About us | Mō Mātou

Crossing barriers to share Jesus’ love amongst Asian and Arab communities wherever they are

Our vision is to see the lives and communities of the peoples of Asia & the Arab World transformed through encounter with Jesus Christ.

God is all about community. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one; and an example to us about how we are to love one another. It’s God’s desire that all of humanity would be united with him. When He walked the earth, Jesus formed and empowered a community of disciples whom he called to share God’s love with the world. The Church is a continuation of the community that Jesus formed. Today it is a global family of many cultures, nations and languages.

Our Calling

Interserve is an international community of disciples of Jesus Christ who share the calling to join God’s redeeming and reconciling work in all of creation.

We pursue our calling for the glory of God among the peoples of Asia and the Arab world by growing as and nurturing disciples, seeking lives and communities transformed through encounter with Jesus Christ.

We fulfil our calling by reflecting Christ and making him known, serving those in need, together with God, with followers of Jesus, and with the communities to which we are called.




We at Interserve Te Riu Whakaorore take part in a global legacy that began in India 1819…

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Our values shape the way we serve those to whom we are called and how we engage together as a community…

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Te Riu Whakaoreore

We want to become people of Aotearoa NZ who can point to Rangatiratanga o te Atua – the Kingdom of God…

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Growing as disciples 

We seek to grow our understanding of God by growing our understanding of Te Ao Māori so that we become genuinely people of Aotearoa NZ who can point to Rangatiratanga o te Atua – the Kingdom of God – via the taonga (treasures) of this land which we carry within us and our community. We also seek to create an environment within our midst where tangata whenua (our – as well as other – indigenous peoples) feel welcome and able to fully participate in God’s mission – whether as individuals or in other, more communal expressions and ways. We believe this is a clear implication of the biblical imperative for all of God’s people to be on the missional journey.

Te Riu Whakaoreore

Our gifted Te Reo name was graciously given to Interserve NZ by our Kaumātua, Fred Astle.

Te Riu Whakaoreore: This name is born from our pūrākau (story). Pū means ‘origin’ and ‘rākau’ is the fully-grown tree.
Te Riu: The the hull of an ocean-going waka. It represents our people journeying by faith into the hard places of our world.
Whakaoreore: Refers to generating a movement, awakening or mobilising others, attuned to the call of the Holy Spirit

Gifts from tangata whenua

In 2014 Interserve (NZ) was gifted a Māori name, Ngā Ringaringa Atawhai (Hands of Grace). In May 2019 we celebrated 200 years since the conception of a vision that became the Zenana Bible Mission.

Now, further along in our journey with indigenous brothers and sisters we have been given, to recognise our growth and our heritage, a metaphorical name by Kaumātua (Elder) Fred Astle.

Te Riu Whakaoreore speaks of the hull of an ocean-going waka (canoe) journeying to far-off and  challenging places, seeking to awaken and mobilise others, attuned to the Spirit of God. In pre-European times a waka would be launched between two pou (posts) – markers of home. Wherever the waka lands the pou then metaphorically stand as reminders of what is important. Our pou are ‘He Pou Whakaoreore Wairua’ (spiritual movement, awakening, mobilising – Christ inside and beyond, calling us) and ‘He Pou Wahine Rangatira’ (women’s leadership).

Two taonga were gifted to us to mark this new name. It was a great honour for us to receive them. The first is a large piece of uncut pounamu (jade or greenstone) immensely valuable to Māori. Matua Fred pointed to the rough and ordinary exterior under which lies a precious green-sparkling gem. The second is a korowai – a cloak woven of natural fibres and feathers, often worn by chiefs or honoured persons. Named Te Whāriki (The Woven Mat) the korowai echoes our wider Interserve symbol and, in colour and patterning, tells the story of our heritage, relationships, connections, collaborations, Pou – globally, nationally, locally – focused on helping others. The korowai belongs to the role of National Leader and so brought significant weight to our commissioning of Susie into the role in May 2019.

Jean Yern, the young Māori woman who wove the cloak evidenced, with Matua Fred, a remarkable ability to listen to us and to tell our story with great – prophetic – depth and breadth. While these gifts have come to Te Riu Whakaoreore – Interserve (NZ) there is a gathered sense that we hold them in trust for all of us who are part of this story, this weaving.

A third taonga (treasure) was presented that day. A tokotoko or talking stick was carved for Johannes Balzer, who finished his role as National Leader that day. It intertwined symbols of the twists and turns of his life across the globe, his family who have coloured and grounded his journey, the guidance of God, and Johannes’ faithful obedience to Christ.

Tokotoko are given to revered elders – held by them as they speak as a symbol of their authority and their humility.

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