New Zealand Treasures, Take Aways and 2 Cooking Tips Worth Saving

This is Beverly Shoaf – Missionary in New Zealand. And her daughter, Sarah Shoaf.

Sarah will soon be getting married this Summer to a handsome little brown dude she met in Bible college. From the time Sarah was little she said she would be marrying a brown boy. And sure enough she met a fellow from Mexico.

Beverly and Sarah are culinary ninja’s. In the pictures above they are making homemade chocolate cake with homemade whip cream and homemade frosting……for 105 people. When we realized there was no mixer that would work for the whipped cream they didn’t panic. They just went to hand whipping with a whisk.

Homemade lasagna for over 100 people. We got on site of the Teen Camp around 4:00pm and dinner was at 6:00pm. They whipped this meal out in two hours. I made the salad in the amount of time they made the lasagna’s! I’m not even kidding. I so wish I was.

I learned the coolest trick ever with cooking ground beef.

You can boil ground beef. I never knew this. We were running short on time for a lunch meal (homemade nacho’s) and Beverly casually says, “Oh you know what, instead of browning up that meat in large skillets let’s just boil it.” So you just boil your water and put the beef in and it cooks really super fast and it’s very fine. You work with it a little bit to break some of the chunks apart. We found it to taste the same and it does a better job of getting rid of the grease as well. We’ve done this twice since returning from New Zealand.

The other cooking tip I learned had to do with boiling eggs. Beverly was making a chicken pie for dinner and I noticed she had eggs in the stock pan along with the chicken cooking. I asked her about it and she said, “Oh yeah, I learned this from another missionary years ago. You can add your eggs on top and cook them while you’re cooking your chicken. Saves using another pan and you’re cooking two things at once.” She made deviled eggs to add to the meal. And no – the chicken had no egg flavor at all. Another great cooking tip from the culinary ninja.

Not only is Beverly a great cook but she’s an investor in souls. The souls of her own children and the souls of her children’s’ friends”’. (I don’t know where all he comma’s go people – just pretend they’re in their right places. I find that adding more ‘ is more fun).

This young woman is a friend of Sarah’s. For several years she’s been attending church, spending the night at the Shoaf’s house occasionally, listening to God stuff but resisting the commitment to make Him her own personal Savior. After two years of being a part of things in body but not in spirit this sweet girl accepted Christ with Sarah and another friend leading her to Him. I just loved that this happened while we were there although we weren’t a part of her coming to Him. I suppose you could say we were through prayer for their church and ministry but we just got to witness the culmination of lots of time and investment and the Holy Spirit working inside her. What a treasure.

And speaking of new sister’s in Christ – this young lady above accepted Christ as her Savior at Teen Camp. She has such a sweet spirit. She will need prayer as she went back to an unbelieving home and a school with many unbelievers.

This sweet couple grabbed our hearts along with another young couple in the Shoaf’s church. I only have one picture to share here but this couple is the kind of couple every church needs. They love Jesus and His people. Kind hearted. They are hard working and generous. And they love their church with their time and effort. Such a blessing to see them bless their church.

When I concluded speaking at the women’s conference on Saturday the ladies presented me with these beautiful earrings made of bone and representative of New Zealand along with a book they all signed. Such a beautiful gift to me. When I wear the earrings I think of these ladies and how warm and welcoming they were to us.

One of the greatest treasures while in New Zealand was getting to spend time on our Anniversary in the town of Napier. The church celebrated our Anniversary with cake after church and gave us a two night stay in a hotel. We were so stinking excited we could hardly stand it. It was such a generous gift and blessing to us. A friend of mine who had been praying for our trip ahead of time asked me if we’d be doing any sightseeing. I told her I had no idea and didn’t expect to have much time to do that. She was praying we’d have some cool opportunities to see great things and sure enough God blessed us in that way and even beyond what we could imagine with time alone for those two days. Thankful for a praying friend when I hardly gave it a thought and tossed it aside. This was a refreshing gift to us that was treasured more then they’ll ever know.

Many more take aways from New Zealand but these are just a few random snippets.