Friday, August 28, 2009

The nice work week

Things have been staying really busy around here. Have had some really good conversations with a couple guys from the Christian Surfers Organization so am really looking forward to sitting down, having a nice cup of hot tea or coffee and discussing different ways to get this thing started. I have been asked by the director in Raglan to start praying and trying to put together a leadership team to start focusing on getting the chapter up here again. I have also been asked to team up and be the head of it, which is ia big step and something that I am not sure I am ready for....bring it on Eli said.
I have also been working, working, and working some more spraying for this guy named Cameron. He has tons of land and needs someone to spray this horrible yellow plant called Gores. It is a sharp, prickly weed that sucks the life out of the ground and am spraying that. THe chemical has this strong redish pinkish dye that tends to cover me everyday as you can see in the first picture. But all in all it has been so beautfiul outside working so it has been worth it. Crawling up the hills to spray is a challenge though and to be honest i find myself sucking wind after about 10 minutes of spraying. "Welcome to New Zealand hills" Cameron told me the first day on the job and oh was he right.
I have also been working on his house. The picture on the right, framing, laying concrete, and screwing a tin roof on. Really crazy to be up that high puting a roof on while the wind is blowing but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
God has really been showing me some amazing things and one of the greatest sounds i have ever heard is being out there in the mix of the gores and hearing all the bees humming and buzzing around. Pretty cool to hear thousands of bees buzzing. Have been studying and reading through Titus, Jims challenge to some of the men to focus on that, spend time reading, and praying. Has definately been a great challenge and have really gotten a lot out of it.
Things here are great, the weather has been off and on but thats the way it is before spring and summer get here, so im really looking forward to that.
Check out all my other pics on facebook.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What a day in the life of a kiwi fruit farmer

Today was a very interesting day to say the least. I woke up this morning knowing that I was going to work on the kiwi fruit farm but little did I know how much work I would be doing, how enjoying it would be, and how beautiful and amazing the day would become. From the start I realized and found out that kiwi fruit grows from these huge vines that are help up by wire, fence post, and worrd frames. Since kiwi fruit picking season starts in the next few month ahead the process of builiding new frames and getting the branches ready for pruning is what we did today. The guy that I worked for, and will be working for from now on since he told me today he really enjoyed my hard work, quick learning, and interest asked me if I wanted to help him over the next several weeks buling fence, spraying his fields, and helping him herd and kill his lambs for harvest and selling. I am not the big country type of guy, i mean i do enjoy it but to be honest it is not my favorite thing, but I am very interested in learning about it as well.
We spent hours on the side of the green mountain tearing about logs and de-nailing the railing in order to put new ones up. The land that this guy has is amazing and come to find out his wife went to Texas Tech and they met here while her parents were missionaries here, small world; i think so.
We spent hours working and talking about Texas BBQ, california beaches and surf, In n out burger, football, and movies. Really great guy and family to work for and after work they invited me to dinner where we had Tui (there type of beer), kiwi lamb sausage, mashed potatoes, and leash (which is a type of onion apparently).
The most amazing thing though about today and this guy is that he is a competitive sheep calling guy. Every year they have the sheep dog competitions where they do different types of calls that make the dogs go right, left, sit down, back up, herd up or down, and a couple other things. It was pretty amazing to watch as we sat down, had a cup of hot tea and scones for a snack break and to see him stand in his driveway and get the dogs to herd the sheep from about 300 yards away in the direction he wanted the sheep to end up. With every whistle, yell, and occasional yell (back back Tex) the sheep dog did exactly what was asked of them and it was so amazing to listen to and watch. I look forward to the hard work ahead, of course the pay because to be honest it is pretty good, and just getting to know the culture of farming and working with kiwi fruit and animals, going to be a good experience i think.
All in all it was a great day and I look forward to church tomorrow. I just wish that, since it is sunday here tomorrow and sat there, that I could watch some college football but the All blacks Rugby team is playing tonight, which the entire country will be watching im sure, so I guess that will have to do for now.

