Who am I?

Here’s a brief introduction

Who am I? Well, I’m a Christian.

As the youngest member of my Australian Naval family, my youth was spent moving from city to city, state to state, enrolling in different schools, making new friends and participating in various church denominations and communities.

Following my graduation from secondary school, I pursued my childhood dream and joined the Royal Australian Army, and my life was going to plan. I successfully completed the Army Recruit Training and 99% of my induction training course until one fateful afternoon…

Whilst driving home up the Great Alpine Road in my 1972 Holden HQ One Tonne Ute, I was involved in a head-on collision with a ’92 Toyota Land Cruiser.

The weather wasn’t great, and after getting cut out of the wreck a few hours later, I spent nearly a month under comatose in the Alfred Hospital, followed by eighteen or so months of physical and cognitive rehabilitation as an inpatient and then outpatient at the Epworth Hospital in Richmond, Melbourne.

By the grace of God, I recovered to a suitable percentage, was discharged, and flew back to Western Australia (in a plane). Soon after touchdown, I responded to the University offers I’d received following my high school graduation and proceeded to complete a Bachelor of Arts and then a Graduate Certificate of Heritage Studies at the University of Western Australia.

Inspired by Proverbs 8 and Ecclesiastes 7:25, “Seek Wisdom” has been the motto of UWA since 1911

So I turned my mind to understand,
to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the madness of folly.

Ecclesiastes 7:25

One morning, as I was walking to a lecture theatre at UWA, I noticed a banner fixed across the library overpass advertising the weekly meetings of the Christian Union of UWA. I stopped and put the dates into my calendar. I vividly remember the feeling of warmth, joy and excitement I had during that meeting.

At the end of the year, I attended the AFES (Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students) Mid-Year Conference and the National Training Event, which were spiritually enriching and life-changing experiences.

After graduation, I flew east to live and study at Sydney Missionary and Bible College. During my two years pursuing a Graduate Diploma of Divinity, I was involved in Christian missions at Adam Road Presbyterian Church in Singapore and Albion Park Anglican Church.

Nonetheless, despite living and studying in a Christian community, I allowed myself to mute the call for Christlikeness and pursued immortality. After ignoring the wise and loving advice of friends and college staff, my intense, whirlwind relationship with a non-believer overtook my priorities, resulting in my first academic failure. So, I moved back to Perth and completed my studies at Trinity Theological College, where my third mission was with the Port Hedland Seafarers Centre.

Whilst aboard a container ship berthed in the port, I had an illuminating conversation with a Serbian-Orthodox crewman. He told me that “the ship begins to feel like a prison”. This comment stuck in my head, and during some research back at my assigned residence, I came across Prison Fellowship Australia. After reading their ‘About Us’, and ‘Programs’ pages, I filled out their volunteer form.

After getting trained and certified to serve in the Prisons, I led and assisted in chapel services for male inmates at Hakea Prison and female inmates at Melaleuca Remand and Reintegration Facility. In addition, I helped to facilitate The Prisoners Journey course. “Honestly, prison visiting is not an easy ministry. It can take months or even years to see a change in an inmate’s life, but change does happen” (Julie, a Prison Fellowship Volunteer).

“Every person is made in the image of God. Therefore, no life is beyond His reach.”

While studying a Graduate Diploma of Chaplaincy at Murdoch University, I fell in love with a beautiful Filipina woman I sat next to each week during an appropriately titled Community Development Theory and Practice class. Short story short, we got married three seas away in the Philippines the following January.

As it happened, the Taal Volcano erupted on January 12, prohibiting many of our international wedding guests to attend. Then the World Health Organisation (WHO) called a global public-health emergency (COVID-19) on January 30, 2020, invariably rewriting our future plans.

High-level eruption at Taal Volcano, Philippines – Ash fired 55,000 ft. (16.8km) into the stratosphere, creating a direct cooling effect.  

On the blessings in disguise side of things, while living in the Philippines under one of the world’s longest lockdowns, I finally completed and published my short historical memoir, “A Maze of Miracles & Madness“. I started writing this when I turned twenty-five. As I look back, my first quarter-century was a whirlwind of blessings from God; times of spiritual growth, joy, understandings, misunderstandings, falls, and redemption.

To close, I want to assure you that my analysis and interpretation of scripture for this blog are my own. All I’m doing is sharing what God is telling me through His Word; it will (not might) be different for you. I pray that the verses I unfold help to engage your mind as you consider and assess for yourself what God has to say in the most incredible book ever written.

One thought on “Who am I?

  1. Hello, your dad directed me to your blog and it was wonderful to read your ‘Who am I’. Your story is very encouraging and reinforces for me the message of Romans 8:28 – all things work for the good of those who love and trust in the Lord.

    It has been great to connect again with your dad, and hopefully your mum, as soon as We can nail them down to a dinner date. I have such wonderful memories of you all from Darwin.

    God bless you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Rob Cooper Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s