Letting God take the Lead

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God seeks, God saves, God sends
By Elizabeth Bell

This is the transcript of my 14 year old daughter’s testimony she gave at Church today. So beautifully written, straight from her heart. I am so very proud of her. At the end is a transcript of her mihi.

Happy Sabbath Church Whanau!

I am going to start off by sharing a short version of my mihi. In the Māori culture, a mihi is a traditional way of introducing yourself and your roots.

Tena Koutou Katoa
Greetings to all
Kō Aoraki toku maunga
Kō Waimakariri toku awa
Kō Brig Active toku waka
Kō Ngati Pakeha raua Koterana oku iwi
Ki te taha o toku papa
Kō Brian Bell raua Joy Burgess oku matua tipuna
Nō Ingarahi raua
Ki te taha o toku mama
Kō Derek Robinson raua Joan Munro oku matua tipuna
Nō Koterana ma Aotearoa raua
Kō Adrian Bell toku pāpā
Kō Victoria Robinson toku māmā
Kō Daniel raua Alexander oku tungane
Kō Bell toku ingoa whanau
Kō Elizabeth toku ingoa
Nō reira, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou, katoa

Elizabeth speaking at Bishopdale Seventh-day Adventist Church

Morena. My name is Elizabeth Evelyn Bell and I have grown up as a Seventh-day Adventist my whole life. I was born into a loving family and community on the 23rd September 2005. I grew up with my two brothers, Daniel and Alex, my parents, Vicky and Adrian and my grandparents, Joan and Derek. I was baptised on the 1st of July 2017, also the day my poppa turned 90.

I remember a sermon that Pastor Sarah-Jane shared that really inspired me. She had three main points; God seeks, God saves, God sends. Particularly at the end of 2017 and the year of 2018, I felt more distant from God because I had focused on new things that now, I call clutter. As I came into 2019, I needed a change. When I heard the sermon, I realised that God was seeking me. It made me think about why God needed to seek me in the first place and I came to the conclusion that it was me who was blocking God. I started going to a counsellor and that helped me start my journey on finding my identity with God.

I have felt God save me in a way I didn’t expect. The annual Pathfinder winter camp had just ended and we were driving back to church and from there, back home. My mum received a phone call from the Nurse Maude hospital that Nana was staying at. They told her that Nana had high blood sugars and she went to the public hospital on Friday afternoon. Over the weekend, she fell and broke her hip. This required surgery but the doctors couldn’t perform it because her heart wasn’t stable. My family and I prayed so much for something good to happen. We were letting God take the lead because we were so desperate for a miracle, and the best thing is, he provided. Nana went in for her surgery a bit later than we liked, but it was successful. She stayed in the public hospital for a while but soon moved to Burwood. A few weeks ago, nana moved into Ngaio Marsh rest home, only a few minutes walk from Poppa’s house. Everything happened so quickly after her surgery and I truly believe that God works in ways that we will never see coming.

Elizabeth loving Nana at Ngaio Marsh

When I was younger, I never imagined myself as a 14-year old who would be standing up the front here today. I used to be very, very shy about doing things that involved talking to more than 5 people at once. But that goes to show that God can work in unexpected yet wondrous ways. 4 years ago, I had just turned 10 and all I was focused on was God and education. But over the next few years, some things started to change. I was still focused on God and education, but so many things had been introduced into my life it had become harder and harder to focus on trying to get into God’s kingdom. But that is the point. I was wrong. My focus should have been on loving God because he died for me and sacrificed so much that no one could ever compare to. I believe it is a blessing for myself that I am able to stand up here before you, sharing my testimony because it proves that God is starting to send me.

If there is anything I want you to take away from my testimony it is this; whether God is still seeking you, whether He is saving you from whatever is troubling you or whether he is sending you out to share His love with others, always remember that God has a purpose for you. Let God take the lead.

Elizabeth with her brothers (Daniel on the right and Alex on the left. And Nana and Poppa in front.

Transcript of Elizabeth’s Mihi

Tena Koutou Katoa
(Greetings to all)
Kō Aoraki toku maunga
(Aoraki is my mountain)
Kō Waimakariri toku awa
(The Waimakariri is my river)
Kō Brig Active toku waka
(The Brig Active is my boat – that brought my ancestors to New Zealand)
Kō Ngati Pakeha raua Koterana oku iwi
(My tribe is European – white people)
Ki te taha o toku papa
(On my Fathers side…)
Kō Brian Bell raua Joy Burgess oku matua tipuna
(Brian Bell and Joy Burgess are my grandparents)
Nō Ingarahi raua
(They are from England)
Ki te taha o toku mama
(On my mothers side…)
Kō Derek Robinson raua Joan Munro oku matua tipuna
(Derek Robinson and Joan Munro are my grandparents)
Nō Koterana ma Aotearoa raua
(They are from Scotland and New Zealand)
Kō Adrian Bell toku pāpā
(Adrian Bell is my father)
Kō Victoria Robinson toku māmā
(Victoria Robinson is my mother)
Kō Daniel raua Alexander oku tungane
(Daniel and Alexander are my brothers)
Kō Bell toku ingoa whanau
(Bell is my family name)
Kō Elizabeth toku ingoa
(I am Elizabeth)
Nō reira, tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou, katoa
(Therefore, greetings, greetings, greetings)

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