Monday, July 23, 2012

Turangawaewae - Finding a place to stand

Ko tenei te wiki o te reo Maori.
This is Maori Language Week. 

Maori gain a sense of identity in their whakapapa which explains their link to land (especially their marae which is their place to stand in the world) and to people.  As Christians our primary identity is in Christ, so when I speak in Maori my whakapa is as follows:

Ko kawere te maunga          -  Calvary is the mountain
Ko te rongopai te waka        - The gospel is the canoe
Ko te ora hou te awa             - New life is the river
Ko Ihu Karati te tangata        -  Jesus is the man

As we mature our relationship with God we find that when all else is sinking sand, we
can stand on Christ the solid rock. In fact, God is the very ground of our being
(Tilloch).  In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.
So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you,
and he will place you on a firm foundation.
1 Peter 5:10
He kororia ki te Atua i runga rawa. Maungarongo ki te whenua. Whakaaro pai ki nga tangata katoa.
 Praise to God in the highest, peace to the land, goodwill to all people.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Heart of the city

This afternoon we learned to feel the city of Lima through the heart of 3 Peruvian artists:

Musician Jorge Millones sung and explained the following song dreaming of a new awakening like the dawn in Lima:

Painter Jorge Miyagui showed  pictures, like the one below,  relating to the disappearance of many people during the period of Fujimorism in Peru, uprooting the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso).

 The words on th ekimono say: to forget is prohibited, and the
(see his portfolio)

Graphic designer Lander Aspajo also shared photos of the city.

The images and words were very evocative and helped us go beyond studying the city to feeling the city and understanding some of its history.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Last night I my sleep.
We had just seen the movie Chronicle , where 3 teenagers gain superpowers including flight.  After the movie I said , it would be awesome to fly, and last night I did.  Wow!  O yeah, I forgot to tell you that I kept the rest of my family awake all night with my flying, snoring and running.  They aren't so happy :-)

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Last Sunday we were made ministers of Alto Refugio church.  This was a great privilege.   Pastor Ramiro Montalvo told the church how much we meant to them as we had been informally mentoring them for a couple of years before the church started.    What he didn’t say is that we learnt as much from them as they did from us.  Coming back and seeing how the church has grown is an awesome honour.  Knowing that we were able to be part of what God is doing in Ecuador is awesome.

Here's the ceremony and me preaching afterwards:


Saturday, March 03, 2012


Last weekend at Alto Refugio we got to about the 3rd song and I felt so much at home I almost cried.   Weird how after nearly 6 years it feels like we never left.  My turn to preach next weekend – that will be interesting. Got the lingo working but it is another thing to preach.  Those who pray, pray!

Friday, March 02, 2012

At the beach

A friend of a friend lent us his beach-house for a couple of days.  We are here with him and our friends enjoying the beach, the food, the pool (yep it even has a pool).  The kids bought some water-guns for $1.25 each and are having awesome fun.

Friday, February 24, 2012

arrival thoughts

arrival thoughts
tired & jet-lagged
great group of friends to welcome us back to our 2nd home
glad I don't drive here anymore
Spanish flowing off the tongue
still can't believe it
kinda weird, kinda nice
caldo de bolas - yum
seems like we never left

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Decided what to give you for lent...NZ :-)

How bout you?

For cool lenten reflections see Lenten Reflections  put together by World Vision NZ where you can sign up for a daily email or simply follow the website for daily reflections through the Lenten season.

For some more jokes, see below :-)

Friday, February 17, 2012

faith not fear

Guayaquil de mis amores. (of my loves)
 Guayaquil calliente. (hot!)
Guayaquil vive por ti  (I live for you)

GuayaquileƱos sing awesome songs about their city. And we were very much at home for 8 years there. 

Yet Guayaquil is not the safest city in the world.   As in most majority world cities, most people who live there, including ourselves,  have lived through some scary experiences. 

This summer I  was concerned about having to keep the family safe upon our return and it was stressing me out a bit.  Then my good mate Frank preached at cession last month and told the story of how when he arrives in a new country he likes to be picked up at the airport then he can relax and enjoy the ride to where he is going because someone else is in control.  It was one of those moments when God really spoke to me, telling me I didn't need to be hyper-vigilant about it all but that He was good and He was powerful and He was for me so I can rest in His vigilance as He would be the driver.   Today I  have  been reading the blog-release of  The Undefended Life by Simon P Walker.  It is a must read in understanding living openly in this world.   Simon shared the similar thoughts  at the last SIM Global Leaders Gathering, in Kenya.  In fact his thoughts on The God who is undefended has been very influential in my missional musings over the last few years.   Guayaquil is the place where I was most open as we learnt Spanish by talking to randoms on the street, but them most closed after a couple of assaults.   So now we get to trust God again and seek to experience Guayaquil with openness and faith, not mistrust and fear.   Jesus take the wheel...

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Lots of thought has gone into how I am going to experience this trip back "home".  My epiphany of today was a reminder that God wants me to be a giver of grace to those I meet back in Ecuador - both new friends and old - to keep that openness to the other

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Reading Gutierrez

I recently got a copy of the classic: 'a theology of liberation' by Gustavo Gutierrez. I last read it before we 1st went to Latin America. Now having been there and heading back for a visit, it seems good to read it again.

Here's a great quote on the community nature of working out both salvation and calling:
"people are called to meet the Lord insofar as they constitute a community, a people. It is a question not so much of vocation to salvation as a convocation. " p71 SCM trans.

I will keep musing on that one for sometime.

Friday, February 10, 2012

El Retorno (the return)

In 12 days we fly to Guayaquil, Ecuador via Santiago, Chile to visit.  It has been 5 1/2 years since we left.  Excited. Nervous. Follow the journey with me here.