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Who is He?

A ka ui ratou ki a ia, Tena, pehea? Ko Iraia koe? Ka mea ia, Kahore. Ko te poropiti oti koe? Ka whakahokia e ia, Kahore. Na ka mea ratou ki a ia, Ko wai koia koe? Hei kupu whakahoki ma matou ki te hunga i tonoa mai ai matou. E pehea ano koe ki a koe?

They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

—John 1:21-22

Who are you?

Exasperated, the priests and Levites blurt out their question. They’ve been sent from Jerusalem at the behest of the Jewish leaders to get an answer out of John the Baptist.

In these verses, they want him to fit into their framework. Are you the Messiah? Elijah? The Prophet?

Of the 300 million people alive on the planet at the time, John has a better answer than all of them to that question. After 430 years of silence, he has been chosen by God to announce the coming of the King. He knows who he is, and how to answer their question. But he doesn't.

What does he do? He says: you're asking the wrong question. The question isn't who I am; it's who is He.

In verses 23 and 26 John is essentially saying, "I can’t tell you who I am, unless you understand who He is. You won’t get me, if you don’t get Him. I’m all about Him".

John doesn’t need to be 'the one', he doesn’t need to be the 'big man', the 'head honcho'.

His identity is entirely shaped by who Jesus is and what he will do on the cross. “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

I now cringe at the times I’ve wanted to make a name for myself, or the times where I’ve answered the question, "Who are you?" with an inflated sense of self-importance.

The more precious Jesus has become to me and the deeper my appreciation of the cross has become, the more I see that most important thing about me is what God has done for me in the death and resurrection of his Son.

Like John the Baptist, everything about us has been changed by Christ Jesus.

Hui Brings Camps Together

On Friday night, forty-five leaders gathered at the heritage Brethren Christian Camping Hui, held at Silverstream Retreat in Lower Hutt, Wellington. Twenty-one out of the 23 campsites across our movement had at least one trustee in attendance.

One goal of the Hui was to discuss how can we work together better as campsites, together with the churches in our regions, to point people to Jesus through the gospel from the Scriptures.

Thank you to our wonderful hosts, George Ross , owner and director of Silverstream Retreat and John Ross, chair of Silverstream Retreat.

It also was very encouraging to hear from younger leaders who are contributing to the boards of campsites in their regions. It was a special privilege to chat with Hazel Davison (above left) and Briony Diffey (above right), trustees of Karakariki Christian Camp.

Briony is a member of Whitiora Bible Church. At 16, Briony has helped as a leader at the camp and now serves as a trustee. Thanks Briony; we are grateful to God for you.

Briony mentioned that Word of Life partnered with the church and campsite to run a recent camp which saw fourteen teenagers from the church and community hear and witness the gospel.

Briony also mentioned that the church has been quietly serving a local school by providing breakfast meals. When combined with church outreach activities, this act of service has seen more kids from the school coming to camp.

It is awesome to see what God does when churches, support ministries, and campsites work together to point young people to Jesus.

I asked Briony what she would say to a younger leader who might be considering joining a camp board. She said: “Go for it! It is such a big learning opportunity but your age means you have something unique to contribute.”

If you are a younger leader in our movement with a heart for camp governance, CCCNZ Camping Enabler Richard Davis would love to help you explore opportunities to serve.

Jeremy Johnson (above) from Raleigh Street Christian Centre, is serving as deputy chair on the Totara Springs Trust Board.

I am grateful for the contribution younger leaders like him are making—despite business, study, and family commitments—through serving on camp trust boards.

A huge thank you to all the trustees who are serving this movement's campsites.

Churches and Campsites Working Together

I was encouraged to hear from Luka Crosbie (above centre), originally from New Lynn Bible Chapel, about how the churches and campsites can engage the Pasifika community together.

I appreciated hearing from Jerome Edwards (above left) from Tamaki Community Church and Max Guptill (above right) from Mt Wellington Community Church about how churches and campsites can be working together to minister to Māori.

Please pray for this conversation across the country. We cannot wait to see what God will do as churches and campsites find new and creative ways to work together to point people to Jesus through the gospel from the Scriptures.

If you would like to chat further, don’t hesitate to touch base with CCCNZ Camping Enabler Richard Davis.

Meet Dorothy

Let me introduce you to Dorothy (above) from Hope Community Church in Nelson.

Every year, Dorothy has made batches of relish for her church family's missions fundraising barbecue.

Dorothy has done this for about twenty years. Bit by bit, and year by year, Dorothy has ended up raising over $46,000 for global missions.

Dorothy, we are all grateful for your example of using what you have, where you are to serve God’s global purposes. You are a beautiful reminder that small things done well over long periods can be used mightily by God.

We were delighted to hear you were interviewed and honoured with flowers by your church family. I loved hearing that your church family turned a 200-litre drum into a relish jar to demonstrate the amount you made.


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