From the Principal

Tena koutou katoa. Nga mihi nui atawhai.

Detours, by their very nature, take you to places you would never have gone. Some of those places are fascinating and even enjoyable, other places are ones you would rather not have visited.

One of the fascinating places I have been to on my detour is Auckland Public Hospital. While the carpark is not a place you’d like to return to (far too tight and not enough parking), the people have been incredible.

On the day of one of my procedures, I was in the Family Room, waiting to be taken to the operating room. Mary, from Rotorua, was there with her whānau and we exchanged pleasantries and our stories as to what we were here for. One of her group then looked over at me, introduced herself and asked if she minded if her group prayed for me. I responded that I would be honoured. She got up and came over to me. She knelt on one knee beside me and took my hand in hers. Looking directly at me, she then began to pray out aloud.

It was a very comforting gesture and reminded me that there are other people on similar detours, fellow travellers, who can connect and offer comfort.

My detour continued with a return to the hospital the following week and the surgery took place. The nursing staff, the cleaners, the lunch lady, the pain specialist, the laundry person – all these people cared for me with kindness and empathy.

During my time away, my inbox has been stuffed with messages of love and prayers from so many people. Especially meaningful have been the avalanche of cards that have been made by each Atawhai class and delivered to me this week. The words of support and offer of prayers has been very humbling and uplifting. Thank you sincerely.

So, my learning about detours is that the world is full of some very special people whom you might never have encountered or heard from individually and that their nurturing and support make the detour more bearable.

The strength of patience hangs on our capacity to believe that God is up to something good for us in all our delays and detours’. John Piper