What’s the Story?
From the Biblical Theology of Mission Class

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” ― Philip Pullman, children’s author

We all like a good story. Not only that, when we stop to think about it, we are all living by one story or another, or a mishmash of different ones… even Philip Pullman, an avowed atheist, would attest to that. Back in 1995, leading British band ‘Oasis’ released their album, ‘What’s the Story? Morning Glory’. The first part of that title is a good question to ask anyone. What story are you living by? Some people will struggle to answer. ‘What do you mean? I’ve no clue what you’re talking about!’ We might well need to press them a bit further with some other questions. ‘Who do you think you are?’ ‘Why is life the way it is?’ ‘How can you be free?’ ‘What can you hope for?’ They might well answer, ‘Hey look, I’m just living, making ends meet, trying to have a good time, trying to be a good person, loving my friends and family, being happy’. Which is one story of course.

What’s the story? Nowadays many people would say that there no longer is the story. We all have our own stories, and the most important thing is to respect each other’s version. Which sounds good, until you realise that that strong focus on tolerance and having a whole range of equally valid stories is itself a story – technically known as Postmodernism.
When we come to the Bible, we soon realise that most of it is written in story-form. Like all good stories it has a beginning (creation and fall), a middle (redemption) and an end (re-creation).It's a story with one author who directs events according to his purpose and plan. And it’s a story of mission, of God’s mission to rescue people, and the whole creation, from the devastating impact of our rebellion against Him.

All very good, we might say, but what does that have to do with me? This big story can feel a long way from me and my daily existence. My little story keeps me busy enough as it is, and when it goes well it gives me more comfort and certainty then something rather distant and mostly involving events that happened a long time ago and in a land far away. Like Bilbo Baggins in ‘The Hobbit’, we’d likely much rather stay at home in our snug hole in the ground with our slippers and pipe than go adventuring with Gandalf.

Except this: what if you aren’t really in control of your own story after all? What if, when you look more closely at God’s Big Story from Genesis to Revelation, you realise that it’s a line made up of millions of tiny threads, each one representing the life story of one of God’s people? What if God is authoring you into His story with a unique task for you in his great mission?

What if God is knocking at the door of your comfortable hobbit hole even as you read this?

New Building

Plans are underway for a new accommodation block. This will enable the college to expand it's current roll and have more flexibility with accommodation.
Martin Campbell, ECIS Principal, was thankful for the opportunity to spend a week in Vanuatu helping the local church catch the vision for how they can be involved in sending people to other nations. ECIS looks forward to continuing connections with these people.
New Staff at ECIS
Introducing the Millers
From Canada to Central Asia to New Zealand….this has been our journey! But the bit in the middle took over 20 years. In 1993, just fresh out of Bible College, Todd left Canada in answer to the call God had put on his heart for the Uzbek people in Uzbekistan. His journey collided with mine (Jenn) in 1996 and after many letters passing back and forth across the ocean, we were married in 1999, and continued on together with the work in Uzbekistan, and then later on to neighbouring Tajikistan. Though part of our hearts are still in Central Asia, we are thankful for God’s leading to be able to serve at Eastwest, together with our three children, Kierra (15); Brynn (13); and Micah (11). Our desire is that God would allow us to use the lessons we’ve learned and the experience he’s given us to help equip others to go out to the nations.
Introducing the Varleys
Lewis and Susie with children William, Matthew, Olivia and Samuel came to join the staff of Eastwest in January 2017. Previously they were working in Bangladesh with SIM. Lewis is from the north of England and Susie is from NZ. After meeting in Bangladesh in 2000 they were married in 2002. They spent 10 years living in the crowded city of Dhaka and then 6 years in a rural town. Lewis and Susie feel so privileged to be able to come along side people from many parts of the world who are preparing for work in many parts of the world.
Update on some of our Graduates:
Diego and Guiseppe (pictured left) along with Sunmin and Connie are starting WEC Candidate Orientation this month.

Sarah Welch - Sarah, who graduated in 2011 has begun work with a ministry who rescue and retrain trafficked women. Sarah uses her early childhood training to coach and encourage crèche supervisors. She is also visiting villages to help train women in childcare so they have other work options.
Gemma Creasy (pictured left)- Gemma graduated in 2015 and went to the Philippines last month to work with OMF in Calapan.

Pray with Us

Please pray for new students to be starting the enrollment process for the new academic year starting in February.

Please pray with us as the plans for the new building move forward and for the building team as they organise it.

We continue to be so thankful to God for his blessing and provision.
Do you feel inspired to look further into doing cross cultural training at Eastwest?
Do you know someone who would like to work across cultures and would benefit from training?
We would love to hear from you. Have a look at our website, send an email or come and visit.
21 College Drive, Gordonton,
Taupiri 3791, New Zealand
- 0800-89 64 77
- +64-7-824-3417

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Eastwest College of Intercultural Studies · 21 College Drive, Gordonton · RD1 · Taupiri, 3791 · New Zealand

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