Heather Fraser

Africans ‘Taking Back’ New Zealand

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‘Taking Back’ is an African evangelistic band that will be touring Christchurch, Tauranga and Auckland in October. They’ll be performing at local schools such as Aranui High, Central New Brighton, Avonside Girls, Mairehau High St Margaret’s College, as well as busking in the streets and performing in local churches. We’re looking for some musically minded volunteers who would love to hang out with the band, assist with time-keeping, odd jobs and getting them around venues.

The dates are: Christchurch 10 – 20 October, Auckland 11 October, and Tauranga 20 – 24 October.

On another note, there are still some spots in their performing schedules in particular:

Christchurch:

Monday October 13 (in the evening) Wednesday October 15 (in the morning) Thursday October 16 (morning and afternoon)

Their programme is still being finalised in Tauranga and there are many time slots still free.

 

So if you would like them to come and play for your school, church or other organisation or if you can assist them on the ground, please contact heather@nzcms.org.nz

Turning Mission Upside-down (Issue 20)

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In this bicentennial year we as NZCMS are expanding our idea of mission. With a three-fold tactic – teams, events and training – we are seeking to reawaken New Zealanders to the God who has been central to our story.

Teams

We can no longer conceive of mission as us going “over there.” This year various short-term mission teams will be sent from the nations toNew Zealand. In April we hosted twelve ‘reverse-mission’ evangelists from Kenya who were involved in over 400 events. We have invited 28 more evangelists to come to New Zealand to share the gospel in other parts of the country. Feedback from the first team was incredibly positive, particularly the receptiveness they experienced from Christian and non-Christian alike.

Events

The major celebration of this year is the Our Story Hui, to be held near where Samuel Marsden preached the first gospel message in the Bay of Islands. This will be a time of reflection on the role of past missionaries who were sent to and from our country, on what is presently happening in our nation, as well as a chance to look forward to the future. Bishop Kito will host us in this bi-cultural celebration of the gospel as we take a pilgrimage to Oihi Bay and other significant sites.

Throughout this year, Mark Grace is speaking at churches across the country about the significance of this year. For many this is the first time they have seriously contemplated the impact the gospel has had in our country and the role it played to foster peace amongst Maori and Pakeha.

Later in the year we will be hosting multiple events when a top-notch band from Kenya comes to tour the country. Their goal is to share the gospel with youth through music.

Training

Leadership and mission training seminars will be held throughout the year. The focus of these is to help identify and build future leaders and mission workers for both local and international mission. We are also creating resources to equip and inform God’s people, such as a video series that address the myths and realities of the story of Christianity in New Zealand. (Visit http://www.youtube.com/NZCMS for more.)

 

We want thousands of New Zealanders to hear the gospel for the very first time in 2014. Our reverse missionaries have committed to covering 50% of their expenses so that they can bless out nation. They have taken annual leave, left their children with friends and relatives, and spent dedicated time fasting and praying to prepare to minister to us. Our challenge is to raise the other 50%. Many people have been generous and we are well on our way to raising the $100 000 needed to make this possible. Will you consider partnering with us financially as we seek see New Zealand re-impacted by the powerful message of our risen Lord?

 

Originally published in Intermission (July-August 2014)

Heather and Corum Deo

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Not long ago the Disciple Nations Alliance released a new online course called Corum Deo. It’s all about helping people get a broader vision of God’s mission. I started the course a few weeks ago, partly because I’m new at NZCMS and I’ve never done any ‘religious’ study – other than church and home group. On top of that, the course is free! What a bonus!

Already I’m learning many new things. Firstly is the importance of ‘our story’. We’ve adopted it as the title for our October Hui, and yet it is mentioned many times in the first week of the course. What is our story as Christians? Are we still hearing our story correctly? Why/where/how have we lost our story? It’s forcing me to ask: How do I relate to our story, and why has God blessed me with this job within NZCMS. He no doubts has greater plans for me, as he does for all of us. Right now, circumstances mean that I am not going to be a Mission Partner heading offshore, but this course is showing me that right here in New Zealand there is much that we can learn about the Great Commission of Jesus to disciple nations.

The goal of the course is to get people to start a “seed project” – a small project that can help influence my local community in the right direction. At the moment I have no idea of what this project will be. The purpose of this project is not to use money, but to use existing resources within the community to further God’s plan, make disciples of his people, and change people’s lives through practical projects. The start of this project will be in this weeks lessons. I will be praying that God reveals his will to me as I embark on this first small step of mission right here in New Zealand.

Coram Deo uses online video, readings and chat to work through twelve weeks of topics. At two hours a week it is not a huge time commitment and a wonderful way to wind down in the evening after work. It’s also a chance to contemplate God and how I can bless others through the blessings that God has provided me. Another woman from my church is also doing the course. It’s great for us to get to know each other better through discussing the topics each week. However, I’m most looking forward to the seed project. The course has challenged me to see that many churches do not impact society nearly as much as society impacts our churches! This seed project will be a first small step where I can be a part of changing this trend.

 

For more information about Coram Deo or to sign up for a free twelve week course visit www.coramdeo.com