A year ago I was preparing to travel to New Zealand with my mum. It was an unexpected trip as my Dad was supposed to go with my mum, but for some reason he just wouldn’t go. With much excitement our mother-daughter adventure began with the long trek to Auckland. I hadn’t seen my brother and his precious family since they had left South Africa 7 years before.
I had told all the New Zealanders I had connected with through Connect Magazine that I would be there and that I would love to have a coffee with them. One couple even invited me to stay with them for a few days. So after spending some time with my family, I caught a bus to Hamilton to meet the “Clarkies”. Denis (aka Clarkie) picked me up at the bus stop and we met Coralie his wife for some good kiwi coffee and some delicious treats at a coffee shop. Coralie and I spent the afternoon getting to know each other at the Hamilton Gardens and we connected immediately. I ended up staying with them for a week, meeting various people, seeing what they do and even speaking into some of their lives.
At this point I have to go back in time to 2009, when I had a dream of a building where training and coaching would happen and where entrepreneurs would have a place where they could start out. This desire led me to start KBN and Connect Magazine, which connected me to the Clarkies, and as I went around with them it was like seeing my dream come true.
Back to the present…
By the end of an incredible week, meeting the most amazing people, I knew I would never be the same again. I had fallen in love with the land and the people of New Zealand and I couldn’t explain it. As the Clarkies put me back on the bus to Auckland, they shared a prophetic word they had been giving earlier: God would send sons and daughters from the ends of the earth to come and build on what they had built. During my short time with them, God had knitted our hearts together and they felt that I could be one of those daughters. They asked if we could start the conversation with each other and with God about what this would look like, and whether we would consider moving to New Zealand as a family. That bus ride gave me lots of time to think and pray.
When I got back to South Africa, without me saying anything to Daniel, my youngest, he decided he wanted to move to New Zealand. Gary and I spent lots of time talking about it with each other and with the Clarkies. There was a deep sense that God was inviting us to this adventure. And so the journey began…
In May this year, the Clarkies and Business Edge all felt a release to make the idea a reality and on my birthday I received a job offer as the Business Development Manager/Facilitator/Coach of Business Edge. I would also be involved with the team in developing the latest arm of Business Edge, BEES (Business Edge Entrepreneurial School). I felt as if the last 10 years suddenly made sense – every single thing I had learnt, even some of the failures and heartache, suddenly had a purpose. They had been preparing me for such a time as this.
Their team prayed together as they all put their hands on the job offer back in May. Their prayer was that the application would be “escorted through”. Later Coralie asked God what that would look like (she knew that I was a picture person) and the picture she saw was one of a father escorting his daughter down the aisle to her new future. That picture has kept us going during the application process.
Yesterday we found out that our application for permanent residency has been approved. And so our journey from Here to There begins! The best part is that we get to go as a whole family. It will be sad to leave this beautiful land, and my conviction is to go and tell others all that is good about South Africa – all the stories of hope and courage that many do not get to hear about. We will be setting up our new life in the Waikato area, about an hour’s drive from where the Hobbits live . It looks like we should be there in early November.
I know we have some wildernesses, giants and forests ahead (you should read my book, you would get the imagery), but we are ready and excited for this adventure.