A Rocha Kiwis: Anna Baird
Continuing our A Rocha Kiwi series – #ARochaKiwis – featuring people of ARANZ across the country, we have Anna Baird, who has been involved with A Rocha since it’s early days in Aotearoa NZ.
Introduce yourself, what you do with A Rocha and how you started getting involved?
My name is Anna Baird. I’m married to Lynton Baird and we are raising 3 wonderful girls in our hometown Masterton. We got involved with A Rocha in 2008 when Lynton was asked to present a workshop about A Rocha at a Christians in Science conference at Victoria University. A few weeks after our honeymoon we headed up to the first ARANZ hui in Raglan where Peter Harris was the keynote speaker. He completely convinced us of how central Creation care is to faith and we’ve been hooked ever since! Lynton and I led the A Rocha Wellington group for a few years and now I am leading the eco-church team at our church.
When and why did you become interested in conservation / caring for creation?
I grew up hiking in the Tararuas and swimming at Castlepoint and I’ve always had a deep love for Creation so I can’t really pinpoint when that started. My deepest happy place is at the top of a mountain. But getting involved with A Rocha definitely increased my interest, knowledge and opportunities to get involved.
How does your faith impact your work?
I love that God is interested in restoring all things, and that he’s making all things new. And it blows me away that he chooses us to be his co-workers. We help run a community garden on our street and I love the simple way that growing our own food connects us to the Creator as he generously provides for us and as we are able to give vegetables to others. I find that living a life of discipleship is lived out in the little things – like the kind of coffee you buy and riding a bike instead of taking the car and getting involved in restoration projects. Micah 6:8 sums it up for me: What does the Lord require of us? To act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.
Tell us about one of your favourite A Rocha memories.
In 2010, Lynton and I had an incredible year volunteering for A Rocha Canada and then A Rocha Kenya. One of the most memorable times was walking on the beach in the dark during a late night birding experience on the Kenyan coast and being warned to watch out for hippos that had just been spotted. I couldn’t believe the lengths people go to count birds as you’re risking your life if you bump into a hippo in the dark!