After graduation, we married and began work as vets in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria. We had a couple of little boys and our lives were pretty easy.
We started to think that we would like to work in a third world country, where life was not so easy for the local people.
We did a training course for Lay Missionary work with PALMS who provide long-term international volunteering opportunities to skilled volunteers.
Around this time there was a Columban priest doing a supply at our church in Bacchus Marsh. We invited him for dinner and he brought along Columban Fr Paul Carey, who was just back from Korea.
Fr Paul mentioned that *Fr. PJ McGlinchey was flying to Sydney that week to buy some cattle for his agricultural project on Jeju Island in Korea and that he might be able to use a couple of young vets.
A meeting was set up for us to meet Fr PJ (as he was known) and as they say the rest is history. We spent five years working with the Columbans in Korea and our association with Korea continues today.
After finding letters I had written to my parents from Korea in the 1970s, I wanted to document our experience as lay missionaries. Last year ‘Our Korea Connection’ was published.
Being Columban lay missionaries in Korea changed our lives personally, culturally and agriculturally.
The experience made us realise that when you give your life to God, it will take you in amazing directions.
*Fr McGlinchey’s model of development and profitable farming encouraged the use of underused farm land and new farming methods. He established St Isidore Farm which raised pigs, sheep, cows and horses at its stud.
Listen to "A reason to live"
- Read more from The Far East, March 2019