At the start of this year we announced that the Haerenga Mission Internship wouldn’t be running in 2015. At first we were quite disappointed by this, but we quickly realised that God had given us an amazing opportunity to review our internship and consider its future. After many discussions, interviews and surveys we realised that we had been trying to do two things with Haerenga: offer a gap year that focused on missional discipleship, and offer a purposeful mission internship.
As it turns out, it’s hard to offer both of these in one package. That’s why we’re launching two pathways, one focused on grass-roots missional discipleship and one focused on cross-cultural mission equipping. We’re still working out the details for the discipleship pathway, but this revised Haerenga Mission Internship will be for those a little further down the missional journey who want to seriously explore cross-cultural mission in a supportive environment. Much like an apprenticeship, interns are placed under the care of experienced missionaries and ‘learn the trade’ through a hands on, guided experience typically lasting 3 – 6 months. Interns will be equipped to live missionally within their callings, whether that’s pursuing a vocation back in NZ or a life of overseas mission.
If you know anyone who might be interested, please contact Jon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Last week Steve visited St Andrew’s Hall in Melbourne. The following are some of his reflections while he was there.
I’m now sitting on my bed in my flat at St Andrew’s Hall after a 3am start this morning (in order to leave Christchurch at 6.30am). I will be meeting the students in 20 minutes time. St Andrew’s Hall is a small community of staff and students – students are called MITs, meaning Missionaries in Training.
Since they live in community, they get to know each other quite well. I was welcomed to my flat by Sharon, the house keeper. She was able to remember not just names but the unique aspects of each of the Kiwis that have trained here in the last few years – that’s the sort of community St Andrew’s Hall is! I’m thankful to God that CMS Australia has opened this place for NZCMS to train our long term Mission Partners for over 50 years.
In the hall way are photos and names of all those who have been trained here. From this place people have gone into all the world sharing the Good News of Jesus. The main focus of SAH is cross-cultural training – although I think many Kiwis find coming to Melbourne to be a cross-cultural experience in itself!
‘Missionaries in Training’ leave this place with great tools to help them minister effectively in other cultures. I believe the training at SAH has contributed greatly to the many years of cross-cultural service these Mission Partners have offered. As we celebrate 50 years of this partnership, it’s only right to honour CMS Australia for their generosity.
“… in all my prayers for all of you I pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel.” Philippians 1:4-5 NIV
You’re probably well aware that our Haerenga Mission Internship isn’t running this year. Initially we were quite disappointed when we reluctantly made the decision to postpone it until 2016, but we’re come to recognize God’s hand at work. He has given us an incredible window of opportunity to review, tweak and re-launch our Internship – something we simply wouldn’t have had time to do had the internship been running this year. So praise God that he really does determine our paths as we trust in him (Proverbs 3:5).
Thus far the review has been a long and prayerful process as we’ve laid Haerenga before the Lord and asked him to lead us and place us where he wants us to be. There have been many conversations, questions, prayers, tears, wonderings and imaginings happening over the past weeks as we consider how to best serve the Church in growing up missional disciples for God’s Kingdom purposes. As we got deeper into the process of reviewing – interviews, surveys, many discussions – it felt as if we were in the midst of a deep fog, not quite sure where we should be going. But, thankfully, that fog is lifting. We are beginning to sense where God is leading us with our Haerenga Internship.
This is where you come in. Over the past few years we have had 11 young people journey with NZCMS as Haerenga interns. Will you join us this week, every day at 11:11am, praying for the future of the Haerenga Mission Internship, for the young people of New Zealand, and for strategies for engaging and equipping young Kiwis for mission?
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