Look Matt has learnt how to walk on water! God is being supper faithful!
Joking aside God is being great! He has known what we have needed and what is right for us. So much so that the past few weeks have become a real energizing and refreshing time.
In California we were able to stay with Greg + Cathy and the family, it was amazing! They blessed our socks off and we had a great time being able to share in fun and spiritual refreshing. They are currently going through a transition and are looking to plant again, possibly on the East coast of the States. So while we were there it was great to get an idea of how Church in America is going, the transition for them as a family moving back from Wales and the call they feel on their life for the next bit. Apart from being with them we didn’t really do much exploring as places were far to drive and money was just adding up, especially when Thrifty the car rental mess you up and charge double of what you had already paid! Word of warning don’t trust car rentals in the States!!! Check everything!!!!
Moving on... We landed in Raratonga in the Cook Islands... Wow! Paradise! I think we could safely it was paradise. Lush green forested volcanoes are your backdrop to beautiful palmed beaches and a mix of reef and lagoons placed in clear blue waters... Not overdeveloped and a real friendly vibe as your meet locals and have a tour around. Rara is also very Christian! Literally a Church’s every 500m all the way around the Island... I think a 98% Christian Island, to what extent I wouldn’t like to read into, but just little things challenge you, from seeing locals say grace in cafe’s to praying for a spear fish and just being proud of loving God. Not ashamed would certainly be a challenge for back home! As well as this we were able to undertake in a life’s ambition and learnt to dive! Amazing... The underwater world is just fascinating and the experience of being 18m down looking up and being able to breath is something else. That week was such a blessing and a real relaxing time to recover from the last years work!
Moving on form their we arrive in New Zealand, home for the next 3 months... Upon arrival we hooked up with some of Claire’s relatives and got to meet Aaron and Tracy’s new born Ioan. A truly miracle child and all we should say is God was great and looked after that family through the tricky birth. Through this week we also had the chance to meet up with a local Christian Surfer leader who was filling us in on NZ life and places to be etc. He was a great guy and a real encouragement and was recommending that we head to Raglan (a world class and very popular surf area). Well we thought we would go and see what the situation was and look for work. However something wasn’t sitting right, we both didn’t feel a peace and we felt we maybe had to explore our original plan of going to Gisborne on the East coast. Off we went a 4 hour drive from Cambridge and we landed in Gisborne with a contact we should follow up in a local Church. We didn’t know what to expect, and we were also starting to get a little confused on what the right thing to do was and also I guess questioning ourselves in coming here. Anyway we arrived in Gisborne and as soon as we got out of the car we felt peace and an excitement. God had us in His hands! (Isiah 41:10). So we found a place to stay for a few nights and got ourselves some pans so we could eat and the plan was to find work... The plan turning out to be told “there is no work”, “not much demand at the moment’... While at the same time working out that money was disappearing fast on just living, the drop in pound and rise in prices was pinching. Within a day we were being shaken again... How can this happen, we have already been given peace! I think we should put it down to lack of faith and silly minds running before you can walk. The next day God blew us away! We met our contact (Reese, Cathy and Mac) and they just pulled us in. Quick surf before Church, some great coffee, Church and a great lunch after. Through the day we just got to chat be in relationship and we just felt encouraged. Well through that day came an offer of accommodation, a link for a cheap place to stay and we eventually got led to some of their friends who run a campsite up the coast. Turns out God had the timing right and we arrived, got chatting, got some supper cheap cabin for these next few weeks and also the option to eventually pay for our stay when things get busy! Why do we worry, when tomorrow will worry about itself! (Matthew 6:33-34)
So this brings us to now... We are currently just getting to know Gisborne checking out the Church, get to know some people and enjoying the great surf and sun! God has possibly opened up some work in a local surf school for the summer as well, so things are looking good. I guess some stuff we are just laying down at the moment is the ‘surf ministry’ and what we are meant to be doing. All along the plan was to do ‘surf minsitry’ and get involved in the local Church. Turns out ‘surf ministry’ was maybe too much of a selfsih ambition? I think seeking God first and allowing ourselves and our gifts to be utilized would be a better way of looking at things. As for Church... kinda slowing down for the summer (which we kinda forgot about!) But hey you know what it’s not the end there... Because I’m sure we were called to the lost... And there is a lot of lost people out there. So keep praying and lets watch the journey unfold as we try and ‘become the Gospel’... (We our God’s workmanship now... doing what Jesus was sent to do and being the GOOD NEWS to people which is being like Jesus! The Gospel)
One last thing to share for know... Often we all think God’s plan is a tight rope... One step wrong and you’ve had it??? How about God’s plan is a playground and there our lot’s of adventures and experiences to be had as we find our way round...
Blessings Matt and Claire
Please keep praying for:-
God’s guidance as we unfold our journey in NZ
God’s protection upon us
Matt’s parents sale on their house, that it goes through smoothly (Thank you God!)
Claire’s parents as they travel over here
Church back home... That it keeps growing and the Church rise up in relationships...
Reese, Cathy and Mac that God will guide their move here in NZ
Greg, Cathy and family in the US, that God will reveal His plan
Also for Dan Charman as he comes back to NZ and goes back to the school he has been so heavily involved with through the tragedy a few years ago.