8,000 – 15,000 backpackers
History of Chosen People Ministries in New Zealand
Chosen People Ministries’ work in New Zealand consists of four strategies that fall under the categories of evangelism and equipping:
Traditionally, young Israelis travel the world immediately after their mandatory military service and before their next big chapter of life. During this in-between season they are often asking life’s most important questions and seeking reasons to be hopeful about the future. In other words, it is the perfect time to engage with them on the subject of the Gospel of Messiah.
Our Israeli hostels – The Zula Lodge and The Homestead – are our primary means for reaching the thousands of Israeli travelers visiting New Zealand each year. Imagine an accommodation facility staffed by Israeli and other international believers who are alert to evangelistic opportunities among our guests and who are weaving the message of the Gospel into the fabric of daily routines.
These facilities have gained remarkable acclaim and popularity among young Israelis; most of our guests know about the lodges while they are still in Israel! As a result of God’s favor, we have the opportunity to share the love of Messiah with thousands of young Israelis who stay at The Zula and The Homestead.
Our outreach takes other creative forms, including weekly evangelistic BBQs where we serve up free burgers, Bibles, and the Gospel. For many of our guests, this will be their first exposure to the Scriptures. One Brazilian backpacker clutched her new Bible to her chest, and with tears in her eyes said, “This is what I’ve been searching for. Thank you.”
Short Term Mission Groups – A number of overseas churches are enthusiastic about sending groups of young adults to New Zealand for evangelistic purposes. Our plan is to receive, equip and send these teams on prescribed routes, utilizing backpacker buses and accommodations as well as hosting outreach events in strategic locations.
Christians Hosting Israelis – Hundreds of Christian households throughout New Zealand are hosting young Israeli travelers. Some of these hosts have singlehandedly received thousands of Israeli guests in their homes! This phenomenon presents our greatest opportunity to “bring the message to the original messengers,” but many of these wonderful followers of Messiah lack confidence and training in sharing the Gospel with Jewish people. We are now hosting events throughout New Zealand specifically designed to equip and encourage these faithful hosts.
Christians in the Local Church – Many evangelical churches in New Zealand are expressing sincere interest in discovering more of their Jewish roots. We are humbled and excited by the many opportunities God is giving us to teach in churches, church camps, conferences and on national radio.