2010 Highlights

What a year this has been! It has flown by, but before we move on to 2011, here's a toast to 2010 :)

New Years last year

Ryan and I went to Guatemala with our church to serve at a local Christian art school

The infamous small group twister party

We had our little get away to celebrate paying off student loans :)

We celebrated the Indy 500, and I actually went for my first time! Ryan was so proud...

Took a trip with the girls to Michigan...

The Raymonds were married in Nashville

We celebrated my birthday in Chicago at Wrigley

4th of July!

Trip to St Louie to see Katie L

And who could forget the farm? Tough guys.

And Milwaukee to see great friends

And the Sawrie family trip to NYC!

STINT Briefing...we are officially moving to New Zealand!

A visit to see the Boilermakers

We went to the Catalyst conference, so cool. We learned all about how tension is good...

And the Reds won their division!

We had great friends get married this fall...

And Ms Katie R's wedding up in Michigan!

A little mini get-away to the Michigan beaches

Our going away party

Packing up and saying goodbye to everyone we know :(

Thanksgiving with each of our families

And finally arriving in Wellington, NZ.

And our new home.

Wow, it's been a wild ride. Bring it on 2011. :)


Be back soon!

We are headed to Nelson beach (in case you want to google it!) for the next 2-3 weeks for summer project. It's a mission trip/conference for students here in New Zealand, and we will be helping to staff it. I'm not sure if we will have access to internet, so we will tell you all about it when we get back!


A Kiwi Christmas

We celebrated Christmas Eve here in Wellington by making Christmas cookies! Adam, one of our flatmates, had never celebrated Christmas before so we tried to share some of our traditions. Adam became a Christian a little over a year ago, and went home to China for holiday last year. And, growing up in China, they obviously didn't celebrate Christmas. Soooo, we tried to do the best we could to share it with him.

After making Christmas cookies, we watching several of the Home Alone movies, and then went to a midnight Christmas Eve service at the local Anglican church. It was fun to see a traditional kiwi service, and hear the carols with a nice accent :)

Christmas Eve was super windy! But when we woke up Christmas day it was actually a beautiful day! We haven't had many since we arrived, but how wonderful that it was nice on Christmas day.

We spent Christmas day with another American family we've met here. I think I'm mentioned the Moore's before, but they moved here about a year ago from Texas to work with international students. They invited any students over that didn't have family to celebrate with, and they invited us as well. The students were from Thailand, China, Japan, France, and a few others. The Moore's had a bar-b-que, which is a very kiwi thing to do apparently. Afterwards, Mark Moore sat everyone down and read the Christmas story from Luke. He asked if anyone had never heard the story before, and several of the students raised their hands. It was so neat to see how the Moore's take students into their home and share Christ with them in such a loving way.

We then headed to the beach for a little bit. Here are a bunch of the students making their way across the beach.

Sarah is one of our uni students involved with StudentLife. Her parents and Mark and Sandy Moore. She is awesome, and I'm excited to get to spend more time with her this year!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!


the Grocery store

We've made a few trips to the grocery store, and it's interesting to see what some of the differences. One of the main things that stood out are some of the crazy prices on produce.

For example, $9 for a kilo (less than a pound) of grapes. Grapes are really cheap at home, who knew they were a hot commodity in NZ. How exotic, from California!

And bell peppers, $8 or $9 a kilo...

And the big whopper, $18 for a kilo of cherries! No thank you...

Ha, just a little peek into this new world :)


Going away party

I can't believe I never posted about this...our going away party! Ha, it's a little silly now that we
are actually gone, but thank you to everyone that came out! We felt so loved! And thank you so
much to all of you that even drove a long way to come say bye, you are all wonderful.

And apparently I didn't take very many pictures. Thank you for packing the house. Thank you for bringing a million 2-liters (and thank you Dan and Quinn for the exploding bottle excitement). And most of all, thank you for showing so much love, we are very blessed.


a post by my husband.

Ryan really has a great way with words, and I love that about him. I thought I would share this blurb he wrote for church back home...

"For several years now, I have known that one day our Lord would lead me into some sort of full-time international ministry. I didn’t know when, where, or how that would happen, but I knew with all certainty that my future would include serving overseas.

When Katie and I began the process of intentionally searching out where Jesus was leading us to, more than a few thoughts and questions flooded my heart and mind. There was one question God challenged me with that I knew would come up over and over again: Is following after Jesus really worth it? At the time I felt like I could easily answer that, yes, following Jesus was obviously worth anything that could come my way.

