with trumpet sounds and angelic choirs. I've often wanted to draw/paint how I picture this great day but have always felt inadequate. It's a heart thing and I think I'd be too hard on myself if I didn't get it just right so I've never tried. Maybe, one day, when we get settled and I have a little time I might get into painting and see where my brush takes me.

One of my favourite worship songs in Spanish describes Christ sitting on the throne. It says something like this:

Seated on the throne, surrounded by light,
With eyes like fire and a face like the sun
when he opens his mouth His voice is like thunder
A great rainbow crowns Him
He is the lamb who couldn't be beaten
He is the beginning and then end
They throw their crowns before Him.

Now this does sound a lot more poetic in Spanish itself but this is the one song that inspires me to paint. Can't you just picture it? I think it would be beautiful. Yet I stop myself and always come back to the "great and terrible day". I don't want anyone to miss out. I guess it's up to me to make sure that no one does. You too huh?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

This morning I'm heading back to Palmerston North and my littlest boys. I can't wait! It has been a long 2 1/2 weeks without them. We have talked on the phone most days but they have always been distracted by TV or a game they are playing. Now I will have their undivided attention and hopefully lots of hugs. I'm tossing up as to whether to collect them after school and have them hug me with all their friends around or whether to wait with open arms when they walk in the front door. Oh decisions, decisions, decisions.

My big boy left this morning to begin his NZ tour with the current Director. He pops back to us all on Thursday for a couple of days and then he is off again. It will be nice to be a complete family again, even if it is only for a litle while. It's not until December that he will be with us for a long period of time and that feels a long way off.

It's been a good couple of weeks. We have managed to take everyone in the office out for coffee (hot chocolate for me) and have sussed out what people enjoy and even dislike about their jobs. It has given us a better idea of who people are and where they will fit once Nige takes over the reins. We have caught up with some long time friends and best of all have found ourselves a house and schools for the boys. We have achieved everything we set out to do so that's great.

But for now I'm just looking forward to a big, squeezy cuddle from my boys.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I love to worship! I love the rhythm of the music, the words of the songs and the time just praising God. It's fabulous. To date I have really struggled in the NZ church. I cry every time we start to sing because we are singing in English and not in my heart language of Spanish. Spanish has so much more depth to the meanings of the words and I find it a much easier and meaningful way to worship.

This past Sunday we went to the Latin American church "Cristo Viene" which is here in Auckland. It was like coming home! Nige was hassling me that I would cry but I didn't. I had a big smile on my face as we sang. I loved the kisses of welcome, the chats, the rhythm of the music and especially the words of the song. It was just wonderful.

We talked about it afterwards and realised that we both felt the same. It would be such an easy church to slip into and feel at home in. We could attend a small group meeting weekly and the kids would do fun things in the children's programme (this week they performed a drama). But we also realised that we can't do that. We really need to assimilate back into NZ life and be a part of a NZ church. We need to be kiwis and not the latinos we think we are :-) I think we will try and make the effort to visit this church regularly though.

Some of you have asked about our house. Well, let me tell you that it has 3 bedrooms, an open plan kitchen and dining area and separate lounge, inside laundry (most are in the garage now), separate bathroom and toilet, a garage and a small section with not much on it. That's great as we've never been big gardeners but it gives us a chance to plant what we want....Lavender and lilies for Richelle and native trees for Nige. The three schools that the boys will need in the next 5 years (primary, intermediate and high school) are all within a 10 minute walk of the house and the SIM office is a 10 minute drive so it's just perfect. We are in the process of getting all the paperwork finalised by Friday when the sale will become unconditional. It's all very exciting!!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Our the middle of the street

We did it!!! We have bought a house!!!

It all has happened so fast but we have such a peace about it and are truely excited. Yesterday I awoke with such a burden for this house. It seemed to be playing over and over in my mind and I couldn't shake it. We decided to have another look through it and there and then decided that this was the one for us. It became a little stressful as it was a multiple offer situation but we put our best foot forward and came up trumps. God was certainly working on our behalf. Nige was so excited that he couldn't get to sleep until 4:30 AM and he woke me up at 2:30 AM to tell me so :-) Then we both chatted for hours about our new home.

So this is it. It's just what we wanted and needed even down to silly little details such as window latches and skirting boards. God has found us a great place that has us written all over it. The best thing is that we are within an easy walk to all the schools the boys will need in the next 10 years.

Than you so much for praying. I know that God has been using you and has answered in an amazing way. I still have a week left here so we will use that time to get some final conditions met on the house and to enrol the oys into their new scools. They are really excited which is fabulous.

God is good.
He is good indeed!