SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA | August 2017 | Thomas Liddle, publisher
The theme for this page is yesterday, today, and tomorrow—or how a new convert wound up in Moscow, then Microsoft, then marriage, and now, missionary media. Looking back, it seems as if I had little to do with it.
Like all good stories, it started with Jesus Christ. I was saved in Sydney, Australia, in 1991, at the age of 41, and within a short time, found myself on a missions trip to the former Soviet Union. Speaking with Red Army soldiers in Red Square, students at Moscow University, and criminals in women’s jails in Ukraine, I saw the power of God to bind up the brokenhearted, and set the captives free. (Isaiah 61:1)
The astonishing coincidences of my new life post-salvation started to mount up. First, God led me into writing and editing positions in the magazine empire of Australian media tycoon—Kerry Packer. One of those roles included a column for a computer magazine, about an emergent technology called the Internet.
By an impossible series of incidents I could not have orchestrated, I was picked up out of magazines, and landed in Seattle, Washington, to work with a new online venture called MSN (the Microsoft Network), in a newsroom that later become part of the joint venture, MSNBC.
These were heady days for a new Christian. God was giving me the desires of my heart in more ways than one, as I returned to Australia after two years, to meet Margaret, the love of my life, and learned the truth of Proverbs 18:22:
“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” We had twin girls, Lydia and Abigail, then another little treasure, Sophie.
The Lord tested us with the tech crash of 2000 and retrenchment. But he was faithful: “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:3) God had placed me into the Internet, and now took me out of it, to “bring me out into a wealthy place” (Psalm 66:11, 12) with an online content producer role with a major financial institution.
Meanwhile, the founding chief executive of MSN in Australia had become a headhunter with a Chicago-based global executive search and leadership firm. He headhunted me into the Sydney office, as Asia Pacific communications director.
Life was busy, with frequent travel into Asia, and to head office in the United States. The years passed quickly, and it seemed that by the time I lifted up my head to pause for a moment or two, the twins were in their late teens, and our third girl was starting high school.
I started to pray over Ephesians 5:16 and 17: “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
Slowly but surely, it dawned on me that key events in my life post-salvation were no accident. Could the Internet and subsequent developments in high-speed global communications that had so fascinated me, be used for the gospel’s sake?
As I’ve sought God’s guidance, my full-time job has given way to part-time work which, while testing our faith, has allowed time for serious content development, and travel to promote the harvest project.
Please pray with us as we take the next steps along our pilgrim’s superhighway. I believe this project—the first global newsmagazine devoted to the work of Independent Baptist laborers at home and offshore—will revolutionise the way the work of our missionaries is communicated globally.