Forming of ACMissioNZ
In 1994 New Zealand’s Churches of Christ (Life & Advent) Association disbanded with some of it’s churches electing to join the Baptist Union of New Zealand and some remaining independent. The Association itself effectively divided into two separate legal entities – one with a doctrinal emphasis (Conditional Immortality Association of New Zealand) and the other with international mission interests (Advent Christian Missions New Zealand). The Mission pursued interests in the two Asia-Pacific mission fields it had historical links with – India and the Philippines. The remaining independent Churches of Christ (L&A) churches later joined to form the Advent Christian Conference of New Zealand (or ACCONZ), and channel funding and support through the Mission as it’s adopted foreign mission arm.
ACMissioNZ is ‘denominational’ in terms of the churches and organisations it supports within it’s immediate Asia-Pacific neighbourhood, and further a-field to the African Region with emergency aid relief. Although it’s targets for assistance have a denominational commonality ACMissioNZ has supporters, donors and work team members from within many different church denominations within New Zealand.
Convinced of the imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ, Advent Christian Missions New Zealand exists to support worldwide, outreach ministries of the Advent Christian General Conference, with particular emphasis on ministries in the Asia- Pacific region, and to Encourage, Equip and Empower those ministries to be obedient to His Great Commandment and Great Commission.
Kiwis to the Mission Fields: 1950-90s
In 1953 and 1954, Ruth Iris Postlewaight and Beryl Joy Hollis left [New Zealand] as missionaries to India under the AMMS (American Advent Mission Society), supported by New Zealand prayers and finances. Ruth Iris later worked briefly in the Advent Christian mission to Mexico before resigning to serve under another mission in Pakistan. Beryl remained in India until her retirement in 1995. In the late 1980s, Sheryl Kampenhout became a short-term associate missionary with the Advent Christians in Japan. Beginning in , individuals and teams from New Zealand went periodically to the Philippines to assist the Philippine Advent Christian Conference in it’s ministry there. Rev. Warren Prestidge served as director of Oro Bible College in 1995 and 1996.
~ Excerpt from ‘Who Will Go For Us’ by Dr David A Dean (A Strange and Powerful Beauty, Page 384)
Kiwis to the Mission Fields: 2000s
In April 2002 ACMissioNZ sent Grant Aldridge, seconded to Advent Christian World Missions, to the Philippines to serve as Business Manager for the American Advent Mission in Philippines. Grant has served on ACMissioNZ trust board and was a member of seven Work Teams, and Team Leader of three of those. (see Grant’s Testimony)
In August 2002 ACMissioNZ also sent Ernie Schache, again seconded to Advent Christian World Missions, to India to serve initially as Treasurer, then more recently as Field Team Leader, for the American Advent Mission in India. Ernie planned and organised the first eight Work Teams (with the help of his late wife Helen), he attended five of those teams, and was Team Leader of two teams. He also attended the 2006/2007 Work Team to Thailand from Chennai where he was based. He has visited existing fields and investigated potential mission fields within the Asia-Pacific region on behalf of Advent Christian World Outreach. (see Ernie’s Testimony)
Short-Term Work Teams: 1990s
This decade also brought increasing help from New Zealand Christians. Beginning in , short-term work teams came from that country on several occasions to undertake construction work at OBC (Oro Bible College, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines). Ernie Schache, chairman of the Advent Christian Mission (NZ)committee, spent six months on one such trip. Friends at home financed most of the materials used for building at OBC. The most recent trips focussed on completing faculty housing on campus. In addition, Warren Prestidge provided academic leadership in 1995-96 while serving as director and teacher.
~ Excerpt from ‘Who Will Go For Us’ by Dr David A Dean (From Barrios to Beaches, Page 319)