My belief in that answer has been tested more over the past 6 months than at any other point in my life. As we started to walk more and more through the process of preparing to move to New Zealand, the cost of following Christ became greater and greater to us. Truly following Christ, for us anyways, meant that we would soon be moving out of a house we loved in downtown Indy. It meant that we would have to spend hundreds of difficult hours contacting people in order to raise our support. It meant we had to leave behind jobs that we both enjoyed and take a substantial paycut along the way. On top of all this, we knew we’d be leaving behind countless numbers of friends and family that we love; people that have been such incredible friends to us over the past three years.

Despite the challenges and hardships, some expected and some unexpected, I can continue to say that following Christ is 100 percent “worth it.” Jesus has been worth hearing, “What? You’re quitting your job?” He has been worth having to give away several of our possessions, including a vehicle. He has been worth all of the stress, heartache, and conflict that we have faced as we have walked out our calling. Over and over again, God has proven Himself faithful to us. Whenever it seems too difficult for us to continue on this path, or we selfishly feel that we’re having to sacrifice too much, God has come through and provided for us. He has taken care of every detail, comforted us at every corner, and provided the encouragement we need to press on.

In each of our personal journeys, there will come a point when we face the question of “Is following Jesus really worth it?”. It might come up when you need to forgive someone that you don’t want to forgive. It might present itself when your family struggles financially and you decide to continue to give to the church. It could come up when you struggle to find ways to love your co-workers and introduce them to Jesus. It even manifests itself in simple situations like the struggle to set aside time in our busy days to give specifically to meeting with Him.

I can tell you that in all, the answer will always be, “Yes, following Jesus is worth it all.” Make every effort to choose to follow Him when decisions are difficult, and even when they are easy and obvious, and Christ will prove Himself worthy to you just as He has to me."

Posted here.


Finding a flat. Ugh.

Our mission these first few weeks of being in Wellington is to find a place to live. Sounds pretty simple? Oh my gosh, it hasn't been. There are several things we've been warned to take into consideration that are pretty different than home. For example:

1. Does the building or house seem earthquake friendly? -seriously, people talk about this. Apparently Wellington is due in for an earthquake, so it's a hot topic.
2. Is the flat north facing? This means the apartment will get the most sun, and will be warmer, drastically reducing your power bills.
3. Does the flat come with a dehumidifier? Apparently humidity is a huge issue, and in the winter you have to watch out for mold (and wet clothes - see below).
4. Is a dryer included with the flat? Most people don't use a dryer, and choose to hang dry all of their clothes, again to save on power. Which, apparently in the winter is a major pain because it's too humid for things to dry. Awesome? I'm all about saving on the power bill and living simply, but I'm getting the impression that most of Wellington walks around in wet clothes for a few months of the year.

Aside from these, there are always the more important issues of price, size, and location. Wellington is a pretty pricing city to live in, so we are really relying on the Lord to provide us a flat. The more we look, the more I know He wants us to rely on Him, it's just not going to happen apart from His provision. I know He has brought us this far, and probably won't leave us homeless :)

We are praying this week we would find something, or make a decision on one that we've already looked at...and move in this coming weekend before we leave for the summer mission trip. Friends, we would very much appreciate your prayers as well! We are really trying to be good stewards of finances, we want a location where we can host students, and a place that doesn't have mold. Ha. And it would be nice if it were a place we wanted to come home to, but that's just a bonus!

Can't wait to try this place!

I can not figure out why this will not rotate properly...but you get the idea :)



And after all of the traveling, we made it. And so did all of our bags, amazingly! A group of students and staff came to meet us at the airport and welcome us, which was a huge blessing after the hours of traveling.

And they had a welcome sign!


Traveling around the world

Well, on Sunday Dec 5th we started our journey. We headed off to an island, that we hear is beautiful, but in need of Jesus.

Here I am on the first flight, still excited to be traveling... Getting from Indy to Denver, and to LA was pretty easy really. I'm still happy at this point and have plenty of things to read and keep myself entertained.

Here is our cart of luggage in LA. Oh man, what fun. Can you count them? Yes, 8 bags, and our airline (Air Pacific) was very particular about weights and sizes. So, we spent some quality time with the lady at the check-in desk. No matter how much we prepared knowing their rules, we still had some hiccups.

After leaving LA, we still had one more stop before getting to New Zealand, Nadi Fiji. We had an overnight flight, and arrived just before the sun came up. From what we could see at the airport, it was beautiful.

Then off we headed for Auckland where we had to retrieve our bags again and go through customs. Luckily, the only questions they had for us where, "Gosh, are you moving here or something" and they wanted to see my gum boots (aka rain boots - but that took us a few minutes to figure out). But we passed, and re-checked our bags for the final leg to Wellington. Woohoo!