Let’s Play Catch Up

I had hoped to update you before now, but this is the first chance I’ve had to sit down and write. Where do I begin!

Describing YWAM New Zealand feels like explaining to a dog how gravity works. There are no words for this level of experience and change. My mind is completely blown. I’m already 10 times the person I was when I left home.

New Friends

I was the first student to reach the base! Awesome, right? I thought that would give me an advantage but for some reason I lost all of my social skills the moment I got here! For the first time in my life I couldn’t start a conversation or keep one going. It was weird.

Then I quickly realized something about identity. It’s easy to know who you are when you’re in an environment where you can relate to at least one or two things. But when you get put in an environment where absolutely everything is different, its difficult to bring what you have to the table and make it relate. I pushed through my awkwardness though, and one by one I connected with everyone in a big way. It was fun seeing the uniqueness of each person and imagining how close we would all become over the next six months.

Now, after such a short time, I love these people. Each of them has an awesome life story to tell and a powerful future ahead of them. So when you pray for me, please pray for them also.

New Zealand

After we all met on that first day, we received our itinerary, and we heard our first few lectures about the nation of New Zealand.

I’ve never fallen in love with a territory this fast and this hard. I’m not just talking about the geography either. Believe me, the people are even more beautiful than the land.

Listen to the NZ national anthem and you’ll start to see what I mean. It begins in the Māori language, then in English.

New Me

From that first day until now I feel like I have lived another lifetime. I’ve seen so many sights, my camera will never tell the story. I’ve changed so much, people back home wouldn’t recognize me. I never thought this experience would change me as much as it has.

When first arriving here in New Zealand I thought I had a big understanding of God. I thought I had Him figured out and I was in a good place in my life. Little did I know, there was a lot more to learn and experience.

Every factor is working together perfectly to shape me into the missionary I want to be. After each new lecture I am twice the man I was when I woke up that morning. With each weekend trip I’m seeing twice the beauty as the trip before it.

Here is 30 days in NZ through my eyes!

The YWAM base where I’m staying is a fairly large campus. It has five different houses for people to live in, two lecture rooms, a building for offices, and a big dinning hall with an industrial sized kitchen. There are also various other buildings for things like laundry, storage, and a gym.


Two weeks into this journey I was blessed with a ukulele! My goal is to be able to play it before I get back to the states.


We’re completely off on Sundays. So my friend and I hitchhike to random places. It’s the best way to meet new people and explore the area. We have even nicknamed this day, “Sunday Thumbday.” Haha.


Since this is a school for backpackers, each weekend we all pile into big vans and head for somewhere new and exciting.


As you will see from the photos below, we do everything from climbing to the peak of a snow covered mountain, to exploring caves covered in glow worms, and adventuring on cliffs that overlook the ocean.






Thank you to my supporters for sending me here. I am using this time to grow as fast as any human being can grow, and I am well on my way to making the difference I’ve set out to make.

I’m really missing my friends back home. So please leave me a comment and tell me how you’re doing!

Would you like to know where I’m going next?

I’ll tell you in the next update! Haha

Talk to you soon.

39 replies
  1. Nannie
    Nannie says:

    I really miss you a lot and love you more. You are changing for the better and for God. Study all you can and also enjoy yourself. I enjoy the pictures you put on e-mail. love you.

  2. Chuck Balsamo
    Chuck Balsamo says:

    That video is so INSPIRATIONAL!! When they started to sing in English and I heard those lyrics, it gave me chills!

    I miss you so bad Coree. But I’m thrilled out of my mind to see you reaching for your dream! You are going to change the world far beyond anything that mom and me will ever accomplish. We love you and we’re praying for you every time you come into our minds.

    • Coree Balsamo
      Coree Balsamo says:

      Thanks dad! That video isn’t just a video someone made for them either and never gets played, it gets played as much as our national anthem gets played. The spirit over this country is so amazing.

  3. Danae Huffer
    Danae Huffer says:

    COREE!!! You – Are – Awesome!!! Loved the update… So cool to hear how you are doing & how far you’ve come in such a short time!!! Keep living life in a big way 🙂 (not that I would expect anything less,lol) Praying for you!!

    • Coree Balsamo
      Coree Balsamo says:

      Haha, thanks Danae. Like I said in the blog, it feels like I’ve been gone a lifetime! I feel the prayers of you and eveyone else praying everyday! Thanks for that.

