Michael ThomasStaff – South Island

Michael was raised in a irreligious gentile home on the East Coast of America, with little awareness of God. In his teens, he was invited to a youth group called Young Life which focused on sharing the Gospel with non-churched kids. It was through Young Life that Michael first heard the Gospel and gave his life to the Lord.  However, with little understanding of the Bible, and generally non-supportive parents, he drifted from the faith until his time in the US Coast Guard when he began to seek the Lord in earnest. During his time in the military, he spent most of his enlistment in Kodiak, Alaska and began attending Bible studies, leading Young Life groups, and discipling kids.  However, he still struggled with his lack of background in the Scriptures. After his enlistment, he attended a one-year Bible School in England called Capernwray Hall, part of Torchbearer’s Missionary Fellowship.

After returning to the States he attended and graduated from Salisbury University and became a software developer.  He met his wife Teresa at church and were married in September 1994. They have three children: Morgan, Chloe, and Ian.  Morgan and his wife, Katie, live in America, as does their daughter Chloe. Ian lives with them in Christchurch.

Deep into their Christian journey, Michael and Teresa started attending a Messianic Congregation, where they began to understand the significance of Jesus’ fulfilment of the Old Testament, not only in the past but in the future.  They both experienced the brilliance of the New Testament through the eyes of the Old. The depth of God’s love, grace, and commitment to Jews and Gentiles alike, propelled them both into ministry to Jews and Gentiles and a deeper understanding of God’s amazing Word.

Michael and Teresa are Israeli hosts, and Michael is directly engaged in evangelism among Israelis and internationals.  He has been hosting Seders, engaged in one-on-one discipleship, and hosting Messianic Bible studies, helping fellow believers understand the Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith. He is also CMNZ’s IT Project Manager, overseeing the ministry’s IT needs, including assisting in the launch of Issachar Ministry Training Academy, a joint project between Jesus First and Celebrate Messiah NZ. Issachar’s primary objective is educating and training New Zealand and International Students in understanding the rightful place of Israel in the scriptures, addressing the doctrinal problem of Replacement Theology, and developing church-planting teams that will remain focused on standing on truth and standing for Israel within the Christian community.