On Sunday morning, we went to Wanganui Central Baptist. We have attended two Baptist churches so far; not by design really. Our method of selection is to search online for something resembling our beliefs. We have found some really interesting offerings for Sunday morning worship. I can't even tell you, but it has been an education in the diversity of faith ideas and ways of worship.
Wanganui Baptist was great. We felt at home there and were able to worship. William bravely went to children's church after worship. Samuel stayed with us. We took communion. We have taken communion here three times. That is so important, to remember together what Jesus did for us; it is so easy to forget. After the service concluded a woman approached us with a big smile, and an invitation to her home for lunch. We were introduced, her name is Royce, and her husband is Warick. They have a beautiful home in the hills of Whanganui, and a gift of hospitality. It was a gift to eat and spend time together in their home. Another couple with two boys came along, so the boys were outside the whole time learning to play Rugby.
Our new friends introduced us to a new fruit, the feijoa (\fā-ˈyō-ə, -ˈhō-ə\). It is really different, but really good. It reminds Leighton of a Christmas candy that his Memma kept at her house. We spent the afternoon exchanging stories of our work and families. This couple has spent their life educating and lifting people out of poverty and hardship. They have created a network of people who serve the community, especially children and young families.
As we travel we have heard great stories of people working with God, serving people with their lives. It is inspiring. The church in Nelson is working along side the court system, serving people in very practical ways, like giving them a place to rest, food to eat, and a caring person to pray with as they wait for their time before the judge.
*A special note to our friends in Nelson*
Leighton's Father in Victoria Texas read here about the work and trials of the church in Nelson and brought the news to his church in order that they might pray for you all. We will continue to pray for you as well.
We are staying now in a very restful, peaceful lodge, AnnDion. It is named for the husband and wife who run it. It has been one of the best places we have stayed, and I am so thankful. It is very affordable, and this couple is very hospitable. Today we checked out the beach and park, and rested. I am very thankful for this time away, and I can see that we are being healed. We are being restored.