|God's Call into Ministry
By Peter Lane (Australia) I knew what identity conflict was. I was born of Indian/Irish descent and lived in a low socio-economic migrant area. I was illegitimate, my Indian father left my mum when I was a baby and went back to India. So I had no brothers or sisters. And no male father figure, only a defacto relationship (like many of my childhood friendís situations). And I experienced sexual abuse. So the issues of need of acceptance, affirmation, father figure and identity problems that many of our counselees present with were totally familiar territory. However I was secure in my gender and mum was not overpowering or dominant. But despite all this, I had an awareness of God that led me to get involved in Church from the ages of 11 to 15. I seriously thought of the priesthood at this time. But I decided not to pursue this. In fact, I left disillusioned with the church. Unfortunately, during this whole time I never heard the gospel. I studied physical education at Teachers College. After an 18-month relationship with a girl broke up at college, I began a spiritual search that led me to being born again. Reflecting back, there were numerous homosexuals who appeared in my life at school, college and marriage. But I was totally focussed on my own life at school. I was totally heterosexual. Homosexuals didn't really bother me. I basically ignored them. I didn't have a drinking or drug problem. My major problem was anger and bitterness over my background. After graduating from college, I couldn't get a job. So I went overland to India to see my father and look for a job. Meeting my father and his family was horrendous. I did get a job in a Mission school. But I was more interested in witnessing to the hippies and people following the Eastern religion trail, so I spent my vacation doing this. At the Mission school I met Dot. We were married two years later. After we married, we spent 18 months witnessing to hippies. Then we returned to the U.K. where we ran a hostel for men who were ex-convicts or homeless. One year later we went Australia and worked with Teen Challenge, running their Drug Rehabilitation Programme. We found that some of the guys who came to the program were struggling with homosexuality. I started to read about homosexuality and became the main speaker on homosexuality at a rally. During this time I felt the Lord leading me to work in this area. We started a ministry called Liberty Ministry. At that time I was given a book called The Third Sex?. It was a book written by Frank Worthen with the testimonies of people who had left homosexuality. I wrote to Frank Worthen. I later met him at an Exodus Europe conference. And I eventually travelled to visit his ministry, then called Love in Action, in the USA. I also met Bob Davies, then the director of Exodus North America. I returned to spend more time helping develop ex-gay ministries in Australia and New Zealand. Frank and Bob provided helpful direction as we got more involved in ex-gay ministry. Another person who was very helpful was Sy Rogers. There were a number of ministries to homosexuals across Australia. We came together and decided to form a coalition called Restoration Ministries. Sy Rogers spoke at our first conference. The following year, I became the director of Restoration Ministries. And one year later, we changed our name to Exodus South Pacific and joined the international movement of Exodus ministries. Later Exodus South Pacific became Exodus Asia Pacific. All my life I have lived and worked with marginalised people. So being involved with witnessing in gay bars and street scene is familiar territory for me. My wife, Dot comes from a very conservative straight Christian family and is totally involved in Exodus. Since 1999, we have been making Exodus mission trips into Asia and the Pacific.