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An Update from NZCMS Staff Janet

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These last few months have been a real whirlwind for me as I have juggled both busy weeks at work and a major life change.  Next Waitangi weekend,  I will be moving to live near my Wellington-based daughter and her husband, prior to the arrival of their first child in early April. This also brings me closer to my Taupo based son and his wife. It was really valuable to take time in September to attend a retreat and experience a real sense of call to go, to live life as a hands-on grandmother and to dig deep into the community-life building that is happening in the Wellington Diocese.  I feel very privileged to have been appointed as a project accountant for the Wellington Diocese for the coming year.  It feels like a really logical progression from having dug deep into the missional life that is NZCMS. Pray for me, that I will transition well. The turnaround from one job to the next is rather short! I have committed to finishing both the Annual accounts and audit before I finish at NZCMS on February 4 and start my new role on Feb 15.  Pray also that I will make wise decisions as I evaluate accommodation options.I have enjoyed my time with NZCMS very much. What an amazing group of Mission Partners, staff, Board and supporters you are.  Your passion for mission and working out your faith actively in a way that is both merciful and just is outstanding.  Kia Kaha- Stand strongJanet

Mission – Not for the Faint of Heart

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Whether way back when or more recently, missionaries face many varied challenges. References to so-called “one-way missionaries” abound in historical records on mission. Aware of the dangers on the field, these people booked one-way tickets to their location. Expecting to die overseas they sensibly and practically packed their belongings in coffins in anticipation of needing them one day. While I can’t be sure that the earliest NZCMS missionaries actually did travel with a coffin, I do know that over the years many have faced significant challenges. Take, for instance, Miss Della Hunter-Brown, the second missionary to be sent out by us who, along with Marie Pasley, went to Japan. Della went first to Nagasaki and later to Kagoshima, where she taught English. This work provided much scope for evangelism and it is recorded that “four bank clerks, who really came to learn English, were so moved by the story of Christ’s life as recorded in the Japanese Bible, that they dropped English in order to learn more of Him. Of the four, two definitely became Christians.” (N.Z.C.M.A. Annual Report, 1896). “The Devil seems to have resented this, for both these missionaries were shipwrecked on a small Philippine Island on their return from furlough in 1900 but were rescued after a week” (Stretching out Continually: a history of the New Zealand Church Missionary Society 1892-1972” by Kenneth Gregory).A search of the spreadsheet of archival information I have worked on over the last few months, reveals other challenges faced by Mission Partners, of which the following is merely a small selected sample:

Rev. C. Godden was murdered in Norfolk Island by a tribal person in 1906.Violet Latham worked in India in 1918 against heavy odds of plague, cholera and famine.Margaret North was interned from China to Hong Kong by the Japanese in 1942.Jocelyn Broughton was sent home from Pakistan due to malaria in 1955.Dr Ian Hulme-Moir died of an infection contracted performing surgery on a patient in 1980.Pilot Paul Summerfield was killed in a plane crash in Papua New Guinea in 1985.Murray Ruddenklau died from injuries sustained in a fall in Cairo in 2006.Health events took the lives of Jane Morrison while in Tanzania in 2000, and Allan Coussell in an undisclosed location in 2017.

Many Mission Partners suffered ill health on the field, possibly the least of these being temporary ailments such as diarrhoea, variously “Delhi belly” or the “Murree Hurries” and undoubtedly other colloquialisms depending on the location. Tropical complaints such as giardia, malaria and dengue fever were also common.Engage any returned Mission Partner and they will no doubt recount various challenges ranging from humorous incidents to real dramas. Whether in 1900, 2021 or any time in between, these challenges were all par for the course for Mission Partners while still always being under the watchful eye of a sovereign God.

