Words by Jairus Robb, NZCMS communications Pocketed away on the corner of Gayhurst and McBratneys Rd in Dallington, Christchurch, a humble Op-Shop sits between the local diary and fish and chips shop. If you were to walk past without going in you would think nothing more. But if like me, you received an email from the owners and were invited to visit you would be immensely surprised to find out this newly opened shop is supporting cross-cultural missions around the globe. Jan and Tony Rawstron opened the Window of Opportunity Op-Shop in March 2021 with the following mission statement: to be a volunteer charity, selling second-hand goods, with all profits going to overseas Christian workers, to improve the well-being of those in need.” Despite only being open for a couple of months, this establishment is a hive of activity. As I introduce myself, Jan quickly ushers me past the rows of clothes, changing room and bookshelves and behind the front counter where a high school student on work experience is regularly ringing up customer’s items. It seems as if I’ve stepped into another world that is at odds with the relatively quiet and unassuming street corner that the shop is on. I almost feel disorientated at the number of people in the wee shop and the hustle and bustle going on inside.Jan introduces me to the four volunteers in the back who are busily sorting through the newly arrived stock generously donated by the Dallington public. “This place has been empty since the earthquake,” Jan said. “It was a chemist shop. A guy came in one day, and I said ‘Are you ok?’ and he says ‘Oh yes I used to run the chemist shop. I was here for forty years!’” With the help of St. Stephen’s Church, Jan and Tony et up the business and were able to get charitable status through them.I find out that Jan and Tony attended a missions course run by two of NZCMS’ own staff members, Mike and Ruth Robb. Having completed the course they headed off with Servants Asia on a short term trip to Manilla for six weeks. But it was when a friend of Jan’s went away to do missions work in Korea that Jan was inspired to find a way to support her. It was then that the idea to create an Op-Shop to raise support was born. Having volunteered in a Salvation Army, Jan had already picked up a lot of the skills needed to run Window of Opportunity. “With my love of Op-Shops,” Jan said, “I thought they must be able to make some money because there are enough Op-Shops around! If you had an Op-Shop in a church that would be great because you wouldn’t have to pay rent. You would just pay electricity.” At the moment Jan and Tony rent our current space.” So far the business has been able to make generous donations to three Mission Partners serving through NZCMS and other organisations, with several more donations due to be given. The response from the community has been fantastic. In just a couple months Window of Opportunity is already well known and is by no means struggling to get enough stock. “All this has just come this morning,” Tony said, gesturing to the large collection of items that the volunteers were sorting through out in the back. “And it’s good stuff! The quality is really good. We’re not a dumping ground for people clearing out. It shows the Lord’s got his hand on something here.” When asked about what inspired the name of the shop and the front window display Jan replied it is a bit of a secret. “My idea is that the green, and the red and the white are symbols of Jesus’ blood, eternal life and the white, washed clean,” she said, referring to the flags set up in the store’s front window. She chuckles to herself. “It’s a secret code.” When asked if she would ever have imagined the shop being this successful and busy after only four months of being open she was quick to respond. “No. Not really. But as I say you couldn’t do it without a team. They (volunteers) are great.” “But we’ve got a few years left in the shed. And we wanted to do something for the Lord. And we were thinking, if we don’t do it now, time will pass by.” For a couple who have named their new shop the “Window of Opportunity,” it’s no surprise that Jan and Tony are living out that ethos themselves. You will find the Window of Opportunity Op-Shop at 148 Gayhurst Rd, Dallington, Christchurch. It is open Wednesday to Friday at 9:00am – 2:00pm and Saturday from 10:00am – 2:00pm.Open for business Some of the stock availableThere is all sorts here!Front desk ready for actionSome of the incredible volunteers Jan and Tony chatting with some locals
Are you passionate about growing the Church? Skilled at managing finances? Interested in working cross-culturally? Are you a team-player keen to train others? NZCMS, in partnership with the Anglican Diocese of Polynesia, is looking for a Finance and Trust Manager who can improve and manage the assets and finances of the Diocese, and train up others with these skills.The primary function of the Finance and Trust Manager is to manage the assets, finances, and property of the Anglican Diocese of Polynesia. The Diocese has not been successful in appointing a suitable person locally for this role and have therefore approached NZCMS. In addition to fulfilling the role responsibilities, the goal for the NZCMS Mission Partner would be to work themselves out of the job. They would have an additional responsibility to train a small group to equip them with skills to fulfil this role and others in the Diocese and community.This role is located in Fiji. The successful applicant would serve the Anglican Diocese of Polynesia as a NZCMS Mission Partner. The length of service is negotiable, although it is expected that this role would require at least 2 years commitment.Further DetailsThe Diocese of Polynesia is responsible for the Anglican mission in Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa (within the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia). The Anglican Mission in the Diocese focuses on evangelism, stewardship, development and education.The functions of the position include:– General trust office administration including property and financial management– Evaluation and reporting of all assets and properties, and maintaining database records– Analysis of investment opportunities available locally and internationally– Property management– Coaching others with financial and asset management skills.The successful applicant will have:– Experience working cross-culturally– Experience in training and coaching others and excellent communication skills.– A proactive attitude.– Excellent organisational skills.– Experience in managing assets.– Ability to provide sound investment and policy advice.Does this sound like you? We would love to talk more about this missional opportunity with you. Please contact NZCMS at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. You can download a printable, pdf version of this job description here.
