How we got here.

Day 30 of our approximately 273-day adventure. After being here in Auckland, New Zealand for one full month, I realize that I probably need to explain exactly how Logan and I got here.

A long time ago, before Logan and I were ever married, I remember wanting to move to New Zealand someday with my husband. I have no idea why I had this desire…maybe I watched Lord of the Rings too many times. (I could to Arwen, he could be Aragorn... I know I’m lame!) Then, after we’d been a married for a few months, we began to talk about doing mission work. We felt so strongly about the influence that Jesus’ saving grace and love has had in our lives that we wanted others to share in it as well. So we started praying for an opportunity…

Christmas 2009, my uncle reveals to me that he works for Mission Resource Network (MRN), a non-profit organization that plants mission teams in Australia and New Zealand. First of all, I had NO IDEA that this was what my uncle did for a living. Also, he explained that New Zealand was in need of people passionate about Jesus. Needless to say, this was exactly the opportunity Logan and I were praying for! He could get us in touch with some folks who might be able to help us get to where we wanted to be. He had us send him an email explaining our desires, mission experience and characteristics that would be useful in the mission field. He then forwarded that to his NZ contacts. Well, those contacts sent our email to other contacts, and by the end of that week, we had 3 OFFERS from 3 different churches. We were shocked! I remember opening up the first email that said someone wanted our help, and I immediately became an explosion of tears.

After much prayer and talking it over, we decided that we felt God was calling us to work with the team in Auckland. The ministry sounded like it would fit us as a couple beautifully.

Next step… how do we raise the money to get there? That began a journey that was very un-fun at times. But God kept showing up in miraculous ways financially, it was crazy. After sending out countless letters to family and friends and asking many churches for help (which was to no avail, but God makes other ways), we raised enough money to sustain us for our length of stay. Just when I felt as though I was drowning in a sea of doubt, he came through (for example) with a whopping check from someone who wanted to be part of the Lord’s work. (And may I take a moment to SINCERELY thank everyone who helped us get here, we are forever grateful.)

So now, we are here, working with the team in Auckland. We help with “The Icebox”, an after-school program that gives kids a place to hang out after school instead of getting into trouble. There is also a bible study that meets of Tuesdays with those kids and it has been an amazing way to share the message of Christ with them. We also attend the church here that meets at the community house on Sundays and Logan is leading singing. We’ve made some good friends here already and tonight, we have our first Sunday BBQ. The team also hosts a Parent’s Night Out on certain Friday nights that gives parents a chance to enjoy the night while their kids hang out with us for a few hours. In efforts to get more involved in the community, Logan has joined a pick-up soccer league on Monday nights, I’ve joined an organic garden committee at the community house.

And we are happy. Today is a rest day or sorts, and we decided to enjoy lunch on the pier in the city. However, we’re still trying to figure out exactly what God wants from us while we’re here. It’s a slower process than expected, but we are willing to be his servants, and I think that all God wants from us. To be willing to be used by Him, to let Him flow through me.


Pronto prayer.

"So, church, anymore prayer requests?"

"Ah, yes, can you please pray that we find
a house? There's this one that we really want and would be
great but the landlord is hesitant because we'll only be here
9 months...but we're getting a little desperate."

(the next morning)

"Jennifer, I think we just got a text message
from that landlord lady... read it!"

(Opens text message) "Have discussed rental with hubby
and, given your offer and that u seem really nice... I will take you as tenants."

PRAISE THE LORD!! Thank you God for answering that one pronto!

It will be cheap, has a lovely view, is within walking distance to shops and the motorway, and is super close to the community center!



I drove on the opposite side of the road for the first time! Everything is opposite, the blinker, the gear shifter, everything. I felt like I was at the mercy of the other drivers, but Logan was right there telling me “Get over, Get over!”, so I survived just fine.

The past several days have consisted of lots of “discovering Auckland”. We/I have…walked the city, met lots of interesting people, been to many nice restaurants and markets, explored the beach, danced the night away at a hip-hop dance class with Morgan and our new German friend Melanie, had an awesome bible study with some teens from the Icebox, and looked for houses to live in, etc. I’m having a positively lovely time.

However, so far, it’s harder than we expected to find a place to live. Furnished homes don’t aren’t frequently available within our price range, one of the places we looked at has no water pressure while another doesn’t have an oven. What to do?There is something really nice about keeping my life simple, only living out of 2 suitcases for the next several months. It frees me, creates a lightening of the spirit. And it has made me realized how much crap I own back in the States. It’s kind of ridiculous. When I get back, I hope to commence a cleansing of my possessions that are deemed unnecessary.

Today, we are off to the grocery store and also place membership at this really neat gym that comes equipped with these massive hot tubs and every kind of workout machine imaginable. This is all in an effort to create a schedule for ourselves… because sometimes, in mission work, you must create your OWN schedule, and give yourself a sense of daily purpose in doing so.