As we continued on in our church plants we felt God again stir our hearts for the nations. I need to backtrack a bit and say that before we left our church to plant, God began to place New Zealand on our hearts. We submitted this to our then leaders and they decided it would be better for us to gain experience by firsting planting churches in our own country and culture before embarking across the shores. This was very wise advice for us personally.
We attended another church’s meeting with a very prophetic lady (with the pastor’s permission) and she called us out during the meeting. She was the first person to confirm what we had been feeling in our hearts. She began by saying, “Nations, nations, nations…” . She must have said it about 12 times and it definitely caught our attention. She then went on to say that we had had a nation on our hearts for about 3 years which was very accurate. This again stirred our hearts for the dreams we had laid down. We always made sure that although our hearts were relocating to another place that we would love the people and live as though we were always going to be in this church. We didn’t want to give half-hearted effort into what we were doing at the time.
So we continued on for a few more years and I must say that we loved every minute of it. Then in November of 1999, we had another prophet come into the life of our church. She knew absolutely nothing of our desires or our plans. She prophesied over us that within 6 years God was going to catapult us into New Zealand. Well almost exactly 3 years later we were boarding a flight to relocate to New Zealand.
God brought us the right leader to take over the church supernaturally. Hubby had been in a meeting with a group of pastors from a number of towns when God spoke to him and said, ” The man across the room will take over your church.” We did not know the man at all except that he was a pastor in another church. We could not even afford to pay him a salary to join us so we knew that God would have to work it out. Well it took 2 years to work out, but God organised for this man to relocate to our town with a new job as he had felt God tell him to join us. We had said nothing to this man as we wanted to know that he was hearing God. He arrived with a humble attitude of wanting to help in any way he could without expecting any profile or leadership position. It took 10 months to transition the church but it went very well – the people received them with open arms.
We arrived in New Zealand with a suitcase each and our enthusiasm. We left all our furniture as we had no finance to bring it and we just trusted God to open the doors for us with jobs and visas. It was a long haul with nail-biting times when we thought we would have to leave, but after 20 months we finally managed to get our permanent residency in New Zealand.
Before we came to New Zealand we weren’t initially sure where God wanted us. We had thought we would be starting a church in a certain city, but God gave me a dream and in my dream I saw another city (although I had never been there). A number of other confirmations came to us and so we knew where to go when we arrived in New Zealand. We began our first church meeting in our home with a few people we had met on the 12th January 2003 (this turned out to be the exact same date our previous church plant started on). We met in our home for a few months until we had grown enough to rent a venue.
Slowly but surely the church began to grow and we were very excited about what God was doing. We would go out into a public place every week and witness publicly on a soapbox to whoever would listen. We saw a Jewish man called Samuel who had come all the way from Israel get saved, a Buddhist Student get saved and join our church as well as many others touched and changed. We also suffered our fair share of abuse though. I was sworn at in the most vile language whilst preaching, Hubby had a gun (which turned out to be a water-pistol- thank goodness!!) pointed at his head by some irate person, and we were often jeered and ridiculed – but frankly we didn’t care – we just loved Jesus and that’s all that counted.