Since our last letter we have had quite a change in scenery. Our flight from Chicago directly to Auckland was smoother than expected, courtesy of your prayers! The past few weeks have been productive setting up from scratch in our new home of Tauranga, NZ. God has provided for the physical–vehicle and housing–as well as the spiritual. He has given us a church home that reminds us both of the churches we attended while growing up.

During the first few services we have been part of at Grace Independent Baptist Church, God has led visitors to our church through various means. It has been exciting to see God’s faithfulness to bring in the harvest to a church that has been faithful in their labor and outreach.

Many of you have been praying for our church to receive a permanent home. God has sent a taste of answering that prayer through another request. The church family had started praying for chairs that we might use at the new location. Our hope was that 150 chairs might be purchased at roughly ten dollars per piece. Through a miracle, God provided those 150 chairs, slightly under budget, at zero dollars per piece! We continue to ask for your prayers that there would be no permit restrictions for expanding the auditorium space in this new building.

While soul winning this week, there was one shocking admission from an atheist that will stick in my memory. Most atheists are not strongly attached to their non-belief, but on this particular occasion it was spiritually heartbreaking to hear how genuine he was. He went as far as to claim the millions of souls killed through communism over the years were for a good cause if the purpose was eliminating religion. What motivation to reach our generation for Christ!

The Friday evening youth group is a highlight of outreach for the church. The past two weeks the teens have brought six first-time visitors. Through the Lord’s help we are hoping to serve these teenagers and grow this ministry during our time here.

One final highlight was having a number of hours interacting with Bro. Mike Rigney and his wife while they were visiting the country. He established six churches between Australia and New Zealand and therefore time spent gathering advice from him cannot be underestimated in value.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and financial support,
Josh, Alyse, Bentlee Szwarga

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