Australia Trip Report
Well, I am going to do my best to give a report on the just completed trip to Australia. Full blown jet lag may influence how this reads, so just bear with me! 🙂
William Bell and I traveled to Sydney, Australia on October the 18, at the invitation of Al Persohn, and the Botany Bay church. This was my third trip down under and William’s first. Australia is a wonderful country with a diverse population, and much like America in many, many ways.
Our itinerary included three cities and a good bit of activity that is just very, very exciting.
First of all, let me express my appreciation to Al Persohn and his wonderful wife Annette for their tireless efforts in planning, organizing, and financing this effort. Al did a great job in scheduling speaking engagements for us, and has a great passion for the truth of Covenant Eschatology. Without his efforts the trip simply would not have been possible.
The first speaking appointment was at Tabor College, a seminary, in Sydney. I was privileged to speak to the class on Christ’s coming “In the Glory of the Father.” The class was very attuned to the message, and “got it” very well. We had a very excellent response. William spoke in the devotional period on the glory and duration of the church, and received excellent response. This was the second time that I have been privileged to speak at a theological seminar in Australia.
There was one bit of disappointment in regards to speaking appointments however. Notre Dame University had initially extended an invitation for me to speak to a class on Eschatology and World View. However, for some reason, the president of the University never confirmed the appointment. We are not sure what happened, but perhaps we will be able to speak there in the future, as plans are already underway for return engagements in Australia.
We traveled to Brisbane next and spoke at the Taneh Marah church. This church as been around a long, long time. Although the group is not large, they are very enthusiastic about the message of Covenant Eschatology. The messages were very well received and we had a great bit of fellowship. This is a wonderful group of Christians and when we were there, some ground level plans were made that I will share about in a moment. Very exciting stuff!
Next, we headed back to Sydney, and William and I did almost a full day of radio recording. We recorded numerous programs on such topics as Can God Tell Time?, The World Mission, The Use of AD 70 as Christian Apologetic, and many others. These programs are designed to catch the attention of curious uninitiated believers and unbelievers alike. This is where it just gets incredibly exciting!
The host of the radio programing is a wonderful friend named Joe. He is one of the humblest men I have ever encountered, but, is opening doors of opportunity that are truly staggering to consider. Joe hosts a program for Successful Living. As a zealous believer in Fulfilled Eschatology Joe shared with us how his program and programming is expanding. Catch this: Joe’s program, on which the recorded messages will play, has a potential audience of 2.3 billion (yes, that is with a “B”!!) people! When he shared that with us, I was truly staggered and in awe at the power of God to open the doors of opportunity! This is truly unprecedented in the history of the preterist movement. The implications for the future are awesome! Just think of what this can mean! But this is not all the news that Joe shared with us.
Joe shared with me the opportunity to put my books and products on his website. We discussed the logistical issues of shipping costs etc. and then he dropped another “bomb” on us. His website is automatically linked to 150 independent Christian book stores in Australia! So, when we get the material on line, there will be 150 Christian book stores automatically linked in to the site, with customers having the material available to them! Wow!
William and I then spoke for two days at the Botany church, where Al Persohn is the minister. All toll, William and I spoke something like 12 times in two days. We were very, very tired, but, super excited, needless to say.
We next continued on our journey to Canberra. This is the state capitol of Australia, and is a beautiful city. Our trip there was on the way to Wagga Wagga. Our time in Canberra was a bit of R and R, and we had the opportunity to visit the capitol building which cost $1 billion dollars to construct. It is an awesome building! We also ate that evening in the Black Mountain Tower. This is a tourist attraction to be sure, with a rotating restaurant on top, with a view that is fantastic! The tower is over 800ft tall, so you can just imagine how beautiful the view must have been.
Our last stop was Wagga Wagga, Australia, where Rob Cunningham ministers to the church. This is a truly impressive group of believers! The congregation numbers almost 200, and what is so impressive is the amount of young people that attend! William and I guesstimated that on Sunday morning, close to 60 % of the audience was young people! And not only were they present, they were excellent Bible students, with an undeniable hunger to know God’s word!
I can’t begin to tell you how exciting it was to speak on Covenant Eschatology to that group and to see the excitement and enthusiasm on their faces. It is obvious that Rob Cunningham is doing a fantastic job there, in grounding the congregation on the faithfulness of our God. He is surely to be commended for laying such a great foundation. It is just so exciting to hear young people say that in spite of the fact that there were several major events in the community that day, that they “Would not miss this for the world” as one young man expressed to me.
In one of my presentations, I challenged the audience, and specifically the young people, to “catch the power” of the message. I told them that they have it within their power, their generation, to change the world! Their response was repeated exclamations of “Amen” and “Yes!” These young people understand the potential of changing the world through the message of Covenant Eschatology!
Rob Cunningham and I discussed further opportunities for us to travel to Australia and speak at other venues. Rob is in a very influential position within his fellowship, and he told me that all I have to do is tell him when I can return, and he can schedule several speaking appointments. How exciting is that?
I mentioned above that while we were at Wagga Wagga, we laid the initial ground work for some exciting things. The minister there, Rodney Smith, is an experienced missionary to India. Well, over the last several years, I have received numerous invitations to travel to India and speak. Unfortunately, finances and lack of contacts has prevented this. However, things are changing!
Rodney has volunteered to travel with us, William Bell and myself, to India next year on a speaking tour. One of my contacts in India is a very highly respected and honorable man, Prabhu Das. He and I have corresponded for several years, and he is very knowledgeable and zealous. So, at this juncture, we are doing our best to plan to travel to India next year to aid the work there.
As you can see, some very, very exciting things happened in Australia. Plans are to return and if the past growth of opportunities is any indicator, even greater opportunities await! Please keep this work, and our ministry as a whole, in your prayers. The Lord is doing some wonderful things, and His Truth is on the march!
Don K. Preston
President, Preterist Research Institute
Dialogue When Possible
Debate When Necessary
At All Times Charity