Salt Podcast

Conversations with Amy

Join Amy Townsend as she takes you deeper into the lives of 'ordinary' people with heart warming, sometimes challenging and always extraordinary gospel stories.

We've teamed up with radio Hope 103.2 to deliver these seasons of SALT. Where possible, we'd love you to leave a review to help spread the word! (If you'd like to financially support the production of SALT we'd love to hear from you. Please email Bill Farrand, SMBC Chief Operating Officer, or phone 02 9747 4780.) 

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1 September 2020    Episode 28 - Helping Children Grieve - Jill

Jill McGilvray has experienced deep and abiding grief as her life has unfolded, and has turned it into an opportunity to help the smallest members of our community cope with their darkest hours.

Grief and loss are inevitable parts of life in this world. As Job puts it, "Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward."

The experience of both can be a lonely, painful and confusing time, especially for children.

Jill has not only faced her own loss and grief, but has been involved in bereavement counselling with children for many years.

Join Jill as she shares the lessons she has learned from decades of helping others grieve.

Length: 34:45   Listen 

25 August 2020    Episode 27 - Australian / Israeli / Christian - Megan

Megan lived in the midst of a whirlwind of relationships created by her mother's own need to find love. But despite the people flowing in and out of her life, Megan knew from an early age she was no-one's 'special someone'.

Life in Australia, followed by a sojourn in Israel, a Jewish upbringing and a Christian education - all combined to increase her sense of a jumbled identity.

However when Megan decided to strike out and become a person of consequence, the greatest consequence of all was her meeting with God.

Length: 32:48   Listen 

18 August 2020    Episode 26 - Flying High In Mongolia - David

David thought that his life would have no ceiling - literally. His early dreams were of serving God behind the controls of an aircraft. So how did he end up landing rough in Mongolia?

As a country town lad, David Burge was enamoured with the freedom of the open sky. It was only exceeded by his first love for Jesus.

When he contemplated a future in ministry, he thought that God would naturally combine his desire to be in the cockpit with an opportunity to transport the Gospel to unknown places.

But the flight-path God had in mind would take him from soaring highs to crashing lows, and a ministry in Mongolia that would take him closer to God than he ever thought possible.

Length: 39:04   Listen 

11 August 2020    Episode 25 - Married To Mission - Helen

Helen lived a privileged life in a privileged suburb of Sydney. She grew up in an expansive home, holidayed by the sea and attended an exclusive private school. Her early life looked very much like an episode of Downton Abbey.

Her intensely academic parents planned a successful scientific career for their third child. However, Helen shocked them to the core when she opted to train as a missionary.

In the middle of her lonely upper-class life, God had reached out to reveal to Helen what real life looked like. And though Helen's path has taken her through many dark valleys, she has never had to confront them alone.

Trigger alert: This episode contains some distressing details of assault.

Length: 37:06   Listen 

5 August 2020    Episode 24 - A Musical Life - Trevor

Trevor Hodge has played in everything from school concerts to cover bands, even as God brought together a musical career that has supported the faith of thousands.

Yet his biggest achievement is arguably breaking ground for a new sort of ministry position in Australian churches.

Trevor tells Jenny the story that led to him to become one of Australia's first 'magnification pastors', a term that has become synonymous with ministering the word of God to the soul through music.

Length: 36:44   Listen 

28 July 2020    Episode 23 - Terror, Torment and Tragedy + Christ - Naomi

Naomi Deck grew up a promising girl in a happy family on New South Wales' south coast. However bullying by a group of Wicca devotees left her in fear for her life, and all but crushed her personality.

The anxiety that followed would drastically alter her life until one day she discovered that God was equal to all her fears.

But Naomi found her faith would have to rise to a whole new level the day she prayed, "Dear God make me humble," followed by, "Help me to never deny you."

Length: 34:39   Listen 

21 July 2020    Episode 22 - My Two Japanese Fathers - Shion

Shion spent her earliest years split between Japan and Australia, absorbing the traditions of the first and the laid-back lifestyle of the second.

However, wherever she lived, she found her footsteps dogged by continuing interactions with the Christian faith - beginning with her very unlikely name, the Japanese word for 'Zion'.

But as she struggled to come to terms with her distant Japanese father, and her faithful Japanese father-in-law, Shion learned the qualities of still one more Father who longed to lead her into the Kingdom of God.

Length: 33:10   Listen 

14 July 2020    Episode 21 - The Hardest Place Is Where You Are - Lakgva

Lakgva grew up in post-Communist Mongolia, a place of desperate poverty and spiritual malaise. A once-proud nomadic people were coping with the collapse of a rigid state system and a flood of western ideas.

Personally, Lakgva's family was devastated, with his university trained parents no longer able to find work. At 12 he was sent out to earn a living and came to view life through bitter eyes.

When his mother began going to church, Lakgva perceived it as a further reason to be ashamed in a life pock-marked with constant embarrassment. However, he had little idea how profound her quiet faith would become in one of the hardest ministry places on earth, and particularly in his own life.