Anne McCormick

NZCMS Archivist

No Room at the Inn

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Earlier this year we ran an appeal for a hostel in Pakistan. In order to house and disciple the next intake of students, the hostel needed $10,000. You and others raised over $18,000. Our Mission Partner who serves there reports back on the powerful impact this will have for these students and their communities.In order to protect her, the ministry she is involved in and the communities she interacts with, the Mission Partner who wrote this article is kept anonymous.No room at the Inn. What difficult news that would have been to hear when Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem. Yet we know the events, and that God made provision for where baby Jesus would be born. In 2021 it seemed the Diocese would have to tell new students wanting to continue their studies that there was no room at their hostel. But this is not how the story unfolded.Thanks to God’s provision, through your generous response to the appeal, the way was made for our new intake of hostel students to come from their villages to continue their studies. Nine new students were accepted and joined the Diocesan Hostel.After another covid-delayed start to the new school year, the boys joined 9th grade classes at St John’s High School in late August. They have since all received their covid vaccinations, which is now mandatory for senior students. Since joining the hostel one of our students has lost his father, being in the hostel will enable him to continue his education thus building a stronger foundation for his family’s future.The opportunity to be part of the hostel family opens up new doors for these students. Computer literacy in NZ is very high, in contrast, most of these boys have never had computer access. The hostel laptop lab gives these boys the chance to build basic computer skills. Our College students this year were needing to put in their admission forms online. I watched the senior students helping one another fill out their applications and they said, “it is because we learnt computer skills at the hostel that we are able to do our online applications.” These skills are important for their future prospects.Along with computer literacy, the new students will have opportunities to grow through a variety of hostel activities, exposure visits and trainings. They will develop self-confidence, life, faith, leadership and vocational skills. Even the short term impact on others might be like Arjan (name changed) who last year learnt about girls’ rights. He said, “I told some of my relatives about girls’ education. Now they are motivated and agree to send girls in to school. Four girls take education because of my little bit of effort. After this training, I feel more respect for my sisters.”Thank you for enabling these students to benefit from being part of the hostel family, and for the overflow from this which will reach into their own families, their villages and the wider community. Your support is changing the trajectory of these boys’ lives… and they are deeply grateful. Thank you for making ‘room at the Inn’.

History Revisited – Some Notable Firsts and Snippets

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I wonder how many “Interchange” readers were present 15 years ago at “What a Mission!”, a presentation to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Christchurch? The small publication made available at that time, to which I am indebted for some of the following snippets, contains many ‘firsts’ for NZCMS which it is interesting to recall.The first known CMS supporter in Canterbury, Dr A.C. Barker, arrived in 1850 on the Charlotte Jane, one of the First Four Ships to arrive from England.The beginnings of mission among Māori in the Christchurch Diocese happened nine years later, in 1859, when the Rev. James Stack, a close friend of Tamihana Te Rauparaha, migrated south from the North Island, was ordained by Bishop Harper and became the Diocesan Missioner to Māori.The first NZCMS missionary to be sent overseas from the Christchurch Diocese was the Rev. W.G. Ivens, who went to Melanesia in 1895.The first NZCMS missionary to become a bishop in an overseas diocese was Rt Rev Maxwell Wiggins, also of Christchurch. He was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of Victoria Nyanza in 1963.The first Missionary School was held in Nelson in 1926.  It was chaired by Canon Lambie of Melbourne, as Nelson’s Bishop Sadlier, was away.The first Spring School took place in August 1948, organized by Rev. Hugh Thomson, who, with his wife Margaret, spent ten years in Tanzania from 1952–1962. It was held at St Margaret’s College, with evening meetings at St Mary’s, Merivale.On a slightly lighter note, and not related to the Christchurch Diocese, it is rumoured that Mr Don (later Rev.) Corban, was amongst the first NZCMS Mission Partners to travel to his field of service by air.Emails have made inter-country communication considerably easier and faster than the earlier alternative – letters and aerogrammes. At first, the immediacy was difficult to accommodate. For example, it was during Rev. Michael Lawrence’s tenure as General Secretary, that the use of email became more prevalent. Apparently, on at least one occasion, a Mission Partner sent an email and, when it had not been answered one day later, emailed again to enquire why he had not received a reply. Michael’s answer was along the lines of “My goodness, I need time to pray about the matter before answering the email!”To end on a financial note – in 1924, the Home Allowance for a single missionary for 6 months was an impressive 3 pounds sixpence!

