Saturday, October 15, 2011

The World is Here to Play: Auckland

It has been a few days since you've heard from me.  I have had a big week, which included a 2 day trip down to New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland,  to interview for my New Zealand District Minister's License and  venture once again to the immigration office, continuing saga that is my work visa situation.
The Naked Bus is the preferred way to make the 3.5 hour trek down to Auckland, if you don't have a car. (which I don't) It is a large coach bus that takes passengers all over the Northland region for a minimal price, with minimal amenities to offer (hence the name, "Naked").  Upon my return back to Whangarei yesterday, the Naked Bus made a quick stop down in Rugby Central in the heart of the city centre (Yes, I'm learning to use the British spelling of some of our favourite words!) 

 Welsh and French flags were flying proudly all over the city yesterday and the fans (as well as the vendors eager to sell them things) were out in force!  The place was packed with people from all over the world, streets blocked off, protesters parading down the thoroughfares, and whole lot of big city craziness. I have always thought Auckland an interesting city, but the fact that "the world is here to play" has added a new dimension to this already very cosmopolitan and diverse place.  Even as our bus made its way to the other side of the harbor, air force flew over doing a really eye-catching trick air display! What a time to be in Auckland! Tonight will be THE biggest match yet: New Zealand vs. Australia.  Now there's a rivalry!

I also had the joy of spending time with friends John and Moana and their three precious kiddos, as well as Andrew and Jenna, NTS students who are serving down in Hamilton, NZ.  John and Moana are youth leaders at Mangere church, and serve across our new Zealand district. We joined them for Friday night youth and a little mini golf the next day.  What a blessing to have friends!

Many new things lay ahead this week as we prepare to launch our Energise Kids Club on Sunday afternoons for the community! Please be in prayer for the children and the families that they will represent.  May the Lord use us to love deeply and lead these kiddos straight to Jesus. 

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