On Mission – in New Zealand!

Randy and I have the privilege of traveling to New Zealand to be with long term Missionaries, Joel and Beverly Shoaf. Joel is the pastor of Bay Baptist Church in Napier, New Zealand. We’re super excited to come alongside them in serving teens, women and their church body. Randy will be speaking at a Teen conference as well as preaching in their church and I’ll be speaking at a ladies conference and with Teen girls.

And what’s super cool is that we’ll be celebrating 24 years of marriage in New Zealand! How awesome is that.

So our journey began yesterday when Randy’s parents took us to the Atlanta airport. We haven’t flown in about 24 years to be exact. So we have no idea what we’re doing but my man figured it all out. He kept saying “we’ll figure it out when we get there.” And we did. I’d much rather figure it out the year before we get there but I guess the day of works. LOL.

We pretty much look like “haven’t-flown- in- 24 years- world class travelers” Because of some misunderstandings of United baggage policies we didn’t bring a carry on bag. In fact at the last minute we unpacked our carry on bag we had planned to take and put a lot of stuff in our personal bags making them weigh about 80 pounds together. Randy has these on his shoulders while I carry the winter coats and miscellaneous stuff. Along with cross body strap over my chest making me look just a tad shy of the woman who carries a black leather fanny pack.

As far as flight delays….. well, the Lord saw fit to say yes to the thunder and lightening bolts yesterday afternoon in Atlanta and therefore our flight was delayed allowing us to miss the only direct flight to Aukland, New Zealand for the week.

Gotta love this reminder in Job that the lightening bolts report to God Almighty. Job 38:35 “Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?”

So we stayed in a hotel at a discounted rate. The airlines couldn’t control the weather as Job pointed out ever so clearly in the verse above. So we couldn’t be mad at them. We were thankful for a bed to sleep in.

Vagabonds. That’s what we look like right now. We take up an entire corner with all our stuff. I’m in the process of trying to convince Randy to let us purchase a carry on bag with wheels. This would save his back and shoulders (ya’ll he is such a gentleman he simply will not let me carry one of the bags. I have tried so many times.). There’a BrooksStone in the airport. And of course we all know airport prices are crazy high but considering we’re on the front end of this trip and we have 3 more flights in front of us and 3 on our way back I think this would be a great idea. And we have borrowed all of luggage so far so this would not be a duplicate but providing a need. We’ll see if I win this little persuaded discussion. LOL.

On another note – we’re not sure where our luggage is?? Yeah, and we didn’t do that thing that world class travelers do – pack an extra change of clothes. As in nothing.

I got up this morning from a great night’s sleep and was like, “Hey, Randy I’m going to get dressed and go get some coffee. Oh wait, I’m already dressed.” Yeah, so that was kind cool.

So now we’re in Houston waiting to board our plane to Los Angeles where we’ll have a 6-7 hour layover. Then we fly out at 9:00pm to Aukland, New Zealand and then from there we’ll fly to Napier where we’re staying. We are scheduled to arrive at 9:00am Friday morning. This is a day later than originally planned and that’s if we stay on schedule. We’re praying we do. Also praying we might sleep on the plane considering I speak Friday night. Who knows what might come out of my jet lagged mouth at that point.

Well, that’s the update from the Houston airport.

Check back for more travel tips from your local haven’t traveled in 24 years world class travelers.






  1. How exciting. Looking forward to reading more updates.