Greetings from New Zealand! I arrived safely at the Auckland airport at 5:45 am on New Year’s Eve day after a 33-hour journey from Knoxville-Atlanta-San Francisco- to Auckland. My travel went well, and I was very happy to be greeted with a “welcome home” and hugs from the East City Wesleyan (ECW) Church ministry team. We gathered for a McDonald’s breakfast and then headed on to the Millington’s house, where I will be staying. On the ride there, I was able to soak in the beauty of God’s creation around me. I loved feeling the warmth of the sun as we walked to our destinations. After settling into my room, I quickly made friends with “Lloyd”, the resident bunny! I was able to meet more people from the church during a nice 11:00 pm New Year’s Eve service. I immediately felt the Holy Spirit as I entered the doors of East City Wesleyan. I can already tell that ECW will be very special to me in the months to come! I feel so very blessed that Christ has given me the opportunity to help spread his love to the people here.
On Wednesday, I kicked off the new year with a trip to a beach close by called Eastern Beach. The beach was beautiful, but the water was pretty cold, so you had to move around to get warmed up. While there, we all enjoyed some hot chips (French Fries) and enjoyed fellowship together. I had another fun day on Thursday when the Bowlin family invited me to visit the Hamilton Gardens which was beautiful. I loved smelling the roses and seeing the unique attributes of each flower. After the gardens, we had a treat a Duck Island Ice Cream. Friday evening was my first time to meet with the ECW youth group that I will be working with. I enjoyed playing a game with them called fruit salad and learning some about each of them. We had a good time worshipping and then got to share our New Year’s goals with one another. It was a great night and I am really looking forwarding to working with everyone here. Today (Saturday) I am looking forward to meeting Eliza (the other WME Resident in Mission) for the first time when we meet to do some planning for an upcoming youth camp.
I hope all who are keeping up with me, have a Happy New Year filled with many blessings. Thank you for all your prayers as I begin this new journey.
Today was a special day. I was honored to be commissioned for my upcoming RIM assignment during the 8:45 and 11:00 worship services at my home church, Central United Methodist Church in Lenoir City, TN. It meant so much to have my home congregation pray for me and lay on hands as a blessing, as I prepare for my departure for New Zealand in just a few more weeks. It was great to have Rev. Rob Haynes, Director of Education and Leadership for World Methodist Evangelism join us from out of town. I have been working with Rob through phone calls and emails for almost a year, but today was the first time that we had been able to meet face-to-face. I appreciated so much that several of my family members and friends, including my boyfriend Alex, were able to be at the service to support me. Rob talked with our church a bit about the significant need for ministry in New Zealand. It was good to hear more details about what to expect. There will be so many new experiences and a lot of unfamiliar things along the way. I know that everything is in God’s hands and I have faith that He will guide me in this journey. I will be leaving very early in the morning on December 29th. It will be a 34-hour trip (including layovers) and I will arrive in time to ring in the new year in Auckland. I am excited about meeting my new friends and ministry partners in New Zealand. I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for all of us! I want to thank everyone that has supported me through prayer and as well as financial support. It means so much to know that you are with me! I promise to keep you updated on how things are going.
My name is Annie Kate Leinius, and I would like to invite you to follow along with me as I travel to New Zealand to serve as the 2020 Resident in Mission for World Methodist Evangelism. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to share my faith with others and to also learn and grow in my own spiritual journey.
I will be headed to New Zealand right after Christmas, where I will be serving with the Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand until August 2020. I hear that New Zealand is a very beautiful country full of wonderful people, and I am looking forward to new experiences and making new friends. I also hear that it is a very secular country, where almost half of the population claims to have no religion. I am praying that in some small way, I might be able to make a difference by spreading the good news that Jesus Christ is here for all of us.
I am setting up this blog so that I can share my experiences with my friends, family, and prayer partners. Please check out the other tabs at the top of this site for more information about World Methodist Evangelism, the RIM program, and my personal journey to follow God’s plan for my life. More to come soon!
Blessings to all,