Olive Dodd turns 95 on Christmas day this year. During the week she reflected on receiving Jesus as her Saviour when she was eight years old. Having attended Sunday School at St Andrews Summer Hill, she responded to a sermon at an open air meeting. From there she learned what it meant to trust God. ‘We learned to pray,’ she says. ‘We learned to ask the Lord into our hearts—for forgiveness, for being unfit for the kingdom, and to be accepted into God’s family.’
While society was more Christianised in those days, Christians were sometimes chided for being ‘do gooders’ or ‘Bible bashers’. Olive’s parents weren’t church goers and had sent her to Sunday school for moral instruction. For them she recalls ‘it didn’t have a lot to do with me being one of God’s children.’ Eventually Olive found that her relationship with God did change her attitude. ‘I can remember my mother saying after some time, “I’m glad you’ve found something that’s sorted you out and made you a better person,”’ Olive recalls. ‘That was exciting to know that I’d changed from a difficult kind of person, to a person who was thoughtful for others.’
Olive met Gordon through societies for young people in the church, and they later married. In 2015, Gordon passed away. ‘I was sad at his passing and missed him terribly because the person you’d lived with for nearly 70 years—it was quite a pity to have that person away from you.’ When Olive felt upset, she would remind herself of promises in the Bible. One of those passages was John 14 where Jesus says he is going to prepare a place for his people. She says, ‘In heaven where Gordon is—wherever that is—there won’t be any more crying, or worrying. It will be just a wonderful time with the Lord himself, and other members of his family.’ Jesus’ promises continue to give her great comfort not only for Gordon, but for herself.
At Christmas Olive loves remembering that an awe inspiring king came to rescue the people of the world. We want to say a very happy birthday to Olive from everyone at Jannali Anglican!