Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Glorious - Christy Nockels

The sun is warm and the breeze is constant. It’s a beautiful spring morning in New Zealand, and experience tells me that it’s a perfect day for laundry! So that is what I’m doing, sitting on the back porch, preparing for youth group, and hanging/taking down our washing.
I’ve sat down to start writing an update four times since my last one, but I could never find words to really tell you what’s going on. I still don’t know if I have the words, but it’s been almost a month, so here I am, writing you an update.
Thank you for your faithfulness in reading my blogs. I’ve felt you all celebrating with me when I’m happy and sympathizing when I’ve been sad. I can’t tell you how significant your support and encouragement has been for me and my time in New Zealand.
Youth Group
We are entering the last term of the school year, and our focus for our students is Worship: a lifestyle, not just singing in church. We will conclude the term with a weekend camp. What do you do with students who can’t afford an expensive camp? You camp out in the backyard! We are meeting tonight to finalize our weekend schedule. I’m so excited!
Ignite Sport
We just returned from a trip to Hastings (on the right side of New Zealand’s northern island) to debrief our camp with the Porirua boys and help set up a branch of Ignite in the Hastings area. The couple who plan to head this new branch are Vicki and Craig McDougall. Please pray for them and their family. They are magnificently passionate about Jesus and the work of Ignite Sport. I love them!
Liz and I traveled to Auckland for 5 days so I could see the big city and also meet some of my extended Samoan family. My conclusion? I love my extended family, and I am so glad that I live in Wellington, not Auckland. I mean, I loved my time in Auckland, and I felt so taken care of by Jesus while we were there (from parking spots to great food, from great experiences to learning more about God) but I prefer the weather and atmosphere of Wellington.
Gabrielle and Liz and I took a trip through the Rimutaka Ranges to visit Masterton. While we were there, we came upon a Technical Tree Climbing/Rescue Competition. I didn’t even know anything like that existed. (be honest, you didn’t either) so that was fun to watch!
I am hoping to get to the south island one more time before I leave New Zealand, but I’m just trusting my schedule to God, knowing that he has the best schedule for me.
God is really challenging me and teaching me a lot about myself and my fears and a lot about His kingdom and His heart for me. Recently God has been teaching me about the American culture, and how things I grew up thinking were Truth were actually Cultural Values, not Truths of God’s Kingdom. This has been really challenging, as I analyze things like how I spend my money, the clothing I wear, the food I eat, the way I want to use my future house/space/talents/passions for God and for others. I guess to sum up what I’ve been learning: It’s not just about living simply; it’s about living generously.
If that means buying fair trade bananas and cocoa and clothing instead of the cheaper/easier choices, then so be it.
If that means giving away my possessions and wardrobe and jewelry, why not?
If that means spontaneously buying dinner for all my friends, even though it means I won’t be able to afford lunch tomorrow, then that’s ok too.
I’m discovering deep freedom and deep joy as I seek to surrender everything to Jesus (and give it to anyone who needs it) and be released from my attachments to my possessions.
If I’m honest with you, I’m not very good at doing this. I’m kind of hoping it gets easier. Here’s what frequently happens:
 Jesus invites me to give away X
I hesitate, and then think of all the reasons why living without X would be hard
I bargain for X, suggesting that I could give away Y instead.
Then I’m reminded of this simple sentence:
If you’re still measuring out your offerings, you haven’t seen His worth.  –Klaus
Then I’m struck by what Christ has surrendered for me, overcome by his worthiness, and sorry for my greed.
So I finally surrender X, trusting that God knows what is better than I do.
And sometimes I’m sad, sometimes I’m a bit annoyed, but you know what? A week later, I’m thanking Jesus for the way X blessed someone else, and I’m feeling freedom and joy at being obedient and living generously.
So, that’s my update! I am loving life in New Zealand, and I am also eager to get home to my friends and family. God is good, all the time, and I sit in amazement frequently about the gift He’s given to me.  Love to you all!

1 comment:

  1. LOVE you my Pua!!!!! AND your posts...you are sharing your soul - we are all blessed!