‘I blamed God for taking my dad’
“I didn’t grow up in a Christian household and we didn’t go to church. My father’s side was quite religious, but my mother’s side were atheists.
When I was 25, my father passed away suddenly. He was only 60 years old.
I loved my father. He and I hit it off like a house on fire. We never argued. He was my rock growing up. And then he was gone. For anyone, death is not a nice thing at all. For me, I blamed God. I felt as if God had taken my father away from us and I was angry with him. My life went pretty fast after that. After dad passed away, my mom got sick and she was in the hospital for a considerable period of time.
At the time I was working for a large global organization in Adelaide. They offered me a role in Sydney but I said no because I wanted to look after my mother. Then a year later they offered me a role again and my mother said I had to go.
It was a big move! I was suddenly living in a small flat in Erskineville without my community. This was my second cliff in a short time.
Not long after, one of my cousins asked me to come to church. I said okay. I had nothing to lose. I was still angry at God for taking my father away and I wanted answers.
The first time I went to church, I felt very uncomfortable. I didn’t fit in, so I thought I might look for another church. Over the next few months, I went to six different churches. Each time I felt intimidated, judged and unanswered!
Then I was introduced to Winnie. She asked me to come to her church and I said okay. It was church number 7. The speaker there preached about the book of Job and suffering. It got the juices flowing. Afterwards Winnie gave me some audio cassettes about Job and I listened to them after work.
I idolized my father and lost him. But there was someone even more loving and powerful than my father.
The following Sunday I went back to her church. I grabbed the pastor after the service and we sat down in a quiet space. He asked me a few questions and the tears started to flow. I told him about my father. It was a very emotional time.
I had usually been a functional, practical kind of guy. But I realized God’s love for me is unconditional and I immediately fell in love with him. I accepted Jesus. I realized he is my rock! I idolized my father and lost him. But there was someone even more loving and powerful than my father.
That was the beginning of it. Afterwards I read the Gospel of Mark with a guy from the church. I married Winnie! I continued to work in the corporate world – 21 years on. I loved it.
Then in my early 40s I began to question my purpose in life. God, what do you want me to do now? At the time, City Bible Forum asked me to come on board to help connect the Gospel with people in the workplace. I said yes! It was a big change from the corporate world, but it was a real joy. I am so forced by the need in Australia. With growing atheism, how do we reach people with the hope of Jesus? We also recently started a school of evangelism, EvQ. We have many mentors and we are looking for more people to be trained! This is my prayer.
Last year I went back to Adelaide to speak at a City Bible Forum event. My mother and my sisters were in the crowd! It was such a joy. I thank you that they are also Christians! A key verse for me has always been 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not brag, it is not proud… Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always endures.” This is the unconditional love we receive from God and this is the love we get to share!”
To learn more about the School of Evangelism, go to EvQ.org.au
Tim’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, curated by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.