Beautiful are the Feet

“Beautiful are the feet…” so goes the Spanish of Romans 10:15. What began as mission steps to Latin America led to a NZ-based Latino mission bearer.  We interviewed Victoria, our very own Colombian WEC missionary. Here’s what transpired.


How did you end up in NZ?


This is my long story short. I’ve had a sense of call to mission since I was a teenager. My church was planted by a WEC missionary and I was also discipled by someone from WEC. After Bible College I served my local church, but I needed to improve my English to be more involved in global mission.  God opened the door for me to come to NZ and study at Eastwest College on a scholarship.  After my course finished I either had to return to Colombia or God had to reveal another plan. I’d been helping another student working amongst refugees.  They invited me to City Bible Church, Hamilton, where I met the pastor and soon got involved.  The church offered me an internship, and I had my answer from God.


So what do you do now?


I’m predominantly helping migrant and refugee families.  This is largely through CBC ministries like Converse (see Feature Page), but also connecting with other groups involved in similar work.  My day can involve helping families with a variety of needs or appointments, English classes, translation work, or a Bible study in English for Spanish speakers.


What does a refugee family need most?


English is vital for all migrants here.  Without it, everything from gaining employment to helping their children with homework is difficult.  Learning to drive is very important for independence, and opens up further opportunities.  Most important is friendship – people they can be safe with and have fun with.


What about after a couple of years in NZ?


Needs remain, they just change.  Many arrive without a father or husband, which can create issues. Often children’s English develops faster than parent’s.  Family roles become inverted with adults becoming dependent upon their children.  There’s also the tension on how to parent in a new culture, which the children are more familiar with. Forming good friendships is vital if immigrants are to become “Kiwis” and part of our communities.


Any final words?


There are lots of opportunities!  If you’re thinking of missions in the future, don’t wait to go overseas. Join with like-minded people. Pray, discern, and learn together, and begin stepping out cross-culturally right where you are.  You can’t imagine what God has in store, and how it will develop your faith.  He is calling all of us to reach out to all peoples. It begins here, now.

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