Steve Goss writes:
"Zoe and I are today at the end of a 12 day trip to New Zealand where we have been looking to connect with people who might feel called to join our team now that the Freedom In Christ Discipleship Course is available here. You may be relieved to hear that we didn't think the couple above had quite the qualities we were looking for!
We spent three days in Christchurch on the South Island, then moved to the North Island where we spent the middle of the week at Capernwray Bible School near Cambridge and finally we spent the last few days in Auckland.
In Christchurch and Auckland we ran an event to introduce church leaders to FIC and then an event teaching FIC principles to anyone who wanted to attend. In Christchurch we majored on The Grace Course and in Auckland on The Discipleship Course. Finally I had the privilege of speaking at the host church in each case.
In Christchurch our leader's meeting was held in St Paul's Trinity Pacific Church, right in the centre of the city. Like 70% of central Christchurch, their lovely building (shown in the poster photographed above) had to be demolished following the earthquake on 22 February 2011 so we met in their church hall which is still standing and now serves as their main building for the moment. 45 churches in the city are still without a building. The picture above is taken from the site of St Paul's Church where a temporary memorial to the 185 victims of the earthquake has been erected - one white chair for everyone who died. In the background you can see the triangular "cardboard cathedral" taking shape.
The old cathedral is cordoned off and is in a sorry state. It will eventually be demolished and a completely new cathedral will take its place over the next two or three decades. The "cardboard cathedral" will serve the people of the city during the rebuilding process.
We were hosted in Christchurch by Ken and Carole Shelley, Bob and Mary Cheeseman and the wonderful team at King's Church, part of the Newfrontiers network (pictured left).
At Capernwray Bible School it was great fun teaching the FIC principles to students from a wide variety of different countries. We really enjoyed connecting with them and with the staff.
In Auckland, we were delighted to be at Hillsborough Baptist Church with Pastor Glenn Edmonds and his wife Judi and team. The picture left shows discussion groups during the main conference.
It was great to be accompanied throughout the trip by Graeme and Helen Northe who have been our representatives in New Zealand for nearly ten years. Now that the Discipleship Course is available here, they are excited about the new possibilities opening up. They are actively looking for the right person to hand on the New Zealand ministry to in due course.
We encountered great enthusiasm from the church leaders we addressed at the events and bumped into several people who expressed interest in joining the team.
We are looking forward to seeing what God does here to pull it all together. We are so grateful to everyone who has been behind us in prayer. Thank you!"