This weekend is a very special Sabbath on a number of levels. It is a Regional Sabbath for Christchurch, so it is special because the sisterhood of churches come together to worship.  In doing so we anticipate the day where we will be standing shoulder to shoulder before our Heavenly Father, as one. Many cultures, differing theological points of view but one in love with God our Redeemer. Secondly, we come to acknowledge that Siaosi Kei and Younis Masih have been called to ministry, and celebrate the fact that the Holy Spirit is leading in their lives by ordination to ministry. Thirdly, we are privileged to have the NZPUC President Pr. Eddie Tupai’ and the Sec-Treasurer Graeme Drinkall with us to lead out in the ordination ceremony. For it is the Union that oversees the ordination process. Fourthly, we celebrate Jesel and Chan’s marriage, (they get married on Wednesday, May 1) and in doing so we are reminded that marriage is not only a God-given gift but also a reminder that God wants a relationship with us that reflects His relationship within the Godhead.

Picture: Pr Siaosi Kei, wife Mouifoou and children: Ailine, Hazel, Estelle, Ana (not in the picture), Siaosi Jnr, Sinamoni, Siola.

Siaosi, has pastored in South New Zealand Conference for 6 years, having initially accepted a call to be a bible-worker after graduation from Avondale. He currently pastors Oxford, Aranui churches and the Tongan group. Siaosi, Mouifoou, and their family, Ailine, Estelle, Siaosi Jnr, Samson and Siola live in Rolleston. Siaosi has proved to be Mr dependable, his humble attitude connects him and builds up those he interacts with.

Picture: Pr Younis Masih, wife Romina and son Avishai.

Younis came to us from lecturing at Fulton College and has pastored 6 years in South New Zealand, initially pastoring in Invercargill as a Youth pastor and chaplain to Southland Adventist Christian School, and this is his 3rd year pastoring Ashburton and Garden City Churches. Younis, his wife Romina and their son Avishai live in Redwood. Younis has a heart for people and is willing to put himself out there in order to meet them and build relationships.

Picture: Pr Jesel Royokada and bride Chan

Jesel having completed his theological degree at Fulton and pastored in Fiji, came as a Bible worker to South New Zealand, to look after the Fijian church. This year he was called into full-time ministry, looking after Westport and the Fijian churches. Jesel and his wife Chan, will live just down the road from Younis in Redwood. Jesel has such a generous heart and ready smile that puts people at ease so they are open to hearing the good news. Jesel and Chan will be taking their Honeymoon later in the year when they go on the Bible lands tour.

So as we meet together may the Holy Spirit draw each of us into the presence of our God and Father because of what Jesus Christ has done and is doing in each of us.

– Pr Grant Burton, Ministerial Secretary, Seventh-day Adventist Church