Tell us a little about yourself
Over the years I have worked as a teacher; AFES staff worker; pastor in several churches; Christian education consultant; University chaplain and author. I have had the joy of partnering with my theologian husband ministering in a number of places around the world and in writing together. In the last few years this writing has taken us to various locations in China, and Fujian Province in particular. Our first book, ‘View From The Faraway Pagoda’ traces the story of out grand-aunt, Sophie Newton, a CMS missionary from the dangerous years of the Boxer Rebellion to the start of the Communist Uprising. During the research for this book we were amazed to discover that we had Chinese relatives alive today because of Sophie’s adoption of two children when she was a missionary. Our second book ‘They Shall See His Face’ is the inspiring story of her fellow Australian colleague, Amy Oxley Wilkinson, who was honoured by the President of the Chinese Republic for her innovative Blind Boys’ School. Last year we were invited to visit this School which is now doing great work among girls as well as boys. We have just started work on our third book.
What are you passionate about?
I feel a strong desire to tell the stories of other young Australian women missionaries who went to China from 1890-1950. They not only shared the Gospel but their lives as well, through such work as rescuing orphans and abandoned children, protesting against foot-binding and arranged marriages of young girls, caring for lepers and the disabled, establishing schools for girls and skills training for women. In these ways they helped shape modern China as we know it. Their stories are largely unknown both in Australia and even in China.
What is your favourite Bible passage & why?
There are many that have sustained me throughout my life and these have varied from season to season. However, the picture of heaven in Revelation 5:9 where the new song of salvation for ‘people from every tribe and language and people and nation’ is one that means a great deal to me. The prospect of one day seeing familiar ‘unfamiliar’ faces from all over the world, especially China, brings hope and joy.
What would you like the next generation of women to know?
That God is as involved in the everyday details of our lives as the more ‘spiritual’ ones, and that ultimately nothing we do is ever wasted in His purposes (1 Cor.15:58).
What do you enjoy doing when you rest?
My favourite things are going on early morning walks, a good coffee with friends, and watching films with my husband.