The Benwerren Story
By Douglas Kirk McDonald |ISBN 9780648919469
When God called Olive and Howard McDonald to birth a women’s ministry called Benwerren, beginning in 1951, they heeded the call. While their ministry commenced in 1951, it formally became an organization thirty years later.
The Benwerren Story investigates the vision and spiritual development of its founders, tracing both the life-process and spiritual vision formation of the founders in their journey toward the birth of an effective ministry to women and children on the margins of society.
For almost 70 years, hundreds of women and children have come to Benwerren for help, having experienced family dysfunction, broken trust, violent abuse, stress and trauma.
Benwerren today is a not-for-profit charitable organization run by volunteers and its guests are given time out to rest, retreat and recover. Seventy years on, its ministry is needed more now than ever.
The author articulates the heartbeat of the founder’s convictions and the ‘why’ of their passion and vision for women and children in need; a small but significant work in Melbourne’s early evangelical history and mission to broken families, in need of Christ’s love.
About the author
Douglas Kirk McDonald has been a youth and pastoral worker for over twenty years within and outside Church ministries, including cross-cultural and educational fields.
This book draws from the author’s capstone research completed at the Melbourne School of Theology, towards a Master of Arts Ministry paper completed in 2019.
With very limited written records available from the founders, the author has cross-verified primary records, eye-witnesses, and oral accounts, including his own reflection as one of several next-generation grandchildren to the principle couple of this research. Proximity to his subject, in this case, brings greater insight and learnings.
This book has the present leadership’s goodwill, consent, and access to the source material. The author is also a volunteer committee member for the present organization, believes in the importance of the organization’s past wisdom on present learnings, where the values of community, trust, passion, and grace is stewarded, can be passed on to the next generation.