Friday, August 21, 2009



Things have been going going going. So many things have happened and the reason I have nt written in about a week is because the net has been down. In the past few days I have visited an amazing volcano called the white island. We took a drive to whakatani which is pronounced fakatani (wh = f sound). It was amazing and just getting the experience of riding a a boat across the ocean, seeing the sun set across it, smelling the sulfur, and learning about the history of the island was pretty amazing. It has been rainy off and on but it is clearing up for a beautiful week. I have been helping a moving company just to make a little bit of cash and to help meet some people from the community and stuff. I am learning (today actually) how to work with the kiwi fruit, picking, cleaning, rooting, and spraying which I think will be a pretty cool experience.
Enjoyed some nice cooked salmon (that i made) with some potatoes and some salad last ngiht and had some friends from the church come share in the feast. Things have been good and I will be more detailed later on but for now good bye and keep me in your prayers.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A great couple of Day

I have not written much in the last few days and I am sorry for that but I have been so crazy busy with so many different things. About 3 days ago I had the privelage of going to a funeral and the guy that past away was a guy from England who had moved here ages ago by the name of Owen. It was so great to here people talk about a man like this who was so strong in the Lord, loving to everyone around him, and a guy that I feel like I totally missed out on meeting. I have met some pretty cool people here on the Island so far and as some of you know have been hanging out with a few Kiwi' locals who are very interested in planting a surf ministry of some sort. I have also been in contact with the Christian Surfer's Organization as well and after a few really good conversations am really looking forward to seeing what will come of that, so please pray for that conversation and what God might do with all that.

It has been really great so far staying with Jim and Marylin and to be honest I am so so grateful for thier patience and allowing someone like me to stay with them, you guys are truly great. I will say this though...I am already in desperate need to some fast food from In n Out and a nice huge Dr. Pepper....didnt think it would hit me this soon but if anyone would like to mail me a case please feel free (I will email you the address whenever you would like).

Tea, hot tea that is, is something that everyone here drinks and although I do enjoy it from time to time, having it everyday is something that I am going to have to get used to. Last night was a pretty interesting night, for the first time in a long time I got to experience what it is like to see and hear "real rain and storms." It literally rained all day, like from early in the morning until we went to poured and poured and poured. Not a bad thing, it smelled amazing and I guess it has to rain that much in order to keep it as green and as beautiful as it is here.

I met a guy named Josh at "The Backdoor" which is a surf shop here at the the Mount and we got to talking about a few things and apparently he writes for the newspaper and when I told him that I actually moved here and planned on staying for as long as God would let me, "If you are reading this God you know I mean forever, :) !! We had a good conversation and he was really stoked about meeting me and what I told him i wanted to do here. So hopefully we will either see each other in the line up.....for you people who do not know what that is that is what you do when you are waiting in the water.

I got a surf board and a wet suit....super cheap so if you are reading this dad do not freak out, it was super cheap and a nice used board ok. Today, in about 30 minutes I am going to be taking lessons on how to drive on the "wrong" side of the road today. I have already driven but Jim and Marylin really want to make sure I have it down since they are going to be leaving on Wednesday and I am going to be here by myself....they want to make sure they can leave me with the other car....see how great they are.

Well, other than that....nothing has really happened, we watched the Cardinals get beat, but it was only pre-season and then I learned how to chop wood, start a fire, and keep it burning....sounds funny but it is harder work that you think.

See you guys tomorrow and I hope you all have a great day,



Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On the country Road

Monday was a very interesting day which i thought was going to be disapointing but ended up being amazing. Robyn and I, a girl I met from Canada, decided to got o the white island which is aobut a 3 hour ship ride and a beautfiul volcano that we really wanted to go see but because of the weather it got cancelled and so Robyn then asked, "Lets go the the sheep show" and after much laughter we decided to hit the road and do something neither one of us had ever done.

The beautiful ride through amazing winding roads, beautiful scenery, and good converstaion we ended up in Rotorua to the sheep show. We learned alot about the 18 different types of sheep that new zealand raises and farms here and then we got a chance to see this huge cow and how it was miled. We then got picked and selected out of a crowed of about 200 asians to go up on stage and milk a cow. Pretty funny i guess but to be honest it was an expereince that might haunt me for a long time, hehe. It was a pretty amazing time and on the way back we stopped at the giant KIWI360 statue, which is a huge statue of a kiwi fruit. I found out that you have to say kiwi fruit if you are talking about the fruit, kiwi bird if you are talking about the bird, and just kiwi if you are talking about a guy or a girl. So you wouldnt say you want to eat a kiwi becasue that would mean you ate a person, if you catch my drift.

