Have you ever experienced the clarion call of God? A call to something so specific that you can think of nothing else?
I remember experiencing it midway through 2005 when God clearly led me toward the role of General Director, NZBMS. I remember thinking at the time, I had the best job in the world. I was serving the denomination in a church consulting role and also on staff of my local Baptist Church. It was the perfect combination of consulting and praxis which I believe helped me in walking alongside different churches.
So, I became torn between the best job in the world and God’s clarion call. As the General Director of NZBMS, I get to see this happen time and time again in the lives of others as people around our denomination encounter God’s call for them to serve overseas.
I also get to see it when our overseas workers experience God speaking into their lives. Sometimes it’s about the developing of new ministries; other times it is a call to stop an existing work, or make a shift into different ministries or countries, or even to return to New Zealand.
From time to time, I also get to witness what God is doing with national people as God speaks deep into their lives. Someone like Priya, who is the feature story of this year’s Christmas Angel Appeal. She is a woman of influence and it has been a thrill to witness how God has brought to maturity within her a real desire to serve God in Kolkata.
When I first met Priya, she was the Production Manager of Freeset; now she runs one of our businesses that has almost doubled in size in less than a year. The reason she does this work is because she wants to see women, enslaved in the sex trade, freed both physically and spiritually. Support this year’s Christmas Angel Appeal by going to www.tz.org.nz/donate.
Another person who comes to mind is Kundula. Kundula is an amazing person full of faith and grace. She has endured a hard life having been enslaved in the sex trade since she was a teenager. That’s changed, however. She has found the redemptive love and grace of Jesus and is free from the slavery that had her completely bound up. Kundula is the central story in our 2014 Prayer and Self Denial. We encourage every church to participate in this because it not only raises money and support for the work of Tranzsend, it also helps us understand that when God’s Kingdom is revealed in the lives of people like Kundula, the year of the Lord’s favour has truly come.
Go to the Tranzsend website and have a look at the videos and resources. We feel that the 2014 Prayer and Self Denial appeal is not only going to inform you about our work in South Asia, South East Asia and East Asia, it will also inform you more deeply about the global tragedy of modern slavery and the slave trade.
As many of you know, I have been journeying along this particular path for almost two years. This has been by way of an organisational response for NZBMS, and as a personal journey as I’ve been arrested by the tragedy and suffering of modern slavery and the slave trade that exists and continues to grow. This trade selfishly robs the freedom of those who are trying to live a basic life in this over-resourced, yet poorly distributed, planet.
The sum result of the last couple of years has been the launch of Stand Against Slavery. Stand Against Slavery was ushered into existence with an overwhelming sense of support at this year’s Baptist Assembly. It exists to fight for a world where freedom reigns, to stand alongside Priya and Kundula and the nearly 30 million others around the world who are enslaved as child soldiers, forced labourers, forced organ donors, and sex workers, to name a few.
Stand Against Slavery is a New Zealand Baptist Justice Initiative responding to modern slavery and the slave trade, both overseas and here in New Zealand. In establishing this new initiative I have been appointed the CEO in unanimous consultation with NZBMS Mission Council and Baptist Union Assembly Council. This is a joint ministry. You can read about it more in other articles in this edition of the Baptist.
We believe this is so important that I’m stepping down as NZBMS General Director to dedicate myself to Stand Against Slavery full time. That’s how serious we are in contributing to this Baptist Justice Initiative.
I think I have got the best job in the world – but God is giving me a clarion call to do something else. I’m torn, but like previous times in my life, I once again feel compelled to respond to my Lord and go where he is leading me.
Here’s a question: “What’s your clarion call from God? Is he calling you now? What is he calling you to?”
Peter Mihaere is the General Director of The New Zealand Baptist Missionary Society (NZBMS)–New Zealand Baptists Reaching the World. Contact Peter at email@example.com or phone (09) 5268447.
With Permission From: General Directors Blog NZBMS