December 2017

A Place at The Table

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As we celebrate the birth of Jesus this year, let us not forget that Jesus was not born in the home town of his parents. His parents had been on a journey, there was no room at the inn, there were no invitations and so they made do in a stable. We challenge you this Christmas to remember a stranger amongst us. Studies in Asia have shown that the majority of Asian church leaders have spent time living overseas. This is a time when they were exposed to Christianity and became curious enough to learn more, so much so that now they are Christian leaders back in their homelands. Maybe you know a foreigner in our midst: a foreign student; an overseas worker; or another new resident to our shores. We ask you to take that first missional step and invite them to your church or to your home during this season so that they can learn what and who it is that we celebrate at Christmas time. Just an invite is all you need to do, then prayerfully ask God to do his work in them.

From the team at NZCMS we wish you all many blessings and family times, as we remember the birth of one small baby born 2000 years ago who changed the world for us all.

The NZCMS office will be closed from Thursday 21 December and reopen on Wednesday 3 January 2018.

Introducing Dawn

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Hello!  My name is Dawn Daunauda.  What a delight and privilege it is for me to be a short-term associate of NZCMS during 2018! I have two sons; the oldest, Josiah, is an engineer working in Melbourne, and the youngest, Michael, served with NZCMS in 2011 as an intern at Nairobi Chapel, Kenya.  After completing his B. Theol at Laidlaw, he now works in Christchurch.

I will be teaching diploma level English at Talua Theological Institute, a cross-denominational college, on the Island of Espiritu Santo, the largest of eighty-three islands in the Republic of Vanuatu. During school holiday breaks I will research mission and ministry opportunities. 

Why Vanuatu?  Well, for the past nine years I have ministered in the Awatere Joint Venture Parish (Anglicans, Presbyterians and others), situated along the north east coast of Marlborough’s wine country. Seasonally, hundreds of workers come to our region and they are mainly Ni-Vanuatu. Our church has been instrumental in assisting with their Pastoral Care and, they say to me, “Mama Dawn, come to our islands!”  It will be helpful and a real blessing to meet them at home with their families and in their villages. I doubt there will be time to see them all, however I will do my best as these workers are valued and loved by communities throughout New Zealand, many of whom would appreciate being able to sow back given a window of opportunity.

I am an ordained priest in the Diocese of Nelson on a year’s Leave of Absence. Though the preaching / teaching aspect of my skill set will have limited use due to the Reformed Presbyterian nature of Talua, l nevertheless aim to encourage the students, both women and men, to be all that God has called them to be. Other employment expectations include leading weekly devotions and showing hospitality, both of which I love. 

I have been a member of Nelson’s Diocesan Overseas Mission Council for fifteen years, chairing the Tikanga Pakeha arm of Anglican Missions and serving these past six years as a member of the Board. I absolutely believe that in order to make the best global mission decisions on that Board it is good to experience the challenges our neighbors in the vulnerable Pacific Rim currently face and learn to recognise opportunities to serve in other nations. As a teenager I taught at St Andrew’s School, Tongatapu, and am aware that when God plants the seed to serve cross-culturally in one’s heart, it does not pass, but flourishes for a lifetime in a myriad ways for His glory.

Introducing the Bentons

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Hello and greetings to you all!

We are so excited to get the opportunity to introduce ourselves to you. Our names are Guy and Summer Benton and we’re writing to you from Phnom Penh, Cambodia where we have been serving as long term missionaries for 5 and 8 years respectively. We’re moving to NZ later this week and are thrilled to be joining the NZCMS team as mission enablers for youth and young adults.

Guy is a NZ native and Summer is from America. We met at a mission conference in NZ in 2011 where Summer came to speak about her work with survivors of human trafficking in Cambodia. After about 18 months of ‘Skype dating’ and a few overseas trips, we were married in America in 2013. Guy then joined Summer in Cambodia and began working with the Anglican Church of Cambodia to strengthen the youth program of the church here.

We have three beautiful children: A son, Pirum Isaac (14), who has joined our family through a miraculous international adoption, and two daughters, Quinn (3) and Norah (10 months). Summer is a counselor and Guy is a youth worker. We both love seeking ways to use our professional talents for the Lord and have a passion for youth, mission and for missionary care and cannot wait to join the NZCMS team! Looking forward to getting to know each of you in the NZCMS family over the coming months and years!