Go the supporters!

Yesterday we joined 85,000 people running in the City2Surf. Actually we didn’t run, Pete and I waited for our team of 6 to get past the finish line with food and goodies to help them recuperate. It was well below 10 degrees and there was a howling onshore wind. When I say howling, I meant screaming.

We had all of our gear on that we wore up Mt Kilimanjaro and we were still cold. That wind was wicked.

We had 2 jobs, one to find the crew (no phones work there) and the other was to cheer them on if we saw them running. Well, no one turned up at the assigned spot, probably because as soon as they finished they jumped on the buses to go somewhere warmer. But one of us couldn’t leave just in case someone did arrive. In the end Pete stood around talking with people about our work in Africa.

I couldn’t stand the wind coming off the ocean so decided to wait it out at the finish line seeing if I could spot any of our guys. Some came in at 65 minutes, the last at 2 hours. It was a very long morning.
It did get me thinking about the people who are committing to support us while we work in Kenya this coming year. It aligned a lot with what I experienced yesterday.

1. You don’t always know what’s going on but hope they’re okay.

All we knew was the team was starting at a few different times and were making their way to Bondi Beach.

People sort of understand what we’re going to be doing in Kenya but no matter how much we explain it, until you go there, you don’t really get it.

 

2. Sometimes technology lets you down.

Mobile phones generally didn’t work at Bondi Beach, there were way too many people.

In Kenya the power will go off when it feels like it or will be incredibly slow. This may mean a delay in us getting back to people. We’re lucky though. We know some people in Mozambique who’ve only just got the internet!

 

3. At some stage someone has to pay to help someone else to make it.

We got out of bed really early, travelled over an hour to get to a place that was freezing for no one else to turn up. That was after going out to buy all the food that no one came to eat.

People who partner with us are actually putting a meal on our table and a roof over our head. It’s very humbling to know your reliance is on other people who are giving up their personal money for you.

 

4. There’s real joy in knowing they’ve reached their goal and you were a part of it.

It was great to be able to message and talk with some of our team who ran in the race. Their times were outstanding and I am always amazed and how we can push our bodies. I was super elated to be able to watch our daughter Lizzie get to the finish line and cheer her on.

When supporters hear about our work they know it’s happening because of them. Some look at their donation as a very small part but to us it’s huge. Any prayer, kind thought or encouraging word goes a long way.

5. It’s nice to get home and enjoy your life.

Pete decided that it would be a good idea to walk the 26km’s back home as part of our training to climb Mt Kilimanjaro again, just like we did last year. We made it to the city which is about 10km’s and then called it quits. We were tired. It was so nice to come home to eat food and watch a DVD.

I’ve always told people that they should never apologise for their TV, living conditions, number of cars or the house they live in. Everyone works extremely hard and if you live in Sydney, you live in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Battling poverty at a grass roots level is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s ours. So enjoy your life, it’s the only one you’re going to get!

 

What a Blast!

We’ve just spent 11 days in chilly New Zealand. For those who don’t know much about the country, it’s only a 3 hour flight from Sydney, and our homeland. We left there 10 years ago, tired of being broke youth pastors, started our lives all over again and now we’re off to Kenya for the next 20 years, how crazy is that!

Our time in NZ was primarily to say goodbye to Pete’s parents (mine have passed on) so we thought we might as well fit in as many people as possible. We quite literally ate our way through the week, with everyone saying ‘Let’s have a cup of tea and a meal’. I think we rolled off the plane last night!

The coolest thing was that we met up with lots of people who had a significant impact on our lives while we lived there. The downside was that there were also lots of people who we missed out on visiting simply because of a lack of time.

It was great to be able to be prayed for, sent off by our old church and blessed by so many people. It certainly wasn’t a holiday though, one day we had 5 back to back meetings. We could’ve been there for 20 days, but I still think we wouldn’t have seen everyone. We traveled 1600km’s just in the central North Island.

It makes you realise that you don’t do life by ourselves, that was never God’s intention. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, so it takes a whole community to raise an adult. Our destiny is wrapped up in the lives of people we actually do life with.

So while we consider ourselves honorary Aussies, we thank all the Kiwis who put up with us, loved us, disciplined us, and helped us along the way.

To us people matter the most and we’ve had the privilege of spending some time with just a few of our Kiwi family. See you all in about 3 years.