Baptist Churches of New Zealand
Christ’s footsteps Life in neighbourhood
Reclaiming justice in the criminal justice system GRACE UNLEASHED † PEOPLE ARE TREASURE
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Getting the whole story
ONLINE Recently added AMBASSADOR OF CHRIST OR AMBASSADOR OF CHRISTIANITY? Simply semantics or a significant misunderstanding?
~ CALEB SLANEY
A GOD ENCOUNTER A prayer
The Rock, H I S W O R K I S P E R F E C T, A N D A L L H I S WAY S A R E J U S T. A FAITHFUL GOD, W I T H O U T D E C E I T, J U S T AND UPRIGHT IS HE ~Deuteronomy 32:4
~ JOHANNA WILLIAMS
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Baptist Churches of New Zealand PO Box 12-149, Penrose, Auckland 1642, New Zealand 09 526 0338 __ Printing Image Print, Auckland __ Front cover photography Forgiven Photography/lightstock.com __ Scripture Unless otherwise specified, Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For scriptures marked GNB: Scriptures and additional materials quoted are from the Good News Bible © 1994 published by the Bible Societies/ HarperCollins Publishers Ltd UK, Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992. Used with permission. __ The NZ Baptist Magazine is the magazine of the Baptist Churches of New Zealand and the New Zealand Baptist Missionary Society.
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“Just”—holy, covenantally righteous, making things right
CONTENT 04 10 14
A word from the editor Last year, I attended the Justice Conference in Auckland. I was struck by a point that seemed to keep coming up. It was the suggestion that we have a tendency to ignore justice as a key attribute of God. It was actually this point that inspired the magazine themes this year, exploring some of the attributes of God. In this issue, we turn our attention to justice. As I have often said, we can’t begin to cover all the aspects of this, but I hope that this can be an inspiring starting point for reflection. We also continue to look at the five grace priorities that Baptist churches have been encouraged to explore; in this issue we give thought to the priority Grace Unleashed. Some of you may be aware that I am stepping down from the role of Baptist magazine editor. Our family has been offered an opportunity to spend six months in the UK with wider family, and as such it seemed most appropriate to pass the editorial role on. It has been an immense privilege to have been involved with the magazine; I have learned so much and met some amazing people. As such, allow me to introduce Linda Grigg as the new editor for the Baptist magazine. Linda will be taking over fully from August and I am really looking forward to seeing how she will continue to develop the magazine. You can contact her at email@example.com.
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Living in Christ’s footsteps
CHILD & FAMILY
Getting the whole story
Let’s reclaim justice
Life in neighbourhood
Stories People are treasure Small bites Opportunities to serve
Baptist / F E A T U R E
unleashed Letting God take us where we need to go
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IN FEBRUARY 2016, BAPTIST LEADERSHIP TEAMS GATHERED TO CONSIDER HOW WE APPROACH THE PRIORITY OF MISSION WITHIN THE BAPTIST CHURCHES OF AOTEAROA. FIVE PRIORITIES EMERGED, CENTRED ON THE THEME OF GRACE. OUR CHURCHES ARE BEING ENCOURAGED TO EXPLORE THESE OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. HERE, BEN WAKEFIELD AND SARAH HARRIS REFLECT UPON ONE OF THESE PRIORITIES— WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO UNLEASH GRACE? PLUS, WE SHARE STORIES FROM TWO CHURCHES WHO ARE ALREADY EXPLORING THIS.
Find, communicate, and celebrate different expressions in our movement To start hearing from groups that are doing things differently takes time. Truly hearing from others requires trust and patience. Some of these groups are experimenting and do not have solid answers. We need to be willing to support them and communicate what they are doing even when expressions don’t appear to take off or are not growing numerically. We need to talk about the journey as well as the destination. Find people who are willing to pray, think, and network this through Doing something differently needs a group of people to push it—people who are passionate, experimental, prayerful, and able to share or network. We believe there are people who are ready to do this. This again may take time— trust will need to be built so that people can share in and support these expressions.
Work across the natural lines to see steps towards new tangible expressions We need to listen to those who do not have a majority voice. This can help us hear and see God working in different ways, and we may find at our heart beautiful expressions that take us by surprise. This may mean things get changed or modified at local or national levels. We may need to give up some control. This is not the same as giving up accountability—it is instead about allowing new, innovative, and potentially unstructured expressions to emerge. Those exploring this priority are likely to be passionate change-makers and possibly idealists. We need to hear their voice and ideas before we put up any barriers to success. It can be easy to put up subconscious walls if certain unspoken success criteria are not met. Yet underlying all of this is the core invitation for people to follow Jesus. This is already a motivator for most people who try things and seem different. We can see that and provide the support needed. I can think of several examples of communities within our denomination that are already on this journey. Keep reading for two stories.
Story: Ben Wakefield Ben is co-pastor of Paraparaumu Baptist Church.
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ut of the gathering in February 2016 came a priority which has been entitled Grace Unleashed. What is this about? Put simply, it is about exploring diverse, creative, and evangelistic expressions of church. It is about giving room for fresh, transformative, and dynamic expressions of God’s Kingdom. We are asking people to step out of the normal way of doing things. We are asking for different models of church and leadership. We are asking for experimentation. We are asking for people who might be outside the ‘box.’ As we explore this, there will be deep implications. But for now, allow me to offer three things that we can do as a denomination to help us step closer to this priority.
Baptist / F E A T U R E
GOD’S GRACE UPON THE NATIONS I am sitting in the Sunday service of Global, the Kiwi-international friendship group of Auckland Baptist Tabernacle. Fourteen new people are being welcomed as first-time attenders this morning from Mongolia, South Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Venezuela, and Macau. A new work of God’s grace is unfolding among the diaspora in Auckland city. Migrant people are flooding into New Zealand as part of a world–wide movement of people groups. People move for many reasons, and such change brings an openness to the gospel for many of them. ‘F’ came to New Zealand as a Chinese language student. One of the leaders within Global invited F to come to her Alpha group where she came to faith. F explains: “After arriving in New Zealand, my dear heavenly Father sent angels to
MESSY CHURCH AT EPUNI It was a bright, sunny Sunday morning in Christchurch and we were enjoying time with our family at a local fair. Suddenly, a thought struck me: If we were at home on a Sunday morning we would be in church. A question crossed my mind: What have we got as a church to offer our community? We would have to offer something at a different time of the day, or even a different day of the week, and a different style of church. For me, this was a ‘God moment’ and the result was the birth of our Messy Church. Fast-forward seven years to 2017. It is the last Sunday of the month. Come with me to our Messy Church. As you walk in the door, one of the team will
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look after me. The confusions and concerns I had before were taken away by knowing God. The words he spoke to me and the way he comforted me brought me joy and love that I never had before. “I required myself to live up to the rules set by others, but as time went by the rules and barriers I set for myself exhausted me as it was so difficult to forgive every single mistake that I made. I could not escape from the sins I put on myself. “Luke 9:25 says, ‘Will people gain anything if they win the whole world but are themselves lost or defeated? Of course not!’ (GNB) Now I understand that the value of life is not measured by experience, money, appearance, talent, work, persistence, kindness, cleverness, strength, contribution, or sacrifice. It’s about experiencing and understanding the unconditional love of God. Without that love, we can never truly love anyone without asking for return. When we love to get what we want, to get confirmation or acceptance,
welcome you. There will be crafts and games centred on a theme for the day. After a time, we will move into the auditorium for a focus time that will include worship, a Bible story (often done as an interactive drama with everyone taking part), and a creative prayer time. This will be followed by a sit-down meal. One of the team will be present at each table and they usually lead the
we actually already choose to trade our love for betrayal and hurt. “I will be a faithful Christian, who follows God and repents every day. I also want to thank and praise God for forgiving my sins.” Reika comes from Japan. She attended the Global community at the Baptist Tabernacle for eighteen months before committing her life to Christ. Many Japanese are hesitant to become believers as this is non‑conformist, which can be frowned upon in Japanese culture. There was a cost for her, but she discovered the strong attraction of a faith community who gave unconditional acceptance. She says: “I have many challenges in my life. However, they’re not impossible to overcome for me because God is always with me. I feel it deeply from my heart. “We have a door in us that we can invite Jesus through. In my case, it was four doors. I could open the doors slightly in my life.
Table Talk questions. We also celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and achievements. At the end of the evening we all help clean and tidy up. Before each event, the Ideas Team meets to plan Messy Church and reflects on how it is going. We ask: What is God saying to us through Messy Church and what will we do about it? We will always think about how we can do things
However, it was too hard to open the last door to Jesus fully because of my family, friendships, and study.
I was given the Scripture ‘Love does not keep a record of wrongs’ (1 Corinthians 13:5 GNB).
“When I joined Grapevine (a ministry to Japanese) for the first time,
“In this year, during my two months’ holiday, I could spend time thinking about my life and Jesus sincerely. Then I realised I already believed Jesus, I know he is in my heart, and I want to follow him closely. Finally, I decided to be baptised.” We have had 178 people baptised in the last five years, and many have been migrant people. After 162 years of witness to the grace of God in the good news of Jesus, including many decades of sending workers into Asia, European Kiwis now make up just twenty percent of the wider Baptist Tabernacle church family. Ethnic Chinese are the largest single group. Today, the Baptist Tabernacle is made up of five congregations:
better. We plan making sure we cover the five core values of Messy Church: Christ-centred, intergenerational (all age), hospitality, creativity, and celebration.1 God continues to lead and challenge us. We know how important it is to build relationship with those who come. Having run Messy Church for a while, this year we felt challenged to begin discipling some of those from the Messy Church community. So we have invited a few, along with a family and two young people from church, to attend Messy More. This meets between the monthly Messy Church and we go deeper with the last theme. It is early days, but our times together, our discussions and prayer times, have all been very encouraging. A couple of stories to finish. There is a five-year-old boy who comes to
students in the inner-city academies • Mandarin: Migrant and next generation Kiwi Chinese • Friends of Friends Fellowship: for neighbours from 10/40 window country backgrounds • Living Waters International: multicultural church plant in Balmoral. In Acts 8:1-4 we see the gospel being spread due to the persecution of Jewish Christians. They were “scattered” or dispersed “throughout the countryside” and “those who were scattered went from place to place, proclaiming the word.” God’s grace is upon the nations as they pour into this country. As they come to faith, many are being mobilised to welcome their own people, to help reach an indifferent Kiwi population, or return to their places of origin to light new fires.
