Anne and I were not long married when an evangelist came to our city of Kirkcaldy in Fife, Scotland. We attended every meeting except one. The evangelist visited us in our home and brought with him a tape recorder and a tape of the one we missed. It was on tithing. As we listened and heard God's promised blessings, we decided to give it a go.
My wage in the 1950s was about 12 pounds a week. One pound, four shillings was a lot of money for us. Later we were baptised and our first baby was on the way. Our baptism was in May--summer in the UK--and I knew when winter came, I would have to request time off as sunset comes as early as 3.30. At the appropriate time I approached my supervisor and, explaining my situation, asked if I could make up the time by working part of my lunch hour each day. The decision was that I could leave early but would need to clock off and lose earnings. Later our second child arrived, and to obtain a larger house we had to move to a new town. Paying extra rent, providing for two children, plus travel costs to work, and returning tithes and offerings did not leave us with extra money, but we managed.
A position advertised in my trade journal for a compositor to work four 10-hour night shifts, Monday to Thursday, with a higher hourly rate, seemed an answer to prayer. We travelled to England for an interview and I was accepted for the position. We were given the choice of two company-owned houses and we were to let them know when I could start and which house we preferred.
I wrote the following day and waited for their promised reply. No letter came. I waited anxiously then phoned to be told my letter had not arrived, so they presumed I was not interested and another person had been given the position. I was devastated, and later discovered there had been a postal strike.
In 1963, I saw an advertisement in one of our national newspapers for a compositor for the Whyalla News, South Australia. We decided to apply. A telegram arrived, saying, "Will see you Sunday afternoon."
Originally from Scotland, Mr Willson was on holiday and duly arrived. We talked for a while before he offered me the position. It was then I told him there was something he should know before I could accept. As he looked questioningly at me, I told him we were Seventh-day Adventists and did not work from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday.
I can still see the big smile on his face as he told us there was a fine Adventist church in Whyalla and that he fully understood our principles and there were no problems. He then told us the vacancy I would be filling was held by an Adventist who was leaving for a position with the church printers.
Within six weeks, we were on our to way to Australia. We have gratefully received God's bountiful blessings. We are retired now and financially secure. As I look back, I can also see that the real riches in life have been the wonderful memories of people we have shared life with in many places, both here and abroad.
During our 41 years in Whyalla, a wealth of treasured people have come and gone. The love we have received and given cannot be measured in dollars and cents. It is a wonderful family to belong to and I praise and thank God for the Sabbath and the saving truths that provide guidelines and security for life. With real gratitude, we continue to return our tithes and offerings.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. Psalm 100:4.
Bob Penman is retired and lives in Whyalla, South Australia.