'I heard of Jesus mainly as a swear word'
Frank’s story | Actions speak pretty loudly, too
“I can’t pin point a time when I became a Christian. I think I just grew into it. I was born into a dysfunctional family. Dad was an apiarist who later became an alcoholic, and my mother worked two jobs to keep us going. I heard of Jesus mainly as a swear word.”
“I had two brothers and a sister, all younger than me. One time we were sent to Sunday school so that we might learn the right way to live. That was because my brother had broken into the corner store and was charged with theft.
“I did my apprenticeship as a mechanic and then I joined the local ambulance. It was during that time that I met Pauline. She came to our house with another boy who was friends with my brother. When I met her, I said to myself that this is the girl I’m going to marry … and I did.
“Six months after we were married, Pauline came home from a church meeting telling me that she’d given her life to Jesus … and she wanted me to do the same, as she didn’t want me to go to hell. We had these conversations lots of times which made me a bit anti-religion. But then, when our children were born, I began to soften in my beliefs.
“One year, I had to go away to Darwin for work. I was away for three months and I was fairly lonely. So I started reading the Bible every night. Everything jumped out at me, especially Romans 5:1-5. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (verse 1) It seemed true. I learned who Jesus was and what he had done for me. And I started attending church and Bible study.
“I’m not afraid to tell anyone that I’m a Christian, but I like to get to know people first, and I like to help them. I’m pretty handy.
“We spent years holidaying in our caravan, and then after we retired we joined Bush Church Aid. We started supporting outback communities in Queensland, NT and WA. I helped with anything that I could – mechanical work, carpentry, plumbing, fencing, you name it.
“One time, we were driving home from Darwin, and there was a couple on the side of the road. They were broken down – a little car trying to pull a big caravan. They were miles from anywhere, so we pulled up behind them and I had a look. I made a spare part for them, by the side of the road. But it was getting dark and a storm was coming … so we stayed by the road with them, overnight. Pauline cooked them a meal. Then in the morning, we took them back to a place where they could get help.
“They were so thankful. They couldn’t get over why we had helped them. I said that’s what we do. We help each other, we’re Christians. Pauline told them about Jesus. She’s good like that. And words are good, but I think actions speak pretty loud as well.”