August 2016

Golden Oldies Mission finale

Posted on

‘Our little can really make a big difference’ was how one Golden Oldie summarised this mission to Fiji. Returning annually over the past five years to build on established relationships has continued to strengthen the partnership between Fiji Churches and the Golden Oldies mission.

Below are some snapshots of some of the contributions this team, and friends from NZ, have made for the people of Fiji:

A Fijian Senior Nurse sat in despair at the request for two nebulisers urgently needed for the crowded Heath Centre. Unbeknown to Adele, the Golden Oldies Nurse, she was about to present two nebulisers to her on behalf of the team and many supporters from NZ. The team prayed for people with a variety of needs, from the ministry of ‘the Chicken Boy,’ to sick children in villages, to teaching needs at Schools and the development of a new church project, and much more. We visited an Old People’s Home, and asked to meet with Government officials to talk of ways of partnering with the Fijian Government about the future delivery of Aged-care in Fiji. We learned about the struggles for land ownership and for Fijians of Melanesian descent. This was alarmingly evident, with new subdivisions encroaching on their ‘ancestral land’ and the uncertainty of villages like Nadawa. It was great to be able to support their micro-business and buy their grass booms as well. The St Luke’s Men’s Ministry inspired us as they upheld the woman of their church with a celebratory dinner in their honour. They then established a practical DIY ministry for the woman and widows in their local community. The Golden Oldies have offered to provide the tools for this handyman ministry. A visit to a prison has re-opened the doors for a prison ministry to commence again. ‘Taking ice cream and cones for the men today was a treat like Christmas day for the men’ commented the Prison Major as he thanked the team for their encouraging visit. We were able to give donations of children’s story books, Bibles, clothing for newly born babies and first-time mothers, toothbrushes for children, swimming equipment for water safety training, a guitar, an electronic keyboard, a smokeless cooker, some medical supplies, school stationery, and clothing to churches, schools, hospitals, villages, and individuals. The first ever Rugby 7’s team jerseys were provided to a village so their youth can enter the provincial rugby competition. We witnessed the official launching of a village ladies fishing boat to provide a safer way to catch fish and provide more funding for the children of their village. A partnership between Maniava Village, the Church and Golden Oldies was established to use local clay to build the first ever mud-brick home in Fiji for a 85-year old widow in their village, as a demo-home. The success of this house could lead to the redevelopment of the 33/37 homes destroyed in this village from the recent cyclone. We were able to share in the joy and celebrations of Fiji winning the first Gold Medal of any small Pacific Island nation at an Olympics. The Champion Fiji 7’s team have brought much pride and joy to these beautiful islands!

To God be the Glory, as together in partnership between the Fijian Churches and Golden Oldies, we strive to further the Kingdom of God in the Pacific.

Vinaka vakalevu.

To read more about the recent ‘Golden Oldies’ trip to Fiji, and to see many great photos, click here.

Reaching the Nations through Migrant Workers

Posted on

By Tan Kang San & Loun Ling.

The following is from a recent update by our sister organisation, AsiaCMS.

More people than ever are living abroad. In 2013, 232 million people, or 3.2 per cent of the world’s population, were international migrants, compared to 175 million in 2000 and 154 million in 1990. In 2013, South Asians were the largest group of international migrants living outside of their home region. Of the 36 million international migrants from South Asia, 13.5 million resided in the oil-producing countries in Western Asia. In the UAE, 8 million out of its population of 9 million are migrants.

In the Book of Ruth, Elimelech and his wife Naomi were economic migrants seeking food and better living in the land of Moab. However, similar to the stories of contemporary migrants, Naomi suffered the loss of family and future hope. “Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.” (1:5).

While some migrants are skilled professionals, the majority of migrant labourers are hired to do the 3-D jobs (dirty, difficult and dangerous!). Like Elimelech and Naomi, many left their homes and countries to seek better life, but very few nations instituted legal and social frameworks which ensure just structures in welcoming migrant labourers who are cheated and oppressed in foreign countries.

The Book of Ruth holds out the practice of ḥeseḏ (loving kindness) as the ideal lifestyle for Israel. Christians often ignore their responsibilities toward the growing migrant population in global cities. When addressing the issue of migrant communities, churches often reduce their responsibilities to conducting migrant discipleship classes or worship services.

