Matt Busby Andrews tells the origin story of Daniel Matthews.
Daniel Matthews was motivated by love. But not the kind of abstract love; he loved adventure, and he loved people. He went to one of the last – probably the last corroboree in the south-west of Australia, which was in 1859. And he loved fishing with the guys, and he loved hunting with the guys; he loved good company, he loved learning language. You know, he’s a frontiersman.
He fell heavily in love with a woman 11 years his junior, very pretty. Her name was Janet. And I’ve read and held the love letters between them; they’re held in the Norman Collection in the State Library of South Australia in Adelaide. And the love is there, you can see it; but the plan is not. He falls heavily for this girl. She’s very clear-minded about becoming a missionary in China, and as the letters unfold he just, to my mind, makes up this vocation that he also has calling to be a missionary, but to Aborigines. And she says, “Really? Where’s it going to be?” And he says, “Well, it’s going to be … on my land; that’s where it’s going to be. And it’s coming together really well, and you’re going to be a part of it.”
I never got the sense that he had a calling from God, not audibly or anything like that. It really comes out of love. He loved Indigenous people, he loved Janet, and he loved the gospel.