God Had Other Ideas!

I was on leave from Telstra spending time on a ‘working party’ trip with 15 others at HCJB Global’s property in Kununurra, WA. A three-week break from work doing something different, and then back to work. That was my plan, but God had other ideas.

Peter in KununurraIt was while standing on a ladder painting a ceiling that God spoke to me. I didn’t actually hear a voice, but he did put a thought into my sub-conscious – “What would it be like to give up my current job and work for HCJB instead?” As I kept painting I allowed my thoughts to run. The more I thought about it, the more feasible it became, and then a conversation later that day with HCJB’s director confirmed there was a role for me if I applied.

Up to this point I had always relied heavily on the security of my job and a good salary; my superannuation was in place and I intended to retire at 60. Giving up a paid job to become an unpaid ‘supported’ missionary with HCJB just didn’t fit my planned future. So God had some work to do. First he had to remove my dependency on ‘things’ and transfer that dependency onto him. He would need to help me believe that I could trust him.

On the way back to Melbourne I made a deal with God – “I’ll give you three months to confirm to me that this idea is what you want me to do.” Again, God knew me better than I did. In three months I would have forgotten about the experience, so within two days of returning home he convinced me. I arrived home on a Saturday. My devotion on the Sunday was Matt. 6:25, “… do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.” My wife Margaret’s devotion that day was also significant. I went to church and the hymns and sermon were directed to me! I had asked for confirmation, and now I had it, as clear as a flashing neon sign. My application to join HCJB was accepted, and handing in my resignation after 36 year’s with Telstra was easy.

HCJB Global is an evangelical Christian organisation that shares the gospel through shortwave radio and health care. HCJB began broadcasting in Ecuador in 1931. It now has two hospitals in Ecuador plus offices around the world. HCJB Australia has studios in Melbourne and broadcasts 15hrs/day from its shortwave transmitter site at Kununurra.

Looking back now, after 10 years with HCJB, I can say that God’s promise to me through the verses in Matthew 6 is true. He has taken care of us and provided for our every need. I was 52 when I got my “second wind”. Has it been worth it? Has it challenged me? Have I learnt new things? Yes to all of these.

Going into mission later in life had distinct advantages. Our children were grown up and independent and this gave us freedom to try something new and perhaps risky. Previous work experience and skills became invaluable in my new job, and our life experiences gave us maturity and wisdom to cope with the challenges.

Don’t ignore the gentle whisper when God seeks to get your attention. You may miss an opportunity to be involved in sharing the gospel with those who may never hear. You may also miss the rich experiences and blessings God has for you along the way.