The Informer - August 2016

AS WE CONTEMPLATE all that is happening over the 16days of the Olympics there is much excitement and exhilaration. These athletes give all their effort for the greatest earthly accolade they can achieve in sports. Many have sacrificed jobs and pleasure to reach the Olympics. They have had to forgo family events in order to prepare well. They have been careful with diet and sleep in order to be best prepared to win the prize. The emotions however, do a tumble turn as we contemplate the fact that not everyone at the Olympics can win. This morning (as I write) the successful New Zealand Sevens Rugby team lost to Japan. There is not exhilaration around this, but disappointment. They are all going for a medal; gold, silver or bronze. Anything below this is often greeted with huge disappointment.

WE WILL BE REWARDED too for how we prepare and perform in our lives on earth. The difference is that all who have faith in Christ will be rewarded.

Paul states in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 that we will be accountable for how we live our lives for the Lord Jesus. The foundation of our faith has been laid by Christ. We build upon this foundation with the gifts God has given us. These are works, not for salvation but of service to Christ. He will, according to 2 Corinthians 5:10 and Matthew 16:27, judge us for our works. These works will be tried by fire and some will come forth as gold, silver or precious stones but some will end up as ash – worthless. Do we see service to Christ as something worth all our effort ?

I believe we should be seeking to produce gold, silver and precious stones for our Master. To receive this reward may mean going without pleasure, sleep or even food. It will mean discipline. Discipline to read and know God's Word. Discipline to say 'No' to the lusts of the flesh. Discipline to say 'Yes' to service when God calls. Discipline to serve others, not only when it's easy but when it hurts. Discipline in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to the lost. I recently picked up two hitchhikers who, although in their twenties, had never heard the gospel before. Don't underestimate the need to be prepared and active in service for Christ in order to take these opportunities.

THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE MATTER. Sometimes we look at the "important people" and say they will get gold. When we do all the "little" things well for the glory of God they are worth gold. We don't know when our time is up. Will you stand at the judgement seat of Christ unashamed or ashamed? Each day you have life, look for ways to bring glory to God in active service for Him and produce gold, silver or precious stones.

Tom McIvor


THE MISSION trip to Samoa this year was a memorable time for all who came along. We had quite a few first time leaders, but their enthusiasm and willingness to get stuck in proved invaluable. Our prayer for team unity was quickly answered as the group of 44 coming from 12 different centres around New Zealand, gelled well from the start. The first week was extremely busy with training in drama, choir, puppets, sharing our testimonies as well as having two seminars from God's Word most days. It was exciting to see a lot of interaction with the local children at Fao Fao village where we were staying.

THE OPPORTUNITY came up twice to run services at a local church within the first week, and we saw right from the start answers to prayer and people responding to the Gospel message.

For the last two weeks we travelled back to Apia and set up base. Along with the help and support of Tevi and Clara Crichton, who pastor at Vailele Christian Fellowship, we started programming at various schools and churches around Apia. For the teens, this was their chance to put all the training from the first week into practice. Everyone was involved in Drama, Choir, and Puppets, sharing their testimony and counselling students after our programmes. Two highlights from those weeks were the Robert Louis Stevenson Secondary, where around half of the student body responded after hearing the Gospel. Secondly, the response on Sunday morning at Vailele, where many including our team were challenged about the things they were not handing over to Christ.

OUR TEAM was certainly challenged and made to step out of our comfort zone by the programmes, street witnessing, counselling and the seminars. Please continue to pray for these teens as they integrate themselves back into local churches and aim to put into practice what they learnt in Samoa. Please also continue to pray for the Samoans who responded to the Word of God and for Tevi and Clara, who continue to pastor and follow up with those who we connected with.


My experience on the Word of Life Youth Reachout trip was absolutely amazing. I made an awesome new family and had a blast getting to know the Samoan culture and people. The best thing of all however, was getting to grow closer to God and seeing His amazing power at work in all of our lives. I was blessed to be part of God's mission for the Samoan people: sharing Jesus Christ's love for them!
Another thing that impacted me was realising how important reading God's Word everyday is for me. I now know that I have to treat my soul like my body: if I want my body to be healthy I need to consume healthy nourishing food every day. If want my soul to be healthy I have to feed it every day with God's word. "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4
I continue to thank God for this trip, it was life changing.

JAYDEN Kennedy - Te Puke
Samoa hasn't changed much in the past 7 years since I first S t e w a r t went as a student and neither has Youth Reachout. It is an incredible journey to gain confidence in the Gospel message, courage to speak it out to others, and to let God mould hearts. Going back to Samoa this year as a leader and a mentor was an amazing experience. Watching the students and the two girls I was mentoring visibly grow in their walk with God each day and getting to lead the lost to Christ has blessed my heart. I got to know an awesome bunch of teens that love God and I can't wait to see where God takes them next in life!

