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Image by Mum of a Shepherd

Staff Workers &

Auckland Team

Akira Doi
Akira Doi 

Japanese Ministry Leader, Auckland 

Akira and his wife, Kikuko came to serve among international students in New Zealand in 1997. Since that time they have enjoyed a vibrant ministry among Japanese international students in Palmerston North and currently, in Auckland. 

Akira and Kikuko have a passion for helping international students become life-long followers of Jesus Christ. Year after year they disciple students and young adults, develop future ministry leaders, and have a strong returnee base in Japan. Akira and Kikuko have served Christ for decades, having been The Navigators staff in Japan before coming to work with international students in New Zealand. 

In addition to his work among students, Akira contributes to a Japanese Church as a senior elder. Both Akira and Kikuko also arrange study in New Zealand for Japanese students from kindergarten level to university. 

​If you would like to financially support Akira Doi, please visit our donate page.

Yangyang Wu

Massey Albany Campus Worker (Chinese Specialist) 

Yangyang came to New Zealand as an international student. After a difficult journey, she enrolled at Carey Baptist Bible College. For several years after graduation, Yangyang began serving on the chaplaincy team at Massey Albany. 

To grow in her cross-cultural giftings and serve among international students, Yangyang became part of ISMNZ in 2009 as a ministry intern through Pathways College of Bible and Mission. After graduating, Yangyang joined ISMNZ as a full-time staff worker, and continues to serve alongside the chaplaincy team at Massey Albany campus and at the University of Auckland as well.

Yangyang's passion is to serve and disciple students who come from Mandarin-speaking nations. Her servant heart touches many lives, and students hear the gospel and grow in Christ.

Yangyang shares, "My Christian commitment comes from my belief in these words from Matthew 16:24: Jesus told His disciples, 'If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me.' and in Acts 4:12: 'There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’."

If you would like to financially support Yangyang Wu, please visit our donate page.

Carrie Rambo-Toehemotu
Carrie Rambo-Toehemotu

Massey Albany Campus Worker (Multicultural) 

By faith, Carrie was sent to New Zealand through Impact Ministries USA as a 'pioneer' missionary in 2004. God led her on a path to work amongst international students, and she began immediately working with Chinese and Japanese students. Over these years she has been involved in pastoral care, evangelism, prayer and discipleship with students. She has been a part of the chaplaincy team at Massey Albany for several years.

In 2010 Carrie began seeking to become a part of a New Zealand-based mission organisation that would allow her to continue her work amongst international students at Albany. God led her to ISMNZ and we are blessed to have her as a part of our worker family. If you were to ask Carrie about the ministry, she would sum it up as, “Plain and Simple: We love international students!”

If you would like to financially support Carrie Rambo-Toehemotu, please visit our donate page.

Graeme Sterne
Graeme Sterne

International Student Ministry Facilitator, Auckland Campuses

God has called Graeme to 'feed His sheep' (John 21:16) as he reaches the nations from our doorsteps in New Zealand. This calling to serve international students fits with his long-held passion for people from many nations. 

One of his life verses is Zechariah 8:23 "In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew saying, 'Let us go with you for we have heard that God is with you'". At the end of 2013, Graeme left his lecturer position to concentrate more time on ministry among international students.

Graeme has been a follower of Christ since 1972. His grounding in the faith came from the Lutheran church. He was discipled through The Navigators and later became a Navigator staff ministering among working singles as well as Asian and Pacific students in the 1970s and '80s.

Since then Graeme has worked as a secondary school teacher and guidance counsellor, as HR manager and PR Director for World Vision New Zealand and as a lecturer at various tertiary institutions in Auckland. He gained his PhD in 2012.

Graeme and Diane married in 1980 and now live in One Tree Hill, Auckland near their two married children, Matt and Kylie. They have five grandchildren. Diane has a strong heritage in the Baptist church through the Finlay family, and The Navigators, and is now working for Fathers Who Dare Win.

May Lee
May Lee

Auckland Central 

The spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,” Isaiah 61:1

New Zealand is a special place for May as this is where she felt God’s call for the mission while she was doing her working holiday here a decade ago. It was then she began praying for the people in Aotearoa, and believed that God intended for revival, and restoration and healing in this country. As she prayed, her eyes were opened to the need for more Christian workers in this beautiful land.

May loves meeting people from different cultures, and seeing how God is bringing all nations to our neighbourhood. As she learnt more about the history of New Zealand, she began to understand how God was using this unique period in time, with the increase of International students and immigrants to fulfil His call to all nations to missions. She feels privileged to be part of God's project.

May graduated in Bachelor of Contemporary Ministry in Alphacrucis College in 2014 and worked as a campus staff worker the previous years. She enjoys Bible studies, singing with students, and interacting with people from different cultures and learning languages. As she was an international student herself from South Korea, she is passionate about helping International students find a place of belonging in New Zealand through the love of Christ, to grow in their faith and become a life-long disciple of Jesus.

If you would like to financially support May Lee, please visit our donate page.

Chisa Nagashima-Yamakawa

(Japanese Ministry), Auckland

In 2012, Chisa answered God's call and boarded a plane in Japan bound for New Zealand. "When I arrived in Auckland, God had already prepared what I should do so I just jumped into place like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle." says Chisa. "I began to help in some ministries, especially by leading worship which God gives me as a gift."

Since arriving in New Zealand, Chisa has been serving alongside ISMNZ workers Akira and Kikuko Doi in their ministry among Japanese students and migrants in Auckland. Besides worship leading, she served as a youth leader in the Japanese high school student ministry. In 2013, she enrolled in Alphacrucis College in Auckland as an ISMNZ Ministry Intern. She completed her Diploma in Christian Leadership Internship in December of 2015.

After graduating, Chisa joined ISMNZ as a staff worker serving and ministering among Japanese international students. When asked about God's call in her life, Chisa says, "I believe I was born to worship God: 'I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live' (Psalm 104:33, NIV). My vision is to worship God cross-culturally and experience the living God in our praises together."

Chisa is married to Seitaro Yamakawa and they both live in Auckland. Please pray for Chisa as she shares her testimony of what God is doing in her life and in the lives of Japanese international students in New Zealand, as well as their impact as followers of Jesus when they return to Japan. 

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