On Waitangi Day, people from various communities gathered at Ramsey House (the Anglican Chaplaincy at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington) to launch the Better World gap year for its second year, 2020.
In attendance were lifetime supporters of the Church Missionary Society (NZCMS), clergy members, coordinators of Better World, participants from 2019, friends, family and the team committing to Better World 2020. It was a truly intergenerational event, reflecting Better World’s kaupapa of inclusion and community. This year, the team is made up of Sam Tovey and Luca Duckworth (leaders) and David Prendergast, Olivia Simes and Mercy Mutio (participants).
In February 180 years ago, the Treaty of Waitangi was translated into te reo Māori by the then leader of CMS in New Zealand, Henry Williams. Without his involvement, the relationship between colonisers and indigenous people may have looked very different. The Better World gap year, with its aim to equip young people with cross-cultural skills, missional worldviews and a righteous anger at social injustice, is the carrying on of his legacy.
In their introductions, each participant spoke of how they are looking forward to all they will learn throughout the year. They are laying their lives in the hands of God and saying yes to a journey of growing and learning, intentionally moving into the uncomfortable places so that they are stretched and challenged and gain new perspectives. Their journey begins at Ngātiawa River Monastery. Throughout the year, they will spend time in Northland, Wellington, Fiji and Cambodia.
Please pray for the 2020 Better World team. Also, we invite you to pray with us for Mercy Mutio, our 2020 participant from Nairobi, Kenya. She is awaiting confirmation of her visa applications and was unable to attend our launch event in Wellington. We await you with great excitement, Mercy!
Photo: NZCMS / John Setter