Wednesday, April 30, 2008

End of an era

Today saw the end of an era for me. I have moved out of my flat in Island Bay and into a new flat in Kelburn (more on that in another post). I have to admit that I started moving nearly two weeks ago but today I collected the last of my stuff and cleaned the Island bay flat ready for the new tenants. I am sad to leave but it is the right time to move on.

I am hugely thankful to John and Linda and their whānau (maori word for family) for all the hospitality and friendship they have shown me over the past year. I have enjoyed many meals, conversations, good times and their general care. I am very thankful to God for them all.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Humbling Witness

You may have heard on the news or from Andy and Nigel's blogs about the Mangatepopo river tragedy last week. I can only began to imagine what it must be like for the family, friends of those who died.

But the way that they have responded has had a deep affect on the media and on New Zealand in general. To quote one journalist:
Perhaps it was faith that enabled them to mourn their losses without rage or bitterness; without looking for someone to blame. Whatever the reason, I have never seen any group of bereaved people behave with such generosity of spirit.
As has been said by many, our prayers are with those who are mourning. But so too should be our thanks, both to them and to God, for the way that He has and is enabling them to be such a great witness in the face of such deep sadness.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Annual Camps

International Christian Fellowship and the Christian Union Christian Union

The weekend of the 12th April saw both of the Victoria University groups go away on their annual camps. I spent Friday to Sunday with the Christian Union at Forest Lakes camp site. We spent the weekend looking at what is the gospel, how it applies to our lives and how to make use of opportunities that we have to talk to our fiends about Jesus.

It was both really encouraging and a real privilege to talk and pray with students as they wrestled with the issues. One particular highlight was a session on the Sunday where we all got into small groups and discussed ideas for reaching out with the gospel on campus for the year ahead. It was great to hear them learning from their experiences over the last year, and applying what they had learnt over the weekend.

On the Sunday afternoon we headed off to Te Poupatate Marae in Fielding to join with the International Christian Fellowship on their Marae camp. The camp provides an opportunity for International students to meet a whole new bunch of people, experience Maori culture, but most importantly an opportunity to learn a little more about Christianity. This was the first time that two groups have been able to combine for their camps and it was great to be able to have fellowship together and build relationships. The evening ended with a hangi (one of my favourite meals ever!) after which the CUers headed back to Wellington but I stayed on for the night with ICFers on the Marae til Monday.

I have to admit that with the passing of years I find the camps increasingly tiring. But they are hugely significant for the groups both in terms of teaching/training and building relationships. I came away from the long weekend really encouraged, thankful to God that I am able to partner with Him and the students as we seek to reach other students for Christ, excited for the year ahead and looking forward to sleeping in on Tuesday morning.

Friday, April 11, 2008

It all adds up

You never quite know what you might find yourself doing as part of your job. As a I blogged a while back my new job title is Systems Manager and Wellington Staff Worker. As part of the change I have just completed a course run by a local accountancy firm entitled Accounting Made Easy.

The course was very helpful and I have learnt a number of new things that have helped me get my head round TSCF's accounts and handle some aspects a little better. But I have come to realise that accountancy is far from easy and not always that interesting. But this is what God has led me to for the time being.

Over the next few weeks and I have to prepare TSCF's 2007 accounts for auditing whilst getting my head round the changes that have come in this month with the government pension scheme KiwiSaver. As a result I am taking a few weeks of campus because there is simply too much to do here in the office.

It is not too bad a time to be of campus as the next two weeks are the mid semester break. Over the weekend I am off to the Christian Union camp (where I am doing a session on using media and contemporary issues to talk about Jesus) and then to the International Christian Fellowship Marae camp. I'll blog about both of the camps next week, but the camps will be the end of my campus involvement for the next 4 weeks and the beginning of 4 weeks with my computer.