Destination World
Across Pacific Magazine

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Destination World:

Planting the seeds for a New Generation of Kiwi Missionaries

By David B. Hall

rice finding in Asia

Picture: looking for enough rice to feed the family in Asia

John Lennon challenged a new generation to imagine a better world. But just imagining it doesn’t make it happen. Key leaders from over twenty missionary organizations in New Zealand dared to imagine what might happen if they put away their organization’s literature and didn’t set up their separate booths at the Parachute music festival, but rather came together for the common cause of extending God’s kingdom. Would it work?

Driven somewhat by the lack of response from the old methods at their booths at previous Parachute festivals, these lining up to enter DWtwo dozen agencies imagined young people getting a real cross-cultural experience in today’s world.

Enter Destination World.
And several thousand Kiwis did.

They experienced passport controls and simulated interrogations for carrying Christian literature. Some, including me, were put in jail or worse.

Most got a taste of Africa, Asia, the underground church and the Middle East. When middle eastleaving DW these travelers filled in a departure card. Many shared about how this 20 to 30 minute journey impacted them.  Some wanted to talk more with one of the mission representatives available, where the goal was to help them along on their journey of understanding God’s heart, not to sign them up for any particular agency.

Over a thousand Destination World travellers said they were interested in missions.

middle east cross-cultural experience

Now the real work begins. Cooperating agencies are busy handling the follow up for those who expressed interest in their areas of specialty.

Contemporary methods of nurturing those who responded are also being explored by the various groups.

stocks for bringing in Christian litDestination World was spearheaded by the young, energetic visionary, Darren Birch of Palmerston North and assisted by many reps from a wide mix of agencies. There were nearly 100 volunteers. Pray with us for a better world, for God’s kingdom to come, on earth as it is in heaven. ‘Ask my Father to send more workers into the harvest fields of this world!’  Will you do it? 

David has served as a missionary in the Pacific and Asia region for over thirty five years. He helped pioneer Teen Challenge Hawaii during the Jesus Movement, and later YWAM Samoa and YWAM Singapore. He and his wife, Lydia, led the first YWAM Discipleship Training School in Indonesia. David was part of the YWAM leadership team in Kona, Hawaii from '83 to '95. In '96 David moved his family to Auckland, New Zealand where he started Across Ministries -

First hand Destination World reports:

By the time most people traveled through Destination World to the “Middle East”, they were right into the fun of exploration.  But not so Becka.  When she was asked to remove her shoes, she was reluctant. Why should she conform? A smiling request for her to “cover up” as women do in the area, was met with a shake of her head.  And then she thought better of it and agreed reluctantly to have a try.  As she was dressed, garment by garment she listened to the explanations and started to unwind.  Fully hidden behind balto and lithma, she could express her amazement and she started to ask questions. Her eyes, the only part of her visible, lost their hostile look. Becka disrobed with relief in front of the fan.  How much had she understood?  The invitation was given to her to sit and talk with the “M” man on the mufrage and 10 minutes later she was still talking and asking questions.  - Margaret W

A grown man came in, well built, dressed in something like a builder’s singlet. First impression was, tough man! But when he came into the underground church, the only words he said were, “Wow, do these things actually happen?” and tears were seen in his eyes, definitely moved by God. After my shift I saw him talking to one of the agency reps. That would have made my whole week worthwhile I reckon. – Irvin L

Sally’ sat down at one of the tables to wait for her friend who was still coming through the Departure area. Yes she was interested in missions, yes she would love to do something but felt she couldn’t because as a single parent with children at school it wasn’t possible, or at least for another 10 years. So she saw no point in filling out the
departure form. However, as the few minutes of conversation progressed, Sally came to realise that with her abilities she could become involved right in NZ, gain further training and have a significant input for God now. Sally went away with a totally new mindset and excited that she could contribute in spite of the apparent exclusion.  - Rick V

 I was standing in the departure lounge of Destination World surrounded by a constant flow of young people.  The day was hot, the dust stirring, and the Switchfoot vibe still strong, when I noticed a young girl intently filling out her departure card.  I could see that God was doing something and began to chat with her. The girl was about 22 years old.  She was living on a dairy farm learning how to be loved by God.  We talked and ended up praying right at the door.  People were passing by as I prayed that she would truly know what it is to be loved by God.  I saw her as a little girl in the hands of the Father. As I prayed this prayer of God’s love over her, I could feel God ministering to us both. At the end of the prayer we were both in tears.  She went to the prayer room to keep praying and seeking the Lord. I saw God move in the midst of this simple dusty mock world tent.  I don’t know if she’ll ever do missions. All I know is that she was impacted by God through this.  - Will R

When I think about parachute I guess I think about the cost. The sacrifices made… Seeing the look of distress on an 8year olds face when he learnt that they shot people sometimes in other countries for being a Christian, and then finding him running back later to say thank you made all the sacrifices worthwhile. Hearing other people’s stories of travel and mission, within our team and those just walking through, made up for 20 second showers. Seeing all the people who came together to show they also cared about missions made up for no sleep. So was it worth it? Well every time someone came through the tent that “got it”, that was shocked, excited or just a little more interested in the plight of the rest of the world - yes.So as MasterCard would put it: cost of 10 packets of wet wipes - $100, cost of using port-a-loos for the weekend - gastroenteritis, cost of being involved in DW- priceless. – Kristy H

Through all of this, I’ve come to a realization that one day I’m going to wake up in Africa and know that my heart truly does belong there. As Pat said: “the essence of us as human-beings is that God has placed missions on each and every one of us”- it’s just a matter of whether we choose to accept that or not.  - Jess B

My days in the Africa section of DW were saturated in sweat under canvas and people pouring in. There were a lot of stories, fun, music, laughter... Beggars would float around and people would be busted for smuggling bibles. The atmosphere was fantastic, alive, and contagious. Parachute came to an end, exhausted and dirty we packed up and then were pampered to the max. After farewells, it was time for home to recover from the whirlwind that was Destination World.  – Connie S

The Lord is shaping my heart, faith and spirit to be ready for the task that he has set for me and for His glory alone great things can be accomplished. Thank you to those involved with Destination World.  - William B

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