Rotorua, New Zealand
29 July – 4 August 2014
Regarding local contacts, no other country was as uncertain as New Zealand. Gloria Miller from Perth was the person who repeatedly tried to establish a contact through her network. The leader of a national prayer network had indicated his interest early on, but then we heard nothing more from him. Our daughter Hanna had been here in 2010 and still had a contact. He had not been within our focus, as we had “counted on” the prayer leader. Just days before flying to New Zealand, we still had only these two “irons in the fire”. Hanna’s contact replied first and confirmed that we could live with them and blow the trumpets in their church in Rotorua, ca. 300 kilometers south of Auckland. Hardly had we received this offer than the prayer leader replied, also, making the same offer for Christ Church on the South Island. We first considered spending a few days in Rotorua and then traveling to Christ Church. Then we decided to remain with Hanna’s acquaintance because of the long distances.
Andy fetched us at the airport in pouring rain and we arrived at his house at 3:00 in the morning. What a large, wonderful house they have we didn’t see until we got up the following afternoon. Andy and his wife Jan not only have a large house, but even larger hearts! Their hospitality was simply wonderful! The way they cared for us, cooked for us and took us on excursions all expressed God’s love and goodness. Because it is winter here it rains often. The temperatures corresponded, about 10-15 degrees. We were really refreshed, although Hanna was still not well.
The following day we talked with the pastor who was responsible for the Sunday. I told him the whole story of the trumpet initiative, although he had seen the video, before he agreed. Then he asked how much time I needed. I replied, about 30 minutes, preferably more. Then he asked what I thought of 10 minutes. I explained that that was too short, with the trumpets, so he gave me 15 minutes. He suggested that I wouldn’t need to explain the third point (Israel as root) very extensively. When I received the perfect, minutely-prepared program, I had to really control myself in order to not make any inappropriate remark. When we returned home and prayed about this, we had the impression that God wanted us right here at just this time in oder to blow the wake-up call. When I read the daily readings (Zephania 1:12 and Ephesians 5:14) I was even happy and enthusiastic! It is actually surprising that people we don’t even know let us use their pulpit. That is favor!
The Sunday arrived and I was actually able to hold myself to exactly 15 minutes. According to Regula I mastered it SUPERBLY, which was certainly due to the Holy Spirit. In spite of the brevity, everything important was included! The brother who assisted with the other trumpet was a professional and therefore it sounded vey good. Andy told us later that the 300 persons present had followed in a way which he had never experienced. The victory cry was also very loud and from the hearts! Over coffee following the worship service, a couple told us they were totally enthusiastic about what we had done. They themselves had been with Youth for a Mission for a long time, praying and blessing in 182 countries! Wow – in comparison we’re genuine “orphans”! They wanted to know all the details. Before we left the church several persons came to thank us from their hearts and to testify (sometimes with tears) what the message and the trumpets had meant for them. One woman was so moved that she didn’t want to let go of me. She was even able to smell the anointing! It must have been wonderful! Astounding and very encouraging. God can work even in 10 minutes, we knew it!
In the meantime, the prayer leader from Christ Church had advised us not to make that long trip. But he informed and mobilized everyone in his prayer network to pray when we blew the trumpets on Sunday morning. Someone at home (thank you, Brigitte!) even stayed up long enough to join us. The Lord can do something – whether with much or little (time) which brings glory to his name. Of course I already knew that, but I love to preach – and preferably longer. But this is not really necessary. All glory to God alone!