As soon as I could I left N.Z. at the age of 17 I got on a boat to Sydney for a little bit I felt free, no one knew me! very quickly realisation hit that I had no where to stay and I had no money, so I needed a job ! I was lost!
I went to the police at central explained my circumstance and they took me to the salvation army to see if they had some temporary accommodation, they asked me what I did for a job and I said I was a chef, they offered me employment straight away.
While working for the salvation army I met this friend who was helping out at a Sea shell shop down at the rocks, he asked me if I wanted to help as well, so I said that’s great! so I went with him to meet the owner of the shop, we got on great, the owner took me under his wing like a father would and started to show me the business, he was a very kind and caring man and I really enjoyed his presence.
It wasn’t long before he introduced me to one of his friends which took me out for dinner then took me to his place at Hunters Hill, he asked if I wanted to stay the night and he would take me back in the morning.
I said yes that would be great, Talk about naive! he showed me the bed so I got into it and he joined me, I was so shocked and confused, this was my first experience with a man! I had no idea what to expect, I had often had thoughts, dreams of another man holding me, BUT never in a sexual way, I had always thought I was meant to be a woman as I liked the company of men more than the company of woman, I was so confused as I was always quite feminine, the way I dressed, the way I walked and the way I talked.
I might add at this point all this seemed quite natural to me and I was always berated for it, and I was always being told that I was gay BUT I had no idea what that meant.
From this point on my life started taking on a whole new meaning, it seemed I have found myself at last, life was pretty fast at this point I found the work I loved, I fell in and out of gay relationships, I found work at Gay night clubs and restaurants as a chef or a waiter, I was the youngest manager of a night club called the Tivoli in George Street.
I quickly became a workaholic as this was where I was the happiest, BUT I was also tied up with people that enjoyed to party hard.
The bottom started to fall out of my world, my health really started to affect me around the age of 22, I was getting really sick from poor eating habits, smoking way to much, drinking and the occasional drugs. I hated where my life was so much I decided to end my life and tried to commit suicide.
As this didn’t work I desperately tried to get my life on track, my job was secure, I had money I just didn’t know happiness, and I desperately prayed for guidance, I felt sure life was meant to be purposeful, I just need to find it!
I had decided that the Gay life was not what I was looking for, I had been through some pretty ugly relationships and they devastated me emotionally which led me to try to end my life, So the only way forward for me was to get my life back into some normality, so I was radical in the direction I thought to go, I started to exercise! I sought help with my diet, I stopped smoking and drinking, I dumped all my friends except one who worked with me. Richard was some one who I could talk to about anything, he was also my harshest critic!
At 27 living in Redfern by my self I met this woman who was south African quite a stunning looking woman, we started a relationship which was short lived, I was like a fish out of water! it was almost like having a relationship with my mother! talk about control!
It wasn’t long after this that I bumped into my next door neighbour who always seemed happy and very chirpy, I introduced myself to him and I asked why he was so happy, he told me he was a born again Christian and he has the life of Christ in him!
I didn’t know what to do whether to run or hide! I was just so shocked I just stood there and he told me all about Jesus.
That night he came to my place with 3 other people and they all told me their testimony, they then asked if I would like Jesus in my life, I said yes. We would all meet most days to read the bible and teach about Jesus, it wasn’t long before I was baptized, and recruited into witnessing on the streets of Sydney with this group of people that didn’t seem to belong to any church.
One day after about 2 months the leader of this group asked me a little about my past, and I happened to tell him that I lived across the way for 4 years, he knew the guy I was living with, and straight away knew I was Gay, I was told then that there is NO way I can be saved! that I was an abomination, that Homosexuality was the most grievous sin against God! I was excommunicated and told to leave the area.
I was devastated at this, and quoted the Bible that I was born again! I was no longer Gay, that I have been forgiven! that Homosexuality is no more a sin than stealing or lying according to the bible!
I remember this guy telling me never to go to Frank Houstons church, so I started to look for this church as I felt God was leading me there.
It didn’t take long to find, BUT because of what had happened to me I didn’t want to be known too quickly in case I would be thrown out, I knew all the answers would be in the Church! This situation I found myself in was for me going to be the answer, one way or another I needed to find the truth because the Bible say’s the truth will set you free!
I started to go to home fellowship about 4 months after joining the church and after long talks with a paster Phil who convinced me this was part of the Christian walk.
So the meeting started and Phil looked at me and asked me what my definition of LOVE was! Everyone was looking at me as I was expected to answer, after what seemed like an eternity I just cried my eyes out! I had no answer, as hard as I tried I really had no idea about love! My idea about love was a man holding me tight and saying I love you! Not what I could say in this situation!
What this did for me, was to really find out what love is all about, and the only one that could give me the answer was Jesus though community and the word.
It wasn’t long after this that I was invited into a group called Exit ministries, participated in the Living Waters program.
