175th Anniversary South Island Update

Celebrating 175 years in the South Island

By Stephen Opie – 175th anniversary Project Lead.

I was really nervous about our 175th anniversary events. “Have we bitten off more than we can chew?” “Are we being too ambitious?” Planning 19 events around the country has not been easy, so when we left for Invercargill the week after Easter, nerves were running high.

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Holding History

I’ve always loved history. I can spend hours walking around an historical site or looking at artefacts in a museum.

There’s a strange kind of connection with the past you feel when you see something several hundred years old. A person who lived all those years ago owned that item, and now I am looking at the very thing they held in their hands. I often wonder what life was like for that person.

Recently, my historical research into the history of the Bible in Māori took me to the Alexander Turnbull Library here in Wellington. I requested a special book, which I wanted to see – the corrected proof copy of the first ever New Testament in Māori. It was William Williams’ copy, who worked with others including his brother Henry on the original translation.

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Gearing up for 175!

I was fortunate enough to attend the American Bible Society’s 200th anniversary celebrations in 2016.

This was a huge event held at the top of the ‘Rocky steps’ in Philadelphia. Later that week, I was given this magnificent gift – a copy of the entire New Testament on a single sheet of paper. And yes, the font is small!

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175 years; the untold story

When planning how to celebrate 175 years of Bible mission, we were unanimous – we needed to tell stories.

Stories that show the impact the Bible has had on peoples’ lives. Stories that document the role Bible Society has played in the spread of the Gospel message in New Zealand. And stories that reveal the passion and dedication for God’s Word held by Christians all over the country.

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