Posts by Elliot & Sarah Rice

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Christmas Appeal

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

For our 2019 appeal we have three exciting focuses we are looking to get behind as a church. We hope to raise $3000 for each focus, as this will make a significant difference to each area. The first is our missionaries at Papanui Baptist Church: Jocelyn and Stephen Head, Jay and Mary Huffman, Ross and […]

Isn’t it so Good When we Submit to Christ’s Reign?

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Throughout the ‘Being Baptist’ series we have talked about how we gather as a community of believers under Christ’s reign (christocracy). We take seriously Matthew 18.20, ‘for where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.’ Last Sunday we had a panel who reflected on the series and grow course of […]

Neighbourhood BBQs

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On the 24th of November we have our neighbourhood BBQ. We’ve tried our hardest not to miss anyone but if you have been missed or know someone who has, please get in contact with the relevant host or the office: Northlands—St Albans: Greg & Chris Scott Wairakei: Denice and Barry Van Beurten Church Block: Ken […]

Coming Up!

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Sunday Gathering: This Sunday we’re privileged to have John Tucker, Principal of Carey Baptist College bringing the message: “Absolutely Positively Baptist: Why I Love the Baptist Movement.” John’s an outstanding communicator—you don’t want to miss this! Elliot’s Sabbatical: As many of you are aware, in November Elliot is headed to San Diego, USA to attend the annual meetings […]

Adding Our Splendour

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Near the end of the book of Revelation we read about the new Jerusalem in the age to come (ch. 21), when our hope will be realised: living face-to-face with God! John describes it like this: “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God […]

Jesus Wants Your Fish

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

We’ve been reflecting again on the story of Jesus and the miraculous catch of fish in John 21. It’s classic: after yet another rubbish night of fishing, the disciples had caught nothing. Then, in the morning, Jesus comes calling from the beach: “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you’ll find […]

PapBap Happenings

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

There’s been a lot on this last week. Here’s a snapshot of what’s been happening… On Friday many of us gathered at St Albans Baptist to grieve the passing of Wendy Smith, who died Sunday 6 October after a short struggle with cancer. Wendy and Nigel were members of our church until about a year […]

Being Baptist

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On Sunday we kicked off our new preaching series, “Being Baptist: A Compelling Vision of Church,” because, well, we think it’s compelling! We genuinely think living into our Baptist identity can be a gift to the church of New Zealand in the 21st century, just as Baptist women preachers and decision-makers were gifts to the […]

Being Baptist

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

This Sunday we are kicking off our ‘Being Baptist’ series. Papanui Baptist is one of over 240 local churches in Aotearoa who are networked together as the Baptist Churches of New Zealand. The Baptist denomination actually shares most things in common with other Christians, such as belief in the Trinity, in the incarnation and atonement of […]

The AGM is Coming…

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On the 3rd of November we have PBC’s 2019 AGM. This is a time where we celebrate all that Jesus has done and look ahead to what we feel he is calling us into. We come together to discern the mind of Christ, and this starts before the AGM begins. As a church, we are […]

Church Camp Reflections

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Over the weekend we had our PBC church camp, where together we explored how our story is found in God’s story. 110 people came out to camp over the weekend, with ages ranging from one through to the late eighties! We are blessed with many wise Christians in our church, and it was wonderful to […]

Camp this weekend!

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Two days until camp—woohoo! We can’t wait to gather with many of you this weekend for two nights of great fun. What are you most looking forward to? What are you most hoping for as we engage with God together? The theme of the camp is “The Story: Exploring Our Own Stories Within God’s Story,” […]

Life Together

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

As a community we do life together as the priesthood of all believers. We seek to encourage each other to keep following Jesus in the midst of so many other things that compete for our attention. In our life together, there are different roles that serve us as a whole. On Sunday, the church discerned […]

Gathering in the Name of Jesus

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

This Sunday we are having a special members meeting (although anyone is welcome to come). This meeting is best described as a ‘Christocracy,’ meaning we are a community in which Christ reigns, and his Spirit guides us to know his mind. The call committee, co-senior pastors and elders have endorsed both Colleen (for associate pastor) […]

Ministries

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Wasn’t the Sunday Gathering this week so inspiring and uplifting! We loved hearing what God’s been up to in a number of our Papanui Baptist ministries, including Iconz and Iconz4Girls, our Oscar-nominee Y@P crew, Oasis, Papmando, Prayer Ministry, and the Kanuka (creche), Matai (primary), and Tōtara (intermediate) programmes. It was fitting that in the same […]

Upcoming Sunday Gatherings

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On Sunday we brought our Tale of Two Temples series to a close, remembering the paradigm shift that took place for the people of God in Acts as they went from being heavy and attractional to light-footed and incarnational. The Spirit mobilised the church to announce the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, beginning in Jerusalem, […]

New Associate Pastor

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Throughout the year we have been advertising for an Associate Pastor and have had wonderful people on the call committee at different times. Thank you to Mike Dodge, Neil McKenzie, Verity Stewart, Greg Scott, Pamela Griffiths and Heather Mclennan for your amazing involvement. The current call committee (Verity, Greg, Heather and Pamela) have put a […]

Do you want to join a small group?

