The next stop along the way to Taipa (where we were staying) was Mahinepua. We had picked a hike to do, and were pretty excited it was close to sunset.

When we started the hike, Ryan looked down and spotted a stingray in the water. So of course we watched it swim around for a little while.

We ended up stopping several times along the hike to take pictures of the sunset, I think have a million. But it was beautiful!

The water was so blue...

We made it to the end, enjoyed the view, and it was time to end back before it was dark.

There is just something about the sunset that screams God's glory. We have been studying Genesis in our bible study at church, and it has been so good to reflect on God's creation.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Gen 1:31


Bay of Islands

Last week I shared with you how it has been snowing here in Wellington, and we've been freezing...well, Ryan and I decided it was high time we got out of here and headed north (aka, where it is warmer!). That, and we were attending a marriage conference up in Auckland, so we added a few days of holiday and decided to explore the far north of the north island. Our trip looked a little like this:
We flew to Auckland, and started our drive north. After getting a little lost in the city...we managed to find the highway and got moving. Our first big stop was in Waitangi, near the Bay of Islands. This is where the Waitangi treaty was signed between the Maori people and the British. We thought it might be free to get in, but unfortunately we settled for a pic with a statue.

Moving along, we found Haruru falls, complete with a rainbow!

Also, while in the Bay of Islands, we decided to take the ferry over to Russell from Pahia. Russell is one of the oldest settled towns, and officially the first capital of New Zealand.

The area is absolutely beautiful. There are thousands of little islands all around, with lots and lots of boats. Russell is a really cute little vacation town, with a lot of history. We scouted the area for dolphins, but no luck.

We actually stopped at the oldest church in New Zealand! Isn't that amazing? Missionaries came almost 200 years ago, and here we are trying to share the same message. Kind of crazy.

Anyway, we stopped for some ice cream, fought off seagulls, and then headed back on our way! Mahinepua here we come!



Snow on Cuba Mall in central Wellington (HD) from Ro Tierney on Vimeo.

Well, it snowed this week in Wellington for the first time in 40 years! There was rumor we were going to experience a big winter storm "coming up from Antarctica", but everyone was skeptical that there would actually be snow. I, on the other hand, couldn't get over a storm coming from Antarctica! I mean, that sounds cold!

Anyway, on Monday we were on campus handing out hot drinks to get the word out about an event we were doing...and the next thing we knew we could see big flakes falling from the sky! All of the students ran outside and started dancing in the snow. It was priceless. And for most of them, the first time they had seen snow. There were pictures being taken, snow ball fights, and lots and lots of dancing.

The snow didn't last long, and by Monday evening it had turned to sleet. And the rest of the week was bitter cold and wet...but not pretty snow wet. Oh well, I'm glad we were able to experience such a monumental occasion. I love the video, it captures some of the priceless expressions and the simple joy of snow :)


New Zealand film festival

The New Zealand International Film Festival is currently making a stop in Wellington. We went and saw the movie "Terri"...which Ryan enjoyed, I didn't so much. Anyway, there were a ton of different movies showing in the old theaters around town. I'm sure that's how most film festivals work, and probably not worth mentioning...



Every Sunday there is a big market that opens down by the waterfront. It opens bright and early and stays busy all through the afternoon. I absolutely love it.

Produce here in NZ is pretty expensive, and it's much more reasonable at the market than the grocery store. On Sundays after church, Ryan and I try and walk down to the market and load up on fruits and veggies.

There are a lot of green things. And quite a few that I still don't know what they are. Go figure, they have some different fruits and vegetables over on this side of the world :)

There are so many things to see and try. I always tell Ryan I feel so healthy just walking around all of the produce :) I'm not sure it works that way, but I really love it.


ladies and gentlemen, Zoe Cook

One of our students, Zoe, is an amazing musician. She sings and plays all over town, and I really enjoy hearing her. This past Thursday we were able to make it to one of her gigs in town. So here she is!


Otherwise known as depression.

Depression is a big issue here in New Zealand, and actually 1 in 6 kiwis will struggle with extreme depression and thoughts of suicide. Which means that everyone probably knows someone that is really struggling with depression or they are themselves.

We (Student Life) don't pretend to be experts ourselves, but we felt this was a great opportunity to try and serve the campus and the student body by providing information about depression and how to practically help friends and family. Student Life hosted an event this past week where we brought in a panel including one counselor, psychologist, a youth pastor with personal experience, and a student who also struggles with depression personally.

Both Chris and Jeremy (the youth pastor and student) did a fantastic job of sharing their own stories with depression along with things friends and family were able to do to help. Whether it's making sure a friend is eating well, getting exercise, or even encouraging them to get further help from doctors or counselors. After they shared personally, it was Q & A time for the professionals. Students were able to text in their questions anonymously and I think that went very well. We actually had a lot more questions than we had time to answer.

Overall, the feedback from students that came was very positive. They found it helpful and informative. Both Christ and Jeremy were able to share how Christ has played a role in their journey. I think it was a great balance of helping students, Christian or not, but also providing a glimpse at our ultimate hope being in Jesus Christ.

Thank you for praying for this! Depression is something that has been heavy on our hearts and we really want to break through and be able to serve and love students by providing information and help. We are definitely hoping to do this again.


more seals

A few weeks ago we hiked out to the red rocks to find some seals (here), and this past weekend we did it again! The Texans were hiking on Sunday and it was a beautiful day, so we decided to join them.

I was able to capture the 'red' a little bit more this time when I was taking pictures. And it always amazes me how blue the water is!

The walk is actually very flat, which is nice, and walks right along the coastline at the foot of some hills.
You cross over a few streams...

Climb a few rocks...

Take a few pictures...
And then find the seals! It is funny to take pictures with them because they don't really move. So, we could be taking pictures with dead seals for all we know. I'm pretty sure they aren't, but they are out cold.

Like this guy, lounging on his back.

It is so hard to get the mountains of the South Island to show up in pictures. They are very clear in person, so I am puzzled. But either way, they were snow capped this time.

I took this picture to try and capture the sun coming through and reflecting on all of the hills in the distance. I am constantly amazed by God's creation.

And lastly, us. It was such a beautiful day, and we are learning you have to really take advantage of those around here :)