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Our Stories

What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

Rob Lovatt

I was invited to go fishing…

After 10 years of marriage, and trying fervently for most of those years to conceive, my wife Leanne and I still did not have the children we desperately desired. Our efforts included seeking the best medical advice and treatment, several IVF programs, and a great deal of money. Finally we made the difficult decision to let go of our deep desire to have children, and to embark on a different life.

Leanne and I both grew up in Mt Albert, in close Christian families. Our siblings, also living in Mt Albert, were now married and having children of their own. We, however, felt strongly that we should move to Vanuatu to live and work. This was a huge step for us. We had been in Vanuatu nearly two years when a close friend, Wilson, invited me to go fishing near his village. While out in his canoe he told me that his wife Leitata was pregnant with their fourth child, and they had decided that they wanted to give us this child. After the initial shock and feeling overwhelmed, our excitement grew while still in awe at this amazing gift that we were being offered.

However, just after returning to New Zealand for a break we received the very sad news that Leitata had miscarried. This was a tragic loss to Wilson and Leitata, as well as Leanne and myself.

It was a difficult journey to travel, but we were consoled by the amazing act of love and kindness we had experienced from our Ni-Vanuatu friends.

In God’s miraculous way though, He did end up giving us a beautiful child soon after through adoption here in New Zealand. But that is another story! In fact, God has since blessed us with not one, but three wonderful sons, and three miraculous stories! 

Rob Lovatt is on the pastoral team at MAB, as part-time International Pastor. He also serves as the Director for Wycliffe Bible Translators NZ. He is married to Leanne, and they have three sons, Josh, Simon and Mark. They returned to Auckland in June 2016 after serving overseas for 30 years; the last 15 in the Philippines.