Posted in Help Philippines, Love

Winchester Rural School – Still Thinking of Philippines

Winchester Rural School still thinking of philippines

A friend who’s driving home yesterday took this photo and shared it with me.

Being a Filipino, this is very encouraging and heart-warming.

Winchester is a small town in the South Canterbury region of New Zealand’s South Island.

Thank you Winchester Rural School!

Thank you New Zealand!

Send your help now! Join the Hopevale Trust in helping the Philippines.

CLICK on the link below for details on how you may send your donations:


PHOTO CREDIT: Grant Holland


Posted in Faith, Gigatown Timaru, pastoral ministry nz, South Canterbury living

The Magic of Psalms, Singing Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you,
with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another
with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)


ministering to the elderly Yesterday, we had the opportunity to hold a devotional with some residents of The Terrace Rest Home.

The place is home to elderly people offering care, comfort and companionship.

I asked Jewel and Errol to come with me.

We started the meeting with the singing of two stanzas of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”.

Then after I gave the invocation, Jewel sang “His Strength is Perfect

Errol read Psalm 27, the scriptural basis of my devotional message.

I gave a very short reflection, maybe five sentences because prior to speaking the Holy Spirit prompted me to dwell more on singing hymns and spiritual songs.

I asked for prayer requests and prayed for them.

Then, I called on Jewel to sing the second song she prepared for the moment, “O Holy Night”.

I told them that this will be our closing song and I thanked them for listening and spending time with us.

As Jewel sang “O Holy Night”, the audience became animated and I could see several lips singing with her.

They clapped in appreciation of Jewel’s singing.  Just when we thought we’re done, one of the staff members came to us and requested Jewel to sing another song.

Smiling, the lady said, “I’m sure she has one more song to sing”.

Running through our memory as to what song to sing, Errol suggested “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.

Again, perhaps being familiar with the hymn, some sang with Jewel.

Thus, we ended the devotional with that hymn.

What peace and joy seeing the residents and staff very happy and thankful for what we have shared them.

The atmosphere yesterday reminded me of the lines of the popular chorus, “The Time To Be Happy“, which says:

And the way to be happy is to make others happy
And to have a little heaven down here

Yes, I saw a glimpse of heaven yesterday because we taught and admonished with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.


… Errol for your presence and reading Psalm 27.

… my dear wife, Jewel for sharing your talent and ministering to the elderly through singing.


Posted in Living in Timaru, multicultural response ministry, pastoral ministry nz, South Canterbury living

How God Used A Blog Post to Inspire Support for a Multicultural Ministry in South Canterbury


And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Wilson Street Multicultural Response
The Multicultural Response Website

Last week The Timaru Herald published “Pastor Spreads Word in His New Business” to highlight one result of the Tell-a-Friend Promote South Canterbury program.

May I share that before any idea of creating Online Writing Niche Ltd. was ever discussed, there’s a far greater undertaking that has unfolded .

Far greater undertaking because one blog post, “Reasons for Beautiful Living in South Canterbury” inspired support for the Multicultural Response Ministry, which I and my wife take part.

Wilson Street Baptist Church, through Pastor John McMullan, Errol James, the Church Elders, and the members, supported the holding of the “Evening of Praise and Worship“, the first multicultural worship ever held on 20 April 2013.

We held the second multicultural worship on 6 July 2012. We have set our sights to holding the third event in November 2013.

The church has considered creating the multicultural response team that will stir up participation in pursuing the ministry vision.

The Lord God touched the hearts of a couple in Timaru after reading the article published in The Timaru Herald titled, “Pastor’s Blog Becomes Ad for South Canterbury. Learning about the ministry vision, the couple committed to giving financial support.

Then we created the Multicultural Response website. When Ross Waugh requested me to work on his website projects, I’m not so adept with wordpress themes, domain hosting and file management.

Thus, the Multicultural Response site became my learning laboratory while putting up online presence for the ministry.

Isn’t it wonderful to see God’s hand working through His people and many avenues? He is always in the lookout for hearts committed and passionate to serve Him.

As the song “Pass It On” says “It only takes a spark to keep the fire going”, I believe that God has more things in store now that the multicultural response ministry is ablaze.

Please don’t miss listening to this lovely rendition of ‘Pass It On’ by Evie Tornquist Karlsson. 🙂

Posted in Faith, Hope, Inspirational, Living in New Zealand Now, Living in Timaru, Love, South Canterbury living

Tribute to God’s Awesome Goodness


As we celebrate our second winter in New Zealand, we remember how good our God is.  In June 2012, we were praying and waiting for the job that’s pivotal to our getting residence visa.

Our 9-month work-to-residence visa was ending 10 August 2012, barely two months then.

God’s Mighty hand at work, He moved people, caused events to happen, and guided us to a places where He wanted us to be.

So, we always thank the Father for the things that He has done and for the things He’s yet to do.

Thank you Lord for being doubly good.

We are also forever grateful to our brothers and sisters in Christ who have been with us in our faith journey.

Please watch the video my wife created —Beautiful Sights of Timaru, Canterbury, New Zealand


SONG CREDIT: “Doubly Good to You” by Amy Grant

Posted in Inspirational, Living in New Zealand Now, Living in Timaru, Promote South Canterbury, South Canterbury living, Tell A Friend South Canterbury

South Canterbury – Tell a Friend Best Family Group Entry

Thank you!

South Canterbury Tell a Friend Award


Our family is grateful for the award that the South Canterbury – Tell a Friend contest organizers gave. The prizes are just awesome.

Joining the Tell-a-Friend contest has given us the opportunity to meet new friends, integrate with Timaru community and gain internet marketing knowledge.

While there’s no perfect place in this world, we say that there are many reasons for beautiful living in South Canterbury.

To God be the glory! Praise Him.

We just can’t stop thinking about South Canterbury.

Watch this video to know more:

South Canterbury – Tell a Friend from South Canterbury NZ on Vimeo.

Posted in Living in Timaru, Promote South Canterbury, South Canterbury living

Listen to the Sea

By Placido B. Matta

Timaru Coast Walk

Have you ever been to a sand bar

Listening, watching wavelets caress the sandy shore?

I have –

And heard the gentle voice of God.


Dashing Rocks Timaru

Heard the roar of waves

Venting their wrath upon rocky shores?

I have –

and heard the voice of an angry God.

Remember the money changers

Defiling the holy temple?

So, beware and

Listen to the sea.


PHOTO CREDIT: Ross Waugh’s Photographs

Posted in Living in New Zealand Now, Promote South Canterbury, South Canterbury living, Tell A Friend South Canterbury

Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International – A Blessed Encounter


I learned about the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International through my friend and brother in Christ, Errol James, one of their leaders here in Timaru.

This world-wide organization started in New Zealand in 1969 and chapters all over the country continue to meet. Their goal is to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ through fellowship, testimonies and sharing.

What privilege and opportunity to share God’s testimony of faith, hope and love with the FGBMFI Timaru chapter. Praises and glory be to our God.

Please pray for this event and include us and the organization in your prayers.

Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International