Organisational and personal histories have always fascinated me. I think it’s the knowledge that the present is just a moment in a far broader story; and to arrive at that present point in time, many people have contributed, decisions have been made, tears have been shed and joys have been celebrated. Because of it all, the future is moulded. It’s the essence of the whakatauki, “Ka mua, ka muri,” (which means “walking backwards into the future”) – the concept that we look back and acknowledge the past (learning from it) as we step forward into the future.
Along with a few others from New Zealand, I was able to attend the February centenary celebrations of the Bangladesh Baptist Church Fellowship (BBCF) – a movement that NZBMS has had the privilege of contributing to in the past; in its establishment and subsequent development before releasing responsibilities to work alongside local leadership. As I listened to the stories of those who have come before – Kiwis, other foreigners and Bangladeshis alike – and observed the interactions of people who have served together for decades, it was hard to ignore the place of the past. There was much to celebrate and give thanks for. God’s faithfulness and hand on BBCF and Bangladesh as a nation was very evident. Our prayer remains that he will continue to be sovereign through the present and into the future for the sake of the Kingdom in this nation that has always been so close to New Zealand Baptists.
It led me to think about those of us here in New Zealand. When the future Church looks back to right now, what events, people and decisions might they recognise as having shaped them, and how might they celebrate who we are now, and in the future, as they continue to serve God? Perhaps this is a challenge for us all as we form our current stories – personally and organisationally.
Ngā mihi nui ,
NZBMS General Director