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Sleeping under the penitent form

Sleeping under the penitent form

Sleeping under the penitent form

A Home League picnic at Mackay Corps in 1964. A young Joy Inglis is among the group enjoying the outing.

By Joy Inglis

Sundays were very busy.

There was “knee drill” (prayer meeting) very early and then you’d have directory and Sunday school, and sometimes an open-air meeting as well as a Sunday morning holiness meeting.

In the afternoon you’d have Sunday school and at night there was the open-air meeting followed by the salvation meeting.

It was very busy, but it was full of fellowship; it was a lovely, warm feeling. They used to have a 7pm meeting and, for many kids, it finished way past our bedtime, so we’d just go to sleep on the floor.

Now, those halls didn’t have carpet except under the penitent form, so we went to sleep there.

Mum and dad forgot about me one night. Luckily, I didn’t wake up, I would have been terrified! They must have got home and thought, “Oh we’re missing one” and they came back to get me!

We all used to stand around the hall and outside talking to each other after the meetings.

One Sunday morning at Mackay, I remember standing next to a car and I could feel something moving against my leg. It was a green snake! I think I might have screamed and then some adults came over to investigate. One of the farmers just went over, picked it up and put it in a nearby garden! 

also remember a young girl turning up at church one day. Her family weren’t believers and she was dying of a brain tumour. My family looked after her on a Sunday and she came to church with us.

She felt God telling her to go to church and she was only a child about my age, about 10. She was drawn to the church and she just became very devout and involved. It was as though God meant her to be with his people during her dying times. She was often at our house on a Sunday. Then, she just wasn’t there anymore. But she was a Christian and you just believed she was in a better place.

As an officers’ kid, there was no support or camps like there are these days. I remember when they had Officers’ Councils in Sydney a lot of the officers’ kids would just be hanging around outside. There was nothing planned for us at all, but we would all get to know each other and chat a bit.

General John Gowans used to say, “The need constitutes the call”. I do believe in the priesthood of all believers, that all Christians are called to minister in whatever way they feel God is calling them to do.

We are called to be Jesus to others on this earth and minister as he would. I look back on my life and I can see blessings and I can see miracles. It has not always been brilliant, but it’s been good – a good life. 

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