How the Message of Faith Reached Me in Outback Australia
We all have a story, and if you’re reading this article my guess is that your story includes being radically changed by Jesus. God revealed Himself to you in the most wonderful way and you gave your life to follow Him somewhere along the timeline of your life. How wonderful! But did you know that God wants more than being born again for your life. He wants us to be conformed to the image of His Son, walking in authority, free of sickness and guilt and shame and fear. He wants us to walk and live like we’re the new creation that we have been made.
This may come as a surprise to some, but a large majority of the Body of Christ don’t know who they are… could you imagine having a name but not knowing anything about yourself?! That would be really weird! When we were born again we became a new creation. God gave us a new name, the old person has passed away, and He has told us who we are in His Word.
I want to share with you my story of how I found out who I really am and how the message of Faith reached me in Alice Springs, Central Australia.
I grew up in the Outback in the home of traveling ministers, Des and Julie McAllan, amongst the aboriginal people. My parents ministered in their communities all my childhood and I have memories of my siblings and I regularly sitting around a campfire eating Kangaroo tails and Witchetty grubs (google it) that the aboriginal ladies had prepared as we sat and fellowshipped with them. My life in the Outback was exciting! For a season, we lived in Northern Australia and would take ferry trips across crocodile infested waters so mum and dad could minister to those otherwise unreached. Rule #1 on these trips was “keep your head & your hands INSIDE the boat!”
I decided for myself to follow Jesus when I was 14. I believe this is when I was born again because I had a peace that I had never felt before and it’s never left! Soon after, I went to a Youth Conference in Adelaide, was baptized in the Holy Ghost and started sharing with my friends about the Jesus that I knew. Now, Alice Springs is a very ‘spiritually heavy’ place and the aboriginal culture that I was around involves witchcraft and fear of evil spirits, so I was aware of the unseen realm, seeing many people delivered from demon possession in church services.
When I started sharing with my friends about Jesus, demons started appearing to me in the nighttime. I was terrified to go to sleep. It got so bad that I would sleep on the floor of my parents’ room, but even then I was attacked. One time I woke up with something sitting on me, other times I would get up to get some water and the kitchen table would move. I was enveloped in fear and although I knew about the power of the Name of Jesus I had no confidence while speaking it. This went on for about a year… I was starting to feel hopeless, tempted to stop sharing Jesus with people just so that the devil would leave me alone.
Then someone gave me the book “The Triumphant Church” by Kenneth E. Hagin. The subtitle especially stood out to me; “Dominion Over All the Powers of Darkness”. I read the first few chapters and I had my first peaceful night sleep in 1 year! Just from the knowledge of God’s Word I was completely set free from fear. I couldn’t get scared even if I tried because I became so confident that I am seated with Christ, FAR ABOVE all the powers of darkness and every name that is named. Hallelujah!
During this time, I had also fractured my back while playing soccer and after the fracture had healed, I had what physiotherapists called muscle memory where my muscles were so used to protecting that part of my spine with pain, that even though the fracture had healed, the pain was so intense it felt like my spine was still fractured. Physiotherapists said it might take 6 more months to retrain my muscles. After reading this book I learnt about divine healing and within 1 month I was completely pain-free. Another incident that happened was that I tore a ligament in my ankle (again while playing soccer), stood on the Word for healing and within 3 days I was walking. Within 1 week it was completely healed. I tested this “faith” stuff and found out that God’s Word works! Wow!
God soon led me to RBTC Australia where I met my now-husband Spencer Grunewald. We were both 17 when we met and married at 19.
I can’t get over the conviction that there are so many people in the Body of Christ that don’t know the extent of how much Jesus has set them free… let’s get the message out together!
Give to the Greater European Project today and in the meantime read John’s latest article so you can stop seeing Christians unequipped around the world and instead see stories like mine happen everywhere, all the time!