Autumn Retreat

This past weekend was our Autumn Retreat! This has been one of our biggest events of the year, as we try and get students involved in Student Life and to see our heart behind trying to reach students for Christ. We had about 22 students that came, and it was amazing to see the Lord teaching their hearts throughout the weekend.

Our speaker, Bob, came down from Auckland and taught through the book of Colossians. He works with a ministry called Priority Associates which focuses on new graduates in the workplace. Helping them to transition and what it looks like to be Christ in their new workplaces. It was a great fit for us as we want our students to understand that wherever the Lord places them, He is calling them to live for His glory.

Here is our meeting room, getting ready for one of the talks. Apparently Sarah and I are finding something hysterical.

One of the highlights for me was the summer project fair. You may or may not know this about Campus Crusade (Student Life) but one of the big things we do is send students on short term mission trips during the summer, both internationally and domestically. I had the opportunity to go on one while I was in Uni, to France, and I can honestly say it changed my life. Doing ministry overseas rocked my world as I was challenged in the true power of the gospel and the need to take it to the world. I loved seeing how Jesus broke through cultural barriers and struggles and is applicable in all human life. And here I am today...

Anyway, maybe I should write a blog just on that sometime, but back to the summer project fair... We had students share their experiences from this past summer so other students could find out information and start to pray and see if the Lord would call them to give Him a few weeks of their summer to impact the world. (more info:

Cody and Will talking about their two weeks in Fiji

Sarah sharing about her summer in East Asia

Zoe was in Australia

and Sarah was in Nelson with us!

Another highlight was womens' time, of course. We talked about women in our lives that have made an impact, and how we can carry on their legacy to make an impact on others. Preferably a positive, biblical impact :) And being the true girls we are, we then got crafty and made some cards for those women to thank them for impacting us.

I had the opportunity to lead one of our afternoon seminars on the topic of spending time with the Lord. It's neat to see how God has taught me so much in this area since I was in Uni, so it was fun to get to share some of that with our students. We had a great discussion about why it's important that we spend time with God through His Word and prayer. And then why we know it's good and still choose not to do it...and what we can do to change that :)

Ok, so maybe it was a long weekend for some of us! Just kidding, we had a ton of fun, and it was great to get to know many of our students on a little deeper level. We're still new here in a lot of ways.
And, most of the group! This was taken on the last morning, after two days of rain, mudslides, and possibly no showers. Beautiful :)


Happy St Pattys Day!

Ryan claims he is Irish, so we had to have our corned beef and cabbage. Happy St. Patricks Day from us!


Some fun things.

We visited the local Wellington museum a few weekends ago, and Ryan posed for this great photo! We learned a ton about Wellington, you can quiz me if you like :) Seriously, are we nerds? We only hang out at museums and book stores...hmm...

And, the other night we were walking down on the waterfront, and...we found a circus! A little random, but I feel like whenever we are in town we always find something a little odd going on. So, we sat down and enjoyed the show!

There's a very popular pizza place called Hell pizza, and when you have leftovers, you can fold your pizza box into a coffin. A little creepy? Yes. And when you walk in, it says "welcome to Hell". Good pizza, but I had nightmares for weeks. Just kidding, but still a little creepy.

There is this amazing German bakery near campus where one of our students works. They have delicious soft pretzels, and I am a total sucker for soft pretzels. Anyway, delicious.

And lastly, can you see the guy singing and playing guitar across the street here? This is actually a very popular way to make some extra cash. You can apply for a street performer permit, and anyone can play or sing. We see quite a few students doing it, which is pretty cool. I've mentioned before that Wellington is very "artsy", so musicians sort of migrate here. Anyway, I see him around quite a bit, and he's very good. And for all of you wondering, no, I don't just hang out at Starbucks all day. This is a very rare occurrence and I was actually just waiting to meet someone :)

Well, that was just a quick update!


Arty Bees

The coolest used book store I've ever been to. There are loads and loads of books, and they're open late! We've spent quite a few date nights in Arty's just looking around at books. Hey, cheap date!



My new creation in our flat. It looks a little silly, like a 5 year old did it, but it makes me so happy. I love to see little notes and pictures that we've been given and have gathered over the past year or so up where I can see them. Notes, pictures, and postcards from along this crazy journey to and while being in New Zealand.

It makes me smile on those days that I really don't feel like smiling. When I miss home, miss having great community, miss seeing friends and family, I just walk and stare at the wall.
Ryan probably thinks I'm nuts, but that's ok, he probably already thinks that anyway. Adding some yarn and thumbtacks to a wall probably isn't changing his mind much.

