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December 2015 Informer

People Matter

Life is a busy circus at times with work, places to go, family needs to meet, sport to watch, coffee dates, church activities (and there are a lot of these), and rest to have. We have to be careful or else our lives become cluttered with important but not always essential things. Sometimes in our busyness of life we miss the voice that is calling. We don't stop long enough to look around with our eyes wide open and our hearts attentive.

When I was farming, and particularly during lambing time, it was so important to stop to listen to the cry of the lamb that was without a mum or had strayed away. There was a lot of joy at being able to reconnect them. In order to see that lamb or to hear it's cry I had to be very observant; I had to stop, look and listen. I had to leave the comfort of my motorbike, the security of the track and scramble down the hill to where it was.

Often times we miss seeing the needy. We miss hearing the cry of the broken. We miss seeing the lonely. Sometimes we hear the voice but don't recognise it so move on. We don't recognise the voice because our ears are not attentive to it, our eyes are too single focused, or we have our headphones on to meet our social needs.

People Matter. Jesus tells a story in Luke 10:25-37 that is commonly known as The Good Samaritan. It was very noticeable in this story that the religious leader and his assistant were not attracted to the need but more concerned about their own deeds. The Samaritan man had his eyes and heart open and time had no bearing on what was important. There are three words that Stephen Sheane uses as he speaks to this passage and I like them: Attention, Affection and Action.

I have been challenged in my own life of late to pay more Attention. Because life is busy and there is always a lot to accomplish it is easy to keep going, unaware of anyone else. I need to intentionally stop so that I can pay attention. Pay attention to people. Pay attention to their needs. Pay attention to their cries. People matter more than my tasks. People matter more than my project. People matter more than my job.

Secondly, my heart must be prepared to be moved without an agenda of trying to earn "brownie-points" with God or anyone else. I must be willing to show and release the Affection that people need because they need it. You may say, "Some people are hard to love!" Jesus had no favourites; in fact He went to the last, the least and the lost because their needs were greater than His.

Finally, it is all very well to see what the needs are, to even sound affectionate by talking to others about their needs, but if I am not moved to Action I am "but a sounding gong or a clanging symbol." - 1 Corinthians 13:1

If you hear the cry of the lamb, no matter how loud or soft it is, head to where it is coming from. Leave the safety of the motorbike or the track and scramble down to find it. When you get there, pay attention to why it is crying. Show affection in whatever way is appropriate. Listen intently to what is being said and don't speak unless it is really necessary. Be prepared to act no matter the cost. Don't wait for an invitation because they just don't send them! People Matter.

Tom McIvor
Director

NEW LOOK. SAME MISSION.

Word of Life founder, Jack Wyrtzen always said, "I believe it is the responsibility of every generation to reach their generation for Christ."

For the last 75 years, God has used Word of Life around the world to help people experience their faith and have the opportunity to hear the life-changing message of the Gospel. Now, as we look to the next 75 years, we believe that the best days are ahead, and like our founders, that it is our responsibility to do what it takes to reach the current generation with the Gospel.

Today, we are so excited to unveil a new logo and look for Word of Life. This is the result of much prayer and planning, and it is an outward example of our deep commitment to sharing the Gospel with today's generation in a way that resonates—while holding fast to the truth of Scripture and the vision that guides us. This is just one way we are increasing our investment in reaching those who have never heard, because we believe that despite our changing culture, God is still changing lives and His light will shine brighter than ever.

Thank you for being a part of our family and for your support of the work God is doing through Word of Life. As we look to the next season of the ministry, our energy is renewed and our purpose remains the same. Our mission is to "Evangelise and disciple youth in partnership with local churches".

CROSS-CULTURAL INTERNSHIP

Sadly, my time here in New Zealand is drawing to a close. It's very difficult for me to sum up the past 18 months that I have been here, but I can say that I have had an incredible time. This past year and a half has been such an amazing learning experience for me and I have had a blast getting to serve here with Word of Life. It has been such an unbelievable journey (even with its ups and downs), and I have made so many friends along the way. Although I am not entirely sure what God has in store for me next, I do know that I will be spending some good quality time with my family and enjoying all the little things that I missed while I was away. To those of you who have made my time here so great and for making me feel right at home, thank you.

