Sunday Night Altar Call
By the grace of God, the cumulative attendance of the three-day weekend events totalled 5,948. This is by far the largest number of people who have attended one of our evangelism rallies in regional Australia.
The attendance at Reality Alice Springs was drawn from a population of only 28,720*, and also from a large number of people who travelled hundreds of kilometres into Alice Springs to attend the evangelism rallies. In fact, we had a group from King’s Church, Kununurra, Western Australia who drove a round trip of over 3,300 kilometres just to attend the rally. We also met people from Mildura who drove a round trip of 3,500 kilometres to attend. People flew in from as far afield as Western Australia and South Australia. It seemed as though this event was for Australia as a whole, not just a localised rally—we give all the glory to God for that.
Over the weekend, Vision Radio broadcast from Alice Springs and Australian Christian Channel filmed a documentary on the evangelism rally. Church leaders in Alice Springs report there was an unprecedented unity within the body of Christ in the community as they prepared for this event, and they are rejoicing in the great fruit that was produced. There were 846 people that went forward during the altar calls in response to the Gospel message, of which 313 were first commitments for Christ and 209 were recommitments.
Pastor Jamie Tasker (Co-Chairman of Reality Alice Springs) shared with us, ‘Reality 2016 has been a moment in time that will shape and affect the church of Alice Springs. The weekend may have finished, yet Reality has not. There are currently many teams involved in follow-up. Reality was over 12 months of planning; there was a lot of as they say “blood, sweat and tears” that took place to make the event happen. I am hesitant calling Reality an event—it goes way beyond that! Lives were impacted and changed; this will have a lasting effect in many people’s lives… Standing to the side of the stage and seeing literally hundreds of people respond to the Gospel was extremely moving’.
Pastor James Bortoli (Co-Chairman of Reality Alice Springs) shared that when his team visited an Aboriginal community to do follow-up work, a woman who recommitted her life to Christ at Reality Alice Springs had already shared her new-found faith in Christ, and had led her partner to the Lord. Pastor James Bortoli said, ‘They were both glowing in His love’.
Kidzfest attracted 670 children and parents. It was by far the largest Kidzfest we have ever held in regional Australia during an evangelism outreach. But this event almost didn’t happen! Only a few weeks before Reality we visited Alice Springs, and Carolyn Johnston (Kidzfest organiser) communicated to us that the event would not be able to go ahead unless she could find sufficient volunteers to help with the arrangements and supervision. She had only been able to find a handful of volunteers at this stage.
Carolyn Johnston shared with us her passion for children’s ministry: ‘Kids are important; they are the future generation. When Kids hear the Gospel for the first time and the Holy Spirit ignites a re in their heart, they want to share it with their family and friends. Children are hugely influential’. After much prayer and a call to the Alice Springs church leadership team, Carolyn ended up with a wonderfully committed team of 25 volunteers!
God is so good.
Watch highlights from the event below.
*Australian Bureau of Statistics