Thanks for all your encouraging comments - we're blessed to have the best bunch of friends ever! Ok, on with the story - I can't wait to get to the really exciting part but for now you'll have to do with this!
Six months after getting married we moved to Paihia. No money behind us, no job to go to, and all our possessions that could fit in the back of one van – the only security we had was knowing that’s where God wanted us to go! Once there, God soon provided work, a house we were miraculously able to buy at a ridiculous price with absolutely no deposit and only a small income, even more importantly we were given fantastic opportunities to grow our faith and develop many skills and qualities we now know will be essential for our new adventure. We saw on a small scale our big God provide often through miraculous ways. He grew our love for children & needy children especially. We started a kids outreach program through our church which we ran for about nine years during which time we saw an amazing coming together of churches for a common cause, and some miraculous breaking down of barriers between local schools and the churches. Even writing it now, makes it sound kinda exciting, but a lot of the time it was just real hard work & lots of prayer! I remember several times thinking to myself I’d love to just be a mum for a while that gets to visit with friends, go have coffee whenever I want, not have to spend countless hours each week planning kids programmes & everything else that went along with it – just to do whatever I wanted! I know, it sounds selfish & I’m sure we all have those moments where we don’t feel like carrying the weight & responsibility of what Gods called us to do. Deep down though, I knew I couldn’t give up what God wanted us to do – sometimes counting the cost of what we perceive we’re missing can cause us to become resentful or to give up. I encourage you not to give up whatever it is Gods called you to do, the grass is only greener where it’s being watered. Make sure you water your soul as well as your vision. We certainly didn’t have any clue of what the things we went through in Paihia would lead to.
It wasn’t long til it became clear that God had given our own children a similar passion to our own – that God had called us to serve him as a family (funny how he does that!). They had us hosting Easter parties for the neighbourhood where we’d be roped into doing gospel message puppet shows over the back of our couch - neighbourhood kids & their parents crammed into our small lounge (yes, we felt very cool, honestly, I laugh just thinking about it!). We’d be driving down the road and 5 yr old Josiah would constantly point people out and ask us if they knew Jesus & did I think we really should stop to tell them about Him.
All this time we knew God would one day have us serve Him as a family overseas but it seemed like such a long way off! Probably good, as we still had so much to learn!
Six years ago we moved from Paihia to Tauranga – again not knowing why God wanted us there but just knowing that He did! This time we had a job to go to, a truckload of stuff and a vanload of kids! Once again we saw Him seemingly move mountains for us to be able to buy land and build our home. While making the decision to move to Tauranga the idea dropped into my head that we were to homeschool the kids for one year. It must’ve been God, cos I was NEVER gonna homeschool, Pete even had to talk me around to sending the kids to a Christian school! Anyway, I got my head round doing it for one year – thought it would be kinda cool since we’d spent so much time with other peoples kids to get to hang with our own kids more and not get them at their worst at the end of each day! Six years later & still homeschooling & lovin it, it’s dawned on me maybe why God led us down that path – I just love it when he does stuff like that!!
Nearly at the real exciting stuff now but it's getting late & I need all the beauty sleep I can get! Soooo... it's gonna have to wait..