Adventure Graham

Snippets of Graham family adventures in faithfulness


The Books are Here!

By Elizabeth

The books are here! We waited nearly 6 months for the phone call that said, “Your books are here, and they’ve cleared customs.” A couple of weeks ago, we helped unload 88 boxes filled with 2,700 books that will fill out the much-needed theological library for Nazarene Theological College—Auckland (NTC-AKL). We started the NTC extension site a year and a half ago aiming to provide accessible Wesleyan Holiness theological education. There wasn’t a classroom, equipment, a library, or students.

April 2018 class for students studying in Samoan

Today, we have a nearly 50 students studying in English and Samoan, a designated space with great video conference equipment, flexible tables and seating, rows of bookshelves… and 88 boxes of books! We owe a huge thanks to MidAmerica Nazarene University, Nazarene Bible College, and some fantastic funding sources that made it possible to send all those books across the ocean.

The next step in the development of NTC-AKL is a fully catalogued, fully functioning library. This is no small feat. This library will combine older books that were already in NZ and several thousand books from the NTC-Brisbane library with the new shipment. Thankfully, my dad is coming to the rescue with his librarian skills. He’s compiling a team of librarians who will catalogue, label, and correctly shelve all of these books in July.

So… if you know of any librarians, consider this a shameless plug! All librarians have to pay their own way, but we’ll house them, show them some really cool stuff, and give them a chance to use their library skills in a really significant and impactful way!

Books are actually pretty challenging to acquire in New Zealand. A kiwi friend told me today that she had ordered a book from It’s the UK version of Amazon and it ships for free worldwide. The only cost is time. It can take 2-4 weeks to receive your books. “I feel like it’s colonialism all over again,” my friend said. “Let me wait for the mail coach.”  Books sold here in NZ easily cost at least twice as much, if not more, than the same books sold in the US. That makes the shipment of books we’ve just received all the more valuable to us!

Spoil days with a grandparent (when the parents are away) are Q’s absolute favorite. His week with Grammy did not disappoint.

Sunday evening sunset at the beach

But surely unloading books alone hasn’t kept you occupied for the past month?

Other than books, life has been full with some other exciting things as well (hence, the lack of regularly scheduled posts). Q has been off of school for the past two weeks for Term 1 school holidays. He got to spend a fabulous week of “spoil days” doing science experiments, petting a rhino, and reading books with my mom.  Last week, we were able to visit another pastoral family in the capital city of Wellington, NZ. The 7 hour drive to the bottom of the North Island felt long. I think our American road trip muscles have atrophied! It was well worth it to see our friends, enjoy the famous Te Papa museum, see seals up close in their natural habitats, and visit Rivendell (Any Lord of the Rings fans?).

We had a lot of fun at Te Papa, Wellington’s famous museum!

Seal watching

This is what I call a seal selfie. The seal could not be bothered to pose for the photo.

Quintessential New Zealand. These sheep live happily by the seals.

You can see some other recent work over at The Foundry’s Community blog. The first two parts of a three-part Genesis series I’ve written were recently published here (Our Bodies Matter) and here (Creation Matters). The third one (Women Matter) should be live this week. I suppose they could be considered somewhat controversial, depending on the audience, but I think they are all things we as Christians should be taking seriously.

Parting Shot

Most of New Zealand really is as lush and green and hilly as every picture you’ve ever seen. But then there’s this: the Desert Road, a relatively straight patch of road a few hours south of us that reminds us a whole lot of New Mexico.

Picture It #2

By Elizabeth

Back in the autumn (March to be precise), we wrote this post about our life summed up in 5 pictures. It’s a new season and we’re doing some of the same and some different things, so here goes round #2…

Sometimes pictures say it best. If we had to sum up our day-to-day life during this season in five pictures and five pictures only, they would look something like this:

Picture #1: Citrus Feast

Did you know that there are places in the world where citrus trees produce fruit year-round? No? Me either. But it’s true. We’ve enjoyed amazing oranges, lemons, and grapefruit all winter long (even when our grocery store shelves were totally bereft of salad greens). These oranges are from our District Superintendent’s tree in Auckland. Q can’t get enough of them so they sent a big bag home. They’re small but mighty with the most amazing flavor, the best juice, and the richest color.



Picture #2: Nazarene Theological College-Auckland is Taking Flight

This stack of books represents so much more than a juggling act of acquisition (life without Amazon… What?!). It represents the first class provided by Nazarene Theological College-Auckland, a satellite program of Nazarene Theological College-Brisbane, which was held last week. This class was a little like giving birth after 9 months of praying, planning, meeting, and preparing, particularly on Jaron’s part. 1 master’s student, 4 bachelor’s students, 3 course of study students, and an auditing participant worked long day jobs and then attended class for two weekends and a week’s worth of evenings, absorbing, reading, writing, reflecting, and presenting on pastoral theology. It was a first for Jaron as professor and the beginning of a new stage of Wesleyan Theological education in New Zealand. Exciting stuff.



Picture #3: Artist Q

This is the stage of the budding artist around our house. Q has many creative endeavors underway. The results are as varied as a robot and its charging station, a police headband, a letter urgently mailed to the grandparents, and a self-portrait. We’re going through sellotape (a.k.a. Scotch tape) like it’s going out of style and trying to view the endless stream of teeny scraps of paper as the celebratory confetti of 4-year-old life.



Picture#4: Spring has Sprung!

It is officially spring, and we couldn’t be happier. Just like springs we’ve experienced in the northern hemisphere, we’re being teased with warm sunny days that call for impromptu bike rides and spring cleaning the play house and then brought quickly back to reality by a rainy chill that has us huddled by the heater. Q is anxious to ditch his jerseys (jackets) and long pants for shorts and bare feet. These are the daffodils we planted back at Easter. We’re loving their vibrant colors.



Picture #5: Tonga (and Back)…or Bust

I’ve attempted to join the minimalist packing club and packed for a week in Tonga in this backpack (a consistent forecast of sunny and 78 degrees sure makes it easier). I’m looking forward to serving with and learning from our friends at Mango Tree. I am not as excited about saying, “See you later,” to my guys for a few days, although I know they’ll be perfectly fine grilling burgers every night and making Lego creations to their hearts’ content.


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