LoveWorks team plants seeds in Australia and New Zealand
Australia and New Zealand Churches of the Nazarene partnered to host a team of eight students and two faculty/staff members from the LoveWorks program at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) for three weeks in May 2023. LoveWorks teams are short-term missions teams sent from PLNU to support long-term ministries and local churches worldwide.
LoveWorks teams represent an opportunity for the global Church of the Nazarene to be built up in unity and maturity (Ephesians 4:12-13). One PLNU student, Hannah Young, said, “I quickly felt welcomed, included, and loved.”
“I am forever changed by the sweet people that my team and I were able to meet and how Jesus worked through us,” said Ruthie Jochimsen, a member of the LoveWorks team. “We focused on the importance of planting seeds. On short-term missions, we may not see the fruits of our labor, but we need to continue in prayer and trust that God will continue to grow the seeds planted.”
Place of Peace and Carina Church of the Nazarene hosted the team for one week in Australia, and eight churches and congregations in New Zealand (All Nations and their Marathi Fellowship, Seabrook, Māngere, North Shore, Immanuel Outreach Ministry, Onehunga, and Crossroads Church of the Nazarene) hosted the team for two weeks.
The churches and LoveWorks team focused on partnering to plant seeds in the lives of people in each community. In Australia, the team led a gathering for the North and West District youth at Carina and joined with Place of Peace on a community yard-work project. They also participated in the churches’ weekly worship services and produced a media project for the district.
In New Zealand, the team led worship, game nights, Youth Group, Kid’s Club, and volunteered at a local primary school. At Seabrook, they helped with property maintenance; at Crossroads, they built a prayer labyrinth.
The relationships the team built have already extended beyond the borders of Australia and New Zealand. Pastor Livingston Po Ching of Carina Church of the Nazarene and his family visited the team in California in June on their way back to Australia from General Assembly.
“What a blessing it was to see precious relationships keep growing across the world,” Young said.
The churches in Australia and New Zealand as well as the LoveWorks team were blessed by each other's services.
“Where we sought to serve, we were also served,” Young said. “Where we sought to love, we were also loved. Where we sought to be a blessing, we were blessed. The experience was a beautiful expression of what our church seeks to be.”
--Church of the Nazarene Asia-Pacific