By Troy Nathan, NZCMS Māori Evangelist
How I Met Jesus
I met Jesus in Waikeria on July 26 in 1982. While inside the Waikeria prison, after I physically abused a white man, he later came back to see me with a chocolate and Bible. I thought he was a nut case in all honesty. It made me question, who comes back to gift someone who has physically hurt them? In my world before Christ, nobody did this.
It was later that night when I opened the Bible and came to a verse in Romans chapter 12 verse 20 which says:
“Na, ki te mate hiakai tou hoa riri, whangainga; ki te mate wai, whakainumia: ki te penei hoki to mahi, ka purangatia e koe nga waro kapura ki runga ki tona mātenga.”
“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.”
I cried and felt a heaviness lift off of me, a heaviness I didn’t know I even had. This led me to seeking who Christ was. Years later I met Wally Haywood who eventually became my spiritual father and nurtured and guided me in my faith in Ihu Karaiti.
Why I Love Jesus
The word of God is what allows me to fall in love with Jesus constantly and every day. My Love for Christ is an everyday personal relationship as I know that I would be lost without him. I believe in the forgiveness that Jesus gives to me because of what he did on that cross. He suffered for me, died for me and rose again to victory for me. That’s why I love him!
Ko Tuta Moe te Maunga
Ko Mamaranui te Moana
Ko Mahuhu ki te rangi te Waka
Ko Ngati Roroa te Hapu
Ko Ngati Whatua te Iwi
Ko Taita te Marae
Ko Kia Mahara Koutou te Tupuna Whare kei Kaihu
Engari hoki tonu koe ki roto ia Ngapuhi he iwi nui tonu
Tuta Moe is the mountain
Mamaranui is our sea
Mahuhu ki te Rangi is our Canoe
Ngati Roroa is our Subtribe
Ngati Whatua is our main tribe
Taita is the name of the meeting place
Kia Mahara koutou is the name of our Ancestral house in Kaihu
But we are still part of the larger tribe of Ngaphui.
My Call into the Role of a Māori Evangelist.
It is through whakawhanaungatanga (the process of relationship) that my minister Matua Les has walked with me for over a year within the Māori Anglican church in Te Tai tokerau. He has sat down with me to listen and understand some of my background and walk with God. This prompted him to ask me if I would consider a role with the Māori Evangelists in Te Takiwa o Manukau partnered with the NZCMS, to which I responded positively to. I have accepted that this is a calling from God for me and where I am able to continue to serve God and his people.