Thursday, January 20, 2011

Looking Back Over My Last Two Years in New Zealand

Thank you so much God for what you do. It was a privilege and blessing to be a part of the growing multicultural Wesleyan Methodist church of New Zealand. Over my time two years in New Zealand I believe the number of church plants went from under twenty churches to 21 or 22 with hopes of starting a whole new hub of churches in the South Island from Christchurch. The community projects that ran through the Depot building where we held church (cession|community) were a great way to meet people and serve.

My study spot at the Esquires coffee shop in the local mall was also a great way to bump into people and bring God into the everyday conversations. Connecting people to the church was the big challenge. Getting friends to feel comfortable walking through the church doors was an equally difficult challenge. But getting them to see the essential need for God in this world was one of the biggest.

Small and big chances to connect people with God were small and big reasons to rejoice. I became good friends with the family that owned this local cafe and had some amazingly great dialogue about the differences between Hinduism and Christianity. I was even able to hangout with a couple of the guys and create friendships outside of the cafe setting through this.
Here was My original excitement of being cleared to go and get my plane ticket!

Global Partners Team

Cession Team


Ignite Wesleyan Youth Camp
One year i was able to be the camp speaker which was amazing and humbling at the same time to watch God speak and the teens respond. The second year i was the camp media director and was able to put this video together.

Outreach Opportunities

Weekly Church Setup

One of my most watched youtube videos was made a few days into my first New Zealand trip. So at the end of my two year term 3 years later, i decided to revisit with the Mackay family and other friends in the clip below.
IWU Missions Team Point Man on the Field

Youth Group



Creating Family

New Friends

Leading Worship as Needed
And Playing Bass

Volunteering for Lifeboyz Field Trips for kids with special need

Alternative Education Mentoring

The Mackay Family Time


First Day in NZ with Jones Family & close friends

Australian Friends Visiting

Organizing Paul Milbank's Bachelor Party

Heidi's Arrival Bowling Party

It was interesting celebrating Christmas away from home. Here was Graeme my first roommate and some friends while we were decorating the flat that first Christmas.

Soccer Tournament

Vanuatu Trip
a random jump i got to do in the blue water hole

Rugby at the Family Camp

Surf Lessons
This was a video Evy made when i was first teaching him how to surf.

Stations of the Cross Sketch

A Friend's Graduation Ceremony

I was also able to go to Hillsong conference in some of my free time. It was a great experience and opportunity to learn.

It was crazy being on the mission field and later realizing that i was getting accustomed to living in a bigger city instead of smaller town with Auckland being 1.4million in population.

My focus going over was to support the local church. This was good yet difficult because I felt like this meant my job was not to just create whatever I wanted ministry wise, but to really build and support my friends and people over there who were also ministers.
  1. Brett Jones, Paul Milbank, and Rhett Snell- were 3 special friends and colleagues in ministry. My goal was to try and encourage and help them with their passions and responsibilities as i could. Brett was amazing smart and my NZ boss. I served alongside him as the community life pastor and really appreciated him pouring into me and trying to place me in the best possible spot passion wise to help him and cession. Paul was a close friend and the youth pastor at cession. Working out, mentoring teens, and working with the youth Monday nights our consistents. Rhett Snell was a good friend and prayer buddy. Outside of talking theology, i really appreciated our time towards the beginning of my two years where they would have groups over to their house after church and the times Rhett and i set aside to simply pray for cession and ministry.
  2. Supporting other missionaries and visiting Americans was a specialty of mine. I met with a couple of guys and girls like Evy/ John Gorveatte/ and Heidi who traveled over to New Zealand for a season.
  3. I invested in weekly cession cell groups and welcoming on Sunday to continue helping build a team that is growing and pouring into the people walking through the doors.
  4. I don't want to take specific credit for things that were a team effort but there are multiple stories of people getting connected to the church family through relationships built.
  5. A big blessing was the Saione which is one of the Fijian congregations. I was able to preach there a few times and was even asked to consider joining their community towards the end of my time which was such a huge compliment and humbling ask.
  • New Zealand went full circle coming back to the USA... it was ironic hearing Kari Jobe (who i was first introduced to in Australia) singing hosanna written by Brooke Fraser(new Zealand artist) while i was back in the states! It has crazy how my life has gone full circle and is interconnected.
Thank you so much for supporting me through prayers and finances over this time. New Zealand continues to be a place i pray over for the future and will try to visit sooner rather than later although i do not believe God is pressing me to return immediately in this season of life.