Farewell Brian and some other things
Rod and Chrsitene Oldfield recently returned from a well deserved holiday to China. On their return they were shocked to find out that Rod had developed whooping cough. Over the Easter period he was unable to take servivces as he was declared to be contagious by the doctor. Thankfully a friend of theirs, Peter Nunn was able to step in for Rod over this period. After several courses of antibiotics Rod is now back to full health and has been able to return to his duties on King Island - praise the Lord.
Grant and Kim Hay’s work at Point Pearce is going really well. They held a special Easter Service on Good Friday and saw over 40 people turn up for the service. Some of the guests had never been to a Church service before.
The children's ministry which Kim runs during the service has seen growth, now averaging around 8 or 9 children a fortnight. Grant continues to minister to the community 2-3 times a week through pastoral care visits, being there for the people in their times of need.
He is still visiting with prisoners in the Yatala and Port Augusta prisons, and is now receiving requests from Adelaide Remand Centre, Port Lincoln and also Cadell Prisons where some of Grant’s previous clients have been moved to.
On the 15th of May 2011 Revd. Canon Brian Roberts and his wife Denyse were farewelled by BCA supporters, staff and Bishops after having served with BCA for 28 years.
The Rt. Revd. David Mulready was the first to speak and spoke of Brian as ‘a faithful Bible teacher who had a heart for making the gospel known across Australia.’ The Bishop continued to speak about the time that he had known and worked with Brian and BCA over the last 7 ½ years. He talked about what had happened with his position as Bishop of the North West and how he saw Brian as ‘both a colleague and a friend’ and thanked him for his long and faithful ministry and for keeping the Bible as the only authority.
The Bishop concluded his speech by quoting a verse from First Corinthians – ‘Stand firm, let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain’ (1 Cor. 15:58).
After Bishop Mulready concluded the Venerable Dr. Royce Thompson made a speech in place of the Rt. Revd. Stuart Robinson, the Bishop of the Canberra/ Goulburn Diocese. He read a comment made by the Bishop which said that he was glad that Brian and Denyse were moving to Bungendore, claiming that ‘BCA’s loss is our gain’.
Chris Baxter, the NSW/ ACT Regional Officer then called Revd. Chris Clerke who previously worked as a Field Staff person for BCA to speak. Chris spoke about how Brian led the Council to determine a statement of Intent and Purpose many years ago – this statement still stands. ‘Brian was always encouraging and led people to take up opportunities for the gospel. He could lend his hand to all manner of things in all kinds of ways and turned his hand to whatever came his way’ Chris said.
After this Mrs. Pat Williams spoke on behalf of the BCA Mission Contacts. She wished Brian and Denyse ‘a very long and enjoyable retirement and God’s blessing as they look forward to their new work at Bungendore.’ She continued talking about retirement saying ‘you don’t retire, you just re-tread’.
The formalities concluded with Brian getting up and making a speech. He thanked everyone for attending. He spoke of a unique relationship he had been able to share with Clem Kirkby, the son of BCA founding missioner, Bishop Sydney James Kirkby. Brian continued by recognising the previous Honorary Treasurers including Ray Ctercteko who was in attendance, along with Kevin Alexander (who is now deceased) and the current Treasurer Richard Host.
Brian continued his speech by making special mention of the previous office staff and of Field Staff member, Stan Hummerston who he called ‘a mentor and friend’.
Brian went on sharing that ‘in 1992, when I was appointed National Director I didn’t know what I had got myself into. But I was confident that God knew were I was going!’
He continued talking about his time in Zeehan, ‘there was no pre-visit in those days (1981), no meeting with the Bishop – just a meeting in the Federal Office with the job description of ‘go there and be the minister’ being given’.
After sharing about his time in Zeehan Brian recollected his deputation in the Lower Town Hall in Sydney some 30 years ago. ‘The State Secretary at the time, Revd. Malcolm Babbage told me to tell the supporters about the people I had made contact with. I told them about 5 men I had on my heart and asked the supporters to pray for them. Now it’s come full circle, the 5 men have become Christians or had serious God encounters – I didn’t find this out until after I had left Zeehan’.
Brian gave thanks for the prayers of so many of the people that he had asked to pray and for their interest in BCA and the Field Work.
After he had concluded the Rt. Revd. Garry Weatherill, Bishop of Willochra Diocese, prayed for the Society and gave thanks for Brian and Denyse’s faithfulness and vision and for God’s blessing in their future ministry.
The Rt. Revd. concluded the day by quoting St. Benedict, saying ‘prefer nothing whatever to Christ and may He bring us all together to everlasting life’.
‘Don’t try to limit God to what we think He can do. Give God the opportunity to do his thing. Thank you for your prayers. It has been a privilege to be part of the BCA family and to have known so many people around Australia and work with the Bishops to bring our resources together for the work of the gospel. Thank you for your confidence and trust’ – Brian Roberts, BCA National Director 1992 - 2011