Shares The Hope of Christ in The Middle of the Continent
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
ALICE SPRINGS, AUSTRALIA (ANS – May 27, 2016) – Evangelist Will Graham returned to Australia last week – a continent on which he’s preached biannually since 2010 – to share the hope of Jesus in the arid Outback. The three-day event, titled Reality, was held May 20-22 at Blatherskite Park in Alice Springs, Northern Territory.
Alice Springs is located in the approximate center of the continent, nearly equidistant between Darwin on the northern coast of Australia and Adelaide on the southern coast.
According to a news release, in this remote town of 28,605, nearly 6,000 people attended the weekend event.
“Some of you have a broken life and God doesn’t use band aids. God wants to completely change you,” said Graham from the podium. “Salvation is a person and His name is Jesus. Jesus can change everything in life. He can change your life tonight!”
At Graham’s invitation, a total of 549 people made a commitment to Jesus. An additional 297 responded for prayer and spiritual support.
Reality featured five different events over the course of the weekend, including evangelistic outreaches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, a KidzFest program for children on Saturday morning, and a combined church service for the city on Sunday morning.
Reflecting on Reality, Graham referred to another evangelist who traveled the same territory more than 45 years prior. Dr. Ralph Bell, a longtime ministry partner of Billy Graham’s, spent two months preaching in and around Alice Springs in 1969, and – Graham says – paved the way for the success of this event. “In Alice Springs we harvested fruit that we did not sow. Particularly among the indigenous people, Dr. Bell and other missionaries planted the seeds of faith in Jesus Christ decades ago, and we were able to see the result last weekend.”
This was Graham’s fourth time preaching in Australia, dating back to 2010. He’s shared the Gospel in Gunnedah, Moree and Tamworth (2010); Orange, Lithgow and Bathurst (2012); and Broken Hill (2014).
Will Graham’s grandfather, Billy Graham, preached extensively on the continent in 1959, 1968, 1969 and 1979. His 1959 tour, which covered Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Launceston, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, is widely viewed as a watershed moment in the early years of Billy Graham’s ministry. Will Graham’s father, Franklin Graham, preached at multi-city tours of Australia in 1996, 1998 and 2005.
About Will Graham:
Will is the third generation of Grahams to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ under the banner of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). He also serves as vice president of the BGEA, andas executive director of the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, N.C. Follow Will on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/WillGraham4 and on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TellaGraham.
Media Contact: Erik Ogren, (704) 401-2117, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo captions: 1) Will Graham preaching in Alice Springs. 2) An Aboriginal girl at one of the events. 3) Three generations of Grahams. 4) Dan Wooding interviews Will Graham at an NRB Convention. (Photo: Peter Wooding).
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 75, is an award-winning winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for nearly 53 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren, who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder and international director of the ASSIST News Service (ANS), and the author or co-author of some 45 books. He has one radio show and two TV programs all based in Southern California. Before moving to the US, Dan was a senior reporter with two of the UK’s largest circulation newspapers and also an interviewer for BBC Radio One in London.
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