Saturday 1st March
This saturday we were joined by the newest member of our team and household, paddy the greyhound our new dog. It was a cold and blowy day but despite this there were a lot of people in Fargate doing their shopping.
Anna and I set up to preach in the center of the mall to preach and I got up and preached. Not many stopped to listen but God will do what He wills and we pray that His word would not return void, even when preached so poorly and weakly.
Moving slightly down the mall Anna got up to preach and using the light of the sun and the Light of the world to point to mankind's darkness she preached the word of God. A couple of young people stopped to heckle her and soon a small sized group were there and Anna gave a strong defence of the faith. Though they scoffed we pray that they would be impacted by the gospel and that the impact would shatter their hard hearts and open their closed minds to the truth. That God would save those He has chosen from before time, so they would glorify His name in heaven for all eternity.
Anna continued to preach and while few stopped we pray that there would be souls stopped in their march towards hell by the little they heard. While Anna preached Rob stopped to say hello to me, this is a young man that we have met many times over the last months. He has been recently doing an alpha course and told me today that he is going to be baptised, I encouraged him to take this step carefully and to seek to honour God in what he does. We continue to pray for him and may God draw him closer to Him!
Anna wrapped up and we began to give out tracts, this is always an interesting exercise and people respond in all sorts of ways. Most people are polite, some are dismissive, some are interested and the occasional person will get very upset at us (thankfully few do this). Today a group of young people coming through the mall wanted to know more about the smart cards and I was privilegded to tell Georgia and her friends of the great saviour that died that they may have life. Five of them listened intently for the whole time and another 6 or so listened to parts of the gospel. Praise God that He works opportunities like this into our lives that we can give Him glory and bear witness to His great works!
Sunday 2nd March
This Sunday Dale from Workington came to Sheffield and we had the great encouragement of witnessing to our town with this brother from up north. Again we went to our regular point of preaching and set up to preach the good news to the lost.
Dale was first to preach and I planned that he and Anna would preach and not myself as I was not feeling up to it that day. This I have discovered from others often means that you will end up preaching none the less, I only pray that it is not pride but rather the Spirit’s prompting that causes such things.
Dale’s preaching is very sound and solidly founded on Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection and in the time that I’ve known him his becoming increasingly bold for the Lord. This faithful brother in Christ stood and preached the gospel as he has done in his own town of Workington for a long time now. During the preaching a crowd gathered and Dale was doing excellently to field questions and answer objections. During this Dale graciously tagged me in to chat to one of the hecklers about creation and so I gave a short apologetic on the existence of God and the biblical account of our origins. I closed by urging people to look to the saviour and consider Him.
During the the preaching Anna had gotten into a discussion with Jamie and so while Anna went through the law and the grace of God with him Dale and I distributed tracts. Jamie is very hard of heart and it was very hard work to witness to him, pray for him, that his blindness will be removed and he will see his spiritual poverty and need for a saviour.
While I was tracting two girls took tracts and wanted to know what the good person test cards were about so we went through the good person test together. What followed amazed me, they were: humbled by the law, frightened by hell (as all should be really), shocked at the great sacrifice of Christ, and said there was no reason to stop them trusting in Christ. I encouraged them both to pray and seek God in repentance and trust. They left with tracts and went off (only to stop and play with Paddy :)).
Anna also preached today and again proclaimed the gospel well. Anna has been preaching for increasing periods of time and her voice is becoming much stronger. More importantly as she has developed as a preacher Anna has never strayed in her focus on God's word and the gospel of Christ crucified for sinners.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith." (Romans 1:16-17)
After Anna finished and we had a short chat with a local rastafarian we headed home and to church. Dale had decided to head back to Workington and so left us for home also.
What a weekend, Glory to God in the Highest!