Revival in a small coastal town in Australia
The following article is an account of a revival that was reported in Outreach Magazine when Pastor Peter Earle, the Principal of the School of Ministries led a bible college team to Yeppoon. (Editor’s note: It is true that this story is now 10 years old. Still it is very encouraging and can inspire us to believe for God to do such great things again in Australia.)
Over 250 people were saved in the Central Queensland coastal town of Yeppoon (population 12,000) over two weeks during Easter in mid April in 2000. A team of Bible College students from Brisbane Christian Outreach Centre’s School of Ministry travelled to Yeppoon for a series of evangelistic meetings, voluntarily praying and fasting up to a month before for souls in Yeppoon.
Whole Classes Saved in High School!
Whole classes were saved at Yeppoon State High School. Day after day, the team was invited to return to Yeppoon State High School to introduce Christianity and the Holy Spirit to classes. Beginning at 8am and leaving at 3.3O pm each day, the team was given the opportunity to talk about Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to classrooms full of students. They talked about the History of Christianity in History classes and explained where Israel was located during Geography classes. They were asked to explain “tongues” and the Holy Spirit to the students.
Dramatic Healings — “It’s in the Book!”
Newly saved Christians — including youth — were seen praying for each other in the school and during the revival services and receiving instant healings, such as a broken arm instantly healed. Older Christians asked them how they learned to pray for healing and they answered, “It’s in the book [Bible] you gave us — that’s why we’re doing it!” ‘Street kids’ were asking the Christians for the gift of interpretation. “There was a real hunger to know more about the Holy Spirit,” Tony Peter reported.
Students Slain in the Spirit on the Oval!
School of Ministry’s Principal, Pastor Peter Earle, reported that a couple of the students were slain in the Spirit on the school oval. Pastor Earle explained that when the school principal heard about it, he did not “close the door” on the ‘move of the Spirit’. Instead, he allowed the Bible college students to continue their ministry in the school.
School Principal Favours Transformation in Students’ Lives!
Principal of Yeppoon State High School, Rob Stone, told Outreach Magazine he had seen a definite change in the students. He said he was in favour of the good work of Yeppoon Christian Outreach Centre in transforming some of his students. He announced that school chaplain Bernadette Mulholland was having a remarkable impact on the students.
Catholic School Teachers See Changes in Students!
A number of students from the local catholic boarding school, St Ursula’s College, were also transformed as they were touched by God at the meetings. Students who previously had been difficult to control now carry their Bibles everywhere, preaching and sharing their testimony with friends, inviting their friends to Yeppoon Christian Outreach Centre youth meetings.
Teachers Support Students’ Transformed Lives!
Staff from St Ursula’s College told Outreach Magazine they were supportive of the school students’ transformations. They said it was in line with the school’s mission statement — “to continue the mission of Jesus, living and proclaiming Gospel values to all people, especially in our school community…” “We encourage all students to attend other churches, such as COC,” they said. “We encourage what’s happening. We encourage students to seek the truth.”
Yeppoon State High School chaplain and member of Yeppoon COC, Bernadette Mulholland, has developed a close relationship with school teachers and students. Since the revival meetings, she now has a core group of 40 to 45 young people who meet regularly. She has made her home available every day to students to drop in for Bible study.
Students Baptised at Local Beach Under Moonlight
She recalled that at about 10.30 one night, following a Bible study session at her home a few weeks after the revival meetings, three young people asked to be baptised in water. She took them to the beach and baptised them under a moonlit sky. One of the students had seen his friend baptised during the Sunday service the day before.
“The young people are very hungry,” she revealed. “I overheard a girl who has only just given her life to Jesus tell her alcoholic mother, ‘Mum, you got the devil in you! I’m going to COC because I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ!’
15-Year-Old With Pony Tail And Rings In Ears And-Eyebrows Got Saved!
