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New Zealand (Pilgrimage Reflection #4)

Posted on July 21st, 2013

How is our trip going? It is a bit complex to give an easy answer, but the following are a few ponderings. 1.     We have deep rhythms of silence and solitude that we need to acknowledge. See my previous blog for more on this.  What does an “emotionally healthy, global partnership tour” look like? What are the unique factors that have to be built in – at least for us?  How does the gift of limits apply to Geri and I as we step into this new arena? 2.     We cannot develop and release a movement of EHS abroad  – it must be God’s doing, not ours. There is great expectation for the movement of EHS as it continues to spread. We will continue to offer our few loaves and fishes, (Ps. 127) as a mustard seed and let Him take care of the rest.  It is a wonder that a number of churches and denominations were doing EHS before we even arrived in NZ. 3.     EHS touched a deep chord among pastors and leaders in each city. While we were having our own learning curve, so were pastor and leaders who attended the seminars. As one leader said, “I felt like I had received the price of my registration fee by morning tea.”  It is a global message flowing from New Life in Queens, a global church. As another New Zealand pastor said to me, “This is the first time I did not have to translate an American teaching into our culture.” 4.      We were unprepared for the impact of the February 11, 2011, Christchurch earthquake. Both the city and the churches remain physically and emotionally devastated. Many people were displaced from their homes and churches. Seven thousand homes, for example, were condemned in just one section of the city, including pastors from our seminar. Parts of the city looked like the South Bronx in the 1980’s. Much like NYC after 9/11, I realized grieving over the earthquake still is very different from a biblical theology of loss that truly changes our lives (next blog). 5.     We experienced several “hobbit” sightings. We define hobbits as wonderful, great-hearted people with “no guile.”  New Zealanders are wonderfully kind people. It was a joy and privilege to be among them. 6.     We have just spent the last two days in much needed rest and relaxation, taking in the beauty and natural landscapes of NZ.  It truly may be one of the most beautiful countries in the world.  Our cups are re-filling and we look forward to a couple of more free days before we speak again. While this first week had its challenges, we recognize the privilege it is to represent Christ, and NLF, to these pastors/leaders on the other side of the world. Thank you for your prayers. They are felt and deeply appreciated. Warmly and with much love, Pete and Geri

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Church Culture Revolution: A 6-Part Vision That Deeply Changes Lives