Tenā koutou e te whānau ā te Karaiti.
Matiu 4:18 – 20
"Ā, i a Īhu e haere ana i te taha o te moana o Karirī, ka kite ia i ētahi tāngata tokorua, he tuakana he teina, i a Haimona, tōna ingoa nei ko Pita, rāua ko tōna teina, ko Anaru, e maka ana i te kupenga ki te moana; he kaihao ika hoki rāua. Nā, ka mea ia ki a rāua, “Arumia mai ahau, ā, māku kōrua e mea hei kaihao tāngata.” Ā, mahue ake i a rāua ngā kupenga, ā, aru ana i a ia."
Mathew 4: 18 - 20
"As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow Me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” And at once they left their nets and followed Him."
Ki te taha o tōku pāpā nō Manutuke, Te tairāwhiti ahau, ki te taha o tōku māmā nō Pamapuria, Kaitaia ahau.
On my Father’s side I hail from Manutuke, Gisborne and on my Mother’s side I hail from Pamapuria, Kaitaia.
My name is Keri-Ann Hokianga, I am 31 years of age and am the second eldest of five children to the Reverend Rapiata & Venerable Archdeacon Fran Hokianga.
I praise God that I can introduce myself to you all as the second Mission Partner between NZCMS & the Māori Anglican church of Te Taitokerau. I have been brought on as an evangelist in the Auckland, Manukau area under the leadership of Dr. Lyndon Drake.
I selected Mathew 4: 18 – 20 above, not because I'm able to catch a big delicious snapper because I’m terrible at fishing! It's because I find a similarity in the calling of Peter and Andrew with my own.
Previously I had dedicated eleven years to serving a global corporate company within the freight industry. Throughout the 11 years with this company, I worked my way from customer services roles into sales where I was quite successful and earned a lot of money. The Managing Director of Australasia offered me a promotion along with the opportunity to move to Australia to join his team. At the time I felt that I needed a change in my life and thought “This could be it!”
That same day, later in the evening, I received a call letting me know that Dr. Lyndon Drake was looking to create a new evangelistic role in the Mihingare church by partnering with NZCMS. And, not too long after, Lyndon called me to ask if I would consider praying about coming to work as the second Māori evangelist in the Manukau area. He also promised me that this role would be less money and more work! But he added that the reward from God would be far greater. Needless to say, this was not the sales pitch that I was trained to close a deal with. However, miraculously, it worked!
My heart was stirred and I was led to this scripture from Mathew 4. My family and I prayed on this together and soon, I had the support of family and my work mates to follow my vocation and calling as an evangelist for God which, even to this day, I am blessed with.
It has been three months in my new role as a Māori Evangelist and I'm seeing God at work in many different ways in my life. In my first two weeks as an Evangelist I was given a vision, showing me the shores of a beach fully dressed in scuba diving gear. I could see the open ocean as far as the horizon and I found myself becoming frustrated in the vision because when I looked down the waves were only crashing over my ankles! I remember asking the Lord “How do I go deep in you?! I know that there are many different type of fish in this ocean, good and dangerous fish and all kinds of colours but how do I go deep Lord?!” The Holy Spirit then told me to wait before sending me out and that I had to be still and wait on His instructions for me and not to trust in what I thought I knew.
Not long after, I was called to lead as a Kaikarakia in what would be the first funeral I was to conduct on my own in the home and then on a marae. I was used to some of the priests in my family leading at funerals for many years so I was definitely out of my comfort zone. But the Holy Spirit was leading me every day for the next three days of the funeral and right up to the nehu/burial day. He told me what to preach, when to sing a specific song, what to pray and at what time, when to speak Māori and when to speak Pākeha/English. He even told me how I should stand to deliver the Gospel!
In my vocation as an evangelist I have seen the mighty arm of the Lord through so many people as they shared their hurts and asked for prayer. They would seek answers on faith where they were not sure and I was glad to share my hope in Jesus Christ as the living Lord of my life with them.
We now find ourselves in isolation for four weeks. Do I still see God moving through Evangelism whilst in isolation? Absolutely yes! Through the use of technology and thanks to Lyndon for providing some flash recording technology from our local church, I have managed to turn my home into a temporary recording studio for my bubble and am able to record songs of praise in both Māori and English, along with Karakia/prayers for all people. We have had a good response from current, former and new church members due to this daily online content. God has also been leading me to offer pastoral care to many people by offering my personal contact details through social media to those who wish to give their lives to Christ or re-kindle their fire to serve the Lord.
Pray for the hearts of those who will see the message of hope online, that they will be encouraged to pick up the phone or send us a message.
In closing, I pray for you all in whichever part of the field God has placed you in to tend and minister.
Ma te Atua koutou e tiaki I ngā wā katoa.
God bless you all.