Misi | Kaitāia, Northland

“A moment of kindness. I guess, throughout the whole Covid Lockdown, the kindness of what’s happening within our community, and it’s really difficult with this Lockdown, but it’s encouraging to see that a lot of businesses still have that heart for community, and especially for a lot of the social agencies around here who have come together and put down their differences.

The biggest opportunity and the biggest thing that I can see where kindness has actually happened within the community is when we’ve had to reach out into local businesses.

So, within the Salvation Army, having to reach out into the community and ask businesses for help through this whole Covid-19 event is when we needed chillers, when we’ve needed support for our foodbank here in Kaitāia. So, Salvation Army, we reach down and we operate from Kawakawa up to the Cape wherever we’re needed, and it’s really cool that some of these businesses have actually leant us some of their resources throughout this whole event. I can’t really call it an event. This epidemic, really. That’s what I could see as a coming together of everyday businesses, everyday locals who have actually been here for quite some time.

Someone who has helped not only me, but my family, is when my wife had given birth to our twin boys, and we didn’t know what to do. First time having twins, we had another two kids before that, and it was really cool to see our corps officer, Sheryl, come in and get around us with the church family, to help us with meals for almost a whole month. We didn’t have to worry about what was for dinner, and that sense of kindness came through that, when we had our twin boys. That was over 12 years ago now, but that was a real awesome sense of seeing the church in action, that kindness coming through.

For me, I have a Christian basis of where I believe kindness is out of love. It’s not only a love for yourself but love of others. It’s putting others first, and it’s always about looking after the other, and kindness is just a natural progression. For me, God is love, I love God, and that screens everything I personally do. So it’s not to make myself happy or the other person happy, but it’s a mutual function, it’s for the benefit of the other.

I grew up out West Auckland, Glen Eden. I’ve lived there most of my life in Glen Eden. I came to the Salvation Army through a bus ministry, that was probably over 30 years. You’d probably say I’ve been with the Salvation Army, and from there, my love for people, the realness that the Salvation Army have for the people, actually grew from there. I did have a Christian background. My parents did attend the Presbyterian Church in Auckland, and so that’s how I became involved with the Salvation Army, and through growing up with that Christian base, I really did find that, you don’t have to worry about much. It’s just looking at the positive things in life, and actually taking from situations the positive, because out of every negative situation, there’s always a positive in there, and it’s just a matter of how we look at it. Basically, it’s our attitude towards life. You get out of it what you put into it. So if you go in with a negative attitude, you’re going to get something negative out of it. If you’re always looking for the best in things, you’re always going to find it somehow. As that saying goes, when you get lemons you make lemonade.”

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