To have our very first South Island ISM Regional Camp was a big milestone for us. We have had local camps in the past, but to combine together at Living Springs near Christchurch marked the beginning of a new thing for us in the Southern Region. I believe God is at work as we have been praying for Christchurch, and Dunedin. We are looking forward to seeing great things occurring across the South Island as we pray and ask God to send workers into His harvest field.
On Sunday afternoon of our camp we invited other volunteer leaders who are involved with ministry to International Students in and around Christchurch. We all shared what God is doing in our area, and we prayed for each other, and for the future of this work in Christchurch. Do pray with us for Christchurch ISMNZ.
All up 38 people made it on the day (6 July) to Massey University in Albany, Auckland. We had three sessions: “Who is Jesus?”, “Knowing Jesus” and “Following Jesus”, which were led by two of our own Board Members (Andrew Butcher, Andrew Lim) and our National Director (Allen Tie). Each session had a few questions for us to split into groups and discuss. There was also the opportunity to summarise the three sessions, and for participants to reflect on what they will do with what they have just learned.
Last weekend (5 - 7 July) we had an excellent regional camp for International students from the Manawatu and Wellington regions at Foxton Beach. Thank you for being part of the success of this camp through your prayers. Three phrases come to mind to describe the camp: low budget, family feel, and fruitful. Our theme was “Religion or Relationship? What does it mean to follow Jesus? There can be a tendency in our world to equate big budget with big success, yet I don’t see Jesus operating that way. Jesus was low budget, and he emphasised us being family together and fruitfulness as signs of the Kingdom. There were times at the camp when I was thinking, “this is old school, this is new school, this is Jesus school.” So what did that look like for us?
5 - 8 July 2019
The conference this year was separated into three regional camps, North Island (Albany Auckland), Lower North Island (Foxton), and South Island (Christchurch), which made for smaller camps, of about 30 to 50 in each region. This cozier size allowed everyone to get to meet and have a conversations with each other at some point.
The theme was "Religion or Relationship: What does it mean to follow Jesus?". Through the programs and the examples of staff workers and volunteers, it was conveyed that being a Christ follower is not about following all the rules, but having a real relationship with Christ.
Students were open and eager to meet new people from different campuses and other countries, and there was a sense of family, no one was left out, with everyone reaching out, bonding, sharing and helping one another where they could. Even the cold of winter didn’t feel quite as harsh with the warmth of good fellowship.