After about 2 years of being involved with this group I was so frustrated with not finding the freedom from Homosexual thoughts, I had gotten into a relationship with a girl from work who I started to take to church, at this point in my walk with God, abstaining from any sexual activity was for me a blessing, especially with Marie, I was so scared of messing this up! but I felt this was where God wanted me.I must say at this point Marie had no idea of my past and to be honest I was too scared to say anything.
In my walk with God I didn’t identify with being Gay as I was born again even though I still had thoughts about it I never looked back, so for me this wasn’t an issue.
I was asked to lead Exit ministries, I asked Frank Houston if I could go to America to attend a Living waters training, I desperately needed to get some reality to this ministry, and as much as I wanted to be free within myself I wanted everyone that came to Living Waters to know of the reality of Jesus in our lives. I was hearing every Sunday of the love of Jesus BUT I needed to experience this love!
Frank was very happy for me to go, the timing couldn’t have been better, Marie and I were married by this stage, Marie also knew my past and understood what I was doing being involved with Exit ministries, primarily I was involved for 2 reasons, one was I wanted to help prevent youth suicide as I believe gender confusion is a major factor to this, and 2, I wanted to experience the freedom of being a Christian, of being Born Again.
CLC Waterloo was a great church and I felt the more I did the more I was appreciated, this theme was a constant in my life, I found that I was doing more and more, almost at burn out! It was almost like swimming against the tide, the over whelming tide of need within the church. I just knew I had to know the reality of Gods presence!
At this Living Waters training at San Juan Capistrano in California, I came before the CROSS, a huge cross at the centre of the room, I thought straight away that this must be a Catholic church! what have I done?
This was the first time I had travelled to America, I didn’t know what I was in for, BUT I felt a peace at being there, and I felt Gods peace!
So I relaxed and prayed that this is Gods will to be here then let Gods will be done, He knows my heart, and he knows all of my past NO one else knows.
One of the teachings was “Mother wound” I will never forget it, as the person was teaching this God was ministering to me and showing why my mother was incapable of really loving me and why she was so emotionally absent. Then God started to minister to those deep wounds, all I had to do was to stay present to Him, I cried like never before, I was able to forgive my mother and in so doing I was able to receive the healing, after the session which lasted about 2 hours, I felt like never before, a sense of well being!
This was something I would never have realized was missing until I received it, GOD was mothering me at this point.
The next session was the father wound, again as the person was teaching God showed me why dad had never connected with me, I was able to forgive him, at this point God ministered to me by actually holding me and hugging me close to his bosom, I felt the affirmation of being a man! again I was a mess! I never thought I was worth it!
At the end of the 7 days I was a completely different man! I understood why we are called to be “born again” because that is exactly what the process is about, for me there is now a reality of being a born again believer, a Christian, and this was only the beginning!
The first thing I had to do after coming back to Sydney was to ask Marie to forgive me for not seeing her as God saw her! I was seeing her through my brokenness, what a change God made to our relationship!
I started a new ministry called “Living Waters Australia” We re – trained all the leadership and ran it for about 8 years, in that time the ministry was full on, we started 4 ministries outside of our church, we had 200 people in groups for 30 weeks within our church, I realized fast that this ministry is not just for people with same sex attraction we were helping a lot of people that were struggling in their marriages as well, so we renamed what we were doing to relational wholeness.
In effect we were being what the church should be! we were ministering to Christians, equipping them to minister to others, God was raising an army!
Desert Stream ministries is still the most effective ministries in the world for healing Gods people, I had the pleasure of ministering alongside Andy, and I also had the pleasure of attending a Leanne Payne training which was amazing.
I must say here that we were accused of “Conversion Therapy” by some Gays within the church, BUT the truth was everyone who was involved in Living Waters was being converted to Christians that were healed, That were born again! if that was what conversion therapy meant then yes we were guilty, but then every Church should be guilty!
Everybody that was involved was in a desperate situation that demanded truth and healing in their lives and were happy to receive any and all ministry from God! The ones that were saying this were Gays who refused to change their lifestyle! and one was a pastor/evangelist in the church who was stood down for his lifestyle.
Jesus was changing lives, healing people of their past and freeing them to be present to Jesus, they were experiencing what it is to be a Christian.
I stepped down from the ministry in 1998, Connor my son had just been born, and I felt God saying to me to step down and be a father and husband to my family.
Marie died in 2009 to cancer, we were married 21 years, I thank God every day for what he has done and continuing to do in my life, I have married again to a most amazing woman Toni Roy, Connor is now 22 years old.
None of this could have happened out side the Church, I was convinced more than once that I was born Gay, and I am glad to say what a lie that was!
The thing that convinced me was, GOD being a loving God would not permit me to be born gay then say it’s a sin, this never made sense to me as a Christian!