Billy Graham Center

Interviews with Sharelle May Eland - Collection 547

[Note: What follows is a description of the documents in this collection which are available for use at BGC Archives in Wheaton, Illinois, USA. The actual documents are not, in most cases, available online, only this description of them. Nor are they available for sale or rent. Some or all of this collection can be borrowed through interlibrary loan. ]

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Sharelle May Eland

An Essay on the Contents of the Collection (Scope and Content)

List of Audio Tapes in this Collection

Brief Description.
Oral history interview with Eland in which she describes her childhood growing up in Papua New Guinea where her parents were missionaries, her return to Australia and adjustment to life there, affinity for primitive culture, Christian life and spiritual development, desire to become a missionary, education to become a teacher and at Capernwray Bible Colleges in Great Britain and Germany, ministry among Australian young people and aborigines, missions to aborigines and their culture, work with Open Air Campaigners, and other mission-related topics. Events described cover the time period 1967-1997.
Vol.: 4 Audio Tape Reels (.08 cubic feet)

Collection 547
[March 2, 2000]
Eland, Sharelle May; 1967-
Interviews; 1997

4 Audio Tape Reels

Restrictions: None.


Full name: Sharelle May Eland

Birth date: July 29, 1967 in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

Parents: Raymond Ernest Peter and Annette Emily (Gray) Eland
Siblings: Ruth, (Sharelle), Suzanne, Byron
Marital Status: Single

Conversion: 1973

1985 Business college
1986-1989 Mitchell College of Advanced Education, Diploma of Teaching (Primary)
1989-1990 University of Canberra, Degree of Bachelor of Education (Australia)
1992 Capernwray Bible School, Great Britain
1992 Bodenseehof (Capernwray Bible School, Germany)
1996-1997 Wheaton College Graduate School, MA in Educational Ministries

1990-1991 Caloundra Baptist Church, pastoral assistant
1992-1994 Bodenseehof, residential assistant at Bible school
1994-1995 Queensland Department of Education, substitute teacher in Retcliff

Ministry activities: 1992 Member of evangelistic Capernwray Summer Team
1994-1995 Evangelism/discipleship among youth in Clontarf Beach Baptist Church
1995- Evangelism with OAC Beach Missions on southern Australian beaches

Other significant information:

Spent part of her childhood (ages two to six) in Papua New Guinea where her parents were missionaries teaching practical skills at the Christian Leaders Training College (CLTC) to enable national Christians to be leaders in their churches.

Scope and Content

Sharelle May Eland was interviewed by Paul A. Ericksen on May 30 and June 6, 1997, at the Archives office. The events described in the interview cover the time period 1967-1997.

T1 (75 minutes). Family background, parents' missionary work in Papua New Guinea, education at a national school, attachment to the people and appreciation for the values in New Guinea, early desire to become a missionary, parents' background and character, comparing herself with the nationals, comparing Australian and New Guinean families, returning to Australia, Australian oddities she observed during a furlough, strong ties with relatives, adjusting to life in Australia, family's religious practices and missions emphasis, comparison between Christians in New Guinea and Australia, receiving packages from Australia, her spiritual development, steps to becoming a missionary, parents' work in Australia, being teased at school and not fitting in, goal to become a missionary teacher, fears and joys of teaching at the Caloundra school, impact of short-term missions trip to South Africa, recognizing her need for training, choosing where to serve as a missionary

T2 (20 minutes). Choosing where to serve, selecting a Bible college and attending, desire to minister in Australia, evaluation of her education at Capernwray, benefits of living with international students, developing biblical literacy and a "working relationship with God"

T3 (75 minutes). Recap from first interview, giving thoughtful answers in evangelism, returning to Australia, joining a short-term team to an aboriginal community, affinity with aboriginals, aboriginals' relations with Caucasians, value differences and miscommunications, role of prayer in being accepted by the aboriginals, sister's advice, cultural mistakes, church among and missions to aboriginals, barriers to aboriginals' involvement in the church, church meetings, whites' roles in maintaining the church, aboriginals' attachment to their land as an obstacle to training leadership offsite, effectiveness of stories and parables, interest in heaven, family loyalty as an obstacle to aboriginals coming to faith, foreignness of independent choice, teaching and discipling groups, perception of God being the whites' God, superstitions, Lutheran and Australian Inland Mission involvement among aboriginals, unpredictability of worship service, desire to live among aboriginals, impact of Wheaton studies on her plans and awareness, aboriginal and Australian teenagers, spiritual environment and cults in Australia, perceptions of Christians, hypocrisy of Christians, non-Christians' respect for the Bible but not the church, attractions to Christianity and Christ, developing trust, potential of converted young people, Australian church and parachurch outreach to young people, young people's heroes, aspirations of Australians, their dislike of Americans, disappointment with advising American youth worker, American misperceptions about the vitality of the Australian church, youth program at Clontarf church, OAC (Open Air Campaigners) beach missions and work with them, OAC program

T4 (25 minutes). OAC's traditional approach, innovative programs, holiday outreach, camps, training, OAC's coordination with churches, dream to expand OAC's program to work among aboriginals, relations among aboriginal Christians of different tribes, benefits of Wheaton education, evolution of God's plan for her, engagement, improved opportunities for ministry as a couple, family's views of her missionary work, working relationship with husband in OAC


The materials in this collection were given to the Archives of the Billy Graham Center by Sharelle Eland in May 1997.

Accession: 97-47, 97-50
September 5, 1997
Paul A. Ericksen

Accession 97-47, 97-50
Type of Material: Audio Tape

The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

T1 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, approximately 75 minutes. One side. Interview with Sharelle Eland by Paul A. Ericksen, May 30, 1997.

T2 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, approximately 20 minutes. One side. Interview with Sharelle Eland by Paul A. Ericksen, May 30, 1997.

T3 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, approximately 75 minutes. One side. Interview with Sharelle Eland by Paul A. Ericksen, June 6, 1997.

T4 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 ips speed, approximately 25 minutes. One side. Interview with Sharelle Eland by Paul A. Ericksen, June 6, 1997.

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Last Revised: 2/26/00
Expiration: indefinite