9 May 1959.
That night was the turning point of my life. Completely. I committed my life into the hands of Jesus. Suddenly everything changed.
I was a deeply committed Anglican faithfully attending church each Sunday both morning and evening and as an altar server on Wednesday mornings very early before school and later work.
But I had no need to be ‘saved’ as they put it. Pride ruled my young life. I was good enough. I was religious. But I was a hypocrite.
But I met these two East Africans visitors to Australia who were travelling around the country and speaking in churches of their amazing Lord and their personal saviour, the Lord Jesus. They also spoke of a great movement of the Holy Spirit in East Africa and the many sacrifices made unto death of many believers under severe persecution. I went and heard them.
As I listened, it seemed as if I was suddenly made aware of a totally different life and experience and world view available to me. This was something I had always wanted—expressed from my heart came a cry: I found myself praying something like ‘Lord I want to know you’.
I realised I was heading for an eternity without God. I felt naked and ashamed and totally vulnerable.
That night seated on a garden seat with the two Africans one on either side of me, I found myself wanting what these two men had. They possessed Christ and he possessed them. They prayed for me and I prayed as I had never prayed before.
And it happened. I was different. Things were different.
The next day while in the bathroom preparing to go to work the Holy Spirit came into my life and I knew that I knew the Lord Jesus in a personal way. I knew I had a clear access to the Lord—my faulty life my sins, were dissolved. It was dynamic.
It was a rebirth. I knew I was now ‘born from above’. I now had purpose in my life. And I just wanted to tell everybody.
I told the young friend seated next to me about Jesus as we travelled in the bus to the city. I told my workmates at the office. I told the kids in my Sunday School class. I told every girl I danced with at the regular dance in the parish hall. I told all the boys and leaders in the local boys’ society. I told my fellow architectural students. Yes I told them about Jesus and how he had found me
That year I excelled in my third year architectural studies and won the top prize. I went on to start my own practice as an architect which eventually grew into one of the largest practices in Australia. We were known locally as ‘the God squad’. We held Bible Studies in the lunch hour in our office and were joined by many people from outside the office.
Since that night 60 years ago, God has been faithful to me and endued me with his everlasting love. He has kept me from harm and taught me so many things.
Reading the Bible is still my constant desire and to this day my hunger to hear the Lord’s voice continues. And to share with others.
Tonight I am celebrating and remembering with a thankful heart.