Over the course of our time in New Zealand we were able to see more practical ways of living out our faith. This included folding/tagging clothes, staying up all night handing out meat pies and hot drinks to people on the street, leading worship in a prayer room, moving lots of dirt for a community garden, doing maintenance, and running a coffee shop for the church who was housing us.
New Zealand is a BEAUTIFUL place. It seemed like anytime we drove around we saw a new piece of the vast scenic view that is New Zealand. I had my first steamed dumpling and pork bun, pulled about a million shots of espresso over the course of 3 Sunday mornings, prayed MANY times over the people and businesses of Tauranga, created at least 14 music playlists for the team and base prayer room/worship sets, tested an electric chair for a youth group (Yes, I’m okay. I know it sounds crazy….it kind of was, haha), and fixed a few toilets. This was a place of MASSIVE amounts of growth for the whole group. I know I can’t speak for the whole group, but I know that this was the place where a lot of spiritual warfare started for most of myself. BUT it was also a place of beautiful encounters with God as He showed us His heart for the people of New Zealand through prayer walks, and partnering with the different groups.
In NZ, for me at least, there were more memorable experiences than testimonies.
Over the course of each weekend we were there, I found that I have a passion for street ministry. Each evening that we took part in this ministry we handed out meat pies, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate to various people who were sleeping rough as well as those who had a bit too much to drink. It was a really cool experience to see how offering someone a kind word, prayer, or a hot meat pie can impact someone’s life for the better. One of the nights my “customer service voice” even came out in offering 3 men sleeping around a library coffee and blankets.
If you know me, you know that in the past I have not been the person to get up on stage, let alone sing and play my guitar. That makes this next instance such a memorable experience. Over the course of the 3 weeks we were in New Zealand, two other students and I kicked off worship for and hour at the prayer room at YWAM Furnace. It included a few hours of practice every week, getting to know each other pretty well, breaking through some insecurities, and getting on stage to just allow the Lord to do what He does while everyone else in the room studied or just sat in His presence.
There were also two instances where I had opportunities to change two guys’ view on Christianity. The first was at about 2 AM in front of a pub where a guy engaged me in some philosophical conversation about religion. Realizing that he had an “off” view off Christianity and the Gospel, I explained my relationship with God, and how religiosity is supposed to boost and improve our relationship rather than locking us into the do’s and don’ts of religion. I told him about God loving him as a Father, and offered him prayer.
The second guy was a week later during the same ministry after I had met a group of college-age people. 15 minutes after we first met them, they brought their friend over. He explained how he likes to talk through religion with people, and get their take on it all. I then talked to him about how I had followed the Lord from an Engineering degree to where I was standing that night in New Zealand at 11pm. He was blown away, and asked about how to have a relationship with God like that. I explained that he just had to start engaging in the relationship that God offers to every person, and I had him download the Bible app to have the New Testament (he came from a Jewish background, so he already had an Old Testament).
Thank you to our contacts at Lifezone Church, YWAM Furnace, JewelAnita, and the other wonderful people that helped us out.
Outreach at YWAM Newcastle
Every quarter (January, April, July, and October) we have teams that are sent to the ends of the earth to partner with God in what He is doing. The model is just as it is in Acts 1:8 (Jerusalem, Judea, and all of Samaria), we have a local, regional, and international location. If you would like to contribute financially with myself or YWAM Newcastle, please reach out via my email or under the Contact Me tab.