Monday, March 19, 2012

Greece Missions Conference

This summer, Reuben and I have the opportunity to serve on a short-term ministry team that is going to Greece! Grace Church has more than 70 families serving in international ministry around the globe, and every two years they host a conference for them to all get together and be refreshed. Here is an excerpt from our support letter that says it best:

   "Our GMI missionaries are champions for the gospel...their labor is often attached to great sacrifice as they willingly give up the comfort and ease of home and find themselves immersed in an unfamiliar culture and language. They are a tremendous example of dedication and steadfast service as they passionately and joyfully minister for the glory of God. 
   Grace Community Church cherishes our precious missionaries and always looks to uphold and support them in practical, strengthening and edifying ways. Every two years we gather our missionaries together for a special conference intended to provide a window of necessary respite and reprieve. They enjoy worship and rich teaching while partaking in fellowship with like-minded missionaries who understand their unique trials and challenges."

It takes a team of people to facilitate this unique conference - and that's where we get to be involved. Our team is going to run a children's programme for the missionary kids, hoping to create an environment where the missionaries can thrive spiritually, be restored and renewed. Reuben and I are teaching the 7 and 8 year olds, which we are very excited about. There are 18 kids in our "class", coming from 14 different countries! We are very excited to get to know these sweet kids.

Ruins of temple at Delphi

Thessaloniki "old town"

Corinth Canal

Eretria beach

So, When are we going? June 21st- July 4th, 2012.

And Where? Eretria. Located on the island of Euboea, this was an important "city-state" in Ancient Greece. Eretria is about 1.5 hour drive away from Athens. A large hotel complex will be our home base, where we will have classrooms set up for the kids.

How can you be involved?
1. Prayer. Please pray for: our team to be unified, for wisdom in preparing the lessons, for lots of extra strength and energy when we are actually in Greece, and mostly for our efforts to be a true encouragement to the missionaries so that they can continue to serve the Lord in their respective fields.

2. Giving. We are very encouraged that the necessary funding for such a trip is beginning to come in. However, we still have financial needs to be met before we depart. If you would like to help support us in this way, please email us at

Thanks :) And we look forward to telling you more about this unique ministry opportunity as it comes closer to the date.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kiwi Reunion

What fun it has been over the last few weeks to be reconnected with so many dear friends from New Zealand! First, we had Nige and Sereena come over, and we got to travel with them and the Watsons to Josh & Michelle's wedding in Nevada. This was a HUGE treat, and we are so thankful that we got to witness this special event. So sadly, I forgot my camera :( Thanks to Sereena, who was responsible and got some pics, which I took off her blog:
Shortly after this trip, we have received more visitors from "down under" with the Shepherd's Conference happening at our church. We had the privilege of extra time with Greg Stephenson, who stayed with us for the week. We also were thrilled to be able to see our pastor Russell and his wife Liz, one of our elders Denys and his wife Elvira, as well as spend more time with Nige and Sereena, Josh and Michelle. Another friend of ours (pastor of Auckland Bible Church) Tim Collins was also able to come to the conference, and it was great to catch up with him too. During this time with the great influx of kiwis, we had a "kiwi dinner" at The Master's College one night thanks to Sereena, again! Wow!

A great time was had by all at the kiwi dinner. You may notice that my dear Reuben is not in the picture, and he was so sad that he had to miss this special event. He had to work that night, in the bookstore. As you can imagine, with having 3,000 pastors coming to Shepherd's Conference, there are a LOT of books to be sold! We are thankful that Reuben had the opportunity to work many overtime hours during the week, just another example where we get to see how the Lord continually provides for our needs,
e v e r y   s i n g l e   d a y.
He is so good to us!!

Santa Barbara

I think today must be a nostalgic day: a great day to look back through pictures from over the last few months, and be reminded of how many amazing blessings the Lord has given to us. As you may already know, we LOVE Stephanie, our dear friend who has become like family, and whose home we are living in. A few months ago she took us on a very fun weekend of relaxation after Reuben had just completed a difficult Hebrew test. Here's some of our favourite shots from the sunny, sandy days at the sea. A great thought to hold in your heart for those of you experiencing the end of a cold winter!

Third Anniversary

Yes, it was a few months ago now (Jan 7th), but we celebrated our third
 anniversary at Disneyland!! Reuben's sister Jillian was here visiting from NZ,
so we took her and Lawrence to Disneyland, and had a great time.
Amongst all the busy-ness and demanding schedule of seminary life,
it's great to have these fun memories to look back on.

Reuben's favourite ride: Space Mountain. The front row is where all the fun is had...

...and apparently the second row just isn't exciting enough to keep Reuben awake!
The rest of us might have been hamming it up slightly...

Autopia...another Disneyland classic, with Matterhorn in the background.
True or False: the Matterhorn mountain is equipped with a
basketball court inside for the staff of the mountain to play on during their breaks?

Verity in her element: definitely my favourite ride is Goofy's Flight School... starts off by going straight up into the air, then makes a number of quick turns,
like you're learning how to steer an airplane. Because there aren't any sides on the
track OR on your car, you really feel like you could fall right off the edge! 
Ja & I had fun trying on some glitzy Mickey ears 

Another favorite ride: Thunder Mountain 
We got these cute pins from Town Hall because we were celebrating

And how cool is that: our room # was 303 for our 3rd anniversary!

The happy couple :)