The Old Testament principle of hesed may be an important and rich biblical ideal that integrates Christian responsibility toward migrant communities as doing good, as addressing issues of injustices and oppression faced by migrants, and to love kindness. “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness (hesed), and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).

Reaching the nations through migrant workers in our midst is a biblical mandate as well as an effective mission strategy. The testimony of Maria below is one of many that bear out this truth.

There are tens of thousands of Asian migrant workers from the Philippines, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. One of them could be in our home, our workplace, our church.

Maria writes:

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”

Thank and praise God, about 26 years ago while working in Singapore as domestic helper, I was drawn by the heavenly Father to His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to His saving grace. My employers brought me to Grace (S.C.C) Church and I attended English Congregation, Bible studies and later I decided to join the Foundation of Faith class. I received much encouragement from my employers.

Indeed, God’s truth has set me free from wrong ways/practices of worshipping Him. Truly, God is just and righteous that He delivered me from idolatry. Although He allowed me to experience trials (anticipation of persecution from family members, clan and friends), He gave me victory through His words and encouragement from brothers and sisters in Church. I was baptised in 1989. After baptism I was asked a prayer request and my reply was about the need for evangelism back in my home town. From then I was more eager to study His word in order to prepare myself spiritually to defend my faith in Jesus Christ and be ready to go home.

Every day, I had my devotion before work and while doing my work I memorised Scriptures (written in small pieces of paper stuck near to me) until I decided to take a course at the Singapore Bible College inspite of the language barrier. I attended class once a week at night, with the support of my employers. Finally, God confirmed His call for me to go for full-time theological studies. I left to work in Canada knowing that the work there was only 8 hours a day which would give me time to study. When my church in Singapore knew about my calling and desire to study, they decided to support me.

Eventually I returned to the Philippines. By God’s grace, I was bold to share my faith and gave Bibles to my family and relatives. The Lord opened the door for me to study at Doane Baptist Seminary and I graduated after 2 years with Bachelor of Religious Education.

I volunteered to serve in the church in my home town, Cabatuan Fundamental Baptist Church, during the 2 years of seminary training. After a year I was called to work as Bible woman while staying at home with my parents, brother and sisters. My parents have now gone to be with the Lord together with my eldest brother. Almost all the children and grandchildren of my family members attended our Church Kindergarten.

As a Bible woman of the church, I am also the Sunday School superintendent, teacher, and full-time worker in charge of the various church ministries. These include visiting Elementary Schools and Secondary Schools, hospital, prison, prisoners on parole, pawnshop employees, home Bible studies. The Lord has given me a burden to reach many lost souls. Every summer our house is one of the venues for Children’s Vacation Bible School. Sometimes we even have 15 children attending. With all these ministries, the Lord granted me a desire and opportunity to be further equipped through attending a Master’s class. He enabled me to graduate in December 2010.

In my journey of serving Him, God allowed me to go through many trials and challenges. In May 2012, I was hospitalised and had an operation. For 3 months I was unable to work. Grace Church in Singapore again responded in helping me financially and comforting me. After recovery I was more eager to serve Him. I now have less responsibility at the church but am involved with a government programme to help the poorest of the poor by conducting their Family Development Session. Every month I have the opportunity to minister to more than a thousand people from different barangays or villages. My desire to witness for Christ in the 68 barangays of our town is almost fulfilled. All glory and honour to God!

Celebrating Debbie (Sunday August 14)

Posted on

NZCMS Mission Partner, Debbie Jones, passed away while travelling through Ethiopia in June. Lesley gathered with the family and friends in Portland, Oregon, USA on August 14 to celebrate Debbie’s life.  

It was a privilege to be able to share, along with Andrew and all the family and many of their friends, an appropriately simple and yet colourful and profound celebration of Debbie’s life. We joined together under some trees at a park in Portland. There was time for people to share their memories of Debbie aloud, in writing or by drawing. We mixed and mingled, shared good food together, and felt Debbie’s presence as people came from different corners of the world to celebrate this woman who had touched our lives (and so many others) with her effervescent love of God, life and all who came across her path.

In a tribute to Debbie’s wild and free nature we sent some of her ashes along with the messages people had written or drawn for Debbie out on the river on a small raft. The wind and the current of the river meant things didn’t turn out quite as had been planned… but that in itself somehow seemed ‘right.’ Debbie was a master of ‘going with the flow’ and revelled in all of life however things turned out.

