PALMERSTON NORTH CONNECTIONS
ISMNZ Palmerston North City Leader
Paul became a follower of Christ in his second year at University and has been involved in work and ministry at Universities ever since. Paul is a Senior Tutor in plant biology at Massey University Palmerston North campus. He spent two years as a visiting lecturer teaching plant biology in Indonesia and still enjoys Indonesian food, speaking a bit of Bahasa Indonesia and hanging out with Indonesian students at Massey. The experience of studying and working in another culture has equipped Paul with an understanding and empathy towards overseas students studying in New Zealand.
One of Paul's passions is helping students grow in knowing they are loved by God, not just in their heads but in their hearts. He believes that when we know that God really does love us he helps us to love others better, even ourselves. Another area of interest for Paul is the relationship between science and faith. He is a passionate about both areas as realms of meaning and knowing, and seeks to help students navigate through some of the tricky waters associated with the practice of science and Christian faith in the University context.
Paul also leads a team of part-time and volunteer chaplains at the Chaplaincy Centre which bears the Māori name Te Waiora, meaning 'the Water of Life.' This is a very apt name for the place given that the story of the woman at the well from the gospel of John is one of Paul's favourites. It speaks of hospitality and the welcome of God, values that the chaplaincy team seek to live by each day as they offer a warm welcome to students, both International and domestic.
Paul and Dianne celebrated 21 years of marriage in 2015. They enjoy, with their daughter Charlotte, nature walks in the Manawatu, the beach, and soy chai lattes.
If you would like to financially support Paul Stock, please visit our donate page.
Terry and Jenny McGrath
Consultant and Massey Postgraduate Ministry
When the vision for ISMNZ was taking shape in 1999, God raised up Terry and Jenny as leaders of the team that would pioneer the ministry. ISMNZ formed a society and in January 2000 appointed Terry to be the first National Director of the mission.
Terry continues to represent ISMNZ throughout the world as a specialist in international student ministry with the Lasuanne Movement (Asia-Pacific Leader), and closer to home as a consultant with ISANA.
Jenny and Terry are a part of ministry to Postgraduates and mature students of Massey University. Their passion for over 20 years is the care of international students. It has been said of Terry and Jenny, "they have impacted more nations than most people without ever having to leave Palmerston North."
If you would like to financially support Terry and Jenny McGrath, please visit our donate page.
Leadership Development and Disciplemaking (Chinese Specialist)
As the numbers of Chinese students increased rapidly in the early 2000s, the leaders of ISMNZ began praying for God to bring a worker who could speak Mandarin and help us build our work among Chinese students from a variety of nations.
Xiaoou indeed was an answer to that prayer. Seeking to study in Bible College or seminary herself, God led her to New Zealand, to Palmerston North and soon to ISMNZ. Xiaoou enrolled in the ISMNZ ministry internship programme, and upon graduation became a full time staff worker with us.
Over the years she has served as mentor, teacher, and preacher with international students and in local Chinese congregations. In 2007-08 Xiaoou realised a dream of completing a Masters Degree in Christian Formation and Ministry at Wheaton Graduate School in the USA. Not long after her return from study she married and as a couple, settled back in Palmerston North.
Xiaoou and her husband, Akang, minister together at a local Chinese church where Akang was appointed pastor. She continues to mentor the Chinese student fellowship of Massey University as well as training leaders. Xiaoou and Akang became happy parents in late 2013.
If you would like to financially support Xiaoou Tang, please visit our donate page.
Ben grew up on a sheep farm near Woodville, and he graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science at Massey University, Palmerston North. He also did a Graduate Diploma in Theology in 2016.
In late 2017, Ben joined ISMNZ as a Campus Worker. He is part of a Chaplaincy team at IPU in Palmerston North, ministering to students from Japan, West Papua and East Asia. He also helps with the International Post Grad club at Massey University.
Ben and Stephanie met, married and had three kids while serving with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) for 15 years. Steph is from the USA and has an Associates degree in General Education. Both Ben and Steph had a long Bible teaching ministry in YWAM, travelling to a range of fascinating countries, including living in Nepal for five years. God led them home to New Zealand in 2015 and connected them with ISMNZ- a way to reach the world while staying in one place.
Serving alongside Terry and Jenny McGrath at Massey among postgraduate students, Ben and Steph love to connect with international students and their families.
If you would like to financially support Ben Poulton, please visit our donate page.
Graham and Karlene McFarlane
After many years of overseas mission service, mostly in teaching the children of missionaries and also working with second language students, Karlene and Graham have settled in Palmerston North.
Both are working in ISMNZ and Graham in Chaplaincy as well. They are both involved with international students at Massey Campus, introducing them to the Bible as they teach English lessons using the Bible as the text. Graham regularly interacts with students who arrive at the Chaplaincy Centre for a chat, for encouragement, for a listening ear, for counsel and for discussions about faith.
Family bring them great enjoyment. They have two married daughters and four grandchildren living in Palmerston North and in Clive.
If you would like to financially support Graham and Karlene, please visit our donate page.
Isaac & Cecily Fung
Isaac and Cecily’s faith was grounded through a local church in Hong Kong and was enriched through their international student experience in the UK. Their desire to serve God was substantially strengthened through attending full-time evangelical training in Taiwan in 1987. They have since been involved in various Christian ministries, and have a belief in serving the Lord in accordance with the model presented in Ephesians 4:11-13 “… to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…”.
Isaac and Cecily came to New Zealand in 1997 as Isaac took up an academic role at Massey. God led Isaac and Cecily to settle in Palmerston North and to serve Him through local churches and different Christian ministries.
Isaac & Cecily joined ISMNZ as volunteer workers in 2011. Isaac is part of the Chaplain team at Massey. Isaac and Cecily enjoy providing spiritual and practical support to international students, scholars and families through their evangelical and pastoral work.
Isaac and Cecily have two children, Caleb and Kyla, who are working and studying in Auckland. Both Isaac and Cecily are happy growing in and serving the Lord together. Cecily is also part of the National Support team providing administration support to ISMNZ.
If you would like to financially support Issac and Cecily, please visit our donate page.
Brent and Lily Norrish
Brent & Lily Norrish are both Accountants, currently involved in various businesses, but have also been volunteers in mission and student ministry since their teenage years. When they were students at Massey University, they met while helping at MUOCF, and were married in 1988. Lily was a Chinese Indonesian International Student, and they have lived in Indonesia at various times for a total of two years.
They have studied for two years at Bible College in Palmerston North and Auckland, enjoy debating Christian Apologetics, being involved in frequent short-term mission trips, and love International Students! They are volunteer Chaplains at IPU (a Japanese-owned university in Palmerston North), and have two daughters who are working in Hamilton and Wellington.