INVESTING INTO RELATIONSHIPS - New Zealand Although New Zealand has a proud missionary-sending heritage, OM is not well known beyond the ministry of OM Ships, which has visited the country a number of times. "We want to re-establish our relationship with sending churches in New Zealand, as well as work on developing credible relationships with new sending churches," said Stephen Brandon, who took on the role of field leader of OM New Zealand eight months ago. "We do this by visiting the pastors of sending churches to find out what challenges they face, and to try to help them grasp the joy of missions and the blessing thereof as individuals, as church and as community." The small OM New Zealand team currently supports about 50 New Zealanders in cross-cultural missions. OM New Zealand has invested time in building relationships with sending churches this year, and the fruit has started to show: about 15 short- and long-term workers are currently preparing to go out, which is a significant increase in numbers in comparison to previous years. Adds Stephen, "We want to be known as a mission that cares about people and is willing to go the extra mile, even if it means I have to drive 2,100 kilometres in 10 days as a result! We want our workers and their churches to be well prepared for the journey of missions."