A Heart for God’s Mission

I want to respond briefly to Daryl’s persistent emails for “insight into the heart, passion and spirit of one JV!”

I came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour in 1961 at a Christian Endeavour camp at Bundeena in the Royal National Park. Just months before I had been captivated by the radiance and passion of Gladys Aylwood, a missionary to China.[1] The speaker at the Easter Camp was Godfrey Theobald of Gospel Fishermen Mission on Port Stephens He was a man with a passion and purpose of sharing Christ’s message of salvation.

Over the next 2-3 years the heart for lost people to come to know Christ grew in my own life through the bold witness of local Christians who I looked up to and associated with. Together we actively supported any evangelistic endeavour – local Gospel Rallies, street witnessing of different kinds – tract distribution, conversational evangelism in coffee shops late into Saturday nights etc.

This desire to serve God was in my heart from the early days of being saved. The desire continued to develop through different experiences; reading and memorising the Bible fed this vision. At a night of prayer, God placed a deep concern on my heart for those without Christ throughout the Illawarra. While training at New Tribes Mission, the monthly day of prayer for the nations served to make me aware of a ‘lost world’ beyond our shores.

After marriage my wife and I were introduced to cross cultural ministry while serving in India with a fruitful indigenous church planting ministry. We were blessed and had our values challenged by people living out a kingdom vision. Upon returning home we felt to reach out to people living in a housing department area. We were challenged to share the gospel of Jesus Christ at home, and abroad, confident that God would honour his Word as we reached out with his love.

[1]     “The Small Woman” by Alan Burgess