Arriving in Christchurch was an evidently refreshing outlook, even from the moments of leaving the airport; fresh weather, beautiful scenery, and great people; all the prerequisites for a great trip. Rallying the people in a laidback country took slightly a little more effort than we were normally used to; going campuses ourselves to promote our own concert, how often does that happen?
Nevertheless it was an awesome experience chatting to the locals, some foreign students, and definitely some cool campus ministers. Our first workshop went as usual, the ideas came through. It is odd to note, however, that the kiwis down south don't usually worship with contemporary music, but with R n' b.
The folks at Christchurch were really good in their organization and punctuality. Go to bed early, wake up early; a way of life. Our first worship concert took stage; and by God's grace and miracle we actually had the place packed with people. It was definitely encouraging to see students from the campuses we were at usher in excitedly. However, of all the things to note about what occurred, it was the obvious liberation of the people, dancing, laughing, shouts of praise; apparently something that's a little harder to come by in this part of the country. It was great.
We spent the next few days in New Zealand on a road trip further south. We visited what must have been the most beautiful views, Lake Tekapo, Queenstown, and even Puzzle World!
Just a few hundered miles up though, Auckland stands to be an extremely different change of pace; a hustling city with far fewer trees and scenic locations :). That's not necessarily bad, the ‘Aucklanders' are the warmest mix of people; pacific islanders, kiwis, Asians; Auckland seems to have every nation of the world in their church. The most notable hosts were of course though, the homes of whom which we stayed; Alfred, Kelly, Pastor John and Elaine.
We kicked off our Auckland tour with a street concert right in the middle of the city square. Other than the fact we had never played on the streets, and that we had never done an acoustic set before, and that we had no real idea what we were dong, it was something we were totally used to. God came through, we aren't the most skilled, nor the best entertainers, but the city street was definitely awed in worship that night.
The next day followed up with a workshop and our second concert. Of all our expectations, this concert totally rocked! The tangibility of God heightened, lengthened, lifted us powerfully; there aren't really words to describe it when you feel Him all around you and within you. People were awestruck. People got saved, people were on their knees, people were crying. Of the things to remember that night, were the famous words by Pastor John "I now have something extra to add to my favorite things about Malaysia; Nasi Lemak, Mee Goreng, and 1a.m.! Malaysians should be proud.
We finished off our tour with praise and worship at North shore the next morning. Once again the presence of God tore through the roof. It has to be God when leaders down in the congregation start comparing us with Hillsongs :)
New Zealand received new zeal (no pun intended), a ‘Sold Out' message, and a liberation only God can give. We ministered and were greatly ministered to. It is truly nothing short of a miracle to be able to experience God wherever you go in this world, especially in a place so different and so far from home. Of all the things we gave, we can only say that we were grateful we received even more. Beyond all expectations, we did take something home, a contract with the biggest music distributor in New Zealand, world famous Parachute Music. Our albums began distribution nation-wide August 2007. A hallmark in 1a.m.