While she wasn’t with us physically that afternoon, she was with us in many many ways. And while there is some darkness where she is no longer, her way of doing life will continue to inspire and encourage those of us who were lucky enough to have shared life with her.

NZCMS is proud to have had Debbie as one of our Mission Partners and we continue to support Andrew and the family in this next season of their lives.

The next wave from Kenya

Posted on

A new day has dawned where missionaries are coming from places such as Africa and Asia. After the successful ‘reverse mission encounter trip’ by various groups of Kenyans in 2014, we are excited that the Kenyans are coming again. The ‘Kenya-Kiwi Mission Project 2016’ is about encouraging and supporting the Kiwi church in mission so that kiwis might hear the Good News proclaimed afresh. We’ve invited 26 talented, Gospel-loving individuals from Nairobi Chapel in Nairobi, Kenya to be involved in evangelistic events organised by churches in Auckland, Ruatoria/Gisborne, Wellington and Christchurch.

We’re delighted by the commitment of the African Church to send a team to us for three weeks in October. The Kenyan team are raising their return airfares to New Zealand (about $3000 per person). NZCMS would like to raise funds to cover other local expenses while they are here, including for their orientation and debrief. It’s good to host well aye?  Can you help?

We need people to partner with us by donating towards this important Gospel cause. Donations can be made online by clicking here. For the reference use: Reverse Mission.

Life in Two Worlds

Posted on

There is a sense of security living and working within fenced compounds with guards on the gates 24/7, but the mission of the Church in Papua New Guinea lies beyond the wire.

“What does your day look like?” The answer: “Which day?”

Working in the Archbishop’s Office involves administration which supports Mission and Ministry throughout the Province. Mostly I’m working on Mission projects sponsored by PNG’s overseas partners such as the Anglican Missions Board NZ, Australia and the UK. Or I’m helping to send people overseas for further training. The aim of all of this is to assist with capacity building as the transition to a fully indigenous Church continues. As I work with groups and individuals I’m excited about new ministry projects as I see the feedback come in and realise the impact small amounts of funding have on outreach and ministry in the remotest parts of the country.

I officially live in a comfortable apartment with hot and cold running water, electricity, fridge, washing machine and yes a vacuum cleaner for the endless dust that is found in Port Moresby. The food is much the same as in New Zealand (except beef is too expensive and mutton and lamb are not available). Home is at St Francis Koki where there is a mission house (sort of). The Franciscan Brothers have run a Mission House there for many, many years. It is also home to young people who can’t or don’t live at home. It’s here that I’ve been adopted and am known as Sister Margaret.

One of the challenges is that the Mission house is waiting to be rebuilt so the accommodation is basic. A converted classroom, a flush loo shared with the teachers, cooking over the fire outside, a 44 gallon plastic drum with a plastic dipper for bathing. There are usually three or four of us under mosquito nets in the church overnight.

To describe a weekend is to say ‘I just hang around with the young people who come and go’ as we prepare for the Sunday Service. I’m officially their choir mistress (just so long as I don’t try to sing). We laugh, we cook, we share life with its ups and downs. Often I just sit and relax or, like today, write this letter to you. Food is much more PNG style, cooked over an open fire and always includes rice, greens, probably noodles and usually some chicken or tinned fish. We cook for 12 – 25 under 35’s on a Saturday night. Mondays is my day for language learning and then I return to my apartment on Monday afternoon to start the week over again.

Celebrating Janet Close

Posted on

We give God thanks for the life of Mrs Janet Close, who died in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Sunday 14 August, aged 78.  Janet served the Lord with NZCMS at Livingstone College, Kigoma, Tanzania, from 1965 – 1971.  Henry Paltridge writes, “Janet was mainly a home maker, though she did some teaching at Livingstone College. She was married to David Close, who taught English there in Kigoma, Tanzania in the days when Gerald Clark (also with NZCMS) was Headmaster. In recent years she has been very active in mission promotion in the parish of St Christopher’s, Avonhead, Christchurch, and on Vestry. She had also been part of a Golden Oldies NZCMS short-term mission to Fiji.”

