Nau mai, haere mai: a big welcome to the Knights!
TSCF and the Auckland team are so thankful for God’s provision of Lance and Katie. Incredibly, their visas were approved just in time for them to attend Summit. Here’s a bit of what they shared in an interview with Josh Irving.
Josh: You know we’re big on sheep and pavlova in this part of the world. What can you share with us about where you’re from?
Katie: You might think you have a lot of sheep in NZ. About 5 to 1, is it? But I’m from Iowa, where pigs outnumber people 7 to 1! We really like pork, especially the extra thick “Iowa chops.”
Lance: I’m from Colorado—that’s where I was born. But my parents are from Georgia, in the deep south of the US, so I grew up making lots of visits there and enjoying all the boiled peanuts! That’s a real taste of home.
Josh: How’d you get into student mission?
Katie: I felt called to ministry at a young age, so I eventually studied Christian Ministry to figure out how that could look. In my final year of study, when googling for opportunities, I stumbled across InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Right away, I was captured by the mission to reach uni students for Christ. And now it’s 10 years that I’ve been in student mission. As for Lance, he came on board 5 years ago, and we were content to serve students in the US. But, one day, I sensed God saying, “No, you’re going overseas.” And I kept hearing his voice, “You need to go!” After sharing that with Lance, he said, “Let’s do it!” The next year, we were called to Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean.
Josh: Trinidad’s quite far from us. How’d you end up here in Aotearoa?
Lance: For reasons we still don’t know, we weren’t able to extend our work visas in Trinidad. Although we’d planned to be there much longer, our time ended after just a few years. We returned to the US in March 2022, unsure of where to go. Yet, we knew that God had called us to work with students. And as we looked for new opportunities, we were told about NZ. Over several months of prayer and learning more about TSCF’s staffing needs as well as the broader NZ context, we sent in our applications. In short, God had closed one door, but he opened another, and we are delighted to be here!
Lance and Katie are working with several student groups as they settle in and learn the campus contexts. At the University of Auckland, Katie is working with the Christian Union, while she and Lance are both supporting the Overseas Christian Fellowship. At Auckland University of Technology, Lance is overseeing the Christian Fellowship at the City Campus, and Katie is encouraging a fledgling group at the North Campus. Would you pray for the Knights as they get alongside students in this new season of ministry?