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.
28-30 September 2018
Once or twice a year, most ISMNZ staff workers with their valued volunteers, interns and invited guests come together for a retreat. Most will agree that going to an ISMNZ retreat is actually an excuse to catch up with people!
Since the year 2000, the number of ISMNZ staff workers called to serve among international students in New Zealand has grown steadily. We are now based nationwide in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North and Wellington in the North Island, as well as Nelson and Christchurch in the South Island. When we hear the words 'ISM retreat', it is not only about R&R (rest and relaxation) but an opportunity to have fellowship, meaningful conversations, to pray, sing, learn from the Bible, eat good food, laugh, even cry and brainstorm together. The sense of family becomes real whenever we meet together in one place.
The theme for this year's worker retreat "Crossing boundaries - The Kingdom of God and ISMNZ" in Auckland, was led by Bible Teacher, David Bok. It was refreshing to listen to David as he talked about the Kingdom of God, based on the Bible and from his research that challenges mindsets. His honesty and inquisitive mind added richness to his story-telling, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, David's personal lessons on cross cultural missions opened our eyes to see from different perspectives. We greatly appreciate his down-to-earth candor and the deep respect he has for people.
We want to thank everyone who made this worker retreat a reality, especially Wilberforce Foundation for their financial support. We also appreciate ISMNZ Society members who came to the AGM on the afternoon of Saturday, 29 September.
If you are keen to join ISMNZ, check out Opportunities to Serve in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland and fill in an expression of interest.
"After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" (Revelation 7:9-10, NKJV)
6-9 July 2018
This winter, we returned to Keswick Christian Camp in Rotorua for the ISMNZ National Student Conference. From all across New Zealand, 128 attendees from 22 nations came and experienced a Christmas themed conference, 'God Comes to Us'. ISMNZ staff workers, volunteers, alumni and international students gathered to listen, discuss, learn, serve, work in teams, reflect, get to know each other, compete in mini-Olympics, play music, sing and dance together. A big thank you to everyone for coming to the conference and to the countless volunteers who served tirelessly! We will see you next year.
4-5 May 2018
Three ISMNZ representatives, Allen Tie (National Director), Dr Andrew Butcher (Board Chair) and Yvette Koo Butcher (Communication Manager) by invitation attended Wilberforce Foundation's Retreat in Auckland. The retreat included various speakers from Australia and New Zealand who spoke in a range of topics relevant to each organisation represented at the retreat. ISMNZ is grateful for the many wonderful opportunities to network and catch up with old friends.
7-10 July 2017
A big thank you to everyone who planned, prayed, gave, served and participated in Vision 20/20 2017!
One day, Jesus asked His followers, “Who do the people you have met say that the Son of Man is?”
After they had given Him their answers He then asked, “But who do YOU say I am?”
At our conference we asked and answered those same questions and many more. 160 people from 22 nations representing generations gathered together and learned what Jesus said about Himself.
Below is a slideshow capturing some of the moments at Vision 20/20. We are grateful to God for bringing so many wonderful people to Rotorua to build friendships and learn more about following Jesus.