Janet’s funeral was held on Thursday 18 August at St Christopher’s Church. It was led by the Vicar, Rev. Mark Hood, who wrote, “Janet died full of confidence in the Lord Jesus, assured of her eternal future with him, and praying and urging on those near who do not yet trust in Christ to do so. As in life, so in death, Janet was always holding out the grace of God. Praise God for this dear saint.”

We praise God for the life and Christian witness of Janet and pray for all who mourn her passing and for those who gathered to honour her and give God thanks for her life.

Younger Leaders From Over 140 Countries Connected in Jakarta

Posted on

Zane (NZCMS Council) and Jo (Communications) had the privilege of attending a significant gathering of the Lausanne Movement. Below are some excerpts from an August 12 press release from the Lausanne Movement’s website summarising the event. The full article can be read by clicking here.

The Lausanne Movement’s most ‘connected’ gathering, the 2016 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering, came to a close last night. More than one thousand younger leaders and mentors convened for a week from over 140 countries to connect for global mission, in Jakarta, Indonesia, at the Global Campus of Universitas Pelita Harapan.

The vision for YLG2016 was rooted in the same conviction out of which Billy Graham started the Lausanne Movement, namely to help influencers of global mission, who were often working in isolation, to meet and collaborate. Participants for this gathering have been invited through an extensive, prayerful, regionally based selection process after receiving thousands of nominations. About two thirds of the participants were from the Majority World, and about one third were women.

‘I’ve never seen the mission of the Lausanne Movement—connecting influencers and ideas for global mission—more powerfully displayed than during this amazing week’—says Michael Oh, Lausanne’s Global Executive Director/CEO.

Connections took various forms during the programme, such as the 160+ mentoring groups where participants connected their personal life stories to God’s grand narrative of the world. In addition to regional gatherings and 35 workshops focused on many of the most significant missiological issues set forth in The Cape Town Commitment, there were also hundreds of pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings between senior and younger leaders throughout the course of the carefully crafted programme. To emphasize the importance of connecting at YLG2016, the planning team put significant amounts of free time into the week which was key in making space for numerous divine appointments.

Building connections, however, began long before the gathering itself. In perhaps the most ambitious effort in the Lausanne Movement’s history to prepare participants for a gathering, participants had to commit to an entire year of monthly preparation. This included both substantive reflection on the narrative of Scripture around which YLG2016 was focused, and also starting to make individual and national/regional connections long before setting foot in Jakarta.

Throughout the gathering, major challenges for this generation have been tackled: how to proclaim the truth of Christ in a skeptical world, what does it mean to preach the whole gospel and the Lordship of Christ over poverty and the environment, how to respond to different conceptions of human sexuality, the persecuted church, and major challenges facing evangelicalism in the next decades.

‘The gathering has been organized by younger leaders and for younger leaders, most of whom are likely to become the shaping voice of global evangelicalism. But we know we’re not self-sufficient as a generation. I strongly believe that this week has been a defining moment, when our generation consciously stepped into the rich heritage of the Lausanne Movement, looking at God’s mission from a global perspective’—reflects Sarah Breuel, Chair of the YLG2016 Planning Team.

Summarizing his experience at the gathering, Michael Oh reflected: ‘I believe that years later we may look back on this week as an historic gathering where many of the leaders of the global church first connected to one another and were uniquely inspired to lay down their lives in partnership for global mission. Our heart is full of gratitude. To God be the glory!’

 

Thank you to the Lausanne Movement for hosting at the gathering Jo and Zane from the NZCMS family. To see the full article please click here. Personal reflections on the event will be shared by our participants at a later date.

The Women’s Mosque Movement

Posted on

By Moyra Dale.

This article originally appeared in the July 2016 issue of the Lausanne Global Analysis and is published here with permission as part of the LGA Media Partnership. Learn more about this flagship publication from the Lausanne Movement at www.lausanne.org/lga.

 

A female religious scholar of 15th century Hadramawt, Yemen, al-Shaykha Sultana bint ‘Ali al-Zubaydy was well known for her piety, knowledge, and teachings. One of her male counterparts, expressing the conventional opinion that religious scholarship and teaching were the domain of men, challenged her in verse: ‘But can a female camel compete with a male camel?’ She completed the couplet, responding: ‘A female camel can carry the same load as a male, and produce offspring and milk as well.’[1]

As I approach the mosque in a Middle Eastern city, my all-covering full-length coat and headscarf clothe me anonymously among dozens of other women who are entering through the gates and across the yard, past the places for men to wash, away from the spacious main door of the mosque, to pass behind the curtain hung between the corner of the building and the surrounding wall. The curtain conceals the small side door, which opens to a set of carpeted stairs. Wooden shelves are at the bottom of the stairs and on the landing, and we remove our shoes and leave them in the shelves, making our way up the stairs in socks or stockinged feet.

