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An Update from Zane, Karen, William & Amelia.

Wed, 22/01/2020 - 16:08

For the past 18 months or so, as we’ve been preparing on this journey into full-time mission you’ve known us as “Zane, Karen, William & Amelia – working in SE Asia.” We’re excited to say that is about to change.

One of things that we do continually here is monitor our security status. Due to the level of our security status until now we’ve kept the name of where we are working, and our surname out of print. We haven’t been profiled on the NZCMS website, and the only way to get information about us has been through us.

We are really pleased to say that after a recent security review we are now able to publish what we are doing, and where we’ll be doing it in print. 

So what will change?

You’ll now receive information about our country in our updates. We’ll name the places we are working or visiting. You can feel free to get in touch without worrying about the kind of language you use in terms of Church and faith. We’d still ask you to be sensible about where you post details about our work, and mentioning the majority religion here. 

Be assured that we will always maintain the very best security and safety practices, and follow the advice given to us by NZCMS and our embassy here.

So, what can we tell you?

Probably not much you didn’t know already. We still will be working in Jakarta, the Capital of Indonesia.

Ada gula, ada semut – where there is sugar, there are ants!

This Indonesian proverb sums up Jakarta well. People flock to Jakarta in their millions from every island of the Indonesian Archipelago. Jakarta is where fortunes are made, and better opportunities are sought.

Jakarta is the heart of arts, education, government and commerce. We think it’s an exciting place to be based for the work we are engaged in here.

With a metropolitan population of more than 30 million and rising, Jakarta is one of the world’s largest cities. Known as “the Big Durian” it is the largest city in Southeast Asia, and the commanding urban centre of Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country. It is also an overburdened developing metropolis struggling with problems of overpopulation and inadequate housing, employment, transportation and environmental quality.

The Good News of Jesus has something to offer the megacity we’ll be calling home.

We’ll still be strengthening the body of Christ.

We’ll be doing that at an Anglican Church called All Saints’. All Saints’ is an Evangelical Anglican church catering for members of the English speaking community in Jakarta. Established in 1819, All Saints’ Church Jakarta is the oldest English-speaking institution in Indonesia.

All Saints’ was first used as a base for the London Missionary Society’s mission to China, then as a colonial chaplaincy and for the last seventy years as an international church, All Saints’ has both witnessed and participated in Indonesia’s colourful and turbulent history.

We have two sites where people meet for Sunday services. One in the heart of the CBD, and one in the South of the city. We will still be based in the South of the city looking after the congregation there.

As part of the Anglican Church, All Saints’ is a parish within the Diocese of Singapore. The Diocese and All Saints’ endorse the Jerusalem Declaration (2008). Rt. Revd. Rennis Poniah is the current Bishop of the Diocese of Singapore. This diocese is part of the Anglican Province of South-East Asia. Check us out at

The work we’ll be doing will be the same.

Karen will still be aiming to walk alongside women who want to deepen their understanding of the Bible, and sharing hospitality. Zane will still be teaching and preaching, and helping people make time for God in the busy-ness of life in the fast lane in the Big Durian. William and Amelia will still be going to school – sorry kids – and hoping to live out their faith on a daily basis.

So, thanks for all of your hard work until now, helping us maintain the security level we needed to while we prepared for work here in Indonesia. We are really excited that we can be more open about the place where we live and work. Now you’ll see even more information and detail in our newsletters – available here

Our Facebook page

And our Instagram feed

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A Tribute to Christine Akester

Fri, 17/01/2020 - 16:02

Christine and Peter were Mission Partners with NZCMS in Tanzania on two separate occasions. They were based in Dodoma for 19 years from 1979 to 1998, involved in pharmacy work and teaching and, more recently for three years from 2015 to 2018 based in Kondoa supporting the work of Kondoa Bible School. The following tribute was written by Peter Akester which he also read at Christine’s funeral on January 9.

Names are a significant part of any person, I believe. Christine Joy – or Griptine as she was fondly known by her mother – morphed into Chris in her teenage years. In Tanzania she was Mama Peter before we had Pendo come into our family. She was then called Mama Pendo and most still call her that there. Christina was what some close friends would call her. Mwalimu – which means teacher – had significance to many. Back in New Zealand she became Chizzy to our girls and many of their friends. To our grandchildren she is known as Bibi. Over the last three years in Tanzania recently she took on another name after I was ordained: “Mama Mchungaji” which means “pastor”.  Those tell a bit of her history but only touch on who she was.

She was passionate about music and enthusing others to appreciate and express themselves in music. She was someone who always wanted to give time to show she valued every person she had contact with. For example, on the last night before our wedding she insisted on seeing a student of hers to care for her and listen to her – two hours later we left that home despite all the other preparations that were left on hold until the early hours of the morning.

She was always keen to learn something more about her faith and the Bible and its relevance to her and to others. An encourager and supporter of many with the hope that they would grow in their faith and work. She valued family even though we often found ourselves far apart geographically. Her weekly letters home over all those years in Tanzania were witness to that.