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

PBC has a long history of having small groups of people who gather together to explore God’s Word, join in on His mission and open themselves to each other. Over the years these groups have taken different shapes at different times. In this season we have two types of small groups operating in tandem. The […]

Summer with your Neighbours

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Jesus is actively at work in your neighbours’ lives and he calls us to participate in the good things he is up to, which is amazing. The council also value us getting to know our neighbours – how great is that! You can now apply to your local community board for a subsidy to hold a […]

We Love the Church

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

This last weekend we Rices were up in Auckland for our annual year group retreat, catching up with our peers from Carey Baptist College. These people are participating in Christ’s ministry in churches and other workplaces around the country, and they inspire us. Our retreat is a space for sharing about the year that’s been, […]

In case you missed it…

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On Monday, David Alsford received a PAPANUI-INNES COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD 2019. These Council Community Service Awards are a way to acknowledge people who make our local neighbourhoods a better place to live. This is well-deserved recognition for David who is dedicated and passionate in how he seeks to participate in Jesus’ redemptive work through serving in […]

What is God saying to you?

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

The Torah, prophets and psalms speak not only to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, but also to the preaching of the early church and its mission from Jerusalem to all nations. The fulfilment of this is the premise of Acts. Pentecost is a story of the OT being fulfilled (Exod 40; 2 Chr […]

Be the Bridge

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On Sunday, Aidan Williams talked about a group that is starting at PBC that’s focused on racial reconciliation, and will be using the resources developed by Be the Bridge. We are embarking on an exciting journey and we are one of the first churches to be doing a Be the Bridge small group in NZ […]

Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On Sunday, Elliot started our new sermon series of, ‘A Tale of Two Temples,’ which is focused on Acts 1-8. These chapters represent a paradigm shift for the people of God. It begins with the disciples waiting in the upper room, praying for Jesus to fulfil his promises. Then, in Acts 2, Jesus acts: he […]

Do You Love Me?

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Last Sunday Elliot talked about how Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” Jesus asks us that same question. Why not pause and in your mind, let Jesus ask you that same question? Dwell in this space and let Jesus ask you in your inner most being. May God by his Spirit enable us all […]

Delighting in the Trinity

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Grow Nights are back for the month of June, and we have three courses on offer! They’re for everyone, and you’re welcome to bring your friends. The first, “Delighting in the Trinity” with Elliot, begins and ends one week earlier, starting May 28th and finishing June 18th. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between […]

Staff news

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  As we announced last week, our Office Administrator Rebecca is moving on to a new role with Stats NZ. Her last day of work is tomorrow, with the new job beginning next week. We’ll hear from her about this in our service on May 19th. We’re glad to have a seamless transition in the […]

Rebecca’s moving on

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

This last week Rebecca Andrew received exciting news: she’s been successful in her application for an administrative role with Stats NZ, and will begin her new role May 13th. We’re very happy for her and the Andrew family, knowing she’s well placed to serve in that environment. Of course, her gain is our loss—we’re sorry […]

Updates

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  ·      We enjoyed a very special Easter weekend out at Spencer Park with Y@P (Youth at Papanui) for Easter Camp, and now we’re at home with the post-Easter Camp blues (a.k.a. a cold!). Thanks for your prayers and contributions to camp, it has been a significant time, which we’ll hear more about on May 12th for […]

God Loves This World

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

John 3:16 is a Scripture we know well, but I find it never gets old: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” We’re a community who have received God’s love through Jesus Christ, and in him we have the hope […]

Associate/Assistant Pastor: Ministry Director

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Over the last couple of months we have received applications for the vacant role we have here at PBC. As you know, with the elders we have reviewed and changed the role to focus largely on ministries within the church—a “ministry director” as such. This is an area we are excited by and think needs […]

Entertainment Book & Church Camp

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

From the 13-15th of September we are having our church camp, and the theme for camp is The Story, and how our story is found within God’s story. This will be an amazing space to invite friends who are interested or open to the Good New announcement, that Jesus is King and wants us to […]