There is not much furniture in the upper meeting hall: the carpet, some shelves for books at the back, a few plastic chairs, sponge mattresses to sit on around the side of the room, and a desk-and-seat for the speaker. Framed pictures of Arabic text hang on the wall. This is the hall where women come and go for the different meetings, do the ritual prayer (salah), greet friends, softly recite pages of the Qur’an or just sit quietly on the floor. The hall opens onto the balcony overlooking the main mosque area where the men pray. Theirs is the high roof, sense of space: here there is more limited space, a lower roof, looking through balustrade or windows onto the main men’s part below—behind, seeing, and unseen.

Women in the history of Islam

Women in mosques are not new in Islam. Traditions (Hadith) that refuse to forbid women from mosques are ascribed to Muhammad, Prophet of Islam. They support stories that women attended the mosque in Muhammad’s time, including Friday sermons and feasts. However, over the centuries as Islam expanded, men went to the mosque and women stayed at home to pray.

There have been women leaders[2] and teachers throughout the history of Islam. Aisha (Muhammad’s wife) and Fatima (his daughter) are often mentioned, along with some of Muhammad’s other wives and companions, as muhaddithat—women who taughthadith to others. A number of religious histories mention famous women scholars and teachers, women who were active in Islamic law (fiqh), interpreting the Qur’an and giving legal rulings (fatwas), exercising the same authority as men scholars.

Women scholars flourished more in the 7th-8th centuries (the early days of Islam) and 12th-16th centuries (times of disruption and invasion from the Crusaders and Mongols).[3] These women were often taught by a male relative such as their father, and sometimes also had private tutors. Education, a male patron, and often, social class were important factors.

A recent influential example was Zaynab al-Ghazali (1917-2005) in Egypt, who founded the Muslim Women’s Association (Jama’at al-Sayyidaat al-Muslimaat) when she was 18 years old. She claimed it had a membership of 3 million throughout the country by the time the government dissolved it in 1964. She gave lectures to thousands of women who attended each week at the Ibn Tulun Mosque. Her association offered lessons for women, published a magazine, maintained an orphanage, offered assistance to poor families, and mediated family disputes. Al-Ghazali worked closely with the Muslim Brotherhood, and spent six years in prison until released in 1971 by President Anwar Sadat.

The women’s movement in Islam today

The women’s piety movement has roots in the history of women scholars within Islam. However, it is also a contemporary movement, with unprecedented numbers of women involved in the Islamic revival movement, which has spread through the Muslim world since the 1970s. It has become more visible through the increasing number of women wearing hijab. In the 1980s and 1990s a new wordmutadayyinat, ‘religious women’, was invented, to describe the growing piety movement among women.[4]

Women’s literacy worldwide has increased at the same time as expanding access to Islamic teaching through pamphlets, cassettes, radio, TV, satellite, and Internet. These two factors have helped to grow the Islamic revival movement and women’s part in it. Some women preachers are self-educated; but increasingly religious institutions in the Muslim world are offering training to women.[5] Al-Azhar University in Cairo began training women preachers in 1999.

Where they face social restrictions, Muslim women have always used religious occasions in the home, such as Qur’anic recitations or recitative prayer (dhikr) to gain blessing. So religious practices provide support for the chance to gather and talk together over a glass of tea or a meal. Women began to organize religious lessons in their homes to learn the Qur’an and other religious materials. Increasingly, homes and special gatherings became used as places where women were encouraged to make sure that their behaviour and clothing fit with what Islam teaches. A birthday party might include a time to urge all the young women attending to wear hijab.

Throughout the world

In the Middle East in the 1990s and early 2000s, women began to move more into mosques for their gatherings, and to become involved in public religious teaching, including on television. Mosque classes train women how to behave as good Muslims, and also how to teach others at community events such as weddings or births. Furthermore local neighbourhood mosques are used as centres to organize activities including both religious instruction and medical and welfare help for Muslims in need.

