This book is about the journey of a young 17-year-old, third generation sheep and cattle man who had a passion to serve God and believed God wanted him to dedicate his farming career to ministry.
With excitement and energy, he pursued that calling – not knowing the extent of the training and preparation that would be required for the work God wanted him to do.
A confirmation of his calling came 11 years later when God gave a now married young man and his wife this word: “God wants you to dream dreams, to get a vision of what you two together in Christ can do.”
After battling a multitude of setbacks and heartache over a number of years, he found himself asking God for a heart to continue to pursue the calling – a prayer that God didn’t hesitate to answer.
God gave this man and his wife the grace, mercy and strength to ‘Endure the Dream’ and see it come to fruition.
This book is the story of their journey. It is not just chapter after chapter of the great things God has done in their lives, but records the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ they have gone through, as well as the many wonderful blessings and answered prayers they have received.
GARRY WILLS was born in Matamata, New Zealand in 1956 and grew up on his parent’s stud sheep and cattle farm at Walton near Matamata.
Even though brought up in a Christian home, he made his own decision to become a Christian at age 17. Eleven months later he sensed God calling him to dedicate his farming career to ministry.
Along with preparing for this ministry Garry served in various leadership positions: youth group leader in his own church and interdenominationally, worship leader and leader of prison ministry teams. He has served on the church board as a finance and property deacon as well as preaching from time to time.
Garry is married to Margie and together they have led children’s church, home groups, young adults groups and Sunday night church services. They have two adult children, Rachel and Amanda, and they live at Te Pahu on the outskirts of Hamilton.
Garry’s passion is to see people coming to know Jesus, to see them grow and develop skills, to see them able to put food on the table and to see them effective in their calling in God.
Garry started out on a Waikato farm as a typical young Kiwi bloke involved in rugby, fast cars and drinking. At seventeen, he committed his life to Jesus Christ and that decision set him on a new pathway. With farming in his DNA, he and his wife Margie felt called by God to set up a farming ministry to help the poor. What followed was a journey lasting forty years which involved numerous job changes, family fallouts and
painful emotional setbacks.
As Garry reflects: ‘…We have a choice—we can wallow in our losses or go forward with energy and celebrate future wins.’ The couple kept their faith and their focus, and in 2015 their ‘enduring dream’ was finally coming to fruition.
Garry claims he’s written his autobiography to encourage those people who seem to be doing things right but find life full of disappointments and setbacks; and for those who feel God has called them into a ministry but it has not yet eventuated. In a helpful epilogue called ‘Willsy’s Wisdom’ he outlines lessons learned from his life experiences. This book has wide appeal and I recommend it especially to Christians who need encouragement in their struggles.
MISSION: Connecting Christian writers in New Zealand.
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New Zealand groups opposing euthanasia have come together in a movement to fight legislation in parliament that could soon legalise assisted suicide. #DefendNZ launched on March 10 with a website and video trailer introducing Kiwis who could be eligible for assisted suicide under a bill that could be passed in the current parliamentary session.
#DefendNZhas excellent background resources for the case against all forms of euthanasia.
Not satisfied with our mounting suicide rate – at a 10-year high in the year to June 2018 – the right-to-die lobby want to encourage the terminally ill and seriously disabled to think along those lines. It’s only about “the right to choose,” they say, but that is not how many of those living with disabilities and illness see it.
Over the next few weeks #DefendNZ will feature some of them in five mini-documentaries exploring the impact the End of Life Choice Bill would have on their relationships with their doctors and caregivers, on how society views and values their lives, on the way they feel about themselves, and on their safety. Former MP, Hon. Dame Tariana Turia DNZM will also share her perspectives in these documentaries.
The bill is a project of Act Party MP David Seymour. Mr Seymour, the sole representative of his party in parliament, is a libertarian who has taken up the cause of right-to-die advocates The cause received a major boost from the 2015 case of Lecretia Seales, a lawyer with terminal brain cancer who appealed to the High Court claiming a right to assisted suicide under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.
The Court’s finding, that there was no such right in the law, led to a petition to parliament to change the law, and a commission of inquiry attracting over 21,000 submissions – 80 percent of which were opposed to any form of euthanasia.
Another public consultation on Seymour’s bill brought a record 37,000 submissions last year and a large number of people wanting to be heard in person. The Justice Select Committee is due to report back to parliament by the end of this month. A huge majority of submitters – 92 percent — again oppose the bill.
Of particular concern is a clause permitting assisted suicide for a person with “terminal illness or grievous and irremediable condition.” A “grievous and irremediable condition” is defined as “degenerative, unable to be successfully treated, and very severe,” which has raised fears among people with disabilities about how their lives may be viewed in future.
In response, Seymour has proposed eliminating this provision from his bill, to the dismay of the euthanasia lobby. However, it will help keep the Greens, who are concerned about voters suffering disabilty, on board. Other changes include eliminating advance directives.
