Australia and New Zealand Nazarene Churches partnered to host a LoveWorks Team of eight students and two faculty/staff members from Point Loma University for three weeks in May 2023. LoveWorks teams are short-term mission teams sent from Point Loma Nazarene University to support long-term ministries and local churches worldwide.

Place of Peace and Carina Church of the Nazarene hosted the team for one week in Australia, and eight churches and congregations (All Nations and their Marathi Fellowship, Seabrook, Māngere, North Shore, Immanuel Outreach Ministry, Onehunga, and Crossroads Church of the Nazarene) hosted the team for two weeks in New Zealand. The churches and LoveWorks team focused on partnering to plant seeds in the lives of people in each community.

In Australia, the LoveWorks team led a gathering for the North and West District youth at Carina and joined with Place of Peace on a community yard-work project. They also participated in the churches’ weekly worship services and produced a media project for the District. In New Zealand, the team led worship, game nights, Youth Group, Kid’s Club, Mainly Music, and volunteered at a local primary school. At Seabrook, they helped with property maintenance; at Crossroads, they built a prayer labyrinth.

LoveWorks teams represent an opportunity for the global Church of the Nazarene to be built up in unity and maturity (Ephesians 4:12-13). Hannah Young said, “I quickly felt welcomed, included, and loved.” And the relationships the team built have already extended beyond the borders of Australia and New Zealand; Pastor Livingston Po Ching, his wife, Fusipala, and two of their daughters from Carina Church visited the team in California in June on their way back to Australia from General Assembly. Hannah remarked, “What a blessing it was to see precious relationships keep growing across the world.”

Not only were churches in Australia and New Zealand blessed by the team, but they were able to be a blessing as well. Hannah summarized her experience, writing, “Where we sought to serve, we were also served. Where we sought to love, we were also loved. Where we sought to be a blessing, we were blessed. The experience was a beautiful expression of what our church seeks to be.”

“This trip was such an amazing and God-filled experience. I met so many wonderful people, learned about new cultures, and served alongside the best team! I am so thankful for the connections and friends I have made.” -Grace Freeman (one of the team members)

Ruthie Jochimsen commented, “I am forever changed by the sweet people my team and I were able to meet and how Jesus really worked through us. …We focused on the importance of planting seeds. On short term missions, we may not see the fruits of our labor, but we need to continue in prayer and trust that God will continue to grow the seeds planted.”

By Andrew & Jenna Stout, ANZ Field Communications Coordinators