2018 Gatherings

March 2018 (TBA)

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In attendance:

MPs:

  • Chester Borrows
  • Tim MacIndoe
  • Jonathan Young
  • Su’a William Sio

Speakers:

  • Judge Andrew Becroft - Principal Youth Court Judge
  • HE Virginia Benavidez – Challenges of a Christian Diplomat
  • Murray Burton – Christian Education

Hon Chester Burrows welcomed the people.  He advised that this particular day was his 10th anniversary of being an MP, and he appreciated the support from those who come to these Prayer @ Parliament events.

Ps Rasik Ranchord gave 3 Pillars of Prayer @ Parliament

  • The Word of God - informs our prayers
  • The Spirit of God -  empowers our prayers
  • Relevant information - provides focus for our prayers

 

Prayer Track 1 – Challenges of a Christian Diplomat

Ps Rasik introduced the Ambassador, advising that she will be returning to the Philippines shortly as her assignment is nearly at an end.  We are very glad God sent you to Wellington, New Zealand.

HE Virginia Benavidez – Philippines Ambassador to New Zealand

The Ambassador shared that she had been here since 2011, and her role as Ambassador covered the Pacific Island nations as well – Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, etc.

Being an ambassador had been a childhood dream.  Virginia also realised that as a believer she was an ambassador for Christ first and foremost and the two roles – ambassador for Christ and ambassador for her nation – were very intertwined.  There are 45k Filipinos here in New Zealand, making up 1% of the population.  Servant leadership is at the core of the role.  

While she has been here, the Ambassador has visited most parts of the country and the Islands where Filipinos have gathered.  Her family have appreciated the opportunities afforded them during her assignment here.

Prayer Pointers:

  1. For Diplomats, the families and the role in the community in the nation they come to.
  2. Cabinet Ministers
  3. Parliamentarians
  4. The calling into the roles
  5. Families of the Diplomats, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament
  6. For the sovereignty of God to be over all they do

 

Prayer Track 2– Judge Andrew Becroft – Issues Facing Youth

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: 10 Issues facing young people .. for context for our prayer focus.

  1. Family – very few serious youth offenders have stable two parent homes, and lack a positive mail role model in their lives.  Family disadvantage, dysfunction, violence and transience usually  of fundamental importance.
  2. School attendance and Participation- increasing attendance and participation in school by young people is a key factor in reducing anti-social behaviour and offending.  Not all truants/non-enrolled young people offend, but overwhelmingly majority of offenders are truants or not enrolled in school
  3. Good “pro-social” friends – not isolated, loners
  4. Need for Community “Connectedness” -  “A kid in sport stays out of Court”.  A young person involved in sport, or any organised positive community activity stays out of Youth Court.  Such involvement in community activities build resilience, good friends, good role models, good discipline, fulfilment and success.
  5. Income inequality;  Socio-Economic Disadvantage – plays a part in what a child has access to.
  6. Violence- Don’t forget bullying – no school is exempt.  Female violence is on the rise. Why?
  7. Cannabis Use /Alcohol Abuse – easy availability of high alcohol drinks for teens, whisky-laden drinks cheaper than water!  Drugs and alcohol affect brain function significantly.
  8. Maori over-representation in youth justice – disproportionate number of Maori apprehensions, unacceptable figures in any civilised community, new and culturally based approaches are needed
  9. Red/ Blue – Mongrel Mob vs Black Power – gang affiliations, power and territory enclaves
  10. Values up for grabs – Honour, Courage, Compassion, Common Sense, Dignity, Loyalty, Respect, Fairness – how are these learnt by the young – who teaches these to them?  How do they get hold of them?  Values are non-negotiable.  How can we be the Lighthouse?

Prayer Pointers:

  1. Parents, guardians, caregivers
  2. Abused, damaged, neglected children
  3. School, teachers
  4. Police

Pray for good friends, youth ministry in churches providing ministry to youth outside the church, youth leadership, individuals touching lives in their locality, overcoming our reluctance to get involved, for Judge Becroft and other judiciary members, God to raise up others like him.

 

Prayer Track 3 – Murray Burton, Christian Education

Murray Burton, member of the Christian Education Commission.

Murray has been on the Board for 6-7 months, so is new to this particular Commission, but not new to Education.  He is passionate about education, particularly Christian Education, and the Christian Community.

Christian education is now under threat.  Jer 6:16… ask for the ancient paths…and find rest for your souls.

657 schools have Bible in Schools values education in operation.  This is the biggest volunteer sector in New Zealand.  This group are rapidly aging and new ones are needed to step up.  Where in the western world can we shut a school for 30 minutes each week to give a gospel message?  Each day there are 6 hours of secularist thinking being given to the children.

Christian values support the curriculum.  The foundation of Law and Judiciary is based on Judeo-Christian values, we can’t evangelise, but we can sow truth and values.  The Bible is full of humanity – broken people finding God.  Bible stories are unpacked in the classroom.

The Christian community has gone from being a sleeping body to now a red-faced bigot.  We need to engage and reason with those who don’t know about Christianity.  Are we engaging in the battle or sitting on the sidelines?  Are be bowing the knee and covering others in prayer?

Ps 145 – one generation passing on God’s deeds to the next generation…. Pass on the baton of Biblical values.

Prayer pointers:

  1. Programs [in schools] to impact all who attend
  2. The High Court hearing (Red Beach school challenging the Act re RE in their school – April 2016) decision will impact CEC/CRE in schools.
  3. The relationships with School Principals, Boards of Trustees, staff and students
  4. Accurate portrayal of Christian Education Commission to the wider public in the media.
  5. Credibility of CRE teachers
    1. Wisdom in prayer
    2. Good communication skills for the teachers
    3. Prayer for the 657 schools – teachers, engaging lessons, the school to respect what the teachers do
    4. It is a watershed court case – prayer to turn back the secular tide
    5. Recognise the values taught in RE classes are enduring values

 

The next Prayer at Parliament will be in March 2016.

Tricia Caughley closed the meeting with prayer.