Saturday, February 9
At 9:30 a.m., I am standing before some 35-40 pastors, educators and ministry leaders attending a Mosaix Global Network Seminar hosted at the Bible College of New Zealand. It is the first of its kind to be conducted outside the United States. Andrew is extremely pleased with the turn-out; in fact, he tells me that some had thought no more than 12-15 would attend. In the first hour, I present the Biblical Mandate for the Multi-ethnic Church and after morning tea, the Seven Core Commitments required to bring it about. Following nearly thirty minutes of q and a, the seminar concludes just after 12:30 p.m. Early reviews suggest the event has been wonderfully received and already there is talk about a future, more national conference. Beyond that, one missionary of German descent who has only recently arrived in New Zealand tells me of his connection to ministry leaders in the Caribbean where he has previously served. Speaking well of the presentation, he believes they will be interested, too, and wants to contact them with a recommendation. Of course, I have no problem with that:-)
After the seminar, Andrew and I catch a quick bite at Subway before heading into the city's center to view Christchurch Cathedral and the surrounding area. Like many cities in Europe, the gothic facility anchors a vibrant commercial district - part green space (note the Hari Krishna's playing music on the grass), part farmer's market and trade bazaar, part modern art and monument display, etc. I'll snap many pictures in the area before our hunt for All Blacks jerseys (New Zealand's internationally acclaimed national team in rugby union) takes us to the local Champions store. Yes, since Pastor Jack Stuart has shown me a replay of the All Blacks winning an international tournament (and in less than twenty-four hours on the ground), I am hooked on the pride of New Zealand!
Later, I dine with a dozen or so ministry leaders at a local Indian restaurant. The night concludes with Andrew, Mandy and I enjoying dessert at Crowne Plaza with Steve and Christine Graham. Steve is the Dean of the Bible College of New Zealand’s Christchurch campus and together with Christine, the co-pastor of Westside Apostolic Church. Indeed, I marvel at the many wonderful people I have met along the way and the potential for further ministry with them in the future.