Tweet tweet tweet - the GigArmy in Gigatowngis has been tweeting furiously for UFB. Translation – Gisborne has been part of a competition to win free ultra fast broadband internet access, with the community uniting through social media to compete with larger centres such as Dunedin.
As part of the competition, people wrote short comments on why UFB would be good for Gisborne and the overriding sentiment has been one of hope. Hope that we would win. Hope that winning would mean more jobs and therefore a better economy. Hope that an improved economy would lift people out of the cycles of poverty and violence that blight an otherwise beautiful region.
Another community based vision for hope is under-way with the celebration of 200 years of the Gospel in NZ. The Hope Project, which is supported by Churches throughout NZ has unearthed stories long forgotten about how Maori first embraced the message of hope and peace through Christ, and how they shared that message among themselves. Other stories show that while the commonly held view is that Christianity assisted in the confiscation of Maori land, the early missionaries actually opposed that practise.
These truths are significant to us on the coast as we continue to process the past and look to the future. Jesus said that the truth would set us free. While UFB and an improved economy will make a difference, spiritual issues such as unforgiveness and selfishness will still exist leading to broken families, substance abuse and crime. Even with wealth people can feel hopeless. True freedom, joy, and peace can only be found in Jesus.
As we work towards a brighter future for Gisborne we need to embrace all the tools available to us – community working together, technology, and a hope for peace and prosperity found in unity in Christ. Now that's worth tweeting about.
For further information please go to www.hopeproject.co.nz.
Larisa Hockey – Mangapapa Church.
Larisa has been a Christian since being introduced to Jesus at Youth Group. She believes that the bible is the word of God, a precious gift full of hope and truth, and a blueprint for a full and blessed life.