The 10th of May 2012 marks the 21st year since Princess and I came to New Zealand. We joined the ship ministry, still in its infancy, in Tauranga. I still remember the joy we felt as we basked in the beauty and potential of this nation. We still do!
Our hope and aspirations remain the same despite the challenges we have faced during the last two decades which have tested our resolve; however, the joys and triumphs have far surpassed the challenges. Your partnership with Marine Reach has helped Marine Reach accomplish so much in these 21 years. We look forward to the next 21 years.
Our ‘Island Mercy Teams’ will be scattered abroad from Asia throughout the PacificIslands this year. Our medical team in the Philippines have done amazing work providing medical relief in the areas of dentistry, primary health care and optometry. They have served over 1500 people to date on the island of Mindoro. Our teams have overcome the extremely hot climate and difficult conditions. I extend my thanks to all who worked so hard to make this outreach possible. Well done faithful servants!
Our discipleship training school staff and students are at present in the Philippines, Thailand, Fiji and Brazil. We look forward to seeing them all back in New Zealand for debriefing and graduation by the end of May.
The “Project Kilo” campaign received a tremendous boost last week as pledges and monies received crossed the half a million dollar mark. Yes, you have read correctly, we have just broken the ½ million dollar mark. This is both significant and encouraging to us and I’m sure to you as well. We are well on the way to achieving the goal of acquiring a ship for New Zealand. This time last year, we started the “Project Kilo” campaign with zero dollars toward a new ship; together we have come so far.
Never underestimate the “widows mite”. I believe that a group of people with unity of purpose and faith, journeying together, accomplishes much, but as well leaves a historical marker which will inspire those who will follow on after us.
Thank you for being brave and believing in us and believing with us. Thank you for walking and sailing with us all these years. Soon we will be sailing again perhaps on our new ship…together.
We are engaging the youth of our city to start dreaming again about serving others by volunteering and giving of themselves. We hope to see not hundreds but thousands of people get involved.