Lasting Treasure: The Story of George and Jennie Lonnie
"Our hearts were greatly cheered when our first soul sought salvation. This dear fellow had travelled all the way from Melbourne in search of the gold that perishes. He failed to find this, but found instead the pearl of greatest...
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"Our hearts were greatly cheered when our first soul sought salvation. This dear fellow had travelled all the way from Melbourne in search of the gold that perishes. He failed to find this, but found instead the pearl of greatest price!" So wrote George Lonnie of the earliest days of his work in Southern Cross, Western Australia, in 1893. He and his companion, Captain Charles Bensley, had walked 152 kilometres east over four solid days from the end of the railway line to that mining settlement in hot, dry, and dusty conditions. Having built their own accommodation and a meeting hall using saplings cut from the bush, hessian, and discarded wooden crates, it took seven weeks of faithful teaching, preaching, and caring for the needs of the prospectors there before that first soul sought and found the lasting treasure of salvation. Lasting Treasure shares the story of George Lonnie and Jennie Hammer, who made the same great discovery: lasting treasure more precious than gold-a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. First individually, and then as a couple, they shared their discovery by proclaiming the gospel and alleviating human needs through Christian ministry in the Salvation Army in Australia and New Zealand. In so doing, they experienced precious strength to face privations, illnesses, bereavements, and disappointments-as well as exciting times of great joy. The story of their resilience and courage is both challenging and inspiring. "What courage and dedication the whole story is immersed with. It is a history largely lost to modern Salvationists, and so your recording of it is so important." -Major Campbell Roberts, New Zealand "George and Jennie Lonnie's singleness of mind and commitment to their calling and the mission of The Salvation Army is truly inspirational." -Major Garry Mellsop, New Zealand
Lieut-Colonel Ian Southwell was a science teacher in Australia before training as an officer (minister) in The Salvation Army. He was commissioned and ordained with his wife, Sonja, in 1969. Together they served in corps (church) leadership, school education, youth work, literary, international administrative, and leader development roles. Areas of ministry have included Zambia, The Philippines, Korea, Hong Kong and China, and in 15 other countries while based in the UK as well as in Ian's homeland of Australia.