While at a prayer meeting in Hong Kong I had asked for prayer for Geoff and Pat, a couple that my wife and I had met at church in Sydney. They were not Christians, and were new migrants to Australia from England. They were having family struggles and had decided to find a church; for no particular reason they selected our church, Lane Cove Methodist. When we met them we invited them to a retreat our church was having that weekend. We became fast friends while on the retreat; a friendship that is still ongoing as I write this.
While flying back to Australia at the end of my first trip there, I realized that after praying for them I would have to talk to them about accepting Christ into their lives. This was new stuff to me, and it made me nervous. Would we lose their friendship? Would they regard me as a religious nut?
When I stepped off the airplane in Sydney, Elle was waiting for me. Her first words were, “Pat has had a violent conversion!”
The Lord had made it easy for me to talk to Geoff and Pat about spiritual things, even though Geoff had not shared in Pat’s experience.
Some short time later, a charismatic evangelist couple from the United States who went by the name of the “Happy Hunters” had a series of meetings in Melbourne. Pat wanted to go; Geoff was reluctant, but went along with us.
The Happy Hunters were strongly charismatic and had a healing ministry. Pat was enthralled. Geoff left the meeting and waited for us outside.
(A month or two later, Geoff had a more sedate experience in receiving Christ. To this day they both remain strong in the faith, very active in church and evangelical work. Geoff joined the Gideons International, a group that places Bibles in hotels and other locations. He has since been elected to state-level offices with the Gideons.)