Rachel Murray has announced her decision to stand down from the position of General Director of NZBMS, a position she has held since August 2014. Her last day was Friday 31st May. In the interim Andrew Page will take on the role of Acting GD for a period of six months while the search for Rachel’s replacement is underway.
Here, Andrew Bollen, Chair of Mission Council, and Joel, a NZBMS worker based in South Asia, share their tributes to Rachel.
It was with great sadness that Mission Council accepted the resignation of Rachel Murray as General Director of NZBMS. Rachel came into the role having served as the Team Leader of Mission World where her work engaging with other mission agencies was highly valued. A period as interim General Director of NZBMS led to her being appointed permanently.
In her term as GD, during a period of rapid change and many challenges on the global and local mission front, Rachel has done an incredible job of leading our organisation. She has worked tirelessly to place the work of NZBMS and the task of mission before us, helping us to see mission as a vitally important part of the brief of each and every church and individual. She has represented us well in celebrations of mission partnerships both in New Zealand and globally.
Central to Rachel has been her love of the Lord and commitment to serving him through NZBMS. This is seen in her joy and celebration of what God is doing and in other people’s successes. Her love and care for staff (and their families), both at home and overseas, has been demonstrated over and over. Her sense of humour and her collaborative and inclusive style of leadership have been valued by all. She will be greatly missed in the GD role.
From Andrew Bollen, Chair, NZBMS Mission Council, on behalf of Mission Council
Rachel Murray has been the big boss of Lizzie and I since we first began working with NZBMS as overseas staff members and we have been truly grateful for her friendship, guidance and encouragement. In fact, I am already anticipating the unusual feeling of arriving back in New Zealand (whenever that might next be), walking into the NZBMS offices, down the hall, and then not seeing her battling it out in that office. For us, she has always been there. Sure, there will be a lesser chance of being hit by a flying soft toy without her there, but that is about the only positive I can think of!
Joking aside, Rachel has been the right person in the right role for the right season of our organisation. Her passion and love for the work and the people who are wrapped up in it is second to none—that’s why we affectionately call her ‘Mama Rach’. I reckon this name is particularly apt for her as time and time again we have been greeted by a warm hug, a reason to laugh, and even (for me at least) a disapproving familial look. We know, no matter how busy Rachel gets, she somehow makes time to sit with us, find out how we are, offer us some kai, and pray with us. Whenever she comes and visits Loyal Workshop, she remembers our women and they remember her. She readily shares a laugh and a hug—she is someone who genuinely loves.
Rachel has also modelled what a great female leader can look like. She is intelligent, relentlessly strong, empathetic, a team player, and a resilient human being. Her leadership has helped foster a whānau feel among our people that is invaluable. Aotearoa-based and Asia-Pacific-based, we NZBMS staff are a hugely diverse bunch of characters. Nonetheless, Rachel has harnessed this beautiful diversity and managed to pull us all together for a common purpose.
Rach, we’ll miss you terribly but we support you and are excited for this next life chapter of yours.
From Joel, NZBMS, South Asia