Chris and Uta NelManagers – Zula Lodge

Chris and Uta immigrated to New Zealand from South Africa in 2010. Both had the privilege of growing up in God-fearing families. At the age of nine, when he was alone in a hostel room, Chris remembered his mother’s words and committed his life to Christ. God was real to Uta from her earliest memory, her refuge in every situation. When she was about 13 years old, she consciously surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus.

Uta read many biographies of missionaries and other followers of Jesus as a teenager. These impacted her significantly and influenced her to seek God’s will for situations that arose. In her family, Israel had always had a prominent role; her parents supported the few Jewish businesses in town and visited these Jews in their homes. Her oldest sister spent a year in a Kibbutz in Israel and another sister lectures Jewish studies at a university in South Africa.

Chris and Uta met at a church in Pretoria and soon found that they shared a heart for Israel. For some years they focused on the persecuted church and Muslim evangelism. But as the years progressed, God made it clear that He was calling them to share His love and salvation through the Messiah with the people of Israel.

Chris and Uta are the managers of the CMNZ’s Zula Lodge in the beautiful area of Wanaka. The Zula Lodge & Backpackers is a wonderful venue to attract Israelis by offering them free accommodation with clean facilities and a loving, cozy environment, for a limited period. The staff arrange Shabbat dinners and other event nights to create opportunities to share the good news of their Messiah with them.