Our Gap Year program is called Better World. The vision is to equip a whole generation of young people to bring the light of the Gospel into the suffering of the world around us. Our team for 2019 consist of six participants and two leaders who will be living in community together for the next ten months. Meet them below and join us in prayer as they undertake this life changing journey. If you want to know more about Better World, click here.
I’ve been in Kenya for just over two months and I am entering into my final month of my placement. As I reflect on what I’ve been able to do, I’m filled with a joyful gratitude.
Nairobi Chapel, where I have been serving, has been an incredible work place of ministry with amazing people. I’ve been able to serve in many different contexts including the youth department, young adults, PPI (Bible in Schools) with the younger kids and am also involved with the worship team.
I’ve been struck by the faith that the leaders have and the amount of prayer that backs this faith up. There is no limit to what God is capable of in the eyes of the Kenyans and in a lot of cases it is all they have. This is something that’s really challenged my way of thinking and something I hope to bring back with me. It is a challenge to the church in New Zealand and an opportunity to learn from our Kenyan brothers and sisters. An example of this is the vision statement of Nairobi Chapel – planting 300 churches by 2020. They have set an impossible task in the eyes of men but have decided to look at it through the eyes of our Father to whom nothing is too big or too impossible.
The last two months have been filled with highlights and memories I will never forget. I’ve seen my faith tested, my dependence on God challenged and my relationship with him grown. God is working in big ways and I’ve learnt a huge amount about myself and also about Him.
I’m constantly thrown in the deep end and it has been a sink or swim reality. I‘ve been given responsibilities of preaching, leading Bible studies and prayer groups, all of which has thoroughly put me out of my comfort zone. Through all of this, I’ve been learning about the limitations of my own abilities and how to depend on God when I find myself stretched.
As I head into my final month I’m praying that I finish my time here strong and that the Lord continues to teach and mould my character into more of a Christ-likeness.
I want to be able to continue to serve at full capacity and be available in any way I can. I’m so grateful for the support from those in New Zealand and the constant prayer. It means the world to me to know that, as I walk out the door, I’m doing so with the prayers and faithfulness of people back at home. I’m also so thankful to the Lord for making this opportunity possible in the first place.
Blessings from Kenya,
Are you a strong motivator who is looking for opportunities to put your skills to work? Have you ever wanted to have a role within a mission organisation? This job opportunity is a unique opening that allows you to combine your heart to see people find their God-given vocations, with your passion for the big picture of what God is doing around the globe! We are looking for someone who is competent in influencing skills and who has the ability to effectively recruit global mission workers.
The New Zealand Church Missionary Society (NZCMS) is a mission community aiming to mobilise the Church of New Zealand for God’s mission. We are a team that has a big vision and big ideas who is seeking someone to help move us from ideation to implementation. This person will be able to identify strategic opportunities where we can place people overseas as well as find the right people to fill these roles. To this end, the Vocational Recruitment Coordinator will work with the NZCMS team to recruit and place a growing number of workers into the Asia/Pacific region.
This role is well suited for someone who:Has the ability to motivate others Is able to self-manage and multi-task Has cross-cultural experience, including experience living and working overseas Understands recruitment practices Relates well to people from a wide range of backgrounds Is passionate about what God is doing around the world Has great communication skills
This is a full-time position, preferably based in Christchurch. You will only be contacted if you make the shortlist. For more details please download the job description here.