“A 15-year-old kid with rings in his ears and eyebrows and a pony tail got saved recently and told his dad, ‘Dad, you taught me how to pray when I was younger- how come you don’t still pray?’ His dad replied, ‘I’m sitting on the fence!’ I told the young man to tell his dad he’ll get splinters sitting on the fence.” The same boy has totally given up alcohol and drugs, his mother exclaimed. She said he now reads the Bible every day.
“I Want My Young People!” Declares God
Bernadette said God spoke to her recently and declared, “I want my young people!” “These are God’s young people,” she announced. “We’re not looking for scalps here, we’re looking for disciples.”
‘Revival Has Stirred Up the Whole School!’ Says Student
Amy, a Yeppoon State High School grade 11 student, had been a ‘back-slidden’ Christian, but rededicated her life to God at the recent revival meetings. She told Outreach Magazine that the recent visit by the Bible college students “stirred up the whole school – everyone has been talking about it,” she said.
Student Successfully Prays Against Her Parents’ Divorce!
Another grade 11 student who gave her life to God revealed that her parents had been planning a divorce. She told Outreach Magazine that this had brought fear into her life. When she got saved, she began praying for her parents and they have since decided not to divorce.
Parents of a 14-year-old student told Outreach Magazine that their daughter had become a lot more obedient since giving her life to God at the recent meetings. They explained that communication had improved between them and their daughter. “We’re going to back her up all the way because this is all good,” they declared.
Parents of another student aged 15 reported that their son had given up his addiction to alcohol and drugs. “He now reads his Bible at home — even during the State of Origin [rugby league game]!” they announced. The boy’s father declared, “Son, I’m proud of you! You go for it with all you’ve got!”
On the first Friday night, 100 to 120 young people attended a youth service. About 40 gave their lives to Christ that night. Another 21 were saved during a ‘miracle rally’ the following night. The team reported a number of healings, including a woman delivered of demonic possession. –
Policeman Surprised by Change in Lives!
Pastor Earle revealed that many of the students who gave their hearts to the Lord had been in trouble with the law and “had studs coming out of every eyebrow”. A local policeman who worked in the area of juvenile crime attended one of the revival meetings and was surprised to recognise some of the teenagers. “In a place like Yeppoon, people took notice of the dramatic changes in the lives of these young people,” said Pastor Earle. “Locals saw that we seemed to have the answer to their social problems. That’s why the school kept inviting us back.”
Yeppoon Mayor Supports Chaplaincy Programs in Schools
Yeppoon Mayor Bill Ludwig told Outreach Magazine he had heard about the revival meetings and agreed that a lot of young people had changed for the better. He said he is “wholeheartedly supportive” of what God is doing through the chaplaincy programs in the local schools. He agreed that spiritual things are more important than material things.
People Walked Off the Streets into the Meetings!
After what appeared to be a normal Sunday night service in which another 10 people were saved, team leader Tony Peter described how “God just broke loose!” “New Christians were getting baptised in the Holy Spirit and praying for others,” he reported. “Some street kids asked for the gift of interpretation.
People came off the streets and out of shops across the street and into the church service.
Witches Oppose Revival!
“Witches and satanists turned up at the front of the church and in the car park praying against what God was doing in the service,” said Mr Peter. “It was full-on confrontation!” The witches retreated as Christians prayed in the Holy Spirit.
Young People Ask for Bibles!
Young people in the meeting who had never looked at a Bible were asking for Bibles. Christians were passing their Bibles down to the front for the young people to read. “They were so hungry for the Word;” Tony explained. “Every one of them even tithed for the first time that night. There was genuine repentance among the young people as they got right with God. These were youth wearing rings on their ears, noses… you name it.”
Yeppoon COC church members woke up on Monday and Tuesday morning laughing in the Spirit and discovered that they had gold fillings in their teeth. While the team initially planned to stay for one week, they decided to stay longer as they saw God moving powerfully in the town. They held revival services every night for over two weeks and saw at least ten people saved each night.