Tena koutou, and greetings church family.
What a wonderful week of celebrations and blessings we witnessed last week. Praise the Lord! A message of thanks is pouring forth to this wonderful church.
Firstly, Pastors Arpana and Prasana shared of God’s transformation work in the lives of unwanted girls on the streets of India, and their journey to adulthood. The testimonies of these grown-up young women now serving their community in the hospitality industry, the medical profession and others training to be Church leaders was inspiring. Alleluia to the power of God through His Son Jesus. This scripture comes to mind as Jesus is speaking in Mathew 25:
“For I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.(v35)
When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”(v39)
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”(v40)
I was overwhelmed by the testimony of God’s grace when we choose to obey His call as Arpana and Prasana did. Such grace was obvious on the Saturday night dinner with so much love shared in conversation with our guests. Arpana’s words of encouragement for the church on Sunday “I am yours and you are mine”, is a blessing in our faith journey. God is in total control as we lean on Him and not on ourselves (Proverbs 3: 5).
I want to take this opportunity to thank our Mission committee team of Ian, Angela, Fred, Susan, Neil and Glenda together with the support of International Needs who planned Arpana and Prasana’s stay. Also thank you to Rose and Peter for hosting, Ros and Judy opening your home and the many others for supporting food preparation for the Saturday evening dinner. Lastly to all those who have supported the work of Sano Dino (A little lighthouse) and sponsored girls, be blessed, your offering has indeed produced fruit.
Secondly, the hosting of the “Kaimai Presbytery leaders meeting and Gathering” on Friday and Saturday. What a practical way St Peters family served and demonstrated how to be a relationship nurturer with the wider church. A highlight for me was the opportunity to share with church leaders in small groups about controversial issues raised by the speaker including church attendances, understanding the times, and connecting with the local community to mention a few.
As followers of Jesus, we must be courageous to share our faith and build up fellowship wherever and whenever possible with our community.
Again, a big thank you to Pam and her team, Judy, Margaret, Cornie, Lyn, Tissie and Barbara for organising morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea for the 2 days, this was a huge task and so appreciated.
Finally, what a wonderful blessing our church have with musicians and worship leaders who led the singing. Fa’afetai lava Felicity, Peter Chin, Peter Carter, Gary, Franz and Karen. Thanks Tony, Jaco and Bruce for data projectors and Barbara for overseeing, what a TEAM! The presbytery were very grateful.
May the LORD give strength to your weariness and tiredness and bless you with His peace beyond measure as you go about your daily routines.
AND.. lets not forget the lovely lunch provided by Marion’s house group after church on Sunday, what a fitting way to farewell Prasana and Arpana, another big THANK YOU.
40 Days between the Resurrection (April 9) to Pentecost (May 21)
I encourage you to take your Bible out and read the following events where Jesus appeared to His disciples:
- Mary Magdalene: (Mark 16:9-11 & John 20:11-18)
- Two people, one named Cleopas, on the way to Emmaus: (Mark 16:12-13 & Luke 24:13-35)
- Peter: (Luke 24:34 & 1 Corinthians 15:5)
- The 10 disciples in the upper room (without Thomas): (Luke 24:36-49 & John 20:19-23)
- The 11 disciples in the upper room (with Thomas): (Mark 16:14-18 & John 20:26-29)(1 Corinthians 15:5)
- The 7 disciples while fishing in the Lake of Tiberias (Galilee): (Jn 21:1-23)
- The 11 disciples on a mountain in Galilee: (Mathew 28:16-20)
- The disciples before His ascension at the Mount of Olives: (Mark 16:19-20 & Luke 24:50-52 & Acts 1:3-11
- More than 500: (1 Cor 15:6)
What were the three primary things mentioned in Acts 1:2-3 Jesus did during His 40 days?