Anne McCormick

NZCMS Archivist

A Blast from the Past

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Much has happened on the archives front since the previous post about the first NZCMS mission partner going to Japan.With the merging of background documents complete, we devised a process that adheres to the Privacy Act of 1993, which dictates that permission must be granted by those who have returned to New Zealand since 1993 to archive material about them.We have called on a small team of Christchurch volunteers to help sort files in preparation for sending them to Auckland to be archived. As we do this, we skim the material to decide if it will be archived or destroyed. It wasn’t long before chuckles could be heard around the table, as some interesting finds were uncovered, particularly from files of those who returned to New Zealand quite some time ago.I soon noticed that Shirley McNabb, who with her husband Neil, served in Tanzania between 1969 and 1983, was particularly engrossed in a letter as she sorted the files of the Crouchers, who were also in Tanzania. Shirley had found an aerogramme, written by the Crouchers in 1970, which described Shirley and Niel’s wedding in considerable detail! We learnt that Janet Baskill was Shirley’s bridesmaid and wore a blue dress. We also learnt that Neil was attended by Alf Chipman, an Australian CMS mission partner working in Kenya, whom Neil had met at St Andrew’s Hall in Melbourne and again at language school.On the night of the wedding, there was a gathering at the Bishop’s and Mrs Wiggins’ home at which many mission partners were present. In fact, Bishop Wiggins had another wedding-related responsibility: he iced the wedding cake!As I lead this task of archiving at NZCMS, I am constantly amazed and not infrequently amused at the interesting facts and antics described in the Mission Partner’s newsletters. Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised because I’m sure I related several antics from my time in Pakistan and the time Anthony and I spent in Cambodia!

Anne McCormick, NZCMS Archivist

A Japanese Connection

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Did you know that the very first NZCMS Mission Partner, Marie Pasley, went to Japan as early as 1893.“Miss Pasley was farewelled on her departure for training at Dr Warren’s Institution in Melbourne, with a view to working in heathen lands”(i)   “Her’s was a most faithful ministry, chiefly among women and children” (ii)Miss Pasley served in Gifu and Hamada, from 1893 until her retirement in 1922. She died in October 1942.And did you know that now, 128 years later, Luke and Naomi Sinclair are preparing for ministry there?Japan has been on their hearts for a long time. Naomi lived there with her Australian CMS missionary parents from the age of two until returning to Australia for university. Luke studied Japanese at high school and went on an exchange there at the end of Year 11. When they two met and married at Bible College, they saw how God had shaped and prepared them to head to Japan in the future. What an amazing God we have, orchestrating the circumstances and preparing the way for other Mission Partners to influence young people in Japan. Luke and Naomi will partner with the KGK (Kirisutosha-Gakusei-Kai), Christian Students’ Fellowship, encouraging Bible study on campus and training students, labouring to see the next generation of Christian leaders raised up in Japan.Former Mission Partner, Anne McCormick, has put this story together. Anne is currently serving NZCMS by sorting through our archives.(i)  Nelson Church Recorder, July 1st, 1892(ii) “Stretching Out Continually” by Kenneth Gregory, p. 131.

Members of the Japan Church Missionary Conference, 1894.

