In February, 60 years after Billy Graham’s historic Australia Crusades, Franklin Graham will spread the Gospel in six cities across the continent during the Graham Tour. Last May, his son Will Graham shared the name of Jesus in the Outback where numerous students decided to make Christ the foundation of their lives and continue to grow in their faith months later.
Read more about their faith journey below, and join us in praying for another move of God during next month’s Graham Tour.
He thought it was impossible.
Cor Bezuidenhout didn’t think there was a way for his 50 teenage boarding school students to attend Will Graham’s Goldfields Celebration in the Australian Outback in May.
With the Celebration 400 km away in Kalgoorlie—a four-and-a-half hour drive—it just seemed too far on a weekend already filled with footy and netball, popular Australian sports.
However, through the will of God (via some coordination with the Australia BGEA office) the impossible occurred. All students of Wongutha CAPS—Christian Aboriginal Parent-directed School—received transportation from just north of the coastline to the Outback, coming on the days they were not “sporting up,” as Boarding Manager Bezuidenhout said.
That Friday night (May 18), 15 students gave their hearts to the Lord after hearing a Gospel message from Will Graham, and by Sunday afternoon, eight more made the same decision.
This wasn’t a small choice, but one that would continually influence their lives—even at school.
“We wanted to carry on the foundation laid there,” Bezuidenhout said, referring to what had happened at the Celebration.
In response, a discipleship course was started, nightly devotions continued and weekly Bible studies grew in size and consistency among the students—an incredible feat since Bezuidenhout said the kids don’t like listening too much or too long.
“They’ve started praying for each other. It’s fantastic,” Bezuidenhout added.
After a pastor spoke to the group about the importance of baptism, 16 kids asked to be baptized.
Since it was winter in July for Australia, it was too cold for the students to be baptized in the sea. Consequently, the teens were baptized in a local swimming pool, surrounded by staff, parents and fellow students.
“It was a huge moment because that’s what our school is about and what we’ve been praying for,” Bezuidenhout said. “It was amazing how God worked through this.”
Although quite the trip, Bezuidenhout commented, “It was worth every minute.”
Next month, the Graham Tour with Franklin Graham will mark the 60th anniversary of Billy Graham’s 1959 visit, where he traveled across the country preaching the Good News and leading thousands to Christ. Franklin will follow in his father’s footsteps, visiting many of the same cities around the continent.
“We will share the same life-changing message of hope my father preached in Australia 60 years ago,” Franklin Graham said. “I’m looking forward to returning … to share with the people of Australia that God loves them.”
Dates & Locations for the Graham Tour
Perth: Feb. 9
Darwin: Feb. 13
Melbourne: Feb. 16
Brisbane: Feb. 18
Adelaide: Feb. 20
Sydney: Feb. 23 – 24