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Update on Oke Bay, And The Development Of An International Evangelism Training Centre

24 May 2013 3 Comments

Many of you are aware that as a ministry we are developing a property in the Bay of Islands.Bay of Island map

The specific location is Oke Bay. The land is in three titles. On one of the three pieces of land there is a 120 year old, six bedroom Kauri villa.

Oke Bay is situated at the start of the Cape Brett walking track, which is rated one of the 100 best in the world.

Literally thousands of people from all countries around the world walk this track which ends at Hole In The Rock.

hole in the rockCape Brett has been made famous by this ” Hole In The Rock” tourist site (left)

Jesus said “Go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15).  The world is coming to Cape Brett and we are ready for them.

It’s been a great blessing to give people walking the track a card, and to take some through the gospel on my ipad.

We have a vision to build an international evangelism training centre on the largest lot of land, which overlooks Oke Bay.

To read about the vision in full, please click here.

The vision has four phases.

Phase 1 is to restore the existing villa, turning it into a cafe and boutique accommodation. The income from this venture will finance phase 2.

Phase 2 is building a backpacker accommodation for up to 20 people.

The income from phases 1 and 2 will finance phase 3, which is building the international evangelism training centre.

How are we doing?
Phase 1 has 4 phases.
1. The restore the outside of the house so that it’s weather proof and looking good. See the “after” and “before” photos below. These photos show our progress since January 2013.



This phase has almost been completed. We just need a builder and a roofer for a day to complete this phase.

2. Install a septic tank or similar waste water system. At the moment, we are using a long drop and a chemical toilet.
3. Undertake some earthworks to create car parks, build a retaining wall to increase the lawn area. Landscape.
4. Re-configure the inside of the house to create the cafe, restore the kitchen, and install a wood fire pizza. Obtain council consents to operate a cafe.

exhausted polar bear

All the while this has been going on, I have been preaching and running evangelism seminars in Churches, evangelising, writing, blogging, and developing new resources. Its been a huge, gruelling challenge, given that Oke Bay is 3 hours fromAuckland and all the finances are coming from donations, as is the labour to do the work.

God has even provided non-Christians to help.


Typically what happens is that people hear about the vision and offer some time to come up and help. We provide meals and accommodation.  They provide their skills. Tradespeople stay for a few days or a few weeks. It’s up to them.

We are even offering “contra deals” to tradespeople i.e. they come for a week to work and in exchange we give them a week (or more) in the house during the holidays.  They swap a weeks work for a weeks holiday for themselves and their family.

It’s been incredible to see him provide.

Having said this, many times in the past six months I have felt totally spent, like the polar bear in the picture.

I have felt like Paul the Apostle who said “I have poured my life out like a drink offering” (Philippians 2:17).

If you know a roofer and a builder who can offer a days labour, please ask them to call / text me 0n 027476 44 30.

If you know Christians who can:

1. install waste water systems

2. operate earth moving equipment and build retaining walls.

Please ask them to contact me.

You might want to rent the villa. We recently posted it on a web site so people can rent it.  If you rent it, you’d be helping to how you can helpfinance this evangelism vision. Click here for more details

Please continue to pray for this vision.

It’s incredibly strategic.

The embers of the fires of evangelism in the Western Church around the world are glowing more dimly now than at any point inembers the history of the Church.

Overall, the number of Christians in the Western Church is plummeting.

Now, more than at any time in the last 2000 years, is there a need to train people how to mobilise whole churches back into true, biblical evangelism.

Thankfully, we are slowly getting insight into how to do this and there are some great examples of churches around the world and in New Zealand (e.g. St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Waipukurau) who are pioneering this work successfully.

Others churches are at various points on the journey.

Thank you once again for those who are praying and supporting this vision financially.

Our greatest need at the moment is for $25,000 to install the toilet system. We are asking the Lord to provide through his people. We need:

1 person to give $5000

5 people to give $1000

10 people to give $500

20 people to give $250

50 people to give $125

Someone has already pledged to be the one person giving $5000.   All gifts are tax rebatable because we are a registered charity.


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  • john cromarty says:

    I want to start some city wide4 evangelism trianing down here in the next couple of months. Plse contact me when u can, love the evnagelism school concept – thats wonderful.

  • Lorraine Wilson says:

    Housedressings Ltd (Auckland Home staging) pledges $1000.00 to help further the work to completion.

    God bless you Julian for your faithfulness in carrying out ‘The Great Commission’.

    Lorraine Wilson ( director/home staging stylist)

  • Julian Batchelor says:

    Thank you so much for your generosity Lorraine.

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