New Zealand Ministry Call

Read how Albert Psaros is finally able to fulfill his New Zealand Ministry Call 

My name is Albert Psaros. I live in Pukekohe, a small town on the outskirts of Auckland, New Zealand. I am an active member of my local church congregation, St. James Presbyterian. I enjoy serving in any way I can. Currently, this entails worship leading, youth mentoring, Sunday school programmes and in hospitality initiatives.

I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home where the word was elevated and esteemed and where we as children were actively encouraged in developing our own relationship with God. I was only 6 when I put my faith in Jesus for my salvation. Shortly afterward, I was baptized.

These treasured events remain in my memory and I still reference them as the start of my walk with the Lord. I soon grew intimate with the Lord and very early on I came to hear the call of the Lord on my life. This New Zealand ministry call remained with me throughout my entire life, and it would be something I would yearn to fulfill but would only feel released to pursue many years later.

As a way of preparation for this New Zealand ministry call to service, the Lord has allowed my wife and me to endure severe testing which has spanned the last ten years. We felt led to start a business that would ultimately become a 24-hour cycle operation, 6 out of 7 days per week, with weak economic performance despite every possible effort and sacrifice. We did all this while still trying to raise 5 young children. It became a walk that only by God-given grace we were able to endure. Stripped of all confidence in my own abilities, the Lord used this time to rid me of my pride (I realize this may not be in its entirety and that His work in me continues throughout my life). Simultaneously, He was showing me what it means to trust in Him and to worship Him in the worst of situations. If it were not for His grace, I know we would not have made it through. But we have and at the end of this season, I felt released to close the business and to start pursuing the call on my life.

This free training at Christian Leaders Institute is the only way that I can get myself equipped for ministry through study. We were left in a poor financial state when the business was closed. I thank God for this opportunity. My prayer is that through this study I will be taught by Him and that I will be able to show myself approved and ready for service.

Learn about ordained minister study programs at Christian Leaders Alliance.

Ministry Purpose

My name is Brett Venables and I have ministry purpose through my God-given calling. I live in the South Island of New Zealand. Although my parents weren’t Christian when I was growing up, I did have amazing Christian grandparents who occasionally took me to church. Despite this, I did my fair share of rebelling and it wasn’t until my late teens when I was invited to a Christian camp. I agreed to go for the sole purpose of finding a girlfriend and finding some great waves. It was at that camp that God arrested me for His purposes. I had a personal encounter with not just the Saviour of the world but with “my Saviour” Jesus Christ as I responded to the altar call given by the camp’s evangelist.

God began to call me into ministry purpose at 20 years of age – more than 2 decades ago. During my first year of Bible College, I was asked to preach as part of a church service run by the Bible College students. This was one of the key moments in my life where the call upon my life was recognized by church leadership, and it was also the moment that the ministry call began to awaken within me.

For a few years, I began to earnestly pursue that ministry purpose call (preaching at every opportunity I could get) until our first son was born. We came to the realization that he had very high special needs (autism/global development delay/cerebral palsy) and our family dynamics changed dramatically. For some over the years, it has seemed that this one factor alone (and not my character, ability or calling) disqualified me from ministry – at least conventionally speaking. However, two decades later and several detours along the way and that call just won’t let me go. I am now middle-aged but more determined than ever to pursue that for which Christ has taken hold of me. And, even though ministry may not look quite the same as I (or many others) had envisaged prior to having our firstborn, I cannot but preach the gospel and teach the Word of God with all that is within me.

In New Zealand, we have reasonable liberty to “have church” and there is definitely no major shortage of churches spread across our nation. So, one might conclude that “doing ministry” in NZ is easy. However, it has become increasingly unpopular and challenging to uphold timeless biblical morals and biblical truths in this nation. In fact, it seems that the one book that is worth more than all books ever written combined (the Bible) is yet again being discarded and belittled in light of supposed higher learning and the latest philosophies of men – not just in the marketplace but also in churches in some cases. Having trained as a literacy educator, I am acutely aware that Bible literacy in NZ is at an all-time-low within my lifetime.

I have a dream to start a ministry that encourages believers locally and internationally to grow in Christ, to become more Biblically literate, and to become established and grounded in the faith. I would especially like to get free Christian growth resources to those in places where they don’t have access to the internet and have very limited access to sound Biblical teaching. I also have a passion to plant churches in the future when it becomes more feasible and is God’s timing.

One of the biggest challenges facing The Church in NZ and in the West, I believe, is the current attack on the truth, the gospel, and the basic tenets of the Christian faith. I believe more than ever there is an overwhelming call for Christian leaders (in particular pastors and teachers) to boldly proclaim the gospel truth and reassert the basic tenets of the Christian faith.

