Sunday, November 13, 2011

New Zealand District Assembly 2011

This weekend I had the blessing of joining over 100+ Nazarenes from around New Zealand for our annual District assembly.  This is a yearly gathering for all our Nazarene churches on the district to reconnect with old friends, make new ones,worship together, receive reports of God's transformative power in the lives of those in our spheres of influence, and rekindle the fire for the upcoming year.  It was a much-needed time of refreshment for me personally, and allowed me to get a better feel of what unique challenges we face as pastors and laypersons in New Zealand.

I have to say I am so impressed with our leaders, especially our district superintendent, Neville and Joyce Bartle.  It is evident that a deep love for Jesus and years of ministry across our region have given them priceless wisdom and foresight.  This incredible couple seems to have the energy level of those half their age!  :-) 

Personal highlights include:
-- Receiving my first New Zealand District Minister's License
-- Hosting a children's ministry workshop
-- Meeting up with old friends
-- Making new friends
-- Learning about "Celebrate Recovery", a program that can help many of our people struggling with addictions and abuse here in Whangarei
-- Cultural dances
-- Real-life testimonies of miracles and changed lives
--  Just being together

This was by far the most diverse district assembly of which I have ever been a part!  In attendance were those from Korea, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, America, Cook Islands, South Africa. .. and I'm sure I am forgetting some.  It was quite a sight; a little glimpse of heaven!

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