Murwillumbah Christian Outreach Centre pastor Bob Spence has survived tough times.
Murwillumbah Christian Outreach Centre pastor Bob Spence has survived tough times. John Gass

Church minister encourages locals

A MURWILLUMBAH church minister who has raised a huge family has spoken out to give encouragement to Tweed locals battling hard financial times.

At 61 and still paying off a mortgage after raising 10 kids and seeing the birth of his 20th grandchild, Murwillumbah Christian Outreach Centre pastor Bob Spence, has a bit of experience in battling hard times himself.

With many Tweed tradies battling to get sufficient work and recent revelations that developers of a proposed IGA supermarket and McDonald's restaurant have been swamped with pleas for work, his advice is timely.

Pastor Spence said life was always a challenge but having a world view that includes trusting in God had seen him through hard times.

"The most important thing I guess I'd have a different view to most people," Pastor Spence said.

"I happen to believe God's my provider.

"I've survived almost impossible situations with a trust in God.

"That's what my belief system is and it's never let me down."

Pastor Spence said that belief system had enabled his family to survive with ten kids where other people with just two found the going too tough.

"I see things we face as a challenge," he said.

One the subject of high interest rates and the pressure of mortgages Mr Spence said he belief system had also helped.

"We've got a mortgage too and I'm 61. My way of looking at it is everybody's got interest rate rise. I said to my wife: "we will just keep going. We will survive."

"Everything in life is a challenge."

"You've got to live within your means. There's some things you can't have.

"My older kids whinge that when they grew up they didn't have the Reeboks and the fancy clothes.

"To me to buy an ice-cream for the kids was $20 to $30. We very rarely went out to dinner.

"But I'm very close to my family and my kids."

"My biggest slogan is " I win every day - it just takes longer some days than others.

"That's an attitude. Your attitude will determine your altitude.

"If you live in the doldrums you can't be happy.

"The big difference for me has been a faith in Jesus Christ. That has been our strength as a family."



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