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.