I have learned so many different words, comments, and slang things to say, here are some:

A speed bump is called a jitter bug,
you do not root for a team you cheer for a team because root means "sleeping with"
if you compare something to 6 to a half dozen you mean that it is equal or not worth it; example.
Why would you work for that price you might as well work for 6 or a half dozen.
A bathroom is a TOILET, and yes they are pretty particular to that.
And of course there are tons more but this is all I can think of right now.

It was a great day, great weather, and really excited about the next few days. Tonight we celebrated an "AIM" student from Lubbock Texas' birthday, her name is kristi and we hung out and played bungalo, which is an interesting card game, ate some great food and chocolate cake and finished the day with me winning 4 games in a row..."GO ME!!!!"

Had some coffee with two guys this morning from Otemoptai Church here and we talked about some evangelistic opportunites and I conveyed my vision and let them know about the Surf ministry that we are starting and what all we are doing with that as well. Planning on using the back packer, which is a hostel, to start it up since everyone is there and close by. I have found that if you live on the Mount then everyone knows you and so on so I am really stoked to continue to meet people on the Island and get this things started. Please be praying about that and if you have any question please ask.. God is doing some gnarly things here on the Island and I am just so excited to be a tool and a part of it.......surfing and doing ministry is something that I have wanted to do my whole life.....please pray about this and if you have any ideas please hit me back with them.....starting something like this is new and we need all the help we can get.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Lazy Lazy Lazy

I woke up this morning with the smell of a great breakfast the was prepared by two awesome ladies (Kayla and Jana.)

Striped Bacon
Eggs (Jim Mauldins Specialty)
Hot Tea

It was a great way to start the saturday and then we just hung out on the balcony, chatted, and watch "Adrift" which is a surf video that I have not seen since i was a young tike (haha...I said tike i like that word.) Then right after that I had the wonderful experience of trying to get a cell phone that consisted of 3 hours of my time, trying to get it unlocked, calling America 4 times with their phone in order to get the right code, unlocking the phone getting all the paper work filled out just in time to figure out that they were about to close so I have to come back on Monday to get it...hahaha but oh well.....following that was an amazing lunch (Sushi....and sorry Ah have nothing on the takeaway or sitdown place that we had sushi at today. It was the best sushi that I have ever put in my mouth and I savored the flavor with every was glorious. Starbucks....yes they have starbucks....was next as we hung out and spent some time getting to know each other. All in all it was a great day and ended with a rally cry last night as we watch Rugby and cheered because apparently the team from somewhere here won.

