28 June 2017

Footprints in the sand imprinted on the heart

Posted in Bible Engagement / Chaplaincy / Our heritage

As a young girl growing up in Wales in the 1940s, SU QLD supporter Billie Patrick, made footprints in the sand at the very same Llandudno beach Scripture Union founder, Josiah Spiers, first crafted his simple, yet inspirational message of God’s love.

It was the same beach Billie’s great grandfather, a contemporary of Josiah Spiers, is believed to have shared God’s love as he preached among the sand dunes.

It’s this same message that Billie has carried in her heart since becoming a Christian in London at 21 years of age in 1957.

“I remember asking my friend June, who’d been praying for me to come to Christ, ‘what do I do now?’

“So she passed me her Scripture Union Bible Notes, and ever since that day I’ve continued to do my daily scripture reading,” she says.

The news of her new faith was not well received by her family who, apart from her great grandfather, showed no interest in Christianity.

“The sad thing was I can remember my father saying to my mother, ‘don’t worry, she’ll soon get over it’. Well it’s been 60 years and I haven’t got over it yet,” she proudly beams.

In 1959 Billie migrated to Australia and served as an Inter School Christian Fellowship (ICSF) Counsellor at a school in Victoria for 13 years.

During that time she met and fell in love with a local farmer, who she married in 1964.

Due to his poor health, the couple moved to Brisbane in 1987, where her connection with Scripture Union has continued to this day, particularly in support of the school chaplaincy program.  

It’s a program that Billie says is critical to the youth of today.

“It’s completely vital. To me, chaplains are Christ’s representatives, in a very real way, in our school system.

“Not only are they looking after the spiritual side, they’re looking after the whole person, their emotions and everything that comes with that.

“They’re showing the practical love of Christ in the schools, and this is what our children need,” she says.

In this 150th anniversary of Scripture Union, we have been so encouraged to hear your stories of connection.

Thank you for your prayers and financial support.

Please continue to partner with us to bring God’s love, hope and good news to our future generations. Visit suqld.org.au/donate.

Grace Miller

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