Rev Dr Gordon Moyes The Superintendent Writes
A weekly column by Rev Dr Gordon Moyes, Superintendent of Wesley Mission.
February 25th, 2001

Australians - people like ourselves - owe $90 billion to credit providers. Every year this amount increases at a rate of 15%. You don’t have to have the intellectual genius of a rocket scientist to know that if your debt keeps increasing at a rate of 15% per year, it doesn’t take long before it becomes an impossible debt to repay.

That impossible debt is what many people are finding already. Over expenditure on credit cards, houses, cars and buying now with the thought of paying later has meant that many people are suddenly faced with extra bills for children’s schooling, medical health costs and the like and unfortunately our capacity to continually earn more money in order to pay our debts is never guaranteed.

I realize that this problem of debt was going to become a major issue for the Australian community a quarter of a century ago. In 1977 I wrote, that when I commenced work at Wesley Mission, one of the first things I wanted to do, was to establish a credit counselling service. I wanted people’s finances to be controlled by the people, not the finances controlling them. It took a year to help us get over some of the debts that Wesley Mission had at the time, for which I had to give first priority, and then I established what I called “Debt Line”. We changed that to “Credit Line”.

Betty Weule was the first person I appointed to work with us. She retires now after 20 years of wonderful service. We wish Betty well in her future and thank her for building the largest Financial Counseling Service in Australia. This week Betty has been with the Minister for Fair Trading, and the major providers of credit in Australia, trying to encourage them to be more responsible in the way people are allowed to borrow.

On Friday February 22, I opened a new Credit Line facility in Penrith, where we will be able to minister far more effectively to people in that area. We have responsibilities now for providing support services to Credit Line counsellors all over Australia and have trained scores of competent people.

Responsible handling of finance is a Christian virtue. We must never allow our money to get out of control. If it already is out of control, I’d encourage you to immediately talk to our Wesley Financial Counselling Service “Credit Line”. Our trained counsellors can help you get back in control. One of the great fruits of the Holy Spirit is that of self-discipline. All of us must develop the gift of self-discipline, especially with our money.