By Te Hauoterangi Karaka
NZCMS Māori Evangelist
Tēnā koutou katoa. Things have been very busy in Te Puaha O Waikato, attending and conducting many tangihanga, house blessings, Hura kōhatu, hospital and pastoral care visits.
Marae ministry and pastoral care have been keeping me very busy due to the huge amount of Tangihanga (funerals) in Ngati Tipa Te Puaha O Waikato (Port Waikato). Over the past three months alone, I have conducted fifteen Tangihanga and with that comes added pastoral care for the whānau pani (bereaved family).
Since I began my mission ministry in Te Puaha O Waikato, under Te Mana O Te Wheke and NZCMS, I have worked to build relationships with the Iwi (people) after the passing of their loved ones, which also extends into the conducting of what we call Hura kōhatu, (Memorial Celebration) after one year of their passing.
Throughout the year, I maintain a very close relationship with these whānau, offering ongoing support by attending “Nga Kawe Mate”, the mourning ceremony that is subsequent to the tangihanga. Please pray for me as I walk alongside these families from the funeral until the unveiling during the Hura kōhatu.
This ministry has been very rewarding, building trust and strengthening strong relationships, which has also resulted in the growth of our Marae Karakia Rātapu. These marae services have been very consistent, with approximately 45-60 people attending. On two occasions, we have had as many as 80 people attend!
Toko Torutapu o Parawai
At Toko Torutapu, we are slowly building a closer relationship with the vestry and clergy. As you may be aware of some of the histories that lay beneath the surface, Toko Torutapu in Thames has been closed for over two years. I guess, like anything, restoration takes time, with ongoing ministry, prayer and much self-examination. But I am very confident that we will achieve this goal of unity in Jesus’ name.
I have been conducting one service a month. However, we are planning to increase to two services a month. The possibility of introducing an extra service would help to build the ministry and its members spiritually with the ongoing ministry of God’s word. Waiting once a month between services is not helpful for anyone’s spiritual walk!
Finally, I would like to give thanks to Bishop Ngarahu and Manutaki Wiremu for their support. I also thank God for my supporters. Without your support financially and in prayer, this ministry would not allow me to work so closely with our people.
Kororia ki a koe e te Atua.
• Pray for the pastoral work Howard is involved in and for all the tangihanga, that God would empower him for the work.
• Pray for the marae services Howard is running and for the people who are attending, that this ministry would grow and that the people would come to know Christ.
• Pray for reconciliation and healing from past wrongs and hurts experienced at Toko Torutapu, that Jesus would bring a miraculous wave of restoration to that community by His Spirit. Pray that the Spirit would empower Howard with patience and wisdom as he brings the Gospel to those places.
• Pray that Howard would be able to add another service a month in this area so that the people can hear the Gospel and be fed more regularly.
• Praise God for all that he is doing in Te Puaha O Waikato. Pray that Howard and his wife Gladys would be blessed with times of rest and restoration with friends and family in amongst their busy lives as ambassadors for the Gospel in Aotearoa.