March 2018

Staff journals: Mike & Ruth in Cambodia

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Personnel Managers Mike & Ruth recently took off on a long awaited journey to Cambodia. They have been busy travelling around the capital city Phnom Penh and the smaller town of Battambang. Along the way they have caught up with their son and daughter-in-law who live there and have also spent some valuable time with our Mission Partner’s Anne and Anthony McCormick. The NZCMS office has received some great photos and videos from them! To give you the chance to follow along on their mini adventure, we’ve decided to post up some photos and videos on our Social Media accounts. Feel free to follow NZCMS’ Facebook and Instagram accounts where we will be posting new content every day.      

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/nzcms.org.nz/

Instagram: 

https://www.instagram.com/nz_cms/

We’re called across the street (Intermission – Issue 34)

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Acts 3 is proof that something had changed in the Apostle Peter. I know in Acts 2 he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then he preached and saw thousands of people come to Christ. And that’s awesome. But it’s pretty easy to be bold and courageous in certain environments isn’t it? Peter, on the day of Pentecost, was no doubt feeling pretty good. The adrenaline was probably pumping. His friends would have all been cheering him on. But what about later when the moment had passed and when the feelings had faded? What did Peter do when things all went back to ‘normal’ again? Well, Acts 3 tells us.

The story and what we learn from it

Peter walks with a friend down the road. It would have been busy, dusty and hot. Stinking donkeys are led past them by grumbling young men, woman work busily in the hot, morning’s sun. It’s just a regular day. Then, all of a sudden, the Apostle and his friend see a crippled man being carried to the temple gates. Nothing unusual about that. He’d seen that same man numerous times before, begging for money. But what does Peter do? He walks across the street and he speaks to the man. He speaks the name of Jesus. He speaks with boldness. And he declares healing. And the man is suddenly able to walk.

The question has to be asked-Why, when Peter had probably seen this man countless times in the past, did he go over to speak to him then? I think it’s because Peter finally realized what God’s mission was. I think he knew he was called to join Him in it. And I believe, perhaps most importantly, he knew he could. Finally, after all those years of Jesus training and teaching him, Peter believed in God’s mission enough that, even on a regular day, he walked across the street and declared the love and power of Jesus into a hopeless situation.

The questions we ask about missions

Though many churches and organisations speak on how important missions work is, it often remains undefined doesn’t it? When the topic of missions is bought up we ask ourselves “What does a missionary do? Am I qualified? What does a life of mission look like?” And sadly these questions are not often answered. Or sometimes we’re not even brave enough to ask the questions.

Next week, NZCMS is mailing out 2018’s first issue of our bi-monthly publication, Intermission. It’s titled “We’re all called to go” not because we want to beat you over the head and say “Do more!” but because we want to encourage you that the mission of God is very, very possible for you to be part of. And we want to show you how. Perhaps, just like Peter, your mission is right across the street.

If you are not on our mailing list and would like a copy of next week’s Intermission, please contact us at office@nzcms.org.nz or call us on +64 3 377 2222

Introducing Ana

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Hello, kia ora, vanakkam, my name is Ana. I am stoked to have recently joined NZCMS as the Intercultural Communities Enabler, in partnership with the Anglican Diocese of Wellington. For me, stepping into this role feels like the next part of the journey that God has been leading me on. I am incredibly grateful for that.

I have spent most of my life living between cultures. I was born in Sri Lanka into a Tamil family and migrated to Aotearoa at the age of one. I grew up in Mt Roskill, Auckland which has a reputation for being one of the most ethnically diverse parts of New Zealand and was involved in a community led development there. After training as a lawyer I spent some time with International Justice Mission in Washington, D.C. and South Asia. More recently, I have been learning Te Reo Māori as I begin to explore what it means to be Pākehā (a person living in relationship with Māori as the tangata whenua). I have also been passionate about mission on the margins from a young age. For the past few years my Scottish husband, Paul and I, have been part of Urban Vision-a missional order of the Anglican Church. We have recently relocated to Whanganui with our son Ishmael as part of an Urban Vision team. Paul and I were both ordained as deacons at the end of 2017.

I am really excited to discern what God is doing among the different ethnicities and cultures in New Zealand and discovering how we, as the church in this place, might better reflect the full diversity of the Body of Christ so that we can receive the integral gifts that each part has to offer.

Sportsfest Filipino style

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Motorcades, athletics, chess, lip syncs, basketball tournaments, flag ceremonies. What do all these have in common? Not much. Unless of course, you are attending Sportsfest.

NZCMS’ Mission Partner, Dianne Bayley, has been involved in serving with Children’s Bible Ministries (CBMPI) in the Philippines for 40 years as the National Director. And every year she has the pleasure of directing her staff and scores of volunteers in an annual sports celebration called Sportsfest which caters for students roughly aged between 4 and 16 years old. Through the supervision of Dianne and her faculty, the students help to organise and prepare for the event, meeting every afternoon for two weeks or so to practise for the various performances and sporting activities available.

The mammoth event is run through the Hebron Christian College which is an amalgamation of four different faculties: the children’s homes, Bible College and the School and Disabled Ministry. As well as celebrating the school’s anniversary, the festival provides the opportunity for students to take part in multiple outdoor and indoor activities. When Dianne was asked what the core purpose of the festival was she answered:

“To give the students a chance to try out and experience different events; to develop their skills and to see where their talents lie. It also trains them in teamwork and how to accept winning and losing! See my photo: ‘Losing is not failure. Giving up is.’” 

Sportsfest runs over three days that’s jam packed with fun, enthusiasm and competition. The opening day is organised by the PTA officers in each class, with each bringing long tables, chairs and lots of food! The families of the students also attend, able to watch the pre-school show that involves calisthenics and a marching program. It is a relaxed, friendly environment and Dianne stated that the kids love to have their parents attend.

On the second day, the Festival begins,  with a motorcade that drives through the town handing out lollies and school advertisements, each truck filled with a single class that have worked hard to decorate it. At 10:00am the Festival formally begins with a flag and torch lighting ceremony.  Basketball tournaments, chess, lip sync, table tennis, running races and all manner of activities are entered into enthusiastically. There is even a Mr & Ms Sportsfest 2018 competition!  

An estimated 500 people, made up of school students, staff, family and former students who are now in University, attend the Festival each day.