Testimony | A Ring of Fire
Catching the fire and freely pouring out what God had released over Australia.
By Jeff Beacham
In early September of 1994, we were beginning to catch the wind of what had been going on since January of that year in a small church at the end of the runway of the airport in Toronto, Canada. People had started to travel there from all over the world, lining up for hours to get into the nightly meetings at the Toronto Airport Vineyard church, which could only accommodate about 200 people. Hungry souls went there seeking to be renewed, refreshed and revived.
I was in the middle of meetings in a Melbourne church at the time when I felt a clear leading from God to go to the Toronto Revival the following week. We had put aside a week or so to catch what was going on there. Truthfully, I was very dry spiritually at the time after pouring out everything on the road for several years. We were the first Charismatic ministers from Australia to arrive in Toronto right in the middle of a healing conference they were having in a local hotel. I made it my business to stay close to the Vineyard's senior pastor John Arnott, as he went around the big ballroom 'soaking' people in God's presence.
The floor was just a sea of bodies as folks from all over the world were 'out under the power' of the Holy Spirit. On our last day there, I had a private meeting with John and asked him to come to Australia in May of the following year for a Catch the Fire Conference in Sydney. He agreed and then we went back out to the meeting to get prayed for one last time before leaving for the airport to catch our plane back to Australia.
The Ring of Fire Down Under
Steve Penny, a highly credible prophet and member of the AOG National Executive, had prophesied that there would be a ring of fire surrounding Sydney. This proved to be true in the natural and the spiritual.The bush fires around Sydney were particularly destructive that year and actually formed a circle around the city. However, my ministry schedule from October 1994 until early 1995 also formed a circle of churches around the outer reaches of the city.
Catch the Fire Down Under
In May of 1995, I hosted the Catch the Fire Down Under Conference at CLC Sydney. We were expecting so many to come that we had to build a special temporary auditorium in our parking lot, also two other overflows in other parts of our building. We piped a live video feed to every overflow. Over 3000 attended from all over Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. This was twice the capacity of our building.
People were lining up everyday for nearly two hours beforehand to get in. We had not experienced so much hunger in the hearts of the people as what we were seeing at this conference. John and Carol Arnott were our keynote speakers. Each meeting they imparted the 'Toronto Blessing,' as it was called, and taught pastors in special meetings on how to pastor revival, drawn from their experience of having nightly meetings in their church non stop for 18 months. Attendees were from all denominations including mainline, evangelical charismatic and Pentecostal. God did not fail to release a new wave of His presence over Australia.
If we are hungry, He will surely satisfy.
Please note that this testimony was originally written for chapter seven of Jeff Beacham's soon-to-be-released book, "In the Shadow of Eternity."