The handover of the new Toyota Prado to Ps Peter Walker took place on Thursday 28 September 2023 in Albion Park, NSW.
Warwick Marsh, co-founder of Australian Heart Ministries said, “Thankfully, over the last three years, with the help of our faithful donors at the Canberra Declaration, we have been able to give three second-hand cars away to Indigenous ministers. Recently we also saw five other Indigenous Christian leaders get their cars back on the road by paying for their repairs, tyres or even fuel. Another Indigenous elder got a full set of new tyres on his 4WD.”
Ps Peter Walker’s voice choked with emotion as he said, “I’m just overwhelmed. I can’t put into words how I feel right now. Honest, I am overwhelmed. I never would have thought this would happen to me.”
“I am just so thankful for this gift. I want to personally thank Canberra Declaration for this gift that’s been given, and I thank you all sincerely… This gift of this Prado 4WD will help us keep going in ministry. I even have my favourite Bible verse, 2 Chronicles 7:14, printed on the back of the vehicle. We are so thankful!”
“Ps Peter Walker is 77 years old and widely regarded as the foremost Indigenous Christian leader in our nation today. Thank you to all those who have given sacrificially to help get Ps Peter and Marie Walker a brand new 4WD. Peter and his beautiful family are indeed worthy of double honour,” Marsh concluded.
Ps Peter Walker and Maria have now been married for 55 years. They have five children, 12 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Peter has been involved in ministry for more than 40 years and was the pastor at Redfern Indigenous Church in Sydney for 10 years, from 1987–1997. From 1987 to 1997 he was a prison chaplain and welfare officer within the NSW gaol system and worked in over a dozen gaols including Long Bay, Bathurst, Grafton and Goulburn Gaols. He also served on the NSW Government Parole Board from 2002–2006.
In 1998 Ps Peter Walker led a cross-cultural delegation to meet with the then Governor-General William Deane and most recently during the National Day of Prayer & Fasting 2020. Ps Peter Walker prayed with and for Governor-General David Hurley in front of Parliament House. Ps Peter Walker has travelled to every corner of Australia, helping and ministering to his people. He is known by both tribal people and those on the east coast and is held in great affection by everyone. Read his full story here:
Warwick Marsh and Peter Walker have worked closely together for many years. Marsh said, “Peter is an elder worthy of double honour. I have had the pleasure of working closely with Ps Peter Walker for over three decades. Ps Peter and I served together on the Praise Corroboree. The Praise Corroboree was a 72-hour cross-cultural gathering to glorify God at Parliament House in Canberra, from 1996–1998.”
“Many years ago in 2001 Ps Peter Walker was gifted a Toyota 4WD Prado for his busy ministry. He was very thankful for this providential gift. Just over three years ago, with almost half a million kilometres and 19 years of faithful service, his ministry vehicle gave up the ghost. Peter has been borrowing his daughter Estelle’s car for the last three years. This has been less than ideal, but Estelle is very gracious,” said Marsh.
At the handover ceremony, Estelle Walker Ps Peter’s daughter responded, “I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. I want to say thank you so much. Thank you all for the beautiful, generous gift to my dad, who’s committed his life to service. We are so grateful. I am so grateful because now I get my own car back!”
“This is something I know is going to keep him going in the ministry… His heart has always been about the kingdom of God. I just thank you. I can’t say it enough, but thank you.”
The Canberra Declaration Christian prayer community, which is a ministry function of Australian Heart Ministries, have been raising money for Ps Peter’s new 4WD for the last 3 years. We are profoundly grateful to Illawarra Toyota who have graciously given a generous discount to help Ps Peter Walker become mobile again. He is now behind the wheel of a very good and reliable vehicle which enables him to continue serving the people of Australia.
Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.