She was involved in Sunday School, Bible in Schools, numerous children’s choirs, teaching in the Tanzanian Girls’ Secondary school for their Christian education and more recently being part of the Teacher’s College Christian gatherings in Kondoa, Tanzania.

A passionate and loving mother and my partner for 45 amazing years. She never minced words and was always ready to tell me and others what she thought. Many times, she was a listening ear for me to hear what God was saying to us and had a faith grounded in knowing the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ and the sure certainty of God’s presence and guidance in her life.

When told about the probability of Motor Neurone Disease affecting her body last year, she assured them about her lack of fear in facing that, because she knew that God was in control and where she would ultimately be in an eternal life.

She has lived out her faith by not being afraid to just be who she was. Gentle, patient, cheerful and willing to persevere with any task she was given. Uncomplicated and sincere. As a mother to Pendo and Sarah she always wanted the best for them no matter what that meant in terms of time or energy. As Bibi, she loved Jamaine and Skyla and Nathan to bits.

She never pretended to be an enthusiastic cook because she always had more important things to be involved with. She was so innovative in Tanzania when she devised a cookbook for recipes in the times of shortages of almost everything. A big frustration to her was a husband who left a carefully prepared, hot meal to attend to some other pressing need.

She was very good at feeling car sick and three days after we were married I had my first hand experience of this when she made me stop the bus we were travelling in so she could feel more comfortable. An evangelist once received a very generous offering from her on a bumpy, dusty road! Fluttering birds were also public enemy number one to her which I sometimes forgot much to her horror. But give Chris a Bible, a piano and Boggle, that would make her day!

She wanted me to thank family, and that means extended family, from many parts of the world, friends from near and far for all your expressions of support and love in so many practical ways. People of her church, you have all been amazing, and examples of true disciples of Jesus, who asked his disciples to love one another so others might know Him.

Thank you, God, for such a precious gift of a person you gave me to be my companion and inspiration.

God bless you all.

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Celebrating Gordon Langrell, 1982 – 1983 with NZCMS in Singapore

Fri, 06/12/2019 - 17:43

Complied by Bishop Henry Paltridge from out of St. Martins.

We first met Gordon through the NZCMS League of Youth over 50 years ago. Gordon had come to know Jesus as Saviour and Lord as a young man. He had a zeal for the Gospel as a teacher being involved in the follow-up of the Billy Graham Crusade in 1959 and taught at Middleton Grange in 1965. During this time he led the Sunday School at St Martin’s, Spreydon, where within two weeks, he had visited every child’s home and made notes about the children’s interests, including sports. Often he even went to watch them play.

After theological training at Ridley College in England, he was ordained and served a curacy in England before return to New Zealand. Soon after he married Annette and had two sons and a busy ministry in Taita, Wellington.

After ten years in Taita they went with NZCMS to Singapore from 1982-1983. Gordon wrote that it had been a privilege and a thrilling experience to join the Singapore Diocese. It has developed a strong missionary commitment, especially in South East Asia. But it was not all easy! The heat, some relationships and expensive schooling impacted their decision to come home to New Zealand. When revisiting Singapore in 1995, a small church plant that they had been involved with had become three large congregations. “They certainly did not need us”, was Gordon’s reaction.

They returned to parishes in Christchurch with an evangelistic and pastoral zeal and always had a heart for people on the fringe! Gordon was a faithful member of the NZCMS Support Group in Christchurch as well as a regular participant at the weekly CMS Prayer-meeting.

Gordon greatly supported Annette’s passion to befriend overseas students. Their contribution to mission did not end when they left Singapore, having visited many churches of different nations, fulfilling Jesus command in Mathew 28:19. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”

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Next Steps

Fri, 29/11/2019 - 16:30

Recently, we published the final issue of our quarterly magasine Intermission that is now being sent to hundreds of mail boxes around the world. The publication focuses on the theme of the Holy Spirit and how our Mission Partners have seen Him at work. So how can you partner with the Holy Spirit? It’s so easy to read an article about what another Jesus follower is doing, or hear a good sermon about how the Holy Spirit is empowering someone, and respond with “well that’s so great for them!”. And that’s it. But one of NZCMS’ goals is not simply to share stories of our Mission Partner’s work around the world but to call you, the reader, to action. How can you, as part of the Church of Aotearoa, partner with the Holy Spirit’s mission in the world today?

I was asked recently to preach at my church and I’ve been thinking about using a clip from “The Hobbit”. In this clip Gandalf the Wizard is trying to convince the protagonist, Bilbo, to join him on an adventure.

“The world is not in your books and maps,” Gandalf says to Bilbo as he gestures to the fields outside his living room window. “It’s out there!”

How often do we refuse to take a step outside of where we’re comfortable? A step into the unknown. Into the scary. Into the place where we’re forced to rely on God to help us in our journey. But what if that is exactly the place where the Holy Spirit is moving and ready to empower us, inspire us and teach us? When we take a step outside.

One of the verses that I’ve known since I was a child was Proverbs 3:5-6.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
   and he will make your paths straight.”