The Wheeler’s Ongoing Adventure

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Hello all! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I first wrote this almost three weeks ago, but we had a 7-day block without any internet and then very poor signal since then. Also, the humidity and a sneaky ant colony have both upset my keyboard and rendered a third of my laptop keys useless. I was tempted to write this missing a third of the letters as a Lockdown entertained test for you all, but I decided against it as I confused myself while writing it! So I’ve waited till I could fix my laptop and here we are. The multifaceted work Scott is doing is overflowing with progress and tangible benefits for the community here. The proposals he has prepared and submitted for funding were successful with donors in the Netherlands. From this, a project trialling ten toilets and tanks for the two neighbouring villages will be able to start. Funding for the building of a Grade 9/10 – equivalent to NZ’s year 10 and 11 – classroom has also been secured. Kapuna Life School has recently been approved to offer these grades which will help keep kids at school longer. If these were not offered here, kids would either not finish their schooling at all or, if the families have the resources and family connections, would have to be sent to education centres far away.A plan to build some new staff housing to support the recruitment of quality staff was also part of the funding proposal which will also begin in time. It is so satisfying to see these things happen because of Scott’s work. This also means that many of the building team who were trained for the hospital rebuild will be able to offer work after the first project has reached completion at the end of this year. Thank you to our supporters for getting us here. It is because of you that these things are happening!I, Nikki, have started taking over more of the Shop Manager role here and am learning how to order supplies for the community. All packaged food, household goods and building supplies come on the barge once a month and are ordered through the shop. Of course the ‘shop front’ is more of a window and grate you look through while paying for your goods.There has been less of a need for my expertise as a Physiotherapist at the Hospital. It comes in waves, and fortunately so, as I’ve just recently been asked to take over teaching the Grade 2 class for an undetermined amount of time. The teacher suddenly became ill and may not be able to return, so scanning around, it appeared I am the best option available! It’s funny how things work out because I had a conversation that same morning with our new Dutch neighbours about homeschooling. I was saying that as much as I enjoyed spending time with the kids and knowing what they’re learning, I’m not sure I’m cut out to be a teacher. And then I go and commit to 3, 4, 5 weeks or more of teaching a real class! God must’ve been having a good chuckle that day. But then I’m sure he’ll equip me with the patience and stamina I need. The children will be studying roughly in the equivalent of a New Zealand Year 3 class and are aged between 8-13 years old.A big relief came the day we received our first Covid-19 vaccination. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of resistance here to vaccines that has come from the West, but education is spreading, and free choice is still a priority. We haven’t had any known Covid-19 cases in Kapuna for a month now, so hopefully, that continues, and the Delta variant stays away. Otherwise, the effect could be devastating in this poor, isolated and TB-ridden region.Recently we just received our second jab. A box arrived one day and with two minutes notice, Scott and I were ushered into a room to get them! We’re very happy to have received the full dose, especially with news of a potential Delta outbreak starting in the Capital.The kids are doing well although they did recently have head lice. Levi also had a nasty bout of tonsilitis. Abby’s infected mosquito bites turned into Tropical Ulcers, which were pretty gross and scary looking. You’ll see the scars from those when we get home! Scott is still battling several weeks of Amoebic Dysentry and has just started another round of medication. Prayers for health and protection are much appreciated.The kids continue to enjoy time outside with their new friends. Abby has a group of girls she plays card games with each afternoon while the boys tend to dart around amongst the trees and sugar cane, catching grasshoppers or throwing mud balls. We bought some simple slingshots in the Highlands and have joined the fight against the fruit bats who eat our pawpaw and banana. Scott hit one the other night and our neighbours were very happy. We decided not to eat it and blessed them with an after-dinner snack.So, life here is full of adventures and challenges. We’ve come to recognise how much the heat and lack of food options have taken a toll on us, but we can see the fruit of the labourers who are committed to this place and community. We’re grateful for the longstanding commitment of the Calvert family who are still here in parts, and for the other volunteers who come and go. We’re so grateful for the support, both financially and prayerfully, of all of you in New Zealand and our Whanau and friends around the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you.Amid the internet challenges, we’ve set up an Instagram Page and Facebook page to document and share our adventures. We will update as the internet allows. If you’d like to follow these updates search for “wheelers.on.a.mission” on Instagram and “Wheeler’s_on_a_mission” on Facebook.Many blessings,Nikki, Scott, Isaac, Abby and Levi

Fun in the mud Our first pineapple!Coconut break Unloading the bargeLevi’s new toyChoresJab number 2Too many distractions!NutsKapuna HospitalThat’s a big boat!

