It was with deep sadness that we heard the news that Christine Lange, wife of Stuart Lange, had passed away last Friday night.
Stuart is a current NZ Christian Network board member, a lecturer at Laidlaw College, minister at Massey Presbyterian church, and increasingly well known for producing the Te Rongopai DVD.
Christine will be known to many people involved with the Network, in addition to all those who knew her through Laidlaw and the church and other circles.
Although I only met Christine personally a few times, I remember her as a very warm, gracious person, always smiling, despite the fact that for most of that time she was living with the knowledge of the cancer in her body.
From the first time we met she always addressed me by name, and she was always interested in what I was doing and how the Christian Network was going.
Given the deteriorating state of her health it was a huge joy to see Christine at Laidlaw College for the launch of the Te Rongopai DVD in March this year, and to see the depth of love and affection that people had towards her. Although she was unwell, Stuart often spoke of the support he received from Christine during the period (2012-2014) that he was working on the script and production of the DVD.
On behalf of the Board, Leaders, and Members of the Network, we would like to express our deepest sympathies to Stuart and the Family, and assure them of our prayers and any support we can offer.
The following note was sent out by Stuart Lange
Last night, after so many years of grace and courage in the face of very serious illness, our much-cherished Christine went to be with the Lord.
Following five weeks in hospital, Christine was so pleased to be once again at home. Most days she spent out in the family room, enjoying time with family and also a few friends. During those nine days her strength and mobility were gradually diminishing. A project she was able to do in that time was to record over twenty children’s Bible stories, primarily for her future grandchildren (Christine was excellent at reading aloud, with a lovely voice and tone, and very natural expression). She completed that on Thursday. On Friday she did not feel well, and stayed in bed. That was the only day she was confined to bed. About 5 p.m. it became apparent that her life here was coming to an end. The family were all on hand, and at 11 p.m. she passed away.
Stuart and Christine Lange
Christine was a very lovely person, full of warmth, faith, hope, love, sparkle and fun. It has been a delight, and an immense blessing, to be married to her for nearly thirty-five years. From start to finish, she captivated me. Christine also deeply loved our four sons, and poured so much into them. Their sturdy Christian faith and character is a fitting reflection of that. We will all miss her very deeply. So will many others, in church and elsewhere. In her own unique way, Christine brought joy, encouragement, and inspiration to many people.
The years of Christine’s illness have by no means been continuous suffering. Along the way, there have been countless good times. But the last six weeks have been increasingly challenging. Even so, Christine has had relatively little pain. We are relieved, though, that Christine’s worsening physical troubles are finally over, and that she has now entered into that realm of God where there is no suffering, and where all things will be made new in Christ.
Christine has been a firm believer in Christ since middle childhood. As the end of her life approached she was in no doubt that she was going to be with the Lord, and that she would also enjoy fellowship with those who have gone before. One scripture verse that sums up both Christine’s life among us and her life with God in eternity is Psalm 23:6: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever”. Those were also words which she heard again last night.
A few weeks ago Christine wrote down her thoughts about a service of thanksgiving to God. That service will be held next Saturday (23 August), at Massey Presbyterian Church, at a time still to be decided.
Our thanks to all who have given wonderful support, in prayer, in messages, in visits, and in practical help.
To God be the glory, Stuart, and our sons René, Richie, Chris, and Jono
(and daughters-in-law Caitrin, Kathy, and Emily)
JINNY PATRICK 9 Sept 1946 – 23 July 2014 Former board member, NZ Christian Network
Jinny Patrick passed away on 23 July 2014. She was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of July, but while waiting for a decision on treatment options, had a stroke on 20th July from which she did not recover.
Jinny’s funeral was held at Greenlane Christian Centre on 30th July. As I was overseas and unable to be at the funeral, and knowing that any opportunity for messages to be read out at the funeral would be limited, I sent Bruce Patrick the following short tribute.
Jinny has been a very significant part of my life. In partnership with Bruce, she was a huge part of bringing Vision Network (now called New Zealand Christian Network) into existence.
