As a result of gospel literature being handed out in India in 1966 it was obvious, after many enquiries about Christianity that people needed to be theologically trained and equipped to teach such people. A disused guest house in Smithton, Tasmania, was purchased and in 1976 students went to be trained. This was the beginning of Gospel Literature Outreach (GLO) training in Australia. Today students from many countries train for Certificate IV in Christian Ministry and Theology at GLO, a nine-month course with students living on-site.
Recently we were asked to consider going and helping out at the GLO Training College during 2015. We were to be House Parents; Mary doing the cooking, and between us, being responsible for the wellbeing of the students, the house and the grounds. We would live in the same building as the students, being available to them if and when needed. This is a faith ministry – with no payment on offer.
When first asked to come on staff at GLO Smithton, I (Mary) was surprised! Yet when I thought about it, I realised what an honour. I was aware of the need, and prayed for God to supply that need, but my picture didn’t come to my mind when I prayed for the person of God’s choice!
I thought of a variety of reasons I couldn’t and shouldn’t go:
Noel had also committed to a week of volunteer work at the Avalon International Air Show which he had done for many years, followed by the Gideon Melbourne Bible Blitz which he had hoped to be a part of. After this there was a week-long classic car tour during March which he would have really enjoyed participating in. As well as his regular weekly paper run and school crossing work which earns some pocket money.
Weighed against all this there was still a real unfulfilled need at the GLO Bible College…
Our reasons for saying ‘OK God, if that is where we should be this year, we will do it with your help’ were:
Proverbs 16:9 reads ‘The heart of man plans his way, but The Lord establishes his steps.’ This got me (Mary) thinking. From the age of three I have always wanted to be a missionary, and have in fact spent five years full-time and many months with Noel from time to time working for GLO Ministries over a number of years now. Throughout our lives God has sent many people across our path who have helped us in our study and knowledge of God’s word.
The students who are coming to study at the college in Smithton this year are coming with a purpose. If we can be a link in the chain and be part of that training we just can’t imagine the follow on effect from that. After their training these students will make contact with so many people in all parts of the world, wow! So many will hear the Gospel and have the opportunity to know Jesus as their saviour… ‘You want us to be part of that chain Lord? Yes Lord, with your help.’
We are happily serving and supporting this part of world mission and we are enjoying being with the ‘family’ knowing the coming of the Lord is near.
So it was a matter of deciding – why not!