Wow what an incredible privilege to be a part of this landmark event in Australia’s history! This extraordinary week in November we saw the Lord move in unprecedented ways amongst saints of all types of denominations and hundreds upon hundreds give their lives to Him. I truly believe I'll be telling my children’s children about this event in years to come.
This was a time of stretching and activation. During the week leading up to Awakening, our team (plus hundreds of other volunteers), hit the streets to share the love of Jesus and invite people to the event. In what was aptly named ‘floods’, we would meet together in a different city location each day, break into groups of two to three and move out to flood Melbourne. Talk about Evangelism boot camp!
One of my favourite flood moments was from the third day. As if sharing my faith with perfect strangers for hours on end for two days hadn't been challenging enough.....ha... I really wanted to make sure I wasn't playing it safe and decided to pair up with some fiery evangelists from my house who had open-air preached and touched many lives in the last two days. We had the idea to stand on the street corner with a sign that read “Free Spiritual Readings”. Of course, we weren’t out to read anyone’s palms or do anything counter-Jesus, but we sure wanted to reach those people who were hungry for hope, even those who were searching for something to fill their God-spot. The incredible thing is that what many were chasing: truth, love and encouragement for the future.... these are all things that a word from the Father will provide.
After seeing quite a few people touched by the Lord, some even giving their lives to Him (yay Jesus!!), a young man named Luke approached me. Unbeknownst to me, He was a satanist. As soon as I asked the Lord what His heart was for Luke, I saw a picture of a horse and a little boy. I asked him what happened with a horse when he was little. He was quite taken back and told me that he’d had a nasty fall from a horse when he was two and still had some related health challenges. He later shared that he was ‘testing me’ to see if I really could ‘read’ him and that the horse revelation really surprised him. I thank Jesus so much for revealing this, because it was an in-road to this young man’s heart. I told him that Spirit of Truth lives inside of me and guides me in all truth. That He made heaven and earth (and Luke!) and knew all about his life and wanted to bring healing and freedom. Luke said, “I know who your spirit is, it’s the Holy Spirit!” Now it was my turn to be surprised!
He asked if I could see Xs on his hands, the result of some spiritual curse. I said, “No Luke, I only see a bright future and hope!”. He told me of demons that surrounded his bed each night and that he believed it was the same rewards whether he was with the realm of darkness or the realm of light. I asked him if he felt hope and joy when darkness entered his room. In a raw voice, he said, ‘(beep) no!’ I told him the Holy Spirit isn’t about fear, but only ever gives me His love and strength. Luke was so hungry that he stood chatting with me for 15 or 20 minutes. I gave him tickets to the event and said, “You’d love this event Luke, it would be a spiritual awakening for you!”
At the end of the conversation, Luke wanted to give me a hug and, for a brief moment, I’m sorry to say I found myself fearful of touching him, given the darkness I could feel. But it was only fleeting, as the Lord reminded me that ‘greater is He who lives in me’ and remember all the people I hugged!! By listening to his heart, talking his language, and just loving on him, I know Luke felt Jesus. But that’s not even the best bit!! Two nights later at the Awakening, my fellow evangelist in the photo (Alex) saw Luke and his friend come to the event and give their lives to the Lord!!! Hallelujah!!
The Awakening event revealed such unity and courage unlike anything I’ve ever seen amongst Aussie believers. I loved how Ben Fitzgerald and his team shared their passion for the lost. They said, ‘it’s not just for us, you’ve got to share the love of Jesus too.’ Then from 3pm to 6pm on Friday and Saturday afternoons, the auditorium was closed down and the team said, ‘Now its your turn! Outside you’ll find leaders holding up numbers, go join a team, lets take this out on the streets!’
We were waiting as thousands of believers poured out of the doors and, with hearts pounding, decided to challenge themselves. One of those days I thought, ‘I’d love to know who in my team has never done this’. So I asked my group of 50 or so and every single hand went up!!! From 20-somethings to 60-something’s, every single Aussie believer in my group was stepping outside of their comfort zone for the first time on the streets to share their love for Jesus! I told them, “wow you guys are amazing!!”
Mass water baptism
Another favourite moment was the Monday after Awakening where there was an evening of mass water baptism for all who gave their life to the Lord. Oh my word, what a delight that was!
Melbourne turned on a 30 degree day and we lined St Kilda beach singing and praising the Lord before many were baptised. I got a little glimpse of what it must have been like in the days of John the Baptist!
There were so many moments that I could mention, but there isn’t enough space! I could share about the the crazy honour it was to cheer and high-five hundreds of new believers into the decision room each night, or the mass deliverances that took place, or the beautiful people who walked up to me during the event and gave me handfuls of cash, because the Lord told them to (wow!!!) or the sheer delight it was to see my family and catch up with friends who happened to be attending.
But most of all I want to say THANK YOU! Just a huge thank you to all those who supported and gave so that I could be a part of this incredible time. Some of you sacrificed a lot and we feel so honoured. Thank you to those who prayed and believed and stood before the throne on behalf of our entire family, and for Australia!
There are brothers and sisters in the kingdom today because of your faithfulness!!