1993-1995 / Bachelor of Ministries (Henderson Campus)
I have so many memories from my three years living at BCNZ during the early 90s. Memories of insomnia, memories of Bob Glen teaching us Church History, and then of creating brief summary notes for myself and my West Auckland mates to study before exams. I can also remember complaints from some as they had trouble programming the reading of hundreds of pages of Millard Erickson's massive "Christian Theology" (prescribed reading assigned by the one and only Tony Plews). I also remember going to the local swimming pool (public swimming pools are very rare here in Italy, where I live most of the time) with other students (such as the late Ruth Howe, who was a special person and is sadly missed by all). The few times I went to the movies with fellow students such as John de Jong to watch Judge Dread or Stargate also constitute special memories from my time living residentially at BCNZ. There would be so much to write about, and I would love to reconnect with any students from those years I am not already in contact with through Facebook.
My time at BCNZ helped me to think outside of the box, and to become truly flexible and interdenominational in my thinking. Essentials matter, they were with me before my time at BCNZ and I have continued to hold on to them - but on many secondary matters, including worship styles, I have become flexible. This has put me in good stead for the many different worship settings and local churches I have been in or interacted with during the past 25 years or so. It has also helped me realise the importance of helping others to distinguish between what is really fundamental, and what is secondary.
After my studies at BCNZ, I went on to train as a TESOL teacher. Then, for about 15 years I was a tutor for the Distance Study students of the Italian Evangelical Bible Institute (IEBI) in Rome, marking course work for hundreds of students in Italy and beyond. After marrying Patrizia in 2004, from 2005 onwards I went on to gradually complete a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies. I graduated at the end of 2011 in Korntal, Germany, and the following year attended the capping ceremony in Germany with my son Alan, who had just finished Kindergarten – no one else in my family was able to attend, as my wife worked as a nurse and my mum had died suddenly just a few months earlier in Rome.
In 2015, after the death of my late father who had ALS (a very debilitating degenerative disease), my wife Patrizia and I became full time missionaries amongst the South Asian Diaspora in the region of Lazio and beyond in Italy. After a brief but wonderful two years in Sicily, for family reasons (mainly for our boys and to be closer to Patrizia's aging parents) we returned to the Lazio region. We are now involved in holistic ministry to Pakistani and Indian indentured labourers in the Fondi area (the same town where I attended high school in the 80s).
I am grateful for God’s provision, even in the midst of many difficulties.