On Mission

Seeking to Be a Disciple and Make Disciples

Archive for the month “November, 2010”

God’s Work in Tauranga, New Zealand

The second stop on our New Zealand journey was in Tauranga. I was so impressed with God’s work through the Otumoetai church of Christ and the South Pacific Bible College. I learned a great deal from my brothers and sisters in Tauranga. I was impressed with their faithful service in the South Pacific and beyond. I was inspired by how God has used them to expand his kingdom. I was also excited about the great potential I see in the church and in the college.

Alan and I were able to spend significant time with both the faculty and staff at the SPBC and the leadership of the Otumoetai church. We listened as they recounted their history and how God had brought them to this point in their history. We were inspired by their honesty in evaluating their strengths and areas of needed growth. We were excited as they began to envision their future and identify specific steps which they want to take to see God’s vision become a reality in New Zealand, the South Pacific and beyond.

I have heard of the Otumoetai church and SPBC in Tauranga for years and I now know that all of the wonderful things I have heard are indeed true and perhaps a little bit of an understatement. We were able to deepen great kingdom relationships, learn from what God is doing and begin to take steps of deeper partnership to join God’s work in the  South Pacific. I am resisting the temptation to begin to mention names, however there are so many godly servants and good friend in Tauranga it would talk me longer than I have now to mention everyone. I am sure you will be hearing more about those in Tauranga as God continues to teach me through their life and service. Pray that God will continue to use His people in New Zealand for His glory!

The City of Sails

In October, I was blessed to travel with Alan Philips, Missions Resource Network’s Associate Director and our Facilitator for Church Planting in the South Pacific. Our first stop was in Auckland, New Zealand. Several years ago MRN partnered together with Sunset International Bible Institute in training a three family mission team for Auckland, New Zealand. Justin, Jennifer, Rylee and Gavin Cherry; Skylar and Morgan Ely and Elijah, Kristen and Caden Peters have been working to begin a new work in the largest city in New Zealand. They have invited two new families to join their ministry in Auckland. Paul, Melanie, Rylan and Kason Partlow along with John, Tiffany, Hayden and Hudson Sanders will be joining the Auckland Mission Team in February, Lord willing.  Paul and John traveled to New Zealand to join us in a Team Building Seminar with the men on the team. Several days were spent in sharing our stories of how God has brought each one of us to this point, discussing unique giftedness, God-given personality and team roles. Adding two new families to an established team is not always easy and we are making sure we are giving the missionary families every advantage in this transition. Ultimately though, God will guide and lead each team members as they incorporate into a new work and a new team.

I was impressed with the way that the Auckland Team has integrated themselves into life in New Zealand and particularly into the lives of many in the Massey area. They have truly become servants in their community, showing all they desire to help people grow to know the Lord in word and in walk. I was also impressed with the importance of every mission team keeping  themselves spiritually healthy, relationally strong and focused intently on their calling and their reason for existence. It was good to hear the Auckland team process their areas of strengths and their desire to grow as a team, as missionaries and as a young church.

 

I was also able to meet Logan and Jennifer Rosenbalm, who are interns working with the church in Auckland. They are recent graduates from Oklahoma Christian University. They are doing a wonderful job of serving, learning and sharing the love of Jesus.  There also three missionary apprentices from the Adventures in Missions program working with the mission team. I was able to enjoy a Starbuck’s coffee with Cody Marceau, Van Pramulwong and Chris Willis who are from the same AIM class as my son, Ryan. I enjoyed listening to their excitement about the opportunity that God has placed in front of them. I was challenged as I listened to the difficulties they have faced, yet encouraged by their perseverance and desire to grow and be used by God. I even was able to witness the Peters and the AIM guys make their presentation to the 2010 AIM Class in Lubbock.

 

God is being glorified through the lives and service of these missionaries, interns and missionary apprentices. Pray for missionaries around the world as they submit to God’s work in them, through them and around them for His glory.

 

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