Whoop whoop On Wednesday we had the official opening of the Te Ao Ngakau Community Centre. What an exciting time. Max was, as usual, better than awesome as he welcomed everyone. He did a Mihi and then he and Maria lead us through the new centre, praying in and blessing every room. I then said a few words and unveiled the new logo and officially opened the centre.
We had a good turnout of people from MWCC as well as representatives from the Local Board, the CAB and the Mt Wellington Foundation. Unfortunately, Denise Lee the local MP was in Parliament and Josephine Bartley our local Auckland City Councillor was at a funeral. They both would have loved to have been there.
The response of the people from the community organisations that attended was nothing short of phantasmagorical. We had so many offers of support and each and every one of them said that the centre is exactly what this community needs.
Here are few lines from my speech.
Today sees the fulfilment of a dream that started at the beginning of the year. A few of us from the church noticed the rise in homeless and those on the margins in our area and felt that we should do something about it.
There is a verse in the Bible that forms part of the guiding kaupapa for our church and it is from the book of James chapter one.
26-27 Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.
So to live this out we decided to change the Opshop into a community centre where we could meet the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of our community. This house, when it was an Opshop was always a gathering place for people, a safe haven, because of the care and love that people received from Tania and her team and in its new form it will continue to be that only better as this will be its primary purpose.
I also want to thank all those that helped in whichever way, giving time, money, support, baking etc to make this happen. Please pray with us that God will use this centre mightily.