Testimony from the Antipodes

Here is a wonderfully encouraging testimony we recently received from a young lady in Australia. It reminds us that the efforts of one faithful daughter can make a huge impact on her family, and that God can bring incredible blessings through any situation, no matter how dark. The faith, optimism and joy expressed throughout this story should shame any of us who are tempted to lose hope in our situations.

Dear Anna Sofia & Elizabeth,

I just want to say a big thank you for the articles that you have posted on botkinsisters.com, and for the amazing DVD “The Return of the Daughters”. Both have been a real encouragement to me, since I was introduced to them earlier this year.

Over the last several years, I have been through a real transformation in the way that I think and perceive life. I became a Christian four years ago (at the age of 15) – saved from a life riddled with rebellion against God, my parents and my Christian school. Since then I have been on an amazing journey with God, and He has taught me much.

The point of this email though, is to tell you how amazed I am at the way God appears to be moving in the hearts of daughters around the world. I grew up in a “super-church” in Melbourne, Australia. Just over a year ago, I had never even heard of the concept of “help-meet”; had no knowledge of the authority of the father in the home (my mother seemed to have more authority than my father…!), had barely heard of “submission” and what that really entailed, and was generally completely unaware that I was a real feminist-at-heart.

At school I was considered to be very intelligent, and was constantly praised by teachers, friends, my family, church leaders etc. Everyone seemed to have a different idea of what I should be in life – all of them involving a career of some sort. My chem/biology teachers encouraged me to become a doctor; my history teacher a historian; my English teacher a writer and the list goes on. But I was bored. In 2006 (the year I graduated from school), I read practically every course description on every major university’s website, and balked at the thought of every single one of them. They just didn’t seem to suit who I was – I wanted adventure, variety, something different… I just didn’t know what different was!

After getting the dux of the college, there was no question in my mind that I would be going to university. In fact, there never had been. But what to do? After much prayer, stress and anxiety I finally signed up for a Law degree in one of Australia’s most prestigious universities. I got in, but felt so uncomfortable about it that I deferred for the year and did a year of Bible college with my church instead. I now see that the Lord was strongly guiding my path.

During that year of Bible college, I was struggling to pay my fees. I had a job, but it wasn’t earning me the kind of money I needed to be able to pay my way through. Every time I prayed about the issue, a thought would come to my mind: I should work for my Dad (who owned and operated his own business)! I would constantly dismiss the thought, knowing that Dad had little money to spare and that time taken to help him would mean even less opportunity to earn money for myself.

One day however, I opened my Bible and it fell open to a verse in Proverbs. Here was the verse, staring me in the face (I had never noticed that verse before): “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” I instantly knew that, in obedience to God, I had to help my father in his business, regardless of the cost. I knew from Matthew 5 that the Lord would provide me with whatever I needed, and that I should not worry. So I approached my Dad about helping him one day a week – which was all I could fit into my very busy schedule (and even that was a stretch…!).

I am so glad that I did. Obedience to God is one of the most wonderful, rewarding things one can do. Here are some of the things that happened:

1) I was able to pay all of my Bible college fees (through a small amount that Dad could pay me each week, plus receiving donations from people and getting enough work with my other job)

2) The work that I did for my Dad encouraged, inspired and motivated him so much that the business rapidly turned around (he had been doing it tough for ages). Dad felt so released by the feeling of having someone to support him that he was able to get more sales, and became much more excited and motivated about his business that he had in any preceding year. And with my help (in sales, admin, project management etc.), we were able to get a lot more done as well. One example that nearly makes me cry everytime I think about it is an expo that Dad and I attended together. The year before, Dad had exhibited there, and had felt so discouraged that he very nearly didn’t go back. He didn’t get a single client there. However, I encouraged him to go and so we went together. With God’s great blessing, we picked up more clients and potential clients that day than I think Dad ever had before in his life!! God is so good!

3) Dad also felt hugely encouraged by having someone in the family not fighting against him, but fighting with him. The majority of my family complained bitterly about his desire to run his own business – we had much more money when he just had a normal job! But I really believed in his vision, and didn’t mind not having much, and I think that meant a lot to him.

4) This is probably the most exciting and rewarding one for me: in March last year I met my (now) husband at a Business breakfast I attended with my Dad. It is a long story, but to cut it short, one of the things that attracted him to me was my support of my father, his business and his vision. My husband Jonathan runs his own business too, and he wanted a woman who would work with him. Jonathan introduced me to the concept of “help meet,” taught me about submission through the Bible, about a father’s authority and the list goes on. He introduced me to the concept of homeschooling and home-making etc. etc. I felt like my eyes had been opened! I felt so excited about the possibility of living a life that I had never even been aware that I could live!

Jonathan and I were betrothed on November 24 last year with my parents’ blessing. I happily turned down my law degree (against the wishes of almost everyone I knew except my father and my husband). We were married April 19 this year, and the last six months have been some of the most blissful in my life! I am working full-time with my husband, am NEVER bored, have variety in my work beyond what I could imagine, absolutely LOVE working in the business, working in the kitchen, and doing as many things as I can to benefit my husband. Most of the people I know say that I am “wasting my life” – but I can’t help but be incredibly joyful at the way the Lord has opened my eyes and introduced me to a most fulfilling life!

Anyway, in February this year I watched the DVD you created. By the end of it I sat there in my chair with tears in my eyes – here I was, obeying the Lord, having been completely oblivious to the fact that there was a whole movement of daughters doing the same thing! It was the most wonderful realisation.

Anyway, I have now shown your DVD to one of my friends, and plan to show it to many others. I think it is a message that needs to be heard!

May the Lord richly bless you both,