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Sixty Years later
   
US Gospel singer Martha Chastain was welcomed at a YFC anniversary rally in Auckland, NZ

1953

US Gospel singer Martha Chastain was welcomed at a YFC anniversary rally in the Auckland Town Hall in 1953. She had been singing for three years. When she sang out of a huge birthday card (from YFC President, Ted Engstrom): ‘I’ve discovered the way of gladness,

I’ve discovered the way of joy ...,’ the audience gasped in surprise. Many came into faith in Christ, and untold numbers since, with Neil and Pat Macaulay Gospel meetings, BG, radio and Anglican TV, and Outback Patrol.
 
YFC director, Murray Kendon, was at the 1953 microphone—and in 2008, retrieved Jean Frith’s old b&w photo of the event. (He’s the same man who matched technology and missions together in 1947, and founded the first MAF in the UK after serving as a pilot in WWII. He returned to NZ to expand the MAF and YFC work.) Now in his 90s, the Kendons are retired near Wellington, NZ, He is the great-grand-father of the massive worldwide missionary enterprise of MAF, and is in
Murray Kendon
contact with the Nixons occasionally.
 
Teenage accordionist, Les Nixon.
Teenage accordionist, Les Nixon, was here pumping away in Sydney OAC beach meetings and rallies in 1953 when he met Martha. He was a cabinetmaker and a company representative, and a volunteer at OAC meetings. They were 19 years old....
 
Aussie Evangelist, Jim Duffecy, is leading the singing here at a huge outdoor rally with young Les playing. Duffecy and Macaulay urged Nixon to study at a Christian college in the USA, where he and Martha were married in 1955, returned to Australia, lead 23 city-wide mission till 1959, then with Billy Graham for a year in Australia and New Zealand, and the work of Outback Patrol mission ever since.

Jim Duffecy

Duffecy pioneered Open Air work in many lands, and nurtured others to serve the Lord with gifts and talents, and wrote the definitive 19th & 20th century account of open air evangelism in Australia in his 1983 book, Truceless Warfare Advances.


Duffecy is here teaching Les’s students at the Outback Patrol Institute at Georges Hall, 1980. He had been Les’s mentor.
 
Les and Martha Nixon in 2007
Les & Martha in 2007
 

No Mystery

The past returns to bless us
as we touch reality.
We thought we’d left it all behind,
but our life inevitably finds us.
It isn't news,
just a bit of history.

We can’t change our part in life
though amazed how we got by.
Just enjoy our teenage dreams –
For us that's best somehow, it seems.

No need to solve the mystery
of our history.

It’s OK.

   
         
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