We’re better when we do it together…

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Last Sunday we had our annual Bike ‘n’ Picnic and a big congratulations to Shonta’e who won the best and brightest fluro outfit—although John Stewart’s bright green wig was a close second. I always find that Jesus uses these times to weave us more strongly together, and that deep conversations and laughter is had. Being […]

Come be apart of something awesome… 

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

The Papanui Neighbourhood Fair is happening on the 17th of March, from 12.30-3pm, at Northcity Church. This is an opportunity to make a significant difference in our local community by signing up to volunteer. You will be apart of providing a love-filled family day, which will let people know they are noticed and valued. God […]

Picnic and Grow Nights

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

It is good to be back and we’re looking forward to seeing you on Sunday. Don’t forget to get your fluro on for the Bike ‘n’ Picnic on the February 24th– that’s this Sunday.  There will be a prize for the brightest dressed person on the day. We will be riding the Puari ki Papanui cycle route, […]

Grow Nights

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Grow Nights are back! The first series will run on Tuesday nights through March. The two courses on offer are “The Bible Safari” with Sarah and “Kingdom Living” with Elliot. They each run for four weeks, 7-9pm—a great thing to get your Neighbourhood or Ngage Group along to together!   The Bible Safari The word […]

Get your fluro on…

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Last year for our Bike ‘n’ Picnic event we rode the Puari ki Papanui cycle route, which is a cycle-way that connects Northlands and the Northern Line Cycle-way to the Central City and is right on our door step here at Papanui Baptist Church. It was a beautiful ride in and out of the city. And now […]

While the Rices are away…

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  As you read this Elliot and I (Sarah) are tramping the Old Ghost Road! We love getting into the mountains and cannot help but be reminded of how grand our God is. We are on holiday for 3 weeks, back February 19th. While we are away, Sala, Pamela, and Jeremy are preaching, while Dan, […]

Welcome back!

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Kia ora whānau, we’re back for another year of Papanui Paper Plane! This is the weekly email keeping you up to date with the latest happenings at Papanui Baptist and our neighbourhoods. We’re excited for the year ahead: we’re eyeing up a Bike ‘n’ Picnic event in late February, we have Grow Nights starting back on […]

Youth at Papanui

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  On December 14th-16th Y@P is heading away on camp, this year held at Ashley Gorge. Please keep this weekend in your prayers. You could help make this weekend extra special: we’d love to provide baking, some camp sponsorship, and caravans for camp parents, so why not take up one of these opportunities by getting […]

Church Family AGM

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Our AGM is this Sunday, where we’re planning to communicate about our structure (particularly in terms of staff) for 2019, together with the budget. There is a choice of two budgets, which we as a church will seek to discern Christ’s mind on: A status quo budget, keeping the same giving as this year, with […]

Baptist Hui

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  This past weekend we Rices attended the annual Baptist Hui along with about 400 other people, hosted this year by Palmerston North Central Baptist Church. We love these gatherings because they give us a sense of the wider Baptist whānau to which we belong. The Hui began with a powhiri and continued through the […]

Baptist Hui

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Today we’re flying north to Palmerston North for the annual Baptist Hui, where members of Baptist Churches from around Aotearoa gather to share stories from the year, encourage one another for our participation in God’s mission, and give God the glory. It can be a really special space! As many of you know, we Baptists […]

Some Updates

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  Kia ora whānau, We have a few updates to report in this Grain of Rice—you might want to sit down with a cuppa as you read. We’re very sorry to share that Gwynneth Moss passed away last Thursday morning. Gwynneth and Graham were long time members of Papanui Baptist but moved to a retirement […]

60 Years of God’s Faithfulness

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On the 14th of October, we are pausing to celebrate the work Jesus Christ has been doing in and through Papanui Baptist Church. In the service, we will be hearing testimonies of God’s faithfulness and we’ll have fun singing our way through the decades. After, we’ll have kai together to celebrate what has been, and […]

Bula!

