On Saturday 2 December 2023, the first bi-lingual Spanish/English service was launched at Holy Trinity Church in Tauranga. This has been over a year in the making and has not been an easy project. Eventually Carl Tinnion, the Mission Rejuvenator, brokered a partnership/ relationship with a Chilean based church in Auckland called 'Christo Viene'. A lovely Chilean family in the Holy Trinity Church had a desire to worship God in their own language and to reach out to other Latinos in the Bay of Plenty region (approximately 10,000 people) and so Carl had a go facilitating it.
The church in Auckland brought 40 or so people plus their pastor and a band which was helpful as Latinos like to include music in their worship. Another 15-20 people came from Hamilton and the rest came from the Bay of Plenty making the number a little over 80 people. It was humbling that so many came from Auckland to support this, children included. The service started with a BBQ, again another Latino necessity, and then made space for worship, a talk and some prayer. It was encouraging to be a part of this and to witness it.
Whilst facilitating the service, Carl took a back seat on the day, encouraging the Chilean couple in the church to lead out. He believes "the empowerment of people in our congregations according to their passions and calling will be a key part of our future. We are not certain where to go from here however the overall plan is to hold monthly gatherings and see where it takes us."
Below is a video link to the group singing the hymn Then Sings My Soul in Spanish.
Advent Prayer by Henri Nouwen
Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do and seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day,
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!'