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December 2013 News

Red Frogs making a big difference at Schoolies

  • Written by  Ian Anderson
L-R: Amos Eddison (Toowoomba City Church), Dimity Drew (Brisbane City Salvation Army), Hayley Cooke (Bundamba Salvation Army), Mark Strong (Toowoomba City Church) Photo: Provided

Every year an army of young people invades Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast for the end-of-year Schoolies celebrations. But this army is not intent on binge drinking and partying.

Hundreds of Christians from all across the country descend on Surfers Paradise to join the Red Frog Crew, giving up their time and sleep to serve the Schoolies and ensure they celebrate in safety.

Over the years, the Red Frog Crew have won national acclaim as a vital support service during Schoolies. Especially amongst the school leavers, they are famously entrenched in the culture of the Schoolies week.

With incredible access into the very hotel rooms of the Schoolies, small teams of “Frogs” are assigned a hotel to look after for the entire week.

Toowoomba City Church’s Mark Strong lead a Red Frog Crew at this year’s Schoolies week.

“It was a really good week,” said Mark. “We spent a lot of time just hanging out with the kids because they were so well behaved.”

“I didn’t have to deal with any big incidents and I didn’t see too much vomit, so it was great!”

While they are there to support and watch out for the Schoolies, the Red Frog Crew are also there to demonstrate Jesus and take opportunities to talk about Him.

“The start of the week was a bit slow and we were only having superficial chats, so it was getting really frustrating,” Mark said.

“But on Wednesday night it was incredible. The first room we went into we got a lot of deep questions. And it kept going on from there. For the rest of the night we probably spoke about Jesus in 90% of rooms we went into.”

“It was great – that one night of constant ministering made the whole week worthwhile.”

Each year, the Red Frog Crew organise an event late in the week for those Schoolies who have shown an interest in Christianity.

Mark said that at the Thursday night Red Frogs Church event, 97 Schoolies filled out and returned response cards.

“It’s one thing to have 97 people put their hands up to accept Jesus,” said Mark. “It’s another thing to actually take that next step and fill out a response card."

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