Goodbyes and hello’s

Sorry to go quiet on here for awhile. To be honest the last couple of months have been pretty full on.

We visited England for the month of June and then we’ve been back here in New Zealand for a month now. As we’ve been trying to figure things out ourselves, settle in and get our heads around this whole living overseas thing and all the change and goodbye’s that entails, its hard to work out how to write and what!

Our home land visit…
We had a really great time visiting back home for a month. Nothing quite like a roast dinner with the Clayfield’s and a lasagna with the Steele’s! We so loved seeing family and friends. We didn’t love how quickly it went though! It was a pretty busy time back home, a tad tiring and we wished we’d had longer with everyone and got round to see everyone we wanted. But we felt so blessed to be able to go back home. The highlight of our trip was Bens sister’s wedding, we were so thrilled to be there and to get be a part of Mr and Mrs Bawtree’s special day. Thanks for having us, meeting up with us, sharing a meal with us, having a quick chat, praying for us, spoiling us, loving us, we we’re so grateful! We love and miss you!

Returning to New Zealand…
So then time to head back to New Zealand. The past few weeks we’ve been trying to settle back in here and to be honest, its been harder than we anticipated. We’ve both found it hard. The goodbye’s were pretty tough and then we only had a few hello’s back here as there’s only a small group of us here at the moment. It’s been a whole mix of emotions and adjusting. The difference this time probably being the more permanent feel to leaving England and coming to New Zealand, with no set dates for going home yet and knowing that God has us here longer term. All the details you don’t think about like; having to start from scratch with finding a church, not knowing anyone there, rather than going to your home church where you know everyone!, not being able to pop around to see old friends or family, heading back into community living, being in an unfamiliar place with lots of unfamiliarity with people, places, cultures. Although there are similarities there are lots of differences that let you know you’re not in your home country with your people!
BUT…we know this is where God wants us and deep down we’re excited and passionate about what He has called us to here, there’s just surface insecurities. It’s been a good time of being back, getting stuck into what God has for us here, the 4 “P’s” prayer,preparation,planning and pioneering new things! hehe! And it’s good too because all of this has lead us to God more, learning to trust Him, when things feel uncomfortable and unsettled, when comforts look different to what we’re used to. Learning to surrender these things to Him, knowing that our surrender doesn’t mean He holds those things with disregard. He reassures us He cares and He knows!He continues to provide for us so wonderfully too and we just have to look and give thanks for what He does give, not focus on what we don’t have. One of those being, we love the friends God has given us here too and the community that He is beginning to build. So we’re getting there, change and shift just takes a little time to adjust to!

We’ve been working hard with the practical renovations of our new building. It’s been fun to do a whole variation of things; painting, collecting and chopping wood, mounting things, cleaning, designing, beautifying, making a chicken run, making wooden boxes, all sorts! It’s amazing to see the transformation of this place. And exciting to be able to plan and envision all that’s going to happen here. We’ve hosted a foster care training week, had visiting outreach teams stay, and other things. With lots more in store!

So next is our Justice DTS starting at the end of July and we’re super excited as we make preparations and pray for the students and seek God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done in and through them and during this time. We’re looking forward to joining in with what God is going to be doing! After the last DTS, seeing the transformation,healing, freedom, breakthrough…we have faith to see all that and more in the next DTS. We have a smaller group for this next one, but we love that we get to build more of a close family feel, and with this first DTS on our own we get to do things differently starting small and growing that. The 3 weeks before the DTS we have 2 weeks of staff training with a week of practical jobs in the middle.

We’ll put some pics up in the following post, in the mean time, thank you for your support. Please continue to pray for us as we prepare for the next DTS.