As the Baptist Churches of NZ we’re a diverse bunch, united by our endeavour to serve the same Master and promote the Good News globally. World Reach asked some of our pastors who lead ethnic churches to share something of the overseas work they are involved in. A big thanks to Alan Utting, who oversees Multicultural Ministries, for his help assembling this article.
Pakuranga Chinese Baptist Church
By Albert Tang
Our church has been focusing on a village three hours north of Chiang Mai, named Jin Nai. Our focus is on Chinese refugees from mainland China and Burma who are descendants of the National Army during the civil war between the Communist and the National governments in China.
We first explored this place in 2009 and, after a year of prayer and discernment, decided to initially commit to three years’ work.
The people we work amongst live in poverty and have virtually no hope because the majority don’t have Thai citizenship. The Thai Government permit them to be there on mercy grounds. Churches and Christian organisations run education and charity programmes to help meet the needs of the people.
Our main input has been visitation, children programmes and arranging a local child sponsorship programme with the church in New Zealand.
Over past years we have made numerous trips and offerings to Jin Nai. These have proven to be a blessing to us. We don’t know precisely what impact we’ve had but we are willing to leave this in God’s hands.
Northcote Baptist Church
By Jack Jia
In November 2011, a team from Northcote Baptist made a trip to China to visit the area where Rev. Joel Thompson and his wife worked with China Inland Mission for 32 years before establishing our church in Northcote in 1963.
The team of 13 came from both Chinese and English congregations. Our first week was spent visiting cities in the south-east. The main purpose was to visit churches (home church and Three Self Church), meet church leaders and hear first-hand about Chinese Government policy regarding the Christian church.
Next we commenced our “looking back” trip, visiting cities in the Zhejiang Province where Joel and his wife spent most of their time.
Around one-third of the population in this area is Christian – praise God – and most of the churches we visited were quite large with seating for between 4,000 and 6,000.
Although most of the churches are Three Self Church, the Government-approved church, they still welcome overseas preachers and, provided they submit an application to the Government, speakers will be approved. Speakers to visit include some well-known and well-respected preachers from around the world including Franklin Graham and the President of Fuller Theological Seminary.
On November 18 we attended a memorial service to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the commencement of the Thompsons’ missionary work in China. The senior pastor of Northcote Baptist Church gave a short greeting and the team sang two hymns.
After the memorial service, in cooperation with the local church, some of our team members visited some remote villages to teach English to local students.
Evergreen Baptist Church (Korean)
By Danny Sohn
Our church made annual mission trips to Vanuatu for four years from 2008 to 2010. We plan another trip this September.
We have adopted an unreached village named Arufales and worked in evangelism. In 2009 I baptised 23 villagers, including the village chief. In 2010 we built a church building and a house for missionaries in the village. Eight more people were baptised. This September we’ll install a water tank to provide drinking water.
We are now looking at doing a similar work in Jaramacha, another bush village. We’ve visited Jaramacha but the chief and his people didn’t allow us into the village. Please pray with us that the door of this village will be open to the Gospel and receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
Our church also supports missionary work in Tonga, Fiji, and India, to Maori, and through YWAM and YFC.