Archive for 2011
The other morning while flipping pancakes I got to thinking about “the star”. You know, the one that hung over the manger where “little-baby-Jesus” was born? I was struck by the fact that a band of Iranian magician-astrologers were lead to Jesus by tracking a mass of burning gas in outer space.
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2011 Ministry Highlights
—Partnering with community initiatives for earthquake recovery and cleanup
—Hosting families, teams and individuals
—English tutoring and school volunteering
—Participating in/sometimes facilitating prayer gatherings
—First nation-wide organic church gathering, held in Waikanae in April
—Helping start a university aged missional community
—Helping plan and facilitate organic church forums/training gatherings
—Helping to organize several corporate worship and teaching events
—Teaching at YWAM Oxford
—Organizing a YWAM National Gathering prayer tour of Christchurch
—Volunteering and donating to the Grace Vineyard New Brighton food distribution center
—Meeting and networking with some of Christchurch’s finest
2011 Personal Highlights
—Receiving love and encouragement from friends and partners here
—Receiving words and revelations from God and witnessing His faithfulness
—Seeing new places on the South Island
—Adopting Indie! (our cat)
—Being snowed in not once, but twice (unheard of in Christchurch)
—Witnessing the joy that the ALL BLACKS brought to the country with their championship win
—Meeting new friends and building relationships
—Transitioning from employee to freelance graphic artist (Noah)
—Witnessing our friend’s newborn son enter the world
—Surviving four earthquakes between 5.9 and 6.3 magnitude (not including the 7.1 in 2010)
—Sponge baths and using a chemical toilet for 3 months (stinky on both accounts)
—Getting pregnant, hearing heartbeat, feeling baby move!
We recently hosted this all-Korean team from YWAM Sydney. It was fun to have them! And we enjoyed their cooking on the last day when they showed us how to eat some rice wraps! They left this morning and I recorded their singing from my computer.
Korean Team Song by KateCrem
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23) We have this scripture up on our fridge.
I just have to give some props to the Lord for being stunning, and thank Him for being faithful to His word He spoke so long ago.
We live in this ministry house. We’ve put a lot of work into this place from massive cleaning projects to redecorating, refurbishing, etc., to get it nice for not only ourselves but incoming teams. We’ve spent many hours praying here and praising God. Many people have come through our doors and prayed for this city, have worshiped God in these rooms. We have asked God to dwell in this place, to make His presence felt in this house. And I just want to praise Him for doing just that.
We have had several people over the last 20 months tell us about how they can feel peace when they come into this house, and that it feels restful and they can connect with God. It is so wonderful to hear that. God is beautiful, and He does make His home with us when we serve Him and invite Him to be a part of our lives.
Tonight a young lady dropped by who is uni student we meet with. She was amazing to look after our place while we were gone, along with a few others. She mentioned that they had a wonderful time and that they could sense God’s peace in this place and that it felt so safe. It makes me so happy to hear that. We want that. We want everyone who walks through our doors to feel the presence, peace and love of God. When she mentioned that tonight, it reminded me of something I wanted to share a few months back.
When we were housing a girl from the street for a few weeks, she had also mentioned that when she was in our house she didn’t have nightmares or see demonic visions that she usually experiences. God is so good. She actually slept well and felt safe. I am so thankful to our faithful God! He is HOLY! His presence can be with us if we ask, if we love Him, if we serve Him!
I am amazed. It is nothing we can do. We are imperfect, sinful creatures. We mess up all the time! It is His beautiful mercy that amazes me. Despite our junk, He dwells among us when we are willing to love and serve Him!
An integral aspect of the missional church idea is multiplication. It’s something we feel led to encourage here in Christchurch. We feel to plant small intentional church communities and help others plant them as well. The idea isn’t to build one church, but to inspire and coach others to start small gatherings in their homes and to train potential leaders/facilitators who might be keen to plant their own as well.
We’ve been personally encouraged this month to see a few things happen.
One: Noah and some other men meet regularly to brainstorm around the topic of multiplication and training anyone interested in planting a church. Recently they’ve been working on some ideas for upcoming training sessions and are nutting out the details and dreaming up what it could look right now in this season and what it would look like long term. The first training gathering is this week!
Two: Several people have raised their hands in interest to plant churches in their homes in different areas of the city. It’s been a long journey of relationally and prayerfully getting to this point… so it’s exciting to see some fruit. We hope this is just the spark that will set off a wildfire of multiplication throughout the region.
As most of you have learned by now, we are pregnant. Just now heading into the fourth month. The first trimester flew by. Our delight for this anticipated season is peppered with a bit of nail biting as well! We really appreciate your prayers and love at this time! You can follow the baby journey on Kate’s personal blog.
In the last month we were throwing around the idea of switching me to a different visa so that I have the freedom to work part time. It would require that I am listed under Noah’s missionary visa as his dependent. I wasn’t sure if it was the best option at the moment and prayed, asking God to make it obvious what we should do and open any doors for potential work if He had anything for me.
A few days later I met with a friend and announced we were pregnant. The next day her husband, also a graphic designer, called to let me know he had previously given my name to a web company that needed a pregnant writer to be their new featured blogger. He didn’t know at the time of talking to them that I was pregnant… he just told them he knew I wrote and blogged. But when his wife went home and told him our news, he couldn’t believe it. I now fit the criteria for the freelance job.
He emailed the company and introduced us, letting them know I was pregnant. After some chatting and meeting face to face, they decided to hire me. I am excited to work on my writing, share my story with other women around New Zealand, have the opportunity to be an encouraging and positive voice to the women here and make a few extra dollars.
The company is national and every pregnant woman here is in contact with them on some level. I hope to help the company gain more traffic through the blog and am excited for the challenge! Most of all I am thankful and amazed at God’s perfect timing and open doors yet again. Thanks to our friend who thought of me for this job and to God for being the overseer of all our needs!
Right now I’m listening to a fantastic and highly inspirational talk from a guy called Wolfgang Simson. Wolfgang is a spiritual entrepreneur – a true “apostle” if I can be so generous – and a bit of an instigator. He was one of the earliest proponents of “house church” in the modern western world with his book “Houses That Change the World”.
During these 2 hours (yes, 2) he is unpacking the Kingdom in ways that I’ve not heard many people do. He is ripping the “gospel of the Kingdom” right out of the “nice comfy” church context that we have grown to depend on, and is instead painting a picture so big you need a universe to contain it.
Simply put – the Kingdom of God is too big for our Christianity. What does that mean? You’ll have to listen to Wolfgang’s stories and figure it our for yourself.
What inspires you about Wolfgang’s concept of the Kingdom?
Some Current Prayer Requests…
- Encouragement as we continue in the work God has for us here
- Health + Mental Stamina
- Prayers for favor with our visa renewal. We will be reapplying by the end of the year, we hope!