Flowers in bloom at Papatoetoe

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Papatoetoe Community Church in Auckland New Zealand, hosted their annual Spring Praise Festival on August 28. When the doors opened over one thousand people entered the church auditorium housing 2500 artistically arranged flowers.

“This is a day we anticipate and hugely value in our community, says Stephen Davies, senior pastor. “There are always great expectations and huge blessings—we specifically host days like this so people have the opportunity to invite their friends and neighbours.” 

There are always great expectations and huge blessings—we specifically host days like this so people have the opportunity to invite their friends and neighbours


The stage design was based on the concept of an oasis in every desert—even in the desert experiences of people’s lives. “It’s important to train our eyes to see the beauty, and sometimes we need to become that beauty for other people,” says Keira Bullock, worship pastor.

During the service five people bravely shared their stories of how their lives were transformed after encountering God. The testimonies were interspersed with several carefully selected and themed musical items, including a choir of 175 children to inaugurate the service.

A single mother of three attended church for the first time and now wants to know how God can help her through her struggles. She plans to attend a Life Group (small group) with her friend this week and her kids have asked if they can come back next Sabbath to church.

Another couple were moved to tears as they spoke of their time at church, “We loved everything about the service, the music, the stories, everything spoke to us especially in this desert time of our life.  We loved the realness of the people.”

At the end of the Spring Festival everyone was encouraged to take the flowers and share them with their friends and neighbours—to share their own experiences and God-encounters.

“The day did not disappoint. The sun was out. The flowers were in full bloom. And most of all the Holy Spirit was alive and well and moving in our church and in the lives of the people who entered it,” says Keira Bullock.