Monday, November 27, 2006

Details with the New Zealand Trip

This is basically the prayer letter i sent to my close friends and family. i will leave it up as the top post for a week or so then i will go back to the regular postings of my pictures, updates, and thoughts. If you have the time, please read through this. I so desire to stay close to all of you around me that i consider friends and family so please email me or keep in contact!

LOCATION: living in/near Aucklund
TIME PERIOD: Dec 28 '06-June 18 '07 (possibly extended through November)
ORGANIZATION: Going as traveler, but working with the Wesleyan church
GROUP: Traveling with Dan Eggenschwiler (friend from college)
PURPOSE FOR GOING: Mainly to see why God has called me there... for present ministry, for future work, or both? Secondly to live in another culture, travel, enjoy the island(surf, hike,etc.), and to explore how i can best proclaim truth and Christ to others.
PURPOSE FOR THIS POST: So that you can keep up with me. Keeping in contact with you throughout life is most important to me.
FINANCIAL NEED: Feel no obligation to give but i still need a little under $2,000 to ensure first month expenses of getting settled.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT: Send to: Brent Dongell in care of Plymouth Wesleyan Church 11203 South Michigan, Plymouth, IN 46563

This is my traveling friend Dan Eggenscwhiler and his friend julie collins

So here it is. The moment of truth as I head off to Aucklund, New Zealand in less than two months. It has been a long journey coming, but in early July I stepped out and told another potential job opportunity and blessing that once again it wasn’t my time. God had placed a yearning in my heart for the country of New Zealand and I knew it was time to step out and follow his leading. It did not sound like the ideal plan to success after graduating. I have chances for solid job opportunities, to get ahead financially, to invest in the current relationships in my life, and to continue on to graduate school. There have been multiple times that I have literally gone to my knees and cried out to God “Are you sure?!?” Sure New Zealand sounds great, but now? I am still figuring out how to best minister and proclaim truth to the world in my own life!…. God are you sure?!?

…Yet God has continually confirmed that this is what I am supposed to do. Countless encounters, timely conversations, and encouragement from God through the body of Christ have brought me to this place of peace about going. All of the worry, anxiety, and questioning seemed to stop one morning during my quiet time: I was staring off deep in thought when my body stiffened and my head turned as I distinctly heard in my head the words, “Do you trust me?” There was no one else in the house, and there was no questioning this sacred moment that the Lord chose to speak directly to my thoughts and reaffirm my ever so willing, yet feeble attempts at faith. Is God sending me to New Zealand to shape me in this time? Am I supposed to be there in the future? Big questions that I am continuing to trust God with as I go!

Dan and I will be living in Auckland, NZ which is on the North Island. We have been closely communicating with the Wesleyan/Methodist church plants down there. God is moving in exciting ways, but the Wesleyan churches are relatively young. We will be working with Annie Wright, a Gospel Partners Missionary who is helping us get settled and placed into the right church. We have also been taling to Jeff Fussner and Richard Waugh who oversea the churches in this area of the world. There are multiple opportunities as to where we could serve. Sharing Christ, helping form ministries, leading worship, and supporting the church pastors as needed during these beginning stages will be our main focus.

the Hearts of those in New Zealand
that God will continue to move
encouragement to the Body overseas
Dan and I’s brotherhood on this trip
Guidance as to where my future ministry lies
Community as I leave everything familiar

The Point of this is not to ask for money. I would much rather your support, love, and prayers on this journey and step of faith. The point of this letter is to inform those who are dear to me what the next leg in my journey withholds. I will be working part time to pay for my expenses while overseas. Despite this, some of you have still expressed interest in supporting me in this time. I would be humbled and honored if you chose to support me in this time of vulnerability but please once again, and I sincerely mean this, feel no obligation. You can send money to the address below: For this to be tax deductable please make out checks in order to Plymouth Wesleyan Church For: Brent Dongell

Plymouth Wesleyan:

Send To:
Brent Dongell
Plymouth Wesleyan Church
11203 South Michigan
Plymouth, IN 46563

POPULATION Around: 4,158,657
NEW ZEALAND Is made up of two Islands SouthEast of Australia
LORD OF THE RINGS was filmed in over 150 locations all over New Zealand
A KIWI is a local from New Zealand
RELIGION: over half of the New Zealand population is considered Christian in a 2001 poll, although 4 out of 10 did not specify a religious affiliation
THE CHRISTIAN POPULATION from the 2001 poll was made up of mainly Anglican, the Catholic, then Presbyterian.
SUICIDE RATE among teens is extremely high if not one of the highest.
LANGUAGE: English is by far the dominant language but Maori is the native language of New Zealand

Thanks again for your time and for how each of you have helped shape me into who i am thus far in my life. God bless.


Lynne Howard said...

ohhh HANDSOME! :)
great pics!
this trip to New Zealand sounds sooo awesome.
hope to SEE YOU soon, friend!

pk said...

Coming from someone who has made some of those same sacrifices, it will be well worth it. I'm pumped that you and Dan are doing this!

Anonymous said...


I, Dave Mason, am Proud of YOU! Go get 'em bubba.

Your pal,