Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mid Valley Biblestudy...

While we were still in LA, we were apart of the High school ministry. The following pictures are some of the kids that we ministered to. Being apart of the Midvalley Biblestudy was a different experience for me. The previous biblestudy I had been apart of was mostly made up of kids from that were homeschooled and I related to them very easily. But this group was mostly made up of kids who went to public school. The Lord taught me many things in the weeks that I spent with them. By the time we left, it was hard to say goodbye. We love you guys and miss you lots...

Priscilla, Ariel, Nikki, Jea, Priscilla, andSara
Sam and Isaiah





My smallgroup...
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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Making Grapejuice...

In October, Sam bought home bucket loads of grapes which we made into grapejuice. Here are some pictures of the process...

Squishing the grapes...


Straining the juice from the pulp

The second load of grapes...

Yummy grapes




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Friday, October 31, 2008

Modesto, CA

It is our desire and goal in life to able to serve our Lord to the best of our ability. We want to have the freedom, in regards to finances and skills, to go wherever the Lord will use us, maybe even to a mission field.

After realistically looking at our current situation, we came to the conclusion that we might be able to fulfill our goals in L.A., but it would take a very long time at the rate that we are going. A couple weeks back, we brainstormed about how to best accomplish our goals and prepare ourselves for a rapidly approaching future.

We looked at Sam getting a second job or Nicki getting a full time or part time job. We considered when we want to have kids and how that would affect our lives. We looked at our cost of living to see if we could reduce any of it. We looked at our opportunities for ministry in Los Angeles. We weighed up the pros and cons of living in L.A. and going to Grace with living in a cheaper part of the country. We weighed the friendships and relationships that we have in L.A. with the possibility of new ones in another area.

After searching and pursuing numerous options in the L.A. area, we decided to open up our search to other areas outside of L.A. and California. The Lord opened doors and closed some doors. Last Thursday (the 23rd), Sam was offered a job in Modesto, CA. The job is a managing position for a landscaping company that does commercial maintenance and installation. It is a very similar job to what he is already doing, except that he will be working for someone else rather than himself.

One of the benefits of working for a licensed contractor is that after three years Sam can get his own contractor’s license, which is what he has been pursuing for the last few years. The other way to get the contractor’s license, which is the way that Sam has been pursuing, is for him to finish his bachelor’s degree. Cal State Stanislaus has the same program that Sam was pursing here in L.A. This will also be a benefit for us as Sam will only have a 20 mile commute rather than the 120 mile commute that he made last semester.

Another benefit of moving to Modesto is the cheaper cost of living. Renting alone is about half of what it is in L.A. This will free us up to pay off debt, save for the future, and have the flexibility to be generous with the resources the Lord gives us.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A change in location...

It is our desire and goal in life to able to serve our Lord to the best of our ability. We want to have the freedom, in regards to finances and skills, to go wherever the Lord will use us, maybe even to a mission field.
In light of this, we will be leaving L.A., Oneighty Ministry, Grace Community Church, and many, many dear friends. November 9th will be our last Sunday at Grace, though we will be back a few more times before the end of November. We are moving to Modesto, CA where Sam has a job waiting, and where we will begin serving Hickman Community Church.
We are planning to be here for Thanksgiving, and for the high-school prayer event on the 22nd of November. We are also going to be moving all our belongings on the 22nd of November and would appreciate all the help we can get loading the truck that night.
It saddens us to think of all the relationships that we are leaving behind in L.A. God has blessed us with many close friends, but at the same time we are excited for the future and what opportunities await us. The best thing about separations and good-byes between Christians is that we know they are not forever. We are going to get a place in Modesto that has an extra bedroom or two so that we can have people stay with us. If you are ever in the area, or headed for Yosemite National Park, let us know. We would love to catch up with you.
There are a few things that we would appreciate prayer for…
- That God would provide a buyer or someone to take over Sam’s business
- That we would find the right place to live
- That the transition would be smooth
- That our hearts would be knit together with those at Hickman Community Church and
- That we would be a blessing to those people as we seek to love and serve them as Christ does.

More to follow....

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Home Again...

Just wanted to let you all know that we made it home to Los Angeles safely. It was a long trip and we are a bit tired, but very glad to be in our little home again. It was great catching up with a lot of the NZ family and friends, and we look forward to seeing our other friends tomorrow...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Christchurch at night...


Experimenting

Overlooking Christchurch

Stephen and Debbie (Nicki's cousins)

Down South...

Lake Tekapo



Mount Cook






Snowboarding...

This morning, Sam and I drove up to Mount Hutt. Sam was able to do some snowboarding, while I relaxed in the car. It was a gorgeous day after all the rain...















Flooding...

After arriving in the South Island, we found that they were experiencing another large rain storm. The ground is so saturated that it has been flooding like crazy. There were lots of slips, and washouts, and floods along the way. Every bridge we drove over crossed a river that was from bank to bank. But we made it through to Hamner Springs with only a little difficulty...









video

The Interislander...

On Monday morning, we were up bright and early to catch the ferry. This was a new experience for Sam as he hasnt been on many boats, and a nostalgic trip for me. The weather looked awful as we left...lots of cloud and fog.... but we had a fairly smooth trip. When we arrived in Picton, our destination, it was a bit drizzly...






Rivendell...

After leaving Hastings, we made our way down to Wellington to catch a ferry. Along the way, our mapbook indicated where a few of the Lord of the Rings film locations were. Since Sam is a big LOTR fan, we detoured to try and find some of these sites. We were mostly unsuccessful as the spots no longer look the same. But we did find where Rivendell was filmed and a beautiful river location...






Hastings...

Hastings is the town that I grew up in. It was fun to show Sam around, and to let him into my world. There are so many memories in this place, and so many people that I wanted him to meet. On Friday night, we had a get-together at the Bensons house so that all my family friends could meet him. It was a late night catching up with people, and re-acquainting with their kids. The pictures below are of the square in the center of town...