It could be that as we take a step out onto the “path”, that’s precisely the place where we will find the Holy Spirit can come alongside and empower us. That’s where we will hear His voice. Sense His leading hand. Be filled with His empowering gifts. I wonder sometimes if we can treat the phrase “trust in the Lord with all your heart” as just a sort of feeling or emotional state. But there is no trust without action! There is no faith without deeds! “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds” cries James in chapter two of his epistle.

Already I’ve found in my short 29 years of life that the Christian life does not stand on the foundation of intellectual belief or emotional highs and lows. To be a Christian is to act on the faith we declare in our Lord. Therefore, is it so hard to believe that when we make decisions where we have to depend on God, that’s precisely when we will see Him “make our paths straight”?

Let’s become a people that shout at the top of our lungs “Holy Spirit, I trust in your healing power!” and then offer to pray for our sick neighbour. Let’s become a people who say “Holy Spirit, I know you’ve forgiven that person for what they did to me,” and then offer to pay for their next petrol bill. Let’s cry out “Holy Spirit I feel so alone, but I believe you are here with me” and spend the beginning of every day thanking Him for His faithfulness.   

So what choice can you make today that would cause you to rely on the Holy Spirit? What “path” can you turn towards? What comfortable place in your life can you step out from for a moment?

May the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you as you discern with Him where your next step is. God is calling us to join Him in His mission, but look, He is not calling us to do it alone.

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The Holy Spirit in Aotearoa

Fri, 22/11/2019 - 14:26

Rev Dr Lyndon Drake is Kaiwhakamana Amorangi (ministry enabler) at Te Pīhopatanga o Te Tai Tokerau. Lyndon is married to Miriam, and they have three boys. Lyndon was an interest-rate trader in London before retraining for ordained ministry, has degrees from the universities of Auckland, York, and Oxford, and is currently studying for a DPhil in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at the University of Oxford.

Ka nuku nuku, ka neke neke

Ka nuku nuku, ka neke neke

Titiro ki nga wai o Tokerau, e hora nei, me he pipiwharauroa ki tua Takoto te pai, takoto te pai Whiti, whiti, tata, tata Whiti, whiti, tata, tata He ra taua ki tua Takoto te pai, takoto te pai

These words have become famous. They come from a well-known Nga Puhi haka. They have a special place in the history of the Gospel in this land. Samuel Marsden preached the first sermon on Christmas Day in 1814 at Oihi Bay, answering the invitation of Ruatara, a chief from the north. In response to Marsden’s message, thousands of Ruatara’s men performed this haka.

Bishop Te Kitohi Pikaahu suggests that reference to the pipiwharauroa (shining cuckoo) in this context showed an awareness that the good news of Jesus was an outside concept — a cuckoo’s egg being laid. But the response is not a rejection of this new thing, but a celebration of it. The haka is called “Te Hari a Nga Puhi” (“The Joy of Nga Puhi”) and was used to rejoice.

In this, we can see the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of those who were listening to a message they could not yet completely understand. The Spirit prompted first Te Pahi (another chief) and then Ruatara to invite Marsden. The Spirit also prompted those who heard the message to respond with open hearts and joy.

The Never Ending Work of the Holy Spirit

It is true, and important to remember and re-tell, that even in Marsden himself, and more so in many of the subsequent painful events of church activity, the Spirit’s work was damaged or opposed by human sin. But the Spirit cannot be defeated, and God’s works of aroha noa (grace) have continued to provoke a Spirit-filled response of joy among people ever since that day.

A hallmark of the Spirit’s work was the embracing by early English CMS missionaries of Henry Venn’s vision of indigenous leadership. The English missionaries empowered new Maori Christians to proclaim the good news of Jesus throughout the land, and to in due course lead ministry. This vision was stifled as the “Settler Church” took over, but the Spirit-inspired ambition of a Maori-led church for the sake of all was never entirely lost. In a sense, it went underground and became largely invisible for many years.

Another aspect of the Spirit’s ongoing work was the formation of NZCMS, a work that, from its inception, included both a worldwide ambition and the support of indigenous mission work within Aotearoa. The necessity of ongoing indigenous mission has not always been understood by the Church, but is a true sign of the Spirit’s presence in the church in this land.

A New Initiative

I have had joy myself in seeing the Spirit at work in a new way during the last couple of years. I returned to my own land in 2017 to take up ministry within the Maori Anglican church in Te Tai Tokerau (Auckland and Northland). My hope is to re-tell the broken story of the church. In particular, I want to see Maori evangelists set free to tell the good news of Jesus, and to have the great joy of seeing joyful responses to that message from Maori and tauiwi (those from overseas) alike.

As I looked for ways to enable that vision, now-bishop Steve Maina gave me the opportunity in March 2018 to present an idea of partnership between NZCMS and te Takiwa o Manukau (the group of Maori Anglican churches of south Auckland which I oversee). The idea we brought was to identify and fund two Maori evangelists to work among Maori in Manukau, where more Maori live than in any place in the world. I had the joy of seeing the enthusiastic response of the NZCMS board and wider community. I am quite certain that NZCMS’ response was prompted by the Spirit.

