We have been in New Zealand for one week and today started our assignment as co-leaders of the Nazarene church here in Dargaville. Coming into this situation puts us out of our comfort zones in many ways.
We are in a country where neither of us have been before. We are now driving a car on the left side of the road with the steering wheel on the right. In terms of food, we can find foods here that we are used to back home, but most often the taste and/or texture are different. For example, sweet corn is harvested later here, so what we might consider overripe is considered just right. There are things we know we will not find.
Well my friends, today begins a new journey for my family and me as we have arrived in New Zealand for a six-month stint of pastoring, leadership training and, hopefully, launching a Celebrate Recovery ministry. In those months, you will be hearing from us as we experience what it means to lead in a culture different from our own.
As we were making preparations to come to New Zealand, I had a thought: We are not going to New Zealand looking for America; rather we are going to New Zealand to be in New Zealand. This means that we will resist comparing how New Zealanders do things to Americans, but rather try to understand why they do things the way they do.
While in graduate school in the mid-‘80s I read Henri Nouwen’s book, The Wounded Healer. That book changed my life.
At the time I was walking around with wounds I had experienced physically, emotionally, verbally, mentally and spiritually. I was ashamed of these wounds and did not know what to do with them. After reading the book, I began the journey of becoming a wounded healer.
How are you doing with the goals and plans you have set for 2018? Although we are only into the second week of January, perhaps you have already run into some challenges that are cutting into your plans.
The challenge for many of us is that we set goals without really thinking about how we can be at our best in order to give our best. We set career or ministry goals, relationship goals, and financial goals, as well as goals to improve spiritually, physically and mentally. But when the going gets tough, many times the personal goals are compromised first.