It was such a beautiful day at Wellington Point with so many people out and about for the last weekend of school holidays. We asked the Lord to use us and bring those who He has been preparing to hear the Gospel, and wow does God answer our prayers! It is such such a joy to share the gospel with open and ready hearts! Thank You Lord!
A highlight for us ladies on the team today was to see how God would have us work together as a team. Today was a day in which the Lord did this from start to finish. The first encounter we had was: Lee-Anne handed a tract to two girls that said they were lesbians.
At first they thought she wouldn't want to talk with them, but Lee-Anne straight up acknowledged they were two girls and in a relationship but she bypassed that sin and went to the conscience with sharing the commandments. As Lee-Anne was sharing, we were praying. These two girls were not too interested but they have now heard the message and God is in control of the conviction of sin and their souls, so He is Glorified always.
Next two older men walked towards us, and one of them said, "Well what have you girls got for us here?" We told him we have the message of eternal life and asked him the question, "When you die will you be going to heaven?" One said he didn't know but really hoped so. WE then said that you need to know the answer and be sure about it. He said he just went to church today. He could see our excitement and love to share about the way to heaven & asked me if I had been brought up in a Christian family. I told him I only heard about this message 16 years ago. I didn't know anything of the Bible, but now I am a Christian because Jesus showed me my sin and He rescued me.
He told us he had been a chaplain many years ago and involved in church, but as we went through the comic tract pointing out sin, justice, and the punishment we all deserve, he began to be convicted by the Lord as he shared that all his life he wanted to be passionate like us but for some reason he has never had it. I asked him if he knows the Gospel and he plainly said no. We explained that faith in what Jesus has done for us on the cross (to pay for our sins) and that He has risen, defeated sin and death, this is what saves us.
As he was hearing this, he seemed to understand and was very interested. We pointed out that he needs to ask God to do the work in his heart to save him. Our prayer is that God will give him the seeking heart he needs to come to repentance and faith to be saved.
As Railee and I were with this man, Lee-Anne was with his friend who was disabled and was sharing with him and praying for us too. Then we got to encourage a mum of 4 who is feeling discouraged about church. As Railee talked with this mum, I got to talk with two of her children while Lee-Anne shared with the husband. Please pray that this family may find a good teaching church and for all their needs.
When we arrived back to the rest of the team on the other side of the point, they were engaged in one on ones and Paul was handing out tracts. It was a busy day with many tracts handed out and great conversations. All praise be to our wonderful Saviour, Jesus Christ!
Wonderful warm weather has come to Hobart and even with my thin Brisbanite blood I find myself shedding the coat and feeling a little hot. This reminds me of the warmth of God's love which sends us out each week into the mall to share the gospel with the people of Hobart.
I praise God for the support of Karl, Tim, Cynthia, Kath and Penny. It is wonderful to have other Christians with me in their various capacities to share in the work of evangelism. This last week there has been lots of people stopping to talk and take Bibles and small groups gathering to hear the preaching. This is heartening as Hobart is often a very hard hearted and apathetic place.
Karl has preached each Friday for some time now and does a fantastic job of sharing the gospel and bringing out the truths of the word of God. Today he preached from Romans and Genesis, sharing about the good gifts that God has given us in creation. From here he pointed to the brokenness of all people and our world that came through sin and the curse. Lastly he urged people to turn to Jesus and trust in Him for salvation.
Afterwards I preached from Luke 14 and 15 about the joy that God and the angles of heaven has when people repent and trust in Jesus. I began with the horrible feeling of having lost something and the efforts we all will go to to find something that is lost. I pointed to the immense efforts that God has gone to to save the lost and broken people of our world in sending Jesus to save us. I spoke of the restlessness of our consciences and the feeling of not belonging that dogs most of us, which points to our great need of a saviour. I spoke of our Lord and His great love for rebellious and sinful people both when He was on earth and now as He sits in Heaven. I urged people to trust in Him and turn humbly in faith to Him and Him alone. Finally I spoke of the cost of discipleship and radical nature of following Jesus. He must be first and must be worth dying for and living for or we are not really serious about following Him and are not His disciples.
Praise God groups of people stopped to listen while we each preached and I pray that there are many who heard snippets that will have those words stick in their minds and hearts.
There was a handful of fruitful conversations that followed this time of preaching and we were able to hand out a number of tracts.
Praise God for another day we are able to serve Him on the streets of Hobart.
The gospel went out to many today in Sunnybank, which is in Queensland, Australia. The beauty about this area is that it is predominantly Chinese people, many who are studying in Australia for a short number of years. So even though it may be hard to go to China and openly evangelise to these people there, it's wonderful that they come to us here and they can hear the gospel.
We found that most of the Chinese people that we talked to today said that they didn't believe in God. For in China they are taught Atheism. But for each of the people that we spoke to, we simply showed how this universe must have had a creator, and it wasn't long before each of the people had changed their mind about God's existence.
It really goes to show that what Paul wrote in Romans 1 is spot on, that: "What can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)
Once that foundation had been laid, we were able to say, "Since God exists, it matters therefore what you do on this earth, in that God will judge you based on how you've lived. So do you think you're a good person?"
And just like everyone else, they thought they would be good enough for heaven. So we took them through some of God's commandments to see if they had kept them, and they too hadn't. This then lead on to explaining that we need a perfect person to take our punishment for us, and that is Jesus.
After explaining that they need to repent and trust in Christ, we encouraged each of them to carefully consider the message. One such person we spoke today was named Kelvin, and we were also able to give him a gospel of John to start reading. Please pray for him and all the others who heard the gospel today.
In the photo: This man on the bike takes a gospel tract as he rides by.
Glory to God that His gospel is going out!
We praise the Lord that many great gospel conversations were had today with people in Brisbane city. We had a smaller than usual team, but today we found people were more willing and open to talk about the things of God than usual.
During the outreach, it was great to see Jason again, a man who has come to faith in Christ because of our outreach there in the city just earlier in the year. He has been attending a local church and has been getting involved in a Bible study and prayer group there.
It's wonderful seeing his hunger to find out more about God's word, asking us a bunch of questions about it. He even helped us hand out gospel tracts today. Praise the Lord!
Across the team today, we spoke to a variety of people - Sikhs, Atheists, Catholics and others. Even some who were raised as Christians who today for the first time came to understand the gospel.
We also had our free Bibles table set up and the gospels of John that we had on there seemed to be going like hot cakes. We had to keep re-stocking the table as people wanted a copy of God's word to take home and read.
Glory to the Lord of all!
Today the gospel went out in Woodridge. We had a small team, but still hundreds of gospel tracts were given out to people across the afternoon, including to a young lady named Tina.
Tina attends a local high school and she initially was asking, "What if you die and find out it's not true?" She was skeptical about God's existence. But I pointed her to the building across the road and said, "You know that building had a builder, don't you?" She said, "Yes".
I continued, "Exactly, even though you haven't seen the builder, you know that he exists. Same thing when you look at this universe. Since it had a beginning, it must have had a creator. Even though you haven't seen Him, you still know He exists."
She responded, "That makes perfect sense!" So I continued on to talking to her about the coming Judgement, about our sinfulness before God and how we deserve God's wrath since we have not lived perfectly, but then also about the good news of Jesus taking the punishment for our sin if we would repent and believe.
She was clearly processing in her head about what was being said and asked a few questions that she'd been wondering about. Please pray that God would draw her to Himself.
In the photo, team member Alan is witnessing using the Intelligence Test flip chart to some high schoolers, while the young man in the foreground is reading our Big Money gospel tract that the kids loved receiving today. They are available here: http://www.operation513.com/bigmoney
To God be the glory that His gospel went out!
We had 12 of us on the team last night at the Gold Coast. It was a windy night and as the night went on, the wind got stronger and stronger. So much so that the resources we had on the free Bible tables, which we have in English and Arabic, repeatedly were flying away.
But that didn't stop the gospel going out at all. Three people on the team preached throughout the night, while God brought in people to listen to the message, some who were asking questions and interacting with the preacher.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team were handing out gospel tracts and getting into conversations with people. In fact, one conversation that the team had was with a Muslim couple who wanted to know more about Christianity and they continued talking for well over an hour! The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.
We praise God that He is saving a people for Himself from all the nations! To God be the glory.
After a bout of laryngitis and a nasty head cold it was a relief to be able to go into the mall today with a clear head and share the gospel with people. As my voice was still weak and sore I did not preach but there was many people coming to the bible table over the course of the afternoon and many opportunities to share.
A couple of people came asking for bibles and literature and quickly left afterwards. There was also a number of people who stayed who I would ask you to pray for:
Mr S.l : This young atheist/skeptic has been talking with me and other Christians for some time now and regularly stops to talk. He needs prayer that God will open his eyes to the gospel and his great need of Christ. Today he began by asking if I had been arrested, had been in Launceston or had been in court recently, all things heard down the grapevine he wanted to check. I assured him that none of these had happened to me as far as I was aware. After a short period however Mr B. came and began to speak with me to encourage me in my work in the mall and this spun off into a discussion with Mr S. as well. Instead of engaging in the discussion directly I tried to guide the conversation in directions that would be helpful and away from the difficult and unhelpful. The discussion was quite good and Mr B. did a fantastic job of defending the faith and pointing to Jesus. Of course Mr S. was quite unmoved by any proofs offered and deferred the discussion of scientific evidences to professors at the university.
Miss A. : She stopped to ask for a bible and directions to the church. She comes from a catholic background but has fallen away and is wanting to reconnect with God. I chatted to her about the bible and invited her to come visit our church whenever she would like.
Mr B.: I have been praying for Mr B. for some time now. The last time I saw him he was very distressed and in a terrible situation and facing the loss of his family and job and even jail time. At that time I tried to help in some small ways and encouraged him to seek God in prayer and Bible reading and to get help and accountability. Praise God that is exactly what God has brought into Mr B.'s life in a dramatic way. He has been able to spend many days in prayer and Bible study and is now engaged in both church and accountability with a solid Christian friend. The problems are far from over but he is now facing these massive challenges with hope and purpose that comes from knowing and being known by God almighty. Please pray for Mr B. that he will continue in the path he has begun and will continue to delight in and walk with our Lord.
Miss M. : She came to ask questions and a long and enjoyable discussion followed. While claiming to be a Taoist she is open to all different sources of truth and holds opinions that are quite close to the Christian worldview on many matters. Ruben and I were able to point her to the bible and particularly the gospel on many issues. She is interested to discuss things further and hopefully the discussion will continue over the next couple of weeks and months.
Praise God for all these great conversations and opportunities. Please pray for these precious folk and ask that God would be at work in their hearts for their eternal good and His Glory.
It was a quieter night in Brisbane, but despite that we were still able to share the gospel with many people. It was encouraging to see so many people from different churches coming out to evangelise the lost.
As the night began I managed to grab a conversation with two young men from Papua New Guinea. I asked them, "Why do you think God would let you into Heaven?" They both smiled and said, "We'd go to Heaven because we come from a Christian country and do good for people." Well, this was the beginning of an excellent conversation. We spoke at length about the fallenness of humanity and the need for Jesus to rescue us. Both of the men at the end of the conversation took an in-depth tract and said they'd like to attend church.
Shortly after this conversation it came time for me to preach. Tonight, I decided to preach in an 'old-school' manner, that is, with no sketchboard, and just a Bible in hand. My text for the night was Luke 18:9-14, my topic was, "How to be made right with God." A few people stopped to listen as I spoke about how our works and efforts will never bring about forgiveness of sins and how Jesus is the only way we can know God.
The rest of the night was fairly quiet, however, at the end of the evening I managed to get into an apologetic discussion with a Scottish atheist. His arguments were basic, but very typical of those whom I encountered when I lived in Scotland. His objections were answered and eventually he literally turned and rushed away before I could answer another of his questions. He embodied the man who wasn't interested in truth but rather was seeking to justify his unbelief.
Overall, it was a productive evening. Please pray for all those we encountered.
On Saturday night in the mall, despite the threat of rain, the weather stayed mild and the Gospel of salvation was proclaimed!
A highlight conversation was with Ryan and Erin, a mid twenties couple who had dressed up to have a night out together. When asked what they thought the 'Worlds Biggest Problem' was, the answer was poverty and their solution was giving women more rights. The conversation started in an unconventional way but as usual in the search for the 'root cause' of the problem it was agreed that pride, selfishness and greed were the problem.
It has been observed that in a questioning line such as this, it is common and easy for people to admit they are selfish, proud and greedy and when how this view of ourselves affects humans, the vast majority will readily admit they have stolen, lied, hated, gotten drunk, been lustful and many other things. Surprisingly it is a way to have people let their guard down. Once acknowledging human pride is a big problem and that despite their best human efforts (or lack of) most people often concede that they too are part of the problem.
After not too many questions, the couple were asked if they had a solution for human pride, they both admitted they had no idea. Ryan profoundly stated, "If you had a solution surely you would be out telling people!"
The only answer that can pay for human wickedness and could change a human heart was given, that Jesus Christ fully God and fully man, lived a sinless life, died the death we deserve and rose from the grave so that all who acknowledge their guilt and surrender to Him alone can have their debt paid and can be given a new heart.
Ryan said, "If I could betray my intellect I would definitely believe that". Though his pride was on display and it was more about him wanting to know better than his Creator, this cracked the conversation open and twenty minutes of question and answer time about Christian apologetics was engaged in. The topic ranged from the simple questions of the authority and authenticity of the Bible all the way to, why is there evil and suffering in this world that happens to 'innocent' people. With a number of reiterations of the Gospel they both finally had to leave and meet up with their friends but the seed had well and truly been sown.
Ryan and Erin had no other solution from human wickedness and were left in a position where Jesus was the ONLY answer! Please be praying for this young couple and that God will bring them unto repentance and humble surrender. Please earnestly ask God for the salvation of many souls and pray that He would bring to the outreaches men and women who's hearts have been cultivated and are ready to hear the Gospel!
Please praise God that He is sovereign in bringing people who need to hear the Gospel and make sure in gratefulness for your salvation to courageously step out and share the Gospel with anyone who will listen!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Most Australians would self-identify as being Christians, however, the level of Biblical knowledge is extremely low. We saw that clearly displayed on Tuesday in Woodridge as many people who thought they were Believers actually had no knowledge of the gospel.
The day started off with four of us working to spread the good news of Jesus. It was wonderful to see so many people taking material from our free Bible and literature table. At one point I thought we were going to run out of booklets as people took resources. In particular in was encouraging to see people show an interest in the Scriptures. Many people gathered around asking for Bibles and also copies of the Gospels.
Today, I tried something different for Woodridge, I decided to set up the flip-chart to see if anyone would be interested in taking the "Good Person Test." To my surprise quite a number of people were keen to have a go, and many listened in to the conversation.
The first person I spoke to was a young man who is a Hindu. He had no concept of Christianity, but he had some wonderful questions. I was able to share the gospel with him, and then discuss the issue of their only being one God, and Jesus being the only way of salvation. For him, as a Hindu, he found this hard to believe, so he stated that all religions are true. From that point we were able to have a discussion around the law of noncontradiction and the Christian faith. At the end of our conversation he took a tract and said he'd look into Jesus more.
As soon as that conversation finished another young man approached me. He put out his hand to shake mine while saying, "God Bless You!" It turns out that he is from a local church, but sadly he was trusting in his own goodness to get him to Heaven. I explained the gospel to him, and by the end of the conversation he realised that salvation is only through trusting in Christ.
No sooner than that conversation had finished, a young and rough looking boy approached me. He had been listening into the conversations and had taken some literature from the table. This young man was ten years old, but he had some street smarts. He told me that he had never been the church, and he had never heard of Jesus before. We chatted for a few minutes, and he seemed to be amazed at the love of God towards sinful people. He took a Gospel of Luke and told me he would read it.
Towards the end of the day I was approached by two young high school boys who were clearly looking for a bit of a laugh. We had some fun with the flip-chart and I was able to connect with them. Things became rather serious when we started to talk about sin and how a good God must punish wrong doing. One of the boys knew of Jesus and His death, the other had never heard of it. At the end of the conversation both thanked us for sharing the gospel and they went on their way.
There is a massive need for gospel ministry in the open-air all-around Australia. People today don't seem interested in going to church so we must take the good news to them. Please continue to pray for us as we seek to make Christ known by all means everywhere.