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Our Chapel

October 19, 2020 - January 1, 2030

Our Chapel

The History and Heart Behind Our Chapel

YWAM NZ Marine Reach Founders David and Linda Cowie

At Marine Reach, we are blessed with so many beautiful spaces to get away with Jesus, whether it’s outside enjoying the green hills and the sheep (down in our valley) OR our special chapel at the end of the field.

As one of our founders, we wanted to get Linda Cowie to explain her heart and the history behind the chapel.

When was the chapel built?

“Its dedication was in 2012.”

What is the Maori name?

“Te Whare Karakia – meaning A House Of Prayer

It is a place to find freedom and intimacy with the Lord. Quoting Isaiah 56:7, the chapel is our “engine room” for the the ministry, “A House Of Prayer for all the nations”. People come from the nations and pray for the nations, I think it’s a beautiful picture.”

What was the original idea behind it?

“Catherine Hollister Jones loved prayer places, so much so she would visit them all over the world. So one day I asked her, ‘Why don’t we build one?’

You know there is the prayer walk down in the valley, but with that scripture we got (Isaiah 56:7), we thought it would be so valuable to have a specific place. It was a fresh expression of that verse for us. Through that Word of the Lord, we believed God for the money.”

What is the symbolism in the chapel?

“There so many things that I love to talk about. You know the chapel was made as a replica from the small churches on the east coast of New Zealand.

Carving – There’s a carving above the doors representing the open arms of God, and in the centre is an image of a hongi. A hongi is a traditional Māori greeting where two people meet together touching foreheads and noses and sharing one breath. A beautiful image of the divine breath in us.

Panels – These two panels on the wall were designed by our chief Huikakahu. They were based on the passage of John 15 talking about where Jesus says ‘I am the vine and you are the branches’ and about producing fruit. The Māori design on the panels is based off of a Māori proverb which says ‘I’d rather die like a hammerhead shark than a trevally’. A shark struggles and fights; it’s relentless – whereas the fish gives up easily.

Bi-fold Doors – The east wall is built as complete bi-fold doors so it could be opened and therefore using the chapel for a wedding platform with all the guests outside (which we’ve actually had before, it was LOVELY).

As well, the windows are all facing an open space in the trees for when the sun is rising. You can see it perfect from inside.

Garden of Reflection – Next to the chapel is, what we call, the Garden of Reflection. It is a garden to honour kiwi YWAMers. The very first two YWAMers to die on the field are also dedicated there. It’s a garden to reflect on the goodness of God in our lives.

Bell – The bell in the steeple was the church bell in a couple other churches before finding its home here. Bells are rung in maraes to call Māoris to prayer.

Hymn – Opposite the wall from the panels is the hymn ‘Here Is Love’ which is a love song from the Welsh revival. It says ‘Heavens peace and perfect justice, Kissed a guilty world with love’ and if you think about it, it’s the most divine hongi – a divine kiss of God.”

Share with us your favourite story about it !

“This isn’t my favourite story, but it’s funny…

One morning, a very important man from parliament was here. He went into the chapel to pray and when he came out, there was only one shoe. The other had gone missing. So he hobbled back up to his car with his only one shoe, telling others about his lost shoe. When I got home, I found the shoe right outside my dog door and felt so terrible about it. I had to call him up to let him know how sorry I was; I deeply apologised for the situation.  He had to go buy new shoes before catching his flight back to Wellington.

Of all the people it could’ve happened to…”

Our base Leadership Team has over 160 years of combined mission experience. Want to know more about Linda Cowie and the rest of the team? Here is place to learn!

Marine Reach YWAM NZ DTS New Zealand Missions Training


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October 19, 2020
January 1, 2030
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