See you guys tomorrow

Friday, August 7, 2009

Work Day

Today I did somehing that I have not done yet....worked!! I woke up this morning and had the best eggs I have ever had in my entire life and had toast, jam, and sprite mixed with O.J. and to be honest it was truly amazing. After breakfast Jim asked if I would help him wash the car that they are trying to sell so I headed towards the church to wash, detail, and hook up this car to make it look, like Emeril would say, BAM!!!!
It was about 13 degrees celsius, yes i know but I am trying to get used to the way they measure and say things so I am not going back to standard so just get used to it but for you guys it was about 56 degree is or, sunny and completely heavenly to say the least. The sky was nice and blue and a breeze from the ocean really made it a perfect day to be outside so why not wash a car and help a brotha out.
I then headed to my meeting with Joshua Cole, who is the leader of me DTS that I begin at the end of August and after and amazing conversation of some flate white coffee (which is like a latte back in the states I really started to understand why I am here and what God is using me for. We talked alot about the training and what all i would be doing and it turns out that we are going to be touring the south island on Mercy Ships going all around the south island passing out clothes, shoes, and medical supplies to the doctors and orphanages in the area. Then we will be coming back here to Tauranga for some more studying and then off to either FIJI, SINGAPORE, or PHILLIPINES and the reason for me doing all this (which is totally a God thing) is that they have asked me if I would make a committment to staying here atleast 3 years to teach the next several DTS's and work here with YWAM and it took me a secong to process this so I asked him how I would be able to do that when the time came and he said since so many people leave from here they would hook me up, fill out paper work, to (depending on what God wanted) to either get a 3 year extended visa or apply for permanent residence (citizenship) and become a YWAM KIWI in charge of the Tauranga Region so please be in prayer about this. I did tell him that I would love to make the 3 year committment since I did not move here just to hang out so I truly think that this is an amazing opportunity yet very challenging as well. God is doing some pretty amazing things and I thank you so much for all your support and prayers (Tish....thanks so much and I love you guys so so so much.)
After the meeting I took a 5 mile run through the back roads in the trees and caught some rabbit trails and ended up running way farther than intended and spent the run looking at the Mount and the sunset behind it and to be honest it was breath taking. To see the bay, ocean, the mount, and the pink sunset was truly God painting a picture that I hope everyone here did not miss.
Spent the rest of the night with the youth group at the church doing 70's night and just hanging out. Well about to crash so good night and see you tomorrow.

Kia Ora !!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Back Yard

Today was a pretty amazing day to say the least after waking up 5 am and deciding to start the day with a morning cup of tea and a read I really began to realize how this moment that I have been waiting for has really come at the right time. Looking at the balcony from the living room (pictures about) I really stopped and thanked God for the blessings that he has given me after this long 3 year wait.
Well, after waking up and getting the day started I had the privelage of going to a mens prayer event at South Pacific Bible college where, in the same room, 8 different countries were represented and being a part of a prayer session with several guys from all over the world really opened my eyes to how big God truly is. Listening to the prayers and hearing about what God is doing not only in America (which is was we tend to only think about) but hearing the great things and lives being changed around the world was the greatest thing I really have ever been a part of in terms of prayer.
After that, I was a little hungry....prayer I guess makes me hungry now (lol). So Jim and I headed to the WesPac bank for get some money out and enjoyed eating a meat and pepper meat pie (one of the best breakfasts I have had in a long time) and headed to go install two fire alarms in a house for a member of the church.
About 1230 I went over the the elementary school and watched as tons of kids entered the room to teach them about the shepherd and the Lost sheep and of course get a little roudy with them as know me. And I could not help but watch outside the window all the little boys playing rugby, tackling themselves with huge smiles on their faces and being so excited to be exactly where I was at that moment.
Later that day I enjoyed a L&P soda and a cornbeef sandwhich which was totally amazing and it was off to the hot pools. It has been pretty chilly in the morning and at night and so most people around here go to the hot pools. They are like hot tubs that can fit about 500 people in them and there are 5 different pools ranging from cool to super hot and the cool thing about them is that they get their heat from the Mt. which is a volcano and through that they pump it do to heat levels to make the pools different levels of heat. It was so relaxing as I hung out with Jim and Marylin and their long time friends who are missionaries now in Mexico. It was such an amazing expereince to here what God is doing all around the world and taking it all in has really been heart stopping.....God has me hear for a reason and I am just eating it all up.
Later in the evening it was time for small group where we and a few Aussies, Kiwi's, and Americans got together as we watch a video about the different characteristics of who God truly is and it was just great to hear different people talk about how they viewed God (male and female).
Sleeping was coming up right after that and it ended with a great conversation about the Mounts great surf as Jim and I read about the 50 greatest surfers in surfer Magazine. Really cool when a younger surfer like myself get a chance to hear how it used to be from a man from Huntington. What a great day the Lord has made and thanks so much Jim for an exciting day here at the bay

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A day in the Bay

Today was another great day which started off with tea and crumpets and ended with a very Kiwi/Mexican food meal at The Flying Burrito. I already have grown fond of the culture and the mentality of the people here in New Zealand. After only being here a day it seems that I am in the right place and right where God wants me to be.

