Memories of New Zealand #4: Old Friends, New Country

Late last month, I made my farthest pastoral visit- 8,371 km (5,202 miles)! That is the distance between Singapore and Auckland, New Zealand. That did not include the distance I have to travel from Johor Bahru, Malaysia to get to Changi Airport in Singapore.

Meeting my old church-mate and his family is worth all the traveling. It is great to meet up with this wonderful family who has migrated exactly one year ago. Back in Malaysia, the husband and I served in the same church together in leadership roles. We were also in the same accountability group. During our stay, we are introduced to two other members from our home church who have migrated seven and twelve years ago respectively. All are hungry for news from the home church.

Whatever their reasons for migrating (and they are all valid reasons), it has not been an easy transition. It means leaving family, friends and jobs behind. It also means times of uncertainty and insecurity. In mid-life, they have to be retrained for new careers. I am happy that they are able to overcome all obstacles, and to observe that their family unit is now much stronger.

Makan is still an enjoyable activity and the table fellowship great. I am glad that they are settling down well and have found a wonderful church to worship with. It was good to renew old friendship and to catch up with each others’ lives. Much have changed but much remains unchanged. They may be Kiwi now but they are still Malaysian inside out, and offers great Malaysian hospitality.

May the Lord continue to bless them.
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