Hello, my name is Vivien...
As a child I didn’t like having such an old fashion name, but later I was to discover it meant “Full of Life,” and that is how my life has been. I have many a tale to tell about my life adventures as an Aid Worker through very different parts of the world, mainly in Africa during mass starvation in Ethiopia to war torn Mozambique when it was considered the worst country in the World. The most traumatising for me was in Rwanda in 1994 straight after the genocide. I was not aware I had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) until I went to Liberia in 1999 and the guns went off and I flipped out and had a major panic attack. Short lived, however, as my faith pulled me through and within the hour was able to cope with the situation.
Presently I am in the heart of Australia. Central Australia, the desert, has a stark beauty of red rocky outcrops against clear blue skies. The temperatures can fluctuate from over 40 degrees centigrade in summer and below zero in the early winter mornings. What has called me here? Well you could read my books to find out!
Originally, I came to the red centre out of a God given concern for the young Indigenous youth caught up in petrol sniffing. Now, I am mainly working with young Indigenous women running self-esteem programs, and assisting to empower young single Indigenous mums how to better interact with their babies. As for the young fellas, I recently coordinated a horse whisperers and adventure-based camp for them.
I wrote my first book “A Full Life - the Adventures of a Christian Aid Worker” (Ark House Press 2010) originally as a therapeutic tool for PTSD. It mainly centers on my work in Africa – the intensity of my experiences are scattered with laughter and the amazing insights God revealed along the way. While writing the book brought back a host of sad memories, I gained a healing perspective on my path with God.
I wrote my second book “Called to the Centre” (Ark House Press 2015) as I felt the stories of troubled youth needed to be shared. This book is my witness of how certain hopeless situations such as petrol sniffing and youth suicides can be turned around with the help of God.
My faith journey started as a young child where I loved the Sunday school song, “Over the Seas there are Little Brown Children.” It was as though I knew way back then what was my God calling, but it took until I was 17 years old for me to come to a personal relationship with Jesus. As a young adult, I worked in nursing and considered myself a weekend hippy. For more than a decade, God was waiting in the wings for me to wake up and recommit my life back to Him. I went to Ethiopia in 1985 during a severe famine with World Vision, an aid organisation. From then on, my faith has grown and I have witnessed many miracles along the way now knowing that God is real and not just a made up fairytale.
I speak about all of the above but have some set talks that I would be happy to share with any groups who would be interested in seeing how God has worked in my life and how He can work in yours too when we surrender our lives to Him.
Discussion topics can include book discussions on “A Full Life” and “Called to the Centre”, aboriginal ministries, how to overcome in a world of violence, mending the broken-hearted, perseverance, out on a limb for Jesus, and the Word is alive.