1963-1964 / NZBTI Diploma (Henderson Campus)
My memories of my days at BTI are:
Feijoas by the box full delivered to the women's commonroom.
Playing tennis with Les Rushbrook and Rev. John Pritchard during lunch breaks. I think they found playing tennis with the men a bit too energetic and exhausting! They could sometimes win playing against women!
Being the contralto voice in the B.T.I. Trio for 1964, with Nancy Watt, and Gwenda Beck, and being coached by Jean Jaggers, the Matron, in her beautifully furnished and tidy upstairs flat.
Being involved with the team (ex-Henderson Friday
open-air evangelism group) that ministered during Sunday night services at different churches all over Auckland in 1964.
Typing assignments on my 'script font' portable typewriter, given to me by my parents in the days before computers. What hard work!
Driving on my scooter from Henderson to the Baptist Church at Blockhouse Bay to attend our Sunday School assignment with Dawn Henderson as pillion rider, complete with suitcase strapped to the carrier containing our hats!
My Diploma course gave me the necessary prophetic and scriptural knowledge to continue teaching Bible studies for the rest of my life, via Sunday School classes, youth groups, young adults married groups and women's groups at the various churches I attended - Auckland Baptist Tabernacle and Nelson Baptist, as well as serving as Elder at Blenheim Baptist and Rangiora Baptist, with opportunities for lay preaching. Having retired to Picton in 2011 we now attend Holy Trinity Anglican, where Marie-Jeanette van der Wal is the vicar.
Following BTI, in 1965 I became a Social Work trainee with the Child Welfare Division of the Education Department, Auckland, via a two-year practical/study course. I initially worked in the Auckland 'adoption room' during the adoption peak in the 1960s, and later as a Social Worker doing generic fieldwork in the Henderson area where adoptions were endemic. I was then invited to work for the Salvation Army at their Bethany Hospital in Dryden Street, Grey Lynn, with Major Thelma Smith, as Social Worker/Secretary, arranging open adoptions until I married Neil Rattray in Nelson. We we raised three children in Nelson and Blenheim. When the Adult Adoption Information Act was passed in 1985 I was called back to work for the specially set-up Adoption Information and Services Unit as an Independent Counsellor working from home via a Ministerial Appointment for the Department of Social Welfare. This further seven-year period started in Blenheim and continued in the Christchurch Papanui office until 2000.
My lifetime interest in Biblical prophecy was renewed following the attack on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001. After 12 years of comprehensive biblical, prophetic, and historical research I concluded that Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 were closely linked, and that those two apocalyptic chapters revealed not just the history of the Gentile empires described as 'beasts', but also their future roles in the end time. These conclusions caused me to write several books on Biblical prophecy that meshed history and current affairs into a cohesive and likely denouement for prophesied events. In 2014, I donated two of my books to the Deane Memorial Library (via then National Principal of Laidlaw College, Dr Rod Thompson); the main book being: The Beast and the False Prophet - The Revival of Radical Islam, plus the foundation book for my studies called Daniel's Prophecy of 70 Weeks and the Covenant. This book refutes the dispensational interpretation of Daniel 9. In 2017, my main book re-titled: The Beast and Babylon - The Revival of Radical Islam was published in America via WestBow Press under my pseudonym J.B. Whitelaw-Stevens. I'm currently undertaking a review of two of my smaller booklets called The Curse and the Covenant and The Little Horn of Daniel's 4th Empire, prior to arranging a reprint. My New Zealand published books are all registered with the National Library of New Zealand.
I am grateful for having the Word of God and the freedom to study it, for it holds the key to life eternal and future events on earth.