• All Nations: Kiwis and migrant professionals living and working across the city
Story: Lindsay Jones
• Global: reaching the English-language
Lindsay is Senior Pastor of Auckland Baptist Tabernacle.
Messy Church regularly. He says: “I like playing the games the best. I liked blowing up the paint and I like eating the cakes! I have learnt about Jesus and his friends.” His mum comments: ”I like coming to Messy Church so I can learn the stories too and it’s nice to be in a caring, positive atmosphere. It is really lovely sharing a meal with everyone as well as the delicious baking.” A solo dad who has been coming to Messy Church with his two children for a long time now says: “I enjoy getting out and meeting people at Messy Church. I have learned new things like the stories about Jesus and Joseph. The church has changed me heaps and I am now more careful about who I hang out with. I like Messy Church because it is more relaxed and easy to understand.” God has been so good to us in
Messy Church over the years. He has encouraged us, inspired us, and blessed us. He has also provided us with a wonderful team of church people who use their giftings to serve in Messy Church. It is exciting to be on this journey with God!
Story: Diane Stevens Diane is the leader of Community Ministry at Epuni Baptist Church. You can contact her via firstname.lastname@example.org. 1. “Welcome.” Messy Church NZ, messychurch.nz/
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Baptist / F E A T U R E
LESSONS from PENTECOST
the Pentecost story, all of those gathered were speaking about God’s deeds of power, declaring God’s story in a public place. The onlookers sneered—they said they were drunk. Peter explained what was happening through the prophet Joel and the Psalms. I paraphrase his response in Acts 2. Peter said: “This is what God said he would do, so why are we surprised? God said he would pour out his Spirit on all flesh. God said it wouldn’t be restricted by gender, class, or race. God said it would be supernatural, in dreams and visions, and in signs on the earth and in the heavens so it would be visible. God said that all who call on his name will be saved. There is no two-tier system, no hierarchy, because it is the one Spirit who does this. And you people have seen God do this before—at Sinai and in the wilderness, where grace alone sustained us. And God has done it definitively in Jesus of Nazareth, the person humanity crucified. But God raised him from the dead because death couldn’t hold him in its power. For he is the Lord, and he is the Messiah, and unlike your greatest hero David who is dead and buried, Jesus is not. Therefore, because of God my heart is glad, my tongue rejoices, and my flesh lives. Because of God in Christ and by the Spirit, you see and you hear these things. Humanity, you crucified the Lord of heaven and earth, but God unleashed his grace. This promise is for you and your children. Everyone. All who are far and near. So save yourself from this corrupt world. Save yourself from sin and corruption by calling on the one who saves.”
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If that isn’t the crash of cymbals at the end of the symphony, well I don’t know what is! God has done everything humanity needs— everything humanity cannot do for itself. And 3000 responded and were baptised. Luke says they devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. And as we read on, they moved out, taking the gospel with them. Grace unleashed is abundant. Grace unleashed unites humanity. It unites the church. Grace unleashed is every member ministry, and it gives voice and life to dry bones. Ascension and Pentecost are the final parts in God’s trilogy. Humanmade barriers are definitively broken down. People are empowered by God to take grace to the world. Pentecost signalled that a new age had come.
God’s mustard seed had given life to Israel’s dry bones that life might be given away to the least, the last, and the lost.
Story: Dr Sarah Harris Sarah is a New Testament lecturer at Carey Baptist College. This article is adapted from a talk given by Sarah at the Baptist Hui 2016. You can view a video of the whole talk at lifelonglearning.nz/grace-unleashed.
Take outs... 1. Are there examples of communities who are unleashing grace that come to your mind? 2. How could you encourage them? 3. Could God be asking your community to explore creative, diverse, and evangelistic expressions of church? 4. How could you create spaces for God to lead you? 5. How do we know when to keep building into already established ministries, and when to let things go and move forward? 6. How does your church encourage everyone to find their place within the worshipping community?
G I M ST T IN RA IS G T T. S O I O N O R ON S
New Plymouth 9-11 November 9A M S TA RT N O RT H PO I N T BAPT I ST C H U RC H H I G H L I G H TS Visit to Parihaka Baptist Mission Lisa Woolley: CEO of VisionWest Community Trust Andrew Judd: Former Mayor of New Plymouth Craig Vernall: Baptist Churches of NZ National Leader S TA RT PL A N N I N G N O W !
Baptist / D I S C I P L E S H I P
Christ’s footsteps Release, recovery, and freedom
WHAT COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU CONSIDER JUSTICE? WE CAUGHT UP WITH SOME OF THOSE SERVING WITH THE BAPTIST JUSTICE INITIATIVE TO HEAR THEIR IDEAS.
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he concept of justice has a lot of connotations. How can we start to grapple with what justice is about? Justin: While I was travelling around the UK and Europe as an eighteen-year-old, I met an African lady at a hostel in England. She was on a mission trip and was keen to chat. When I told her my name, she asked what it meant. I replied, “Justice” (which is roughly correct). She then proceeded to explain to me the significance of justice in the Bible and referenced Isaiah 42:1-4 as an example of what justice looks like. If you’re unfamiliar with the Scripture, here it is: “Here is my servant, whom I strengthen—the one I have chosen, with whom I am pleased. I have filled him with my Spirit, and he will bring justice to every nation. He will not shout or raise his voice or make loud speeches in the streets. He will not break off a bent reed or put out a flickering lamp. He will bring lasting justice to all. He will not lose hope or courage; he will establish justice on the earth. Distant lands eagerly wait for his teaching” (GNB). At the time, I didn’t understand the full significance of this passage, but I have since come to realise that it is a passage that the author of Matthew (12:15-21) points to as a way of explaining what Jesus will do as part of his ministry on earth. Another more explicit explanation of Christ’s justice heart can be found in Luke 4:18-19, which is from another passage in Isaiah (61:1-2). Here, Luke records Jesus saying to a group in a Nazareth synagogue: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the
It means we must deeply submerge ourselves in Christ— his stor y, his words, and his life. poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And so in trying to settle on a simple definition of justice, I find I can’t get past these words that Jesus said about himself and went on to embody in everything he did throughout his ministry. You might say that the law handed to Moses is also an example of justice, as it shows what is right and wrong. However, as Paul tells the Romans (7:7-25), just having the laws of God isn’t enough as we also need the Spirit of God to help us live by the law. So it is through really knowing Jesus and how he lived, and understanding what he cared for and what he spent his time on, that we can understand what justice is and the best approach to it. Rachel and Fiona: Justice can mean fairness, or it can mean restoration where things have gone wrong—a repair of the damage. As we consider what it means to pursue justice in our current day, it is helpful to look at who Christ rallied against and saw as the oppressors, what the issues were that he was concerned about, and what steps he took in addressing injustice, as well as how successful they were. Studying the Gospels, it is clear that Jesus shook up the religious elite, disregarded societal norms, and didn’t form a political party or amass an army. Instead, he led his disciples on a very uncomfortable journey that involved sacrifice. He eschewed the caste system, commerce, and the formal rituals of religion. He didn’t come to make more laws; he came to restore a broken relationship. Justin: Jesus casts a vision of a time when oppressive structures and norms will be no more and there will be freedom from all these pressures. He extends an invitation, particularly to those who are oppressed, to enter with him into this future of freedom that he called the Kingdom of God. Jesus gives us all access to this Kingdom through his sacrificial death on the cross. This is a subversion of the human concept of justice that says those who do wrong deserve to be punished. And thus he restores our potential for relationship with God. It could be argued that this is the most just outcome that could be reached by our Creator.
So what does this mean for us today? Justin: Let’s return to Jesus’ words, which leads me to the Beatitudes extolled during his Sermon on the Mount
(Matthew 5:3-11 and Luke 6:20-26). What we see in both Matthew and Luke is an upending of the norms of society. The oppressed, suffering, poor, and humble are to be blessed; those who are rich, well-fed, and proud are to watch out. Not only does he flip the script on his hierarchical society and all its societal norms, but he proceeds to challenge all these conventions which oppress and hold back so many of his community. But Jesus’ approach wasn’t limited to words; it was a lived and holistic approach. He didn’t just proclaim the good news; he also set about giving “release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free...” There were no token gestures. He lived what he preached and preached a message that got him killed. So what does this mean for us approaching justice? It means we must deeply submerge ourselves in Christ— his story, his words, and his life—and then we must try and live it to the best of our ability, by the power of his Spirit guiding us. Along the way, we might upend a few tables, we’ll try and heal the sick, we’ll befriend the foreigner, we’ll challenge the powerful both in our churches and in our cities, we’ll declare his returning Kingdom through words and actions, and through all that, despite some missteps, we’ll come to know Jesus in a far more real and meaningful way. Fiona and Rachel: Let’s consider multicultural, secular (which prioritises human rights), democratic, technological, media-saturated, and by and large peaceful Aotearoa. If we consider the forms of injustice that exist in this country, we could probably group them into three categories: historical (disrespecting the Treaty), social inequality creating a class system based on those who have and those who do not have, and finally, injustice towards the outsider. Encountering each form may look different in different contexts, but each day brings us into relational spaces where injustice has occurred or is ongoing. Whether it’s fighting for the minimum wage, respecting a local iwi’s concern, or squashing those thinly veiled racist comments, justice is about restoring our relationship to each other. If we held God’s view of each and every human being, we wouldn’t tolerate damp, cold houses and we’d support people who’ve escaped persecution to be here. We would understand that God calls us first into a relationship with him, and second into a relationship with our neighbour. So, who are our neighbours? Who are the oppressed in our society today? Christ came for the outsiders; he prayed that a Kingdom of heavenly justice would come down to this earth. We need to follow in his footsteps. Justin: Another example would be something many of us are embarking on in the Baptist movement—working out what it means to honour Māori. If we were to take a holistic justice approach to this, it might be helpful to consider
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Baptist / D I S C I P L E S H I P
LIVING J U S T LY IS LIVING OUT JESUS’ CALL WITH I N T E G R I T Y. three things. Firstly, can we move beyond the tokenism of just learning a few words, phrases, or a song, and develop our relationships? Secondly, can we get over our apathy to the oppression experienced by so many Māori in our society, which has resulted in Māori featuring in many of the worst statistics of our nation? Can we find ways to reverse this tragedy? And lastly, can we aim to see that meaningful space is given to Māori in our churches, including seeking deacons and elders, so our movement can be truly reflective of God’s justice for all.
