In this column, we discover more about our Baptist whānau, meeting someone in our team of 40,000 each post. This week we are getting to know Emma Wells, Youth Pastor at Whakatāne Baptist Church and member of the Baptist Women’s Board.

What is something you think everyone should experience at least once in their life? 

Definitely sky diving. There is nothing quite like that feeling. I am sure anyone who has skydived will tell you the same thing, especially in a place with a good view.

If you could be a pro at any one thing, what would it be?

Man, this is a hard question. There are so many things I would like to be a pro at! I think I would either like to be a pro surfer/skater or a pro rugby player. 

What is a random interest that has completely nothing to do with your study or work? 

My husband is a plumber/drain layer, and I love going out on jobs with him and learning about plumbing. One of my proudest moments was when my neighbours got a leak under their house one time, and I could fix it all by myself. 

What is the oddest fact you know?

The seeds of the harakeke (New Zealand flax) can be used as a substitute for coffee if you are ever stuck out in the bush. I am yet to try this, but I will give it a go one day. 

What is the most boring thing you’ve ever done?

I worked as a house painter for about nine months before I got married (I actually love house painting now). I worked many jobs by myself. One of them was on a huge old villa. Sanding, prepping and painting wood weatherboards for weeks on end by yourself gets pretty boring after a while. 

What is your favourite way of connecting with God?

I think that my favourite way of connecting with God has changed and moulded. I am currently in the process of figuring out how I connect with God now as a 25year old in this specific season of life. But one thing that has remained constant is the beach. It is a place where I feel most close to God. Where I can walk and talk and process. 

Can you describe a significant moment when you experienced God’s love?

I can’t think of one significant moment but lots of little moments. I experience God’s love when I spend time with people. My teenagers, people in my communities, my husband, my flatmates, my neighbours. I feel God’s love when I spend time with the people he loves. 

What is your favourite thing about the neighbourhood where you live?

I live in Awatapu in Whakatane, and there are so many favourite things about my neighbourhood. I honestly could go on and on about my neighbourhood. I love that my neighbourhood is loud and messy and chaotic. But in the mornings, when I walk the dog, there is always a deep sense of peace, of quietness, that God is moving and hovering before everyone awakes. I love that my neighbours always have exactly what I need hiding deep in their sheds. I love that we can share food together. I love that my neighbourhood never fails to surprise me. 

What do you love most about being Baptist?

The thing I most love about being Baptist is the connectedness with one another. I love that I have a collective of churches around the country that I can learn and gain support from. I love that we can come together at different Baptist events and clusters and hear the stories of God’s work in our diverse communities. I feel so lucky to be a part of something bigger than just me and my church that I am a part of. 

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