God’s revelation and the birth of Shekinah:
Flew into Christchurch on the 25th of August, 1997 straight through Auckland from India. It was a domestic flight – a small propeller driven aircraft. The shifting floorboards showed glimpses of the hills below. We bundled ourselves and our luggage into a taxi-cab. Drove straight to the YMCA on Hereford Street for a stay of one week. On the first Sunday of our new immigrant life, we walked down to the Methodist Church on Durham Street. The congregation was made up of about 15 senior citizens. The one fact we learnt from that first kiwi sermon was that NZ had the highest suicide rate in the world. At the end of the week, we moved into our first flat.
It was at this time that the Lord began to speak to me…
“The spiritual walls of this city – called by my name – are broken. I am looking for committed builders who are passionate about restoring my city’s walls, re-establishing her sacred identity and uniting My Body. For when they begin bridging the breaches in the walls, I will also restore their own homes and secure them because they are a part of my city’s walls.”
Just as it was in the days of Nehemiah! The strategy was clear. The Lord was calling Shekinah to take this message to Churches that formed the boundaries of Christchurch. It was hard. Church leaders were pre-occupied with their busy programmes. Very few understood what the Spirit was saying. Few sympathised, others simply ignored. No one seemed to want to take the lead, to rally the communities around their own churches and consider rebuilding their part of their city’s walls.
I was convinced then, and more than ever now, that the key to fortifying Christchurch’s spiritual walls, and the congregations within, was for leaders to gird themselves with God’s Word, take a bold stand and proclaim unashamedly – the full Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and call, the Church first, and the citizens, to true repentance!
Confirmations of God’s call:
It was during all night prayer meetings at our house:
First vision in 2000: Cathedral Square was full of busy people. People criss-crossing the Square. Suddenly they all fall to their knees, lift up both hands to the sky and start worshipping the Lord Jesus!
Second vision in 2001: A huge and powerful fountain of water gushing out from the centre of Cathedral Square in the shape of a trumpet widening outward into the sky.
It will take only a mighty move of the Holy Spirit to revive and secure this city that is called by the name above every name – Christ and His Holy Church!
… years have gone by … and more may … but God will have His way. He will secure His city – with or without human participation.
Began praying ….
“Start with what you have!”
That was Jesus’ response to my prayer.
Since our arrival in Christchurch I had felt an increasing burden to present Christian worship outside the four walls of a building. I shared my vision with my wife and my young sons. Yes, they were quite excited at the idea, but how would we do it? Where would we get advice and help? From where would we get the money? How would we go about it? I was still praying for a permanent job.
It was at such a time that I received Jesus’ challenge.
That was it! I didn’t wait for the ideal job or for financial resources. My wife had $50 in hand at the time and that was just what was needed to open an account in a newly opened government bank.
We never looked back!
A few months later, we organised our first praise and worship event called Celebrating Jesus at Riccarton High School auditorium and twelve Christian groups participated.
Yes, with God, all things are possible! We took one step of faith and God did the rest.
Since then, we have been organising Gospel meetings and Christian music concerts both indoors and outdoors in Christchurch.
All glory goes to God!
Please view the photo gallery to see how God has been blessing and guiding this work since 2001.
We are very grateful to the Pastors in Christchurch who so kindly accept our invitation and share the Gospel at Shekinah events. We are grateful to Tony Edwards, Stephen Compton, Tim Bell and Jonathan Teague for believing in this humble work and freely sharing their valuable time, expertise and equipment over all these years. May God continue to bless them!
Samuel & Victoria