We met in 2005 when Christine had just moved schools and was in year twelve. The following year Christine moved to Canberra to study Music and I soon followed and was working full time in IT. Moving back to Melbourne in late 2007, we got engaged and began making plans for our life together. Christine was now studying Arts at Monash while I continued working full time. In December 2008 we got married and I was made redundant. Being newly married and unemployed I made the tough decision to go to uni and study a Bachelor of Education (Primary). The unfortunate part was that I was only offered a place at the Australian Catholic University in Ballarat, while we lived in Boronia. We soon realised that God had plans that were bigger than the plans we had made ourselves, and even though they appeared less stable (eight houses in seven years & numerous churches!), He provided everything we needed and continues to do so. After completing her Bachelor of Arts, Christine went on to study a Graduate Diploma of Education (Primary) at the University of Ballarat, so we packed up and made the move to be close to our studies. We were in Ballarat for one year before God brought us to the South-Eastern suburbs when Christine was offered a teaching position in Cranbourne.
I am now in my third year of teaching at Chairo Christian School (Cardinia Campus). I have found it incredible to see God at work in my life through work on a daily basis. I am blessed to be in a position of sharing my faith with my colleagues and students on a daily basis and seeing God at work in the community. Having no connection with Chairo Christian School before beginning my uni degree it was intriguing when, during my first year at uni, God put it on my heart that Chairo is where I would teach. When we moved to Ballarat the following year I thought I must have misunderstood what God was telling me, but sure enough, 18 months later we were living in Pakenham and I was looking at doing a placement at Chairo as part of my studies. I remained active at Chairo afterwards, helping out in a number of classes and when a position was advertised I applied and was offered a teaching position.
While life has not always been easy, and there have been some significant obstacles to overcome in my faith, two particular verses have provided comfort and direction for me for a long time: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) and; “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
Christine is in her fifth year of teaching in Special Education. During this time she has completed a Masters of Education (Special Education). The range of opportunities that this field of work has presented for her have been both challenging and rewarding. Christine acknowledges that the opportunities to share her faith within in her workplace are less explicit than mine. She is guided by the following verse, 1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”.
As we begin the journey of establishing Follow, I am looking forward to overseeing the Worship team as part of the Core team, and we are both excited to be spending time with other believers who have also been called to carry out His work in this ever expanding Officer region. Spending time reading God’s word, praying and allowing The Spirit to guide us, we seek to connect with and encourage local people, especially those who don’t yet know His love.