So we made it to Auckland!
We’ve been settling in quite nicely so far. This is a really fantastic city- can’t believe I get to live here for the next several months.
Once we got to Auckland at 5:30am, Skylar Ely picked us up from the airport. Skylar is one of the team members that we’ll be working with. He and his wife Morgan are super great people who’ve been so hospitable. On the way to their house (while driving on the opposite side of the road mind you) we saw the most gorgeous sunrise. Perfect Welcome-to-Auckland from God J We moved into Skylar’s basement- they have a little room with a big comfy bed, and though it is small, we've made it our own. The houses in NZ don't have central heating because the weather is so mild, and this wouldn’t be a problem…except it is super cold right now compared to Oklahoma 105* summers. It’s NZ winter the moment. It'll get in the 50's in the bathroom when you're trying to take a shower that barely produces any hot water.
That first night (Friday) we went to the PNO (Parent's Night Out), this event they’ve created for the locals to bring in their kids for a few hours while the team provides activities and snacks. We got to meet heaps (a words they use all the time) of kids. And I can’t get enough of their accents.
The next morning we went to a wonderful farmer's market, a place set right next to a vineyard that had little booths set up where different people sold fresh vegetables, fruits, sausage, salmon, hand-made chocolates, fudge, peanut butter, eggs, olive oil and many other things. It was picturesque! And the people were so kind and welcoming, what a great first interaction with the natives!
That night, I fell asleep around 7:45 and slept for another almost 13 hours… jet lag will take you out! And lucky Logan- he's having a better time with it while I’m always feeling so disoriented!
Sunday, we had our first church experience. It was pretty basic: a few songs and then a lesson of sorts. Elijah Peters spoke about how though we fail in life, God redeems us from all of our messes. Got to meet some really sweet Kiwis. Only a few Kiwis have started coming, and Logan and I are finding out just how difficult of a culture this has been to reach for Christ. After talking to the team, they have found that though they’ve tried almost everything when it comes to mission tactics, building relationships is the only way to make a lasting impression for Christ in this culture.
Monday, we went to the city centre. Oh my, it is fabulous. I have always wanted to live in a big city. Now the decision is, do we live in Massey, the suburb where the team lives, or smack dab in the middle of the city? We shall see what God thinks!