As this work has been established, I have had every opportunity to see the power of the Spirit, not only in the ministry of Te Hauoterangi Karaka who is our first evangelist, but in the spirit of partnership and cooperation that has characterised the whole endeavour.

The Holy Spirit’s Invitation

My conviction, which I believe comes from the Spirit, is that God has not abandoned the story that He began to write in this land in 1814. I am convinced that God still loves this land, and still loves the way He began to form the church here. I am convinced that God still loves Maori and longs to see us saved, and that He loves all those tauiwi who have found a home here and longs for them to come into His Kingdom too. I am convinced that God still sends His Holy Spirit to accompany His word as it is preached, and will pour out his love and mercy on the lost in this land.

My conviction is that we have to give attention to the way the story started among Maori, and to re-tell that story in our own day, repenting of the sins of the past not only in word but in actions which demonstrate our openness to God’s Spirit. I believe that this means we must give ourselves to the renewal of proclamation of the Gospel among Maori, trusting that this will lead to the conversion of Maori and tauiwi alike. I believe that the initiative NZCMS has taken to enable a new expression of Maori-led mission in Manukau is a sign of the Spirit’s presence and power among us.

“Ka pēnā anō tāku kupu e puta ana i tōku māngai;
e kore e hoki kau mai ki ahau;
engari ka meatia tāku i pai ai,
ka taea hoki tāku i unga atu ai.
Tā te mea ka haere atu koutou me te hari anō,
ka ārahina i runga i te rangimārie.”

“It is the same with my word.
I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
You will live in joy and peace.”

Isaiah 55.11–12

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Q & A with 2019 Better World team, LIVE from Cambodia

Mon, 18/11/2019 - 13:33

On November 21, Thursday at 7:00pm the Better World participants and leaders will be hosting a live video Q & A from their location in Cambodia discussing their experiences of the past year as they come to the end of the programme. To tune in you must log into your Facebook account and find the Better World Facebook page. Or you can follow the link HERE.

This year has been the very first year our Better World gap year has run. Better World is a radical social justice gap year experience for school leavers and young adults that digs deep into the issues of our broken world and journeyed into understanding how our response to these issues is central to the Gospel.

Through out the programme, the participants have learned about ethical consumption, climate change, urban poverty and refugee and migration. They have also lived in community here Aotearoa and also gone abroad for extended periods of time in Fiji and Cambodia.

Categories: Affiliate News

NZCMS National Director Commissioned

Thu, 14/11/2019 - 20:35

A great time of celebration happened on November 9 when Rosie Fyfe was commissioned as National Director of NZCMS by Peter Carrell, Bishop of Christchurch.. The newly appointed Bishop from Nelson, Steve Maina, attended and gave his support and encouragement to Rosie as the previous NZCMS National Director from 2009 to 2019. The CMS Australia International Director, Peter Rodgers, also attended the commissioning and spoke on behalf of all the Church Missionary Societies around the world as he welcomed Rosie into the CMS leadership family. There were also many NZCMS supporters staff and board members who stood with Rosie and prayed for her in her new position.

Bishop Richard Ellena, the President of NZCMS Trust Board, gave an inspiring and challenging talk on our need to re-claim the “why?” question of mission.

He quoted Luke 19:41:“As he (Jesus) approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept bitterly.”

He quoted Luke 19:41 which says “As he (Jesus) approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept bitterly.”

“Jesus wasn’t weeping because of what he knew he would experience…” the Bishop said. “He was weeping over Jerusalem. And in the midst of the tears, he said “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace, but now it’s hidden from your eyes.” 

Bishop Richard went on to explain that the city of Jerusalem was created to glorify and host the praises of God. It was his plan to have Jerusalem as a light to the nations because of the peace and joy of those who lived there. But it was full of corruption, ruled over by the Romans and spiritually led by priests who were motivated by greed and neglected God’s justice and love.

“Our mission begins when we look out over God’s beautiful creation and weep” Bishop Richard said. “Mission happens when we, like God, so love the world that we weep when we see the injustices, the poverty, the violence, the greed, that complete devaluation of life. Mission is our response to the tears, and we support those who go.”

Rosie is already well acquainted with NZCMS, having been a Mission Partner with us for five years in Egypt. She spent her time there as the Director of the Diocesan Partnership Office, responsible for partnerships to support the ministries of the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa. This involved her in the planning and implementation of health, education, theological, interfaith, and community development projects, as well as communicating what the Church was doing in Egypt. With this history and relationship with NZCMS already in place, she has a deep understanding of our DNA and a passion to see us continue to move forward in inspiring and equipping.

Would you please pray for Rosie as she continues to be led by God in this exciting new venture as our National Director.

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Your Labour is Not in Vain

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 11:35

Just before I flew to the US for the conference, I had a severe bout of back pain that left me bed-ridden for four days. I did not want to cancel my Bible Study class with the women, and so I had them all come into our guest room and sit around the bed. I had assigned each of them texts from the Bible to lead a short Bible Study, based on seven questions. That day, two women led and I will never forget what happened.

