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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 Three - The Whirlwind

Kia ora!

Our third week of outreach was a whirlwind. It’s been full of blessings and incredible experiences, but it’s also been a trying week for all of us. Our friends from Steiger took us to see glow worms on Tuesday night, which was unbelievably beautiful. It was like being surrounded by stars. We spent Saturday evening at a Christmas festival with ten thousand of our closest friends listening to talented people perform all the Christmas songs, having a picnic, singing carols by candle light and dancing under fireworks (now we can check that one off our bucket list). On Wednesday we also had the true privilege of visiting a Marae, which is a sort of gathering place for a Maori tribe. It was so interesting to learn more about their culture, and it gave us a lot of respect for where this country actually comes from. This week has also been full of time at the hostel and hanging out with fellow backpackers. Whether it’s watching Moana with a whole bunch of new friends, jamming with a saxophonist by the dock in the middle of the night (and seeing stingrays!), enjoying food and conversation at the weekly potluck, or just talking to someone as we’re cooking it’s been the most fun to meet and get to know all of these truly incredible people!

We worked with Goodneighbour for the very last time, and Pregnancy Choice for the last time this year as both are closing for Christmas. At Pregnancy Choice we continued to sort clothes and just help in any way we could and with Good Neighbour we got to help a big family move into their new house and do some cleaning. Once again it was so great to be able to help people in practical ways and see the difference it makes.

Friday night we went with Street Help to the streets of Tauranga again to hand out pies and hot drinks and evangelize. There were not a lot of people out this time, which meant that we were able to have fewer, but longer and more meaningful one-on-ones with the people that we did meet. It was in many ways a heavy night, but God was with us through it all.

This week our faith was really challenged. Everything we know about God and ourselves was tested, and there were some really heavy feelings over us. It was rough for all of us, but thankfully we have each other to lean on, and a faithful God who always comes through. When we talked about all of this, openly and vulnerably, and prayed against the things that were testing us it did get a whole lot better, and we walked away from it filled with a renewed joy. This was a week full of ups and downs, highs and lows, but through it all God has worked though us. We are growing so much as people and as disciples, and we can’t wait to see what else God is going to do!

 “It is kind of sad that this was our last week with Good Neighbour. In the beginning of outreach me and probably almost everybody in our team felt like we’re not doing enough. Yeah, we had helped different organizations with their work over the week, but is that enough? I must say after a talk to Todd (one of the founders of Good Neighbour) my mind changed. Before our talk, I thought they were “only” helping a relative small circle of people in the neighborhood. Turns out there not only helping a large mass of people, they have a food rescue program that saves around 10 tons of food a week, and build community gardens where they support households by providing a piece of land and the help needed to cultivate a garden! It’s just amazing what they are doing and I started feeling really honored to be a part of this. (https://goodneighbour.co.nz)

Also it made me think, basically we are a bunch of young people thrown into cold water without big financial possibilities or any experience. I can’t expect to swim the mile without knowing how to even swim. And that takes time. Everyday, a little step. And you know what, that’s okay because I realized another thing. It’s not about this DTS. This is just the start of something bigger. Cause the real DTS is waiting for me and I can’t wait for it to begin!”

-Philip

Merry almost Christmas from the Sonchasers!

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