Friday, November 16, 2007


If you've wondered why my blog has included some sober reflections on life and death recently, you will understand when I tell you that David, Steve's dad, has just been diagnosed with liver cancer. We heard the news last week when our family stayed at David and Audrey's house.

I found myself looking around their beautiful bush property, reflecting on their lifetime's work. David's handiwork is displayed at every turn: the carefully landscaped gardens, the enormous chook pen, and the "dendradomes" (David's Greek word for tree house) enclosing large numbers of fruitful trees and vines. The house is surrounded by overflowing cottage gardens, the drive is planted with a young avenue of liquid ambers, and there's a productive vegetable garden. A testament to the work of a lifetime, but also a constant reminder that even the loveliest products of earthly labour cannot be taken with us into eternity.

And yet there is a sense in which David and Audrey's work will last forever. For this is not only a place for gardening, making jam, and collecting eggs and fruit, but also a place of ministry. David and Audrey regularly open their home to church and student groups, like they did for our staff team last weekend, feting them with delicious soups and curries. They have a loving ministry to the people in their street, caring for their needs, and sharing their hope in Jesus. They run a weekly Bible study in their home, and every day they pray together for the people in their lives. David has written many sermons in his small study, after a lifetime of preaching, lecturing, and writing books on God's word. And even those eggs, vegetables and jams have formed the basis for many generous gifts and church stall provisions. Faithful service and fruitful ministries which will last into eternity.

For David and Audrey have heeded Jesus' call to store up treasure in heaven rather than on earth (Matt. 6:19-21) and Paul's encouragement to build a ministry of true value that will accompany them into heaven (1 Cor. 3:10-15). Imagine the joy when David hears Jesus' words: "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matt 25:21).

In the meantime, I admire the brave way that David is facing whatever tomorrow may bring, and the incredible faith and trust he has in God. Like their bush home, which was renewed after the Ash Wednesday fires, David knows that what looks like an end is really a new beginning. Now there's a true and living hope.

Please pray for David and Audrey. Please pray for comfort, faith, and a sure and certain hope, as they face the uncertainties of the next few years.


Honoria said...

Dear Jean,

Wow, what huge news... will be praying for your family.

"...and hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us". (Romans 5:5)

Having had 2 parents go through it, I really don't know how non-Christians face cancer and death. Praise God that he's got it covered! And we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (end of Rom 8).

Thank you for sharing about David ~ I was really encouraged.

blessings in Christ,

Rachach said...

Dear Jean (and Steve),
I am so sorry and saddened to hear this terrible news about David. I have no idea how painful this must be for all of you.
Thanks for your beautiful reflections on the fruitfulness of David and Audrey. I too, have experienced their ministry and have been touched by their servant-heartedness. Truely Jesus will greet them joyfully in heaven.
Praying for you all.
Love Rachel