Faithfulness & Grace
So many experiences of the of past few months just scream Faithfulness & Grace .
As we draw to the end of the semester andthe year we wanted to update you with just a few snippets over the last few months. A flavour, CCBIthe first semester, Tonga outreach, Sydney fellowship, NZ Immigration like us !!!, Baptisms at Lake Rotokawau, a leadership conference with Bill & Joy and an adopted Filipino child – ministry is interesting !
CCBI – The First Semester
Our first semester, we are no longer a virtual bible school! After years of pursuing the vision to start CCBI, we have just completed out first semester. Last night we had our first ever graduation ceremony, acknowledging the efforts of three graduates and praying for one man who will leave us here to go on the mission field. So in our first semester, we even get to send someone out , as a mission commitment we will be helping to support him as he ministers with a missions team ministering to Muslims.
It has been amazing to see God bring something out of nothing – simply by His grace and faithfulness, it is hard to process really but great to watch, His Goodness unfold.
” Faith is the God Given faculty, which when exercised brings the unseen in to plain view and by which impossible things are made possible.”EA Kilbourne
This has been our experience and we invite you to thank Him for His goodness.
Not only did we have 12 students and were able to teach Genesis, Minor prophets, Acts, Revelation, Evangelism/ Discipleship, Inductive Bible study classes , all as live classes. We were able to minster in several of the Calvary Chapels in New Zealand on a regular basis. One Highlight , is that we were able to put on a day leadership and servants conference for those who are involved in ministry on all levels. Pastor Bill Welsh and his wife Joy , spent several days with us and shared with us over a great weekend. Believers from nearly all the Calvary Chapel ministries in New Zealand were able to attend. If you want you can even listen to the audio , which is downloadable from the Calvary Chapel Rotorua website.
The weekend was made even more special as we were able to baptize several saints from CC Rotorua in one of our local Lakes.
We had fantastic opportunities for outreach this semester, both locally and internationally, we saw several people came to Christ on the streets of Rotorua. One highlight was the student outreach to Tonga. During their time in Tonga, the students were able to share their faith on Television and also on the national radio station, much of the trip was focussed around evangelism but also the team had chance to serve alongside long term Calvary misisonaries in Tonga , the Baxley’s, building wheelchairs to donate to those in need.
At the same time the student team was in Tonga, I had the opportunity of visiting Sydney and renewing fellowship with the CC pastors in Sydney and on the east coast of Australia. It was great to renew friendship and make link across “the ditch”, the Tasman Sea. Our desire is that CCBI would be blessing to these guys in Australia and across the South Pacific Rim.
One of the most significant and poignant lessons has been seeing God answer prayer, in only the way that He can. There are so many instances of answered prayer to recount , but the one I want to share concerns New Zealand Immigration. We recently met with senior members of NZ immigration, the Department of Labour about visas for students. They have given great favor to us and have confirmed that those training with CCBI can stay in New Zealand for up to 9 months on a tourist visa and if they want to study for longer they can even apply for visas under the minister of religion visa policy for up to 3 years. This is tremendous answer to prayer and only the Lord could do this. This means that we can have returning students from overseas and those who wish to stay for more than a semester. Looking to the February semester, we are already almost full – Praise the Lord.
As we look to Christmas, it will be a different season. Gwyn’s family will be heading here to NZ to enjoy christmas, I will be heading to the northern hemisphere to spend Christmas with my mum, seeing the saints in Hungary on the way and then heading back to NZ via the mission conference in California and the Costa Mesa Missions Day. Hope to see as many as of you as I can in that time.
We covet your prayers for the holiday season, for safe travel, for the Lord’s provision, for rest and refreshment and to hear the Lord voice as we prepare for our next semester in February. A specific prayer is for a van for CCBI as we have greater numbers we want to mobilize them to go out on outreach more and would be of great help. A another huge prayer is for direction regarding a home for the school in the long run.
Thank you for your care and love and faithfulness, rejoice with us in His Goodness
M & G