Called back home

CARING: Kevin and Janette Waugh are looking forward to leading the Salvation Army in Gisborne. Pictures by Liam Clayton

Gisborne’s new Salvation Army Officers knew they were destined for a life serving God. Gisborne Herald reporter Matai O’Connor talks to Kevin and Janette Waugh about their journey so far . . .

Kevin Waugh changed careers a few times before realising God must be telling him to work for the Salvation Army.

His wife Janette Waugh knew at 16, God wanted her to be a minister.

The couple have taken up the new role of leading the Gisborne Salvation Army.

They replace David and Tina McEwen.

A Salvation Army captain, Kevin Waugh, 58, was born in Gisborne, and lived in Patutahi where his father, Murray, owned the local garage.

Mr Waugh did an automotive engineering apprenticeship while working at his father’s business.

He then trained to become a police officer, spending eight years in that role, before returning to the automotive industry, working at Eastland Toyota.

It was during that time Mr Waugh decided to pursue being a Salvation Army officer.
“My journey took me one way for a while and then through different people and different events I felt God was saying he wanted me to be a Salvation Army officer.

“When I was working at Eastland Toyota, there were six different times, six different people came in and said to me ‘when are you going to work full time for the church?’

“I thought this must be God telling me something.”

Mr Waugh said he decided to go through the process of becoming an officer.
“The church makes sure it isn’t something you just want to do, but is something that comes from your faith.”
“I thought being a mechanic was it but things change.”

His wife, Janette Waugh, 49, is a major in the army.

She was born in Brazil where her parents served as missionaries.

Portuguese is her first language and she still uses it when she can.
“I have dual nationality, I am Brazilian by birth and am a New Zealand citizen.

“I was born and grew up in the Salvation Army, my parents were both missionaries.
“I didn’t think of my childhood in Brazil being any different to others because it was just what I knew.

“We played on the streets, there are no backyards in Brazil, it was normal to play hide and seek behind cars.
“Brazil is a multicultural country, every race is represented there.

“One of the biggest issues there is class, you either had a lot of money or not much at all.
“Money was never plentiful in our house, but that’s because a missionary isn’t there to make money.

Mrs Waugh said in Brazil she saw miracles happen.

“God provided in miraculous ways.
“Often my parents didn’t know if they would have an income, I remember looking in the cupboard and wondering ‘what are we having tomorrow?’, because there’s nothing left.

“But somehow a food parcel would be left on the doorstep, or we would be invited out to a meal, or a cheque would arrive from New Zealand six weeks after it was sent.

“We saw God’s hand at work. We might not have noticed it as much if we grew up in New Zealand.

“For me God is very real because I’ve seen him at work,” Mrs Waugh said.
Kevin and Janette both did five years in Paraparaumu before getting the call asking if they wanted to go to Tonga for two years.

“You don’t often get options to go places, and we had three days to say yes or no,” said Mr Waugh.

They said yes and off they went to Tonga where they used their different skills to help the community.

Mr Waugh said he used his mechanic’s skills to help out wherever he could.

“I took my own toolbox over there, you end up using different tools for different things.

To keep their cars going in Tonga he had to use a bit of kiwi ingenuity.
“I also helped with building and farming projects The Salvation Army were involved in.

Mrs Waugh said her role in Tonga focused on teaching children.
“I had responsibility to help all those working in the children’s ministry as well as overseeing two kindergartens The Salvation Army run there.

“Tonga is a Christian country where most people are church-goers.
“On Sunday everything is closed except for the bread shop,” Mrs Waugh said.
“Imagine looking down Gladstone Road and not seeing anything open,” Mr Waugh said.

“It was hot like Gisborne at the moment but the humidity was high,” he said.

They really enjoyed their time in Tonga.
“The people were nice and it was a good environment,” Mrs Waugh said.

Before coming to Gisborne they were at the Hornby Salvation Army Community Ministries Centre in Christchurch.
Mr Waugh said while in Gisborne they are hoping to help where there is a need.

“We are hoping to meet with community groups to find out what needs there are in the Gisborne district and see if we can help resolve those needs.

“The other part to our being here is leading the church, helping people in their spiritual journey with God and to build into their Christian life,” Mrs Waugh said.
“We aren’t appointed to the church, we are appointed to the whole district,” she said.

Mr Waugh said the overall mission was to care for people, see lives transformed and reform society where it needed to be reformed.

He said they would also speak out for those who don’t have a voice.
“The Salvation Army history is about caring for people,” Mr Waugh said.

“Both our families have been involved with The Salvation Army for quite some time.”

Mr Waugh’s brother, Neil and wife Gill moved from Patutahi to Gisborne where they became the leading officers for seven years.

Kevin and Janette Waugh were surprised to be appointed to Gisborne after requesting a move to the North Island.
“It is unusual to go back to the church from your own town, its not common for the Salvation Army to do that,” Mr Waugh said.

He has two sons from a previous marriage and is excited to be closer to them.
Ben, his older son, is 34 and lives in Gisborne with his wife and two children.

The younger son Sam, is 31 and lives in Matamata with his wife and two children.
“We haven’t seen them a lot so we are looking forward to having the kids and grandchildren around us,” Mrs Waugh said.
“It’s really nice to have family close by, family is important,” she said.

Mrs Waugh’s parents live in Levin and this is one of the reasons they asked to be placed in the North Island.
“We wanted to be closer to them,” Mrs Waugh said.

