After the Journey to the Heart in Australia, the team headed to New Zealand where 11 young ladies attended a Journey to the Heart at the Arahina Ministry Centre in the town of Marton. The following week 18 young men came for the guys’ Journey. Each day of the journeys was a special time to share life-giving truths with the young men and women and for each one to get alone with Jesus and seek His face. In spite of the challenges that arose, we rejoiced in the difficulties as they simply gave God more room to do His perfect work; which is exactly what He did!
During the girls’ Journey, several opened up about struggles they were facing and were able to receive counsel and encouragement from the leaders. During the week, the Lord was using every situation and circumstance to bring unity among the group and to teach each one the importance of depending upon Christ in everything. The final evening culminated with an emotionally moving time of sharing and singing around a campfire. What an incredible joy to see bitterness, strife, and doubt exchanged for forgiveness, peace, and faith!
The guys’ Journey was also a great time of fellowship around God’s Word. Many of the guys came with questions about their walk with God and their futures. Each day God would show the group some key truths; the main one throughout the whole week was the fact that God does not want to improve us or make us better as Christians – He wants to make us brand new! Many of the guys said their highlight of the week was the time of prayer and worship they had one evening for several hours. There was a special presence of the Lord that night, and many were pouring their hearts out to the Lord with tears and singing!
During the trip, we spoke with several families who said they had been waiting for eight years for the Journey to the Heart to come to New Zealand! Praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy throughout the entire trip. The following is the testimony of a young lady who attended the New Zealand Journey:
“All my Christian life I have loved God’s Word, but lacked belief and faith in knowing that God is who He says He is.… I don’t have to work to earn Christ’s favour, I am as saved as much as I can ever be. I came to the Journey, not knowing what to expect, I believed it would be good for me somehow….”
“For the first time, in all my Christian life, seeking God here at Journey and hearing amazing teaching, God has shown me the lies I have believed…. My walk with Christ is not based around what I do for Him, or how happy I can make Him…. Yet I was believing that every time I sinned, He would be angry and not speak to me. When I didn’t get anything from my quiet time I believed He was disappointed in me. That is a lie! The truth is that when I sin, He loves me because He sees His Son within me and His Son has cleansed me from all unrighteousness. He supports me when I am in despair over my sin. He points me to Himself, asking me to come closer, not to leave His presence because of my wrongs. It sounds simple, but His love has changed my thinking, my whole belief system. I am free, and free forever. This simple truth has set my heart free, and it is beautiful….”