Nazarene Theological College in Auckland, New Zealand, recently received 88 boxes filled with a total of 2,700 books to help complete the college's much-needed theological library.
"We waited nearly six months for the phone call that said 'Your books are here, and they’ve cleared customs,'" missionary Elizabeth Graham wrote on her blog.
The college, which is an extension site of NTC-Brisbane, started about a year and a half ago to provide accessible Wesleyan-Holiness theological education. At the time, there were no classrooms, equipment, a library, or any students.
Today, there are nearly 50 students studying in English and Samoan, a designated space with video conference equipment, flexible tables and seating, rows of bookshelves, and now plenty of books.
"We owe a huge thanks to MidAmerica Nazarene University, Nazarene Bible College, and some fantastic funding sources that made it possible to send all those books across the ocean," Graham said.
The next step is to catalog the library, combining older books that were already in New Zealand and several thousand books from the NTC-Brisbane library. NTC-Auckland is currently compiling a team of librarians who will catalog, label, and correctly shelve the books in July.
"Books are actually pretty challenging to acquire in New Zealand," Graham said. "A kiwi friend told me today that she had ordered a book from bookdepository.com. It’s the UK version of Amazon and it ships for free worldwide. The only cost is time. It can take two to four weeks to receive your books."
Graham explained that books in New Zealand easily cost at least twice as much as the same books sold in the U.S.
"That makes the shipment of books we’ve just received all the more valuable to us!" she said.
--Adapted from Adventure Graham, the Graham family blog