Length: 39:43   Listen 

7 July 2020    Episode 20 - A Prodigal Son Story - James

James Brigden started life in an idyllic home, but the temptations of alcohol, fuelled by a hard-drinking Aussie culture took him far from his loved ones.

A self-confessed alcoholic, James struggled to find his way through addiction and in the process discovered the God who was able to set him free. Not just from his dependency on the bottle, but the sin that so weighed him down.

Join Jenny Salt as she delves into James's life and his road to recovery, discovering truths that are enough to make any of us more sober-minded.

Length: 36:10   Listen 

6 May 2020    Episode 19 - Living as a Christian in the messy world of politics - Meagan

Meagan Skinner had to grow up very fast in a family situation that was laced with uncertainty and trauma.

But God used those experiences to drive a biblical desire to see the world 'just that little better' for those around her. When she was given the chance to staff for a Sydney politician, it seemed like a good way to see through great changes.

Yet she soon found that being a Christian in the halls of power could be as crushing as it could be useful.

Length: 38:06   Listen 

29 April 2020    Episode 18 - Not belonging‚Ķ and belonging to God - Anna

Anna tells Jenny Salt a wonderful tale of how God uses great disappointment to grow our appreciation of His power and His goodness. She tells how she worked for decades to declare the Gospel overseas, only to have her dream fall apart at every point. But in those deepest and darkest points she discovered the truly beautiful presence of God.

Length: 38:56   Listen 

22 April 2020    Episode 17 - Fathers and the Fatherhood of God - Simon

Simon Flinders is the pastor of a Sydney suburban Anglican church, which seems simple enough. Yet his life has been profoundly shaped by the family he grew up in, and ultimately by the fatherhood of God.

Length: 38:30   Listen 

15 April 2020    Episode 16 - Preaching to the heights about the God who came down - Neeraj

Jenny Salt speaks to Neeraj, the grandchild of Nepal's first Christian converts. 

During their time together she uncovers the 16-year prayer vigil that resulted in the Gospel crossing the borders of that mountain-locked country.

And Neeraj reveals his heart to 'preach to the heights' as he plans to return to his spiritually dark homeland.

Length: 33:48   Listen 

8 April 2020    Episode 15 - A modern medical missionary - Andrew

Andrew Browning's medical career has taken him from the searing deserts of Tanzania to the struggling townships of Ethiopia, where he has put his special talents at Christ's service.

Widely regarded as the finest fistula surgeon in the world, Andrew has laboured alongside Dr. Catherine Hamlin and others to relieve the suffering of women made outcasts in their societies through no fault of their own.

And in doing so, he's seen God at work both in his life and the lives of his patients.

Length: 38:05   Listen 

1 April 2020    Episode 14 - Wired to reach a sceptical world - John

Jenny Salt interviews John Dickson, the world-famous apologist, speaker and writer who has used every conceivable medium to challenge people to think about the claims of Jesus.

Jenny digs back into John's past, uncovering the  pains that led him to think about the brevity of life, and the people who made Jesus personal to him. The career that followed makes for incredible listening.

Length: 38:16   Listen 

25 March 2020    Episode 13 - From New Age to new life, and New York - Maia

Maia tell Jenny she desperately wanted to be the 'good girl', but couldn't find a path that satisfied her conscience. For years she delved into the New Age movement, looking for the spiritual guide she was hoping for. She found what she was looking for, though, on a highway to western Sydney. Since then Maia has been helping collect stories of faith from all over the world.

Length: 39:32   Listen 

18 March 2020    Episode 12 - Christianity, science and other stuff - Andre

Andre was a youth leader, a ministry apprentice and a committed Christian - but before all of that, he was a scientist. Could his love for the world around him actually be the path God was calling him down? He tells Jenny Salt it was the hardest, best decision he's ever made.

Length: 34:29   Listen 

11 March 2020    Episode 11 - This is big, but God is bigger - Kirsty

Kirsty is a country girl from Bega with a deep love for her family, beginning with her identical twin sister. Together they've shared everything from schoolyard pranks to careers in physiotherapy, and a path that led to Bible college. There they also met the very different men God had set aside for them. And when Kirsty's husband suffered a tragic accident, she tells Jenny Salt it was their mutual faith that would deliver fresh hope in the midst of painful struggles.

Length: 34:08   Listen 

6 March 2020    Episode 10 - “Can we trust God with this?” - Helen

When huge challenge is followed by huge challenge, how do you manage to hold on to God? As the trials mounted, Helen Thomas had to ask herself again and again, "Can we trust God with this?"

Length: 41:39   Listen 

2 December 2019    Episode 9 - Nothing is wasted in God’s economy - Stephen

In this episode, Jenny chats with Stephen Liggins: author, pastor, lecturer and even a medal winner in the world masters athletics! Hear how God has used all of this in His purposes.

Length: 30:29   Listen 

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