Christian development.

From the time at the end of 1969 when I turned to Christ it took Sue and me some five years to reach a fairly stable position. During that time I had to discover Christianity for myself, relying on the chance presence of books in the University of Hawaii library (and my ability to find them), churches we encountered, Christian friends we made. We quickly laid our marriage plans at the Lordís feet. We were finally married in May, 1972, at International Baptist Church in Honolulu, after I had finished all of my PhD except for the dissertation (which I have long since abandoned). In August, 1972 I was surprised to be asked to apply for a three-year lecturing position at the University of Auckland. I did apply and was successful. On the 2nd of February, 1973 we landed at Auckland International Airport, determining our future home and country, though we did not know it at the time.

By the end of 1974 I knew that of the Protestantisms, the historic Reformed (Calvinist) churches were to be our home Ė until we died, I thought. At the beginning of 1975 we joined Avondale Reformed Church (in a suburb of Auckland). When Johnny, our first child, was born in July, 1975, he was baptised there. During the eight years we were to live in Yap, our official home church was always Avondale Reformed Church. The people of that church are good and godly friends, and though they of necessity consider us apostate, they love us and pray for us and greet us warmly when they see us. They would welcome us home with open arms. We pray that we may all indeed one day be united in the bonds of love in the Church that Jesus established where the fullness of faith and grace dwell.

My three-year lectureship ended at the end of 1975 and my contract was not renewed. In March of 1976 we moved to Yap where I took up a job working in the Department of Education as a linguist. We were in Yap for eight years. They were formative years for us. Our other three children were born there (Helen, June, 1977; Eddie, March, 1980; Adele, September, 1982). We worshipped at the only evangelical church there (for Yap is mostly Catholic and that was out of the question, though our best friend was Father Paul Horgan, SJ).

During our years in Yap I came to be Jim Jordanís disciple. It was in June, 1980, in connexion with a possible change of jobs, that I visited him in east Texas. When, in May, 1984, we returned to New Zealand, to live in Pukekohe (a small town some 50 Km south of Auckland) as part of a nucleus of families who would establish a Reformed church there, I came as an evangelist for Jimís distinctives, and for a reformed Reformation, a catholic Reformation, and a sacramental and liturgical Reformation. The next six or seven years saw me grow in clarity of mind and conviction of the value of the things I had learnt from Jim, not less so despite the fact that from about 1985 (due, in part, I think, though I had no inkling of it, to the then-impending conversion of Scott Hahn and Gerry Matatics) Jim seemed to de-emphasise the teachings that had particularly drawn me to him. I was still his follower, and by about 1991 had so internalised what I saw as Jimís beliefs regarding the sacrament of the Lordís Supper and regarding the Church as visible body of Christ and authority that I viewed each Communion Sunday (we only celebrated the Supper six times a year, and most Reformed churches in New Zealand limit it to four) as of great importance.