One thing that I have found out that even though the days are really nice it tends to get dark about 630 pm and when the sun goes out so does the heat, which is fine, but because there is no central heating in the houses here (none what so ever) it tends to get really chilly and that is why I sleep with a hottie. Now I know what your thinking, "what type of christian place are you with and who are you staying with." HAHAHA, a hottie is a type of warmer that they put in between the sheets that makes your bed warm after just about 5 or so minutes, so yes I will be sleeping with a hottie for a while.....arent you so jealous.

I hung out with the staff at the church this morning and it was so great to hear people talk about the community and all that is happening here in New Zealand. Even though there are a few churches here in Tauranga apparently it is a very unchurched place, so much so that the statistics of people who actually go to church is only about 10% of the people in the area and Tauranga is considered to have alot. So that really opens my eyes and my heart to how great of a need bringing the love of Jesus is needed here. Yes it is beautiful but at the same time it is a very lost and searching place in terms of individuals.

I have only been here a short time and after years of praying for God to show me the way to New Zealand he officially did today. We had a meeting with the ministers in the area, of all congregations (C.O.C., Baptist, Prespaterian, Pentecostal, etc.) and it was amazing because there was no fighting, there were no we are right you are not type of talk, it was people from different congregations with maybe a little bit differences in how they do things, but their passion for the Lord and for young people was amazing and definaltely something that is lacking in American church and culture.....was awesome to see true love and "CHURCH" today. I met a guy out of the meeting who is heading up a group through YWAM here in Tauranga that starts at the end of August and it turns out he knows the guy I have been talking to for some time about it and after speaking with him it was so evident to why I am here. The things that they are doing here in Tauranga with the Next Generation they call it is truly inspiring and moving and I am so stoked to be a part of it so please continue to pray for that ministry and for my next couple of steps here in the next few weeks.

So far it has totally been an eye and heart opening experience and I am so grateful to Jim and Marylin Mauldin for letting me come and stay with them for a while. I am so excited to see what God is going to do and I am just so looking forward to what he is going to show me and lead me to. Thanks for you prayers and thoughts and I will talk to you guys tomorrow.


Monday, August 3, 2009



After many months of prayer, preparation, and determination I have finally arrived in Tauranga New Zealand. To be honest it is a real shock to me as I woke up this morning realizing that I have finally made it to the place that I have been trying to get to for the last 3 years. Do not know how to express the anxiety and the feeling that I had after sleeping 15 hours as I woke up, looked out side, and said to myself, "God, is this really happening."

The flight was great but man was it a really long, long, did i metion it was a long, long day. After getting dropped off at Dallas love and getting to hang out with Cody one last time, for awhile, I boarded my plane and headed to LAX. Well, it turns out that even though southwests slogan is, "You Are Now Free to Move About the Country", I think the word "Eventually" should be stated after that. I was unaware that after we boarded the plane we would be going to San Antonio then in mid-air be told that we are running out of fuel and have to stop in New Mexico.....but "EVENTUALLY" we arrived in LAX only about an hour and a half late....and we were there.

Customs was fun, after dragging my luggage, 110 LBS. of it across the LAX airport I finally found my Qantas destination, checked my bags, and was off the see the guys in red (custom agents). It didnt take me long, no cavity searches or anything like that and except for them giving me the wrong boarding pass (Sondria was here name) it was a great experience. We boarding Qantas and prepared outselves for the 13.5 hour flight to Aukland and then we were off. I must say that flying in a 747 was a great expereince and to be honest put Southwest to shame especially because we didnt have to stop for gas!!!!

I sat next to a guy who was headed to farm in Auckland after living and farming in NYC.....and I had to ask as I am sure everyone else does,"There are farms in NYC....laughing he said he knew I was going to ask. Well after a lot of tossing and turning and movie watching we finally made it to Auckland at 7 am on monday and it was official....I WAS FINALLY HERE!!!!

I got my bags, got picked up by two girls from AIM and headed to Tauranga. We stopped at a McCafe which by the way is the nicest McDonalds ever, yeah i know the first place i ate was McDonalds but it was worth it if you could have been there. We had sausage roles and their famous soda, L & P, and headed on to the most beautiful drive I have ever been on.

It was an amazing first day in NZ and I am so excited to see what today will bring.