She was a founding board member. And when I was called in 2002 to serve the Network, Jinny along with Bruce helped me learn the ropes in what was at the time to me a very unfamiliar environment.
Jinny served on our Board until 2011 during which time she helped with 3 Congresses in addition to the 3 that ran in the ’90s, and also headed up a project through the Network’s Woman’s Ministry to combat domestic violence. God used Jinny in her support for me personally when I went through a number of difficult work situations where I wasn’t sure if I could continue.
I think it’s fair to say I may well have not been still doing my current job if it had not been for her support during those times.
I thank God for her life and her support, and pray God’s peace and strength for Bruce and all the family at this time.
Click here to view the order of service of Jinny’s funeral
Last week I got back from the WEA ILF (World Evangelical Alliance International Leadership Forum) in Manila. This is the annual meeting for the people representing the 7 WEA regions, the 20 Commissions, Initiatives, and Task Forces, and the WEA Executive.
I am invited as a representative from the South Pacific region, which is a great privilege not only because I get to discuss issues with representatives from Europe, Africa, and the other regions, but because I also get the opportunity to spend quality time with the people who head up WEA’s work in areas such as theology, religious liberty, and human trafficking, and in some cases who represent evangelical Christians in forums at the United Nations.
There was a little more pressure than usual on this year’s agenda because the 6-yearly General Assembly is taking place in Korea in October next year, and as you would expect, there was plenty to discuss and finalise about programme, content, structure, invitations, registration details, potential visa issues, political sensitivities, and so on.
More than 6,000 evangelical Christians from the 7 regions and 129 countries that make up the WEA are expected to gather, to worship, be resourced, and strategise about effective mission in a wide range of topics.
Although like most people attending, I didn’t get to see much more than the insides of the airport and hotel and the road that connects them, we did get something of the local context when the PCEC (Philippines Council of Evangelical Christians) joined us one evening for dinner and to share about their work in the Philippines.
Bishop Efraim Tendero has been chairing the PCEC for over 20 years and shared on the recent Disaster Management conference held in Manila which will feature also at the GA 2014. The Philippines, with a landmass similar to NZ, but a population of 104 million compared to our 4 million, is known by many as the disaster capital of the world. Around 20 typhoons hit the country each year, in addition to earthquakes (such as the 7.2 magnitude quake in Bohol that killed 215 people just 4 days before I arrived). and other types of disaster.
Other useful discussions with people like Christine MacMillan (human trafficking), Joel Edwards (Micah Challenge), Brian O’Connell (Refugee Highway), Chris Elisara (Creation Care), Bertil Ekstrom (Missions Commission), Godfrey Yogarajah (Religious Liberty Commission), Mats Tunehag (Business as Mission), Eileen Stewart-Rhude (Women’s Commission), Rosalee Velloso Ewell (theology), and Sas Conradie (Generosity Network), as well as country/region focused meetings with the WEA Executive, will be filtered through to specific groups over coming weeks.
One small resource you might be interested in is the PCEC’s use of Bill Bright’s 7 pillars of society (see below). This is their prayer. Let’s make it our prayer too.
7 Spheres of the Philippine Society Let us pray that these spheres of our society will come to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and serve Him in accordance to His perfect will. (2 Peter 3:9) 1. Arts & Sciences – Let us pray that this pillar of our society will display the glory and majesty of our Creator. (Ecclesiastes 2:4) 2. Business – Let us pray that the business people will remember God, who gives them the ability to produce wealth. (Deut. 8:18) 3. Church – Pray that the Church will be faithful to obey her mandate for the Great Commission. (Matthew 28:19-20) 4. Daily News/Media – Let us pray that our media people will be honest and truthful in their reports and advocacies. 5. Education – Pray that this pillar of society will be passionate in carrying out the mandate of training and educating the children and our youth for the transformation of our nation. (Prov.22:6) 6. Family – Let us pray that that the blueprint of families as God had mandated be restored. (Ps. 68:5-6; 2 Tim. 3:1-4) 7. Government – Pray that the Executive, Judiciary, Legislative, Military, Regional, Local and Barangay units will recognize the lordship of Jesus Christ. (Proverbs 29:2)