The training I am receiving at Christian Leaders Institute is very important for my ministry purpose and dream. Many times I have had to walk away from financially rewarding opportunities in order to pursue the call to ministry and also to provide special care to our eldest son. Our son’s needs have meant that our family’s time and money have been stretched more than I could have ever imagined. So, at this stage in my life, it was almost impossible to see how I would be able to retrain for the ministry and study some of the specialized subjects offered by CLI, which I believe will be vital in the ministry that God’s called me to. Today, I have more passion than ever to fulfill my calling and I am so thankful to have discovered this opportunity with CLI as it’s hard to imagine that anything else would have worked for me at this stage given our circumstances. I am also very grateful to have a wife who encourages me to be the best I can be and keep the dream alive and to have friends in ministry that inspire me and believe in me.

Please pray that God will continue to open doors for me in the ministry as I pursue Him and also for God’s wisdom for me to find a way to reach my full ministry potential by fully utilizing all that God has placed in my hand. One of my greatest desires is to be used by God to raise up a generation who finish what they start, who finish well, and finish strong . . . a generation who fight the good fight of faith, upholding the truth and standing the test of time.

Learn about minister ordination at Christian Leaders Alliance.

Free New Zealand Ministry Training

My name is Lydia Ashford. I was born in New Caledonia, which is a French territory.  I first moved to New Zealand in 1999 to study English to work in tourism in my country of origin. During my studies, I met my husband, and in 2003 I was granted residency.  I have been living in New Zealand for now 16 years now.

My walk with the Lord started right after I resigned from an exhausting five years of shift work. I resigned from the job feeling very burnt out and found myself with nothing to lean on; I was broke and broken. On the very first morning after my resignation, I talked to God whom I did not know, if only that He was the creator of all things.This talk with the Lord was about to change my entire life.

One night I watched a program featuring a short but graphic representation of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. My heart melted within me, and I asked the Lord: How can I make it right to you God? What can I do Lord; you are crucified and dead on the cross. Suddenly I heard His voice, a still small voice; gently I heard: “Lydia, I am no longer on the cross, I am here.” I then felt His presence in the room. I cried even more and asked Him to forgive me and to help me.

Seven months later, I got baptized on Sunday 13th of November 2011 in the Harvest Christian Church in Papakura. Ever since God has used me in various and humble ways to minister to people here in New Zealand and New Caledonia. I first was invited into the ministry of Healing room in New Zealand and also served in a couple of other healing rooms, I have prayed and interceded in various churches. I have ministered to people in the market place as the Holy Spirit prompted me. I am active in praying and spreading the good news of Jesus Christ using social media and the market place.

My ministry dream is to do the will of God and building His kingdom. I would love to see a revival in New Caledonia, and I ask God to give me that nation. I would love to see the people of New Caledonia be filled with the light and truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I identify myself as an evangelist. I believe I have been called to preach the good news. Every opportunity is a great opportunity to share the good news, and I do as the Holy Spirit directs me.

The Holy Spirit is the key element in my life that prompts me to pursue my ministry. Knowing that my Father gave me The Holy Spirit to help me, comfort me and teach me all things, gives me the confidence to keep going. I have understood that it is not by might nor by the power that things are carried out but by His Spirit. I do not do my will but the will of God led by The Spirit of God. Whether it is to pray or to lead someone to the Lord, I trust God will deliver through the Holy Spirit who lives in me.

Three years ago we joined the City Impact Church in Auckland. We were part of the ministry team and served as ushers. After two years my husband got promoted to leadership for the ushering team, and I remained an usher. After three years my season of serving as usher came to an end. The baton was passed onto someone else, and it was time to refocus on God’s plan and purpose for my life.

In New Zealand I am under the authority of CIC and Ps Peter: I lead people to the church for the protocol of salvation and baptisms. In New Caledonia I lead them straight to the Lord obeying to His command as in Mark16:15-18.

My husband and children are fully supportive, and they have always helped me in my walk with the Lord. They will always stand with me and me with them in unity. I believe each one of my children is called to be in ministry to serve God. I believe they have the heart for the indigenous people of New Caledonia and a heart for the indigenous people of New Zealand. Above all, we share the same heart in establishing the Kingdom of God here on earth.

A scholarship with CLI will help me undertake further studies and qualifications to help further my walk with God and my ministry dream. CLI program is a great opportunity to study from anywhere in the world.

Please pray for GOD’s help with all my studies, His wisdom and direction in the path He has ordained for my life.

Amanda Faulkner experienced miracles in her life that led her to feel a need to Build Knowledge of Scriptures through Christian Leaders Institute’s free online ministry training. Here is her story…

Build Knowledge of Scriptures – Amanda’s Story

 