One woman, Doris, led the Bible Study with confidence that she had not had the first time I assigned her to lead. Afterwards she said something to this effect: “I am unschooled and I am ashamed to read at home. Even my husband and children have not heard my reading voice because I don’t want them to laugh at me. Today is the first time I am reading the Bible aloud, and though nobody helped me prepare for leading this Bible study, the Holy Spirit has led me and told me what to do.”

After this, another woman, Hilda, took the lead with another text and again it was evident that she had renewed strength and confidence in the Holy Spirit. As she led, the other women were eagerly looking into their Bibles and contributing to the discussion and trying to see how they could apply the word to their lives. At the end she spoke to me and referred back to how far they had come in their spiritual walk with the Lord. “When we arrived here, you treated us like little babies. You fed us and fed us and now we have teeth and can eat anything!”

Hallelujah! I went up to tell Jon and began to cry with joy at the realization at what God was doing in these women.

We thank God for each of you and pray that as you labour in His vineyard, you will know that your labour in the Lord is never in vain. May His power be made perfect in weakness!

Love from all of us in the Solomons,

Jon, Tess, Avalyn, Cohen, Caeli, Judah, Immanuel, and Moses Hicks

The Hicks family are NZCMS Mission Partners in the Solomon Islands, supporting the training of Church leaders. Jonathan teaches at a Bible college while Tess home-schools their children and engages in ministry with local women.

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We’re all Polished Arrows

Fri, 08/11/2019 - 15:13

Andy and his wife Shona along with their children, live in Costa Rica and have served as Mission Partners with NZCMS since May 2018. Andy is fluent in Spanish and works with Movida, which seeks to motivate young people to better serve local churches and to reach out through world mission. 

Recently I attended a summit for mission mobilisers for the whole Central American region. Around 500 key leaders from seven countries representing at least 3000 churches were present.

I was expecting to just be a delegate. However, one of the key note speakers, Alex Paniagua, had to cancel at the last minute. This man is one of my mentors. Though we’re similar in age he has 20 years’ experience working across Latin America and is one of the key leaders of the Latin American Mission movement. Alex had to cancel as he fell ill with kidney stones so he “volun-told” me that I was doing his presentation!

He said “Andy the doctor says I cannot travel, but I’ve told the conference that you can take my place, I hope that’s ok!” He gave me three days’ notice and was going to send me his presentation on “New Trends in mobilising the church to the Mission of God”.

I was preaching for three days in another region so I only had a short time to prepare. We had travelled up as a family to Nicaragua; an eight hour road trip from San José to Managua with two hours to negotiate the border.

What Does the Lord Want to Say?

As I prepared the message, I felt strongly that I should speak from Isaiah 49:1-7. This is a favourite teaching of my father and has become very much part of my missiology and sense of calling. The picture of being an arrow is very special for me because for over 20 years I’ve been challenged by Psalm 127:4 which says “…the children of your youth are like arrows in the quiver of a warrior”.

Essentially, my ministry in Latin America is building on the last 40 years of my father’s ministry and passion to train a rising generation of Latin Americans who can effectively engage in the mission of God. Back in 2007, I helped connect a mission trip from The Good Shepherd Anglican Church in Auckland to the churches of the two pastors that baptised me, one in the capital city of Peru and the other in the jungle. At the time I felt very frustrated with God that He was sending them and not me. However, when they returned, we got together and the team prayed for me. The team leader had a picture he felt was from God for me and said “Andy I see you like an arrow poised in God’s bow. You’re drawn back and when the Lord shoots, you will fly true and hit the target”.

We are the polished arrow that Isaiah talks about! It applies to me and you. In fact the passage starts “Here distant coastlands” and you can’t get much further from Israel than New Zealand to the South East or Latin America to the west!

What else does this passage say?

  • “Before we were born He knew us”
  • “He has placed His word in our mouth like a sword”
  • “His hand in upon us”

And lastly, it says “He has made us like a polished arrow and placed us in his quiver.”

A normal arrow was shot as part of a general volley into the enemies’ ranks so this didn’t require great accuracy. A polished arrow on the other hand was honed, practiced with, oiled and kept so that it would fly accurately and hit a specific target when required. Each one of us has specific giftings, upbringings and passions.  The Lord uses these, even the painful processes of our lives, to shape us into the arrows He needs in His quiver. In fact our painful or shameful experiences are often the most relevant as they teach us dependence on Him.

A Word in Season

When I shared this message at the conference I knew it had hit the mark! It resonated with many people and a number of deep conversations ensued over the next few days.

Being on the speaking team changed everything about this conference for me. All of a sudden I found that God was answering one of my deepest yearnings. I had prayed “Where can I find mentors who really understand what I’m called to do?” Well now I was spending quality time with the other speakers, all of whom are mobilising networkers like me with similar gifting but 20 years more experience. During this time I was also interpreting for the key note speaker in private meetings with the leaders of a church denomination. It was an intense time of learning and of developing new relationships. This speaking engagement had opened up more opportunities and was challenging me to expand my thinking.

