Kia Kaha: April – May Update

Kia Kaha: April – May Update

In Māori, New Zealand’s native language, Kia Kaha means “be strong.” For the past few months this has been one of the things we say to Moira as she goes to bed. “When you have a bad dream or feel scared at night, Kia Kaha. Be strong because God is with you.”

As we continue to adjust to our life and ministry in New Zealand, this been an encouragement to our family as a whole. While we have seen some similarities to America and from our year of living in the UK, every day is still an opportunity to discover new ways of doing life, relating to others, and being culturally relevant. God continues to remind us that, while we may face humbling challenges and frequent times of learning new ways to live life, He is at work around us and is with us. Kia Kaha!

Local Ministry Highlight: Informal Bible Studies

The Leavers Bible Study Team (L to R: Zane, Caleb, and Wendy)

As soon as we arrived in NZ, I (Wendy) had the opportunity to be a part of leading a new Bible study. There had already been some discussion about a group of friends getting together to talk about the Bible and Christian perspectives on different topics. In NZ, people who have graduated from high school are called “Leavers” and high school is called “college” … just in case you weren’t confused already. Our group is 17-20 year olds who are working and studying.

We have been meeting for the last six months, going through the book of Luke and addressing various other topics of interest. We have a couple of Christians who take turns being facilitators, but everyone else is a mixture of atheists, agnostics, and those just interested in the Christian faith. The diversity of the group has led to an array of topics and interests. Some questions that have been raised are:

  • If God wants us to go to heaven, why did he make it impossible to live without sin?
  • Do people need God to make the right choices in life?

Other topics we’ve discussed are free will, homosexuality, gender, the definition of sin, the kingdom of God, heaven, hell, and evolution. The most amazing thing about these topics and questions is that they are coming from sincere curiosity and a profound seeking. The labels and agenda people have given themselves for the sake of identity and explaining their ideologies are not a big enough wall for the power of the Holy Spirit to disassemble.

We are seeing something happen in small and significant ways. Sometimes it’s a comment or moment of vulnerability. Many of the people in the group have never read the Bible, but over time truth is sinking in. When we were studying the Christmas story in Luke 2 our facilitator asked, “Why was the birth of Jesus first announced to the shepherds?” An atheist in our group replied, “It’s because of the upside-down kingdom! The birth of Jesus as King should be told to the lowest of society first and not the richest and most powerful!”

Please pray for those coming to the Bible study. Pray that God would speak to them, and they would surrender their lives to Jesus. Pray for our facilitators – that they would grow in boldness and truth as they share with honesty and authenticity.

We have once again been invited to attend the annual Steiger Gathering in Germany. This is a time set aside for missionary training, fellowship, and vision casting for the next year. While we were living and working with Steiger in Krögis this was an incredibly important time for our development as missionaries and staying connected with the greater work that is happening around the world.

This October will mark two years since we moved away from Germany. In addition to the value of connecting with other Steiger workers from around the world, this will also be an opportunity to reconnect with the local church that has supported us in ministry, the wonderful friends we made, and Moira’s friends from when she was a toddler. Please prayerfully consider supporting us with your prayers and finances as we begin to raise the extra support needed for this trip! We need to raise $6000 USD for this trip.

Never Stop Never Stopping!

Not a day goes by when we are not encouraged and blessed by Moira’s passion for life, sense of humor, and incredible love for people. It seems that whenever we turn around she is either running off for a new adventure outside, singing a Maori song she learned at preschool, or talking about which friends she wants to invite over next for a sleep over. There’s never a dull moment with Moira!

One specific topic of conversation that has been coming up frequently is her upcoming birthday. Moira will be turning 4 on June 25th! This is the first year when she not only knows what a birthday is, but is also counting down the days till its arrival. So far, the theme for the her party will settle somewhere in the realm of butterflies, princesses, dancers, and rock & roll.

Moira and her fellow preschoolers singing for the elderly in a local retirement community.

We hope that this update has found you well. As always, to find out more of what we are doing with our life and ministry in New Zealand please check out our social media links at the bottom of this newsletter.

Thank you for all of your love, encouragement, and support. God is good!

Kia Kaha, Kia Māia, Kia Manawanui
                                                                    Be Strong, Be Steadfast, Be Willing

Noah, Wendy, and Moira Schneider

Upcoming Events– June 15: Matariki (Maori New Year)
– June 24: Noah preaches at BBC- June 25: Moira’s 4th Birthday!!!
– June 25-26: New Zealand Cultural Training- July 15: Wendy preaches at BBC
Prayer Requests & Praises– Please pray for the Lord to move powerfully in our upcoming local ministry events and preaching opportunities.
– Praise God for the gift He has given us in Moira. We love watching her grow & discover the world!- Praise the Lord for the fruit we have seen in each of our ministry activities!- Please pray for the remaining amount of monthly financial support we have yet to raise, including the 6,000 USD necessary to travel to Germany for the Steiger Gathering.

Support Us