This is a phrase that I have heard so many times over the last year, a seemingly nonsensical statement yet in so many ways resonates with both heart and mind.
It is quite a while since we have written a newsletter and thats not just preoccupation with other things , but the challenge has been what do we write, when faced with a constantly changing environment.
In so many ways everything has changed but at the same time nothing has changed.
It’s over a year since we sent the students home, just before the leading edge of the global pandemic hit and since then, ministry and life in every aspect has been so different. The challenge with giving a update has been what do we write. Things have undoubtedly changed but will they stay this way.
One year in to the global pandemic , here is the best update I can give at this time for both our personal life and ministry life.
Personal – There have been big changes and wonderful changes.
Becky is married and has become Mrs Crispi, marrying her soul mate Joe , who is the youth pastor of Calvary Shoreline in Mount Manganui. It great seeing them together and serving together in the church.
Jordan has become the lead pastor of CC Auckland having been passed the mantle by Pastor Brian Kelly , who returned to the USA in January
As parents we are both blessed, very proud and grateful for the privilege of kids who have a heart for God and for His church.
Gwyn & I are seeking the Lord as to where we ﬁt and how we can be useful in the Kingdom in this new season and world.
Finances are a real challenge in this new COVID world and with that comes the conundrum and challenge of trying to ﬁnd a job, the need to return to the work force after 23 years of not having a real job balanced with the desire to continue ministering and serving, where we feel we can ﬁll a gap and make a real difference.
Ministry -For CCBI, it has been a time of great change.
No international students coupled with limited local interest means residential Bible school doesn’t work , either ﬁnancially or functionally.
But CCBI has always been more than residential school, more of a ministry hub seeking to serve the body of Christ.
In the last year alone, facilitating a new church plant in Fiji, CC Nasinu , Suva, Fiji with Pastor Charles and Calvary Hawkes Bay with Pastor Eric, which held its inaugural service Easter Sunday 2021, coupled with online learning through CCBI and hosting conferences to support the local body here in New Zealand.
So there is much being done and yet still so much to do.
The board of CCBI recently met and at my recommendation made the decision to hibernate the residential portion of CCBI until at least the end of 2022.
As many of our long term staff have a sense of calling into different things and will be transitioning out of CCBI by June this year, this will ultimately affect our capacity to provide a residential experience.
This means signiﬁcant change for us as we lead CCBI, the ﬁnancial challenge of surviving as faith based mission organisation is not unique just to us, but it is nonetheless a real challenge. One development we want to make is to offer CCBI distance learning classes available on a 100% scholarship basis, in essence, free to anyone who wants them, more to come on that in due course.
Perspective – What’s needed at this point is a healthy dose of perspective in the form of the Word of God, great and precious promises:
Conﬁda nel SIGNORE e fa’ il bene; abita il paese e pratica la fedeltà.Psalm 37:3
OK – So this isn’t in English, more recently I have been reading my Italian bible and with it have come some wonderful and comforting insights, often different phrasing brings home the scriptures with a even greater sense of impact.
Psalm 37:3 has been the guiding word in a time of change and absence of normal structure.
“Trust in the Lord, & do good, live in the land and be loyal.”
Four simple little steps each day in the midst of extraordinary and unprecedented change.
The Lord does not change, He is ever stable and so often uses circumstances to bring about new seasons, the challenge is will we recognise when God is doing something new.
Will we not only recognise it but embrace it, now there’s the challenge.
This year everybody’s box changed, some were bent out of shape, many were utterly destroyed, but Jesus remains the same despite and in-spite of our circumstances.
So lets recognise the new things that God is doing and let the one thing we do, be press on in His footsteps.
We are so grateful for your partnership with us in this ministry and value you love, care and especially your prayers.
M & G
- Finances – wisdom regarding the need to ﬁnd a job, balanced with the desire to still minister & for direction in this new season.
- Calvary Hawkes Bay, for body to be established and grounded , for Pastor Eric as he leads the work and navigates all the challenges of a new work.
- CC Nasinu, as we seek to register the church and ultimately look for a piece of land on which to build a home for the church, wisdom and strength for Pastor Charles.
- Pastor Jordy at Calvary Auckland, that God would establish him and give him great wisdom and love as he serves the body of Calvary Auckland.
- Becky & Joe that they would continue to grow in their love for Him and each other as they establish their marriage and serve at Shoreline Calvary.