Hey fellow travellers!
I’m Minneke and I am excited to be on this journey together with you. I thought I’d just introduce a little about myself and my family so you can know more about us.
My inspiration for writing comes from my own life experiences. I really love how many times when Jesus helped or healed someone, he told them “go and tell what God has done for you”. I have loved discovering what a personal God our God is, and just can’t help sharing it with others!
My family, travels, mistakes and interactions with others have all made me reflect on what kind of God we serve, and I enjoy learning something new from Him every day. I also love hearing others sharing what God has done for them, so sometimes I like to share stories from friends on my page too!
I’m a New Zealander (Kiwi) by birth, and both my parents were born and raised in New Zealand. My Dad’s parents immigrated from Holland after WWII, and my Mum’s parents have an Irish heritage. I spent most of my time growing up in Australia and the U.S., but did spend some time growing up on my grandparents farm in Clevedon, New Zealand when I was in primary school. We lived in several places in the U.S., and my parents stayed there for many years after I left.
I grew up in a Christian home, going to various churches with our various moves. When we were living in Phoenix, Arizona, my Mum and I got the opportunity to go on a short term missions trip to Honduras. We took a lot of hygiene and medical supplies, and helped lay concrete floors and build latrines in a village there. It was my first experience of a non-Western, developing country, and I felt that I was somehow destined to leave the Western world one day. I thought I might end up in Africa, but it turns out God had other plans. After that experience in Honduras we moved again to Colorado and I rebelled a bit and went my own way, before coming back to Christ at a christian youth camp when I returned to New Zealand for my University studies. Since then I’ve been on this road to discovering more about Christ, His Church, about who He’s made me to be, and the works He’s prepared for me to do.
I studied Mandarin Chinese at university in Auckland, New Zealand before embarking on my adventures to Asia. I first went to South Korea before finally moving to Shenzhen, China to teach English. I knew God had called me to China, but I wasn’t sure exactly what for. As it turned out, He had a Chinese husband waiting for me there! My husband is from rural Guilin, Guangxi. We had our three children in Shenzhen and were involved in various church activities and outreach there before finally moving back to New Zealand in early 2019 after our third child was born.
I’ve always been a bit of a “wild child” – a risk taker, loving adventure, and anything that seemed exciting or dangerous! I think this has had a great impact on the journey God has led me on. Since I was young I was always climbing onto rooves, jumping out of tall trees, scaling pool fences, rock hopping along the edge of steep cliffs, motorcross riding in the Rocky Mountains with my Dad and brother… apparently my Nana told my Mum “just don’t look!” and I’m sure that saved her sanity! One day I remember my Mum telling me that the wild spirit God had given me was a good thing, but only if it was trained and “tamed”, like a wild horse that needed breaking in so it could be used for a purpose. At that time I thought “how boring!”, but it wasn’t until later when I came to know Christ that I realized being useful to Him was my deepest desire. He could use that wild adventurous spirit He had placed within me, as long as it was submitted to Him and in line with His Will. It has been (and still is) a long road to get to that place, but it’s the only road I want to be on now.
I love meeting others along The Way and hearing their stories! Everyone’s story is so unique and different, and yet the same themes seem to run through them: God’s faithfulness, His mercy, love, power, provision and protection… even His sense of humour! I hope to hear many of your stories through this blog, so please contact us with anything you’d like to share!
Our family currently attends The Chapel in Te Atatu Peninsula. Here’s a link to the website: www.thechapel.org.nz/ Here’s a link to the statement of beliefs: www.thechapel.org.nz/about-us/statement-of-beliefs/