Thursday, March 26, 2009

Connecting Through Surfing

So anyone that knows me, knows that i use my recreation as the easiest way to connect, teach, and enjoy other people.
Well this last weekend, i was able to take 7 others down to a batch overnight on the east coast of New Zealand called Tairua. This was the sunset on Saturday from the place.
The first night we went out to the beach adn the stars were beautiful, here was my picture of the southern cross
I was testing out the waters on teaching people how to surf because i have had so many people that are interested in learning. So i organized this trip to see how i would do.
I was also really excited about the group. Vanessa and B are twins from Vanautu and Vanessa helps out with a Nazerene youth group that the Wesleyan churches have tried to be working more closely with. It was fun to see them connect with Paul who is the youth pastor at the church where i am at cession|community. Daniel(between them) is their good friend and also goes to cession. Jason is one of the teens in the youth group and it was good to see him stretch himself. Rachel (to the left) is a youth leader with Paul, and Evy is now a good friend who is my surfing buddy and was helping teach a little. He gave a morning thought about how the waves are like our lives that was really thought provoking, which was also awesome and a big step for him.
It was cool to see the group gel together and to see new and deeper friendships being formed. God was awesome for providing a good and safe weekend. On a social front it was a total success. On a surfing front, I wish the first time surfers would've stood up, but it was a good learning step to see what i am capable of in leading. Cool.

Mowing the Lawn in style... yeah it's like that!!!

For those not in the world of facebook, my friend Heidi made fun of my lawn by posting this video she took of me.

I in turn, not only mowed the lawn, but mowed the lawn in style!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Coolest Flight Attendant Ever

CLICK HERE to watch this guy rap the safety instructions to a flight. Impressive and fun! I wouldn't mind having this guy and i probably would listen to the instructions more than usual :)

My Peanut Butter and Jelly/Jam Dilemma

Strawberry or Grape?

Which goes on a PB & J sandwich?

Since i was raised on grape, i just assumed that grape was the standard.

I was thrown off when two American girls outnumbered me over here in NZ in shock, saying they grew up on Strawberry and pointing to me as the outsider for having grape spread on my PB & J's instead of strawberry!

I know there may not be a right or wrong here, but i am just curious as to what the average person grew up on.

I mean it is not end of the world, but IT IS!!! That is breaking one of my stronghold assumptions and beliefs for about 20 years of my life!

It is called Peanut butter and Jelly (in US) & Peanut butter and Jam (in New Zealand)
Jelly in NZ is what Americans call jiggly Jello

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"Is your accent American, Canadian, or Californian?"

I laughed out loud when a girl i had just recently met asked me this. She seem confused, like she didn't know whether to be offended or embarrassed or not. I tried to explain the difference between a whole country and state and that the incongruity would be like asking a New Zealander whether their accent was from New Zealand, Australian, or Auckland, but her initial response was, "We don't have an accent here in Auckland do we?" so i still don't think she completely got it.

A lot of people tag my accent as being from California. I honestly don't know if that really is the way i talk, or if it is one of the only accents people here really have to reference because of traveling through LA or watching stuff on gangs, Hollywood, the OC, etc. Either way, i know i don't fit in with my accent, but more and more often i feel like i could actually pull of being mistaken for a New Zealander as long as i don't open my mouth. :)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Pimp this bum

Just saw this in a news article and thought it was interesting. it was an advertising plan so i don't know anything about all the motives, but it was really interesting to listen to a little bit of Tim's story and way of living on the streets.
His joke was humorous too.

Fun Past TImes in New Zealand with Dan Eggenschwiler

Dan just shared this application video with me that he made for a pretty sweet traveling internship. You here my voice a lot in the background...hahaha... but i think he showcased the fun, beauty, and past adventures in mainly New Zealand pretty well!

You can help him out by
spreaingd the word about the video I would be very grateful. What people need to do is to check out his video on YouTube at:
Then, if they can leave a comment on that page as well as rate the video (hopefully with a 5 star rating), that would be awesome.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Kiwi on Obama's Team

No, I am not referring to myself in the title... :)
This title was the latest national news article posted on the New Zealand herald.
Click Here to Read "Kiwi on Obama's Team"

The article just caught my attention, and intrigued me to see how a person and/or country will take ownership and pride in their people who accomplish things around the world.

I mean, i don't think this is supposed to be a satirical comment about his new status

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

"What is the difference between a Catholic and Christian?"

This was the question i was asked by neighbor's friend today!

I apologize to those who were excited by the title because you thought i was actually going to discuss the differences in religions. sorry this is not the case. If that is what you are wanting, CLICK HERE

The hard part was that i missed a chance to share about my faith. It is amazing how quickly those opportunities can come and go before you even realize it!!!  

By the time i was formulating what was actually important, the guy had already responded confidently smirking, "i already know the difference... which one is it that believes in Mary and stuff?" I chuckled and replied, "You would be thinking of Catholics there." and he responded, "Told you i knew" made some stereotypical joke about the flack Catholic priests have taken in the news and he was on to the next topic before i got anything out, but it was in a crowd and it was the first time we met so i wasn't convinced it was the place or time to push the issue.

But it really got me thinking as to what i would want to say in future conversations like this.

I got lost in my own brain and political correctness!
I was trying to figure out how to explain the theological differences between Christianity and Catholicism when i don't think that really was the question or even interest...

What i really found myself focusing and clarifying on the way home was," What is the beauty of what i believe?"

The next time i am asked this question i think i will respond in that moment by saying something like, "Well we both believe and preach that Jesus is the only way to heaven and to really find answers in this world. We go about that in some majorly different ways, that is where some people get hung up on prayers to Mary or the saints, etc. but the important part i guess, is that we are starting with the fact that we find our answers with Jesus and the Bible.

In short, i will probably take a question like this and use it more as a springboard for curiosity rather than focusing no answering the question unless that really seems like the issue on the table.

All that to say, God has been good in providing me with new opportunities to talk to my neighbor and his friends.

I saw soccer(called football here) as a good connection tool and was worried about playing with my neighbor's team for the first time last Tuesday..
I scored the game winning goal (2-1 final score) the first game and the two teams were debating on which side i would play on the second game! It was almost like God opened the door and rigged it so that i would have the opportunity t0 play in the future. Really cool.

I will probably going to try and take a few friends and go hear a comedian at my neighbor's parents' restaurant next thursday as an opportunity to mix our worlds a little bit. we will see!

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Hinterman's visiting were a nice reminder of Home

(Brett & Kristen Jones on the outsides holding their two kids Rhys and Raegan, and Kristen's parents Chris & Marcia Hinterman)
I work with Brett and Chris works with my brother in law Brandon Bruce for those not in the loop.

This last Monday I was able to go and say goodbye to Chris and Marcia Hinterman with the Jones' family at the airport. It was amazing how quickly 6 weeks can go! They were here and then they were gone. I got to spend some good time talking to Chris about my time over here as a missionary with cession|community which was good since Faith Church in Lansing, MI has been a huge support for me being over here, but I did not see them nearly as much as i might have suspected.

They left definitely left their traces though. The Jones' place has been transformed with their help including newly painted walls, a fresh deck, a redone bathroom, etc. The whole house was a construction laundry party for about six weeks running!

Chris also brought over a digital camera from Faith Church to replace the one that was stolen a few months back. This is why you have begun to see me post pictures again! Such a blessing and need. They also brought me videos of Jaylon from Jen and Brandon around Christmas time.
I loved it so much that I compiled the videos for you to see. I repeated my favorite part in the movie to make sure you didn't miss how hilarious my nephew is!

It has been cool to see especially in the last month how God has provided in my life and prayer requests.