Thursday, 31st December 2009
“I’m a Doctor in Physics and a Satanist! I hate your God, He isn’t real! Christianity is false!” These were but a few of the heckles that were thrown at me as I preached in King George Square. It is New Years Eve, so we decided to have a special outreach and to commence the night by preaching in the new square. I started off by using an amplifier, which aided my voice greatly, as it covered the whole square and many people were able to hear. The only thing was that this increased preaching volume also drew in people who wanted to destroy the source of this new found volume.
The one heckler who claimed to be a scientist initially tried to break the cord that connected the microphone to the amp. But that failed, so he tried to argue science with me. It soon became very clear that he had no idea what he was on about. When he was challenged in this area he quickly hid behind his Satanist card. When I began to quote the Satanic Bible and address the errors in it, he decided he had enough and legged it across the street.
By now I was preaching without an amplifier, this wasn’t too good since I strained my voice by switching between the two modes of delivery. After I finished preaching, I had a break as I could feel my voice beginning to hurt. During this time Ryan and David went about handing out tracts to the many hundreds of people in the Square for some ball.
As the night progressed we went about our regular preaching routine. We had a few open air preachers up through out the night, and as we evangelised we had the honour of handing out thousands of tracts to the people of Brisbane city. Also, during this time we found it possible to have many great conversations, as people were interested in talking about many issues. This we have found to be the trend over the past few years. Every new years eve seems to provide a time for people to reflect and talk about things done and their plan for the future.
As the new year was coming in people began to celebrate. Then about 30 minutes after midnight the crowds began to leave. So we formed a preaching line and began to share the gospel to the thousands of people in the mall. The basis of a preaching line is this, in a fast moving crowd, you may only have 30 seconds to a minute to preach, so we line up about 8 different preachers and each preacher does a one minute gospel. Then the next preacher takes over. This line just keep going around and around until everyone is exhausted. Which in our case proved to be about 1:30am.
Overall it was a great night and we had an awesome time proclaiming Christ as one year ended and a new one begins.
Saturday, 2nd January 2010
My voice was still hurting from the other night and I was still physically exhausted from the really late night of Thursday, but once again we headed into the Queen Street Mall to proclaim the gospel.
It came as no surprise to us, when we saw that the city was nearly empty. People had spent all their money and were partied out after the New Year celebration. There were however, a few people in the city, so we continued our ministry of tracts, one to one and open air preaching.
The crowds were very minimal during the preaching and not many tracts were able to go out. But those who heard the gospel were worth it. At around 11pm we stopped the preaching and just focused on handing out tracts and one to one for the rest of the evening. In this time we did get to have some great conversations.
To God be the Glory!
Saturday, 9th January 2010
The city was a little bit more busy tonight. It seemed that the Christmas / New Years slump was over and people had gotten back into their weekly parties and drunkenness.
The first preacher up for the night was a new guy to the Brisbane team. For the past few weeks he had been ministering with our Gold Coast ministry, but had never been into Brisbane. He had stated that he wanted to preach, so we decided to let him go first, since it was the safest time of the night for a new preacher.
John preached for about 20 minutes and did an alright job. He presented Christ and explained to anyone who would give him an ear about how salvation is found in Jesus alone.
After John finished preaching, I stood up and preached on Jesus having the power to lay down His life and to pick it up again. And, I explored the concept of resurrection in today’s society. It didn’t take long before I had one heckler who claimed to know it all. This young boy of about 16 decided to stop and heckle, his arguments bordered on the absurd and it showed that he had never really given thought to why he was an atheist.
I engaged with Jay the atheist until Erin the friendly heckler came along. Erin was a polite young lady who raised her hand to ask me a question. She had given thought to her objections and I must confess I really did enjoy engaging with her. It is rare that we encounter a sceptic who can reason and debate without crossing the line into personal attacks. The crowd grew as we discussed Christianity in the open air. This crowd in turn drew in more people to listen and to heckle. Eventually we ended up on the topic of homosexuality. And it was at this point an aboriginal transvestite began to heckle me. He (although dressed as a she) started to talk about how he was abused as a child and how that action made him gay. This is one of the hardest things to deal with in the open air, an abused child. I assured him that he had not committed any sin when he was abused, and that God was going to judge the abuser. But, I also had to explain that sin is a choice and his homosexuality was a choice that he had made.
Well, the idea that he had chosen to be gay set him off, he began to scream abuse at me and say that God would never judge him for being gay. I opened the Scriptures in reply and showed him what God’s word said. For about an hour and a half we went back and forth on sin and the gospel. Most people were polite, although the aboriginal man was getting rather emotional.
At the end of the open air, I spoke to the aboriginal man (named Kelly, but later revealed his male name is James). We were able to sit down and talk about different issues. It was then that I asked him straight, “Be honest with me, do you like being gay?” His head dropped and he said, “No, I hate it! I want to one day get married and have children.” Rodney and I spent a further 30 minutes with James talking, then he said these words, “You guys are speaking the truth, I want to know Christ. I need to turn from this lifestyle!” With that we all got on our knees in the Queen Street Mall, then James called upon God for mercy.
That was an awesome way to finish the night. Please keep James in prayer, pray that God would save him and that God would be glorified in his life.
Saturday, 16th January 2010
Blake stood up to preach, the first time since he had returned from being overseas on mission trip. It was good to have him back on the box proclaiming the gospel to all who would listen. While Blake was preaching a young drunk professing Pentecostal named Josh came up to us to talk. I have spoken to him many times before and spent hours with him sharing the Scriptures to him. He was claiming to be a Christian, but at the same time he was swearing, drinking, cursing and his own words, committed rape and armed robbery. But, he was convinced he was saved. This stemmed from the faulty theology that said that one only has to say a quick prayer and you are saved.
Some of the guys dealt with him for awhile and then after Blake finished preaching, Ryan began to preach. Things got interesting around this time. I was talking to a young lady, who was from the USA. She had a Southern Baptist background but was now an atheist. Her main argument against God was the existence of hell and how he treats homosexuals. While, I was talking to her a fight erupted behind me, as I turned all I saw was this one young British man being thrown onto the Bible table. I quickly jumped in the way of the big fella who wanted to smack his head in and Kyosti got the British guy out of there.
Both of the fighters hung around heckling for a while, but Ryan was quick to answer their objections. I went back to witnessing to the American girl.
For two hours Ryan preached and taught the Scripture, many people stopped to listen and many took tracts. It was a good night, but at the same time it was hard. Please pray for all those who heard the gospel. That God may save them!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
Brisbane Team (Day) (QLD)
Meets Wednesday afternoons 1-5pm in King George Square (near Adelaide St crossing).
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.