Friday, February 14, 2014


Ian McDowell was the principal of the Emmaus Bible College in Sydney some years ago. My husband and I attended during the twenty-three of their stay. Recently I asked Valerie McDowell to share their story.

"I first became aware of a certain young man at during my college days. He wore bright red socks and appeared to be an immature, undisciplined student who enjoyed miscievous pranks. Definitely not my type! 

The following year we both attended the same Maths lectures and he began phoning me. As I'd planned to attend a Christian camp over the break, I invited him. He surprised me when he agreed to take time off his work as an engineering cadet. When I met him at the train station I was appalled. He had a rifle slung over his shoulder and a pistol in his pocket! He was hoping to share his shooting skills there. 

Up to this time Ian had no respect for religion, however he enjoyed all the activities and the talks.  On the last Bible study session he was struck by he contrast between unbelievers and Christians. He said to me, "Your way is better because you always have joy in your heart. I have to keep creating pleasure through drinking, smoking and gambling."

Soon after having the Gospel explained to him, he knelt down and thanked Jesus for dying for his sins. From that moment his former desires left him and although known for his"filthy mouth", he never swore again for the rest of his life. God had truly transformed him.

Our friendship developed with the outcome of our marriage. Every morning and evening we read the Bible together and prayed for God's guidance in our lives together. This practice became the anchor for fifty-three years of our happy, fulfilling marriage."

As Valerie told me, theirs was " a marriage made in heaven" because there was no other way to describe such an "unlikely union".


Sara Goff said...

Rita, your story must bring you repeated joy and faith in your relationship, year after year. I can relate to it in many ways, particularly when I have to be patient and forgiving with my husband, and trust he will see my example. The uplifting part is that he always does and often has a Godly lesson for me!

Rita Galieh said...

Thanks for your lovely comment Sara.
Yes, marriage is a whole life of adjusting and forgiving and praying for our husbands.
It's too easy to slip into what our moods dictate at any given time. After 53 years, I'm still learning!