Graphic artist. Website designer. Illustrator. Thinker. Reader. Good-food-eater. Bikes. Hikes. River walker. Waterfall hunter. Guac maker. Wood whittler. Schemer. Dreamer. Can-fix-most-things. Likes rainbows, birds, and good movies. Always down to drink a hearty apple cider. Californian by blood. Colorado by heart. Boxes are for getting outside of. Molds are for breaking. Ideas are only as good as the action you back them with.
Outside of ministry involvements, Kate is a freelance writer and mother. Post-university she worked at RELEVANT magazine & hopes to someday return to the publishing world. Domestic life also has its charm, as she enjoys cooking, gardening & playing doctor mom with all her alternative remedies. When she’s gets a free moment, she enjoys both reading classic literature and books on spirituality & the challenge of training for races.
The paths of life are rarely predictable. Our journey is no exception.
The short version goes something like this: Noah was born in California. Kate in Iowa. We met on MySpace (yes, you read that correctly), spent some time dating in Florida and married in a barn in the mountains of Colorado (right next to a pet cemetery). A year later we were selling everything we owned (including most of our newly acquired wedding gifts) and plotting a big move across the world to New Zealand.
Wait…why New Zealand?
Glad you asked. We often wondered the same thing ourselves. No joke.
The whole Christchurch thing started back in the year 2000 (the distant future) when Noah did a YWAM DTS (Discipleship Training School) on the North Island of New Zealand. Technically, the NZ thing actually started when Noah was 12 and he saw a picture of this really beautiful island off the coast of Australia (sorry Kiwis, I was 12, give me a break), but that’s another story. For our purposes here, we’ll stick to the YWAM version.
During Noah’s time in NZ he felt like God gave him a picture (a vision if you will) of the city centre of Christchurch from above. There were people milling about and he felt like God gave him a sense of the ‘need’ in the place and gave him a real love for the Garden City. Though this sense of connection for Christchurch was strong, Noah didn’t feel the timing was right and returned back home to Colorado.
Five years down the track Kate enters the scene. This leads, inevitably, to holy matrimony and marital bliss (and the occasional non-bliss… shhhh!). This was complemented by a start-up screen-printing business, a house-church plant, and a wonderful community of friends within walking distance of our flat in downtown Denver.
One evening while chatting with some friends we felt God very clearly re-open the door to New Zealand and say “Now. It’s time to go!”. Within a year we had sold most of our belongings, packed the rest into a wooden crate and headed out across the sea to find out what God had waiting for us in Aotearoa (the land of the long white cloud).
A Great Shaking
Arriving in March of 2010 we had just 6 months to get settled before all hell broke loose. Quite literally.
The first earthquake struck on September 4th at 4:35am in the morning. It was big. 7.1 magnitude and it did its fair share of damage. But that wasn’t the worst of it. February 22, 2011 at 12:51 pm the earth rippled and convulsed—destroying most of the city and killing almost 200 of it’s inhabitants. And it was then that we knew why we were here. A time of drastic change had descended upon Christchurch.
There’s something about sharing a tragedy that brings people together and that’s exactly what happened with us. Being here in Christchurch’s darkest hours made us instantly part of the city… and we’ve been growing into it ever since.
Vision for Christchurch
God has shown us and others here that He wants to pour into the people of Christchurch, transform lives and a bring a fresh move of His Spirit—something that will be an example to the rest of the country and affect thousands of travelers coming through this major NZ city. It’s a big vision but we believe God has spoken this over the years and is looking for His kids to step up and be used to do His work here.
Four main themes that God keeps speaking over Christchurch are “unity”, “fertile soil”, “creativity” and “New City”. This city is like no other place in the world right now. With the total rebuild of an entire city in the works Christchurch is in a unique season of physical and spiritual transformation. The upheaval after the quakes opened doors for people to be more vulnerable with others and has been a time to lean on one another.
Christchurch is a special city. It’s the second largest metro area in New Zealand, yet it’s strangely small in its sense of community. Word gets around quickly like it does in other small towns; if something happens, everyone knows about it.
We believe that as God shakes things up, it will have a multiplying effect here. With the earthquakes everyone’s foundations were shaken not just literally but psychologically and spiritually as well. The people of the city were shaken from a virtual slumber of passivity. The CHURCH in Christchurch is waking up as well – recognizing it’s purpose and starting to realize that it can’t continue to do business as usual if it wants to see a move of God unleashed.
Right Now: Earthquake Recovery Update
It’s been a few years since the devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake that shattered Christchurch and changed the face of this city forever. While the world moves on, Christchurch is slowly but surely working toward recovery.
When we moved here we felt that God had said “New City” and it will truly be a new city in every sense of the word. Over 60% of the buildings in the city centre (downtown) area have been demolished and a few have even started popping back up.
Unfortunately, buildings are easier to repair than people and the people of Christchurch are weary and tired from the experience. They say that it takes 3-5 years for the full fatigue of dealing with a large-scale event like this to surface. With that in mind the city is just beginning to experience this new stage of frustration and anxiety. Christchurch could really use the ‘Peace that passes understanding’ more than ever in these times.