Spiritual Revival in Aurukun
The town of Aurukun, on the west coast of Cape York, 811 kms from Cairns, has experienced a remarkable movement of God’s Spirit over the past year.
The Rev Craig Mischiewski, the Uniting Church minister at Weipa, visits Aurukun every fortnight. During the week he sent his greetings to everyone at The Good Shepherd Church and gave this report: “In August 2016 two hundred people responded at an evangelistic meeting in Aurukun to receive the gift of salvation or to rededicate themselves to Christ. Since then there have been a steady stream of baptisms and a gradual growth in church attendance.
Since May this year over 1000 out of a population of 1400 have been attending Sunday services each week, approximately 200 gather for prayer and worship each night of the week, and twenty six home groups meet weekly for Bible study, prayer and fellowship.
A group of dedicated indigenous elders is overseeing the church. Many of them have received theological training at Nungalinya College, Darwin or Wontulp-Bi-Buya College in Cairns. There has been a noticeable downturn in violence, crime and the sly grog trade in the community since the revival began.
Outstations are showing a hunger for the transforming power of the gospel and the Aurukun Christians are planning evangelistic outreach excursions.”
We learn from the Scriptures that spiritual revival is a gracious gift of our sovereign God which he has been pleased to give to his people from time to time. We read of it in the Old Testament books 1 and 2 Chronicles, in the New Testament book of Acts, and in the history of the Christian Church. Some examples are the Evangelical Revival in England in the 18th century , the Welsh Revival in early 20th century and the East African revival in the mid 20th century. Some characteristics of revival are fervent prayer, Spirit-anointed preaching of the gospel, people experiencing conviction of sin, repentance and faith, conversion and restoration, the church overwhelmed by awareness of God’s glorious presence, expressed in exuberant and joyful worship sometimes accompanied by signs and wonders, deeper bonds of love and unity, outpouring of the Holy Spirit in gifts and transformed lives, stronger assurance and bold witness to non-believers. Revivals are times when our uncontainable God breaks into the lives of individuals and churches, often in ways that seem strange and even chaotic to us, but settling down into an ongoingrevitalised, godly community who love Jesus and are burdened for a needy world.
Let us pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in Aurukun and for the spread of spiritual revival to other communities.
August 13, 2017
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