Sunday, March 21, 2010

A new way of Fasting from John Wesley

Obviously, if it is from John Wesley, it is not that new... but it was new for me.

I was recently informed that John Wesley's weekly fast was to not eat after dinner thursdays and then to eat again by Friday dinner.
In essence he was only skipping breakfast and lunch (2 meals instead of 3)

I mean i have always skipped a meal here and there for a fast, but when i was trying to fast for a time period like a whole day, i would've expected myself to be giving up: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I actually really like his cycle in that it sounds more sustainable instead of a copout if one is to consider regularly fasting. When i don't eat all day, i definitely get weaker and don't honestly follow through on a weekly basis, but with Wesley's rhythm i feel like i would still get enough nutrition on the days even when i was fasting to be more sustainable on a regular weekly process.

Haven't tested this yet so i can't tell you how it will turn out, just thinking out loud.

Friday, March 19, 2010

An update of my life in 2010

Usually I try and keep the updates short, so I included "the short and long of it" for those who just want a quick glance or a more indepth reading of my life and ministry at the present.

The Short:

-Easter Egg Hunt Outreach Coming Soon

-Church Planting Assessment Cleared

-Raghav’s Coming to Church

-ATC Mentoring Gospel Message to be Presented

-Teaching Worship through Bass Lessons

-Approx. 3 Months Left in My NZ Term

-My Ordination is in July

The Long of It:

Easter- Cession has our annual Easter Egg Hunt which is one of our biggest community turnouts coming up this next Saturday, 27 April and my specific role is the followup and connecting of visitors to the church as much as possible afterwards.



Church Planting Assessment- I just went through a church planting assessment to see whether I should consider possibly being involved with a church plant in Christchurch or elsewhere in the future. They cleared me as a good candidate and so now I’m praying through if and how that affects my next steps.

Raghav- A worker at the Esquires coffee shop that I frequently attend for cell group and the wireless internet has been asking a lot of questions lately. He has a Hindu background but has been asking a lot of questions about Christianity. A group of us went out to dinner with him recently and he is planning on coming to church this Sunday!


Mentoring- Paul and I just finished another term of mentoring with the guys, which was really good. The next school term is in 4 or so weeks and we intend to present a more concentrated gospel message, so you can be praying for that.


Bass Lessons- I am currently trying to teach two guys (Caleb and Jason) about worship and how to play the bass to fill a role in the church band when I leave which is a good teaching and connection opportunity

3 months- I have basically 3 months until my term here is done in the mid to end of June.

Ordination- In July the plan is to be officially ordained as a Wesleyan minister if everything goes to plan!


Prayer Requests

- Raghav, the ATC trainme boys, and the Easter Egg Hunt guests as we rub shoulders and try and share Christ with them.
- Continual clarity for a job and my future calling after this term
- A good last stretch of ministry and healthy relationships here in NZ

Thanks for your support, encouragement, and continual prayers.

I have been thinking lately about how God desires for us to not only find joy but also satisfaction in what we do:

A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? Ecclesiastes 2:24-25







Usually I try and keep the updates short, and this is probably still too short for some but I included the short and long of it for those who just want a quick glance or a more indepth reading of my life and ministry at the present. Thanks. -Brent

The Short:

-Easter Egg Hunt Outreach

-Church Planting Assessment

-Raghav’s Coming to Church

-Kate’s exploring Christianity

-ATC Mentoring Gospel Message to be Presented

-Teaching Worship through Bass Lessons

-Approx. 3 Months Left in My NZ Term

-My Ordination is in July

The Long of It:

Easter- Cession has our annual Easter Egg Hunt which is one of our biggest community turnouts coming up this next Saturday, 27 April and my specific role is the followup and connecting of visitors to the church as much as possible afterwards.

Church Planting Assessment- I just went through a church planting assessment to see whether I should consider possibly being involved with a church plant in Christchurch or elsewhere in the future. They cleared me as a good candidate and so now I’m praying through if and how that affects my next steps.

Raghav- A worker at the Esquires coffee shop that I frequently attend for cell group and the wireless internet has been asking a lot of questions lately. He has a Hindu background but has been asking a lot of questions about Christianity. A group of us went out to dinner with him recently and he is planning on coming to church this Sunday!

Kate- Kate is a newer girl to cession|community who knows a little bit about Christianity although we are not sure if she is a Christian yet. She has really dived into our cell group and study with the help of Sara Dekker, which has been very exciting.

Mentoring- Paul and I just finished another term of mentoring with the guys, which was really good. The next school term is in 4 or so weeks and we intend to present a more concentrated gospel message, so you can be praying for that.

Bass Lessons- I am currently trying to teach two guys (Caleb and Jason) about worship and how to play the bass to fill a role in the church band when I leave which is a good teaching and connection opportunity

3 months- I have basically 3 months until my term here is done in the mid to end of June.

Ordination- In July the plan is to be officially ordained as a Wesleyan minister if everything goes to plan!