Stories of How God is Still at Work

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NZCMS has always been an on the ground, sleeves rolled up, gritty, get in and get it done type of community. These “Impact Stories” from our Mission Partners are just a few examples of how the Holy Spirit continues to call our community, and us all, to participate in the Kingdom breaking out onto the earth in real and authentic ways. These stories have been taken from our Annual Report. Download the full report here. Nick and Tessa – Uganda  It was nearly Christmas, but Emma was determined to launch remote Te-Olam Health Center before the new year rolled in. Te Olam was two hours away on terrible dirt roads, and after the long motorbike ride, Emma was delighted to find that the house was looking great. The floor was cemented, the rent contract signed, and the health centre was ready for launch.But Emma’s job wasn’t finished. On the ride home, God had something more important in-store. Or should I say, someone. The rest is in Emma’s own words.  “As I was riding, I passed a boy on the road. Something just told me to stop, so I turned the motorbike around. The boy was 16 and was looking for transport to Gulu town.  Boy: “How much can I give you to take me to town?” Emma: “No, it’s OK. I don’t need any money.” The boy was keen to talk. He used to attend a prayer group at school, and two years ago gave his life to Jesus. But soon after, he got a new group of friends who didn’t care about school or prayers and would instead sneak out of the boarding school to drink. Sometimes they would even stay out overnight, bribing the security guard not to tell the teachers. His parents had even been called to school three times to talk about his bad behaviour. He was going to meet those friends far from the village in Gulu town to have some drinks. I asked him what had changed? Why did he leave prayers? Why was he not taking school seriously? He wasn’t sure but had just followed what his friends were doing. We talked for the whole two-hour journey home about school, life, friends and faith. He really opened up, and it was an amazing conversation.  When we reached the centre before I dropped him off, it seemed he had realised that his life had gone off track, and there was a better way. I asked him if he would consider changing his life path and if he would return to the God that brought him so much joy and motivation just one year ago? He said he would go to church at Christmas for sure and talk with his friends from prayer group again.  He gave me his number, and I promised to call him in a month. Unfortunately, when I called the number, it didn’t go through. The phone was out of service. I still believe that conversation stirred something in his soul. I pray that he returned to the God who had so recently saved him.” Andy and Shona – Costa Rica  Our local church has three seasons of 21-days of prayer and fasting every year. We follow this by launching our small groups and to encourage the congregation to join and or lead small groups using a bible study or hobby. The aim is to build a community and create a place for transformation. During the 21 days of prayer, we decided to hold a Monday morning prayer meeting on Facebook Live from 5:00 am-5:30 am. I did not expect the result we got. Over 30 people attended the live stream and, when we posted the recording onto Facebook, more than 200 watched through that day!  Fast forward to January this year, and we again led the morning prayer meeting for 21 days on Facebook live. But this time, we challenged those present to step up and lead five other days in the week to have small groups running and praying all week. And immediately, we had the volunteers we needed!  From February to May, our group grew to 20 people, with about six to nine turning up every day. By the middle of June, we had 13 leaders running prayer meetings every evening with 17-20 people turning up and new people appearing almost every day. We named these groups “Ora Primero” (Pray First). It has been such an empowering experience because, in the midst of so much sickness, death and joblessness, we have resources from heaven. Prayer doesn’t just inspire hope but we see God answer prayers in very personal ways.  One way we’ve seen God answer our prayers has been the massive growth in our small groups that we mentioned at the beginning of this testimony. The church had, on average, 600 people attending two services the weekend before Covid-19 hit. But only 70 people were regularly attending seven small groups. Now we have 776 people filling 56 small groups, regularly committed and inviting their friends! We are amazed by the grace of God through a season of great hardship. Mission Partner L. serving in Pakistan  Unexpected circumstances and lives opening up to God are among the places where God’s Kingdom was seen in 2020. From international to local partnership, lives have been impacted and changed. The following stories give you a glimpse of how. A student who recently wrote a reflection for his Leadership Certificate wrote the following. “I always heard or read about the epidemics in the past but never had any experience. It was such a huge lockdown. Everyone was shocked, scared and wanted to rescue their own life. But suddenly, people came out to help those who started starving.  The same happened in my life. After staying home for a month, I thought, “why shouldn’t I go to my church people and get to know how they are living.” I came to know that they are living on water and rice, having nothing left at home. Suddenly I got a phone call from a wealthy man of God who asked me what I am doing for the church. I told him the whole story, and he sent me some money to distribute food items among the needy. Thus this work of welfare started, and many other people came to know that I am doing such work, and they also sent me money to distribute among those who are really in difficult situations.  Thus, I worked three months continually in the church, and thus God was glorified, and we were able to reach those to whom the government was not reaching.” God also provided for a hostel of the Hyderabad Diocese, whose situation became uncertain when promised financial support was suddenly unavailable. Thanks to God’s leading and work through an NZ church, a way was opened for support to be raised despite economic constraints. Without the pandemic, banking transfers had been blocked due to changing regulations, but a small window of time was opened during the first wave of Covid-19 where they allowed transfers to happen! Because of this the hostel did not close, but was able to support its students between lockdowns as they worked towards their Matriculation and College exams and continue to grow in faith and life skills.  In response we say thank You God for giving us our daily bread. Thank you for allowing us to see glimpses of Your kingdom coming here on earth. Tessa – Solomon Islands  I was invited to address 200 girls in the first-ever Girls Friendly Society meeting on the Island of Malaita. I met up with a few other women early in the morning and drove our Toyota Hiace van for two hours down the gravel road to the other side of our port town. The Scripture I shared was from Ephesians about our identity as beloved children of God. I shared about how we’re given many different names as we grow – daughter, sister, friend, student, wife, mother etc – and how these names may come and go as seasons change, but that in God’s eyes we are always his children. I shared about being wise in our relationships and how God wants us to lead pure and holy lives for him.  The subject of abortion came up, and one of the leaders stood up with tears in her eyes. She shared how she had encouraged her pregnant teenage daughter to get rid of a baby and how she felt guilt and fear that God would punish her. She asked, “Who will God punish for this sin? Me or my daughter?” I told her that if she repents and asks for God’s forgiveness, she can rest assured that the Lord loves her and will restore her. I then quoted Romans 8:38 – 8:39 to her and the rest of the group, which talks about how nothing can separate us from the love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord. It was an incredible experience to comfort this mother with God’s word and reassure her that her sins are forgiven in Christ.  Adrienne – Cambodia  The Handa Academy (T.H.A.) school was closed for ten months in 2020. I remained focused on staying in Cambodia as I wanted to get the Learning Center set up and ready by the time the school re-opened. Jesus has still used me to show his love to the students in ways that don’t use spoken words.  After three months or so of not seeing the students, I wanted to encourage them somehow. God gave me the idea of making ‘Educational Care Packs’ for the students to pick up. Management approved this, so worksheets were prepared, copied, and put together along with some craft materials, a bar of soap and a small gift for each of the 80 students. I also made a card for each student with an encouraging note inside written in Khmer for them. I put the contents in a plastic bag with their name on the outside and packaged them in a box ready to distribute at the T.H.A. gate.  I was able to do this a couple of times, and I felt like God used the packs to show our love and care for the students even though we couldn’t be together at school. I was also able to make encouraging signs to hang in the Learning Centre so that the students knew that they were loved, that we believe in them and to encourage them to keep learning. DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT HERE