  4. Emily Balsamo
    Emily Balsamo says:

    Coree I miss you !!!! Please bring me back something fun !!!!! Lol I am so proud of everything you are doing and very jealous I am not there with you !! Lol live the dream buddy !!

    • Coree Balsamo
      Coree Balsamo says:

      Thanks mom! There isn’t a whole lot of stuff to get as gifts, but i may have found one or two things. 🙂

  5. Rachel Brown
    Rachel Brown says:

    Wow Coree! You have inspired me today by sharing your “akward” first experience meeting new people.
    I am so proud of you! What an amazing adventure! Can’t wait to see what your future holds!

  6. Suzanne
    Suzanne says:

    I’ve been thinking about you and keeping you in my prayers a lot lately. I miss you so much but it warms my heart knowing how much fun and how many cool experiences you’re having out there!!

  7. Brianna
    Brianna says:

    Coree I’m so happy you’re having the best time of your life! Your story still continues to inspire me and I look forward to hearing more. I miss you so much! The pictures look so beautiful I can only imagine it’s better in real life! Keeping you and your new friends in my thoughts for safe travels.

  8. Savannah Muse
    Savannah Muse says:

    This was so inspirational and beautiful!
    I miss you bunches and im glad youre having a great time there! 🙂

    • Coree Balsamo
      Coree Balsamo says:

      Thanks Eric! God has been blessing me so much over the past two months. So it’s nice getting comments like this because I know they are answered prayers. I’m going pray God returns blessing on your life.

  9. Richard
    Richard says:

    Wow! Coree! I’m like your dad! When they started singing in English……..Overpowering! The views of the country are overpowering and You, yourself are being challenged and overwhelmed by the Lord! Super exciting for us to watch you fly towards Your destiny, man!

  10. Emily
    Emily says:

    Coree! This is awesome man! It’s amazing to hear how the Lord is moving! I hope I get to see you soon and meet some of the awesome people you’ve been ministering with! Whoop!

  11. Bubba & Lola
    Bubba & Lola says:

    OMGoodness! You will never know just how much you have just impacted ME!! First, that video and the words to their national anthem convicted me how small I have allowed my thinking to get. New Zealand’s national anthem is such a declaration for a Godly nation – it must be impacting it and I’m ready to move there 🙂 Next, your transformation is so obvious in your writing and it totally inspires me to examine myself because the very same God is ministering to me to level I will let Him – you are wide open – I’m aspiring now to do the same! Thank you so much for squeezing in the time to give this update. You are missed greatly but I wouldn’t want you back here right now at all bc you are impacting us so big right where you are and what God is doing in you is shining all the way here! Know you are prayed for. Keep pushing through the hard places to reach for HIM! Luv ya!

  12. Chuck Balsamo
    Chuck Balsamo says:

    Coree is backpacking and won’t be able to comment until he is back in technology range.

    Thank you for praying with us for Coree and for holding him up with your awesome words, prayers and finances! Lola, your comment litterally brought tears to my eyes.

    I pray that God will truly bless you all.

  13. Elizabeth BCF
    Elizabeth BCF says:

    Hey BCF! I miss you!!!!! But I’m so glad you are having such a great time in NZ. I know you love to travel and I bet this is the best adventure yet! I can’t wait for you to come back though! Stay safe :).

  14. Wayne Anson
    Wayne Anson says:

    Coree, I have a son Kory too (different spelling of course). I have come to follow your life through your dad Chuck. I have always been curious about what and who you really are and am so thankful to be privileged to know you through your life adventure. My wife has picked up following your father and you as well and I think that is special to have a mutual interest in God’s men. May the Father of the Universe, and our Lord, Jesus Christ, continue to make you into the new man he saved you to become. Walk his way. At the end of the day, after the excitement, growth, and pain, his gracious love is all that matters. It is he who has chosen you. Though you he will do great things.

    • Coree Balsamo
      Coree Balsamo says:

      It’s nice to meet you Wayne! Thank you for following me on my part of Gods journey and for all of your encouraging words. I appreciate your comment and hope to hear more from you in the future.

  15. Heather
    Heather says:

    Hey Coree!! I love hearing about all of your experiences, adventures and most of all what God is doing in you!! This is so inspiring and encouraging to me! You are such a great guy!! Take care as we continue to pray for you!
    Heather Jimmy Evan and Madelyn 😉

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