I’m writing this article from an airplane, heading back to Auckland having had a wonderful weekend in Blenheim. As I write I also look out my window watching the setting sun and I feel satisfied that today was a good day in the Kingdom and the fight for a slave free world. Let me tell you about my weekend job…
My hosts for Saturday night are a wonderful couple who listen to me rambling on about this cause that I am now engaged in full-time. They share about their family who live across the world and the exciting things they are getting up to – inspirational.
I wake up at least an hour earlier than I need to. Usually I get straight out of bed, and “do” something, but this morning I drift in and out of sleep as I begin praying and thinking about preaching at Blenheim Baptist Church and the post-lunch meeting where I will share more about this Baptist Justice Initiative called Stand Against Slavery.
The breakfast conversation is only broken by the need to get to the church by 9:30am for the usual pre-service loading of PowerPoint presentations, praying and my customary cup of hot water as I sit in readiness for the service to begin. I’m feeling at peace about what I will share during the message slot. Also customary is my quiet prayers to God as I listen for additional morsels of inspiration.
My message is from Matthew 24 and 25, a passage that God laid on my heart last year to share as I introduce my story and clear calling of God. The congregation is attentive and I feel relaxed and a portion of my Maori side comes through as I share my story. I think that was because there were a few Maori in the congregation and my tikanga emerges from my meanderings about the passage before us today.
In finishing I feel an unusual sense of God’s movement. Normally I sense clearly either way in respect to ministry time, but this time it feels like I was concluding part 1 and needing to share part 2 before a real response could be considered. I think Pastor Roy felt the same and we conclude. I pray for a couple of people who come forward.
I have some great conversations over the lunch break and then we re-gather to an excellent number of people as I uncover in more detail what Stand Against Slavery is all about. My usual passion stirs up again as I speak with conviction about the least of these that God has called me to.
On arrival back to my hosts I make a special phone call to one of the most encouraging people I know, Miss Joy Smith. Joy was a long-term missionary in India and whenever I talk with her I am uplifted by this wonderful women of God. At ninety years old, whilst her physical body might be struggling, her support and encouragement is as strong as ever. She is an inspiration. Oh, and can this saint pray! She prays for me and I am encouraged all over again. The power in her utterances is profound. The deep encouragement in her prayer today is, “The Lord smiles His pleasure on you Peter”, and I am humbled all over again.
As I head to the airport, I feel blessed that God was with me this weekend in Blenheim. My prayer is that it has stirred something in the people who heard the heart of a man who has a heart after God’s heart and his mission in the world.
This weekend was the first weekend in a church setting in my full time role at Stand Against Slavery, and it is a blessing to be in the house inspiring the people of God to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with their God (Micah 6:8).
The sun has now disappeared over the horizon for another day in Aotearoa and soon we will be descending into Auckland so I can join my family for what’s left of the weekend.
I’m not tired, but rather energised by this new work I do. If you would like me to come and bring this Baptist Justice Initiative to your church please do not hesitate to contact me and let’s see what we can do.
I will be in the Canterbury region for a whole week 7-15 June. All the Sunday morning slots are taken, but I will be available for Sunday night 8 June, and during the week for an evening session. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.