The Salvation Army Rangiora women WOW as they Embrace Fiji
A journey that began with a single lap of a local pool has ended in a determined group of women raising over $2,100 for Embrace Fiji Territorial Women's Ministries Project, sending Fijian women to their Divisional women's camp.
Be inspired by this story of dedication and innovation coming out of The Salvation Army Southern Division's Women's Ministries, as Christine Patterson from The Salvation Army Rangiora Corps shares her testimony of hope, healing and wholeness alongside her WOW sisters.
Christine Patterson from The Salvation Army Rangiora Corps has achieved a feat many of us could only dream of to raise funds for the Embrace Fiji Territorial Women’s Ministries Project, through bravely swimming again.
A slow road to recovery
In an interview by local reporter Robyn Bristow, Christine shares how her difficult health journey wore her out mentally and physically. ‘With the pain being so horrific, due to planta-fasciitis that set in both feet, her feet bandaged, unable to swim, unable to walk, unable to continue her lifeguard work, unable to be a swim instructor or work at the elderly peoples' home, Christine became isolated and withdrawn. The 2011 earthquake only added to the increasing burden Christine was carrying. ‘With the sale of our house, and unable to begin our new build, it must have been all too much and depression set in.’'
An invitation to embrace
It was hearing about the Embrace Fiji Territorial Women’s Ministries Project at the local WOW group that set a new goal in motion for Christine. Embrace Fiji invites all of New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa territory to fundraise to send Fijian women to their Divisional women’s camp. Christine wanted to re-enter the pool to help at least one Fijian woman go to Embrace Camp.
Stacey Bruce from The Salvation Army Rangiora Corps tells us, ‘Christine sees so much value in women getting together. She has had some life-changing experiences herself through retreats.' For three weeks, every Tuesday Chris visited the Dudley Park 25m Pool to accrue the 100 sponsored lengths. She was supported by her husband Gordon and many other members of The Salvation Army Women on Wednesday (WOW) group and Corps.
Chris says, ‘I would like to say a huge thank you to folk in Rangiora, and beyond, for your generosity in sponsoring this swim, to support the ladies in Fiji.'
‘For me personally, through helping these ladies in Fiji, I have been helped in return. To be able to return to the pool would have been unreachable two months ago. I've learnt never to underestimate the power of the Lord.’
Women who WOW
Dianne Nichols coordinates The Salvation Army women’s WOW group and is passionate about helping people overseas. ‘We live in such a blessed country, especially at the moment with what many countries in the world are going through. It’s about looking at the gifts God gives us and using them to be able to raise money for others.’ Dianne has offered to wash windows to raise money and has been receiving donations. She says that ‘even though WOW is a small group, it’s about just doing something!'
The original goal was to raise money for five ladies to attend. Now, the combined WOW total with Christine's efforts has raised $2,100 – enough to send twenty-one women to the Fiji Embrace Camp! And that’s just so far!
Christine adds, ‘For me personally, through helping these ladies in Fiji I have been helped in return. To be able to return to the pool would have been unreachable two months ago. I've learnt never to underestimate the power of the Lord.’
We thank God for the way these women have WOWed us all with their innovation, courage and bravery.
You can join Embrace Fiji with us, organising as a community or donating directly here: Embrace Fiji Territorial Women’s Ministries Project
What is your community doing for #EmbraceFiji? Head over to our Salvation Army Women's Ministries' Facebook Page to share your story