The past few weeks have been busy with multiple trips to different places. I’ve been able to catch up with quite a few different people from different places, which has been extra-special! Isn’t the Lord good to put different ones in our paths?
Two weekends ago, we took a family trip over to the east coast to visit friends at a little church there. It was an encouraging overnight trip; so good to see everyone, even if the visit felt far too short! I loved the view of the Southern Alps on our way back home!
Then, a couple days later, I took two brothers with me up to Nelson. Mom is due in about five weeks, and I wanted to be sure to have a good rocking chair here before the baby comes, hence the need to go and pick one up. I didn’t want to drive something like seven (plus) hours straight, so we arranged to spend the night with friends up there before coming back the next day. It’s been probably six months or so since we last caught up with those friends, so it was pretty special to do that! Other friends from Kaikoura were there as well at the same time, which made it extra-special!
Our friends are living at a Christian campground, so we had a quick tour the next morning before we left. Here is the main community building, with the dining room/lounge on the far left, the (beautifully large!) kitchen near the middle of the building, and a three-bedroom flat on the right wing for families or “camp mums” with their children. The white-roofed building off to the right is the beginning of a long row of cabins, and the fenced-in area holds a massive blow-up pillow for the children to play on!
We also got to explore the massive maze they have set up; I started going through it, but soon everyone else outstripped me, and I decided I would rather do without the mud and be ready to go when they all got out. I was assured that you couldn’t get lost in it!
I was also quite impressed by the long obstacle course that is set up! The apparatus was quite wet when we were there, but the children assured me it was quite fun. One girl said she had gone over it about 50 times! Most of the steps looked difficult enough to me, and for several I wasn’t quite sure what you were supposed to do there—maybe things are taken down over winter?
After exploring the campground, we headed up a short hill and got a look over the landscape. Back in January, I believe, there was a terrible fire that started up in these hills somewhere. It took quite a while for the firefighters to put it out, but the special part was that though the fire was very close, the camp didn’t burn!
This is the fire line. If you follow the valley to the left of the house, you would get to the Christian camp. I’d guess it’s a five-minute walk back to the camp from there, at most. Lots of people were praying for protection of the camp when the fire was going on; this camp has been going for years, and many people have been blessed by it!
According to the report we heard, a firefighter that was working there at the time saw the fire coming—and then it got up to this spot, and stopped. He said he’d never seen anything like it before! The pine plantation there should have burned, but it didn’t. The house in this picture was part of the camp at one point, but isn’t anymore—and it just escaped being burned. God is so good!
After looking at the fire damage, we headed around over the top of the hill, and got a good view of the valley leading up to Nelson. It was a beautiful day to be out sight-seeing!
Beautiful New Zealand! Nelson city is off on the left of this picture, under the hazier part, if I remember correctly.
In all, I thoroughly enjoyed our little trip up there, and loved that we could get a little nature walk in at the same time. Grandma, I wish you could have been there; the birdsong was quite different than we have here, and very pretty!
What places have you been exploring lately? What are you enjoying in God’s creation right now?