Please send your applications to email@example.com. Applications close 2 July 2018.
When I applied for my current job at NZCMS (New Zealand Church Missionary Society) I had no idea of what the letters stood for or what the organisation did. That was pretty much my knowledge of missions as well. So as you might imagine I went on a bit of a learning curve.
The staff here include an ordained Anglican minister, one who spent 15 years in the mission field, another who in their spare time lectures at Laidlaw, a Pastors kid,and more recently we have been joined by a couple who have served on the mission field in the Pacific and Cambodia. At the time I started I was one of only two staff who had never been on a mission trip, had no theological training and no inclination to offer our lives in service in the mission field. Boy did I feel overwhelmed!
Over the years since I’ve gone on what I jokingly call my backwards journey into mission. I have been absorbing as much as I can to understand the incredible people who serve overseas, why they go, and the joy they bring in sharing the Good News about our Lord. This backwards journey has been accompanied by several underlying questions: Why are less Christians engaging in mission than in the past? And how do we engage churches and people in mission?
Mission isn’t limited to going overseas, it includes all Christians in New Zealand, many who are called to support those who serve as missionaries. My journey has immersed me in educational opportunities: The Samaritan Strategy to learn about “Seed Projects” (“Seed Projects” are small-scale, holistic outreach initiatives through which local churches demonstrate God’s love in practical ways to those in their community); studying Biblical Theology through Laidlaw; Kairos; learning about the Five Marks of Mission as decreed by the Anglican Church; “Friendship First” a course focused on making friends with our Muslim brothers and sisters; Care of Creation and a myriad DVD’s, books, articles and frequent musings over our coffee breaks.
These experiences started to influence how I viewed life in my local parish of St Augustine’s. Like most churches we have a small missions committee that prays regularly for mission, but in the wider congregation there is so much to prioritise. This includes worship teams, ministries, events, family, school, work and life in general. Amongst all this arose a quandary, how do we get others to consider overseas mission when many of us are struggling to be missional right here in our own backyard.
Recently I was introduced to a course called “Empowered to Influence.” It’s a four week course of two hours a week that brings about a paradigm shift in how we approach our faith on a daily basis. It’s founded by a Singaporean businessman who wanted to be a missionary but God placed him in the market place instead. A huge disappointment for him. However, after 20 years spent figuring out why, he has realised that God has placed him (and us!) right where we are now for a reason. We have been placed right here to be salt and light to the secular world around us. We can flourish in a non-Christian workplace. We do have the power to influence those we encounter. Some may be familiar with the terms Theology of Work or Monday Church, where church is not just sitting in a pew on Sunday but about the rest of the week—that Monday to Saturday we are living out our lives. In this course we were introduced to seven tangible paradigm shifts that can be implemented immediately, and without barely even realising it.
I ran the course in my home group where we found much to discuss. Ten thought provoking weeks later the results were clear. One man who works as a driver where every second word is non-printable realised that he could be missional right there in his work-place, resulting in increased job satisfaction. He gained the confidence to start conversations with some co-workers struggling with issues and even to pray with them. For a mum, there was the realisation that hosting foreign students isn’t just a great cultural experience, but also an opportunity to be salt and light in those student’s lives. Her desire being to make such an impact that they will be inspired take back to their native land with them. Another participant was so excited she insisted the course needed to be opened up to our whole parish.
After a couple of brief conversations, the course was booked and the promotion of it throughout our church organised with the parish office. As the driving force behind this new thing a doubt surfaced in my mind, ‘is this me forcing this on my church or is this really the will of God?’
The following Sunday rolled around quickly and the sermon was based on Mark, chapter 6, where Jesus is teaching his disciples how to do the work of ministry and giving them some important tools for that ministry. Our minister saw the promo video about the course for the first time at the early service. He was so excited by what he saw that he incorporated it into his sermon for the later service!
God’s way is to have all believers taking part in his mission, Missio Dei, and collectively we will influence the whole world for Him. One of the things holding many of us back is the feeling that we are not equipped. We are challenged on this course that we are all equipped, in fact we’re over equipped to such an extent we don’t know where to start. Too many programmes and too much teaching on the rights and wrongs. There is also the mind-set that it’s the ministers, missionaries, the volunteers, the retired, the lay people with whom the responsibility lies. But it’s actually us, the normal day to day Christians who step out into our communities who are best equipped and placed by God to be influencing others.