Prayer Requests

- Raghav, the ATC trainme boys, Kate, and the Easter Egg Hunt guests as we rub shoulders and try and share Christ with them.
- Continual clarity for a job and my future calling after this term
- A good last stretch of ministry and healthy relationships here in NZ

Thanks for your support, encouragement, and continual prayers.

Brent Dongell

I have been thinking lately about how God desires for us to not only find joy but also satisfaction in what we do:

A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Vanuatu holiday


It has been so amazing to have so many different opportunities while being in New Zealand. I was wanting to get to at least one of the other Pacific Islands while being this close but I wasn't sure if it was going to happen...

...But with the help of some Christmas money from the parents and a friend working for Air Vanuatu Airlines, a trip to Vanuatu was made possible which is SO cool. So I was off to Vanuatu for the last week.
Kris VanBibber is a fellow missionary over here who is serving as the national youth coordinator for the Nazarene church and he was my traveling buddy.
This was just after we got off the plane with fresh flowers from the garden put around our necks.

We were able to attend a Wed night bible study, see two different churches, and kris was able to meet and give supplies to a fellow Nazarene missionary there, but beyond that this trip was mainly a week holiday.
We were expecting clear blue skies but Sadly, because of the wet season, the weather was overcast and rainy off and on the majority of time. You know that wouldn't slow us down though! :)

This is the family we were visiting. This is our friends' Vanessa and Bianca's family (top left). V and B live in Auckland but came from Vanuatu.

I was determined to try and climb one of the coconut trees and get a coconut like a local, but even with the help of little notches cut into the wood the height of the trees (as you can see below) was too much for me to brave without thinking i would kill myself! haha. I wished a climbing friend like Dave Hopewell or Graeme Els was there. They could've done it.

Noone wore their seatbelts and the back of trucks were packed full a lot of the time. It was weird going from New Zealand where you drive on the left side of the road and trucks(UT's) aren't as common to Vanuatu where you drive on the right side and trucks seemed to be every other car.
This is Champagne beach. I love California and New Zealand, but this is the first time where i had consistently warm ocean water to swim in... that was just amazing! This picture above was also about the only time we saw the sun clearly for a good hour or so for the whole trip and i still managed to get red for awhile.

This is Blue Hole, and yes the water really just was the blue and clear! Here is me jumping from the tree after climbing the vines. Good times.

Here is a native in the traditional clothing (mal mal/nambas). This group of people live about a 2 hour drive outside of town but still live in the traditional clothing or lack there of! ha crazy.

We were busy, but i also definitely caught up on just sitting around and sleeping.

Kris took this at the airport. I feel like i am on an album cover here.

This was the core group and Kris holding a tam tam. I love how there Tam tams (tiki/totem poles) all were smiling. It just shows that NiVans (people from Vanuatu) are a happy people! Actually, they were called one of the most happy countries in the world on some survey or study from what i hear.

This was Nick who was a fun playing buddy who we watched DVD's and played spiderman and army men with.

A picture of Luganville which was on the island of Santo. We also stayed in Port Vila on the island of Efate.

The Market

And yes of course i did beg to go surfing the last day on a reef break for a few hours! This wasn't me since it was rainy and noone took pictures but this is a guy surfing exactly where id did. I also managed to avoid the reef outside of the walk out and one time i slightly kicked it paddling to my board.

It was also fun trying to understand the pidgin English like above is how they would say and spell "Number One" in Vanuatu

Could you understand this writing in the red below?
The Best i can make out the billboard is this:
When you make-a one 3 minute call it'll go to any digicel number along vanuatu, you get next 27 minutes free same call.


I thought this would be a time of contemplation about future, but it ended up just being a good time to relax and see a new place, while letting the stresses and worries of life slip away for a little while. It reminded me of Ecclesiastes 2
24 A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.

I had worked hard before and leading up to the trip, so this was a time to sit back and enjoy.
I love how God can create so many beautiful places and interesting people.
Good Times.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Conquered the Island!

So there is this little island next to the Harbour Bridge in downtown Auckland.
Since i first came to NZ 3 years ago i have joked about swimming out to this island,
well Saturday... I DID IT!!!

You can see the island in the 3 pictures below.
Apparently it is called Watchman island.



I have talked it through with a lot of people but this video was especially a shout out to Dan Eggenschwiler, my mom, my dad, and the rest of the WIF board who discussed this adventure! :)

The water was cool and i was excited, so sorry for talking extra fast in the video!!
video
The Swim made me realize how out of shape i was swimming wise,
but it took probably 20 minutes... not nearly as long as i thought it would.


It smelled like dead fish when i got closeBut up here at the top i also found one of those Geo Treasures under a plastic container where people go to a website and put coordinates for a hidden treasure that you have to go find. That was a cool surprise to read a little book of other people who had been there.

It was a beautiful view on a great day. I was also able to ride the Jetski under the harbour bridge. I felt like a highroller and like i was in a movie getting to jetski under the bridge with a great view of the city!

Good times, and thanks to all those who believed in me (everyone but my mom. haha)

and no, mom, there were no stray boats, great white sharks, huge currents, lightning storms, killer dolphins, electric eels, cramps, lack of strength, or evil men out to kill me that day from what i could tell. :)