Now, this is where the Holy Spirit blows my mind.

On the last day of the conference, their intercessory team brought me to one side to tell me they had a word from God for me.

They had written this word down on September 19. It was Isaiah 49:1-3. And they had added the imperative for me in particular to press on because “The Lord Himself would direct me as His polished arrow to His targets”.

How could they possibly know I was going to speak on that passage and what that verse meant to me, ten days before the conference began?! On September 19 my friend Alex didn’t know he wasn’t going to be able to make it and it was ten days before I had even thought of sharing that message. I was incredibly moved as the intercession team proceeded to pray for my family and our ministry.

The Holy Spirit directs us and goes before us and, sometimes, outrageously demonstrates that we are in the centre of His will. You are also a polished arrow in His hands. Each one of us has a part to play in His mission. 

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Growing up on the Mission Field

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 16:02

In the Breaking Barriers story we heard from Mike and Ruth about what sort of barriers people can face when taking children onto the mission field. Below, we interviewed three of their now adult children and discussed how growing up cross-culturally on mission has impacted their lives.

Lydia spent the first eight years of her life alternating between living in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. While Hannah, and to a lesser extent, Abel do have vague memories of PNG, most of their cross cultural reflections come from when they moved to Cambodia with their parents for two years as teenagers.


What were some of the things you experienced on the mission field that were the major influences in your formation as you grew older? 

I would say the Christian community was very different to my community in New Zealand in terms of culture, society and privilege, with many struggling day-to-day and yet, desiring to serve God regardless. 

Do you think growing up in another country made you into the person you are today? If so, how?  

I think that my time in Cambodia certainly made me more aware of the world in general, in all its diversity and beauty but also its brokenness and sin. It helped me understand Christ is needed in all countries and cultures. That’s not to say I didn’t think this before, but it had just never really crossed my mind in my small, New Zealand bubble of Christianity. So I guess learning that at a young age was pretty influential to who I am and what I value today. 

What did you learn about what missions work is from living overseas with your parents?   

That it is presenting Christ by loving, serving, equipping, learning and doing life with those in your community and beyond and using the skills and resources God has given us.   

Would you encourage other families to take their children overseas on missions? Why or why not? 

Absolutely yes. The perspective it can give a child is invaluable. But it must be something the parents and their children journey through together. Talk about why you’re there doing what you do, talk about culture and faith and involve them in your ministry where you can. Find a local community that you and your kids can be a part of and expect them to be involved and making friends. 


What were some of the things you experienced on the mission field that were the major influences in your formation as you grew older?

Seeing the poverty and physical need in the individuals and communities we lived in overseas impacted me as a child and teenager hugely, mostly when seeing the pain and suffering that is in the world right in front of me and realising that God has the biggest heart and compassion for those situations. But also I learned that material things are not the be all and end all. It showed me how incredibly blessed and fortunate many of us in New Zealand and the West are. 

Lastly, I learned that all of these realisations require a response from me personally, and from the church as a whole. Looking back now, my experience as an “overseas missions kid” shaped the way I view God and His loving character.

Do you think growing up in another country made you into the person you are today? If so, how? 

I definitely think growing up overseas made me into the person I am today! In a positive and practical way, my understanding of other cultures and languages grew from just being thrown into them. My self-confidence and security in my own identity was most definitely challenged, being a kid and teenager who very much sounded, looked and, at times, thought differently to those around me. It was an awkward and uncomfortable experience at times, but ultimately it was a very positive (and accelerated!) way to learn these things. My wider worldview and love for others has definitely benefited from growing up overseas.

What did you learn about what missions work is in general from living overseas with your parents?  

In general, I learnt that ‘missions work’ is just living your life with people, in community, giving your life to ministry and ministering Jesus’ love and wisdom to those who need it. As ‘ministry’ was just a normal part of family life for me – and it was incorporated into every aspect of life – I took from it that we can do that wherever we are. Not just overseas, not just with those we work with but anywhere and everywhere. And for that life lesson, I am grateful to my mum and dad for modelling it.

Would you encourage other families to take their children overseas on missions? Why or why not?

Yes I would encourage families to take their kids overseas. For me it was hugely positive and enlightening. I think it gives kids a kind of maturity that other experiences often don’t and provides them with a chance to see the big wide world that is so much bigger than just them and their needs. It also gives them the chance to learn languages and other ways of academic learning. It takes them out of their comfort zone and helps bring up questions and interests they might not know they had and also a way to articulate them. It puts a lot of things into perspective!


What were some of the things you experienced on the mission field that were the major influences in your formation as you grew older? 

There are so many, so here are just a couple. First, the difference between feeling like one of the crowd and feeling like an outsider. There were times over my childhood that I felt like I blended in perfectly, and at other times like I stood out like a sore thumb. Interestingly, I think I felt more at home among people in Papua New Guinea than I did among my so-called ‘peers’ in New Zealand while growing up. From teenage years onward I think I found my groove a little more. Into adulthood I’ve found a way to come to terms with being different while fitting in and being comfortable with my differences, so to speak.  