Thinking about justice initiatives can initially feel overwhelming. But the thoughts you are outlining here are practical. Justin: Yes. When considering pursing justice, the best and simplest way to think about it is making more just choices. This is essentially about choosing ethics over oppression. We’ve talked about a few examples already, but justice is broad. Here are some simple things to think about: • Can we choose to live gently on the earth and ‘do no harm’ as far as is possible?
• Can we consume less, reducing or recycling what we do have, and using our time to improve our neighbourhood and cities? Our desire to choose justice comes from our love for Jesus, and wanting to
• Can we buy ethically so that our capital doesn’t maintain oppressive businesses and structures?
see the earth he created flourish and
• Can we be politically interested so we’re aware of where oppression is being carried out, both in our own nation and abroad?
We can’t point to Jesus as the Saviour
the Kingdom he is bringing expressed through us as his representatives. but ignore his Kingdom values. Justice may conjure up ideas of marches down Queen Street or
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being chained to an oil tanker in the Tasman Sea. Perhaps this is part of it. But it’s important to realise that justice is as much a Christian value as it is something secular groups like Greenpeace pursue. Living justly is living out Jesus’ call with integrity. It means having a heart for the things he cares for and it means not resting until his Kingdom values permeate all aspects of our world. This ultimately won’t happen until he returns, but if we are pointing to him with honesty and integrity then we must also live
Story: Justin Latif, Rachel Tallon, and Fiona Beals Justin a community development practitioner and journalist from Mangere. Rachel is an education researcher at Victoria University. She holds a doctorate in Development Studies and is keen to push the boundaries of critical thinking around issues in our complex modern society. She enjoys fellowship at Epuni Baptist. Fiona is the Principal Tutor on the Bachelor of Youth Development at WelTec (Wellington and Auckland) and a member of the Life Impact Centre (Wainuiomata Baptist Church). She has a passion for making a difference in the world by challenging the status quo of inequality for young people living in Aotearoa through Kingdom principles and practices.
Painting: Rebecca Iona (see right)1
Justin, Rachel, and Fiona are three serving with the Baptist Justice Initiative, a group formed this year to be a resource in exploring justice issues for Baptist churches. 1. Painting by Rebecca Iona “Come, all are welcome at the table” was created by Carey student Rebecca Iona for an assignment that considered the poor and oppressed in Luke’s Gospel. It deliberately challenges the contemporary church to reconsider the message throughout Luke that demonstrates Jesus’ radical outpouring of love, grace, and compassion for the ‘least’ of those in society. Jesus does not exclude anyone but instead sets an example by being present and offering nonjudgemental, inclusive hospitality. He challenges all Christians with a yellow can of spray paint! It is anticipated that any copyrights that may exist in the ‘Yeah Right’ billboard and ‘OBEY’ logo belong to Tui Breweries Ltd and Bold Strategies, Inc, respectively. 2. “Letter From a Birmingham Jail.” Martin Luther King, Jr: Stanford University, kinginstitute.stanford. edu/king-papers/documents/letterbirmingham-jail
out his values, and so that includes standing up to power structures that perpetuate injustice. Martin Luther King once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”2 While that is not scriptural, I think the principle is. We can’t put our heads in the sand about the oppression of others and complicitly take part in it through our economic activities and our apathy and idleness. Yes, it can be hard, and so it starts with making small choices that slowly re-orientate us in such a way that
we are living more closely aligned to Jesus’ Kingdom values and conforming less to the ways of the world. Much of secular society is no longer ignorant to the injustices of this world and are also quite aware of Jesus’ care for the oppressed. But if we are seen to ignore these injustices and be apathetic to the problems in our world while encouraging others to consider Jesus, then we just make ourselves look like hypocrites. Let’s make sure we are pointing to Jesus from a place that embodies Christ’s values.
Take outs... 1. How do you understand justice? What do you think about the ideas here? 2. What injustices do you come across and is God asking for your response? 3. Who could you partner with in response?
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Baptist / C H I L D & F A M I L Y
whole What stories are you telling and how do you form them?
SOMETHING I ENJOY DOING WITH FRIENDS IS SITTING IN CAFES AND MAKING UP ELABORATE STORIES ABOUT THE STRANGERS WHO ARE AROUND US. ON THE OCCASIONS WHEN I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO STRIKE UP A CONVERSATION WITH THE PERSON WE HAVE BEEN OBSERVING, I AM ALWAYS LEFT SURPRISED; THEY NEVER HAVE THE LIFE WE HAD CREATED FOR THEM. WE DO THIS ALL THE TIME—WE FORM STORIES ABOUT PEOPLE THROUGH OUR OWN EXPERIENCES, WHAT WE HEAR OF THEM, WHAT WE KNOW OR SEE, AND WHAT WE BELIEVE OR JUST FEEL ABOUT THEM. DRAWING UPON OUR OWN STOCK OF KNOWLEDGE, OUR UNDERSTANDING OF OTHERS FORMS FROM THIS PLACE OF STORIED EXPERIENCES AND INFORMATION.
ikewise, when we see a picture of a person in poverty, we can make up an elaborate story about who they are that might be far from their reality. World Vision New Zealand is aware of this dynamic and in response is launching an exciting new approach to marketing for support. Rather than focusing solely on individual children, they are shifting the focus to consider vulnerable children and the communities they reside in. In this community approach, World Vision is engaging local field reporters to share stories directly from the communities themselves. In this way, World Vision is aiming to create a mutually transformative experience for both the donor and the community. I was invited to carry out research to see what impact this new approach to marketing has on donors’ pre-existing stories of people in poverty. World Vision, as a sharer of people’s stories, is in a position of power—their images tell a story that constitutes the subject’s identities to us. Jesus had all the power in the universe and demonstrated that power in service. World Vision seeks to emulate Christ not only by serving those in poverty, but by empowering them to tell us their own stories and sharing the changes they are making. World Vision’s desire is that donors and recipients gain a sense of mutuality, being equally made in the image of God. In this article, I look first at the predominant influences of our stock knowledge that could affect the way we see those in poverty. Secondly, I look at the stories that donors involved in the study had developed through child sponsorship images, and I contrast these with the stories emerging through community sponsorship imagery. The findings are both exciting and groundbreaking.
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Athumani helps buyers load his produce for the journey to market.
Stock of knowledge Pause for a moment and ask yourself these questions: • What causes people to be in poverty in a place such as Africa? • What are ways they can get out of poverty? • Where have I gathered this information from? • What does Jesus teach me about poverty and my response? Your answer to these questions reveals your theory about poverty. This theory is simply a story we tell ourselves and others, yet it shapes our actions towards those about whom the story has been created. Further, it reveals that we, as the New Zealand public, do not engage with images and stories distributed by those such as World Vision with a blank slate point of view. Chimamanda Adiche, an inspiring author and academic, looks at dominant stories about Sub-Saharan Africa formed through Western literature. In a TED talk in 2009, Adiche noted how merchant John Lok in 1561 referred to black Africans as “beasts who have no houses” in his accounts of his travels. She comments that his writing “represents the beginning of a tradition of telling African stories in the West: A tradition of Sub-Saharan Africa as a place of negatives, of difference, of darkness.”1 Many missionaries at this time wondered if Africans even had souls. Through the 1800s, colonisation swept through Africa. As these colonised countries gained independence in the mid-late 1900s, the narratives shifted to focus on the lack of competent African leaders and the failings of its states. People in Africa were presented as being inferior over and over again... and to the world, that is what they became. Adiche argues, “Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person.”2 Such stories—singularised despite being about an array of people—inform and consolidate our stock of knowledge and the stories we ourselves create.
Stories we have formed Most NGOs in the world use pictures of impoverished children to stir empathy and action because a child is universally relatable regardless of their ethnicity; a child has no political agenda; he or she simplifies a complex system of injustice and enables a one-on-one connection.3 While World Vision has used child sponsorship as a form of marketing for support, in their development practice they work with the whole community. At every step they seek to partner with, collaborate with, and empower adults and their children. Yet our stock of knowledge and the child-heavy imaging used across NGOs could mean people are not seeing communities as the active change-makers that they are. Through heavy child imaging, poverty is made to be ahistorical
and apolitical, meaning our stock knowledge rushes to the foreground and becomes the lens through which we engage with the child. For my research, I showed participating donors a number of images of children from countries deemed to be poor. They were asked to give their initial reactions to each image and reasons why the child was in poverty. The most common answer given by the participants was a lack of adult leadership, with the cause of poverty being their misuse of resources. They did not view adults as having the ability to bring about positive change but instead labelled them as the cause of the child’s poverty. The donors often interpreted the images in a way that meant they saw a child in a passive, powerless community waiting for their help. However, one participant was very perceptive. They said: “It feels like I have had the word ‘poverty’ projected onto me regarding her situation! I would only be projecting my bias into the situation…” This participant highlights something we all need to take into consideration: our biases. There is a need to be able to identify and critically analyse the single stories we have heard of people and places in poverty.
