July 2011 – Replay

My challenge to create a monthly post highlights the swift passing of the weeks and days. However with the rushing of time at a forward pace, I am reminded that the newness of each day is supported like a massive root system with nutrients from the past that nourish our days

A whole lot of antecedents that make the lives of many of my readers what they are today, were replayed in a visit this month to a man who represents those who have paved the past, who inspire our present, and challenge our future. Last week I was honored to visit our oldest surviving Assemblies of God Minister. Pastor Doug Moody is 99 and will reach the zenith of 100 in February. He resides at what was our Assemblies of God retirement Home & Village in Graceville, Brisbane. Beth Eden is located  overlooking the Brisbane River, on picturesque grounds surrounded by tropical rain trees and gardens. A century old mansion is the centrepiece. Romantically it was from here that Betty left on her Wedding day for the Glad Tidings Tabernacle in Brisbane in 1964. She stood on these grand old steps in her bridal dress over 47 years ago when the photo below was taken.

Beth Eden was sold a few years ago and is now operated by the Brethren church community. With us on our visit, was Mrs. Edith Averill who is one of the most well known and honored lady pioneers of our church movement. The late Pastor Averill dedicated  the Nursing Home extensions of Beth Eden on the 16 February 1980.

How will I describe Pastor Moody? Betty called him a spiffy gentleman and indeed he is. He always had a heart towards God, and as a teen, with a touch of defiance towards his Catholic Dad, he crept into a Pentecostal service in Townsville and received the Lord Jesus as his Saviour. The Pentecostal message with the hallmarks of tongues and physical healing led to small revival fires breaking out throughout Queensland in the late 1920s and there was soon  a scattering of Pentecostal groups from Thursday Island, down the coast and into country Queensland. They affiliated under the name  Assemblies of God in 1927. Pastor Moody had the care of several of these groups in his lifetime. He mentioned Halifax, Cairns and Atherton and more. He spoke of his contemporaries in ministry –  Willy and Charles Enticknap, Mrs. Dennis (who by the way was a divorced single lady!)  Pastors Irish and Barnes, Sam Dales.  Most of these groups were under 50 in attendance. Toowoomba was probably the biggest assembly of 200-300 worshippers and the Glad Tidings Tabernacle in Brisbane was a close second. I am including photos of several of these small church groups from the 1930’s for your interest. I would love to add more so send your pictures in and I will add them as a historical record. Mrs Averill was able to add her stories of the next wave of Christian workers to these little assemblies. Two things dominated our morning with these two Godly pioneers. Firstly the stories of the provision and faithfulness of God. Pastor Moody earned a few shillings here and there by cutting hair, and he was glowing with thanks for a bag of pumpkins given by a farmer. The second emphasis was the coming of the Lord. We saw his animation as he talked about the New Jerusalem! We also noted the sacrificial giving of both pulpit and pew.  How those people sowed into the church! Church buildings were purchased and our fellowship owned camp sites in Deeral, Hervey Bay, Yukanavale, and Burleigh Heads. As I listened to these dear pioneers talk of their experiences I couldn’t help but feel the church of today is built on the “back” of the sacrifices and dedication of the likes of these committed people. The early pentecostal Christians were, in my opinion, a profoundly committed and Godly generation,  who gave sacrificially so that the modern generations of believers can have a platform to reach Australia for Christ. Their attitude was that they don’t need or want any recognition “down here” because their reward is in Heaven. May God help us to use wisely the legacy they have left us.

During the month of July it was wonderful to catch up again with some long term friends and pioneers of the Church.es 2011" src="http://www.fredandbettyevans.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Old-Missionaries-2011-300x172.jpg" alt="" width="304" height="195" /> Missionary collegues from the 60s & 70s who served with us in Papua New Guinea. On a beautiful Queensland winters afternoon we met at the retirement home of Roy & Dawn Short at Rothwell. After a good chat we all went to the Redcliffe Airstrip to take a demonstration flight on a new single engine turbo charged GA8 Airvan which was built in Australia for the Missionary Aviation Fellowship. MAF were showcasing their new aircraft around the country and invited us to see it. ..

Flying in a single engined aircraft  brought back many exciting memories of the countless times we had flown in similar aircraft during our years of service over the jungles of Papua New Guinea. There were many stories to tell, like the time I was flying back to Wewak from the Highlands when the  Pilot became violently sick and disorientated. He  was vomiting his heart out. I wondered what I would do if somehow he didn’t recover? There was only the two of us, (and the Holy Spirit) in the cabin! Thank God he did recover, after about 10 mins of flying on automatic pilot!  In 1967 MAF  assisted us in flying missionary teams up and down the Sepik river in a major evangelistic drive coded “Operation CAPS.” (Commando Air Patrol Sepik) Scores of villages were reached with the Gospel and hundreds accepted Christ as their Saviour. If it wasn’t for the Missionary Aviation Fellowship we could never have reached them in the time we did. Today there are Christian Villages up and down the Sepik river as a result of these endeavours together with the MAF.

Before I sign off on this months post there are two exciting things I need to tell you. Guess what? My children “passed the hat around” and bought me an Apple Mac Computer for a belated Birthday & Fathers Day gift.

They must have figured I was having trouble with my slow old ‘hand me down’ PC, so they bought me a state of the art  Mac.  Borrowing a phrase from the now generation, “I am stoked!” I am looking forward to exploring its potential to make movies from the scores of old historic videos I have sitting on my shelf. “Cant wait” as they say!

The other thing I ought to mention is that Betty finally completed sewing a classical heritage style wedding dress for Rachee, our future daughter in law in America. I can tell you it had 43 buttons down the back. I am forbidden to describe it any further,  not that I could. Anyhow, you will see a picture of it come wedding day 20 August 2011. It was duly posted and arrived safely in America and astonishingly “fits perfectly” says Rachee.

So thats it for this month. I have a lot of work to do learning to operate this Mac. May God bless you.

Here is a Word of Encouragement for the coming months, Click on it, it’s yours : Isaiah 45:2-3

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