See and hear from several of our founding members as they recount their experience in coming to Christ. For each of these people, a commitment to the Lord came at some personal cost, just as the scripture admonishes us: “Except a man forsake all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”
The testimony of Earnest Standtrue cannot unfortunately be told in his own words, as he went to be with the Lord several years ago. His legacy lives on through his family, which happily agreed to see his life story set out in this tract. See how Jesus Christ can turn around the life of any sinner and make them a blessing to the Church and to society. The cartoon style tract also provides a fascinating insight into the history of the Church at Springbank and the Church at Gloriavale.
This testimony was written by the wife of Gloriavale’s founder when the family was still working in Australia in the 1960s. At the time, Gloria had eight children to care for while her husband spent up to three months away at a time preaching in the outback or working in missions. We have included it here as an example of the life that Gloria lived and the faith she exercised in serving the Lord. The article originally appeared in a Church newsletter.
“Gloria, will you marry me?” How quickly I responded to Neville’s proposal 14 years ago, when asked to become his wife. At the time I had been seeking the Lord regarding His plan for full time service in my life. All the doors seemed to close in front of me. In the midst of it all here was my answer. I was to be an Evangelist’s wife.
At that time my husband was receiving only a few shillings a week regularly. There was no promise of an easy future, yet we worked and served God, the Lord blessing spiritually and providing our needs in miraculous ways. Looking back over those years, I praise God for He has been so patient with us. Our trials were many, but our Faith was in God. He had called us, of this there was never a doubt. Our hearts were burdened, even in a greater measure, to take the Gospel out.
Just nine months ago, the call of God came deeply to our hearts to step out into full time Evangelism and completely trust the Lord to see us through. Now our pictures and dreams of an Evangelist’s wife are those in which we can see the work she is doing. She stands beside her husband as he preaches, maybe she plays the organ for his campaigns and is in the midst and part of the move of God as the Spirit sweeps over the people. Then again she may have a beautiful voice and her ministry in song melts the hearts in preparation for her husband’s message. She travels from place to place sharing his company, praying for the sick and helping to organize the campaigns.
Well, that would have been all very wonderful, inspiring and thrilling but that was not to be for me; God had other plans. It was here my great battle was fought and here it was won. The Lord had given me eight lovely children to look after, care and nurture for Him. How could I go?
In tears we knelt beside our bed and there I gave my husband once again to the Lord. He must go. I must stay. There were battles to be won. How would the Lord supply the needs of the children and myself? Then there were the lonely hours. These had to be faced without my husband whom I loved so much. What about the responsibility of the children? Now I was to be Father as well as Mother.
The battle raged, it was fought, it was won. My Lord would stand by me. He would make it all possible. There is victory over every circumstance if we will only surrender and trust Him. There is a sacrifice to be made if souls are to be saved. The Gospel must go out. Jesus gave His all, shouldn’t we also give to become part of this wonderful work God has called us to?
How I praise the Lord for those many precious souls who have been saved through my husband’s ministry. Their lives have been transformed, their sins forgiven. I know I shall share in the reward, even though I am not there to see it all happening. My prayers and my tears back his ministry. We shall share the reward together for I am an Evangelist’s wife.
“As his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff. They shall part alike.” 1 Samuel 30:24
Gloria passed away before the community at Gloriavale was built, but it’s plain to see that she had her own faith and strove to serve the Lord in the issues where she was called. Her spirit of selfless sacrifice has continued to inspire our womenfolk and the mothers who today work with the same dedication to raise their families to serve God.
A shepherd and elder in the Church at Gloriavale, Steady Standtrue was featured in the documentary “Gloriavale Life and Death”, which can be seen here. This is his story, in his own words.
I shall ever be grateful to God, that I was born into a family that read, believed and obeyed the Bible as much as they understood and cherished the hope of Christ’s Second Coming. The influence of those early years on an isolated farm, in southern Tasmania, gave direction that has deeply affected the rest of my life.
Just knowing that Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and to them that look for Him, shall He appear the second time, without sin unto salvation, kindled a sharp hope in my heart. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.
I was baptised into Christ at the age of 13, and became an ardent third generation member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, but knew little of real joy, or victory over sin during my teen years.
