Hello there, and welcome to our blog! We are the Sonchasers – chasing the Son…get it!? Very cheesy, I know, but it’s true. We are, in any case, going on an adventure in just a few weeks and this is the place to read all about it!
Week Eight – Meeting "The Radiators"
We have now settled in at our new home in Kaikoura and are getting started with our ministry here, and it feels good to back in this small town! When we arrived on Sunday we were greeted with some familiar faces, who stayed with us for most of the week – the other backpacker’s DTS outreach team, the Radiators! They had one more week left in Kaikoura and we got to spend a few days with them when our teas overlapped here. It was so much fun to hang out with them again after not seeing them since lecture phase – it was like no time had passed at all since we said goodbye in the beginning of December. It was also interesting to see the differences between our groups and how God has been using us in different, but equally incredible ways. He knew what he was doing when he put our teams together.
Though we had a lot of fun, there were definitely a lot of people in one place. Going from seeing the same nine people every day for almost two months to being in a group of nineteen was intense to say the least, and adjusting to that and finding time for yourself was a bit of a struggle for some of us. But the intensity of it all was still so worth it for seeing our friends again. It gave us all new life and some new motivation!
We are essentially going to be continuing the work they have been doing here for the past seven weeks. We really want to honor them and what they have done here and not just come and try to replace them. On the night before they left therefore, a few of us decided to bless them with a nice dinner, with pancakes and individual cards with encouragements for each of them. It was a happy evening, even though it was sad to say goodbye the following morning.
Our ministry this week has been a good mix of very different things. We went back and helped out at the Lavender Farm, where we spent much of our church serve week, and were able to be a huge blessing for the lady who owns it. It was good to be back, and doing it together with the Radiators was also a lot of fun! We also helped with Sunday school at one of the local churches, were with our friend and main contact in Kaikoura at her weekly Shabbath potluck with a bunch of Israelis and at her booth at the local Saturday market where she gives out free spiritual books and talks to people. We have loved blessing the community of this town and to getting to know the people here, locals and travelers alike.
One of the highlights of this week was when we got to participate in the 24 hour prayer and worship BURN for Kaikoura, when there was people praying in one of the churches at all hours for 24 hours straight. It began and ended with an hour of corporate worship, and then it worked as a prayer room where people would come and go as the night, the morning, the day and the evening went by. When God’s people come together to pray and worship, things shift, and so this was powerful for Kaikoura. But this was also a time for a lot of us to just be with God, read the bible, journal, be creative and see breakthroughs within ourselves. It was an amazing 24 hours, peaceful and powerful and everything in between. God’s presence is a truly wonderful place to be.”
After last week, with the Great Walk and the stops in Napier and Wellington before finally arriving in Kaikoura, it’s nice to get back into a routine again – to have a home again after a week of always being on the way somewhere. Our new hostel very much has a home-away-from-home feel to it. Kaikoura is a real backpacker’s town, and so we get to meet and make friends with a lot of those here. We hang out in the hostel, talk and play games, invite people for dinner or go hiking and exploring the area together. This week, for example, Philip got to hike the notorious Mount Fyffe with one of our new hostel-friends. Beside it being the most fun to meet all of these interesting people, this relational ministry is a way for us to spread the love Jesus has shown us, to plant seeds of hope wherever we go. It can be slow and frustrating not to see the results of what we do, but we know we serve a God that is way bigger than we can see or imagine, and he is working. With two weeks left of outreach, we are determined to make the most of it. We have had an amazing first week in Kaikoura, but we are only just getting started here. It’s going to be great!
“Niki, one of our ministry contacts here in Kaikoura, is hosting every Friday evening a traditional Jewish shabbat evening. She is one of many Christian households here in New Zealand who has open there doors specifically for Jews. After all they are God’s chosen people and out of their midst our saviour was born. Through them he blessed the world like he promised (Genesis 12;3) and gave us a new life. Therefore it is on our heart to minister and bless them as well. The whole evening was an amazing opportunity to learn more about Jewish tradition and the life in Israel. What I’ve learnt is that more and more people leaving the Jewish faith and trying to find answers somewhere else. They call it “going back into questions”. But also another part of their society is reconnecting to their believes which is called “going back into answers”. This describes really good the state of the youth not only in Israel, but in the whole western world. All in all it was an interesting evening with good conversations and a loot of
Hare gött, hej!