Being enriched by others Through World Vision’s end-to-end research, they have shown that they are not afraid to consult, consider, and implement a different way forward. Their new approach to marketing creates an opportunity for a whole community to be supported by New Zealand donors. In this way, many stories are told, not just child-related ones. They are also looking for ways the community can impact their donors through rich content. Having shown participating donors images of children,
Hamadi briefs Majid about the village irrigation project, which is increasing farming yields.
Trees grown by the Okoa savings group are reducing soil erosion and providing food for the Magugu community.
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Baptist / C H I L D & F A M I L Y
they were then shown pictures gathered by World Vision’s field reporters. There was a vast difference between the first words that came to their minds when they saw child sponsorship images compared to this new approach. With child sponsorship images, they saw a passive child with a lack of adult leadership. But in these new images, they saw a proactive community making positive changes to better their future. Participants used words like: “organised,” “working hard,” “employment opportunities,” “coming together,” “skills,” “teaching,” and “equipping.” One response encapsulated their understanding of World Vision’s new communitybased approach: [This approach] “provides an opportunity to bless others, but also to learn from others. It helps us understand that those pictured may be rich in areas we may be poor in—there can be a mutual reciprocity that helps us grasp the essence of the Sermon on the Mount, thus challenging our predominant cultural norms.” The key difference identified was that the images give a more holistic view of World Vision’s work. The purpose of this new imagery is to show a community helping themselves and self-advocating, but also to help the donor understand how they can learn and in turn be enriched by that same community.
Conclusion World Vision’s desire is to represent people in poverty first and foremost as made in the image of God. This means that people, no matter how destitute, are shown with dignity and with strengths and abilities that can shape the development of their own communities. Jesus came to this world so that everyone might live life to its fullest. Jesus presented a radically different view of how life, relationships, and society can be. He gives us a glimpse of how things can be, and this motivates World Vision to work for justice for all. They desire that their donors also have this fullness of life, by being enriched through reciprocal rather than unilateral relationships with the communities they support. When we look at other people through this lens and see that we are all bearers of God’s image, we see the face of Jesus in everyone we meet. And this is truly transformative.
Story: Sarah Rice Sarah is co-pastor of Papanui Baptist Church and also part of the Baptist Justice Initiative. You can read more about the work of World Vision at worldvision.org.nz/waysto-give/children-in-crisis. 1. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “The danger of a single story”, TED, ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_ the_danger_of_a_single_story. 2. Ibid. 3. Nandita Dogra, Representations of Global Poverty: Aid, Development and International NGOs (London: I.B Tauris, 2012).
Take outs... 1. How often this week have you told the story of someone else? 2. What informed this and how was this conveyed? Was it constructive? 3. How could you better understand the story of others?
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Baptist / C U L T U R E
How just is the criminal justice system?
LAST YEAR, THE GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED THEY WOULD BE SPENDING ANOTHER $1 BILLION TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF PRISON BEDS, INCLUDING A NEW PRISON IN WAIKATO. BUT WILL THIS REALLY BRING JUSTICE?
or most of us, prisons are invisible. We haven’t had to see the inside of one and didn’t grow up imagining that we ever would. We hear about decisions made to send people to prison on the news, but it doesn’t feature in most of our lives outside of the media. But even though prisons are invisible to most of us, we can’t imagine life without them. Just 200 years ago, there was no such thing as a prison in Aotearoa. But 200 years on, we have over 10,000 people in prison on any one day,1 over 20,000 children with a parent in prison,2 and over 35,000 people on community sentences or orders.3 How did we get here?
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Whitney L. Schwartz/lightstock.com
JUSTSPEAK’S KATIE BRUCE CONSIDERS THE ISSUE HERE.
Baptist / C U L T U R E
CALLS FOR JUSTICE ARE O F T E N T H I N LY V E I L E D C A L L S F O R P R I S O N. I S T H I S W H AT J U S T I C E LOOKS LIKE? It’s convenient for us to think that the world is made up of good and bad people. My four-year-old certainly thinks so. It’s a view reflected in so many children’s books and TV programmes: Superheroes swoop in and save everyone from the ‘bad guys.’ When you’re a child, you are trying to make sense of the world around you and like things to fit into simple categories. When we grow up, we understand more and more how complex the world around us is. But most of us don’t come into contact with criminal justice, and for many the black and white views remain. Scratch just below the surface, though, and this black and white picture simply doesn’t add up: • Most women currently in prison in New Zealand have experienced abuse at some time in their lives.4 • Māori make up over half of those in prison and are more likely to be arrested, held on remand, and given longer sentences.5 • People who have been in state care,6 or who have a neurodisability or poor mental health,7 are overrepresented in prison. • 83% of those under twenty years old in prison had a care and protection record as a child.8 • Our prison numbers have increased by 40% since 2002, despite crime falling over this time.9 Pick any one of those statistics and they say more about the creation and perpetuation of injustices than they do about justice. The system that was set up may be called the criminal justice system, but we shouldn’t get complacent. Calls for justice are often thinly veiled calls for prison. Is this what justice looks like?
What is justice? Justice is not the legal system set up to administer the law. Justice is about administering fairness. We must reflect on the kind of society that we want to be a part of. This means holding up a mirror to our justice system and not looking away when its injustices stare us back in the face.
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It means thinking critically about the fact that social housing received five times less funding in this year’s budget than new prison beds did.10 Building more prisons is surely the most expensive and least effective means to address social issues. It targets those already marginalised, particularly Māori. If instead we pursued the expansion of social justice, rather than the expansion of our criminal justice system, could we find a better way? Rather than justice being something that the police, courts, and prisons administer for us, we could all play a role in being a part of communities committed to reducing social harm and criminalisation. We could think about social justice being something that is needed in order to achieve justice within a criminal justice system. Just imagine if the $1 billion dollars in this year’s budget for prison expansion was instead invested in housing, mental health services, support for people with neurodisabilities, and fully funded community services.
We don’t need another $1 billion prison JustSpeak’s recent report on why the prison population has increased rapidly in the last three years shows that the number of people held in prison on remand has doubled during that time to over 3000.11 This is largely because of changes to the bail laws, among other things, which have drawn more people into the prison system who would not have been there previously. Other countries are reducing the numbers of people they imprison and even closing prisons down. With one of the highest imprisonment rates in the OECD (comprising thirty-five countries), we are building another one. It doesn’t have to be this way. I said at the beginning of the article that most of us are far removed from the criminal justice system. So is there anything we can do? All of us have a role to play in changing this story and injecting a bit of justice into criminal justice. Even if we have never seen a prison, we are all part of the society that props them up and pays for them with taxes. Politicians generally think people are in favour of more prisons. I believe it’s time we told them that we’re not. Here’s what you can do: • Share these ideas with your friends over a cup of tea. • Talk to your local MP about their priorities in your community. • Attend one of our election forums (see below) to find out more about criminal justice and put your questions to MPs. • Join our mailing list by visiting our website: justspeak.org.nz. • Support JustSpeak’s work to build a positive and visionary criminal justice system: justspeak.org.nz/donate.
1. “Prison facts and statistics - December 2016.” Department of Corrections, corrections.govt.nz/resources/research_ and_statistics/quarterly_prison_statistics/ prison_stats_december_2016.html 2. Liz Gordon, Invisible children. (Christchurch: Pillars, 2009).
Story: Dr Katie Bruce
3. “Community sentences and orders statistics - December 2016.” Department of Corrections, corrections. govt.nz/resources/research_and_statistics/ community_sentences_and_orders/ community_stats_December_2016.html
Katie is the Director of JustSpeak, a network of mostly young people transforming criminal justice to be evidence and experience-based. Katie has a passion for sharing stories, ideas, and research to confront policy, practice, and prejudice. She has taken her experience in academia and policy back into the community sector where she started work to get young people’s voices heard over fifteen years ago. Katie has a degree in Criminology and a PhD in Sociology.
4. Tracey McIntosh, “Marginalisation: A Case Study: Confinement,” in Māori and Social Issues 1, ed. Tracey McIntosh and Malcolm Mulholland (Wellington: Huia Publishing, 2011), 263-282.
This month, JustSpeak are co-hosting Whiti Te Rā (a kaupapa Māori hui on transforming criminal justice) with Mahi Tahi Akoranga Trust. They are also hosting election forums in Auckland on 20th July and in Wellington on 27th July. Like them on Facebook or join their mailing list to find out more. Queries can be emailed to email@example.com.
7. “Neurodisability in the Youth Justice System in New Zealand: How Vulnerability Intersects with Justice.” Nessa Lynch: Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand, neurodisabilitiesforum. org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/ Neurodisabilities-Forum-2016-Report-1.pdf
9. “New Zealand’s Prison Population.” Statistics New Zealand, stats.govt.nz/ browse_for_stats/snapshots-of-nz/yearbook/ society/crime/corrections.aspx 10. “Budget 2017 - What’s in it for justice?” Katie Bruce: JustSpeak, justspeak.org.nz/ budget_2017 11. “Bailing out the justice system: Reopening the window of opportunity.” JustSpeak, justspeak.org.nz/bailing_out_ the_justice_system
5. “Over-representation of Māori in the criminal justice system: An exploratory report.” Department of Corrections, corrections.govt.nz/__data/assets/ pdf_file/0004/672574/Over-representation-ofMaori-in-the-criminal-justice-system.pdf 6. Mel Bleach and Dave Robertson, Foster Care & Youth Offending - A Review of the Evidence. (Wellington: Henwood Trust, 2009).
8. “Justice Sector Report 2013.” Ministry of Justice, justice.govt.nz/assets/Documents/ Publications/2013-annual-report.pdf
take a week Christian Spirituality
1. Were you aware of some of the statistics in this article? What do they suggest to you about the current criminal justice system? 2. What might it look like if some of the money going into the criminal justice system was redirected to social justice initiatives? 3. Which of Katie’s ideas could you take on?
