Part two of this story featured on our website in July 2013. It shares the stories and reflections from the team from St Augustine's, Cashmere after their visit to West Bengal, India and the John Morrison Memorial Home (a children's orphanage).
Travel plans are well advanced at St Augustine’s Parish, Cashmere, Christchurch. A mixed gender group of six adults will soon be winging their way to India for a three-week mission experience. The small team was to travel to the John Morrison Home, located in West Bengal, late 2011 but plans were curtailed due to recent earthquakes in Christchurch.
The Morrison Home is a children’s orphanage, very much a home grown ministry of St Augustine’s. “The late John Russell Morrison was an unconventional character, a young man with a big heart” so stated Rev Ross Allen at John’s memorial Service in November 1998. A railway’s clerk, John had been a member of St Augustine’s for 17 years.
Indian national, Rev Nathan Hazra, from Hindu background, had come to faith in 1976. After a number of years spent in training he returned home with a vision for church planting - the first national to do so in the area. Nathan first met John Morrison in Kolkata in 1986 when he learnt of his desire to start an orphanage. John returned to N.Z. for two years study at the Bible College of NZ (Laidlaw College 2008). In 1989 John ventured back to India and immediately commenced work on the orphanage (for girls and boys) funding each project himself. In time, St Augustine’s Parish became involved, both prayerfully and financially. All was progressing well until the 1st of December 1998 when John suddenly died - his remains are buried in the Morrison Home compound where he is very much revered.
Dark years and uncertainty followed but God is trustworthy - in 2012 the Home is now well established, the residence of some thirty children.
In subsequent years the home has been blessed by visitors from Christchurch but the visit this December 2012 will be the first official St Augustine’s Team visit. Team leader, Rev Kevin Tapper takes with him a mature, group of adults all high on talent and ability. Fund-raising efforts have included an AAW bring and buy; a significant one off donation; a public concert featuring top NZ violinist Martin Riseley and a generous grant from the Tikanga Pakeha Missions Council. Other planned events include sausage sizzles; a photography expo including discussion and portraiture; an Indian dinner and individual donations. Team members wish to express their grateful appreciation for all the support given and offered. They go to India, upheld by the prayers and good wishes of parishioners at St Augustine’s, who of course will be eagerly awaiting their return.
Mission Motivator - St Augustine's, Cashmere