Rain, rain, rain. It had been bucketing down for a few days leading up to this week's outreach, and it didn't look like relenting at all. Even though it was raining, we thought it would still be a good idea to have the outreach, as there are still lots of people around when it rains.
8pm rolled around and a decent number of us met and prayed together, before wondering up Cavill Ave. We decided not to do any preaching tonight due to the rain and the lack of undercover areas for that. However, in front of all the shops there are large awnings, so we decided to go into three different locations under these awnings to hand out tracts and talk to people about the gospel.
At one stage, the local law officers came up to one of the members of the team and had a chat with them. The officers were acting really friendly, and did not fine us. They said it is alright for us to hand out the tracts in front of the shops, as they said that is private property instead of public property. But in their view, a few of us were not on private property and yet they did not fine us. It does seem like they have changed their tune a little, from the constant fining they were doing. Hopefully we'll see the existing fines being dropped soon. Although the latest communication from them is that they said we should expect to receive our summons to appear in court soon (please consider supporting us in this endeavour).
All sorts of interesting people were about. One person whom Bekk and I chatted to was a professing Christian, but he had very weird beliefs. He was saying that we're all children of God and that since most people are good they'll go to Heaven. So I responded by pointing out that if someone is not a Christian, they're actually a child of the devil (1 John 3:10). I also then pointed to passages like Romans 3 which talk about the universality of sin; that we've all sinned. He denied this, saying "Look around at people, do you think they're bad people?" I responded, "Yes, in God's sight. For we have all broken His law, which makes us deserving of Hell." I then tried to direct the conversation to the cross, but the man got angry that I would say everyone is a sinner and he stormed off.
The theology that is getting taught in some of the Churches in the area is horrendous, as evidenced by this man. Please pray that these Churches will come back in line with what the Bible actually teaches.
Another good conversation I had was with a Nepali man named Tilik from the local pizza shop. It was a bit difficult to talk to him because he wasn't fluent in English. His thinking had definitely been influenced by the Jehovah's Witnesses, who have been chatting to him a bit in the past. But I was able to share the good news of the gospel - that even though we have sinned (eg: lying, stealing, lusting, hating, etc), there is forgiveness if a person trusts in Jesus' death on the cross as they only reason they will go to Heaven. I said I would order a Nepali Bible and give it to him next week and chat further.
To God be the glory for another great night of outreach!
Gold Coast Team (QLD)
Meets 7:15-10pm every Friday night at Surfers Paradise on Cavill Avenue.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.