Every Thought Captive to Messiah


Ministry Update August 2023

“So if there is any encouragement in Messiah, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Messiah Jesus….” - Philippians 2:1-5

Dear Ministry Friends,

I (Jeff) recently returned to Dunedin from the United States where I served for four weeks with the U.S. Air Force at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. It was the first time I have served in person since 2019, and I thank God for helping me to get back in the groove of serving as a military lawyer. The legal team at McConnell was absolutely great to work with, and I learned there are several believers in our small office. I have always been impressed with how many Christians serve in the U.S. military, which is one of its great strengths.

I am a 7th generation Kansan, so a big highlight of my month there was seeing some of Kansas’ beautiful locations, including Kanopolis Lake, Wilson Lake, and the Little House on the Prairie Museum near Independence.

Averil dropped our children off with her parents, Roger and Linda, in Timaru (thanks Dad and Mum!) and then flew to Kansas to join me for five days for some alone time together. It was the first time we have been without the children since Sophia was born in 2009! It was great as a couple to spend quality time with my dad, Phil, my sisters Jenny and Jessica and their families, and my Aunt Barbara who lives in Miltonvale, Kansas. The highlight for Averil and I as a couple was a great bed and breakfast experience in Lindsborg, Kansas.

On August 9, Averil flew to the San Francisco area to begin a twelve-day doctor-supervised fast at TrueNorth Health Center. As I write, she is on day eight of her fast. She is understandably feeling weak, but if all goes to plan, her body will be able to cleanse itself and recharge. When the twelve days end, Averil will slowly get back to eating normal food for another six days. We look forward to seeing her at the Dunedin airport on September 1!

From August 9-15, I stayed with my brother Jamie and his wife Aizada in Mesquite, Texas, and visited many of our longtime ministry supporters, including Todd and Jean Martin, Dr. Michael Pocock of Dallas Theological Seminary, the wonderful First Baptist Dallas Precept group led by Eleanor Briley and Cheryl Calvin, three Sunday School classes at First Baptist Dallas led by Jeff Adams, Yujin Han, and Jason Atkinson, the librarians at First Baptist Dallas, Jerry and Ruthe Turner, the South Arlington Cameroon church cell led by Justin Tamofo and Jean Zogning, and our old neighbours Brian and Jill Witt. To reconnect in person with all of these groups and individuals was an amazing and encouraging experience. Dallas truly is the buckle of the Bible Belt. It was incredibly hot the whole time, with temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius every day, with absolutely no rain.

Now back in Dunedin, the focus for me (Jeff) is to complete my annual Air Force duty from home for another two and half weeks, while homeschooling the children until Averil returns. The wonderful ladies at Caversham Community Church have provided some meals to get us through, so the kids don’t have to eat grilled cheese every meal!

Ministry-wise, we will be focused on our Tu Kaha youth ministry, our three upcoming worldview camps in October 2023 and January 2024, and seeking the Lord on next steps in ministry, whether to join a church in the Tauranga area, stay in the Dunedin area, or do something else the Lord has in mind. Please pray God will guide us clearly and that we will be responsive to his call.

In terms of Bible study, Averil and I have been studying, along with Caversham Community Church, the book of Colossians. We are learning about the supremacy and sufficiency of our Lord Jesus Christ as the cornerstone of the biblical worldview and any true philosophy of life. Topically, I have been learning about the process of sanctification, the importance of the three theological graces of faith, hope, and love, and the necessity of walking by the Spirit in order to produce spiritual fruit. I restarted my Bible-in-a-year plan, which I had neglecting for about two years, and am reading through the book of Jeremiah, where God’s covenant faithfulness to Israel is emphasised. All I can say is, keep studying and internalising the message of the Bible, for in it is wisdom beyond anything else offered in our world.

In case you didn’t know, our daughter Sophia, age 14, has launched her own Grow Kids Magazine website and published a new issue. We are so proud of Sophia’s diligence and consistency.

Prayer Points

Praise God for:

His perfect plan for all of human history, that includes us as a major part of it.
His covenant faithfulness to the human race as a whole, to the nation of Israel, and to the church.
Sending his own Son to reconcile all things through the blood of his cross (Colossians 1:20).

Thank God for:

The excitement many have about the vision of running worldview camps around New Zealand
The faithful leaders of the Tu Kaha youth group: Garth, Kachina, Beckha, Annalise, Josh, and Lorna
God’s strengthening Averil for her twelve-day fast.

Pray for:

Our upcoming three worldview camps, that God would use them to develop faithful disciples of Jesus in New Zealand
New Zealand Christians to have an inner confidence to communicate the gospel to everyone in their life, with knowledge and discernment.
A renaissance of the biblical worldview in all aspects of New Zealand life, including family, education, and government.

Call to Action

Send youth and young adults ages 15-20 to our upcoming worldview camps in October and January.
Volunteer to serve as a leader or helper at our upcoming worldview camps in October and January.
Donate to the ministry of Firm Foundation New Zealand for more worldview camps in New Zealand.

In the United States: Tax-deductible through ICC-Eurasia (designate FFNZ)

In New Zealand: Tax rebate through Thinking Matters NZ: 38-9014-0025437-05 (designate FFNZ)

Thank you, friends, for your ongoing love, prayer, and support. Be encouraged.

Love in Christ,
Jeff (and Averil)


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