You may be wondering what has happened to us! As you know I (David) had 6 months off work to be fully involved in the National Day of Prayer and Fasting and the Canberra Declaration The original plan was for me to return to work on 2nd April.
As the six months went by, Marilyn also became more involved because she was getting less relief teaching, and it became evident that this was really what was on our hearts to be involved in at this stage of our lives. On 12th March after many indications that this was the new direction God wanted for us, we made the decision that we should continue full-time in doing this work. This would be a big step for us. To do it in Papua New Guinea is one thing; to do it in Australia is another! So the question was when would I resign? Immediately, in 3 months time or when I turned 60 in November were possibilities.
Well the week before Easter on our church family camp, against Marilyn’s advice and my own caution, I ran in a foot race for over 40’s saying I would go easy. But in the competitive moment I tried to put on an extra sprint, and immediately felt a ‘ping’ in my right thigh. I had torn a hamstring and had to humbly hobble from the field not finishing the race! The doctor gave me a week off work. In that week we realized this was probably the answer to our question of timing. Although, after an ultrasound and another doctor’s visit, I was given an all clear to work, I rang my supervisor to tell him I would be resigning. This was graciously accepted with understanding of my convictions.
Even though I will be 8-4 pm in the office and 4-5 prayer walking, Marilyn will be part-time so as to continue doing the other things she loves like walking, mainly music, Biblical teaching and of course plenty of time for the grandkids.
For the last 2 months we have been ‘working’ (yes it is now work for us!) in our downstairs office through our computers (we had to buy a new laptop when the little notebook we had bought for travelling died). And we are thoroughly enjoying it. Early in the year I had a trip to South Korea to attend a conference on one of their prayer mountains. I have also had recent trips to Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.
The two organizations we work for come under the umbrella of the Australian Christian Values Institute The 8-member team we are part of in organizing the National Day of Prayer and Fasting in Canberra and around Australia (on 2nd March in 2014) and the 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting through Lent, have discussed our situation and although they would like to pay us full-time, have dedicated a tenth of the budget to our expenses believing by faith that the budget of $120,000 will be raised. Our church met on 19th May and unanimously affirmed my call to this full-time work. They also decided on their level of financial assistance to us as missionaries of the church (also a faith budget). Already we have been humbled to receive gifts from a few friends towards our work and fares to various things. We are trusting God to supply our needs.
One of the factors in our decision to be full-time missionaries again was that our life here is limited and we want to use it to full potential. Although I enjoyed my job as a meter reader, I was terribly frustrated that I couldn’t do what was on my heart especially in the area of writing. In the last 4 months I have written several articles, tracts on pro-life issues and am writing a small book of devotionals for men based on Peter FitzSimmons book KOKODA.
At our family camp we were reminded that the Biblical lifespan is given as “2 score years and 10” (that is 70 years). That meant that I had 10 years of that left! Anything after that which God allows will be gladly received as a bonus!
Without a secure wage, a large superannuation, a house of our own etc, we realize that in the eyes of others this may all be considered foolishness but we have always taken a different approach in this by working in PNG most of our married life. We have never known want and have seen God provide lovely houses for us to live in. Over the years we somehow have had enough to ‘live and give’ (including 8 trips to Canada to see the Canadian side of the family). So this way of life is just a continuation of our missionary lifestyle. The set of Canada geese dishes on our dining room wall (and here shown in Killarney Lodge just after we purchased them) reminds us of the life God has given to us.