On days 1 and 2, we had the opportunity to introduce ourselves to the parishioners of St. Mary’s which covers the area of Wellsford, Mangawhai and Maungaturotu, each around 30 minutes drive apart and spread out over vast farming land. Each introduction after the weekend mass gave us the opportunity to bring the message of God’s call in our lives to beloved by Him and the choice to respond to this love, especially during this week long parish mission.
|Dinner with parishioners at Maungaturoto|
|"As for me and my house" Sign Language|
On day 2, a youth session was organised, introducing the young people to a relationship with Jesus, through our worship, testimonies, creative items, teaching and group sharing. The sessions did ignite a desire in the youth about a life in Jesus which made them come back for more at the parish seminars.
During the week, Fr. Bill Fletcher (parish priest) and the parish council also organized for us visits to the soup kitchen,
|Wellsford Rest Home|
|Maungaturoto Rest Home|
and Rodney College to evangelise. Our hearts beat for excitement as we proclaimed the message of Jesus Christ among the poor in material wealth, poor in physical health and poor in spirit.
The nail-biting and sweat breaking part of this mission was the house visits/ door knocking around the areas of Wellsford, Mangawhai and Maungaturoto which took 13 missionaries and 4 days to complete. Nevertheless with the dedication and perseverance of parishioners like Peter Jackson and Bob Schimensky, our routes were planned out and we managed to cover about 100 homes. We were given the opportunity to talk to them about a relationship in Jesus, inviting them to the parish seminar, praying with them, listening to their joys and hurts.
The parish seminars were a success with bigger turn outs from day 1 to day 3 focusing on themes Knowing the GIFT, Receiving the GIFT and Being the GIFT. On the first day, the teaching focused on the father heart of God by Wimpie, followed by Sin and Salvation by John Paul on the second day and lastly the Holy Spirit on the third day by Susilo. Fr. Bill Fletcher also graced the seminar with the Sacrament of Reconciliation and alongside him, Fr. Peter and Fr. Shaun. It was a beautiful time of renewal between God and His people especially during this Lenten season. It was God’s cry for His people to come home, in return encouraging for us to witness the cry of His people to experience a deeper love in their lives.
We believe God’s seed through this Parish Mission in Wellsford, Mangawhai and Maungaturoto fell on fertile ground and we continue to pray for the soil to be tilled and showered with the Holy Spirit, echoing also their prayer for water to shower on this drought stricken land. May the Holy Spirit who is ever new, ever creating continue to work in the land as the Lord himself has promised in Isaiah chapter 43.
|ICPE team with Peter Jackson's family|
Thank you for all your prayers....