Brigadier Jim Wallace captured the attention of the 600-strong audience.
Brigadier Jim Wallace captured the attention of the 600-strong audience. Renee Pilcher

Faith unites community

A BRIEF but poignant journey through Christian history incorporating his time in command of the SAS Regiment was at the heart of managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby retired Brigadier Jim Wallace at yesterday’s fourth annual Mayoral Prayer Breakfast.

“I’ve been a speaker at about 12 prayer breakfasts but that does not mean I am going to get it right,” he said and immediately had the attention of more than 600 people who had come to hear him speak.

“To think that a town the size of Gympie can produce an event like this – it is amazing.

A seasoned guest speaker at prayer breakfasts around the nation, Brig Wallace said the church, once too close to power, “became corrupt” but despite that, “Christians brought good to the community.”

“Christians changed the face of the ancient world.”

Brig Wallace moved forward to the time of American President Abraham Lincoln and then to Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King, making reference to their faith, saying “This is a spiritual world.”

He spoke about Tony Abbott who, among other things, received media coverage for speaking publicly about his faith.

“He was told not to bring his faith into public office, which I find incredible.”

Brig Wallace relayed a story of a tragic accident during his time in command of the SAS Regiment, weaving the account of events into a verbal tapestry featuring the importance of faith.

“The SAS motto is train hard, fight easy; this day they were training with live ammunition.

“One of the men was badly injured and it seemed as though he would not live or best outcome that he would be a quadriplegic. I arranged a healing service for the SAS Regiment.”

That service was to be held in a small church but the number of people was so huge that it had to be held in the gymnasium.

“They were there because they wanted to help their mate and had run out of options. The [injured] man became a paraplegic and has since married. It struck me that faith was relevant that day. Sometimes no matter how tough we think we are, we need to turn to that spiritual world. The world is not going to slow down. We have to give people the tools to allow them to succeed in this world.

“Whatever the world throws at us, we can have confidence in God; there is someone out there who will stand by us.”

Brig Wallace said he hoped Gympie would continue to hold a breakfast that incorporated the church, public office and community.

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