“THE GREAT ADVENTURE”
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:15-16 King James Version (KJV)
Dear Friends in Christ:
Just as reminder, we serve an amazing God indeed! Worthy is the Lamb that was slain! I truly give thanks to God for the awesome opportunity to serve him. We have been given so much to bring glory and honor to His name. As we look back over our lives, we can truly say that our amazing God has been good to us. And His goodness continues to be seen in our lives from day to day. Everywhere we go, we have the opportunity for Him to demonstrate his grace and power through us for the sake of those around us!
These past two months have been quite the adventure. The later part of last year, I booked a trip to New Zealand after much encouragement from one of my dear sons – Antony that lives in Wellington, NZ.
The trip was scheduled for March 30 – April 15, which was great. All the while, I have been earnestly seeking the Lord in what this next season / chapter should look like for me. It’s useless for me to even consider the thought or idea of retirement; what would that look like anyway?
Well, after speaking with another fine son – Nate in Fort Worth, I was encouraged once again to consider taking a road trip. Up to this point, I’ve just been checking things out via the web. Particularly in central Texas, (I-35). (Not to mentioned that I love Texas and I love hot weather!) I really hadn’t planned on making another trip to Texas, especially since I was heading to New Zealand soon!
I later booked a trip to D/FW March 19 – 26, The plan was to spend five days in Waco. During the 20 – 25. I took advantage of every that I could possibly attend and be a part of, and of course, lots of DA’s. Meeting new people, getting re-acquainted with others that I’ve known for 30 years. This was an incredible time to say the least. During the last 15 minutes of my 5 days in Waco, Blake, another fine son introduced me to brother Chris. A mighty fine man of God and who has an incredible heart for the City of Waco. The Market Place particularly Chris is very passionate about disciple making in this city! We both were so encouraged and excited about the opportunity that is before us! As the weeks went by, I soon realized that we have been given the opportunity to bring the ‘good news’ to the market place!! Disciple Making for the Kingdom of God! Being and living the gospel in the market place. Blessed be God forever! June 1, I arrived in Waco, and I am very excited about the days ahead and about this great adventure that is before me: A local body of believers called: Antioch Community Church, living in community – Life Groups; Discipleship Training School – 2 nights a week and of course, Discipleship in the Market Place. Not to mention that there that are many people here that would have met back in 1990-91!! Feels like home! God is faithful!
~ NEW ZEALAND ~ This was quite the trip! This was certainly an adventure for sure. Because of the time zone, I completely lost a full day. Upon my arrival – Monday morning, Antony and I went out for breakfast. Shortly after we arrived at his flat, he received a text message inviting him out for a coffee. After we talked about meeting up with Tim, we concluded that this was a DA for sure. This was an encouraging time for all of us. As a result, we were invited to a BBQ at his house the following Thursday evening. In the meanwhile, Antony and I are having DA’s everywhere we go!
People are searching and wanting someone to care about them. As we continued to roam about the city, we became more aware of the needs of the people. And we had the opportunity to hear the cry of many of them. Our BBQ was a slab of lamb – amazing meal. A few things came out as a result of that night: I have some new friends, someone to hang with tomorrow as Antony will be working, and a friend – George, who is a pilot for Air New Zealand. God is faithful. At 9:30 am, George came by and picked me up: we roamed around Wellington for about 6 hours. We had lunch with one of his friends as well; remaindering us all with a charge to share the gospel. Just allowing God to direct our steps!
During the five days in Wellington, we had 12 DA’s! Then off to Whangarie, further north for the next few days. This was my second trip. I got re-acquainted with many and met some new friends along the way. Lots of opportunities are before me for a return trip! On Monday, I received a texted message from George, whom I met four days prior. He wanted to know when was my flight to Whakatane – today or tomorrow? It’s tomorrow – Tuesday. Why do you ask? He said, I think that I will be doing your flight! So, the next day, we met up and had breakfast before leaving for the airport with the rest of his crew. WOW! Felt so honored by all of them. Upon our arrival at the airport, George and his crew went to their secured area and I was seated with the other passengers. As we boarded the plane, my backpack was placed in the first overhead bin (its never been up there), I was then directed to the cockpit to be with George, (my personal pilot) and his co-pilot. In all of my 66 years, I’ve never been given such an opportunity as this one! Once I got buckled into the jump-seat, I was then given some headphones to hear what was being said between George and his co-pilot. I was speechless and I didn’t know what to say, to do or ask. MyMyMy! Upon my arrival, Sam and his wife (my host family) met at the airport. We then went to Sam’s parents’ home for a lamb’s dinner. What an incredible meal. This was a great time fellowship as well. The next morning, Sam and I attended a men’s prayer meeting. Amazing!! While Sam and wife were at work, I spent most of the day hanging out with Jesus: spent some on the dock contemplating the greatest of our God! Later that night, we had a men’s Bible study. There were nine guys that showed up and we had an amazing time of ministering to each other. This was an amazing two nights and a day trip. Thank God for goodness to us. Blessed be God forevermore!!
Then back to Whangarie for the next four days. During my stay, I have been hosted by Nathan in his AirBnB! Which was truly a blessing indeed. Constantly being introduced to new people and having all sorts of DA’s along the way, and of course, eating a lot! Nathan loves to play soccer; I was invited to hang with for the next day or so. Not to mention, the weather was just perfect. He drove further north, maybe an hour – beautiful country! No, you cannot text and drive on these roads – lots of curves!! He played two games while I watched!! After the games, many of headed for a beach cottage for the night. Once again, a slab of lamb! A great time to build relationship and to make new friends. Sunday morning: then off to church. This was a very special day. There were guest speakers from North Carolina. As the custom is; there was an official welcoming by the native Māori people
The Haka: which have wanted to so live for the past two years now. This was done in honor of the guest speakers from America. I too was honored by one of the leaders/chiefs directly and personally before them all. This was quite a day to say the least and what a way to end an amazing trip. Glory to God!
I am currently getting unpacked and settled. Meeting the employees of Fuego Tortilla Gill (local business), meeting new people, and trusting God’s direction all the while. Thank you Jesus!
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