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Commissioning of Teng Yang Tan - International Student Ministries (ISM)

 August 2011 

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August was a wonderful month for our family. We were privileged to receive an invitation for the commissioning of Teng Yang Tan as the new director of International Student Ministries (ISM) in New Zealand (NZ). ISM is an offshoot of the Navigators who are a parachurch organization training people to be disciplemakers. The Navigators have been a great blessing to our family, especially in Kathy's life when they discipled her as a young woman. She is still leading other women to Christ and is training them to be disciples.

Tan Family - From left: Yang Yenn, Jenny, Yi Lin & Teng Yang

It is now the mission of our family to make disciples of whole families.

One of the main strengths of the Navigators in recent years has been their work among university students. In the year 2000 ISM NZ began with a particular focus of discipling overseas students training in NZ. Recently Jane Ng of ISM had some students stay at our place for a retreat weekend where we encouraged them with the QTs.

But ISM doesn't only have a focus on discipling students in NZ. Their vision is to make disciples among all nations.

Teng Yang, a young Malaysian student, came to NZ in 1975 and his wife Jenny (also Malaysian) came in 1978. They both became Christians in NZ although they never actually met in NZ. They met in Malaysia in 1982 where they were both ministering in a city University campus. They were married in 1985 and began working full-time with the Navigators in 1986.

Teng Yang's Commissioning was a blessing to us. He talked about seeking God and waiting on Him. He spoke of his call from Isaiah 49 to reach the nations and to restore families in ruined places. He said, "The people come from afar to NZ, from North, West, and East. The Lord has sent them here, so that they can get to hear the Good News and follow Jesus. They will eventually return to their countries and carry this blessing to their families and friends."

This is exactly what happened in Teng Yang and Jenny's case. They came over here, became Christians, and took the gospel back to their family and friends. They have now come back to NZ and are teaching other international students to do the same.

Wilson Family - Top from left: Hannakah, Robert, Eileen, Nāomi;
Bottom from left Nathanael, Keturah & Ezra

Palmerston North is about 800km's from where we live, and so we stayed with some friends of ours in Marton, about 45 km's from Palmerston North. They are a Christian family with all seven children keen Christians. Their oldest son, Isaac, is married, and the second oldest, Jacob, is in Australia, so we did not see them. Being a family who is passionate for the Lord they are also keen to disciple families through the family QTs.

We had a wonderful time staying with them over the weekend while we were down there. They attended our workshop in Palmerston North, which was a blessing for us as they backed us up on the need for parents to disciple their own children.

Later in August we were privileged to take a workshop in Auckland with the Christian Ministries With Disabled Trust (CMWDT). About a year ago we ran a workshop with CMWDT on a Tuesday. The workshop this time was on a Wednesday which is largely a different group of people. Some of the folk are severely disabled and cannot write for themselves. For the ones who couldn't write they had helpers who wrote down for them what the Lord had said to them. It was a thrill for us to see their joy in being able to share what they got. For some people the helpers read out what they got.

Sharing of the Quiet Times

It was also a great joy to have people in attendance from last year's workshop and now wanting a Year 2 diary.

Each week Di Willis, the director of CMWDT NZ, organizes a time for doing QTs for those who come and can't do QTs at home. Then there is a sharing time for them all.

In our opinion these sharing times are wonderful for disabled people. Disabled Christians have a lot to offer the body of Christ, the Church. Many have trials they face on a daily basis, but still have the joy of the Lord despite these ongoing trials. Disabled people have been a wonderful blessing to our family over the years.

Thirty years ago I had a 10 minute conversation with a lady, Bev Everton, who impacted my life. Bev was a quadriplegic who told me that having an accident (causing her to be paralyzed) was the best thing that could have happened to her, as she found Christ in a new way. Click to read this message

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