Monday, March 7, 2011

Tots on a Mission to…New Zealand!


Let’s get our passports and hop on a plane to New Zealand!


The Setting

New Zealand is a country made up of several islands in the Pacific Ocean with the two biggest islands being North Island and South Island. The majority of the 4 million people that live in New Zealand live in the cities on the North Island. People in New Zealand refer to themselves as “kiwis” after a bird native to the islands. The majority of the land is mountainous with some volcanoes and some peaceful coastal plains used to raise over 40 million sheep. One of the most interesting facts about New Zealand is that there are several species of animals that you can only find in New Zealand and NO where else! How would you like to be walking along and come across this critter?

Giant Wetapunga - 3x the size of a house mouse

This is a giant wetapunga and they typically weigh about three times the amount as a typical mouse. Aren’t they, um, er….ADORABLE?! Ahem! Moving on…

Family Life

Because it’s not too hot and not too cold, families in New Zealand spend a lot of time outdoors. The ocean and mountains are never more than an hour or two away so you could hike, snow ski, sail and surf all in the same day! One of the most popular sports is rugby which is similar to what we know as soccer and football. eJVVarsity_022211_9727

Get a colorful bird’s eye view of life in New Zealand!

Kids in New Zealand are very much like us! They go to school, do homework, play sports and help Mom and Dad! Few families in New Zealand are truly Christians so only a small percentage go to church or participate in other Christian activities. Doesn’t that make you want to pray for them?


About half of the population of New Zealand are Christian in name only as about one “Christian” in nine reads the Bible on a regular basis. Another 25% claims no religion at all. The good news is that there is no “official” religion so people can choose. This is an open door to reach people in New Zealand with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Current Crisis

On February 22, 2011, the city of Christchurch was struck by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, causing widespread devastation to the city. The quake caused significant loss of life, injury, and damage to buildings, services and infrastructure. (source:

Prayers for New Zealand

You can thank God for:

*Freedom of religion so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can openly be shared

*The Christians in New Zealand that volunteer to teach Bible classes and run camps and clubs so that children in New Zealand learn about Jesus

You can ask God:

*To draw the hearts of New Zealanders to Himself so that they can truly be called Christians

*To move in Christian’s hearts to continue to support Bible schools in New Zealand so that missionaries and pastors can be trained to tell others about Jesus

*To strengthen and encourage those who are reaching out to the New Zealanders to tell them about God, Jesus and the Bible

*To bring comfort, peace and hope to those who have suffered from the recent earthquake

Get Involved!

Check out how World Vision is helping the people of New Zealand!

You can also find out more about:

New Zealand

Sponsor a child with World Vision

Help earthquake victims in New Zealand with CurrClick

We’ve put together a printable about New Zealand for you all to use with your little ones as you pray for the country.

New Zealand example

Color in the flag, see where the country is located, and spell out the name of the country too. Keep it handy because it also has the things to thank God for about the country as well as prayer reminders.

See the rest of the countries that we've prayed for and download printables on the Tots on a Mission page.

There are so many ways to impact the world for the kingdom of God! Find out more in the book Window on the World!


Hope you enjoyed our short trip to New Zealand!



Kiwi Christian said...

As a New Zealander I am disgusted at this entry. I have loved this blog and all its ideas, but this is a horrible example of Christianity. I don't know where you got your information but there are MANY church going residents in my country, many religions and christian schools. A large majority of the culture is made up of Indians, Middle eastern refugees, African refugees and asians, along with large numbers of pacific islanders. Please do no pity us or look down on us because we do not believe as you do, you do not need to be in church or read the bible to know Gods love in your heart.

Carisa said...

I did not write this post but I feel compelled to reply to you. Maybe Tara can chime in with exactly where she got her stats. I am a bit confused as to why you think this post has anything to do with pity.

Jolanthe said...

Just to let you know where the information came from ~ we are using the book Window on the World {referenced above in the post}.

We are not saying that there are not Christians in New Zealand at all. Regardless of where we live, there are still people that can be reached with the message of Christ.

With the recent earthquake, this is an opportunity for us to pray for a country that is in need. Our goal is to help our children become more aware of the world around us and those who need Christ ~ either in our own neighborhood or across the seas.

Tara McClenahan said...

Hi Kiwi Christian,

I would like to start by saying I apologize for any offense. I didn't write this post from a standpoint of pity or judgment but of a heart for everyone in the world to truly know Jesus Christ as Savior. I have the same heart for all people in every country of the world.

As Jolanthe stated, for my source I used the book Window on the World along with Encyclopedia Brittanica Online (

Again, I hope and pray that you realize the heart and intentions behind the post and forgive me for any unintended offense.

In Christ Alone,