Secondly, I was very aware of haves and have-nots. I found it very frustrating in New Zealand when my friends would complain about not having enough. Even now, I often want to shake people and yell in their face, “You have everything you could possibly need!” I guess that comes with seeing people who do not have what they need.  

Do you think growing up in another country made you into the person you are today? If so, how?  

Yes it was definitely fundamental to many of the values that I hold onto strongly today. I think everyone is a product of their experiences, especially in their formative years, and I think that being exposed to different cultures, demographics, and many people who were, materially, much worse off than me, gave me a very strong sense of the world and my role in it. As a very privileged person I’ve learned how important it is to be an active member and bringer of change, justice and equality. I don’t want to be a passive observer in this life. But if all I had ever known was what was around me and similar to me in New Zealand, I may not feel the way I do now.  

What did you learn about missions work in general from living overseas with your parents?  

I learnt that, like many other jobs, there are very good days and very bad days. However, unlike other jobs, it’s often a very lonely life, where you need to rely heavily on those around you and especially on God. I learnt that your family are your very best friends. I learnt that you can be pushed beyond what you think your limits are, and survive to tell an incredible story of God’s faithfulness, in ways we do not get to experience in New Zealand very often. And practically, I learned that missions work is largely unseen, under-acknowledged, and definitely underpaid! Haha! 

Would you encourage other families to take their children overseas on missions? Why or why not?  

My first instinct is yes absolutely! However, after more consideration, my answer would be yes absolutely, if they are well-equipped, prepared, educated and determined to make it work with God’s help and commitment to family. It is not for the half-hearted, but also I believe anyone can do it. It is not just for a few special people who are called by God;  I think it is for anyone who is willing to sacrifice their comfort and way of life to give to others. The rewards are incredible, but not without cost. Family must be a priority in the process, not just tagging along for the ride, but fully committed as a family unit to the work that they’re doing. Otherwise I feel that children may resent the hardship if they have no investment. I personally would love to do mission work with my family, and I think it is invaluable for children to experience that environment.

Categories: Affiliate News

Celebrating Allan Anderson

Fri, 25/10/2019 - 16:12

A tribute to Allan by Brian Carrell

Allan Anderson, for over 45 years a key lay CMS member in the Whanganui area, died on the morning of October 22. His funeral was held at Christ Church Whanganui this Friday morning, October 25.

Allan was an absolutely vital figure in arranging (and, in his case, accompanying) the airlift in Easter 1975 of sixty two dairy cattle to Tanzania, a project promoted and organised by NZCMS while largely funded by the Tanzanian and New Zealand Governments. Buhemba, under the oversight of CMS missionary Ian Foster, was the main destination of this herd, but one bull also went to George Hart at Hombolo. This was an astounding and unprecedented achievement for such a small mission society in those days.

Allan led the lay committee which made this airlift possible. He, with other Christian farmers, inspired the voluntary donation of first class cattle by a number of dairy farmers across the South and North Islands. To achieve such a major airlift they navigated the complicated arrangements for assembling these cattle in Christchurch and Auckland, and negotiated the charter of a Qantas 747 cargo airliner. Allan then saw the gifted cattle safely through to their destinations in Tanzania, half the globe away.

Allan and his wife (the Rev.) Rosemary Anderson have been continuing and committed members of NZCMS since that momentous time. One of their last actions together was to attend the episcopal ordination of CMS National Director Steve Maina in Nelson some weeks ago.

We salute Allan as a faithful servant of Christ, and extend our arms of love and gratitude to Rosemary and their family.

Categories: Affiliate News

NZCMS and Anglican Ministry Leaders Reclaiming Our Story

Fri, 18/10/2019 - 17:02

Greetings from Rosie, NZCMS National Director!

NZCMS were thrilled to be invited to join with the Anglican Diocese of Wellington Ministry Leaders’ Family Camp around the kaupapa of “Becoming Te Hāhi Mihingare (the Missionary Church)”  held on October 10-12 in Waikanae. Fifty people from the NZCMS whānau attended including Mission Partners, staff, members and supporters. It was an incredibly fruitful time of connection, relationship building and learning.

A personal highlight was being invited to share the NZCMS story at the camp. It was wonderful to be joined in this by our  partners from Te Pīhopatanga o Te Tai Tokerau (Tikanga Māori Diocese): Rev Howard Hauoterangi Karaka and Rev Dr Lyndon Drake. One benefit of having served myself as a NZCMS Mission Partner is flexibility in the face of unexpected events. As a result of a power cut, we ended up speaking into a megaphone while Diocese friends held a light for us!

Another highlight for me was being ordained as a vocational deacon at the end of the camp. Bishop Justin Duckworth’s sermon during the ordination service reminded those gathered that we are called to mission. The deacon is a reminder of the calling that we have: when we see a deacon “we get a sense of holy discontent” and a reminder of our own missionary calling. Part of my role as the National Director of NZCMS is to walk with people discerning a missionary call. In the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand, I hope to provoke a sense of “holy discontent” for the Church to look outside our own country and to learn from and contribute to the global Church.