Elsewhere in the world, in Indonesia from the early 1900s, both the reformistMuhammadiya and traditionalist Nahdlatul Ulama Muslim organisations have offered Islamic education to women as well as men, from grassroots informal religious classes up to Islamic training schools (pesantren). So now large numbers of women are equipped to discuss and teach about Islamic texts and legal rulings.[6]

In China, the growth in women’s mosques and women’s religious culture among the Muslim Hui people has been connected to China’s move in the 1980s towards reform and openness to the outside world.[7] In the Indian sub-continent, the efforts of the conservative Tablighi Jama’at was at first directed at men. However, women are now included among those who travel for shorter or extended periods to promote reformist Islam (while maintaining the rules of purdah).[8]

A new space for women

This has led to a generation of women literate and competent in the Qur’an and the traditions, and able to interpret them with regard to the issues of women’s everyday lives. A growing number of publications by women give women’s perspectives on reading the Qur’an and its teachings. In Malaysia, the Sisters of Islam draw on the religious texts in their effort to enable women and to help them get justice in issues of family law such as divorce.

Women’s authority in Islam has traditionally been in the home and at times of rites of passage, family transitions. Now they are taking up authority in the area of religious texts and teaching. It is still within conservative Islam, and women support their place in mosques and teaching, by conforming to conservative religious practices of dress and general behaviour. By reading the Qur’an and traditions for themselves, to answer the questions from women’s daily lives, they are reforming the role of women within Islam.

Implications and suggested responses

We recognise that Muslims and Christians may both meet questions about the place of women in a conservative reading of our faith and our books. We have common cause in working for women who face unjust marriage or divorce laws, or violence. So there is a place to meet and work alongside women in the Muslim piety movement. We need to bring a robust understanding of the place of women in Christ to our meeting.

It is good to be able to interact with the discussions around the Qur’an, the nature of the Messiah, the authenticity of the Bible—the arguments in which they have been trained. Going beyond argument to telling the stories of Jesus, of his interactions with women—including the place he gave them in his ministry (Lk 10:39, Jn 4); his power to purify (Lk 8:26-56); his refusal to condemn (Jn 8:1-11)—speak right into the aspirations and longings of women in the piety movement.

We can share from our own hopes and struggles, and how Jesus meets and answers us. As we pray, they may encounter the Messiah who is powerfully present to hear and answer our petitions.

The women’s mosque movement reminds us that within the Muslim world, there are different understandings of the place of women, just as there are different understandings of violence and its use. In the end, the basic place of meeting between Christian and Muslim is our shared regard for Jesus the Messiah; and the most fundamental point of difference is not the place of women or of violence, but who we believe the Messiah to be.

 

Image: ‘Enjoining the mosque’ by Giuseppe Milo (CC BY-NC 2.0). 

The Ordination

Posted on

It was a cool morning in June as we walked down the hill, across the bridge, and up to the Kondoa Anglican Cathedral. Peter was one of three deacons and eight priests to be ordained by the Bishop of Kondoa, Given Gaula. We were blessed to have five other New Zealanders with us on that special day, including Rev. Andrew Allan-Johns, our Vicar from Rangiora, who had the privilege of both leading the Ordinands’ Retreat beforehand and preaching the ordination sermon. Special friends from Dodoma, Canon Richard and Christina Kanungha, also arrived for the weekend.

The procession of clergy, from the Diocesan Offices up to the Cathedral, was shepherded by the Bishop, replete with mitre and accompanied by joyful singing. In fact, much of the 5 ½ hour service was filled with singing and dancing! It was all recorded on Skype, thanks to the expertise of John Mock, one of the NZ team, and relayed back to Rangiora where some hardy souls were sticking it out late into the night! (Tanzania is 9 hours behind NZ time.)

Peter looked the part in cassock, surplice, clerical collar and black preaching scarf. Now the big day is over, he can wear the white alb donated by Lincoln Parish in Christchurch, the beautiful stoles that have been sewn and embroidered by some ladies from our Rangiora Parish and the different coloured clergy shirts provided by a lady north of Auckland.

We are so thankful for the amazing support of many, many people.  Please pray for us as we step into additional roles and expectations!  BWANA ASIFIWE!