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A Far North Visit

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m meeting Matt Scott (pictured below), youth leader at Clark Road Chapel and camp staff member at Marsden Bay Christian Camp.

What a joy hearing about Matt’s heart to see churches working together to reach their communities through camping. A blessing to hear that the community in the area is knocking on the door to register kids for holiday programmes.

It’s Sunday morning and I have the privilege of being with the church family from Lighthouse Church in Tutukaka (see first picture), 30 minutes from Whangārei.

Lighthouse Church is now an independent church, having been planted by Clark Road Chapel in Whangārei. Lovely to walk into a prayer time and sense the team’s dependence on God.

Appreciated being a part of the service as the church family stepped out to pray, lead communion and serve. A delight to hear the hearts of Trish and Greg Ellis for the gospel to grow on the Tutukaka Coast.

On Sunday afternoon it was a blessing to meet Caine Johnston, a radiographer at the local hospital, and other leaders from the leadership team (Dean and Ngarui Karaka) from Raumati Crescent Chapel in Onerahi, Whangārei. Richard Fountain had preached, and it was lovely to have Richard and Karen Fountain at lunch as well.

Constantly encouraged by the men and women giving of their time to serve and support churches like Raumati.

From left to right: Richard Fountain, Caine Johnston, Dean and Ngarui Karaka, Karen Fountain.

On Monday I had the privilege of visiting Mike and Janet Fleming, John Aish, and Andrew Fleming from the Tōtara North Bible Chapel family. Grateful for the hearty breakfast and encouraging conversation.

What a delight to hear of 60+ children hearing about Jesus through the Rally and many teenagers and their families hearing more of the Lord. Grateful to God for the team’s gospel-hearted service.

From left to right: Janet and Mike Fleming, John Aish and Andrew Fleming.

Monday afternoon was spent with leaders from Kaitaia Bible Chapel, Vince Mason, Paul Williams, Kilipeni Fakatou, and Mike Flay.

Encouraged to hear about the potential for future children and families ministries along with work on the church building.

From left to right: Vince Mason, Paul Williams, Kilipeni Fakatou and Mike Flay.

On Tuesday, I was blessed out of my socks to meet with Reg and Olive Carr, Bev Fleming and Evelyn Laybourn (Coopers Beach Christian Youth Camp Manager) at the site of the Camp and Mangonui Bible Chapel.

What a special time praying together about seeing the gospel spreading through Northland again.

From left to right: Evelyn Laybourn, Bev Fleming, Olive and Reg Carr.

Our vision is to see churches across the movement working together (with the regional campsites and national support ministries that serve them) to point people to Jesus through the gospel from the scriptures.

For that reason, I came away super encouraged hearing how Tōtara North Bible Chapel, Kaitaia Bible Chapel and Mangonui Bible Chapel work together in outreach through the Coopers Beach Camp.

On Wednesday, it was a blessing to be with leaders from Dargaville Gospel Church. It was encouraging talking about the possibilities of getting children and families to camp at Marsden Bay Christian Camp.

We also talked about the possibility of asking returning missionaries to consider moving to Northland to continue ministering.

From left to right: Rod Bridge, Wally and Sjannette Hagoort, and Willis Lang.

A real delight to spend time with Ben Cochrane, the camp manager at Moirs Point Christian Centre at Mangawhai, an hour south of Whangārei and one of the fastest-growing towns in New Zealand.

The land the camp is on was gifted by the Rally movement and the Moirs Point team have a deep desire to see the camp used by local churches to reach their communities through Rally.

Ben Cochrane at Moirs Point Christian Centre.

Would you pray for these Northland churches, the gospel of Jesus Christ came to these Islands in Northland and spread across them from Northland. Let’s pray that the gospel rings out afresh from Northland.

Our earliest missionaries who came to Northland were ordinary people, with a deep commitment to Christ and a desire to make him known.

Would you pray with me that God would send more people to stand with these churches in Northland as they seek to make Christ known?

By Mark Grace, CCCNZ Ambassador



 

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