For the last few months it’s felt as if we’ve been straddling two worlds. We’ve been readjusting to life in New Zealand, while still seeking to minister to the needs of the people at All Saints’ Jakarta. It has been no easy feat. But we have been sustained by God, who has shown his goodness to us again and again. We are always amazed at how God uses people to walk alongside and draw us on when we are facing new challenges.
We are so thankful for your kind messages, financial support and your prayers. We have been on quite a journey since we left ‘home’ at the end of 2018. With great sadness we wanted to write and let you know that our journey is now taking a vastly different direction to what we had hoped and dreamed.
Yesterday I wrote to the Church Council to tender my resignation as Acting Vicar, and Assistant Minister of All Saints’ Anglican Church Jakarta. We have arrived at this decision through a pretty robust process of discernment with NZCMS.
I’m sure you can understand that this has been an exceptionally difficult decision to make. When we left for Jakarta, we were leaving with the intention of long-term service overseas. We sold up, packed up, and shipped out.
I have wrestled at length with a great desire to serve the faithful men and women of All Saints’ Jakarta in the midst of a growing sense of unease as we’ve tried to develop new ministry initiatives, by distance, in a new role (Acting Vicar rather than Associate Minister).
There have been some incredible joys in the past ten months as we’ve seen God’s faithfulness to us as a family and within the parish church in a time of incredible trial. But I have also come to the realisation that my personality and style of ministry leadership is not a good fit for All Saints’ Jakarta.
This reality, coupled with the uncertainty of remote ministry during a global pandemic and the pressure this places on my wife, Karen and children, William and Amelia, during this time of flux, has led us to the conclusion that the current ministry arrangement is untenable.
We’ve offered to stay on with All Saints’ until the end of this year. After that we don’t know what God has in store for us, but our sense is that basing ourselves in Nelson where we’ve got amazing support around us will be the best thing for now, God willing.
NZCMS have generously committed to supporting us until the end of March 2021 if required.
We couldn’t be more grateful for the support of Lesley our Personnel Manager who has been right there for us every step of the way, to listen, reflect and pray for and with us. The whole team at NZCMS have been absolutely stellar.
While much about this is difficult, we have not lost our heart for cross-cultural mission. It seems unlikely that we will be ‘heading out’ again any time soon, but, we want to encourage others in global mission and to be people who share the Good News of Jesus wherever we are.
In time we will be in touch with more news, but for now we would appreciate prayer in the following areas:
- Pray for All Saints’ Jakarta as they digest this tough decision. Ask God to encourage them, and prevent them from despair.
- Pray that we would have wisdom about how to walk in a godly way in a time of uncertainty.
- Pray that we would know God’s peace as the impact of this decision, and uncertainty about the future sinks in.
- Give thanks for the amazing team of supporters who walk with us (you!) and the staff of NZCMS.
Thanks you again for your partnership and support, with love Zane, Karen, William and Amelia.