Faithful Models to Follow Like Libby Help Pass the Torch to The Next Generation
Libby Hinton arrived in New Zealand from the UK in the late 1970s to support women in Wellington, particularly at Victoria University. Her motivation stemmed from God’s promise to “make streams in the wasteland” and to pass on her faith with future generations in mind.
Libby served as a mentor and spoke into the lives of numerous women and men throughout New Zealand. Her profound compassion, coupled with the ability to offer wisdom, gentleness, and challenge as needed, made a significant impact. A mentee shared, “Libby spent a significant portion of the conference with me, the reason for which I could not fathom, particularly given who she was and the depth of her character. I was a nobody, but she made me feel like I was somebody of value. Her care for me over that time had a deep impact and felt like an encounter with Jesus.”
In later years, Libby became a qualified spiritual director and courageously relocated to a new community on the opposite side of Wellington Harbour. Her desire to be close to nature, specifically the bush and sea, was a long-held dream. Additionally, she felt God leading her to be among people closer to her own age after dedicating her life to working with students and graduates.
Facing life struggles as a single woman, Libby extended herself by starting anew to connect meaningfully with those around her. Her strategy involved daily walks on the beach, trusting God to bring the right people into her life. Despite the challenge of building new connections at a stage where many people are settled, God provided, and Libby formed friendships, starting with a couple and their dog who warmly embraced her. Subsequently, she connected with others, including many single women.
Libby’s focus on generations became a reality as she witnessed the children of her spiritual daughters’ flourish and saw them embark on fruitful ministries in various contexts, impacting their own and the next generation. A spiritual granddaughter, who once assisted Libby with her computer, reflected, “Libby impacted me more than I realised as a teenager. She modelled how to be a Christian to me by her kindness, dependability and love for God’s word. She made me want to learn more about God – in a heart kind of way. I felt deeply loved and cared for by her.”
Libby’s openness about her faith struggles and wrestling with God created an atmosphere where others felt honoured and invited in. This transparency provided the courage to persevere in their own circumstances, hearing Jesus’ invitation to embrace His saving grace.