On the wall in my office are images of all the people serving in Asia through NZBMS and on behalf of New Zealand Baptist Churches. As I look at these photos, I’m struck by the variety amongst them – backgrounds, ages, contexts, qualifications, skillsets and personalities. None of them would claim to be anything special. Like anyone, anywhere, they have their ups and downs, they cope with tragedies, loss of loved ones, celebrations of new life. They are children, siblings, singles, spouses, parents and grandparents. They have to deal with the same things any of us here in New Zealand have to deal with but they are doing so from afar and in cultural contexts where life is very different. That’s not always easy but if you asked any of them, they would be clear that they are where they are because God has led them there and that’s what sustains them.
These are the folk that God has specifically called overseas but we know that there is a calling on each of us to be his hands, feet and voice to others no matter where we find ourselves. So this begs the question, what does God’s leading in 2019 look like? How will God be evident through you and me?
It’s a new year. Perhaps there are new opportunities in front of us all. Perhaps God’s been prompting and prodding for a while but it’s been pushed away. May I suggest that now is a good time to actually listen, look and lean into where God is leading you – neighbourhood, church context, wider community or even beyond city and national borders. You might just be surprised!
Into the new year of 2019 and for NZBMS, the challenges of 2018 haven’t necessarily gone away. Some continue and some are new. But there are and will be new joys! For example we are so thrilled to have the Woven Life Foundation finally approved after a 2 year waiting period since application and we look forward to what God will do through this.
Thank you for your ongoing prayers. We simply cannot do without them.
Ngā mihi nui
NZBMS General Director