Monday, January 31, 2005

Aussie $20

Have you seen a 20 dollar notes Aussie? If you have seen this note, you might have note that this man face printed on the note. He is Reverend John Flynn.

John was born on 25 November 1880 in Moliagul, Victoria. In 1907 he studied at the Presbyterian Theological Hall (now known as Presbyterian Theological College) in Melbourne. The director of Home Missions came to know Flynn and noticed that he had distinctive qualities for missionary work. In 1910 he began the Mailbag League, where city folk would write to those in the isolation of the outback. He also published the Bushman s Companion - a small book that brought spiritual help as well as advice like making a will, postal information and first aid information. These books were given free in the outback, and his name became well known. In 1911 he was called as a missioner in the North of South Australia where he worked enthusiastically and began to visit the widely scattered members of his 'parish' in that state To keep in contact with his scattered members he published a quarterly magazine, The Outback Battler, which contained news of the work of the mission.

Towards the end of 1911, he saw the opening of a medical hostel at Oodnadatta. When asked as to why he established patrol and medical facilities throughout the outback, he replied that it was important to bring the Gospel by word and deed to the people of the inland. He would quote the pioneer missionary of Labrador, Dr. William Grenfall, as his example of contextualization of Christian ministry. "When you set out to commend your Gospel to men who do not particularly want it, there is only one way to go about it- to do something for them that they will understand."

Subsequently, he was appointed as Superintendant of the Australian Inland Mission (AIM) that covered the whole nation of Australia. His work expanded to include the Royal Flying Doctor Service in 1928. By using a suitably equipped plane with a flying doctor to provide medical assistance from a strategically placed inland base, he was able to bridge vital medical services of coastal Australia right into the heartland of the nation. With technological advances in radio, he was able to use the air waves to speak to people regarding a wide range of social, spiritual and current affairs matters. By this means, he broke the silence of the outback using the radio waves.

John was a man of great vision. By his words and deeds, he longed to make Aussies understand the Gospel in the way they could. In his vision statement of the AIM, he stated that he did it all 'for Christ and the Continent.' John had a great vision that captured the imagination of Australians. And for such contribution, it was not surprising that his face was included in the honoured list of Australians who had made a significant contribution to the nation. Truly, he was a man sent from God whose name was John Flynn.

Flynn died of cancer in Sydney on 5 May 1951 and his ashes were buried at the foot of Mt Gillen, Alice Springs. In 1956, the John Flynn Memorial Church was opened in Alice Springs as a tribute to a great Australian whose compassion, zeal and vision transformed the lives of the inhabitants of inland Australia.

A life yielded in God controlled by His Spirit.
A restful trust in God for the supply of all needs.
A sympathetic spirit and a willingness to take a lowly place.
Tact in dwelling with men and adaptability toward circumstances.
Zeal in service and steadfastness in discouragement.
Love for communion with God and for the study of His Word.
Some expereince and blessing in the Lord's work at home.
A healthy body and a vigorous mind.

1 comment:

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