Most of the team tonight were running a little bit late tonight. But soon after we arrived, the two Gold Coast City Council local law officers that were on duty tonight came up to us. They were friendly and offered us the suggestion to preach on private property near the centre of the mall and they said they wouldn't touch us then. We thanked them for the suggestion, and after praying together, we moved to that spot.
One problem with that spot is that it is very close to where noisy buskers are. But thankfully tonight, there were no buskers around there at all. Praise God! We used the spot because it is a good place to do it, not because it is in reality illegal to do it elsewhere. Plus it saves the hassle of having to deal with council fining us.
Blake was the first man to get up and preach. After about half an hour, the two Council officers returned and said to me that the team cannot hand out tracts on public land, that must be done on private property too. I asked them, "Do you consider these gospel tracts to be business literature?" One responded with, "It is actually a big debate at council whether it really is or not." So I asked, "Why would you fine us if the council is not even sure whether it is business literature?" He responded, "I have my own leanings on the issue. But we have been instructed to fine you guys if you keep doing it. So I suggest moving on to private property to hand them out."
It is more restricting to be confined to the private property area only to hand out tracts. For the flow of traffic isn't always constant there, so we still handed out tracts anywhere, since we know it is not illegal to do that (despite what some of them might say).
After Blake preached faithfully for a while, Ryan F preached. He had a few hecklers, one was a drunk man who started getting very close to him. He then pushed Ryan off the soapbox and was shoving him a bit. I stepped in, trying to get the drunk man to settle down. After a little while, he eventually moved along. All this commotion caused a large crowd to gather crowd and so Ryan got back up and kept preaching.
About this time, I was chatting to three young people. One was a Buddhist, one an atheist and the other a Mormon. It was difficult speaking to them all at the same time, because they had all different objections and questions about the message. The Mormon fellow was particularly interested in chatting to me and had never heard of the reasons I was giving why Mormonism is not true. So he decided to write them all down and come back to me next week after he had investigated the issues.
Trevor, Des, and I preached till the end of the night. There were a decent amount of people listening and some hecklers. We all spoke amount the sinfulness of sin, the judgement to come and the message of the cross.
To God be the glory for another great outreach!
Gold Coast Team (QLD)
Meets 7:15-10pm every Friday night at Surfers Paradise on Cavill Avenue.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.