Greetings from New Zealand! I arrived safely at the Auckland airport at 5:45 am on New Year’s Eve day after a 33-hour journey from Knoxville-Atlanta-San Francisco- to Auckland. My travel went well, and I was very happy to be greeted with a “welcome home” and hugs from the East City Wesleyan (ECW) Church ministry team. We gathered for a McDonald’s breakfast and then headed on to the Millington’s house, where I will be staying. On the ride there, I was able to soak in the beauty of God’s creation around me. I loved feeling the warmth of the sun as we walked to our destinations. After settling into my room, I quickly made friends with “Lloyd”, the resident bunny! I was able to meet more people from the church during a nice 11:00 pm New Year’s Eve service. I immediately felt the Holy Spirit as I entered the doors of East City Wesleyan. I can already tell that ECW will be very special to me in the months to come! I feel so very blessed that Christ has given me the opportunity to help spread his love to the people here.
On Wednesday, I kicked off the new year with a trip to a beach close by called Eastern Beach. The beach was beautiful, but the water was pretty cold, so you had to move around to get warmed up. While there, we all enjoyed some hot chips (French Fries) and enjoyed fellowship together. I had another fun day on Thursday when the Bowlin family invited me to visit the Hamilton Gardens which was beautiful. I loved smelling the roses and seeing the unique attributes of each flower. After the gardens, we had a treat a Duck Island Ice Cream. Friday evening was my first time to meet with the ECW youth group that I will be working with. I enjoyed playing a game with them called fruit salad and learning some about each of them. We had a good time worshipping and then got to share our New Year’s goals with one another. It was a great night and I am really looking forwarding to working with everyone here. Today (Saturday) I am looking forward to meeting Eliza (the other WME Resident in Mission) for the first time when we meet to do some planning for an upcoming youth camp.
I hope all who are keeping up with me, have a Happy New Year filled with many blessings. Thank you for all your prayers as I begin this new journey.