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Baptist / L E A D E R S H I P
neighbourhood The place of presence in building relationship
SOUTH WEST BAPTIST CHURCH (SWBC) HAS BEEN ON A JOURNEY OVER THE LAST LITTLE WHILE THAT HAS RESULTED IN A CHURCH STRUCTURE THAT IS A BIT DIFFERENT TO THE ONE LOTS OF US ARE USED TO.
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WE CAUGHT UP WITH ALAN JAMIESON TO FIND OUT MORE.
lan, can you tell us a bit about the journey that SWBC has been on? AJ: The story leading up to where SWBC is today goes back over fifty years. Murray and Marj Robertson were in leadership at SWBC for forty years and a strong theme of that time was redemption. The story of Jesus and his plan for the world is redemptive. Through the work of the cross and the power of the Spirit, relationships are redeemed. The gospel is about our relationship with God being redeemed; we see that it is also about redemption in the relationship we have with ourselves, with each other in the church, and with the world (both with people and creation).
like the very essence of God. Presence is the centre of relationship, and this has the potential to bring great healing. Our mobile, individualistic world has almost lost its sense of belonging to a place and people. There looks to be an opportunity to re-find ourselves in physical proximity to one another and in relationship to a place. For us, presence-based relationships are currently at the centre of what we want to do in terms of seeking the holistic nature of the Kingdom. This has been a journey for us; we have explored other dimensions too. We recognise, for example, that our vocational lives are also vital parts of the Kingdom. But in this article, we’re focusing on life in neighbourhood.
How did this focus come to be? AJ: I don’t think we planned it! From out of our people following our ongoing dream locally and globally, communities on the ground formed. Key leaders added life to the dreams and ideas, and more people started to move into the areas. Slowly it started to bubble. These groupings were communities together; they combined households, or meals together, or care for people in need. We as a church were asking, “Where is the Spirit at work? Where is there new life? Where is God raising up a new way of living out our redemptive life?” And these communities began to stand out. So we asked, “What can we learn from them? How can we learn to do this in other areas as well?” Then over time, different people have joined different areas and it’s developing. This theme is captured in part of the mission statement of the church: “We aspire to be a redemptive community...” The expression of this understanding over the last decade has been the beginnings of redemptive communities grounded in neighbourhoods. These are groupings of people from the church who are seeking to live a redemptive life—a Kingdom life—on the streets and in the suburbs that they find themselves, with the people that they find themselves among.
What’s the reason for the focus on neighbourhood? AJ: At base level, there’s a sense that God is drawing us to live locally, and with the Spirit’s help we are simply trying follow his lead. When we stand back and look at this, we see that it fits naturally with our own story, and in Scripture we see God’s concern for place and for people, and that Jesus came to dwell in a place. We truly believe that the heart of church (and life) is relationship—
Can you give us an example? AJ: One of the neighbourhoods has about 2500 homes, surrounded by busy roads. Essentially, these roads create the boundaries of a village in which children are raised. There will be dozens of our people within that neighbourhood who feel a sense of responsibility for the
THROUGH THE WORK OF THE CROSS AND THE P O W E R O F T H E S P I R I T, R E L AT I O N S H I P S A R E R E D E E M E D.
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Baptist / L E A D E R S H I P
We a re o n a journey of exploring what we sense as God’s call to live more locally and do life t o g e t h e r. area, and an affiliation. They school locally, and may be on the board for the school, or on other committees. They may offer hospitality, find housing solutions, or be involved with sports teams, and all the while weaving relationships of community. There is a smaller group within this area who anchor the vision for the neighbourhood with a deeper commitment. This group act as kaitiaki from a church perspective and prayerfully look out for everyone and the growth of those four vital relationships that we mentioned earlier—relationship with God, with ourselves, with each other, and the world.
There seems to be a sense in which justice is being outworked through this way of living. Would you agree? AJ: Yes. Firstly, there are times when those who ‘have’ move on. There are added options for schooling for the more affluent, and there are also more options for owning property. Inequality is increasing in New Zealand, and it seems that two of the pivot points for the discrepancy between those who have and those who do not have are education and property. Learning to live locally can bring some equality and also mean that those who are blessed to be a blessing can stay and make a difference.
How do local neighbourhoods tie into the wider life of SWBC? AJ: We see that life and relationships in community are cradled by our ministry, gathering, structure, and leadership, in that order.
have to have policies and processes. Finally, all of these cradles are held together by leadership, Baptist style. If you put a circle around all of these cradles, then you have our church. So, we have those who are involved in their neighbourhoods and those who aren’t. We have those involved with ministries and those who aren’t. We have those who turn up on Sundays to simply try and work out what faith and God are all about. For us, cradles allow us to frame our church with community at the heart, where community takes the first bite. We can be church present in our neighbourhoods throughout the week, supported by ministries, and then Sunday is the icing on the cake.
Life in community is cradled first by our amazing ministries, where gifts are shared, vocations lived, and where people are served and empowered with specialist, multifaceted help. These are really important. Likewise, these are then cradled by our gatherings on Sunday, which are a vital opportunity to teach, worship, and tell stories that connect and inspire us right across our communities and ministries. These elements are then cradled by our church structures that act as a platform for our life together. We need physical places to meet, and we
So is this all about what the church can bring to the neighbourhood? AJ: It is probably more about the church being part of the neighbourhood and rediscovering what it means to be local church. We want to be a part of our neighbourhood as community. It is about seeing holistic redemption in all of the relationships found in a place. Yes, we can offer many levels of support as people and from our many ministries, but we try not to duplicate something that is already running in the neighbourhood.
If we were to consider the broad effects of living more locally on the environment, then the results would be enormous. But wider than this, God’s justice was evident in the incarnation of Jesus. Philippians 2 really unpacks this. So we seek to live like Christ, walking alongside others with a bias to the marginalised, affirming humanity, with a mutuality in relationship, and giving mana to others.
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We want to back our people on the ground and the strengths that exist in our neighbourhoods, rather than replicate something with our church’s version. The church is just one ingredient in seeing local neighbourhoods come together to reach dreams and meet needs. We are finding that the 360-degree life in our neighbourhoods means that it can be a natural thing to be true to ourselves in a faith sense, and share who we are and who we follow. At times, we can be a bit backward in coming forward about the gospel. There can be this feeling that others don’t want to know about God and here we find an opportunity to move beyond this sense of division between the ‘secular’ and the ‘spiritual.’
Closing thoughts AJ: Some say that this is all for the sake of mission. But it’s not only missional. One of our leaders has been on the receiving end of community care recently, and it has been formational for him as a human. This sense of belonging in one place and living closer has also fostered his devotional life, deep friendships, and yes, his ability to make a difference in this world. This way of living is good for us; it’s good for me. There is something about this that is more caught than taught, so if this
is of interest, you are always welcome to come down for a couple of days or a couple of weeks, soak it up, and get to know some people for yourselves. Then go back to your community and ask God what it might mean for you. It won’t necessarily be the same as us, but it might have some similar underlying dynamics. We don’t have all the answers. We still wrestle with questions that other churches do. But we are on a journey of exploring what we sense as God’s call to live more locally and do life together. We want to learn from and be in relationship with others who feel drawn to this journey too.
Expressions of Interest
Alan is Senior Pastor of South West Baptist Church.
Take outs... 1. What struck you most about this article? 2. What can you take from the first diagram? 3. What do you think about this line: “There looks to be an opportunity to re-find ourselves in physical proximity to one another and in relationship to a place.” 4. How is your church structured and what is your focus? 5. How could your church and neighbourhood work together to foster the strengths where you are? 6. If this article resonates with you, how could you connect with others who are drawn to the journey of living life more locally?
Principal C Carey Baptist College
Story: Sarah Vaine with Alan Jamieson
arey is a learning community focused on providing the highest quality theological training to those seeking a deeper understanding of their Christian faith. We offer our own Bachelor of Applied Theology
degree, a Master of Applied Theology, and supervise PhD theses in theology for AUT University. We are inviting applications for the position of Principal. The successful candidate will already be an experienced leader in the Christian community and will hold an appropriate academic qualification (PhD or DMin preferred). With a commitment to the equality of women in leadership and to further advancing our bicultural journey, our new Principal will encourage all our staff and students to achieve excellence and to lead in ministry and mission. To apply for this role or to request further information (in strictest confidence) please email Martyn Norrie at email@example.com
Thank you Gary Grut!
Gary Grut recently resigned as National Team Leader of Baptist Youth Ministries. After eight years in the role, there is plenty to remember and be grateful for! Gary is passionate about raising up leaders and seeing leaders trained in the best possible way for their own contexts. Alongside Carey Baptist College, he helped create the course Foundations of Youth Ministry. He also facilitated in the ongoing development of the Queen’s Birthday Leadership Training Weekend. Blending a mix of training, prayer, ministry, and team time, this currently sees around 500-600 youth leaders attend annually. From mentoring junior leaders, to inspiring others to identify the next generation of leaders, this legacy is sure to continue as he moves on. Gary also has a passion for mission and continued the partnership between BYM, Tranzsend, and Pastor Edward of C3 Church in Nadi, Fiji to further build into DO teams—Discipleship Overseas teams. These are short-term mission trips to teach young people about relying on God and developing team relationships. These trips provide spaces to live in another
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culture to see what God is doing there. We celebrate the vision that Gary brought BYM—September and October of each year were among his favourite months as he planned the next year! We are also very grateful for the strong relationships between the regional coaches and the national BYM team, as well as both the number of new faces on board and the development of those who have been around for a while. Gary has commenced as Senior Pastor of Glen Eden Baptist Church in Auckland. We thank you Gary, as well as Sarah and the wider family, for all that you have given over the last eight years and we look forward to seeing what develops next!
