We’d arrived past dark the night before – being that it is early Spring here and still gets dark quite early – and were amazed to see the beautiful splendor they lived within! Their farmer neighbors on one side of the house owned loads of cows! And the neighbors to the other side had a field full of sheep! We spent a couple outside in the sunshine taking everything in - and bonding with their chickens and dogs. They own 12 dogs – all for hunting. And six of them are new puppies. Good lordy they were so sweet.
Derrick invited us to swing by the church at 11am to visit the old ladies who were having their weekly craft day – so we showed up for tea. I drove :) (sorry, I’m still pretty excited about driving stick shift…). It was great. There were so many ladies there – and they were all very friendly. J Each of them were working on crafts with some sort of a cause. They’d knitted together little garments for new babies born with AIDS in Delhi that they were about to send over. Most of them were working on individual projects though.
….I – want to have a weekly craft group with my friends now! ..once we get back…J anyone interested?? J any takers??
We told Derrick we’d return that evening for the Wednesday night service. So with the couple of hours we had, we headed over to THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACH I’VE EVER SEEN in Matapouri.
I can’t wait to post pictures of it – we’re gonna hold off on posting pictures for a while tho… Remember how we mentioned that New Zealand had missed the free wi-fi memo. Well we found out why. New Zealand hasn’t gone fiber-optic yet – so they’re limited in the amount of wifi they can provide and furthermore most household cannot download more than 1gig per month – and we think that uploading pictures also takes up some of that space… SO – to respect the limited amount of space our hosts have – we probably shouldn’t do any downloading or uploading…. And we haven’t really figured out an alternative thus far. :/
Whelp… anyway… we walked on the beach for about half an hour and took cool pictures on some interesting rock formations. It was awesome. It was like trekking through Point Defiance down at Owens Beach – but the ground was really muddy. We sort of had to pull our way up the hill by grabbing onto trees, roots, and brush – otherwise we’d just slip all the way down. It took us a while, but when we reached the top, it was a gorgeous view. We had a tough time finding a way back down – so we ended up pretty much doing the same thing – which was comical. We got some pretty hilarious videos of ourselves slipping and grabbing onto vines and things to save ourselves.
It looked exactly like the jungles of Jurassic Park in there – and the whole time we pretended there were dinosaurs after us…. J
That evening we had dinner at the church and met a lot of really sweet people. In New Zealand a lot of the churches go through a bible study program filmed in the UK called “Alpha.” The purpose is to invite non-believers to join for dinner and discussion – and after dinner, the group watches these videos, 1 each week, that go through the basics of Christianity – through different topics. And then afterwards everyone splits into smaller groups and discusses the video. The leaders of the group are not supposed to really guide discussion but to allow people to express their opinions and process the material naturally, whether their interpretations or expressions are biblically correct or not – just allowing them to learn and sort things out without Shepparding. Apparently Alpha has a pretty high success rate with nonbelievers finding Jesus by the end of the 9-week course.
We liked it a lot and thought it was pretty beneficial for people who are already Christians as well.
JP brought his board games for the teenage girls and their friends to play with while all the adults were doing Alpha. And they loved him for it. They all played an intense game of Carcassonne. J
That evening we went back to Pastor Derrik’s house one more time and the whole family gathered around the camp fire and we all talked late into the night. They are such a beautiful family.
We ended up on the topic of evangelism – and how imperative it is for Christians to be sharing the gospel. Derrick was talking with us about how nowadays everyone pretty much assumes that others are sharing the gospels – to the extent that almost no one is. :/ Learning Derrick’s views on evangelism was very touching for us. We pretty much got a training session on evangelism from him. He even gave us a book that he said changed his thinking on evangelism and urged him to take it up with more passion.