Friday, February 28, 2014

Hosting Kenyans in Mosgiel

I’m looking forward to the first two weeks of April when Charles and Maggie Ng’ang’a, from Mamlaka Hill Chapel in Nairobi, Kenya will be with us in Mosgiel.  Charles will be primarily with us and Maggie primarily with St Luke’s Anglican, but we are seeking to work together with all churches.  Charles & Maggie will be involved in a range of events from outreach activities to church services, training and equipping.  But I expect the biggest gift they bring us is their passion for Jesus and their expectancy that God will do powerful things.  Their church mission statement is “Empowered to Transform.”  Please look on my blog for updates on our planning for their visit. They are part of a 12 member team from their church, who have come to Dunedin to help us reach people with the good news of Jesus.  This is part of celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the preaching of the gospel in New Zealand.

Please pray for this mission.  Check out for more information about Charles & Maggie and their church.  You can watch him preach online.  I want us to be confident in their ministry so we can invite our friends who don’t yet know Jesus to events .  Please pray about the involvement you could have.

We begin with an evening service at East Taieri Church on Sunday March 30th.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mission Team to Thailand 2014

This January fourteen people from East Taieri Church travelled to Thailand to join with two families we support in Chiang Mai.  It has been a full two weeks.  One of my highlights was preaching (with the help of some wonderful interpreters) in two church services and a young people's camp.  The team also did fantastic work building relationships with Thai people and people from the Karen hilltribe group.  We also tackled a number of physical tasks from electrical work (led by a capable electrician on our team) and painting, landscaping, and building raised vegetable gardens for a "hospice/home" for people living with HIV.  Most of this work was carried out working alongside (usually directed) by local people.

Our model of global mission is one of partnership - doing things with the local Christians and not doing things for people.  Clearly we had something to contribute, but we also had much to learn about Thailand, about how God is working in another culture, and about ourselves.  Our prayer is that God will continue to build these partnerships as well and help us to grow through this experience.

The objectives of our time were:
  1. Giving people a taste of cross cultural mission to get them enthused and help raise up the next generation of missionaries, and people who will commit to praying and supporting missionaries.
  2. Spiritual growth of those who go – especially teenagers.
  3. Encouragement and support of missionaries we visit (including completing some practical project while we are there).  This includes the goal of not getting “in the way” of missionaries while we are there.
  4. Build our partnership with the San Patong Community Church.
  5. Raising the profile of global mission in East Taieri Church.
 We have made good progress on all of these.
I'm not sure I would lead as big a team next time.  Fourteen people made transport difficult.  But one of my overall highlights was the way our team worked together using our gifts and strengths for the benefit of the team.  Working together with missionaries and with Thai people in a similar way was also a highlight.  These very same things were also a challenge when differences or tensions emerged, but we worked through them pretty well.  Building strong teams and the different leadership styles I need to use at different times is one of my on going reflection and learning points from this trip.

We worked hard in Thailand, but we will also need to put in some work, thought and prayer, back in NZ if we are going to cement these experiences and grow as people through them.