The course does not tell us to go out and ear-bash anyone. We do not stand on a corner with a Bible in our hands. It is actually quite the opposite. As Christians living in a secular society we will be judged in our workplace and communities as being those Christians. It is by getting alongside our secular colleagues and our friends that we can live out Kingdom values in front of them. They will see that there is something different about us.
Ken Chua the facilitator of this course says that 8 out of 10 people who join his work-place come to know Christ. To quote Dr Ravi Zacharias, “When the beauty of Christ is seen, He draws people unto Himself. Conversion is never an enforced thing. It is an attractive thing, the work of God… I say, live for Jesus and when people see the beauty of Christ in you, they will ask you questions and they will want the same results in their life.”
And back to that underlying fear… ‘Is this my will or God’s?’ After the introduction evening, the room is a buzz and the future of this course is again moving into another realm as the participants brain storm the next step with comments such as “this course is wasted on just the 12 of us… this needs to go to the whole church,” “It’s good enough to replace a sermon…actually…could we run this each week instead of the sermon…?”—“Let’s give our vicar a rest….” All these responses are not of my making. Such is only possible when God’s will and the power of his Holy Spirit is at work.
It is hard to believe the time when I didn’t even consider mission was something I could participate in. Finding out I can do it as I am, where I am, has not only opened my own eyes to the possibility of God working through me but is changing our congregational outlook as well. I encourage you all to investigate it for yourself and be ready to see God at work.
Hello and greetings to you all!
We are so excited to get the opportunity to introduce ourselves to you. Our names are Guy and Summer Benton and we’re writing to you from Phnom Penh, Cambodia where we have been serving as long term missionaries for 5 and 8 years respectively. We’re moving to NZ later this week and are thrilled to be joining the NZCMS team as mission enablers for youth and young adults.
Guy is a NZ native and Summer is from America. We met at a mission conference in NZ in 2011 where Summer came to speak about her work with survivors of human trafficking in Cambodia. After about 18 months of ‘Skype dating’ and a few overseas trips, we were married in America in 2013. Guy then joined Summer in Cambodia and began working with the Anglican Church of Cambodia to strengthen the youth program of the church here.
We have three beautiful children: A son, Pirum Isaac (14), who has joined our family through a miraculous international adoption, and two daughters, Quinn (3) and Norah (10 months). Summer is a counselor and Guy is a youth worker. We both love seeking ways to use our professional talents for the Lord and have a passion for youth, mission and for missionary care and cannot wait to join the NZCMS team! Looking forward to getting to know each of you in the NZCMS family over the coming months and years!
Two positions are available for January 2018 and a number of positions available in August 2018.
Primary Teacher – HOPE Siem Reap
Preschool Teacher – HOPE Phnom Penh
Primary Teacher – HOPE Siem Reap
Librarian – HOPE Phnom Penh
Secondary Science Teacher – HOPE Siem Reap
Secondary Business Studies – HOPE Phnom Penh
Secondary English and English Literature – HOPE Siem Reap & Phnom Penh
Learning Support Coordinator – HOPE Phnom Penh
Interested applicants should send their CV and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.hope.edu.kh for more information.
A church in Hong Kong is presently looking for a Family Ministry Director. Resurrection Church is part of the Anglican Church in Hong Kong. It’s an English-speaking, contemporary, evangelical, Spirit-filled church serving both expatriates and locals in beautiful Sai Kung.
They are looking for a Family Ministries Director who is theologically trained to help develop and grow their work amongst children, youth and families, helping them to become committed followers of Christ. This role will include leading a team of volunteers, supporting and coaching them to achieve the objectives of the Family Ministry. This is a full-time position. For more information, contact email@example.com
We’re still receiving applications for the Communications Officer job. This role is all about connecting with people who are working in all corners of the world, and ensuring that their stories are heard. It’s a unique role, and we’re looking for just the right person with both the skills and vision to take us into the future.
Applications close this Friday (October 20), so if you or someone you know might be interested, make contact today.
A job description can be downloaded by clicking here.
For more information please email Janet@nzcms.org.nz