2021 Annual Report: Still Sent

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THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED AS PART OF THE ANNUAL REPORT. DOWNLOAD ANNUAL REPORT HERE I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever.With my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.I declare that your steadfast love is established forever, your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.(Psalm 89) Tēnā koutou katoa,As I look back over 2020, I join the writer of Psalm 89 in praising God for His steadfast love and faithfulness. There have certainly been times of grief as we walked alongside global Mission Partners and the people they serve in the midst of a pandemic. There was also uncertainty for all of us, with flights grounded, lockdowns around the world, and plans constantly changing. In the midst of all this, we look back and see God’s faithful hand over us at NZCMS, a faithfulness as firm as the heavens. And, like the generations of CMS before us, we continue to proclaim God’s faithfulness and steadfast love. As a community passionate about mission, we know God’s calling on us as ‘sent people,’ sent into the world to proclaim and live out God’s faithful love.NZCMS has always been about sending people globally. Despite the challenges that 2020 brought, many of our global Mission Partners have been able to stay in country and continue to serve. In times of crisis, there is even more need for people to know God’s saving love, and our Mission Partners have found creative ways to serve in changing circumstances. While some Mission Partners were forced to return to New Zealand, we continue to receive applications from people discerning a call to long-term service in global Mission. Even as we send globally, we seek to support the church in New Zealand in mission. Our heart is for the whole church to live as ‘sent people’ wherever we find ourselves. NZCMS is now partnering with two Māori dioceses to support the ministry of Māori evangelists to proclaim the Gospel amongst their people. Over the past three years, we have partnered with the Wellington Diocese in the Intercultural Communities project, helping churches engage with people from different cultures. We continue to be passionate about discipling young people with a missional heart. In February 2020, we kicked off the second year of the Better World Gap Year, only to have to cancel it due to Covid-19. We plan to relaunch Better World in 2022, with the same vision but located within New Zealand. We took advantage of lockdowns to start ‘Happy Hour,’ online conversations about mission. Mission Partners joined our panels from global locations, and hundreds tuned in to join these conversations.Thank you for your support during this challenging year. As I look back over the year that was, the hymn that comes to mind (one known to many in the NZCMS family) is ‘How Great is the God we Adore’.“To Jesus the first and lastwhose Spirit will guide us safe homeWe will praise him for all that is pastAnd trust him for all that is come.” May the Lord bless you.DOWNLOAD ANNUAL REPORT HERE

