For years I have journaled my ministry trips as I travel around the world. Here’s an update from our recent trip to New Zealand taken from my 2018-2019 journal.
September 12, 2018, Journal entry:
“Received a message today from David & Dale Garratt, founders of Scripture In Song hoping I could come to New Zealand to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of their ministry.” I was a songwriter for S.I.S. during the 1980’s - ‘90’s. The Garratts wanted me to come but their budget didn’t allow for any travel costs. I felt an immediate tug about it to go but was concerned about how to pay for the travel and accommodation costs. June & I committed it to prayer.
September 14, 2018 Journal entry:
“I asked our local Elder team to pray with us about going to New Zealand. They felt good about our going and committed $1000.00 from our missions’ budget toward the costs. Later in the day I sought the Lord in prayer asking for confirmation. I heard in my spirit, ‘Say ‘yes’ to New Zealand. It’s good for you and June to go to that nation to honour the fathers & mothers. While there, you will make strategic connections and have opportunity to bless many spiritual sons and daughters who are receiving the Garratts' mantle. I will make a way for provision. Bless the Garratts by not allowing them to cover any costs. Trust me.’”
September 15, 2018, Journal entry:
“While praying about New Zealand this morning I heard the Lord say, ‘Settle it in your heart for you and June to go to New Zealand. Provision is already set aside for you.’ As I sat listening, I looked up to see a small airplane flying low over my house. For some reason it felt like a sign nudging me to look up and trust God. I asked June about what I heard. She agreed that we should trust God and go.”
January 10-March 24, 2019:
Our church received an offering for us that covered about half the costs. Between January and March 24th, the rest of our budget for the trip came through gifts from friends and family. The last part came in just two days before we were to leave!
March 25-31, 2019 Journal entries:
“After a 25-hour journey, June and I were strengthened by a sense that we are in New Zealand at a spiritually strategic time. We gathered to ‘pass the torch’ from the worship foundations the Garratts have laid the past 50 years to the emerging worship movement arising at this time across the Pacific Islands.”
Approximately 1200 worship leaders, church leaders and worshippers were hosted in one of the largest churches in Auckland called Life Church. People came from N.Z., Australia, Samoa, Hawaii, Solomon Islands, Europe and the United States. The atmosphere was charged! We experienced the positives of generational transfer from the worship movement that began in 1968 to the emerging worship movement today. Alongside that we felt the negatives of recent events here in this nation.
Floral tributes at the Al Noor Mosque, Christchurch, New Zealand
Two weeks before we arrived, 50 worshippers attending two Muslim Mosques in Christchurch had been murdered by an Australian extremist. The country seemed to be in shock. Many polarizing comments were being made on social media. The prime minister was doing her best to be sensitive to comfort those grieving, but also having to avoid mis-steps that could inflame the Muslim population or the non-Muslim majority in New Zealand. Someone told me that several Muslim Imans had flown in from around the world to pronounce that New Zealand would be for Allah. Memorial services were held in major cities including Christchurch and Auckland. Both were shown live on national television. I was concerned that compassion could blind Christian believer’s eyes to the truth that Jesus proclaimed.
It did not escape us that these memorials were held on the same day as Scripture In Song’s 50th Anniversary gathering. In fact, the Auckland location of our two events were on opposite sides of a small mountain in Auckland called Mt. Eden. This volcanic peak originally named ‘Maungawhau’, is the highest place in Auckland. Early Maoris claimed a deity lived in the crater as the guardian of the secrets hidden in the earth. Originally used as a fortified ‘pa,’ it could provide refuge for several hundred people. It seemed a spiritual battle was being fought around this same high place where David Garratt and I climbed in past times to pray.
Meaningful moments of 50th Celebration:
My friend Les Moir said recently, “The Bride of Christ is looking a bit pale.” He went on to say, “She needs a little more colour in her cheeks.” He was commenting about the need for the church to reflect a racial mix within her congregations. I was so happy to see brown, yellow, black, and white skinned people worshipping side by side at this event. Worship during the weekend was powerful and wonderfully diverse. There was a blend of songs, sounds, indigenous dance and instruments incorporated into the worship. In addition to an anointed worship team, the Hawaiian team called ‘Island Breeze’ offered their native dance and a Maori team brought the haka. These weren’t performances but part of our worship together. I was inspired by the blending of cultures offering praises to God as Psalm 150 describes.
A very personally meaningful moment for me occurred around a song David Garratt & I co-wrote a few year ago called, “Don’t You Know?” The song was inspired by Psalm 139:13 and Isaiah 49:16 to express God’s love for the unborn. This song was included in the 50th Anniversary Album, “I Exalt Thee.” The night we were to sing the song, a young man named Aaron Hardy introduced it by telling why the song had such deep meaning for him. It seems his mother had suffered multiple miscarriages. During her pregnancy they sang this song often and when their son was born healthy, they continued to sing the song over him as a lullaby. Aaron was that little boy. (It’s interesting that Aaron’s father Fraser Hardy, prophesied over me when I was 27 years old that I would be a prophet to the nations.) It’s amazing what springs up from the seeds the Lord allows you to sow. Today, Aaron is an influential young worship leader in this nation and a leader of a multi-cultural church. He is using our song to sing over the land of New Zealand now in hopes of birthing a new spiritual awakening. Thank God Aaron was born for such a time as this!
With Aaron Hardy
Taking part in the ministry of prophecy with the laying on of hands on this scale is a rare privilege. Our ministry team laid hands on David & Dale Garratt and their daughter, Mindy to commend them into the next phase of ‘the new’ God has for them.
Prayer for the Garratts
The Garratts then joined us to give prayers of impartation over several hundred young worship, business and church leaders from across the Pacific Islands. It seems the Holy Spirit is anointing many in this hour to receive the mantle of worship going forward. A sound of loud praise filled the auditorium! I felt as if it was piercing a hole in the charged atmosphere swirling around this significant moment for New Zealand for the glory of Jesus.
Offering thanks: June and I are so thankful for friends and family who made it possible for us to be in New Zealand at this strategic moment in time through your kind generosity. I could not have anticipated all those years ago what offering a simple song might mean to the destiny of a family…and a nation. I’m confident that your seeds planted in New Zealand at this time will grow into a harvest that surpasses our hopes and dreams! As the world focuses on New Zealand currently, please pray for a spiritual awakening to break out from that beautiful nation right across the Pacific for the glory of God. And thank you again for being on the journey with June and me.
Wayne & June