180 Bible Society supporters and lovers of music, representing several churches and denominations from the East Coast Bays region, came together at Northcross Community Church in Browns Bay on 16 July, to enjoy the baratones and tenors of the Bay of Plenty Men's Choir.
They describe themselves as "a men's choir dedicated to singing praise to our Lord Jesus Christ".
For nearly an hour and a half the audience enjoyed fifteen songs of praise and reflection, with piano accompaniment, strong conducting, a barbershop quartet, and even a Euphonium solo.
Their singing was an act of worship and they periodically spoke of the importance of God's living Word in people's lives. The passion and sincerity as they sang songs of praise was a pleasure to experience, with much of the audience commenting afterwards how "their spirits felt uplifted".
A DVD was shown in which the National Director of Prison Chaplaincy Service Aotearoa, Maku Potae, expressed that "The Bible is the most important resource we have available. A new person on the journey needs the manual, the Word of God. One of our jobs as chaplains is to unlock the truths in the Bible and get them to understand the life changing qualities it has for them. It is important for prisoners to know the unconditional love of God and one way we can do that practically is to provide a Bible that has prisoner artwork in it.
For them it will provide a demonstration that there are people in this country that actually do care for them. To prepare and present a Bible with artwork from prisoners, that's very spiritual; that demonstrates that there are people in this nation who love the unlovely. It will encourage them that there are other prisoners in New Zealand who are following the Christian faith."
We pray that this new Bible produced specifically for NZ Prisoners, in partnership with the Prison Chaplaincy Service of Aotearoa, will have a transformative impact on New Zealand offenders as they search for peace and a better way to live their lives in positive relationships with others and our Savour.
A big thank you goes out to all who made this wonderful event possible.
May the Lord richly bless you for your generosity as you assist in making sure His Word, the Bible, gets into the hands and hearts of needy people.
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As Maxine (pictured) lay buried under the rubble of her own restaurant, her only comfort was a poster of the Ten Commandments, which she meditated on as she lay trapped. She felt a deep peace that somehow she would be rescued.