Rosie Fyfe National Director

A Tribute to Former Mission Partner, Anthony McCormick

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This tribute was written by Anthony’s wife, Anne.Anthony joined the NZCMS family by association when he married me (Anne Giles) in 2004. Prior to that time, he had considered short-term Mission. After my six years in Pakistan (1989 until 1995) when I returned home to care for my elderly father, I felt that Global Mission wasn’t yet over for me. We decided to pursue mission service together, applied to NZCMS as a couple and were accepted as candidates-in-training at the end of 2008. My father died in 2009 and the following year, we went to St Andrew’s Hall in Melbourne without any clear idea as to where we would serve.While at St Andrews Hall, our attention was drawn to Cambodia. After much prayer, thought and discussion, we concluded that Cambodia was indeed the place for us. In April 2011, we left New Zealand for Phnom Penh and spent almost two years studying the Khmer language. Although Anthony didn’t find language study easy, he persevered and learnt to read, write and speak Khmer, but didn’t achieve the proficiency he would have liked. We moved to Battambang early in 2013 and took up roles at the World Mate Emergency Hospital, a trauma hospital for victims of landmines, traffic and workplace accidents.Anthony set up a social work department at the hospital, writing policies and procedures before recruiting and training Khmer staff to carry out social work amongst patients and caregivers. After two years at the hospital, he handed the programme over to Khmer leadership. He then spent his remaining years in Cambodia training social workers in non-government organisations. With the help of a translator, he devised and delivered training on almost 50 topics on social work theory and practice which were very well received. Anthony enjoyed this teaching role, valuing the opportunity it provided to upskill Cambodians to face the challenges that arose in their lives.Anthony formed friendships with a number of Khmer people he met through his work, as well as at church and frequently found himself in a mentoring role, particularly to younger people, many of whom lacked older role models in their lives. In his quiet way, Anthony drew alongside these folk and they were very appreciative of the advice and encouragement he gave them, sometimes also having an opportunity to share his faith with them.Anthony struggled with aspects of life in Cambodia, particularly the corruption, dishonesty and extreme poverty prevalent there. He missed the outdoors, the New Zealand bush and activities such as camping and tramping. He encountered challenges in both life and work but he faced these head-on, in the knowledge that God had called him to work there and had equipped him for this work.As I have reflected on the obvious influence Anthony had on peoples’ lives, reading and listening to many kind words since his death, I have been humbled to realise again how privileged I was to be his wife and am so thankful that God brought us together for a season, albeit too short. Sharing some of what was expressed to me seems a fitting way to end this tribute to Anthony.Anthony was funny, definite, caring, interested and interesting, a visionary, risk-taker, a good sort. He was a safe, solid presence to his siblings in what was often a chaotic home. He faced life’s challenges and overcame many obstacles particularly during times of untold sadness in his twenties. He had a mystical nature, didn’t suffer fools gladly, fell short in his own eyes and was sometimes misunderstood. He was a curious observer of people who valued actions more than words. He was astute, intuitive, sensitive and wise, possessing both earthly knowledge and spiritual sensitivity. He had the ability to stand alone, yet also valued community.His life story was one of searching, adventure and transformation and he demonstrated fidelity in living out the phrase from Romans chapter 1, about being transformed by the renewing of his mind. He allowed himself to be moved by the suffering of others and knew how to serve others well.Throughout his 15 month battle with cancer, Anthony refused to acknowledge the seriousness of his illness, remaining steadfast in his trust that God would heal him so that he could continue the work in Cambodia he believed God still had for him to do.  Sadly, this was not to be. He allowed no negativity or pity about his situation even as he became increasingly vulnerable and didn’t like how fragile his body had become. I, along with two of his sisters, was privileged to be able to fulfil his wish to remain at home, nursing him there up until his peaceful passing on 26th May.Mission accomplished, Anthony. Well done, good and faithful servant.