Pastor giving away NZ million dollar home to lucky buyer of $25 set of photos

Cambridge, New Zealand, Jan. 10 /Photography News/ Murray and Michelle Smith of Cambridge, New Zealand, are giving away their beautiful million dollar home overlooking Lake Karapiro, and donating the proceeds to build a new church and community centre for their town.
For $25, people can be in with a chance to win the five‐bedroom house with lake views, incorporating two self‐contained guest units. All those who enter get a series of stunning, iconic New Zealand photographs – all taken within a five minute drive of the Smith’s Lake Karapiro home.
People can enter to win at Anyone eligible to own property in New Zealand – both Kiwis and foreigners – is eligible to enter the sales promotion.
Murray Smith, pastor of Bridges Church in Cambridge, says his family decided to give away their home out of a personal conviction to live simpler lives.
“Having traveled overseas to places such as Africa, South America, Asia and the Pacific Islands, we’ve seen people who live in such poverty they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
“Many people don’t realise that because of the way the world’s assets are distributed that if you just own a car it places you in the top 5% of wealth owners worldwide. And, how many of us have many more assets than just our car?
“My wife Michelle and I made the decision to give away our biggest asset and scale down our life. We want to use our time and remaining assets to help other people here in our community.
“Although we don’t expect everyone who hears about us to act as radically as we have, we wonder if our actions may challenge others. It’s so easy to be enslaved to ‘stuff’ and the issue is, do we hold things, or do things hold us?,” explains Murray.
Murray and Michelle say Synergy (Cambridge) Trust, which is the umbrella under which Bridges Church operates, has agreed to help with alternative accommodation for their family by way of assisting with rent for a period of time following the sales promotion. The Smiths plan to vacate their home in December.
Proceeds from the ‘Piece of New Zealand’ million dollar sales promotion will go toward building a new church and community centre for the town of Cambridge, New Zealand. The state‐of‐the‐art building will have stage and technical facilities required to hold dramatic, musical and school productions.
In addition to being the new home for Bridges Church, the building will also be the hub for community programmes designed for children, youth and other sectors of the Cambridge community.
Murray and his wife, Michelle, say they wanted to ensure people understood they were not giving away their home because they had money to spare.
“Some skeptics may be thinking there is a catch to what we are doing or that we must have a lot of money saved up and we can easily afford to do this.
“We definitely haven’t made this decision because we have lots of money to spare. And, it certainly hasn’t been a decision that’s come easily. The fact is we endeavour to be very careful since I’m on a salary which is quite average by New Zealand standards and Michelle home‐schools our children, whilst doing part time business administration work from home.
“But, the whole point of us making this decision comes out of our awareness that you don’t need a lot of ‘stuff’ and our desire to use our assets to make a difference for others. It’s important to our family that we get to the end of our lives on earth and know that we’ve done something significant that made other peoples’ lives better,” says Murray.
The ‘Piece of New Zealand’ million dollar sales promotion is on now and closes on 31 January 2010 at 5pm and the winner will be announced shortly following that date. Entrants can view terms and conditions at the promotion website, .
The winner will be announced during the month of February. The announcement date will be confirmed in December.
The Smith’s goal is for a minimum of 50,000 people to enter the contest, which will allow them to cover costs of the campaign and donate the full market value of the home to build the church and community centre.

Diana Topan

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