Barn Dance

In honor of the Texans being in town, they hosted a barn dance this past weekend. It was pretty funny since barn dances are definitely not typical here in New Zealand. But it was a great cultural experience all around :)

Sarah (above) did a great job putting together decorations and making it very festive. She is Texan, so naturally it was a good fit! We invited several students, and it was a great time to hang out with students we are trying to get to know as well as meet new students. Overall I think the international students loved it the most. They always enjoy learning new things :)

(Adam, Ryan, and Sam from Texas)

And of course some fake mustaches had to come out. Max seemed to really get into the spirit...

A lot of people actually came! And for most, it was their first time line dancing.

For part of the evening we were fortunate enough to have some professional instruction. They came and taught us a few dances and did some demonstrations as well. The whole night reminded me of the old college barn dances we used to have at Purdue. Only this time I didn't dislocate my knee...anyone remember that?

Exciting college memories :)


Texan Invasian

This week we have had the blessing of half-hosting a group from Texas. They are really here visiting the Moore's, who work with International Student Ministries here in Wellington. We met the Moore's early on, who are also from the States, and their daughter is involved in Student Life with us. Anyway...a group from their home church in Texas came to visit them on a mission trip this week.

It's been fun to have Americans around and see their reactions to things around here. I know that sounds weird, but sometimes it's fun just to share this experience with other people that are coming from the same place we were and just laughing with them when it is just so different from home. They have been doing some ministry with us up on campus as well and I'll fill you in at the end of the week!

They will also be hosting a barn dance for our students which should be interesting since no one here knows what that means :)


Walking Soularium

Second semester has officially begun! (like 3 weeks ago...someone is a little behind!) To start the new semester we tried a new outreach just to see how it would go. When most of us do evangelism on campus we use a tool called Soularium. Soularium is a set of about 50 pictures that we hand to students and then ask them a series of questions. Some being pretty simple, "How would you describe you life right now" to a little more serious, "How would you describe God?" Obviously they are encouraged to use the pictures to answer the questions. In an artsy place like Wellington, Soularium is actually a really good conversation starter and we usually have pretty positive responses. The hope always being that the conversation will head towards spiritual things and we can learn about them and talk about our own walks with Christ.

Anyway...back to our first week on campus! We thought, Soularium is fun, so why don't we draw even more attention to ourselves and stick them to suits and have "walking Soularium"! Genius right?
Ha, I think I was telling her I liked her blue mascara...

It actually worked! The whole anything-that-draws-attention-to-you must work idea came through for us. We were able to have a lot of conversations with students and many of us were able to share the gospel. And, to make it even more exciting, our Student Life students were loving it as well.

Here is a great example, Leigh engaging in conversation over the pictures on Max. I know, a little odd, but everyone just seemed to think it was funny :) The joys of working with university students...

ps- Thanks Eloisa for the pictures!!


book sale

This weekend we happened upon a verrrrry large book sale in TSB arena. $2 for anything!

fun fun...
We walked away with some goodies. A book on Thailand for this summer, a neat road trip book for the US (go figure right?), a Lord of the Rings set location guide, and a NZ triathlon magazine.


Scorching Bay

I don't know how this post dropped to far behind. A few weeks ago (er, months?) we headed over to scorching bay with some friends for lunch after church. Scorching Bay is just far enough away that you don't feel like you are in a city anymore, but close enough that it's about a 5 minute drive.

Anyway, it was a lovely area, and I would love to go back. (I'm mostly blogging this so I remember) There is a sweet little cafe right on the water called Scorch-a-rama that specializes in brunch/lunch foods. So, we put a buy one get one coupon into action making the food taste that much better as well!



At conference last week we were really challenged by one of the seminars that spoke on fasting. The man that spoke is a kiwi but has moved to Thailand with Campus Crusade to work there. He and his team do a 40 day fast at least once a year to pray for students in Thailand to know Jesus. I was humbled by one of the women that works with him who shared that she had only been a Christian for 2 years and had already participated in two 40 day fasts in her young Christian walk.

All throughout the Bible it refers to prayer and fasting, but personally, I hardly ever fast. It makes me so hungry and uncomfortable, and well, I just really like food. And discipline isn't one of my strong points. But I have been challenged again that humbling ourselves before the Lord is so necessary in our lives. I found this quote the other day, which I thought fit pretty well:

"Fasting creates a habit of reliance in our lives. Hunger, which normally arises every five or six hours, becomes acute every five or six minutes. When we are fasting, hunger becomes a trigger mechanism prompting us to turn to God for empowerment. All day long we call out to God for strength, endurance, self-control, and wisdom.

Fasting makes us weak, and when we are weak, we are more humble. Fasting gives us a firm grip on our smallness, finitude, and lack of power - as opposed to coffee, which makes us feel fast, smart, and competent."

-Dan Hayes

And as someone that enjoys coffee quite a bit, I can relate to this comparison :) With the start of a new semester, and the trip to Thailand on the horizon, we are in desperate need of wisdom and power from God. We are praying His Holy Spirit will break through the strongholds we see in students' lives here, such as depression, apathy, alcoholism, sex, and loneliness, to name a few. We are asking for wisdom in how to lead the trip in Thailand and that God will be preparing students to go.

We will be fasting for the next 10 days (not quite ready for 40!), and will be seeking the Lord on these things. If you feel led, we would love if you would join us in prayer!


Date Night

This week we headed up to the Mt. Vic lookout to take in the view.

This picture is a little blurry, but I like the city in the backdrop.

And here we are!



The winter conference we have been talking about for-ev-er! I think I've shared how this was New Zealand's first time hosting an international conference, so it was pretty exciting to see everything come together. About 500 students attended representing 40 different country of origin! So crazy. The opening ceremony starting with a parade of nations.

The theme of the conference was all about the Lordship of Christ. Students heard about why Christ should be Lord over all areas of our lives, and then challenged to take steps of faith. Whether that be sharing Christ with their friends, or in their future workplaces, or going on a summer project, or even interning with Student Life for a year.

Roger Hershey flew in from the States to speak at the conference. I've heard him at a similar conference back in the States and still remember what he talked about, so it was fun to see our students get to hear the same teaching.

The conference was over the 4th of July, so we had an American moment when everyone allowed us to sing the United States national anthem. There were about 40 Americans in attendance, with a summer project here and all of the STINTers from the Oceania region. Dave (a STINTer in Fiji) belted his heart out:

On the fun night, one of the campuses hosted a Kiwi hoe-down. Ha, most of the Kiwis had no idea what that meant. They should have just said American hoe-down :)

On the last night, they held a commissioning ceremony where students were challenged with specific action points to take away from conference. It always amazes me to see how God works to teach and challenge students at conferences like this.

Sarah and I with three of our amazing student leaders:

One of the highlights of conference, for me, was during our "country time" when we were with just the NZ students. There were about 200 kiwi students there, and Justin our National Director asked all of the students who were studying in NZ but weren't originally from NZ to stand up. Almost half of the room stood up, and I was reminded at how international this country is. There are so many students from China, Malaysia, Thailand, South Africa, Australia, the Pacific Islands, and so many more. It's so interesting! And so many of those students want to go back to their home countries and make an impact for Christ. It gets me excited!


A big issue

If you have a few minutes, this is an article that was recently published in a New Zealand newspaper. One of the big issues we deal with here, among Uni students, is sexual promiscuity. Especially among women.

Please help us pray for healing of women that we come across. This is a huge part of the culture here, and we are always looking for ways to have an impact. Student Life just created a short documentary on the issue, and as soon as I'm allowed to share it, I will :)