The Story of George and Jennie Lonnie
About the Book
“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
About the Author
Lieut-Colonel Ian Southwell is the son of Australian Salvation Army officers and a grandson of George and Jennie Lonnie. Ian was a university-trained science and mathematics teacher before marrying his wife Sonja in 1967 and training together to become officers in the late 1960s. Their joint service has taken them around the world as outlined in their book, Safely Led to Serve: A Joint Biography (Balboa Press, 2017). Now retired from active service, Ian and Sonja are involved in pastoral, interchurch, literary and other ministries on behalf of The Salvation Army in Melbourne, Australia. Ian and Sonja have three daughters, all involved in helping ministries, one of whom is also a Salvation Army officer.