Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Slumber - NeedToBreathe

It was Chili night tonight, and it was the first time our Bible study group had met as a whole group in almost 2 months. We were celebrating the addition of two new members: 6 week old Alicia and 4 week old Nathan! Ruth and Jo are proud mothers of two very beautiful babies. I made chili (using the best chili recipe ever, seriously, thanks mom!) and we ate it with corn chips and delicious fresh bread. It was such a gift to spend time with everyone again. Our evening ended perfectly when we took time to intentionally pray for Nathan and Alicia.

The births of these babies come at a time when many other beautiful things have been happening, too. In my family, my sister-in-law, Marvie, just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Ella Langley Coffman. And my sister just announced that she’ll be giving birth to a baby girl in February! So many babies! So many blessings!
<---------------------Baby Ella

(I know, cutest baby ever, right?)

Also, SO many Weddings and Engagements! I’m so happy for my many friends! But, I feel limited in my ability to celebrate with my friends because I’m in New Zealand, so I struggle with that. I’m very aware of the heaviness that resides in my heart because of the things I’m missing at home, but God is faithful in reminding me that He saw what I would miss, and still thought that being in New Zealand was the best way to spend 2011.
The last few weeks I have been praying that God would teach me how to remain present in New Zealand while also preparing my heart to go home. He has been so faithful in answering that prayer! The morning after I spoke those words, my dear friend Ginny sent this to me in an email, unaware of my prayers:

Some of life's richest treasures come at the end.  Endings break our hearts with sadness and beauty.  They are opportunities to speak words to one another that can have lasting impact.  We can choose to take the risk to end well for the fruit it can be in our lives and others, or we can let the pain of goodbye keep us safe, guarded, nonchalant, and avoidant.
WOW on the timing of her words! As I follow God and keep extending my roots and going deeper, He is blessing me with so many beautiful conversations. Rita, Pieter, Mari, Edith, Gabrielle, Alastair, Rob, Steve, Casie, Kevin, BJ:
All people that I’ve had life-impacting conversations with in the last month.  
All people that God is using to bless me.
All people that will make leaving New Zealand much harder.
I know I am not finished in New Zealand. In fact, I still have 2 months and 1 week. AND I intend to make the most of my time left! But, as I start my final lap around the track, I am keenly aware that each step takes me closer to the finish line, and if I’m honest, I’m a little apprehensive about the emotional upheaval I’ll experience when I cross that line. Oh Jesus, help me.
I have some prayer requests! Yay for intercession!
1. The boys of Porirua College. We took them on a 3 day camp, and for those boys it was life-giving. Affirming. Encouraging. Covered in prayer and intentionally scheduled. Several of the boys asked if we could stay just one more day at camp. I know that they were not asking to stay because they didn’t want to leave the excitement of camp, but because they did not want to return to the situations waiting for them at home. Please pray for the boys…the young MEN of Porirua College. They are so dear to my heart.

2. Adam and Damien. They are two brothers who were attending our youth group. This month they were sent to live with their father several hours away because their mother was deemed unfit to care for them after several bad situations. Please pray for their adjustments, and please pray that God would place positive role models in their lives.
3. Liz and I are traveling to Auckland from Friday to Wednesday! Yay for Vacation! Let there be REST!
4. Please pray that God would bring teams to sign up for Ignite’s Sports Camp in November. And please pray that God sends quality referees who would like to volunteer their time at our camp.  Seriously, please pray for those things.

I love you all, thank you for your prayers! I cannot tell you how much I value them- they are eternally significant!
Please know that I cannot wait to hug each of you when I get back to the beautiful U.S. of A!
This is Pieter and Mari... I just love them.