Mr and Mrs Waugh both said they are excited to meet all the new people in the congregation and around the district.

Gisborne’s new Salvation Army Officers knew they were destined for a life serving God. Gisborne Herald reporter Matai O’Connor talks to Kevin and Janette Waugh about their journey so far . . .

Kevin Waugh changed careers a few times before realising God must be telling him to work for the Salvation Army.

His wife Janette Waugh knew at 16, God wanted her to be a minister.

The couple have taken up the new role of leading the Gisborne Salvation Army.

They replace David and Tina McEwen.

A Salvation Army captain, Kevin Waugh, 58, was born in Gisborne, and lived in Patutahi where his father, Murray, owned the local garage.

Mr Waugh did an automotive engineering apprenticeship while working at his father’s business.

He then trained to become a police officer, spending eight years in that role, before returning to the automotive industry, working at Eastland Toyota.

It was during that time Mr Waugh decided to pursue being a Salvation Army officer.
“My journey took me one way for a while and then through different people and different events I felt God was saying he wanted me to be a Salvation Army officer.

“When I was working at Eastland Toyota, there were six different times, six different people came in and said to me ‘when are you going to work full time for the church?’

“I thought this must be God telling me something.”

Mr Waugh said he decided to go through the process of becoming an officer.
“The church makes sure it isn’t something you just want to do, but is something that comes from your faith.”
“I thought being a mechanic was it but things change.”

His wife, Janette Waugh, 49, is a major in the army.

She was born in Brazil where her parents served as missionaries.

Portuguese is her first language and she still uses it when she can.
“I have dual nationality, I am Brazilian by birth and am a New Zealand citizen.

“I was born and grew up in the Salvation Army, my parents were both missionaries.
“I didn’t think of my childhood in Brazil being any different to others because it was just what I knew.

“We played on the streets, there are no backyards in Brazil, it was normal to play hide and seek behind cars.
“Brazil is a multicultural country, every race is represented there.

“One of the biggest issues there is class, you either had a lot of money or not much at all.
“Money was never plentiful in our house, but that’s because a missionary isn’t there to make money.

Mrs Waugh said in Brazil she saw miracles happen.

“God provided in miraculous ways.
“Often my parents didn’t know if they would have an income, I remember looking in the cupboard and wondering ‘what are we having tomorrow?’, because there’s nothing left.

“But somehow a food parcel would be left on the doorstep, or we would be invited out to a meal, or a cheque would arrive from New Zealand six weeks after it was sent.

“We saw God’s hand at work. We might not have noticed it as much if we grew up in New Zealand.

“For me God is very real because I’ve seen him at work,” Mrs Waugh said.
Kevin and Janette both did five years in Paraparaumu before getting the call asking if they wanted to go to Tonga for two years.

“You don’t often get options to go places, and we had three days to say yes or no,” said Mr Waugh.

They said yes and off they went to Tonga where they used their different skills to help the community.

Mr Waugh said he used his mechanic’s skills to help out wherever he could.

“I took my own toolbox over there, you end up using different tools for different things.

To keep their cars going in Tonga he had to use a bit of kiwi ingenuity.
“I also helped with building and farming projects The Salvation Army were involved in.

Mrs Waugh said her role in Tonga focused on teaching children.
“I had responsibility to help all those working in the children’s ministry as well as overseeing two kindergartens The Salvation Army run there.

“Tonga is a Christian country where most people are church-goers.
“On Sunday everything is closed except for the bread shop,” Mrs Waugh said.
“Imagine looking down Gladstone Road and not seeing anything open,” Mr Waugh said.

“It was hot like Gisborne at the moment but the humidity was high,” he said.

They really enjoyed their time in Tonga.
“The people were nice and it was a good environment,” Mrs Waugh said.

Before coming to Gisborne they were at the Hornby Salvation Army Community Ministries Centre in Christchurch.
Mr Waugh said while in Gisborne they are hoping to help where there is a need.

“We are hoping to meet with community groups to find out what needs there are in the Gisborne district and see if we can help resolve those needs.

“The other part to our being here is leading the church, helping people in their spiritual journey with God and to build into their Christian life,” Mrs Waugh said.
“We aren’t appointed to the church, we are appointed to the whole district,” she said.

Mr Waugh said the overall mission was to care for people, see lives transformed and reform society where it needed to be reformed.

He said they would also speak out for those who don’t have a voice.
“The Salvation Army history is about caring for people,” Mr Waugh said.

“Both our families have been involved with The Salvation Army for quite some time.”

Mr Waugh’s brother, Neil and wife Gill moved from Patutahi to Gisborne where they became the leading officers for seven years.

Kevin and Janette Waugh were surprised to be appointed to Gisborne after requesting a move to the North Island.
“It is unusual to go back to the church from your own town, its not common for the Salvation Army to do that,” Mr Waugh said.

He has two sons from a previous marriage and is excited to be closer to them.
Ben, his older son, is 34 and lives in Gisborne with his wife and two children.

The younger son Sam, is 31 and lives in Matamata with his wife and two children.
“We haven’t seen them a lot so we are looking forward to having the kids and grandchildren around us,” Mrs Waugh said.
“It’s really nice to have family close by, family is important,” she said.

Mrs Waugh’s parents live in Levin and this is one of the reasons they asked to be placed in the North Island.
“We wanted to be closer to them,” Mrs Waugh said.

Mr and Mrs Waugh both said they are excited to meet all the new people in the congregation and around the district.

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