January/February 2012 – Remembering the Good Times!

A trip to Adelaide always conjures up nostalgia and the deep feelings of going home.  Our trip this month was no different.
The home feeling is the result of the long history that my family has with Adelaide and the surrounding areas.
It was in 1840 that my maternal ancestors Thomas Martin & Mary Evans arrived in Holdfast Bay, Port Adelaide as “free settlers” from Great Britain.
They embarked on the 29th May 1840 from Plymouth UK, on the three mastered Barque Lysander with 220 passengers on board and arrived in South Australia over three months later on September 6th 1840.

They were farmers and hoteliers who purchased land and built the Pier Hotel called “Uncle Toms Cabin” at Port Willunga.

My mother’s maternal ancestors were industrious people and accumulated considerable wealth which enabled some of them to run small businesses and farms.

They are buried in the Willunga Cemetery south of Adelaide. My Grandfather owned a Grocery business in the South Australian country town of Manoora where my mother was born.

Later he sold his business and moved to Adelaide and became the proprietor of a Store adjacent to his house at 53 Blyth St Parkside, near where where I was born.

My Grandfather was a fervent christian and was the organist at the Victor Harbor Congregational Church & the Unley Park Baptist Church for many years.

He laid down a christian foundation for his family that my mother in particular, followed all her life.

She became the first pentecostal Australian woman to be ordained as a missionary to India.

Having these roots it is no wonder that Adelaide holds a special place in my heart.

It was to Adelaide that my parents returned for their missionary furloughs from India. It was on their second furlough that I was born in 1939.

After spending nine years in India I returned to Adelaide in 1948.

I must have been quite out of fashion as I remember well my nickname bloomers when I went to an Australian school for the first time at Challa Gardens Primary.

In 1976 I returned to Adelaide with a wife and 3 children after 15 years missionary service in PNG.

It was in Adelaide that our youngest son Philip was born in 1980.  

We moved to Brisbane in 1986 to take up the pastorate of Zillmere Assembly of God and have been in Queensland ever since.

But those going home feelings still stir, and the connections with friends and family are priceless.

On this trip we attended the wedding of my nephew’s son, Mark Evans and his gorgeous wife Lauren. Significantly Mark is a 4th generation Evans to enter the full time ministry.

To remember Lorraine’s passing 12 months ago, Betty and I attended a private vigil with Andrew at Lorraine’s graveside to give thanks for her life. It was a time of quite reflection and prayer.

As I stood at her grave I shed a tear or two as I remembered this remarkable woman who served the Lord so selflessly and who I had the privilege of knowing as my sister in law.

One of the highlights of our holiday in Adelaide was to be part of the Paradise Seniors Special event “Back to Klemzig.”

The resounding joyous voices of over 200 “old timers” rang to the rafters under the Cliff Barrows style of conductor.

Each voice was heard and blended in the age old anthem “How Great Thou Art.”

The singing of the hymn “How Great Thou Art” by those in attendance was incredible.

Though styles of music have changed over recent years, the memory of the good times were recalled as a video was played of that era which was broadcast on national television in 1982.

Over 215 old timers and some of the youth of the 1970s & 80s came for the occasion, which turned out to be a thanksgiving service of what God had done.

It was such a joy to meet up with former Staff, Board members, Colleagues & friends who had served the Klemzig Church all those years ago.

My favourite Gospel crooner was there too and sang a bracket of songs.

Here is a favourite song of mine that Winston Kay sang a few years ago when we were still pastoring in Paradise. Ironically its called “Plenty of Time” which of course belies the fact that most of my age are on “bonus” time. ha ha!

It was such a surprise & joy to meet up again with Pastor John & Beryl Jobe of Hervey Bay. Qld.

They happened to be on a round Australia trip in their caravan and had reached Adelaide in time for the reunion.

It was Pastor Jobe that had the foresight and vision to move the Church out of the City and into the suburbs of Adelaide where the people lived and built the Klemzig Church in 1963.

At 83 years of age he spoke enthusiastically to those who had invested their life and resources into the church, concluding with some words of wisdom for future generations.

Later we spent a day together at Victor Harbor over lunch recounting the good years.

I have lasting friendships in Adelaide from my School years, Sunday school, Youth group which was called CAs “Christ Ambassadors” and the Church.

I had lunch with my good friend Norm Millburn who influenced me for Christ during my crucial teenage years.

We had the privilege of meeting up with many of these old friends & renewing friendships.

All in all, yes, we loved our visit to Adelaide.

Holidays over, and it was back to Brisbane to watch our grandchildren heading back to school.

Give a thought for our daughter Mary and her husband Dan as they equip their brood of children for school. – 10 new pairs of shoes, 5 complete sets of new uniforms, and 3 new iPad’s just for starters. (I wish I had one!)

The 5 children are very happy in Northside Christian School this year.

For those who have been praying for my grand daughter and I, we have made a connection – Thank you for praying!

We look forward to the arrival of a new assistant pastor to our Albany Hills Christian Church.

Pastor Mark Elmendorp needs him as the church is packed to the door.

If you happen to visit Coloundra, drop in and worship with Ted and Kylie at Acts International Church.

You’ll enjoy the service! If you would like to purchase his latest Worship CD go to www.tedevansministries.com

If you are in Orlando Florida USA visit David and Rachel. They would love to hear another Australian voice I’m sure!

Phil and Emma are doing well and enjoying their newly purchased apartment near the Brisbane CBD. Phil is a graphic designer and is proving to be a great asset to the company he works with.

In conclusion I must not pass up the opportunity to congratulate the oldest living Assembly of God Pastor in Australia. During the month of February Ps Doug Moody of Queensland reached his Centenary.

Below is the edited version of Ps Moody’s speech including the sing a long he so much enjoyed at the end.

Family and friends gathered at his Beth Eden home to celebrate the birthday of this most remarkable servant of the Lord.

Ps Doug was Ordained in 1938, the year before I was born!

We honour him, as did the Queen, The Prime Minister, The State Premier and the Ps Alcorn, the President of the Assemblies of God (Australian Christian Churches.)

Thats it for February! Don’t forget to keep sweet and enjoy life. If you are an older person think about adopting the “Old Dog Theory!”

“Whats that?” you ask?

Slow Down!

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