Introducing Esther Sabey, Ministry Candidate for Hope Presbyterian
in the areas of Creative Ministries, Women’s Ministry and the evening service, “Living Room”.
After careful discernment, interview and referee checking the Ministry Settlement board recommended
Esther Sabey to the elders for the position of Assistant Minister to work in Creative Ministries, Women’s
Ministry and the evening service. The elders agreed unanimously to recommend Esther to the
congregation and ask her to preach for a call. The process from here will be as follows:
Esther will preach at the Hornby morning services on Sunday 19th June. The sermon at the 9am
service will be videoed and shown at West Melton and Rolleston services that same morning. She will
then talk about her faith journey at the Living Room service at 6pm on Sunday 19 August. After the
evening service on the 19th there will be an opportunity for questions and answers. Then on Sunday 9
September at all sites the congregation will vote on the following motion:
That Hope Presbyterian Church calls Esther Sabey as an Assistant Minister on a fulltime basis under
standard terms of call with the initial portfolios of Creative Ministries, Women’s Ministry and the evening
A Message from Esther:
I am Esther Sabey, wife and friend to Kesh and mum to Levi (9) Aria (8) and Micah (6). I
grew up as an MKMK – the double whammy of missionary’s kid & minister’s kid!
Towards completing high school, I was still unsure what to do so I took a ‘gap year’ at
Faith Bible College in Tauranga, an inter-denominational live in college that comprised of
classes, studies and then practical ministry mostly at youth events and church services
in the surrounding areas. This was a wonderful experience away from home, and began
my love of bible study and ministry. I then continued some study at Elim Church Bible
Training Centre in Dunedin for another year leading to several years of mostly youth and
music ministry in local churches.
I ended up in Christchurch and was encouraged by some friends of my parents to study
at Laidlaw College. During my 3 year degree at Laidlaw, I met Kesh, who is a high
school teacher. He is Sri Lankan by birth, but moved with his family to New Zealand
as a 12 year old, when his dad took up a ministry position in an International Church
Fellowship in Wellington.
After we were married (Jan 2008) we moved to Geraldine South Canterbury, where I
needed practical hours in a local church to complete my studies. We had heard that St.
Andrew’s Presbyterian may be a possibility. Although very different to the Pentecostal
Apostolic church (now Acts church) that I had grown up in, we sensed God leading us to
commit to St Andrew’s. Little did we know that this would lead to 9 year’s involvement in
both the church and local community, during which God would ignite within me a love and
passion for the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand!
During our time in Geraldine we had our 3 children which helped to imbed us further into
life with other families. I mostly served in worship ministry, with both Kesh and I leading
the Global Mission team for a time. I co-led a weekly women’s group and then was asked
to serve as an Elder. Although surprised to be asked, I found this a very enriching time
of learning in Christian leadership. At the same time my love for worship, preaching and
general church community continued to grow.
It was at General Assembly 2014 (of all places!) where I went as our church
commissioner. During a worship time, as I heard people all around me sing, I sensed the
Lord in one of the strongest ways I’ve ever experienced; call me to commit to serve in the
Presbyterian Church of New Zealand. It was very clear it was to be to this national church
family and in this country. Both of which I had previously wrestled with considering my
background in a global missions family and a very different church context.
My internship through KCML has been extremely valuable in fleshing out this ‘call’. My
mentoring ministers, supervisor and lecturers have all been very patient and encouraging,
as I have journeyed with God on a path that has led me here, to Hope Presbyterian
My family and I are very excited for the future as we seek to follow our God’s leading.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own
understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Yours in the love of Christ,
This story is about how God has been working in my life since the beginning of the year, bringing a real shift in my relationship with Him.
It goes back to February this year. I was reading Matthew 24 and started wondering “Am I a sheep or a goat?, Am I feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty…?…Am I doing what God expects me to do?” And so I prayed about this.
Then I had a dream where a lady came to me and told me “Here is your answer, Galatians: 3.11-12”. I woke up and read those two verses, as well as the whole chapter 3 of Galatians, and it was really the answer I needed to hear, as it’s all about the work of the flesh versus the work of the Spirit. I want to show my gratitude
towards God by serving him. And I can worry that I’m not doing enough in regards to all he has done for me, not in order to earn salvation but out of gratitude for my salvation. But God has shown me that worrying about this is also the work of the flesh and not the work of the spirit. It’s a tricky trap but a trap all the same.
Then I went to the worship evening at Hope (Next step with the Holy Spirit). I did not know what to expect, but I was really open to whatever the Holy Spirit wanted to do in me. During the worship time, I went to the front for prayer and asked Steve Talbot to pray that I could be empowered by the Holy Spirit to be a better witness for God. Steve asked Maewyn to come and pray for me as well. I started praying, then Steve prayed, then it was Maewyn’s turn and she said something that really spoke deeply to my heart: “God wants me to tell you to relax in Him, to rejoice in Him and enjoy your relationship with Him. He wants you to know that He is using you, and you need to trust Him.”
When she was finished, we sat together and she told me that she had prepared many things to pray for me, but when her turn came, everything she had prepared went dry and she felt that God was telling her what to pray.
I believe it was really the Spirit talking to my heart, as I felt as if a big burden was lifted from my heart.
I think God continued the work He started in me with my dream, telling me to stop fretting about what I do for Him and start enjoying Him, enjoying my relationship with Him. And the closer I’ll be to Him, the more I will bring Him with me in every situation I meet and the more He will minister through me.
Member at Hope Presbyterian – Hornby