Farewell to editor
We are incredibly grateful to Sarah Vaine who has been editor of our new look Baptist magazine since the end of 2014. When we made the decision to move to the new full colour, glossy magazine, Sarah was unknown to us. However, God knew her and as she took up the challenge, she proved to be an amazing asset to us. Sarah and her husband Matt are heading back to the UK for an extended time and therefore Sarah needed to make the decision to resign as editor, as it would have been too difficult to work from the other side of the world. Sarah and little Maisy (pictured right) will be sorely missed by all of us in the Union office. We are, however, delighted to introduce and welcome Linda Grigg (pictured left) as the new Baptist magazine editor. Linda previously worked at the Baptist National Office, so she already has connections and background that will stand her in good stead for the position. She also has strong communication skills, especially written, and has experience in planning and managing projects. We are excited to have Linda on board and look forward to working with her as part of our team.
Bym Queen’s Birthday weekend In June, about 500 North Island youth leaders gathered to Living Well Church, Rotorua, for the annual Baptist Youth Ministries (BYM) Queen’s Birthday training weekend. Key speakers included Kurt Johnson (Global Youth Pastor, Saddleback Church), Brook Turner (former head of Zeal Youth Work), Ingrid Shaw (Baptist pastor), and Merrilyn Withers (youth leader legend). With a mix of challenging reminders about the radical life in the mission of God and practical approaches to developing youth ministry, it was an excellent time for youth leaders to consider their own contexts. Seminars explored how to understand what God is doing and how to lead in that. Topics included youth and leader health and crisis, youth ministry in a multicultural society, justice, the Treaty of Waitangi, and Moral Therapeutic Deism. The event also celebrated Gary Grut’s eight-year ministry as National Director of BYM. Many people shared stories about Gary and his influence, and Gary and his family talked about their own experience during those years. The time closed with prayer for Gary’s new placement as Senior Pastor of Glen Eden Baptist Church. It was a great weekend!
Hanmer Retreat 2017 This year was Angus Budge’s first Hanmer Retreat experience. He had heard about it, that for some inexplicable reason the Spirit of God seems to be powerfully present. The way in which he heard the Holy Spirit presented himself puzzled Angus. He explains, “I’m naturally sceptical. What was all this about? But I wanted to go, so off to Hanmer I went, full of nervous curiosity.” Angus says the first surprise was that it was a fasting retreat. He hadn’t preloaded with pies and chocolate! The second surprise was how much he liked it, and that he is hoping to go again. “I enjoyed the opportunity Hanmer provides for people in ministry to be ministered to, wisely and gently, and to be encouraged, affirmed, and prayed for. There was a melding of the intellectual with the experiential, and a real sense that the Holy Spirit was at work in a tangible way. He was ministering among us, and we had a time of refreshing in the presence of God. The Spirit of God worked and he did so powerfully, gently, and authentically. “At Hanmer, I was reminded we can easily ignore the Holy Spirit and forget to pursue him. We can do so much without him that we rely on who we are, and not on who he is. In his book, Authority, Martyn Lloyd-Jones says the church knows she is not impacting the world as she should: “She is conscious that what she lacks is real authority. But in her search for it, she seems to do everything except turn to the authority of the Holy Spirit.”1” Angus says Hanmer focused his attention on that authority. He is convinced there is a hunger among our churches for more of the Holy Spirit. Look out for the next Hanmer Retreat and your opportunity to be refreshed. 1. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Authority, (London: Inter-Varsity Fellowship, 1962), 66.
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Baptist / F A M I L Y N E W S
LEAD Conference 2017 More than 180 people registered for LEAD Conference, held at Hutt City Baptist in July. Craig Vernall and Brook Turner gave the keynote Pastors Josh Pound and Nigel Irwin ran a seminar on how to addresses. strengthen leadership through intentional partnership. John Tucker, Jay Lucas, and Tricia Hendry were the other plenary session speakers. Craig based his message on the story of Philip the Evangelist, including Philip’s chariot-side conversation with the truth-seeking Ethiopian eunuch. He said the heart of Jesus’ mission was to ‘chase the chariots’ of those who are far from God or who are seeking the things of the Kingdom. “Chasing chariots is the dream we should have as leaders of our churches,” he said. Brook shared learnings from his ministry journey. One of these regarded searching for the perfect model of church. Comparing church models to cups that contain the water of Christianity’s good news, he said people can end up worshipping the cup. While models are not wrong in themselves—“Be a church full of cups. Add cutlery!”—he encouraged leaders to move from models to modelling. “People do what people do. That can change the world,” he reflected. John looked to the ministry of Joseph Kemp (1872-1933), a charismatic and influential Baptist pastor, to determine what our past can teach us about church renewal today. Kemp believed four conditions of renewal were an honest recognition of the need, a return to the place of prayer, a readiness to put away every evil, and a restoration of great biblical words. To Kemp’s formula, John added a fifth: a renewed and ongoing commitment to stand with those who are oppressed. Jay explained the background and original intent of the Treaty of Waitangi, and outlined the interpretation issues between the English and Māori texts. He talked about how the history of Christian mission to Māori was sullied by an academic paper in the early 1970s that questioned the motives of the missionary translator Henry Williams. He commented, “The church is one of the pou [poles] that hold up the story of the Treaty, but that pou has been removed because it’s been forgotten.” Tricia shared her expert knowledge on the topics of grief, trauma, and suicidal thinking. She explained the importance of companioning— being a safe place for those who are hurting to find their own answers and their own way through. In addition to the plenary sessions, a series of workshops and seminars covered a wide range of topics. Look out for next year’s registration!
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Mental Health and the Church Sadly, trouble with mental health is a headline issue in New Zealand these days. As a result, most every church has dealt with and is dealing with it at some level. For this reason, Equip and Willow Creek Association NZ teamed up last year to convene a conference entitled Mental Health and the Church. Last month, we delivered our second conference. We focused on the mental health issues of children and young people. 480 pastors, youth pastors, counsellors, and health workers came to one of three venues in Auckland, Hamilton, and Christchurch. A lot of learning took place, along with a deep appreciation that it is “such a good thing that the church is talking about this in both a professional and pastoral context.” The four speakers were experts in their respective fields: Christeen McKay is a clinical psychologist, Elliot Taylor is General Manager of ZEAL, and Kathryn Berkett and Nathan Wallis, both educationalists with a research background in brain development. The material these last two speakers shared on the teenage brain was such an eye opener and the feedback suggests that this was completely new learning for most conference attendees. Equip and Willow Creek Association NZ are convinced that the church needs to be encouraged to continue to be part of this very important conversation. Their hope is that more senior pastors in particular will make the time to enter into this space. The conference will be back in June next year!
Nathan Wallis, Neuroscience Educator
Lifepoint’s fiftieth anniversary Surrounded with photos of the past, seventy people from Lifepoint’s current and past membership gathered recently to celebrate the heritage that God has provided them over the past fifty years. Baptist archives reveal the church’s initial work started with a children’s ministry in 1962. Later some land was donated, a building was constructed, and a foundation stone laid for this ministry in 1964. In 1967, what was then known as Marsden Baptist Church was officially opened. Biblically speaking, fifty years marks a jubilee—a year of grace, forgiveness, and people being set free to be who God created them to be. Many cultures look back at history to see where they are meant to go in the future, so Lifepoint asked some previous members to share their stories. Phil Budd from Whangarei Central Baptist shared how he would travel out and preach at the early services before
the church had a pastor. Derek and Andrea Pyle talked of their early years and how the Holy Spirit changed their lives, bringing a powerful and effective ministry. They led two subsequent groups of young men into significant relationships with God, one of whom is still a member of Lifepoint. Russell and Michelle Hodgson also shared their stories of life in the church. Pastor Simon Currie says, “As we looked into our history, we sensed God revealed a picture for us to continue our journey, especially focusing on children’s and youth ministries—to ‘Lifepoint’ them to Jesus, and to intentionally disciple them to grow and mature their faith. “We are forever grateful for the sacrifices so many people made so we could be the people of God we are today. We are excited to see history repeat in the future plans God has for us over the next fifty-plus years. God is good!”
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Baptist / F A M I L Y N E W S
Roughly this time last year, a group of friends in Mangere were meeting three or four mornings a week for a short time of prayer. One of the prayers that was regularly coming up was for those on TV and around the community who were sleeping in cars. These prayers then evolved to become about what should be done in response. After a few more prayers and discussions, as well as pulling in a few more key people, a decision was made to do some kind of protest—and Park Up for Homes was born. No one knew at the time what was about to be unleashed. Two months and nine events later, over 2000 people would sleep in their cars across Auckland and around the country. Everyone who took part shared the same desire, which was to show solidarity with those doing it tough on the streets and to put a spotlight on the issue so policymakers would take note. The feedback from some who are homeless has been that the events made them feel like they weren’t invisible anymore and that someone cared enough to highlight their cause. Some in the policymaking world also fed back that the Park Up for Homes events played a role in the government deciding to announce a $300 million package on emergency housing. Whether that’s the case or not, the protests led to a number of partnerships being established to make a concrete difference for those living in cars. For Justin Latif (who was part of the group who organised Park Up for Homes), there were two
Park Up For Homes
significant pieces of learning that came out of the first event. It was held in Mangere on an incredibly cold night. Who knew whether more than twenty cars would come, or if the police would order everyone to go home, or if the rain might wash the whole thing out. Instead, over 1000 people turned up, the weather held, and the police helped keep a few larkins in check. Plus, every media outlet imaginable reported on the event. He comments, “Firstly, it showed me the power of prayer and what can happen when that power is put into practice beyond the lounges and church halls and onto the street. And secondly, it also showed me the power of relationship. A number of us involved had lived in Mangere for a number of years doing all sorts of different things and on the back of our relationships with each other and those in our community, we were able to rally hundreds together on a frigid night in June because people trusted us and knew our hearts.” Hopefully on that night people could truly say, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
Mangere Bridge Baptist Church’s* New Building
If you have visited one of Mangere Bridge Village’s five cafés recently, you may have seen the construction work on Mangere Bridge Baptist Church’s new facilities. The building has been ‘closed in’ for some time, and the various specialist companies are well into their tasks. Recently the church held a ‘roof shout’ for the builders, with fancy finger-food instead of a crate of beer!