He has also “made explicit” that mental health conditions and disability alone do not allow a person to have a doctor kill them. To get the support of the New Zealand First MPs he says the issue should be the subject of a binding referendum at the next election.
The country has a proud record of ignoring referenda results, but to keep its coalition partner NZ First happy, Labour might go along with this one. It has already committed itself to a binding referendum on personal cannabis use at the 2020 election.
Seymour also proposes incorporating an Access to Palliative Care Bill sponsored by National MP Maggie Barry, and an amendment to protect the conscience rights of pharmacists, nurses and medical practitioners.
With these changes he hopes to get enough support in parliament – and, with any luck, the voting populace — to get the principle of a right to assisted suicide enshrined in law – after several failed attempts over the last few decades.
Whether that would do anything for the government’s promised wellbeing budget outcomes remains to be seen.
This article by Carolyn Moynihan was originally published on MercatorNet under a Creative Commons licence. The original article can be found here.
40 years on from the assent of the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977 there are more than 500,000 reasons to March in defence of life this coming December.
Since 1974, when the first abortion facility opened in Auckland, more than 500,000 unborn New Zealander’s have been aborted; countless women have been wounded physically, emotionally and spiritually; families have been affected.
Many women choose abortion because they feel they have no other choice.
Join pro-life New Zealanders in Wellington on Saturday 8th December 2018 for a hope-filled, family friendly, National March for Life. Be a voice for the voiceless and let New Zealand know that we love them both!
We are a people of joy. We are a people of hope. We are a people of life!
I wrote an article in one of the national newspapers a couple of weeks ago in praise of Lucinda Creighton and afterwards received an email that gave me pause for reflection. It was short and not so sweet. My correspondent didn’t like my views, and indeed seemed to like Lucinda’s even less. But what intrigued me was the graphic image at the core of the communication – of a teenage Down Syndrome girl who has been raped. People like Lucinda Creighton and myself, he declared, were standing in the way of her receiving an abortion.
The email didn’t change my mind about abortion, but it put me thinking about the way liberals have managed to win this debate, and will go on to win many more. I was briefly tempted to write back to this man (my correspondent was male) and ask him for the name of the teenage girl he referred to. In the end I decided against this course, feeling that it might give him a perverse kind of encouragement.
But of course there was no teenager with Down Syndrome. The girl had no name because she did not exist. It stuck me then that at least half of the argumentation put forward by the ‘pro-choice’ lobby is similarly lacking in any reality, being purely hypothetical. I can think of no other issue in respect of which the debate could take place in such abstract, dissociated terms. Imagine a debate about motor transport, for example, being conducted in this way: it would take just one or two instances of people being killed by motor vehicles to ensure that mechanically-propelled vehicles were banned for all time.
In the past 30 years, there has been a handful of real-life public controversies in which the issue of abortion was critical in the life of an actual woman – the X and C cases, for example, and more recently the Savita Halappanavar case. And yet, the pro-choice, building on this handful of cases, and augmenting its arguments with a series of creative hypotheses has, in effect, changed Ireland from being a nation inflexibly opposed to abortion to a society on the cusp of giving the nod to one of the most liberal abortion regimes in the world.
The debate of the past nine months confirms that this is going to happen, and there is no point in sticking our heads in the sand. Given the conditions in which these ‘debates’ occur, this is inevitable and cannot be prevented. For one thing, the ‘debates’ are almost invariably hosted by ‘liberal’ journalists, and, for another, the skewed dynamics of the ‘debates’ ensure that these are really dramas in which traditionalist forces are pitted against liberals in a manner than ensures only the liberal argument can win. Hence, it is not so much a question as testing both sides of an argument as dramatising the victory of ‘truth’ over ‘error’. If the present media culture is permitted to continue, abortion will eventually be introduced into Ireland. It is only a matter of time.
But those taking up the other side of the argument must take some responsibility also. Because of its outlook, ideology and tactics, the pro-life side has done much to deliver victory into the hands of its opponents, most notoriously in its promotion of the 1983 constitutional amendment, which had the effect of overriding a perfectly adequate anti-abortion law with a measure that in effect placed the rights of mother and child in diametric opposition, leaving the decision in complex cases to be decided by the courts. Once you redefine the relationship of mother and child outside its natural symbiosis, identifying the two parties as competing entities, the child has a diminishing chance of survival. Hence, that amendment unwittingly delivered the unborn child into a new dispensation of individualised rights, in which the balance of advantage – by virtue of ideology and the media’s capacity to manipulate public sympathies – would most likely be overwhelmingly on the side of the mother. Each successive case has resulted in a further erosion of the legal situation, which has now been formalised in the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill.
At the heart of this debate has been the recurring theme that pregnancy is always by definition an imposition on a woman, unless she chooses to define things otherwise.