Hi. My name is Amanda Faulkner. I was born in South Wales & born blue (oxygen starvation). My family moved to New Zealand when I was 5 years old. I was raised in a small timber town, my father working as a computer analyst/programmer for the timber mill, & my mother working for a bank.
As a teenager, I was an attempted murder. I was in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ according to Police (32 years later, still an unsolved case). While in the hospital, no one was allowed to tell me what had happened, & I had no recall. A chaplain stood at the foot of my bed one day & said, “God hasn’t finished with you yet, you lucky girl,” & then left. I had little knowledge of God at that time. My family, although stating they believe in God & Jesus, & claiming Christianity, do not attend any church, or to my knowledge, read God’s Word.
Years later, I went to a local church. I was invited to go to an Intercessors meeting. I had no idea what an ‘intercessor’ is, but chose to go anyway – could be fun. At that meeting I saw 3 miracles happen in the space of 1 ½ hours (over lunch). Firstly, a couple were hoping to buy a house but required their house to sell, & the cut-off date was drawing near. They received a call to say that their house was sold & everything was sorted to buy the house they had chosen. Secondly, a man whose family member who had been very ill & on the edge of death, survived surgery & was making great progress. And thirdly, (this is my favourite), a couple had put in an offer on a large house & acreage of land $2.5mil under its asking price. They intended to use it to get Auckland homeless children off the streets, & bring them to God. Their offer got accepted. At the same church meeting, I received prophesy that I would be a leader. I gave the prophesy no further thought. Weeks later, back at my church, I was in intense pain, much like birthing labour though I was not pregnant. I went to one of the other church members & told him to call his sister to tell her to get to the hospital. A few hours later, his sister had a baby & my pain subsided. I didn’t even know his sister was pregnant! Apparently I was labouring in the Holy Spirit.
More recently, a friend of mine had been coughing really badly & when he went to his doctor, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. After many tests, he was told they were now only testing to see what kind of cancer it was (one is more aggressive than the other). There were many weeks of incessant prayer from a large group of us. One night, as we all sat in the courtyard, one of the girls pointed at the sky saying, “look at that!”. We looked up & saw what looked like a giant hand over the top of the house we were in. My friend received a call within a couple of minutes of this observation, & was told the shadow on his lungs had disappeared! The cancer was gone. Five years later, there has been no relapse.
So, that is how I came to know God & His power, love, healing abilities, & care for us, His children. I would be a fool to not believe after witnessing all of that first-hand. I have been truly blessed.
In New Zealand, I do not believe we have difficulties to minister, but it was pointed out by my Salvation Army Major last week, that we as a country are tending to not attend church or any fellowship, although Bible purchases are still up. It is a trend nationwide & I believe it has a lot to do how busy we make ourselves these days, & put God on the back-burner.
My ministry dream is to reach out to these families who are too busy for God, & bring them back to Him, encouraging them to make the time for Him. I would also like to encourage my family into a meaningful relationship with God, especially my teenage children whom my parents have custody of.
I most identify with being a Small Group Leader. I can talk to almost anyone, but am not comfortable in large groups. If God calls me to address a large group, I will because I believe He will give me the confidence & words to do so.
I started to pursue ministry training after my fiancé asked me to find him some Bible Study to do online (he lives in another city to me). As much as I searched, I kept ending up at the CLI website. Honestly, no matter what words I put in the search, I arrived at the same site. I eventually gave in to the feeling that God was saying “Now” is your time. So I enrolled & haven’t looked back. I asked Him to take my hand in the quizzes I was most worried about, & He did. Incidentally, I did afterwards find a suitable study program for my fiancé.
I would love to achieve the CLI Scholarship to build credibility & integrity to address people & to build knowledge of the scriptures, so that I can be effective in reaching out to others to get them saved. At the same time, the studies will undoubtedly reinforce personal confidence & grow my love of God & all that He has done, & deepen my relationship with Him.
I would love you to pray for my failing memory, confidence for me to step out, & to the hearts of all who want need to seek God.

 

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I am currently residing in New Zealand, but originally came from South Africa. Coming from a background where church and state was intertwined, to a country where these two entities are separated made it difficult to settle at first. My other challenge was to get used to communicating about God and Christianity in English. It sounds trivial, but to go from your mother language to a foreign language, especially combined with something as emotional and culturally ingrained as one’s faith, is not easy.

I have grown up as a Christian and in the church. This was fully supported by my whole family. In my later years, my faith has grown as I grew into my own worldview. I have realized that a life without God, is not a life worth living. I work in a high stress environment and need my faith to sustain me on a daily basis. It is through working in a secular country and a secular work environment, that I have come to the conclusion that I need to focus more on living a life walking with God and that I can through this, develop leaders by making use of a Christian foundation. This has been highly successful as a face-to-face endeavor as well as an online movement.

I realized I needed more than just my current Bible knowledge to do this work effectively. I do hold a PhD in Education, but needed what CLI is offering to support my teaching ministry.

Approaching my studies through CLI allows me to carry on with my current position as a High School Principal as well as my other passions of Leadership Development. I see myself at the level of Pastor in my ministry functions. Interacting with people and sharing the word of God with them, as well as how this foundation can support leadership in any workplace, is very satisfying and I would like to build this out further. A Scholarship at CLI will make it possible for me to enhance this ministry and will allow me to serve as a bi-vocational pastor.

As stated before, I work in a secular environment (underpinned by law) and have found that Christians who are in the same situation need more support. This environment makes it difficult to operate within, especially if you do not want to lose your Christian identity. My vision is to enhance my Leadership Development teaching by building in on a foundation of Christianity. I passionately believe that the world will be a better place if more leaders and managers approach their tasks from a Christian perspective. I am fully supported in this endeavor by my wife.