This was held in conjunction with an ‘open site’ walk-through for church people. Many were surprised to see the size of the various features, such as the auditorium, meeting and youth activity areas, commercial kitchen, and service areas. It was exciting for all to see where it is heading. The church’s slogan has been ‘Building for Mission’. They are looking forward to having a larger, more flexible facility that the Mangere Bridge community will benefit from and be proud of. The more fit-for-purpose spaces will provide for a wide range of activities. The building project is due to conclude in August. During the rebuild, the church gratefully accepted the generous offer of the local St James Anglican Church to share their facilities for worship services
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and the BridgeKids programme. However, they are looking forward to moving back to a more user-friendly service time, and being able to spread their wings. Meanwhile, the church is in a period of looking at themselves in a spiritual stock-taking exercise, as they review where their various ministries are at, and how the move back to their revamped facilities will give opportunities for developing their service for the Lord and his church. Pastor David Jenkins says, “We praise God for his provision of resources and expertise for the project, and look forward to the opening at 2pm on 9th September.” *Formerly known as Bridge Community Church.
Milford Baptist Helping some Syrian Refugee Families Go Home Milford Baptist Church (MBC) is helping some Christian Syrian refugees return home. MBC’s involvement with Christians in Syria first began when Peter McNee was involved with a trust that funded a theological programme for a number of countries. After bombing of Syria in 2015, the Missions Committee decided to try and help Syrian refugees come to New Zealand, in conjunction with other North Shore Baptist Churches. They started a process with the New Zealand government to help Syrian refugees come to New Zealand. But under the system operating at the time, the government would only accept people who were registered with, and recommended by, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. A new programme, whereby groups are able to sponsor refugees to New Zealand, only began in July 2017 with twenty-five people able to be sponsored. In the meantime, MBC member Rob Bellingham visited Lebanon and developed a relationship with an NGO working with families in Lebanon and Syria. BBC programmes were speaking with people who were returning to Syria, and it
emerged that some who have been displaced want to return home; the area in question has been declared a safe-zone and is being rebuilt. Some are not able to return home for various reasons. MBC has begun to raise the finance to help twenty-five displaced families make this journey. Approximately NZ$17,200 per family will be required for the project. Enough for two families has been raised to date, so forty-eight families to go! This approach is based on key considerations: • The war will eventually end. • Most people still live in Syria despite the fighting, which is not happening everywhere in Syria. About five million of its eighteen million have actually left the country. • From their experience, most people would like to return home sometime. If you would like to know more or be involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spend the day with us as a community and see how theological education and training can prepare you to make a difference.
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STUDYING AT CAREY HAS BEEN AN EXCITING, CHALLENGING AND TRANSFORMATIVE JOURNEY. EXCITING BECAUSE THE COURSES OFFERED ARE REFRESHING AND STIMULATING, BUT AT THE SAME TIME VERY CHALLENGING.”
Baptist / F A M I L Y N E W S
Over a ten-week period in early 2017, Phil Pawley walked from Waitangi to Waikanae. As Senior Pastor of Morrinsville Baptist Church, Phil had fifty-five days of study leave owing to him. He wanted to do something that would be good for his spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being, and that also would benefit his church in some way. A hikoi seemed to him like the ideal solution to achieve these outcomes. He first had the idea of a hikoi in 2016, but in some sense the motivation for it began much earlier. After returning to Aotearoa from England in 2009, he had become troubled by what he was beginning to learn about the early government’s treatment of both Māori and the Treaty of Waitangi. Wanting to learn more about Māori language, culture, and history, Phil began te reo Māori lessons in 2013, and in 2015 undertook a Level 3 Tikanga Māori course with the Open Wananga. Despite these classes, Phil still felt there was more to learn and appreciate. That was when he wondered if a hikoi might be part of the answer. He began to consider following the remarkable journey that a young girl’s copy of Te Rongopai a Ruka (Gospel of Luke) took in the early nineteenth century. Tārore’s gospel booklet travelled from Paihia where it was printed, to the Waikato where she was murdered, then to Rotorua where it led to the conversion of her killers and to intertribal forgiveness and reconciliation. The booklet later was sent south to Waikanae where it was used to teach Tāmihana Te Rauparaha and Mātene Te Whiwhi to read and write. These two men took the booklet to the South Island, where they shared the gospel with their former enemies, Ngāi Tahu.1 Phil decided to retrace part of the journey of that gospel booklet, from Waitangi to Waikanae, praying for the land
Academic Director Carey Baptist College
A long walk in one direction
as he went. Coincidentally, in 2016 Phil discovered that a couple in Bethlehem, Tauranga were in talks with the Bible Society about creating a bilingual copy of both Tārore’s story and the Gospel of Luke. The booklets were eventually produced, and the couple gave Phil as many copies as he could pass out along his way. “I set off not knowing quite what I would encounter along the way, or what God wanted to bring about through my journey. As a minimum, I would be a postman for the latest version of Tārore’s story and the Gospel of Luke,” says Phil. However, the hikoi proved to be much more than a Scripture distribution project. Through many seemingly God-orchestrated conversations and experiences along the way, Phil was reminded of the importance of mission, of community and unity within the church, and of welcoming, inclusive love for those on the margins of faith and society. On a personal level, Phil says his hikoi also taught him that his faith is a long walk in one direction. 1. To find out more about Tārore’s story go to nzcms.org.nz/200-years/2014-pilgrimage/2014-tarore/
Do you have exceptional leadership and organisational skills? Do you want to be part of supporting and developing the next generation of Christian leaders? Carey Baptist College is a tertiary theological college based in Penrose, Auckland, which exists to train leaders for ministry and mission. Further information on Carey can be found at www.carey.ac.nz. We are currently searching for the right person to take on the permanent full-time role of Academic Director. You will have a relevant graduate or postgraduate qualification, be experienced in educational leadership, demonstrate excellent organisational and planning capabilities, and be enthusiastic about student learning. You will be competent and confident in the use of systems and technology, demonstrate first rate written and spoken communication skills, and be great with people from a range of backgrounds and experiences. You will also possess a passion for the vision, mission, and values of the College.
To apply please submit your CV with a covering letter to: Chris Berry Executive Director Carey Baptist College PO Box 12149 Auckland 1642 firstname.lastname@example.org Phone (09) 526 7531 Applications close at 5pm on Friday 18 August
What’s on your mind? A Poem
Shadows Four hundred, And twenty seconds. It takes seven minutes, For a ray of sunlight, To travel, And reach earth. Now, Can only be illuminated, Is only made possible, By before. Tupuna, Cast shadows, Reminding their children, They can’t run away, From our dark, But they can stop, Casting shadows, Becoming, Foreshadows.
Beka Hope Photography
Poem: Zane Scarborough Zane won the first Justice Slam in October 2016. The poetry slam builds a platform for voices on justice to be heard in Aotearoa, and opened New Zealand’s inaugural Justice Conference (TJC). TJC invites worldclass visionaries, thought leaders, and justice practitioners, as well as emerging leaders and artists, to an influential gathering that seeks to empower justice, hosted by Tearfund. New Zealand’s second Justice Conference will be held in November 2018, however an interim event will be announced on its website and Facebook page in 2017.
100 Years Ago Gospel Perspective/lightstock.com
Small Churches Small churches are having a hard time. We have depended greatly in the past on the energy and consecration of our young manhood. The war has swept most of our ardent youth to the battle front. The depletion of numbers in a small community is an exceedingly serious thing. We commend our small churches to the sympathy of all our people. In little Bethels, great souls have been born again, nations’ leaders have been nurtured, the missionary hero has been launched on his career. Let no man despise the day of small things. We were touched, in a recent visit to two of our small churches, by the nearer sight of their difficulties. We refer to Ashburton and to Lincoln. Ashburton has lost very heavily through removals, and if the Second Division goes, the most active of its remaining men may leave. Yet there is great heart amongst them. May God bless them. Lincoln is forty years old, and has been the church home of many vigorous Baptists. The shiftings of the rural population have affected them very badly, and fears of a close-down were current. This, however, has been averted through the vigour of one of the old young men of the church who has recently returned to the district. Mr. Woolf is an excellent preacher, and has gathered encouraging attendances on the Sunday evenings. The town ministers are to motor out once a month for an afternoon service. Let the larger churches everywhere hold out the hand of help.
Baptist Magazine, September 1917
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GAY & CHRISTIAN
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You will also have the ability to: • Inspire and encourage • Mentor and walk alongside youth • Relate and reach youth in our community • Be a team player. And have: • Youth ministry experience • Organisational and leadership skills. APPLICATIONS CLOSE FRIDAY 18TH AUGUST Contact email@example.com
Glo bal Mis si on
Photo of the month Through NZBMS, New Zealand Baptists sponsor almost 230 children like these, who would otherwise have little or no education, in five hostels throughout India and Bangladesh. This is their chance to escape generations of poverty and create a new legacy for themselves and their family. If you would like to sponsor a child, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOG ETHER W E CA N RE A C H T H E W O RL D
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Baptist / G L O B A L M I S S I O N
A word from Rachel IT IS THE PEOPLE… At NZBMS, amongst other things, we are about people. Throughout the fields overseas we focus on people as we undertake what God has called us to with those that know him, and with those that don’t. In New Zealand, we have staff and supporters who provide the foundation for the lifechanging work that God is doing in our world. Each of us is utilising what God has given us and what he has made us to be. In this issue of the Baptist, we highlight all of our people— your people—sent and commissioned by the Baptist Churches of New Zealand wherever in the world or in New Zealand they may be. We have thirty-seven adults and sixteen children currently serving overseas or soon to leave. In New Zealand, there are a further fifteen people serving (paid and voluntary, full or part-time and contract). 1 Corinthians 12 speaks very clearly to the place of the parts that make up the whole and the NZBMS team even spread across geography is no exception to that. Each of these comes from a different place, background, qualification, experience, and expertise. Each brings skills and abilities unique to them that adds value to the whole team. I’m grateful for these people; for their willingness to hear from God, to follow a specific call of God and to serve in obedience, for their commitment to others here in New Zealand and beyond, as well as their commitment to the Baptist denomination. He aha te mea nui o te ao (What is the most important thing in the world?) He tangata, he tangata, he tangata (It is the people, it is the people, it is the people). This well-known Māori proverb simply and succinctly sums it up. These are our treasures; these are your treasures. gā Mihi Nui, N Rachel Murray, General Director
Stories of Treasure and Transformation
WE LOVE SHARING THE DIFFERENT WAYS GOD IS TRANSFORMING THE COMMUNITIES WE ARE A PART OF. IN THIS MONTH’S EDITION OF ‘OUR STORIES,’ WE FEATURE TWO ACCOUNTS WHERE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JESUS HAS BEEN A GREAT INSPIRATION TO THE PEOPLE WE SERVE.
