Day #5: NZ Date: 21st of February, Sunday. US Date: February 20th, Saturday.
We woke up, got dressed, had breakfast, and headed out to church with the rest of the family. The church is just a tiny little building in Raetihi (Rah-tih-hee), this week, most the members were either off on vacation or ill, so congregation was very small. So small, really, it was just me & Johnny, the rest of the Donaldson family, Daniel Donaldson & family, and 1 other lady who helped with the worship time.
In America, usually you’d go to church, sit down, someone would lead everyone in worship time, then someone else would give a sermon, followed by more singing and/or prayer requests, a prayer and dismissal.
This church is very different. Its definitely more relaxed and laid back. You get there, you sit down and get comfy, grab 1 each of the 3 different song books they have (and a bible if you didn’t bring your own), then the worship starts. Starts with 1 to 3 pre-selected songs, and then anyone who wants to, can request a song or song number (making sure to state which of the 3 books the one they want is in). After worship, a prayer is said and the worship team sits down. Then its basically an open pulpit. If you feel like you have something you want to share, you get up and say it, making sure to speak loud enough so that everyone in the small chapel can hear you.
Today, Papa Keith lead. He directed everyone to Revelations Chapter 5 where it talks about God holding the scroll with 7 seals in his Right hand, and search being made in heaven, the earth, and even below the earth, for someone worthy to open the scroll and break the seals. and then it speaks of all the millions of angels and the elders and the strange creatures in heaven worshiping and praising God.
Papa Keith also decided to share his testimony with everyone today, which was very special. He spoke of how he was practically raised in that very church, grew up in a christian home, went to Sunday School every week. But even with all this upbringing, he didn’t really know HOW to be saved and know it. He even had a dream that all his siblings got saved and went to heaven, but he was left behind.
Then he met his lovely wife, Debra, in USA. She helped him by being very firm with him about memorizing the scriptures. Not just snippets, but whole sections. To help make him really concentrate on them, to dwell and think on them. One Day, they had a pastor visit their church, and he did an alter-call. Papa Keith felt like he was ready for the big commitment, ready to step up, ready to let God take charge. And he did just that. He went up there, knelt, and prayed. Begged Christ to forgive his wrongs and charge him from the inside out.
That day changed his life, and that of his family. Now, he’s a Husband, Father, Grandfather, and leads his family in pointing them to The Heavenly Father.
After this, we sang “Jesus Loves Me.” And then took communion.
Then church was over, and we all headed out.
Back home we had lunch, and watched “Phar Lap.” I got to sit with my niece, Elizabeth, during the movie. Its so much more fun watching movies with little kids. She loves horses, so was constantly asking me questions about what was going on in the movie. So cute!