We had a great time away on our Waitangi Road Trip, Mon 26 Feb 2018 to Wed 28 Feb 2018.
Samuel Marsden preached the gospel to around 3000 Maori gathered around on a grassy slope overlooking a beautiful bay. The missionaries sang Psalm 100 at that first Christmas church service and, coincidentally, it just so happens that we have been memorising Psalm 100 at school this term: “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before His presence with singing…”
Next, we visited Kaikohe Christian School, where the students gave us a beautiful powhiri welcome, with speeches and praise and worship songs in Te Reo Maori. We stayed overnight in their school hall, and were richly blessed by the kindness and generosity of their entire school community. The following morning, their kapa haka group taught us some Christian kapa haka items, which I hope to include in our repertoire here, and maybe we will be able to perform one for you at our end of term event.
After that, it was off to Waitangi, where our lovely Christian guide, Whaea Roylena, gave us a guided tour of the museum and Treaty Grounds. She gave us a positive explanation of some of the issues and misunderstandings that have surrounded the Treaty, whilst still emphasising the intent of the treaty, which was to bring the two peoples – Maori and Pakeha – together as one people.
After Waitangi, we enjoyed a ferry trip to Russell, where we ate our lunch on the beach and talked about Hone Heke, his protest actions of cutting down the flagpole, and the ensuing “flagpole wars” that occurred in 1845 and 1846.
Then it was off to Hokianga where we stayed overnight in Jeff and Linda Hobbs’ woolshed, enjoying a late night campfire, with marshmallows, damper, and a singalong.
We woke somewhat bleary-eyed on Wednesday morning, and began our journey home with a visit to a local puzzle making workshop, followed by a trip down the winding road through the beautiful Waipoua State Forest, and then on to Dargaville Museum for a guided tour and a look at early settler life in Northland.
This was a shorter and somewhat busier road trip than others we have done, but I am thankful for the blessing on God on us all the time, and it was lovely to have Steve Coop and Cindy Balfour along to help Sharon and me with overseeing this trip. Special thanks go to Sharon for organising all the food for us, and to Rita and Danie Bosch for the use of their van.
For more photos, check the gallery: