A day when the teenagers were relatively receptive compared to their parents. e.g. Tom and Presley heard it all and when they met up with their Dad, they said look at te tracts that we got, sounding well-pleased. Dad, in the meantime also had received a tract but he said that he believes in Jesus and ignores the Bible. He said that since man was made in the image of God, he looks within himself to find some aspect of divine nature . Ryan was able to bring some Scriptures into the chat but only God knows if that Dad heard. He said he was willing to risk being wrong. So much for subjective conjecture when the objective Truth is laid out in th Holy Bible.
A young R.C. couple, Dan and Danielle were eager to hear.
God does His saving work through His servants who are so grateful for the privilege of serving the all-glorious One true and living God.
To Him be the glory!
After praying, we headed to our initial contacts. There were some encouraging chats although quite short due to bus arrivals. e.g. Meghal works door-to-door and finds it hard. However she related her view that all religions teach the same basics. We agreed that God is perfect and so must heaven be; we are all imperfect. I had time to point out the uniqueness of salvation by trusting in the perfectly righteous Lord Jesus Christ whose death perfectly met God's demand for the offenses of his people. She agreed that most religions teach that we must do something to earn God's favour. She was most appreciative and will check it out some more. We pray that she sees that all religions are not the same and Christianity is unique and true so that she may seek the Lord while He may be found.
One particularly difficult middle-aged lady, A., had severely distorted God's revelation of Himself so that she claims to love God but to hate Jesus??? Thankfully a visit to the necessarium left Lee-Anne free to move on to a young man who said that we are born into sin and he wasn't too bad. Going through the law and gospel, he was encouraged to lean on Jesus alone.
Renee, an engaging young Buddhist, chatted freely. She asked for my testimony in which I stressed the Personality of God. I challenged her to seek the Truth that will set her free, cf. Jn. 8:32, and she said that she would check out the authority of the Bible.
God is at work and we give Him for helping us and using us: to Him alone be glory and praise!
The team has arrived safely in Myanmar and spent this afternoon getting to know the local translators that are helping us. We even had an hour to spare to head out onto the streets and hand out some tracts.
It is surprising how interested the local people are in taking Gospel tracts and talking about God. Unlike a normal afternoon in Australia where it is hard work to hand out tracts or speak with people, here in Myanmar people will line up for tracts and will happily engage! They aren't even phased by the language barrier or translator!
One man to pray for was one of the taxi drivers from this morning who is a Buddhist. After some talk about God he mentioned that for the last 30 years his brother in-law and sister have been sharing with him about Jesus!
Please be praying for the energy levels of the team as the week has just begun and we are already quite tired.
Please also pray that God will continue to bring along people specifically to hear the Gospel - people He has been preparing beforehand.
Check out this short video update from the team in Myanmar about yesterday's outreach.
As the team continues in Myanmar there are more and more encouraging stories!
It has been really a priviledge to be a part of even the last three days. There are testimonies of people wanting to surrender to Jesus as Lord and plenty of seeds sown. We praise the Lord that another 30,000 to 40,000 gospel tracts were able to be handed out yesterday.
We are comforted to know that it is God who converts a person, and as the seeds get scattered, we know that God will make them land where He wants them to. The local pastors we have been working with have been receiving lots of calls from people wanting to find out more information about Christianity as a result of the tracts too.
Please keep praying for the team as they head out. Please pray that we are reminded of God's love for us in the Gospel and strengthened by the Holy Spirit!
One short testimony is of a conversation with a young local girl. She hasn't been educated past preschool but after a thirty minute discussion begun to understand the depths of the Gospel. Please be praying that she shall trust in Jesus, with the simple knowledge of the Gospel that she has!
Hear some testimonies of God's providence and use of the team in Myanmar on their third day.
After an encouraging weekend visiting some orphanages and local Churches, the team once again headed out to the streets of Yangon City, Myanmar.
Today was spent in a different area which is densely populated with Muslims. As a result many of the conversations that were had today happened with Muslims.
It is a great encouragement to see the translators that are with the team getting more confident to share about Christ on their own. It is a priviledge to see other Christians improve their skills in evangelism and to see their desire grow!
One interesting conversation today was with a Buddhist man named Hartool, who was certain that he was good enough to get to Heaven. We had a lengthy conversation with him, and gave him a Bible and asked him to read it. Please pray that God would change his heart, by the power of the Holy Spirit through the reading of the Word.
It was encouraging to see 35,000 people take gospel tracts from us today.
Please keep the team in prayer, that we will continue to be encouraged by the Gospel we are preaching and be motivated by God's love toward us.
Hear two team members in Myanmar share about some of their recent encouragements! Hear some prayer requests and enjoy seeing some locals hearing or reading the Gospel.
As the ten days in Myanmar draws to a close, the team has handed out over two hundred thousand gospel tracts! That is, over 200,000 people in this country who now have a clear presentation of the gospel in their possession. Praise be to God!
God has been gracious in sustaining the team and there is only one final outreach left tomorrow. In our outreaches, we have met a number of local Christians which we were able to encourage to press on for the sake of the Gospel!
As a result of the tract distribution many people have been contacting the number on back of the tract asking for more information about Jesus. Please pray that all those who have called will understand the Gospel clearly, turn in repentance to Jesus and will become a part of a local Church.
It's encouraging to see that most of the days we have had people who have come to make professions of faith in Christ, leaving Buddhism behind.
Please keep all those who have received tracts in your prayers, that they will be read, cherished and will by the power of God lead many to salvation.
It was another interesting day in our Lord's service. There was a young Lebanese woman who was most appreciative of our chat.
There was a young J.W. man who was a bit apprehensive at first but we ended with a respectful challenge to one another. I asked him to ponder Mt. 28:20 and how Jesus could keep His promise to be "...with you always...'' since He left and ascended into heaven. He gave me Ps. 83:18 which I rejoice to submit to in the light of progressive revelation!
Thanks for praying and remember the other outreaches and the team in Myanmar.
To God be the glory for He alone is worthy.
Merciful Lord and Heavenly Father,
Thank you that you hear our prayers and answer from heaven. Praise your glorious and holy name! You are good and worthy of our praise, may we always come with hearts full of gratitude and joy to your throne.
Thank you for our city of Hobart. Thank you that you allow us to live in peace and bear witness here day by day. Thank you for the government that you have put in place and will hold accountable for the way they govern. Thank you for the many thousands who have heard the gospel through our work, and through the work of others like FOCUS, UFC and Helen Devenish. Thank you for the great natural blessings that you shower on our sinful and heedless state, please use those blessings to awaken people to awe and worship of you.
Praise your name Father that you are gathering a people for yourself from Hobart. Thank you that we hear from all sides stories of salvation and quickening of spiritual life in Jesus. Thank you for saving us, thank you for saving them! You are great and mighty to save, and nothing will ever stop your mission to redeem people from our time and our land. We rejoice to walk in your footsteps Lord Jesus, lead us to those you have destined for salvation. Help us to clearly share the gospel and never hold back anything you have revealed in your word. We walk in a great valley of bones. Oh Lord, give Hobart life eternal that they may arise a mighty army, ready to do your will.
Bless us we pray and forgive us our sins, we are not as we should be. We sin and do what you loathe, we groan to think of all the ways we have wronged you our great God and saviour! We know that death and hell is the just consequence of sin. Jesus is our only hope and our only plea as we stand guilty before you. Forgive us for Jesus’ sake and cleanse us from all wrong doing. We trust that you will do this, you have promised us that you will.
Please have mercy Lord on those that persecute us, lie about us, and revile us as evil. Please look on our suffering at their hands and forgive them Lord almighty. We hope and pray that you will break their hard hearts and bring them to repentance and faith. Through your Holy Spirit Lord, give life to the slanders, to those who have assaulted us, to the opponents, and to the grumblers. Banish from our city the demons that empower and inspire opposition to you and your word. Free people from the power of Satan and from slavery to sin. Help us we pray, to put aside our desires for personal justice while we at the same time seek to restrain evil wherever we encounter it. We trust you Father to do what is right with our enemies, help us to lean on you and joyfully follow Jesus wherever He leads us.
To you and you alone Lord is the glory, the kingdom, the majesty, the dominion, the power, the honour, and the praise; both now and forever more.
On Friday night at the Gold Coast, God brought along both a large size team (over 20 people) and large crowds who were listening as the gospel was being presented.
During the preaching, we had few hecklers that were Muslim who started debating about Christianity and this drew large number of people to listen. As the preacher was answering their questions and responding with Bible verses to give a clear understanding of the gospel, we found the crowd attentively listening to the gospel message being preached. We praise God for a general openness towards the gospel.
The team also had many fruitful one to one conversations. One such was with a young girl about 12 named Ann, who asked for a gospel tract for her younger sister. When one of the team asked her if she has heard about Jesus, she replied with, "yes, from school". Upon being asked what she remembers about Jesus, she said, "he is so big and made everything". We then started to talk about sin and how every person must stand before God and that, sin separates us from God.
With simplicity, we also began to share how God has sent his Son Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sin. She said she has heard about how Jesus paid for our sin. We told her about receiving salvation through faith, that she must trust in Christ completely for salvation, surrendering her life to him to be saved. We encouraged her to read the gospel tract at home and pray to God for salvation. She joyfully received the gospel before running off to her parents.
Please pray for this young girl so that she will put her trust on Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.
Please also pray for the team and for the gospel to go forth until every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Philippians 2:10,11). Amen.
It was 36'C with high humidity as we made our way to Redcliffe for today's outreach. Upon arrival we set up the Free Bible and Literature table, and before we could finish setting it up properly a man stopped to take a Bible and DVD.
Shortly after the outreach began we had three young men come up to the table to ask for resources. They went to a local church, but they had no understanding of the gospel. I was able to share with them, and they said it made sense.
