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After two (very short!) days in Brisbane, I boarded a plane for Auckland, New Zealand. From Auckland I flew to Tauranga (on the North Island of New Zealand, located on the “Bay of Plenty”) to speak at the South Pacific Bible College reunion and lectureship.

The South Pacific Bible College (www.spbc.org.nz) has pursued the mission of training students from the South Pacific region in Bible and ministry. Since 1982, they have served the kingdom in places as diverse as New Zealand, Australia, New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, Thailand, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Korea by preparing people for missions and church leadership.

Every five years, they have a “reunion” at the school, inviting former students to renew old ties and enjoy a time of refreshment and encouragement. It is this reunion that prompted their invitation to me. The theme of the weekend is “Once upon a Journey: Traveling Tips from the Book of Hebrews.” I’m speaking nine times in the course of about four days!

Steve Raines (Principal of the South Pacific Bible School) speaking to former students.

Steve Raines (Principal of the South Pacific Bible School) speaking to former students.

Friday night was the kickoff session and over 100 precious people (members of the Otumoetai church in Tauranga as well as former and present students of the school) gathered to sing, pray, fellowship, and think through the message of Hebrews. I preached on “Leaning into the Wind” (see the Toolbox for an outline of this lesson).

It was great to see these people so excited to be together, so eager to encourage each other, so ready to be encouraged themselves. It made the long days of preparation and the long days of travel worthwhile.

I’m staying with Steve Raines (the Principle of the school) and his lovely wife Jill. My thanks to them both for the invitation to speak and for their hospitality during my visit. Stay tuned for more about the lectureship in future installments.

[Go to next New Zealand blog]

Preaching at the Lectureships in Tauranga, New Zealand.

Preaching at the Lectureships in Tauranga, New Zealand.

Tim and a new friend

Tim and a new friend