To be a part of the wall-o-love, it's pretty simple, we aren't picky :)


the lighthouse

Sunday was a beautiful day. Despite the worry of tsunamis the morning before, we woke up to another clear day, with some sun! After church, the Moores invited us over for a delicious "supper", which was fantastic because A) we're out of food, B) we always really enjoy their company, and C) Sandy is an amazing cook!

Afterwards we headed out to Eastbourne for a hike we have been trying to do, but have had some cold and rainy weekends the past few weeks. But! To take advantage of the rare sun we were having, we decided to go for it.

We realized at about this point we had forgotten sunscreen...a no no in the south pacific...but we continued on!

Eastbourne is on the opposite side of the bay from Wellington, and the hike actually took us to the edge of the bay, where it meets the Cook Straight. Because it was a pretty clear day you could actually see the south island, but it wasn't cooperating in the photos. The coast in this area is fairly rocky, and really beautiful.

Then we started heading up...and there was a peek of the lighthouse in the distance.

And we made it to the top! I'm so glad the colors turned out so beautiful. It was really stunning with the blue water, yellow bushes, and tall tan grass. This is looking out from the lighthouse to the bay.

And the lighthouse! And Ryan :)

My man, taking on the world.

And us, looking across to parts of Welly.

Overall it was about a 10 mile hike, so we were a bit worn out by the end of the day. But, it felt so good to get outside and enjoy some of the last days of "summer". Everyone at home can start rubbing it in now that it's getting warmer at home, and colder here :)

boo winter.


Otari-Wilton's Bush

In New Zealand, they use the word "bush" instead of "forest" or "woods" like we would use back home. So! This weekend we went and tramped through the bush! And! It was sunny! This particular park is considered a natural botanic garden, which I'm not completely sure what that means, but it was pretty. And full of ferns and little waterfalls.

And! The Fernery! This reminds me of another new word I've learned...cattery. Where you can send your cat, along with $50,000, when you die so someone will take care of them and they can live a life of luxury? Anyone else heard about these? No? Alright, moving on...

And, can you believe it! We found the sacred silver fern. Well, maybe not sacred, but it is a pretty iconic thing here in NZ, so pretty exciting that we found one in real life!

We also found some great old trees. Rumor is there is an 800 year old tree in the OWB that we are going to have to come back and find one of these days...

And lastly, one of the soothing waterfalls.

So, after these pictures, and the pictures I'll be posting tomorrow, how could you possibly resist coming to visit us?? Just one quick (or rather long) plane flight away ;)


rotten milk.

If you get queezy with food, maybe just pass on this one.

Have you ever tried to heat up milk for hot chocolate, and this happens?
Yes, my milk turned to a solid. Disgusting. I checked the label and it was almost a week until the expiration date, and it didn't smell bad at all. What the heck?


On the Journey

This is our first big campaign of the year! We try to plug as many first year students into Student Life as we can within the first few weeks, before their schedules are completely filled up. For the first week, VUWSA, or the student association hosts "Clubs Week", where every club on campus is invited to host a table to talk about their group. So, our new chalkboards made an appearance...

We are very clear that we are a Christian group on campus, Kiwis do not appreciate being "deceived" by "religious" groups...
Students filled out hundreds of surveys for us, telling us a little about their spiritual journey and whether or not they would be up for having a chat about beginning a journey with Jesus Christ. And in return, we gave out free jandals (flip-flops), which were a huge hit.
We are the ones wearing the yellow shirts :) We definitely stood out.
The idea of jandals go along with our "theme" of On the Journey a bit...put these on and start your journey! Clever eh?

Several of our students came out to help, here are Sarah and Joané were great sports.

We unfortunately were rained out two days, which was a bummer, so we still have quite a few jandals left over :) So now it's time to get creative!


A package! A package!

We received a package this week from America! How exciting! I seriously did a little happy dance as soon as I saw it on our porch :) And then proceeded to stare at it for the next hour waiting for Ryan to get home... It's so fun to receive things from home and feel that much more connected to everyone!
So...we tore it open, and check out the goodies!

Talk about love. Dan and Stephanie sent a lot of love in this package :) On top of all the snacks, they included a treasure from their trip to Guatemala. They recently went to Guatemala with Indy Metro Church (you can see our trip here, or read about their trip here), and brought us a little gift home from one of the girls, Beverly. It was so sweet, and reading it was so special. Thank you friends for all of your encouragement, we loved it, and have been savoring all of the treats!!!!



Getting ready for our first outreach by making some chalkboards :)

Coming soon...jandals!

Our flat is currently full of 1000 pairs of flip-flops. Yes, our tiny flat with about 30 of these boxes!
Can't wait for 'On the Journey' week!