Longing We’ve just returned to this district. Unfortunately, we’ve yet to see much development in the spiritual area. It is just hard work with so many roadblocks stopping people becoming committed Christ-followers. This is a communal society. For those from a more individualistic society, it can be difficult to fully understand what it means to be different in a context with so many deeply held religious practices. We saw an example recently. We were involved in a local church Christmas party. A group of believers from an outlying village, where our pastor had been visiting regularly, came along and eagerly joined in. They brought food to share and their kids danced for us. Sadly, in mid-January, this same group of about six adults and seven children told the pastor that, after talking with the abbot at the local temple, they decided they were not ready to give up their Buddhist ways and would no longer be coming to church. This is approximately half of the pastor’s total congregation! The obstacles are huge when we look at our own resources—we need God. We long to see the power of God being manifested in this place. In terms of our role, it all has to start with prayer. It is as if something has to change in the unseen world in order to see the blessings of God being released in this barren place. We would love to have intercessory teams visit us—are you interested?
From a Tranzsend worker in South-East Asia
R E A D MOR E
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about the work of Tranzsend at tranzsend.org.nz
N Z B M S
R E A C H I N G
T H E
W O R L D
Our trip to school Tr a n s f o r m a t i o n One of the most precious moments of 2017 so far for me was being invited to one of our ladies’ AA meetings. The road she has walked in life has been harder and filled with more obstacles and hurt than I will ever know. She goes to a different group around the city almost every weekday evening to keep herself true, and on January 12th she was celebrating four years of being sober. For this particular meeting, her Group of Hope (as it is called) were acknowledging and celebrating her immense achievement with words, singaras, and cake. Pip and I went along with her and had the privilege of sitting and listening to her friends and fellow addicts from all walks of life speak words of love, support, and congratulations over her. That evening, her smile and her husky laugh sung songs of both pride and victory in a way that couldn’t be silenced or wiped from her face. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that walking into that AA meeting I have never felt so unconditionally accepted. Maybe that’s what the supposed misfits actually teach us, because if so, then I am listening. Sometimes the greatest truths are the most simple ones—each of us was created for relationship; we need one another. One of my favourite writers and theologians, Father Gregory Boyle, says it beautifully in his book Tattoos on The Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion (incidentally, he is also a badass catholic priest who works in the badlands of Los Angeles and is the founder of Homeboy Industries... look ‘em up!)
From a Tranzsend worker in South Asia
CHILDREN ARE A VITAL PART OF OUR TRANZSEND FAMILY. IN THIS MONTHLY COLUMN, THE CHILDREN OF SOME OF OUR TRANZSEND WORKERS SHARE SOMETHING OF THEIR LIFE OVERSEAS. How do you get to school or work? Do you travel through the city with traffic jams or stay in the countryside? Do you walk, bike, bus, or travel by car? We thought we would tell you about our trip to school. Our school is in another city about a fifty-minute drive away. School starts at 8am, so we get up early to be in the car by 6:50am. As we drive to school we look out the window and see many different things. We see the man at the basket shop giving alms to the monks. We watch him put bags of rice in their bowls and kneel down to pray, hoping to gain merit for his family so they will have a good life. We drive past temples and, if we are in a taxi, we hear our taxi driver toot the horn to pay his respects as we pass by. We pass lots and lots of rice fields. We see people working hard, bending over to plant, weed, and harvest their precious crop. We notice how the fields change colour as the rice grows and how they fill with water during the rainy season. We drive past buffaloes lying in the mud and cows eating grass; the crowded markets selling fresh fruit and vegetables; small factories making bricks with smoke billowing from their fires. We watch the covered trucks filled with children going to their schools, some sitting close to the edge of the truck looking like they might fall off. We stop at the traffic lights knowing we will have people wanting to sell us strings of flowers to bring us blessings for our journey. Mum chats to them briefly before they rush off to sell to the car in front of us. We see the driver hang the flowers in their car, pausing to pray before doing so. We arrive at school and watch as the Thai families bow to the spirit-house at the front gate to show their respect to the guardian spirit of the land. Our drive to school is long, but as we watch the things happening outside the window we learn about things that are important to the people who live here. We see how hard they work and how they feel they always need to please the spirits to try to gain merit. We know that many of them have never heard the name of Jesus and do not know about the life and freedom that he came to offer them. We hope that one day all of them come to know that he is searching for them as his treasure and that they will say yes to him. What do you see on your way to school? Maybe as you travel, however you go and whatever you see, you could use that time to pray for us and the people we pass each day.
Story: Noah, Miles, and Theo live in South-East Asia and are part of the Tranzsend family
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Baptist / G L O B A L M I S S I O N
LIFE ON THE ROAD
GOOD NEWS! In our February edition, we featured some of the difficulties faced by Gary and Heather who run a business in a large South Asian city. Through the relationships they have built with employees, clients and their families, lives have been transformed. It hasn’t been easy, however. Our February story, Living in the God Zone, told of the challenge of having to find new premises for their business. The good news is new premises have been found and the business is back up and running, but that in itself has been a challenge. As the business’s departure date came closer, the owner of the current property became more and more demanding. First, she cut the power to the back section, then bricked up access between the front and back of the property. Finally, she locked the main front gate so the business could not move. All the time, demands for more money and things that needed fixing were ongoing and escalating. In the end, the Chief of Police was called in to help broker an agreement. It took until 2am the next morning for an agreement to be reached, but the owner insisted the business move out that day—before 10pm! So, six hours later, at 8am, it was all on—a huge job moving everything on little flat-deck rickshaws. It was chaos on the new site with everything just dumped there, but Gary and Heather were finished by 9pm. A few months on, they are settled in and the business is up and running again. Many thanks for your prayers—it wasn’t easy, but we did see God’s hand through it all.
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Already this year, Whangarei, Bay of Islands, and Auckland have hosted the 2017 NZBMS Roadshow. We are using the roadshows to take our message to supporters throughout New Zealand and provide them with an opportunity to hear about the life-changing work of the four arms of NZBMS. From our point of view, we have appreciated the feedback we have received from pastors, mission convenors, and mission supporters. This will give some direction to our work as we move forward. In 2018, we will be visiting many of the places we don’t get to this year. However, the 2017 NZBMS Roadshow is still alive. Before the end of the year we are coming to Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Top of South, Otago, and Southland. Register for your region’s events online—see the Events page (under Resources) on the NZBMS website.
ENDING OUR FINANCIAL YEAR We are once again grateful for the support of so many churches, groups, and individuals throughout this financial year—the work of NZBMS here in New Zealand and overseas could not operate without it. As we come to the end of another financial year (31st August), may we please encourage you to send any funds owing or that you would like to through by this date, so that we can ensure our budget meets its agreed target. This may include (but is not limited to) monies for student sponsorship, Prayer and Self Denial Appeal, Christmas Angel Appeal, team support, general donations and/or specific projects in any of the fields. With many thanks for your partnership—lives have been transformed by your generosity.
THANKS AGAIN, BMF! Each year, Baptist Missionary Fellowship (BMF) raises money for a specific aspect of NZBMS’s work. This year the focus is our work in Tripura. NZBMS has a relationship with the Tripura Baptist Christian Union stretching back to the mid-1930s, and seventy-five years ago Kiwis established and staffed St Pauls School and hostel for local children. We remain committed to this relationship. Current needs include: education, community development, leadership training and development, and theological education. The BMF offering will go towards supporting this work. Thanks again, BMF!
N Z B M S
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OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE
NZBMS, through Mission World, present the following opportunities to join in God’s mission with one of our other strategic mission partners. • ESOL teachers (South Korea) with SIM. To mentor and teach Korean students at a theological and mission centre preparing for mission service. Five weeks to longterm options. • Personal Assistant (Arnhem Land, Australia) with MAF. An experienced Personal Assistant to provide support to the Programme Manager and members of the leadership team. This includes lead for events, logistics of visitors, and general administrative assistance.
• Support services staff (global) with Wycliffe. General administration with wide range of tasks to assist with the language teams. • Youth and children outreach (East Asia) with OMF. A number of exciting opportunities to serve and reach young people through music, sports, boarding homes, tutoring, and children’s programmes.
• NGO director and treasurer (Cambodia) with WEC. Urgent need.
• Teachers (South Asia) with Tranzsend. For English medium schools with local children. Short and long-term, qualified and unqualified, primary and secondary level, and across a range of subjects.
• Counsellor (Arab World) with Interserve. For a Learning Centre focused on the needs of refugees and that operates an urban school for over 500 primary and high school children.
• Clean water and medical specialists (North Africa) with Pioneers. Well-drilling, sanitation projects, medical care for children and adults, and veterinarian care for livestock.
For more information and to express an interest email email@example.com or phone 09 526 8446.
When Calls The Heart SEASON 3 PREMIERES MONDAY 21ST AUGUST 8:30PM
The next exciting season of the journey of Elizabeth Thatcher, a young teacher from high society on assignment in a small milling town. There life is simpler, but often fraught with challenges.
Freeview Channel 25
Sky Channel 201 or online at shinetv.co.nz
YOUR KIWI CHRISTIAN CHANNEL
August / September 2017