Read more about the camp in the article below from Anglican Movement, Diocese of Wellington.

The original vision of the Church Missionary Society in Aotearoa was to serve Māori, but as history tells us, mass European settlement brought colonial oppression which stripped Māori of their land, forests and taonga, despite it being guaranteed to them in the Treaty of Waitangi.  The missionaries worked tirelessly to uphold Māori rights but the wave of settlement eventually saw the Church side with the Crown, forgetting its original missional calling.

Reawakening ourselves to that missional calling was the kaupapa of Ministry Leaders’ Family Camp, held recently at El Rancho Christian Holiday Park in Waikanae, and attended by over 400 people, including leaders from our diocese, and from Anglican Missions, New Zealand Church Missionary Society and other dioceses and hui amorangi, and our families.

Keynote speaker Jay Ruka, author of Huia Come Home, believes that this can only happen when we rediscover the story of the Church in this land.  He told us of a time when God said to him: “the church has amnesia.” Revelation 12:11 (NIV) says “they overcame [the accuser] by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony,” and Jay challenged us: “What is the word of your testimony but the apprehending of your memory?”

He went on: “If you have amnesia, and you have no memory, you have no testimony.  My Bible tells me that my testimony is one of the greatest tools I have to confront injustice, to confront evil.”

Throughout the camp, Jay told us the story of the early missionaries, and told us that now is the time to remember these stories, and to rediscover our original calling.  He told us of Henry Williams and his wife Maryanne.  Henry was the man responsible for the translation of the Treaty of Waitangi into te reo Māori, and travelled around Aotearoa encouraging chiefs to sign it.  They felt called to serve Māori and see them rise to a place on the international stage, and they were well respected amongst Māori as peacemakers.  But as British colonial rule took root and the “growing evil” of land alienation expanded, Henry found himself targeted as a traitor to the Crown.  Heartbroken, he was believed to utter the words “How cruel, how cruel” on his deathbed.

His reputation was further besmirched in 1972 when an academic by the name of Ruth Ross blamed him for the problems that arose from the Treaty, by incorrectly comparing his translation of the Treaty with his earlier translation of the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand.  Wherever history is taught in New Zealand, he still gets the blame for everything that went wrong.

In the 1830s, the Christian mission to Māori was fruitless.  But Williams and his wife came and focused on literacy, serving Māori and understanding their worldview.  The Bible was translated into te reo Māori and a series of events (which you can read about in Jay’s book) saw the explosion of the Gospel in Aotearoa.  At one point, 64,000 Māori were in church every Sunday, and they were hungrily devouring the Good News and spreading it amongst themselves.

Because of the trusted relationship that Williams had built with Māori, the chiefs were happy to sign the Treaty of Waitangi, believing it would genuinely protect their rights and privileges.  It was a document never before seen in colonial history – thanks to Christian advocacy in England, indigenous people were offered citizenship of Britain.  And some of the words used to translate concepts into a Māori worldview were neologisms derived from the Bible – for example, sovereignty was kawanatanga: kawa means law, kawanatanga was used to describe the governorship of Pontius Pilate over the Jews in the time of Jesus.  Jay put it this way: “the Treaty of Waitangi is the history of the church in New Zealand that the majority of the church does not know.”  It was a world-first opportunity to “do a nation together.”

Remembering our story means remembering the uncomfortable bits too.  As settlement grew, missionaries were forced to take sides, and they sided not with Māori, but with their homeland – abandoning their missional call and focusing on the settlers instead.  Jay told us a list of laws that were passed that oppressed and excluded Māori, ensuring further alienation of their land.  This was done at the hands of Christian political leaders, too.  “Does that sound like oppression?” he asked us.  “Even though there was revival, there was an awful oppression because of the cultural blinders on the minds and hearts of Christian political leaders.  The orientation of the Church shifted – and it hasn’t shifted back.”  Christianity is now generally seen in te ao Māori as a synonym for colonial oppression.

With the learning of our history, there appeared to be a sense of empowerment throughout the camp, but for some – bewilderment.  “What now?” seemed to be the collective wondering of the group.  For some, there may have been a call to action but for others, there may have been a struggle to reconcile this information with life as we know it in our land.  Jay was clear that the time is now for these stories to be remembered, and reclaimed by the church.  Much as a rower looks backwards to where they have been in order to direct their boat’s path, those of us gathered at camp were called to remember our stories in order to direct how we might become missional again in this land.

Categories: Affiliate News

NZCMS Staff Update – Kirstin Cant

Fri, 04/10/2019 - 12:16

NZCMS’ Youth Mobiliser, Kirstin, and her husband, Rowan, are delighted to announce they’ve just become Permanent Foster Parents for a 10 month old baby boy in need of a Home for Life. They are looking forward to this new season of Family on Mission.

Kirstin, after a month’s leave in October, will continue Youth Mobilising for 10 hours a week while Rowan takes the Primary Parental Leave.

Please pray for Kirstin and Rowan as they adjust to this new parenting role and provide a stable family environment for their son. (They only found out the news one month ago!)

Categories: Affiliate News