Kyle Myers
The Cross-Cultural Internship programme over the last year and a half has been such an amazing experience! Serving with Word of Life New Zealand has been a blessing to me more than words can say. To come alongside the Staff and be part of the team has taught me so much about life and ministry. As my time here comes to an end I am prayerfully looking for the next door God is opening for me to continue serving Him. I am so thankful for Tom and the team here; this ministry will always be close to my heart.

Daniel Johanson

EVENTS

Nothing excites us more than young people committing their lives to follow Jesus Christ!

During August and September we were able to run five different Events throughout the North and South Island reaching almost 600 youth with the Gospel. Over 20 young people responded to the messages shared; praise the Lord! We count it a privilege to run these Events and to share the Good News. Nothing excites us more than young people committing their lives to follow Jesus Christ! Please join us in praying that through these Events young people will continue to come to know Christ as their Saviour.

BULA FROM FIJI

"Praise be to God who is able to keep us from falling."

As we come to the end of the year, we look back and see God's faithfulness. We have had a tough journey especially during the last three months with sickness and a death in the family; yet God is still faithful. We take this time to thank the Word of Life family for their support towards our family during the home coming of our dear brother, brother in law and co- worker for Word of Life Fiji, Pastor Feso Motufoua.

One exciting ministry opportunity sees us travelling to Ra most weeks for training and teaching. We were so blessed and encouraged by the McIvor's visit, it came at just the right time. Tom was able to travel with us to Ra for one of our ministry times, helping train a team to do an outreach in Sigatoka. One night before practise Tom shared the Gospel. Many people came and sat in the dark to listen to the message and a few young people took the bold step to respond to the Gospel. The team's outreach took place a week ago with a team of 64 and we are eagerly awaiting news of how it went. It was only four years ago that many of those on the team got saved. How tremendous it is to see the transformation of lives in this area!

We have had several churches invite us to come and minister to them in the New Year. Our desire is to help strengthen these local church ministries and to help them do effective outreaches. There is an opportunity to have two young people, (both recently finished Bible training and keen to serve the Lord), work alongside us next. Please pray with us for their financial support and all the practical ways to make this happen.

Contacts in Tuvalu, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are also inviting us as to come and help them. We have a couple working with Word of Life as "tent makers" in Tuvalu doing a great job in Local Church Ministries. Praise the Lord for this great couple

Continue to pray as we finalise papers for registering Word of Life with the government. There have been a few issues but it seems like we are on the home straight now.

Good news that we want to share with you! The Lord has provided us a baby son PHILIP KILIFI MATIA MAREU. We are trusting for his adoption to go through in the next week or so. We are SO excited!!!

Thanks for all your love, prayers and support.
God bless!
Charles, Tina, Elizabeth and Philip.

HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIDE

We are loving our time here at the Word of Life Bible Institute and we are learning heaps. A couple of our favourite classes so far have been Personal Evangelism and Old Testament Survey. Being part of the off-campus community has been really enjoyable. For ministry we had the opportunity to attend two Reverb events – these are evangelistic all-nighters for youth groups which attract thousands of youth. During the two events we attended, over 250 youth responded to the Gospel. We are excited about everything we are learning both academically and ministry wise and are dreaming up ideas of how we can apply what we have learned when we return to New Zealand.
Dave & Ainsley Gow
davegow@wol.org.nz
My journey in America at the Word of Life Bible Institute has started out great! I've already been challenged and grown spiritually and have met some awesome guys who have encouraged and supported me through these challenges. I am a Resident Assistant over six guys in two dorm rooms which includes meeting with each of them fortnightly for discipleship as well as serving them in any way I can throughout the week! Loving and serving is a great opportunity for me to develop my leadership skills. Academics have been full-on and very challenging as well. I look forward to what God wants to teach me through the lecturers and through the ministry I have here in the upcoming months.
Josh McIvor
joshuamcivor@wol.org.nz

INTERNS 2015

NICK HOUGHTON—This year has been packed with ministry and study: sports tournaments, Youth Reachout, youth group, camp, Bible in Schools, Block Course, assignments and more! I have learned so much about working in a ministry environment and it's been exciting to see how many lives were impacted for Christ! It's definitely been challenging and stretching in many different ways. Being able to work alongside the other four interns and help each other through the difficult times was so encouraging. I thank God for the work He has done in me this year—to know that although I am not perfect He loves me anyway.

