Progress report on Steve Grace’s epic Gospel trip to desert communities
Recently we told you about Steve Grace’s 11,823 km trip to 30 remote desert communities in Australia. It’s been hard work and extremely time consuming to travel to these communities to proclaim the Gospel and personally invite people to attend Reality with Will Graham in Alice Springs in May 2016.
Long, unpaved roads, many days and nights spent in inhospitable areas and unexpected mechanical problems all took a toll on Steve Grace and his co-worker, Mal King. The trip had to be interrupted due to Mal becoming seriously ill and requiring medical attention in Alice Springs, and eventually needing to return home to his wife. But the work goes on!
Steve told us, “We haven’t finished the mission but we are encouraged because we have seen so much positive interest in Reality and response to the Gospel message.”
We are blessed that the majority of Indigenous Australians have heard the Gospel in their lifetime and many have responded. However, it is evident from the results of Steve Grace’s trip so far, that many of our brothers and sisters in the outback desert communities have a heartfelt need to respond to the Gospel again by recommitting their lives to Christ—and we rejoice in that.
Steve Grace told us that many Christian Indigenous leaders across Australia are praying and believing that Reality Alice Springs 2016 with Will Graham will bring a genuine revival in the Outback.
We are amazed at the lengths to which Steve and Mal have gone. They have travelled incredibly long distances to reach populations as low as three or four hundred people. This is indeed a good metaphor for going to the ends of the Earth with the Good News of Jesus Christ. In every community, Steve and Mal saw people come forward with decisions for Christ and to ask for prayer.
In some communities, by the time Steve and Mal left the next morning, they saw posters of Will Graham’s Reality Alice Springs event all over the community.
Here’s a quick summary of some of the communities visited so far:
Mt Isa Men’s Shed Night
Local pastors from Australian Christian Churches and the local Baptist church are excited for Reality Alice Springs and keen to transport people from their community for the event.
Lake Nash Alpuruurlam
There were some recent deaths in the community so the concert and Gospel proclamation were welcomed as a time for ministry and healing. There was strong interest in attending Reality Alice Springs.
Only one church in town, currently run by two missionaries.
The local church is run by missionaries who have been serving the region for 12 years.
A really cold night so people listened from their homes and cars; the entire town heard the message as the park is at the centre of their small community.
A really special community with a Lutheran mission history. They started their own church after a revival in 2009. It was a really cold night but people sat in their cars and sat around campfires to listen to the music and the Gospel presentation.
People gathered around 10 campfires and sat in their cars and homes. There was quite a buzz of expectation despite the cold conditions and the event didn’t finish until 1:00 am.
One of the more difficult communities to connect with due to tribal and clan fighting that goes back a long way but local musicians really wanted to take part in a singalong event. The concert ran for six hours and didn’t end until 12:30 am.
The sound system carried the message across the whole community, one of the great benefits of doing open-air events in remote places.
Mutitjulu is one of the most restrictive communities in the region due its land ownership of Uluru and Katatjuta (Ayers Rock and the Olgas). Steve Grace and his team had the opportunity to run a Bible study, staff devotions and an acoustic concert at the respite centre.
On arrival they were informed there was a community memorial for a man who had passed away. Steve Grace and his team were invited by the family to sing and preach the Gospel.
Ernabella is one of the key communities in the Pitjantjatjara regions. It was football finals day so attendance was low, with a small but appreciative crowd sitting in freezing conditions. Two families recommitted their lives to Christ and six others received prayer for health needs.
Steve Grace and his team have also shared the vision of Reality 2016 in Kununurra, Halls Creek, Roebourne and Geraldton in Western Australia, and in every region people have asked for more information and are making plans to come to Alice Springs.
Steve is aiming to complete the mission of visiting 30 desert communities by the time Will Graham steps on the platform in Alice Springs for the weekend of Gospel proclamation from 20 – 22 May, 2016.
Please pray for Steve Grace and his co-workers’ safety. Please pray for the churches of Alice Springs as they work together towards preparing for Reality Alice Springs, and please pray for Will Graham–for his safety and that he brings the Word from God that will impact thousands for eternity as he preaches in Alice Springs and his message is broadcast by Vision Radio through regional Australia.