This week Gary has again invited Nellie Taumate to reflect, this time on the Transformers Camp she attended as a mentor.
Greetings to you all in the precious name of our Lord Saviour, Jesus Christ. A big ‘Thank You’ to Reverend Gary and Suliana Mauga, our Saint Andrew’s church family, Kid’s Friendly team and Faith Builders team for your support, words of encouragement, transportations and continuous prayers for our safety and wellbeing. A special ‘Thank You’ to the Parish Council for its tremendous support in agreeing to cover the camp costs at such short notice which enabled us to attend and be transformed to a new level of experience over the past weekend. All things were and are possible through Christ, therefore it is right to say, all glory to God the Father in Heaven for His enduring love and care upon us.
Looking back to last weekend, I am still overwhelmed and believe Rebecca and Jahrome felt the same. As a mentor, working and spending one and a half days together with the young people was priceless and worth every minute. Seeing everyone worshipping together as a family of Christ, losing ourselves in our own individual ways of praising God was an incredible sight and experience that we would never forget.
The group activities involved facilitating teamwork and quick thinking on the spot was one of the highlights of the weekend. Friday night after unpacking, we walked the ‘Burma trail’ which was by far the scariest thing I have ever done – one thing was to follow a rope in the dark but in the middle of ten children was another. However, it turned out to be one of the funniest and the best experience of the weekend. One of the highlights was learning and exploring the five (5) codes of being transformed through activities, short video clips and role plays. These codes are as follow:
· I will Follow Jesus
· I will put Other’s NEEDs First
· I will set GOOD example in all I Do
· I will Respect Myself and Others
· I will Trust GOD so others can Trust me
On a personal note, I felt blessed seeing the youngsters transformed to train to be leaders. Rebecca and Jahrome enjoyed their time and I was very proud to be their mentor.
I believe if we stay focussed on nurturing this age group and investing in our young children by supporting and sending them to these types of Christian activities, then I say, the PCANZ and Kid’s Friendly are raising amazing talented future leaders.
I strongly encourage the parents and our Church family to send more young teenagers for upcoming Transformers camps and I would love to see more people involve as mentors. I know for a fact you will enjoy it and you will have heaps of fun as I did. I trust that Rebecca and Jahrome will continue to go out and transform others and become great leaders with the help and support of all of us.
Thank You and GOD BLESS
(This week Gary has invited Nellie Taumate to reflect on her CWM experience)
Foremost, I give thanks to our God Almighty for His continuous blessings upon us. I would also like to thank the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and Council of World Mission for the opportunity to be part of the round the table discussion last month. To the Minister Rev. Gary and his good lady Suliana, to my church family and my whanau I cannot thank-you all enough for your prayers and continuous support. Fa’afetai lava.
Where do I start? I could write a book about my experience but for now, I can only say, “Wooow!” CWM took me on a journey of HOPE from day one till we said our goodbyes. Things which I only see on the movies were and are happening in the Pacific which was an eye opener for me personally. There were many depressing issues discussed but Human Trafficking and Violence in Society were the hardest for me to accept with mixed emotion. Seeing the numbers of children at the victim support centre House of Hope in Samoa and hearing their stories about the scars and unbearable pain broke my heart. I sat through their performances speechless, balling my eyes out with the realisation of how fortunate we are to have been brought up in loving and caring families with the support network from our church families. As an individual, I questioned why this is happening and where is God in all of these? CWM round the table gave me an insight, that in our lives, Babylon is never far away and it will always somehow be an obstacle in the way. BUT we should always remember, John 16:33 “God has already overcome the world” so let us be HOPEFUL, continue on dancing to conquer all the Babylonians because God has a plan for each one of us Jeremiah 29:11. This journey has allowed me to think again about the simplest things that I get upset or worried about is nothing compared to the pain and shame those children live with. On our last day we were asked a question “Whose BEAT are we dancing to?” I guess we all have our own answers but for me we should dance to God’s beat and be His instruments playing His rhythm, giving hope to others because HOPE needs something to StAND on.
All Glory to God. Fa’amanuia le Atua ia te outou uma. Faafetai Lava.
Nellie Vineta Letia Taumate
Rev. Gary Mauga
Thoughts and comments by our minister, Gary.
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Rev. Gary Mauga