STACEY Stewart - Hamilton
Before the trip, I was battling between the ideas of the world and the guidelines given in the Bible. I started the trip rather apprehensive about what I would be doing, who I'd be meeting, hoping that the next three weeks would be worthwhile. As it happened, many things of worth occurred - but it wasn't without challenges. The first was to completely trust God and His power to provide everything; the skills I needed, friendship, courage. Praying consistently throughout the day uplifted my spirit and I began to recognise the Lord's power as He answered my prayers. Another challenge was to go out of my comfort zone. Street witnessing was a momentous occasion where I had to "just do it". To go out, be bold and take action for God. Sharing the gospel left me on fire for God's Word, and gave me a greater sense of His love and salvation. One of the most amazing things was the way that God oftened my heart towards what He wants for my life. Through my Quiet Times, family time, the seminars and hatting with my peers, I found answers to ideas I was questioning and confused about. I learned how to rely on the Word of God to guide me to the Truth when battling difficult situations. Ultimately, I have come to realise that my worth and my belonging comes from God, and that I don't need to be absolutely perfect - I am a work in progress. Youth Reachout was an incredible, crazy, God-filled experience that I will never, ever forget.

GABRIELLA Purdy - Palmerston North
Youth Reachout has had a huge impact in my life, both when I had the opportunity to be part of the team in 2007 when I was 16 and again this year as a leader. The trip for me has been a great mix of getting to know new people, and most importantly growing in my own relationship with the Lord and gaining confidence in sharing the gospel. I have so many awesome stories of how God has worked in my life through Youth Reachout and encouraged me through His Word to figure out what it looks like to live life fully for Him. I am so thankful God has given me the opportunity to be involved and come back and serve. I would recommend Youth Reachout to anyone who is keen to be challenged, encouraged, and grow in their faith.

- Havelock North



How can we hear God's voice and how does He speak to us? As a family we have learnt in the last few months after Cyclone Winston that God He really does speak to us through His creation; in this case through a tsunami followed by a devastating cyclone. Some of our people died, others lost their homes and livelihood. Yet, even in the midst of all the tragedy and destruction, people testified to the outpouring love and support from God's people through churches and ministries who almost immediately were the first on the scene to offer their assistance and contributions.

"The Heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge." Psalm 19:1-2

We thank God for all your prayers and overwhelming support which sustained the villagers of Uluibau on Moturiki, where Charles comes from, and for those of you who came to help clean up and build homes. Uluibau was greatly affected but fortunately had no casualties. One of the elders said, "Before
Winston we had nothing, after Winston, we have much. Praise God for His love." Through
all the assistance, the gospel became very real and practical to the villagers and we are still receiving words of gratitude and appreciation from the villagers and their acknowledgement of God's provision and mercy. Over 20 people trusted Christ while we have been serving on the island and many more returned to the Lord.

Two of our four interns have moved on for work and family commitments but Philip and Lusiate are still with us. Philip, who is from the Solomon Islands, has learned so much and is looking forward to going back to his country to do the same ministry he has been involved in here with Word of Life. The interns have participated in Bible study, leadership training, visitation both to the neighborhood and the church families, cutting grass, helping out at people's homes, speaking at outreaches, camps and churches. We have seen a number come to Christ and helped in their spiritual growth.

On a personal level, we have been blessed by some families and their local church who turned up at our doorstep to help build our house for a day. We didn't even know them until we met that day - this could only be from God! Also, we want to thank those who gave towards the motor boat engine and the grass cutter. These have helped us to support our interns, the family and the ministry. Tina is currently doing a course on literacy. Philip our son has recovered from all his teething problems and we praise God that he's growing up so fast.

Please continue to pray for us as we continue to serve Him.

Charles & Tina, Elizabeth and Philip Mareu


The last few months have been really full-on in the Events department here at Word of Life. Prior to Youth Reachout a lot of time was put into promoting our tournaments in Hamilton, Palmerston North, Dunedin, Whangarei and Invercargill. We are so excited for these events; they are going to be a lot of fun, but more importantly, a lot of people are going to be exposed to the gospel, possibly for the first time!

It has been amazing seeing what God has been doing in and through the events so far this year. We have seen several people trust Jesus with their lives and many youth groups encouraged by the opportunity to fellowship together and connect with other churches. Our prayer is that many more youth – especially those who have never heard the Good News – would come to these events and would have their lives changed by the message of hope they will hear and possibly respond to.

Dan & Nick
Event Coordinators


This summer we have both been serving on the Word of Life Island in Schroon Lake, New York. Dave was a unit leader over the boat and paintball boys. This was a discipleship role where Dave mentored the supervisors of these areas who then discipled the camp crew working in these areas. Camp crew are high school youth who come and serve in a work area of camp for the full 8 weeks. Ainsley worked as the business manager of the island, dealing with anything money related. We enjoyed being challenged and growing through these roles. We are looking forward to coming home in early September and are excited to join the team back in New Zealand again.
God has challenged me in many areas of my life over the past year. He has stretched me to my limits, forcing me to grow spiritually as I turn to Him in those times. We finish the school year with 8 weeks of summer camp. I have come to see camp as six days of opportunities a week to share the gospel and the love of Christ with over 350 campers every week! This year I believe that God has taught me and continues to teach to be intentional with every opportunity He gives me. Whether it's a short term sharing of the gospel conversation or a long term discipleship relationship. He has given me endless opportunities which makes me excited for the new school year starting in a few weeks.
CONGRATULATIONS to our wonderful I.T. guy Matt Elen for his recent engagement to Charlotte Huband!
Make sure you check our events page to see whats coming up soon!
If you want to support this ministry, either through prayer or financial, please let us know