Stewart Entwistle passed away early morning Sunday March 19. He was deeply loved by many, particularly within the NZCMS family. The following are some reflections on Stewart's life from long time friend and fellow NZCMS Mission Partner Keith Mitchell:
Stewart qualified as a medical laboratory technician analysing samples sent in by doctors from all over Christchurch. As a committed Christian he used his gifts in a wide variety of areas of service, including managing the NZCMS Bookshop on Manchester Street from 1965 while their children were little.
He and Patricia went to South Asia in 1978 at a time when church leadership was more and more in the hands of locals. He worked closely with the Rt. Rev. Bashir Jiwan, the newly appointment Bishop of the region. Stewart was a wonderful help to the bishop as he fitted into his new role, giving advice in such a way that it was closely considered before decisions were made.
While the Entwistles were back in New Zealand from 1983 to 1989 Stewart managed a number of Christian bookshops in Christchurch. He and Patricia were then welcomed back to South Asia in 1989 where Stewart became the administrator at the Kunri Christian Hospital, again a post needing much tact as overseas doctors and nurses learned to work together with local colleagues.
When they returned to New Zealand in 1993, this time for good, Stewart worked very closely with Patricia to start the Te Waiora Healing Centre at Hororata, a place where many people find healing and renewal. Stewart also continued working closely with the NZCMS team over the 24 years since his return. He spent a bit of time in the NZCMS office going through missionary correspondence files to summarise, for the first time, the contribution individuals made to Christian outreach around the world.
The following are some additional comments from Steve Maina, the NZCMS National Director.
Stewart supported the staff team at NZCMS immensely, especially me in my role as National Director. He popped into the office regularly and had a few jokes about coming to catch a few of the 'melons' falling from the National Director’s many ideas. Stewart was also a walking encyclopaedia of NZCMS Mission Partners. He helped manage the NZCMS archives.
He will be remembered as a pillar of mission for NZCMS for many years to come.
At Stewart's request a small private family funeral will be held.