We are seeking to re-shape the Nations of the Pacific for good, through the re-establishment of Family and Godly values at the core of every community.
This is our vision, where we are going in our next 25 years.
Our purpose, the reason we exist as an organisation is to
‘To see families liberated through loving God and loving others’.
The ministry of JH Aotearoa stems from an amazing ministry in Northern California - JH Ranch. JH Ranch USA has a rich heritage and legacy of over 30 years positively impacting families. Starting in 1979, Gene Johnston purchased a 300-acre hunting lodge in the beautiful mountains of Northern California. His purpose in purchasing the property was to fulfill a promise he made to the Lord as a young man in his twenties. He promised, "If You will provide the resources, I will invest them in a manner that will have eternal value."
Under the direction of Bruce Johnston, the eldest son of the 12 Johnston children, JH Ranch first opened its doors in 1980 with a leadership program known as Second Wind for high school students. Over time, Second Wind has been recognized across the country by educators, pastors and school administrators as one of the finest youth leadership programs in America. Its success was the catalyst for the expanded purpose-driven programs currently offered at JH Ranch.
Bruce Johnston is the founder and executive director of JH Ranch and responsible for JH Ranch curriculum development. His wife, Heather, is the spiritual director of the summer camp staff. Bruce and Heather have been involved in student motivation and leadership development for over 30 years.
The vision to establish JH in this part of the world was birthed almost 15 years ago in the hearts of Rob and Edith Hayes St Clair who are part of the Leadership team at JH Ranch USA.
After years of prayer the dream started to become a reality in 2014 when Phil Thompson and Greg Fleming and a number of other New Zealanders attended JH Ranch with their children. Unsure of what they were going to experience, they found it was both inspirational and life changing, dramatically bringing positive change to their families.
Having experienced the on going impact of a JH Ranch experience in their own lives, the small team of new Zealanders who attended the Ranch, began to meet together to pray and share the Everlasting Adventure they had began, and dream about being able to give families in Aotearoa New Zealand the same opportunity that they had received.
The vision was to bring this intentional, carefully crafted, highly successful programme that has been refined over 30 years of experience in the US and adapt it to the New Zealand context ensuring that it is culturally relevant, and making it accessible for all New Zealand whanau.
In January 2015 the vision became a reality when JH Aotearoa ran their first ever Parent & Child Event. There were 190 parents and children who attended from all over the country, and 90 young volunteers making the team. The week was packed with 6 adventure activities - high ropes, mountain biking, white water rafting, low ropes, abseiling & screaming kiwi, and waka and canoeing out on a lake. There were 5 Big Top Talks (or evening talks), delivered by Rob, Edith and Mack from the JH Ranch Leadership team and Journey of Transition Teaching (or instructional parenting talks) as well as Huddle groups, and extended solo time between the parent and child.
At that first event we saw healing, forgiveness and restoration within families. Parents and teenagers who came to the Event not even talking to one another were reconnected. People who had never been to church before gave their hearts to the Lord. We saw relationships with God, and family relationships, deepened and strengthened and for many transformed.
For the 180 the parents and teenagers who attended, and for many of the young volunteers also, the Everlasting adventure had began!