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2016 New Zealand Trip Report, part 2

Mar 10, 2016

From Christchurch, Neil drove Darla and I west to the mountains and back. The trip took most of the day, as it was about a three-hour drive to get to the top of the mountain pass before the descent to the western ocean. But we had to get back for a meeting that evening, so we did not go further. This was the farthest point that we went at the top of the mountain.

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Along the way, this location was used in a scene for the C. S. Lewis movie, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It looks a bit like the scene of the last battle near the end of the movie.

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After spending three days in Christchurch on the south island, we flew north on February 13, 2016. Lynley met us at the Kiri Kiri airport and drove us to her home at Coopers Bay.

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We had good meetings with the group there. There were only about 8 or 10 of us, but their quality more than makes up for quantity. We also had great worship, as we sang songs written and played by Carol. Both Carol and Lynley will be coming to the conference in Branson next month, and I have asked Carol to lead some of the worship. I know that you will like her and will enjoy her music as well.

Lynley took us sightseeing to an area we had not seen. We are starting to run out of such areas in the far north, but we managed to save a few sights for our next visit.

On Thursday, February 18 Lynley drove us to Bay of the Islands, where we linked up with Trevor Barfoote, who drove us to his house in Maungatapere, which is just outside of the city of Whangarei. Here is a photo of their family (taken a year ago).

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The next photo is Barry and Elaine Barfoote:

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While we were in Maungatapere, we stayed with Sandy and Glenda, since they have a guest house next to their own house.

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Sandy was really the founder of the Community Church in Maugatapere, and so that was the church where I taught two years ago. Most of the other members did not attend the meetings, although they did hear me that Sunday morning when I spoke on Sonship.

Last year I was not allowed to use the church building for the meetings, so we met at Trevor’s home. Shortly after our visit Sandy was expelled from their church for “heresy,” because they believed what most of the early church believed for the first five centuries (the Restoration of All Things). Trevor, who was also on the church board, then informed the pastor that if Sandy was ineligible on account of “heresy,” he too was ineligible because he believed the same thing. So he resigned as well. Trevor’s wife, Cheryl, the children’s Sunday School teacher, also then resigned.

It was a sad situation, but unavoidable apart from denying the truth. I have always regretted that truth can be so divisive, but I have taken note that even Jesus Himself could not avoid it. Much of the problem lies in the fact that so many people refuse to really study the biblical evidence for the Restoration of All Things. They assume their own view is correct without full knowledge of the alternate view.

A few others were not formally expelled from the church, but they too have come to understand the Restoration of All Things. It was great to see them again at the meetings last month and to get to know them better. About 40 people attended at least one the meetings at Trevor’s house. We counted 28 the first night. More came for the other meetings.

Among the attendees was a couple who spend six months in France and six months in New Zealand each year. Being bilingual, they expressed an interest in translating some of the shorter books into French. Right now we only have three books in French.

Trevor owns a construction company, Barfoote Construction:

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They pour concrete forms at the main headquarters, and then truck them to the construction sites as needed.

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While we were there, Trevor took a day to take us sightseeing. We went to the Kauri museum where many artifacts, furniture, and wax figures from the early settlers were on display.

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Trevor’s aunt was our tour guide, since she works there. Here she is with her nephew, Trevor.

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(Some of the artifacts were from their ancestors who arrived in that area in the mid-1800’s.) The following is resin from the Kauri tree, which is similar to amber. It is dug up next to old Kauri trees and then polished and shaped to make things.

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This is a hollowed out Kauri tree with a bench to sit on.

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Trevor also took us to for a walk on one of the many beaches. Darla always enjoys getting her feet wet in the ocean. It’s a treat for us Minnesotans.

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Trevor drove us on the beach for about 20 miles to give us a scenic route to his parents’ farm. It looked like there were coal deposits under the sandstone cliffs. These were actually huge Kauri trees that had fallen years ago, probably swept away by a tsunami in the distant past.

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Kauri trees are comparable to the Redwoods in California. The largest ever found was 28 meters in diameter. It was cut down for lumber, but its size is depicted on the wall of one of the museums.

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The family dairy farm is about 1400 acres overlooking a river. It is a beautiful location and includes their own mini-Grand Canyon.

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Here is the home of Trevor’s parents, Barry and Elaine Barfoote.

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This is the view from their house overlooking the river.

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Our next stop was Melbourne, Australia. We flew to Melbourne on February 23 and stayed until February 29. We had 7 meetings in all, the first about an hour west of Melbourne in Geelong and 6 about two hours further west along the coast in Warrnambool.

I will reserve that report for part 3.


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Dr. Stephen Jones


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