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  I’m now into my last week at the restaurant and am counting down the days for Elliot to arrive. There have been so many wonderful surprises I couldn’t have anticipated. One of them is the church plant that’s funded by the business I’ve been researching. They feel called to announce the Good News to […]

Mental Illness

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  It’s hard not to be aware of the effects of low mental health in Aotearoa at the moment. You’ve heard the stats: In the 12 months to August last year, 606 Kiwis took their own lives. New Zealand has one of the highest suicide rates in the western world, and it hasn’t improved at […]

Neighbourhoods Grow Nights

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

As a church, we’re taking some significant steps in our journey to participate in Christ’s love for our neighbourhoods (get used to that phrase!). Duane Major and his friends from the various neighbourhoods connected with South West Baptist Church are leading us in a six-week Grow Night course, starting Tuesday 7th August. This is an excellent […]

FAQ about Neighbourhoods

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

As we continue to participate in Christ’s love for our neighbourhoods, we thought we’d take the chance in the next few Grains of Rice to answer a few FAQs about the neighbourhood vision. Here’s the first: Are neighbourhood groups replacing Ngage Groups? PBC has had a long wonderful heritage of small groups. Small groups have […]

Grain of Rice

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  As of Monday this week we Rices have taken up our life in our new abode on Barnes Road, Redwood. We’re hugely grateful to the many people who helped us move over the last few days—we had cleaners, gardeners, heavy lifters, packers, and unpackers—a real team effort! We’ve already enjoyed a number of neighbourhood […]

Looking Back…

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

    In the 1 John series we’ve been doing we’ve been talking about the divine dance, that is happening between the Father, Son (Jesus) and Spirit, and how God came down in Jesus to offer us his hand to lead us into God’s dance. Have you taken Jesus Christ’s hand? Do you trust him to lead you […]

Youth Pastor Search: Update

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Last week Matt hosted his final graduation for Y@P—his last of twelve years of Y@P graduations! We’re so grateful Jesus called him to serve at Papanui. Matt has sought to participate in what Jesus is up to in the lives of the youth here in Papanui. As we search for a new Youth Pastor, we […]

Bike Ride & Picnic

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Christchurch City Council is building 13 new Major Cycle Routes over seven years. Puari ki Papanui is a cycle route that was finished June this year. The cycle-way connects Northlands and the Northern Line Cycle-way to the Central City and is right on our door step here at Papanui Baptist Church. It’s a beautiful ride […]

Peaceful resistance   

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

As many of you are aware I’m from Zimbabwe and this week has been a cause for great celebration, last night I met with other Zimbabweans by the Cathedral and we danced and danced. Growing up I saw Christians who peacefully resisted the violence and oppression that Mugabe ruled with. Many Pastors lead peaceful movements […]

Hui 2017

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Margaret, Philip, Elliot, and Sarah attended the New Zealand Baptist National Hui last week in Taranaki. This Sunday we shall be sharing some of what we learned and experienced there. One of the highlights was spending the day at Parihaka, which is a small community located between Mount Taranaki and the Tasman Sea. In the 1870s […]

Kia ora from New Plymouth!

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  We’re here with Margaret and Philip McFedries for the annual Baptist Hui (the national gathering of Baptist Church leaders), being hosted this year at Northpoint Baptist Church. Part of the Hui will involve a day visiting Parihaka, which will no doubt be an inspiring day of learning about a radical community, as well as […]

The call to live among the poor

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  Philip Sapsford does an amazing job with World Vision, connecting pastors with people who have responded to God’s call to live and work alongside the poor. This week he organized a gathering at North City for us to meet Dr. Jayakumar Christian, who is a development practitioner and author of several books on development […]

Ephesians 3 recap:

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

What’s your experience of the love of power or the power of love? What changes us from the love of power to the power of love? Paul’s life revolved around worship and prayer and from this place extraordinary power flowed through his actions of preaching, pastoral work, and writing. We learn that worshiping and praying […]

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  Over the last couple of weeks of this series through Ephesians, we’ve been hearing that in Christ peace has been established between Jews and Gentiles, and he has created in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace (2:11-3:6). This is part of the good news! Yet when we look to […]

Dream Night: What’s Our Soil?

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On Sunday night about 60 of us gathered for Dream Night, where we took time to think about the ‘soil’ of our church—the fertile ground in which the body of Christ will flourish (Matt. 13). Our soil is the Good News of Jesus Christ. We had a number of stations (set up by PBC staff) inviting people […]

Good News, not Good Advice

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

In Simply Good News, the book we’ve encouraged you to get by Tom Wright, he writes: “for something to qualify as news, there has to be (1) an announcement of an event that has happened; (2) a larger context, a back story, within which this makes sense; (3) a sudden unveiling of the new future […]

Ephesians: United in the Gospel of Christ

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

This Sunday we’re starting our new series, Ephesians: United in the Gospel of Christ. The gospel of Jesus Christ comes as news within a larger story. It points to a wonderful new future, and it introduces a new period of waiting that changes our expectations. During this series, each Sunday we’ll be hearing a “Gospel in 2 Minutes” (G2) talk from […]

