Jesus never gives up on us

 Job 13:15 Yet will I trust in Him.

One day in 1976 my wife, Christina, and I travelled to Albany on the southern coast of Western Australia. We were just married and went on a faith trip together. At that time, we lived by faith to serve the Lord and witness His message of the gospel to the world. We went to that town because Christina had had a dream about a big whale and felt God was calling us to that town, which was once a big whaling port.

Albany001AOn arriving in the town, we went to the main street where the people shopped and we passed tracts and witnessed to anyone we could about the Lord.

Gid Chris fixed

1976: Christina on left. Gideon in the middle. Among many witnessing methods we did skits, short plays, to preach a gospel message.

On the street, within hours of arriving there, we met Helen. Christina had a guitar with her and she sang her a gospel message song. Helen was so moved that she invited us back to her house to stay with her as we told her we needed a place to stay for the weekend. That was  the beginning of a very unusual next 4 days.

We went home with Helen and we witnessed to her about the saving grace of Jesus Christ, about following Him and about how time is short and we need to get ready for Christ’s return. We felt very strongly about the events unfolding in the world at that time, that we were living in the last days, the End Time as we called it. I still think so now, but only that we may have a bit more time before Jesus returns than we thought then.

We gave Helen a bible study on this and later Dave came home from work. He was a professional and a bit of a hippy at heart, as were many in those days. He was happy that we were staying in his house. They were both pleased to have us there.

That night we shared with them bible studies, on salvation, the Holy spirit and discipleship. We studied together late into the night, even the early morning before we had to retire. Dave had to get up the next morning and go to work but we were able to sleep in. After a late breakfast we began bible studies with Helen again and then with Dave after he came home from work.  The classes included everything eventually, including prophecy classes from the book of Daniel. I believe this went on for 4 days and nights. I don’t know how Dave did it because he would go to work the next day on very little sleep.

They provided meals and a place for us to stay and essentially we taught them the bible almost 24 hours a day for about 4 days straight. It was indeed exhausting but exhilarating. Both professed the Lord as Saviour after that.


The following is Helen’s own testimony.

I was brought up on a small farm and lived quite a secluded and protected life but I was very happy with our nuclear family and felt very much loved. The farm life was very heartwarming and I was close to nature. I went to church with my parents and loved Sunday school and also did correspondence Sunday school with the Church Mail Bag School. I loved Jesus and prayed at nights.

In my teenage years I became very self-conscious and became anxious about my appearance and acceptability with my peers. My attention turned to boyfriends, fashion and dreams of being a grown up. My childlike faith changed and I started to question the existence of God or my childlike idea of God. After leaving school I moved to the city and went from job, to studying, to job, feeling quite lost and deeply yearning some peace in my soul.  I started to experiment with drugs, which made me feel more insecure, and went to talks by spiritual groups such as the Orange People and Hare Krishna. Nothing gave me the peace I was searching for. I moved to Queensland where I was living in a house of many young people in the so called hippie era. Through all this time I still knew Jesus was real and felt his presence in my life at certain times.

I was in a relationship with my high school sweetheart and when he finished university we moved together to a small town in Western Australia where he was offered a job. I was working in a fish factory and our relationship was strained and I decided that I should soon head north by myself. It was in the next day or so that I ran into Gideon and Christina Hartnett giving out pamphlets in the street.  They came around to our house and talked about a revolution for Jesus.  They shared with us from the book of Daniel and told us the interpretation and it convicted me of God’s plan for the world. We studied from the Bible for about 4 days non-stop.

Gid 23 -Dave 1976

1976: Gideon in front of Dave

Well. I was sold! I wanted to be part of that revolution. I had never heard Jesus being talked about with such passion and fire. Dave and I decided to join the group, the Children of God, with Gideon and Christina and we moved back to Perth for a few months. We gave away all our possessions, following what Jesus said to His disciples, to forsake all and follow Him. We handed out pamphlets witnessing to people on the streets, did gospel focused plays at schools and held outreach evenings in our house. I started to study the Bible and learnt of Jesus in a whole new different way.

Helen Gid fixed

1976: Helen: second from left. Gideon on right.

Dave proposed to me and we were married and soon after I fell pregnant with our first child. Dave felt the pressure of being a breadwinner for his growing family so we left the group and moved to a town in the north where he set up his own business. We had years of working hard, having three more beautiful children, building houses, and being very busy. I hadn’t forgotten Jesus but I wasn’t really following him.

About fourteen years ago I went through a very troubled and dark period in my life. Our marriage had been neglected, hard work and child rearing taking priority.  It was breaking up and I felt very hopeless. My mother said to me one day “I think you had better come to church with me,” so I said “Ok”.  The lovely minister there invited me to go along to an Alpha course, which was just what I needed. It was while doing that course one night I received a vision of Jesus talking to me and saying “don’t throw your life away, give me a chance with it.”  I said ”Ok” to Christ’s call on my life and returned to Him.  I am so grateful to Him for saving me. I continued in the church, attending Bible studies, Sunday services, children’s after school programs, conferences etc.

Since then I have been learning of what a wonderful and gracious God we have and discovering the never-ending treasures in the Bible. God’s story of his Son saving the world and of His return is the truth that my heart needed.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

His forgiveness is offered to all, even me.  I found my peace in Jesus.  His words can help every situation in our lives. Things have not been easy these past ten years or so. I have had breast cancer, both my parents have had illnesses and passed away, someone close has been suffering with depression and my children have had their ups and downs.  But Jesus has helped me through it all. Without Him I don’t know how people cope. Jesus is my Saviour and my Rock.

Helen Morrell

For more information you can contact Helen directly on morrell@tpg.com.au

DR Nov 28 E

About John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.
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