Once this idea is accepted, abortion on demand becomes merely a matter of time, because the very bedrock of the culture becomes contaminated with a quite different understanding of human nature and purpose than was understood hitherto. Rarely is it pointed out that it is not in the nature of mothers to be opposed to their children, unborn of otherwise. On the contrary, the very idea of motherhood, and indeed fatherhood, is centred on providing for the needs of the child even at the expense of the parent’s personal well-being or even ‘rights’. Most parents, for example, would think nothing of risking their lives to rescue one of their children from a burning motor vehicle. And yet liberals use as a central bulwark of their debating tactics the idea that no woman should ever be expected to incur any risk by virtue of being pregnant.
Life is risk, and most people accept this. The number of people who are unwilling to run such risks for their children are miniscule, and yet the outlook of this tiny notional minority is used to effect the most fundamental changes in our understandings about the very nature and structure of human beings.
Another major failing on the pro-life side has been its attitude to the position of fathers in relation to unborn children. Irish Catholicism is by its nature mother-centred, and has therefore, unbeknownst to itself, been supplying a harmony to the feminist rhetoric emanating from the ‘pro-choice’ side. There is no point banging on, in different contexts, about ‘family values’, if you neglect to emphasis this aspect where it is most vital. The only person I heard alluding to fathers during the recent discussion was the (now former) Fine Gael TD Peter Mathews.
And there is an even more fundamental difficulty in as far as the Catholic contribution to these discussion is concerned. In recent times, Irish Catholicism has been asserting itself in the public domain almost exclusively in the context of battles to prevent the social drift of Irish society from taking a different direction to Catholic moral teaching. The word ‘abortion’ has become almost a synonym for ‘Catholic’, provoking public demonstrations characterised by extremist statements and intense rage. Meanwhile, the insistent and growing pressure in our culture to remove Christian thinking from the mainstream of education and culture attracts virtually no opposition from within the Catholic Church – apart from an occasional and timid resistance which might easily be construed as the straightforward protection of territory.
It is a problem that Catholic contributions to these debates rarely penetrate to the heart of the Christian teaching involved. Thus, the ‘traditional’ argument is easily dismissed as arising from simplistic positions, usually expressed in the form of unadorned and unsubtle rules – for example, that ‘all human life is sacred’, or that ‘marriage is between a man and a woman’. Such is the construction of the debate-drama that the reiteration of such reductionist rules serves merely to confirm that the interest of Christianity in this context is to oppose the impetus of modern society, rather than, for example, to make clear why Christians have come to think as they do. In the kind of public discourse we have arrived at, the telegrammatic expression of such values acquires precisely the texture and context which those on the other side of the argument rejoice in.
END OF LIFE CHOICE BILL – SECOND READING, now imminent
Wednesday 26 June will be the critical second reading of the ‘End of Life Choice Bill’ in Parliament. This is a very important decision for New Zealand. Well over 90% of those making submissions to Parliament’s Justice Committee on this matter expressed opposition to the bill, on such grounds as the risks to vulnerable groups such as elderly and disabled people, the implications for suicide prevention, the compromise of the medical profession, and the lack of truly adequate safeguards. There are, of course, also major spiritual and cultural reasons why the State should not be legislating for euthanasia and assisted suicide.
What can we do?
(1) We can pray, that the Spirit of God will move in the hearts and consciences of many MP’s, and make them alert to the dangers of this proposal.
(2) We can still (if we act very quickly) speak to or email our MP, and perhaps some other MPs, briefly and respectfully stating our concern and urging MPs to vote according to their conscience (rather than on any party lines). For many MPs, “religious” arguments are less likely to be persuasive, and can even be counter-productive. You’ll find the details to contact your MP here: https://www.parliament.nz/en/mps-and-electorates/members-of-parliament/
FREEDOMS OF BELIEF AND EXPRESSION
Every day, in various media, there are opinions publicly expressed on the ongoing Israel Folau story, which from many angles is unfortunate. We have published on this earlier.
We believe some issues remain foremost…
How can Christians faithfully hold to God’s truth as revealed in Christ and the Word of God, while also making sure we are wise, respectful, and compassionate in how we express God’s truth, especially in a society which shows increasingly less tolerance for Christian perspectives?
How can our society carefully and fairly protect the freedoms and belief and expression (and freedoms from discrimination) of all faith communities, and of those of no faith?
While summer is often seen as a time to get out and explore, winter is a good time to come together and share our resources and prepare for the seasons ahead. This is especially true the further away you live to the equator, where seasons are distinct – both physically, and spiritually.
This newsletter contains links to stories and event listings on our website that will encourage and help you winter well. Keep reading to the end. There is a special entry to a draw to receive a free copy of Aurora Wonder, by David Lyle Morris to help you through the season.