Brian Rensford – Christian Missionary
Brian began at Saint Kentigern in 1959 and in is final year was made a prefect, something he said was a turning point in his life journey, having been a little ‘unruly’ in his younger years.
Two years later, halfway through a Commerce degree at AU, he made a commitment to Lord Jesus Christ and has followed, loved, and served Him ever since.
After completing his studies, he moved to Melbourne to commence training as a Christian minister and the following year, hitchhiked 900km to Sydney, drove semi-trailers, and lived and served in an aborigine mission in the inner city slums of Redfern; his first Christian worker assignment.
In the following years, he also worked for a large auditing firm and became company accountant for (what is now) Rivers Shoes – in their largest manufacturing plant in Australia. He also married an ‘Aussie girl.’
In 1974, he and his wife, Elizabeth made a permanent move to Sydney and set out to pastor a church whilst continuing to self-support doing contract work, saying he ‘discovered he had a God-given gift for fixing up messes -financially, relationally, and organisationally.’ This is something he has continued for over 49 years since he was ordained.
For the past 35 years his church has supported a ministry called ‘Lifeline Ministries Southern Africa’ and in the past 21 years, he has visited mainly Zimbabwe and Mozambique on 27 extended trips – teaching, training, pastoring leaders - and learning how to conduct ‘real safaris’ in his 4WD for the other 22 people from his church who have been ‘brave enough’ to accompany him! Through this work, he made the surprising discovering that the phonetics of the local language, Shona, are identical to Maori so when he speaks pidgin Shona, they think he was raised there.
Brian says that Saint Kentigern has left an indelible mark on him and he said it was joy to catch up with fellow students at the 2009 Jubilee celebrations. He says that the impact of the School motto, Fides Servanda Est, its true meaning and call to loyalty to the essential gospel has been something he has stressed to his African friends and extended family. He says he has found that ‘Keeping the Faith’ must have a warm, relational aspect for there to be any genuine bonds that endure. The crying need for affection is greater than ever in our societies…. St Kentigern himself understood this.
For more information about Brian’s missionary life, he invited you to visit his website: http://www.hnlc.org.au/rensford