Stories from New Zealand

“Missions is a priority for Plainfield Christian Church, so I travel a few times each year to visit, serve, and encourage a handful of our Global Impact Partners. 

Mike Isaacs, Brenda Isaacs, and I had the privilege of traveling to Auckland, New Zealand in September to visit Jill Shaw, one of our Global Impact partners. 

Our short visit was jam-packed! We did whatever we could to help Jill and learn more about her work. We visited Massey University, where Jill serves as a chaplain, and helped with Peace Week—a program that she and the other chaplains put on every year to promote world peace. We also helped clean up a community center for refugee youth and taught a class on American culture for international students at the University. Mike, who is quite a handyman, also took the time to fix several things around Jill’s house while Brenda and I helpfully watched. 

The highlight of our trip was our visit to Shore Community Church, the church that Jill calls home. We worshiped with them on Sunday, but it was special because there were several baptisms. We heard several people share their testimonies before they were baptized. They shared stories of abuse, doubt, betrayal, and other hurts, all of which were redeemed by Jesus. We heard an indigenous Maori man commit his life to Christ and then sing a hymn in his native language. It was beautiful! Ten people were baptized, including one woman that Jill had journeyed with for several years. 

New Zealand is most famous for its physical beauty—especially since it was the filming location fro the iconic Lord of the Rings movies. We did not run into any hobbits, orcs, or elves, but we did see beautiful beaches, rolling green hills, and pristine cityscapes. However, New Zealand is deceptively beautiful. Its physical beauty is matched by spiritual darkness. Ninety-seven percent of New Zealand is unchurched, so Jill’s work is extraordinarily important. 

Jill asks for your prayers—they propel her ministry forward! Please pray that she will speak boldly of Christ in every conversation. Pray that God will give her wisdom for the future. Finally, pray that new leaders will be developed at Shore Community Church. 

Thank you for supporting the ministry of Plainfield Christian Church! Around seventeen cents of every dollar you give goes to support ministries like Jill’s that meet the spiritual and physical needs of hurting people around the world. 

Please check out our 2019 Global Impact Trips at I invite you to join us on a trip like this to help one of our Global Impact Partners and learn more about what God is doing around the world.”

— Riley