1961-1962 / NZBTI Diploma (Henderson Campus)
I arrived at the new campus in Henderson in January 1961. I was a 'greenhorn' in every sense of the word. The campus was new. The big city of Auckland was new and busy for a country boy from the South Island. I was born again in December 1960 and six weeks later a student at BTI.
Having recently been in the New Zealand Air Force, the strict routine at BTI was easy for me. Making lifelong friends is a privilege only a believer can fully appreciate. We loved Mr England and his wife. Along with 20 others she taught an English grammar class so that we could cope with New Testament Greek. She made it such a fun class which we always looked forward to. All the lecturers endeared themselves to us.
Missionaries sharing from all over the world was a highlight. Having to memorise hymns was a discipline I still cherish.
My two years at BTI were quite dramatic. The words expressed in the hymn, “Loved with everlasting love” capture my experience:
Heaven above is softer blue, Earth around is sweeter green; Something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen: Birds with gladder songs o’erflow, Flow’rs with deeper beauties shine, Since I know, as now I know, I am His, and He is mine.
A whole new world had opened to me. Christian fellowship was precious. The Word came alive. Prayer became meaningful.
After BTI I had a year in Turangi with the Presbyterian Māori Mission, mainly teaching Bible in Schools, prison chaplain to two low-security prison farms, visitation and taking care of a small church.
I went to Nigeria with SIM in 1964 where I met my wife, Ann. She was a missionary with another mission and was not born again when we met. Our two girls were born in Nigeria. Ten years later we joined Campus Crusade for Christ and served in Kenya, Swaziland (Eswatini), Zimbabwe, England, USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe and New Zealand.
Two years ago, we retired from full-time ministry with Campus Crusade for Christ. We live on the same property with our younger daughter and her family.
Proverbs 3:5-6 has been our experience - by trusting Him, He has led us. The words of this hymn are meaningful also:
All the way my Saviour leads me
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His faithful mercies?
Who through life has been my guide.
At 82 I am grateful to God for the gift of life, for the privilege of serving Him, for being able to still take ‘nourishment', being able to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel.