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- Recording of Jean's testimony.


Thirty years ago, in April thirty years ago, I had a short leave to be with my Mum, who had lost my Dad and so I left New Guinea and just came home for a couple of months. My mother had moved to near where my sister lived and I stayed with my Mum and went to a different doctor and this one was a Christian. I mentioned my problem and he said if you were in this country I would say it was your age [I was 51], but he said I play golf with a consultant and he said “I’ll get you an early appointment.” So I saw this consultant and he did various tests, and it ended up I had cancer. I had an appointment for surgery very quickly after that, but it meant I stayed home longer. After I had what was called a total hysterectomy, many of the nurses said to me, “You know, you’ve had twenty years added to your life”. And so I just thank The Lord because the work I was involved in needed people to stay long term. But I went back in 1987 and our visas were to be renewed and we had a director who was responsible for the support side of our work, not the translation, the linguistic side, and he decided that we were going to have to do without ex-patriots in various departments. So many of our visas were not renewed. Many of my colleagues were allowed a year with their visas, but mine expired in one month. Can you imagine that – one month? So I put my house up for sale, but my boss I was working with at that time, I was more like an accountant and his assistant manager. We worked in the area that handles all the maintenance of the buildings and everything, and I was training some girls in book-keeping, and they weren’t ready.

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They said “We can’t lose Jean”. So they kept applying for my visa so it was renewed every month but this wasn’t a good situation. So, not wanting to leave the work of Wycliffe, I applied to see if I could go to Australia, because when I first went there, to New Guinea, I emigrated to Australia to be able to do it. But they turned me down because of my cancer, so my hope of joining Wycliffe in Australia to work with the Aborigines was turned down. However, the other finance people said “No, we need Jean”. But I got to the stage where nobody wanted to buy my apartment and I went in to see the man [and this was nearly a year later – they kept renewing it for a month], and I said I’m going home now, whether or not the apartment sells. He said, “Sit down! I have some news for you. Your visa has been renewed for three years.” So The Lord enabled me to stay there for another seventeen years until I retired when I was 68. But all through that time it was emotionally a rollercoaster, because you didn’t know what you were going to be doing. Do I start packing up my house and living on just a few things? or anything. But Sue mentioned the verse that The Lord gave me when I first went to New Guinea and I come to that verse, and at that particular time helped me to trust The Lord; whatever change happens, whether it turned out that I would have to come home I learned that The Lord knew the way that He was going to take and His presence [which is another verse] will always be with me.

Thank you.


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