Gathered and Scattered

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

The Holy Spirit gathers us together and unites us to Christ so that we might bring glory to the Father. He also scatters us to participate in Christ’s mission in the world. Our vocations all vary, be that teaching, bus driving, managing accounts, or mission work in the classic sense. Christ calls us in many […]

Simply Good News

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

After three weeks of Prayer & Self-Denial, our term 3 series will be “Ephesians: United in the Gospel of Christ.” The central question we’re asking is, “What’s the good news that Jesus himself announced and told his followers to announce as well?” This message of good news has been around for 2,000 years, but what’s so “good” […]

Door-to-Door

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Last year Damian did a wonderful survey of Freedom Trust group programme participants on whether they believed the Trusts programmes are effective. The feedback was very positive. This year the Trust is planning to conduct a door-to-door questionnaire in our local community. We shall be conducting the questionnaire from 23rd of July – 5th of August. The […]

Being the guest

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Throughout the week, Papanui Baptist Church and Freedom Trust host a number of programs and groups in the church building. We are a highly invitational church Monday through to Friday. What would it look like to be as invitational on a Sunday? But also, what could it also look like for us to have spaces in our local community, […]

Sarah and Elliot Rice

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

In Elliot and my first weekend in Christchurch, we met a pastor we were inspired by. He has been serving the church for a long time and we asked what sustained him. He talked about how he has one weekend off a month to grow his personal faith. We thought this sounded like a good […]

Courage

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

In Joshua 1 it says “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” What do you need courage for this week? Has anything happened that brought fear into your heart and made you feel discouraged? Jesus comes towards you […]

Dream Night

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On Sunday evening we held our second edition of “Dream Night”. This is an important space for us as the body of Christ, gathered by the Spirit, to discern the Father’s leading together. We opened the night by discussing Rom. 15:5-6. Many people noticed how much God gives—may we increasingly live into that God-given unity! […]

In case you haven’t heard: 

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

There have been changes in the Freedom Trust Board and a 6-month review is underway. The review is so that Papanui Baptist Freedom Trust can work towards a closer partnership with Papanui Baptist Church (while keeping a distinction between the two organizations). This closer relationship is coming through the board being made up of church […]

Take time to look up: Isaiah 58:10

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

In this weeks living lent they have argued despite the economic odds being stacked against poor and vulnerable communities, there are actions that we can take from here in New Zealand that have a direct impact both on the injustices we have been looking into within the fashion industry and similar injustices. Some companies take […]

November

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Kia ora Papanui Baptist,   Baptist Hui We’re writing this from Dunedin, where we are gathering with New Zealand’s Baptist leaders for our annual gathering—the Hui. This year our theme is ‘The Grace of God TE AROHA NOA O TE ATUA’. Sam and several leaders from the Cambodian fellowship will also be joining in the […]

October

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Kia ora Papanui Baptist, We’ve been thoroughly enjoying working our way through the second half of the Samuel series for the past five weeks, with just a couple of Sundays to go. We’ve been continually amazed at the God who makes his own way in these stories, humbling the proud and exalting the humble. The […]

September

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Kia ora Papanui Baptist, It seems spring has come early, and for a couple of soft Aucklanders, this is good news! We can hardly complain though… For the first three weeks of August we boarded 11 different flights for a trip through the currently hot and humid Southeast Asia. Our trip began with a week-long […]

August

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Kia ora Papanui Baptist, A highlight of the last month for us was the staff retreat. We have an    amazing staff team here at Papanui who are talented and eager to follow Christ’s leading. We spent the day at the Papanui Youth Development Centre, talking about our vision to Belong, Grow, and Influence, and how […]

July

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Tēnā koutou,   A big thank you to everyone who made the Stations of Samuel possible – it was a  tremendous time, the feedback was that people got to meet each other in new ways and that God is speaking deep within us. We now begin our series of Proud         Humbled / Humble Exalted, looking at […]

May

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  Kia ora koutou Papanui Baptist,   Firstly, we want to say thank you! We’ve been here for just over a month now, and we can’t believe how easy it’s been to settle into this new city and new     community. You’ve overwhelmed us by your generosity, and we’ve now lost count of the number of offers for […]

April

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Tena koutou Papanui Baptist Church!   It’s great to be here with you all again, and we’re so excited we get to call you our whanau! Since our arrival we’ve hit the ground running… After a glorious road trip down the country via Nelson Lakes we joined Y@P for the Southern Easter Camp, and we […]