1987-1989 / Bachelor of Theology (Henderson Campus)
I left my job in Christchurch and moved to Henderson with my family for three years starting in 1987. I thought it was my last chance at tertiary education. I knew the sacrifice that Audrey and the kids were making, so I had to make the most of it.
The college was crowded, and we had to live off-site, so we missed out on a lot of the social and supportive parts of college life. That may have been a shame, but it made us stronger as a family.
I learnt how to write essays, question lecturers, and read the scriptures with inquiry and understanding, and not to just look for memorable sound bites.
In the process God and I discovered each other afresh. I was going to add that I learnt to read Greek, but in fact I learnt how to pass Greek translation exams.
I hated the demeaning duties that we were sometimes asked to perform and got the job of running the on-campus bookshop instead. Brett Hall, a student two years ahead of me, asked for help writing software for a client in Auckland. I gave up my evening dish washing job in Henderson, taught myself to program, and took on this work as an evening job, working from home. The bookshop and the computer work were to have a profound impact on my future.
In my autobiography I wrote: "Through the words of the scriptures, I meet the Word of God. In them I find challenge and comfort and peace. I spent three years in intensive study of those words and have not regretted the effort for a moment."
After study, we did not go to the Solomons! I joined my church's pastoral staff for a year, and then became a lecturer in computer related subjects at Christchurch Polytechnic. By the mid-1990s I was Head of Computing.
At the same time, my small computer business was growing. I went full-time with the business at the end of the decade, by which time we were writing and supplying software for managing most of the Christian bookshops in New Zealand. This has since expanded to include Christian book retailers and wholesalers in Australia, Papua New Guinea and the UK. We now supply our software to a number of industry sectors around the world. But supporting the distribution of Christian literature has become my mission.
I still work part-time and enjoy my family. I have just published my first book, my autobiography called “Wild Odyssey”.
I am grateful to God for life in all it flavours and the challenges He has presented me with.