MATT JENSEN—Through my year of study and service I have had a taste of what ministry is like. My eyes have been opened to all that is involved in working and living fully committed to the work of the Gospel. It is definitely not for the faint of heart! The Lord has been working on my weakness giving me the strength I have needed to face this year. The Pathways study is integrated into practical ministry, delivering a comprehensive discipleship programme that effectively equips believers with the tools necessary to be effective ministers of the Gospel and followers of Jesus. God has been revealing the gifts and abilities He has equipped me with during this year of ministry and study. I know He will continue to reveal His plan for my life as I seek to love and please Him in all I do.

BRADEN ELLIS—As I have finished my assignments for the year and all of the ministry events have come to an end, I look back on the year and wonder where it has gone. It has been a long year, a tough year, but a year of growth and encouragement in my walk with the Lord. I never could have made it to the end by myself, but through God's faithfulness and Tom's encouragement to keep reading God's Word I was able to finish well. Tom encouraged and helped me grow in character and in having a closer relationship with God. I can't wait to see what God has planned for me in the future and where He leads me next year.

CAMP

LEGENDS was the theme of our annual Labour Weekend Camp. Teams battled it out under the watchful eye of their own personal Legend to see who would join the Resistance to challenge the evil, dominating Corporation.

It was a fantastic weekend of competition, fun, food and most importantly, teaching from the Word of God. We thank Scott McCulloch for speaking. Over the course of the weekend twelve teens made first time commitments and forty youth responded for rededication, counselling and prayer for different things they faced in their lives.

Our vision for Camp is 'every life touched and changed for eternity'. This year we saw God answer our prayers as this vision came to fruition. is nothing as rewarding as watching people surrender themselves to the life- changing message of the Gospel.

BUILDING UPDATE

Praise the Lord for His great provision! We are blown away by the generosity of so many people who have given to this project. Our initial loan to the previous owners, Laidlaw College has been paid!

We thank all those who contributed with their little or their much. Special thanks to the very generous Christian Trust who gave us an interest free loan for the $14,700 that we were lacking to repay Laidlaw College. We have just over two years to repay this.

If the Lord puts it on your heart to help us pay this off, you can send your donation to:

PO Box 15 242, Dinsdale 3243 or

Direct deposit into our account:
Word of Life Trust 03 0751 0035992 00—ref: Building
Don't forget to check out our events page to see all the latest happenings with Word of Life for 2016
ANNA SKEGGS—I have found the year to be truly rewarding. It turned out to be different but much greater than my expectations. God has challenged me in the weak areas of my life, causing me to rely on Him more. One of the greatest things He taught me was that through my weakness and doubts He is strong. I realised this especially during Word of Life camp as I worried that I couldn't be an effective leader of a team. Through God's grace and trusting His plan, camp became the unquestionable highlight of my year! My relationship with God has deepened and I'm unashamed of my faith in Christ. Although my plans for next year are not set, I believe that God has a plan—I just have to keep relying on Him.
COURTNEY WISEMAN—I loved meeting and getting to know different people through Pathways, ministry outreaches and Youth Reachout (a big highlight!). Studying and applying what I've learned to my life has been absolutely fantastic. The biggest challenge of the year was the planning and organising I was involved with for Word of Life Camp. God also really challenged me in my relationship with Him, to rely on and trust Him in all situations. Looking back on the year and seeing where He has been at work in my life is such a blessing. Next year I am going back to Invercargill to finish my last year of Teachers College.