Deniliquin Uniting Church's new minister hails from Niue Island, in the South Pacific.
Deniliquin’s Uniting Church is proud to welcome new Resource Minister Hawea Jackson.
The 58 year-old comes from Niue Island, in the South Pacific Ocean, north-east of New Zealand.
Mr Jackson, who moved here last month, visited Deniliquin in June after being invited by the Uniting Church.
He said he fell in love with Deniliquin immediately, and so did his wife Janice.
‘‘The experience was amazing.
‘‘My wife and I fell in love with the place and the people.’’
Mr Jackson and his wife are New Zealand citizens and, before moving to Deniliquin, his longest stay in Australia was for six weeks.
‘‘When we got home I prayed hard that we would be invited back for good, and they sent us a letter and we were accepted by the congregation of Deniliquin.
‘‘A Resource Minister is a minister who involves people who are inside the church.
‘‘I provide resource in the way of teaching and training. I teach people how to use the gifts they have.
‘‘The people are very friendly and very Christian people, and the environment and the weather is just beautiful.’’
Mr Jackson said the weather in Deniliquin reminded him of Niue, which he said varied from 25 to 30 degrees most of the time.
He completed his minister training for two years in Niue and later became the town’s minister, which he served as for 15 years.
While sad to leave the island, Mr Jackson said he was excited to be preaching in Deniliquin.
‘‘It gives me joy to serve the lord and lord’s people.
‘‘The most important thing about Deni is the church, but what is also great is the people, weather and environment .
‘‘It’s not like the main cities where life is so fast.
‘‘I’ll stay in Deni for as long as the church and people allow me to stay.’’
While he will be based locally, Mr Jackson will also be the Uniting Church’s Resource Minister for Finley, Tocumwal, Jerilderie and Mayrung.
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