It’s a perfect match. I’m gazing out the window. The sky is a cold steel grey. It’s a mirror image of what I feel inside. My heart is aching, the pain is almost physical. My heart is beating steadily, but the real one inside…it must be dying. I close my eyes to my reflection in the window. My burden is so heavy I can no longer hide it. Even my features are etched with worry and pain. There is no joy or peace. God seems so far away. Where are you, can you help me, do you understand the hidden, the unseen things, deep down inside me? Silence! Deafening silence, there is no reply, no miracle no booming voice from heaven. Well if you really cared, something would have happened, but my burden is still just as heavy, I’m still aching-like the clouds I’m ready to burst.
It’s been a long day. I sigh but not out of physical exhaustion. I’m so tired-tired of everything. Didn’t Jesus die to save such as I? Then why am I so empty inside, why is there no point to my life? As a little girl I gave my life to the Lord. How did I end up here? I’m only a teenager but I feel death is very near. There must be a way. In vain I have tried the pleasures of this world but they have given me no joy or satisfaction. Everything this world offers has never given lasting fulfilment. They are more like a distraction to the emptiness of my soul. What I really seek is something that will last forever, a purpose to live for.
God must have the answers. The tears spill over as I close my eyes, resembling the rain that is now softly falling. God be not far from me and hear the cry of my heart. I realize how I have tried to serve myself as well as you. How I have followed my heart, instead of your will. My burden is my own self-will and pride. I am ready to forsake all of this to gain your salvation. I no longer care what people may think of me, or the future consequences. I am determined to follow you no matter what it may cost me.
A peace bursts into my heart as I confess my great need of salvation. Overwhelmed, I know that God has heard me and forgiven me of my sin. My heart is free from the sin that bound me like chains and denied me life. In humility I have sought the Lord, and now realize my need of redeeming grace.
The struggle has ended and Christ is the victor; thank you God for saving a wretch like me. I have been so blind to what I really am, but I am so grateful for your salvation. Teach me Lord, guide every step I take. My only desire is to please you.
Every day is new and exciting as I fully realize the Lord’s power to save. Nothing about me resembles my old self. I am a completely different person, with different interests. Giving up everything from my old life has not been difficult as I realize how worthless they are. They cannot be compared to the treasures I have now.
I came from a family where my mother was a devoted Catholic but my father had no real faith in God as I know Him.
I saw through the Catholic Church in my late teenage years and began to search for something real to put my faith in. From a young child I had always had a yearning to know God and to please Him, though I had not come to know Him. I thought at least my sisters if not my brothers felt the same way. Since then I have learned this not to be so at all. We had became involved in a shallow sort of young people’s ‘Christian’ group who ran a coffee shop then to ‘talk about Jesus’ on Seventh nights (Saturday night), although living a fairly worldly life the rest of the week. I did not find much truth to satisfy my spiritual hunger. I left home to find what I was looking for, and my sisters went their way.
I see this testimony as an opportunity to tell of the circumstances and events in my life that have moulded me, and led me to that critical point where I was prepared to yield my whole life over to God.
In searching back in my memory, I have brought to the surface many things long since buried, some remembered with fondness, some with deep pain.
But threaded throughout were the happenings in which doors were opened or closed, lessons were learned, decisions were made, that in hindsight were plainly God’s intervention.
I was born in 1959 in Vancouver, Canada, the oldest of five children. We were a middle class Catholic family of primarily Italian lineage. We enjoyed the security of close, warm, and affectionate relatives around us. My childhood memories were mainly happy ones …
I am a 17 year old woman and the sixth child in a family of 12. I was born in the community and if it is God’s will I will stay here until He returns. My Dad was travelling around the world looking for truth. He travelled to many different countries and experienced many different things but he only found real truth when he came to the body of believers at Springbank. So he surrendered his will to God and became a Christian. My Mum came from Australia and she too was travelling around. She came to the same group of believers and left home to live and share among the Christian people in God’s family.
I’m grateful to God for the Church and grateful to both my parents that they did this, because if they hadn’t I would not have been born. I wouldn’t have my five brothers and six sisters. I wouldn’t be surrounded by people who love me and care about my soul. I love my parents and honour them by loving and serving God and His true church.
I have never lived in the “worldly environment”, but both my parents have and they know what it is like out there and they have told me that I am better off here and I believe them. I love the Lord with my whole heart and seek to serve Him every day. He saved me from my sins and has given me eternal life. If I left, it would be like throwing away a rare precious gem for mud. My one aim in life is to get to heaven and to help as many other people get there as well. And soon I’m going to be with my Lord in Glory! And no one is going to stop me or change my mind.