So I have a half an hour to sit down and just journal so here I go. It has been pretty crazy here so far. It is amazing how much you always seem to pack into the first month whenever you visit or move somewhere new.
So far I have had a weekend getaway at a lake batch, been able to visit and talk for a few minutes on a radio station, help with the underprivileged teens movie program going on this week, prepare to a sermon for this Sunday, go to team football practice and do hitting drills, have a great group night out bowling and eating with other friends my age, meet up with different families, have a number of meetings for the staff and teams that I will be working with at cession, find a prayer partner that I am stoked about, catch up with close past NZ acquaintances including the Mackays and Yates, go to a couple of movies and write a website review for Eagle Eye(click to read), play a few hours of tackle rugby with the guys in the rain,
play the bass at church, visit two youth groups, make a few nonChristian acquaintances who I plan on contacting to hangout with, do some of my initial shopping, setup the house including phone and internet, go to a professional Breakers basketball game, clean out the current car I am using (including the smell), and pick a couple of people up at the airport and show them around the Auckland area. Somewhere in there I have also managed to do a little school work online, watch a little of the British Office, find a Jacuzzi that I can relax in, and it has just been good. I have had so many encouraging conversations about God and what it means to live for him in community. I have already made so many relationships that have been so encouraging and good to be around. It is so nice to know that I have friends all over that would enjoy spending as much time with me as I would want to spend with them. It is also exciting to know that there is still so much to explore: evangelism opportunities, how I can support and help cession|community reach its full potential through God’s empowerment, where and when I will get to travel, when and where I can pursue other fun dreams & hobbies such as half-marathons, surfing, ping pong tournaments, a hip hop dance class, getting my diving license, etc. There are also big questions of how in the world can I best connect and develop the meaningful and effective relationships that I need to here? How can I best help the people of cession|community, Auckland, and New Zealand as a whole? How can I mature and grow as a human being to better my future and relationships? I could go on and on. Basically, it has been pretty full on and I have enjoyed it and continued to be excited although I know there is much tough work ahead of me… much like the feeling of finishing off your first month at a new university. I am just doing it in the business world this time! ☺ I have not had much down time… this means the amount of reading I have done has dramatically decreased compared to the last nine months in the US and I have not been as good at keeping up with people in the US due to time and accessibility. And although I have been getting my eight hours which is the most consistent sleep that I have gotten in my life since I was probably 12 years old, I still find myself tired at times from a lack of contemplative time and personal space. Yet, I am also constantly reminded of how this “alone time” will continue to decrease with a new family in the future as i work in the office at the Jones’ house. It is amazing to watch such a great family live out marriage and parenting and still keep up with their jobs, but it also makes me sit back sometimes and just say “thank you God” for this season in life, because another time like this season of life will probably never come again without a lot more intentionality and fighting to find the free time to give to others, use how i want, or just enjoy sitting down for a half an hour like this to journal.
How is this time different than the last I lived in New Zealand?
Not much except I have come back to a bigger support group(community) of people my age, but I am also missing the close traveling companion like Dan, that I did everything with.
I also have come in more focused with a job description, direction, and purpose in mind, where as the last time it much centered around finding all of those things, discovering myself, and having a good time. Having a bigger, more “official” support and prayer team has also made a big difference. It has helped me be more excited to collect and share the stories I am learning, keep me focused on the task at hand, and realize that although there are difficulties, God’s hand is definitely on my efforts and the inevitable successes because of the my willingness, but more importantly because of the prayer cloud covering this time and area in New Zealand. The rest is still yet to be determined…