H A M I LTO N , N Z MORE FREEDOM FOR HAMILTON By Ralph Burden, Freedom Acts, Hamilton, NZ Ps' Ray & Carolien with Ralph & Heather in October 2012 Opening meeting 20th March 2016 14 | EMPOWERED MAGAZINE 2004 was destined to become a year to remember in more ways than one. In the business world, Corporate computer giant IBM was sold to the Chinese Lenovo group. In world politics, controversial PLO leader Yasser Arafat died. There were numerous terrorist attacks around the globe, and with the appalling effects of the worst Tsunami in living memory there was certainly plenty of bad news about. But there was plenty of good news too. 2004 became a very significant year for the city of Hamilton. Freedom Christian Church was planted by Ray & Carolien Moxham that year, meeting in Hillcrest Normal School in the south of the city. From the beginning, their vision was always to plant out more churches around the city with a long term goal of 4 churches to serve the main areas of the community. Over the next few years, Freedom grew steadily with the dream of a second church drawing closer by the week. In 2013 Freedom were able to purchase their own building in Frankton, just three minutes drive from Waikato Hospital, the largest hospital in the region. The second Freedom church has been many years in planning. On 20th March 2016, the first Sunday morning service was held in Te Rapa, North Hamilton. The new Freedom church meets in an attractive, modern building with a glass shopfront onto the busy Pukete Road. The word ‘Freedom’ on the signage reaches out to drivers who rush past on their way to and from work. Some of those workers will end up as church members. To give distinction, the original Freedom Church is now known as Freedom Genesis, and the new church as Freedom Acts. The north of the town has a surprisingly small number of churches compared to the rest of the city. The past decade has seen new housing developments with several thousand new homes in Huntington, Flagstaff and Rototuna, but the provision of local amenities, including ‘church’, has not kept pace with the population increase in that area.