Friday, July 27, 2012


A primate and a bird?

When you look at this picture it's hard to imagine such disparate creatures so at ease with each other! Well, it seems so anyway. Did that bird actually enjoy its wings stroked? Or did it fly off almost immediately? And that wistful look on the cute baby monkey's face. Maybe it had lost its mother and was lonely and needed what we call "creature comfort". Who knows? Because strange things like this often occur in nature. I saw a television documentary on this unusual friendship pairing. This time it was that of an elephant and a dog. And I'm sure you've also seen creatures of one kind nurturing newborns from another species.

I guess I could stretch the point and say that humans do this to a lesser degree. Sometimes we see a couple and think "How can such opposites be attracted to each other?" That often remains a mystery to many of us. When two absolutely differing personalities connect in a true and loving relationship. And yet they delight in their differences. Yes, maybe like all of us they need to work through their differences, but this they do willingly.

I well remember Bill and Jane - (not their real names).  Jane was an accomplished pianist who taught music. Bill was a sailor who couldn't hold a tune. Many of their Christian friends counselled them that it just wouldn't work. "Too many differences" they pontificated. But this couple had prayed about it and felt the Lord had given them a real peace to go forward with their marriage.

Fifty-five years later, having been blessed with children and grandchildren, they thank God for those very differences that somehow drew them together. I wonder how many examples of this you have heard of and seen?

Saturday, July 21, 2012


It's my privilege to share the story of a generous couple who the Lord has used and is using to give of themselves is so many ways to bless the lives of countless folk. They greatly encouraged us in the early years of our ministry.

Meryl worked as a legal secretary and at age 21, she married David Dawson, who worked in the building industry in his own small business. Brought up in Christian families, in their teenage years, they made a personal commitment of faith in Jesus Christ, individually making Jesus Lord of their lives. Both decided they wanted to use their lives to serve God, wherever He might take them.

After one year of marriage, they found themselves living and working at the Umeewarra Aboriginal Mission at Port Augusta in South Australia.  It was there they helped take care of many Aboriginal children, some of whom they still maintain contact today some 46 years on. While at Port Augusta, they helped build the local Aboriginal Church in the town, and in June 2012 they travelled back for the 41st anniversary service, at which David was the speaker.  He preached under the watchful eye of two of Rita Galieh’s wonderful chalk drawings that hang proudly on the Church wall! (PTL, I didn't know that!)

Following 2 years working with the Aboriginal folk, David and Meryl went on to commence the ministry of Mobile Mission Maintenance.  David provided leadership with MMM for almost 30 years and saw that Ministry develop across the world.

Meryl and David have 2 sons and 1 daughter and have just welcomed grandchild number 12 into their family.
When their youngest son Timothy was 3 years old, Meryl commenced a Playgroup at her Church in Warrandyte, Victoria.  She still helps to run Playgroup and Tim’s 4 children now attend, along with 100 other children each week.  Playgroup now operates 5 days a week under the leadership of her daughter.

David has served for the past 10 years as a Director of Samaritan’s Purse Australia and also the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.  Being involved with these ministries has taken Meryl and David to a number of countries. They have overseen the funding of a number of schools in Cambodia for example, and currently have a particular interest in helping abandoned, disabled orphans in China.
Both Meryl and David have experienced serious health issues. Meryl was paralyzed and near death after a brain haemorrhage a few years ago.   She is now able to walk and is physically in good health after God’s healing. Meryl and David have a vital interest in their local Church, and are keen about mentoring and encouraging other people.  With a dozen grandchildren and many interests both in Australia and oversees, it is unlikely they will RUST OUT!!

* Thanks Meryl.  Distance has prevented us from seeing each other, so it's been nice to catch up via email.