Towards the end of the day I also got to speak to two Baha'i members (seems to be a week for them!) This couple had been members of the Baha'i religion for thirty-six years. They told me that all religions are true, and that it all comes from one God. They then told me that they were former Baptists. When I heard this I said, "So you left the Christian faith to become Baha'i?"
Upon hearing this the lady flared up and said, "No, we took Christianity with us. Baha'i completed the teaching." I pointed out that Jesus didn't allow that option as He is God and He alone is the way, and the truth (John 14:6). At the words of Jesus the man then became angry. Through clenched teeth he started to seethe about how he wouldn't speak to me and that he has peace. I though the whole thing to be inconsistent; if you truly believe that all religions are true, then you really shouldn't get angry at the words of Jesus. Their anger simply revealed the hatred these apostates had for Christ. Please pray for them.
How wonderful to be entrusted with telling forth God's good news. How good is God to keep equipping us and using our frail efforts to glorify Himself. Today was another day of great and varying responses to the gospel:
- a young man Andrew said that his Dad was a Christian but he was not. As I took him through an overview of the Bible's content, he kept supplying facts such as our first parents' names, Adam and Eve. He seemed to understand how God's justice and mercy are perfectly satisfied in Christ's life & death. Pray he is thinking deeply about what he has heard because his bus arrived before he could be challenged to forsake all for the sake of knowing Jesus as his Lord and Saviour - forever.
On the other hand, there was Lyn: After getting her agreement to certain facts, she started to disagree with Lee-Anne. She has heard the truth that can set her free.. Pray that she will be tormented by the thought of having to pay the price for her own sins - forever - and flee from the wrath to come!
Another young lass didn't want a tract but when asked, replied that she was a Christian. On being asked if she worshiped the Lord Jesus Christ, she said "Occasionally". Then she indicated that she did not want to talk anymore. Pray that if she is converted, she will fall deeply in love with the Lord and commit fully to following Him.
The spiritual battle rages. The Prince of Peace is Victor. Let us serve Him with thanksgiving and keep on giving the glory to our great triune God through the one Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Over the last couple of months, we have had some fantastic opportunities in our region.
Our monthly Saturday outreach continued and we were blessed by the presence of Michael, a seasoned evangelist who has returned from Brisbane and is in our neck of the woods for a few months completing his medical training. We also have had Christopher with us, possibly our youngest member of the team (he turns one this year) who tags along with Mum and Dad (Sarah and Paul) as they share the eternal Gospel on the streets of Toowoomba.
Outside of our regular ministry, we prepared for the two biggest evangelistic opportunities of the year- The Carnival of Flowers Parade and the Toowoomba Christmas Wonderland.
The Carnival of Flowers outreach was rather unusual this year. In the lead-up to the parade, there is normally thousands of people on the street in the hours before. Not this time. It was very quiet in comparision to other years. We did, however, encounter a number of national and international tourists and their families and as such, it was a joy to share the Good News with them through tracts and conversation.
The seeds of the Gospel often lay dormant for a time and travel far and wide and so we ask you to join us in praying for the salvation of these families and that they would bring the Gospel to their hometowns.
The Christmas outreach was completely different. Tens of thousands of locals eagerly flock to enjoy a stunning display of local food, culture and Christmas lights display in Queens Park.
Over three nights our team ministered outside the main event and were able to give over one thousand Christmas themed tracts to the many families in attendance. There was little time for conversation or discussion due to the busy nature of the crowd but we were blessed by the encouragement of fellow Christians who were attending the event itself when they saw us sharing the true message of Christmas with others.
In large events like these (and even in more “run of the mill” outreaches), it can be difficult to point to tangible results for God’s Kingdom. As Nik Ripkin has pointed out in his excellent book, The Insanity of God “ God [has] never promised to reward obedient sacrifice with measurable success”.
Nevertheless, our trust is in Him and in His good timing. He is perfectly faithful to us.
We are imperfectly faithful to Him...and we trust not only in His disposition of loving grace towards us day by day but also in His heart for reconciliation towards the many who we will believe in faith will soon to enter His Kingdom in our region.
How encouraging is our God and so gracious to us in our weaknesses! Lee-Anne was having a great conversation to a couple in their 20s who seemed to be receptive. A couple of us noticed this as we finished our own conversation and in one of those rare instances we prayed out loud, "Lord. Help Lee-Anne speak to their hearts." Their bus arrived and Lee-Anne comes to us saying that she wished she had longer. Look again! The couple is not allowed on that bus so Lee-Anne returned and resumed their conversation. We thank the Lord.
There was Remiole who thought he would get to heaven because he went to his R.C.church.After going through the gospel, he correctly answered the diagnostic question. Then he said that he would go to Church for His sake.
Rebecca had recently been to a friend's baptism. She has heard the truth and has a gospel of John to read.
God gave us many more conversations and perhaps a seed was planted in some of thos young lives?
Whatever the result, it is glorious because it is God's work and displays His character. To Him be all the glory, thanks and praise!