Walsh News May 2015: The Lost Semester.
It has been over six months since our last update, in this time the semester has come and gone. These are some of the highlights as we celebrated our 10th semester at CCBI.
It was a great semester; it was probably the best semester, with the best group of students in our time here in New Zealand. Check out the semester video prepared by the students on the CCBI app.
During the semester, we saw fruitful outreaches to Perth, Australia, Christchurch, New Zealand & a mobile team, evangelising across the North Island of New Zealand, in the cities of Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton & Rotorua. As well as teaching through, the book of Romans, Biblical Missions, the Minor Prophets, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs & First and Second Corinthians.
Over 30 people, students, staff and locals from the community, regularly attended our Thursday night Koinonea service. We spent a great time in worship and in study through the book of James, looking at real faith in action. The messages from Thursday night are available under the media tab on the CCBI app, for anyone who wants to listen and be encouraged.
We hosted Calvary Chapel’s ministry conference, the Equip Conference in April, feeding and ministering to just fewer than 100 people. We had a blessed time in the word under the Ministry of Pastor Rob & Aaron Salvato, Pastor Rich Chaffin, Pastor Mike Montgomery and Pastor Andrew Russell. It was a great time and very encouraging, the messages from the conference are available via the CCBI app and the CCBI webpage.
It has been a great semester ministry, with the majority of the students from this semester already signed up to return for the upcoming semester, which begins at the end of August 2015.
So why the title ” The Lost Semester”?
As well as being a very fruitful and blessed time, this has been probably one of the most challenging times; we have ever had in ministry.
Over the last three years, we have been heavily involved in a Calvary Chapel church plant here in New Zealand. Mark has served as an elder in the church over the last three years, at the beginning of March this year, for a variety of reasons, our pastor resigned and left the church in the hands of the eldership.
This has been a demanding and stressful time in all our lives and especially in the life of the church. We suddenly found ourselves as elders, completely responsible for the care of this little church, in the midst of confusion, hurt and even recrimination. So much of our time since the beginning of the year has been given over to practically ministering and leading the church along with the other elders and their wives. We are grateful for the faithfulness of the Lord in caring for his church and the privilege and the opportunity to be involved in looking after the flock. We were greatly value your prayers as we continue to minister at Shoreline church on a weekly basis and as we look for God’s direction, as we care for the flock and look forward to what the Lord will do in this lovely little fellowship.
In the last six months we have seen some very significant milestones achieved in our family life.
Becky has now moved to Wellington, New Zealand and is studying her first year of her degree at Victoria University in Wellington.
At the same time, Jordan has graduated from Auckland University, with a degree in biomedical sciences. He still strongly desires to study medicine and is currently pursuing the opportunity to study medicine in Australia. We would really value your prayers for wisdom and God’s provision as he applies to several Australian universities, to study medicine commencing at the beginning of 2016.
We have lived in New Zealand for nearly 6 years and are currently pursuing New Zealand citizenship, this is a significant milestone and if granted will give us freedom to reside and work not only in New Zealand but also in Australia under the current Trans-Tasman agreement. This will open up some significant opportunities in ministry and the freedom to follow those opportunities.
Gwyn and I will be travelling to California in June and July to renew friendships and fellowship before returning to New Zealand. Mark will be attending the Calvary Chapel Senior Pastors conference in July, before returning to New Zealand for a few weeks before he travels onto Finland, to minister in worship at the Calvary Chapel Scandinavia Conference in Stockholm in late July and early August.
We would really appreciate your prayers for rest and refreshment after this challenging season that the Lord would minister to us; renew vision and vigour, strength and purpose.
Prayer & praise:
- Thank the Lord for his faithfulness and provision for the Ministry during the last semester, from the openness of the student’s hearts and their growth in their relationship with him.
- Praise the Lord for the equip conference and the great ministry that took place in the lives of those who attended from Calvary Chapel ministries across New Zealand and Australia.
- Please pray for our time in Southern California as we seek to be encouraged and refreshed before we return to the upcoming semester.
- Please pray for Mark’s trip to Finland, the Lord would anoint and clearly guide the Ministry, providing God ordained conversations and appointments, for the necessary provision for the trip.
- Please pray for wisdom and God’s provision as we seek to find a property that can be a permanent home for the Bible school and conference ministry.
- Please pray for the upcoming semester, the Lord would bring an increasing number of students and supplement the CCBI staff in order to minister to them.
- Please pray for the next Equip conference, which will take place in early November 2015, Pastor Drew McIntyre, Pastor Ben Grisez will be ministering the word, along with Pam Markey, who will be teaching a series of special messages for the ladies in attendance.
- Please pray for us as we plan a national youth conference as part of the equip conference ministry, in which we will seek to minister to the youth from Calvary Chapel ministries and other ministries across New Zealand. We are tentatively planning the conference for April 2016, we would appreciate your prayers as we seek to minister to the youth in New Zealand. For further information and if you are interested in getting involved with the conference, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once again, we would be unable to function in this ministry without your love, care, support and provision from the Lord. We recognise that often we don’t write as regularly as we should, but ask you not to hold this against us.
We are deeply grateful for your faithfulness and on-going involvement in this ministry and we just simply desire that Lord would be glorified and have an inheritance in this region of the south Pacific Rim & and we simply want to do more. We are very grateful to your partnership.
M & G.