A great day of evangelism at the Redlands Easter Family Festival. Over 5,000 gospel tracts and hundreds of gospels of John went into people's homes.
Operation 513 goes to Redlands Easter Family Festival!
On Monday, the team headed to Redlands Showgrounds, at the Redlands Easter Family Festival to share with the celebrants the reason for the season, that Christ Jesus came into this world, lived a perfectly life, died a sacrificial death, was buried and rose victorious from the grave, to save sinners such as us.It was a day packed full of excitement, here is a highlights video!Posted by Operation 513 - Evangelism Action Group on Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Please be praying for all those who heard the gospel. To God be the glory!
Under the threat of rain, with lightning around the team headed on their way to the Queen St Mall in Brisbane. With a strong body of labourers we set up the stuff, prayed and together in Christ we spread out a little to share the Gospel. As the night wore on and the rain came, the team set up an umbrella over the amplifier allowing the preaching to continue whilst it was raining.
With some early introductory preaching and small but consistent crowds a range of conversations were started and sustained by listening to the preacher. Though preaching doesn't always bring massive crowds, let us pray for the many who heard snippets as they walked past, for the numbers who stopped and let us praise God for the ones who were able to talk about Christ because of the preaching!
During the night there were many encouraging conversations, here is a small snippet;
There was a man who had headed out for the night to indulge in all the world has to offer. This man, walked through the area and was engaged, starting a conversation over the question, "Is there anything more important than money?" Whilst being offered a million dollar tract. He started talking about what was important to him, deciding that it was his life which was most valuable, for apart from it, nothing else matters. This lead into a discussion about what happens after we die because surely God will judge us.
This man talk for a little while but was keen to head off, he didn't want his indulgence in sin to be effected by having to consider what God had to say. He mentioned that God didn't exist and when asked why he said, he didn't want God to exist. Discussing God's existence led into a closing statement on his behalf, "If God does exist, I am going to hell." Whilst trying to explain that we all deserve hell yet, there was a way of salvation he headed off. Please pray for this man, he heard little pieces about God and he took a tract. May God use this encounter as the beginning of salvation!
Only moments later upon asking the same question to a young married couple, the answer was given, "Love". So we discussed the importance of love, getting to a place again where we were discussing what happens when our lives are over, when love is gone and when we are dying. To which the question was posed, will anything matter after you die?
This young couple, Peter and Adina (non-English name), were great to converse with, Adina knew English quite well and her husband not quite so much. During the conversation she was translating the words spoken to make sure he knew what was going on. The conversation was slow moving but very important. It turned out that this couple were Catholics, they professed that through a trust in Jesus, constant asking forgiveness and continually trying ones best they could make it into Heaven.
This was an interesting conversation, through a back and forth asking about what different elements had led them to their conclusion and overall it ended up, with them hearing many verses from the Bible and having the opportunity to hear how Christ, Paul and James had separately, in different aspects discussed salvation, yet had all reached the same conclusion, it is Jesus alone who is the Saviour and only His work on the cross has the power to make someone righteous in the sight of God.
Sadly the conversation came toward a close and neither Peter nor Adina showed signs of acknowledging this amazing truth of God's word. Yet we know that God's word, God's truth does not return void, we know that it is a humbling thing to admit you are wrong in front of another, so let us join together in prayer, committing this young couple to God, that they may take the time to read the word of God in depth and through God's saving Grace may they come to see the truth that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation and His sacrifice on the cross is all we need to be right before God!
To cap off the night a young man Raphael answered the question, "Is there anything more important than money?" With the answer, health. An interesting answer, a new answer but still none the less, had direct relevance to eternity. Upon asking him, what would happen after health was finally and irreplaceably lost, after one died, what he thought would happen, Raphael answered a few ways. Firstly he discussed how he was an agnostic and truly he seemed to be. Often you find that people claim to be agnostic, yet will adamantly argue against the existence of God, yet Raphael was very different.
He summarised his belief as, "I'm not sure there is evidence for God's existence or against it", then proceeded to discuss and ask mostly questions for the next fifty minutes. Starting in the Godhood of Jesus Christ, juggling an understanding of what Christ claimed, what Christ did and how we know such things. We entered into a discussion on why the bible is believable and quickly transitioned to a great question, "Can you write about specific life events of another person between four-hundred and fifteen hundred years before they will even exist?" As of yet there has never been a person who has responded with, "Yes".
Raphael was the same, "Of course not," he replied. Opening him up to the opportunity to ask, "How would one explain such a phenomenon then?" This was an interesting discussion, he said he'd never thought about it before. He said this was a new question and quite surprisingly he said, it seemed that the only answer was the supernatural.
Our topic turned towards truth, Raphael acknowledged absolute truth exists and then faced the question, "Where does it come from?" He very honestly stated that he had no idea and no source under his current beliefs and then asked, "But what about yourself? Where do you think truth comes from?" Raphael listened intently as the Christian God was explained to him. He then asked, "What about all the different religions? Where did they come from?" After some discussion, acknowledging that as humans our in built desire was to disobey and dishonour God, it was only natural to assume that we would stretch that to the world of religion, making up and claiming false ways to get to Heaven.
The conversation was getting exciting, it seemed that with every question, with every new discussion Raphael was thinking more about Christianity. With each moment as the conversation progressed he wanted nothing more than to understand who God was, what our problem was and what the fix had to be. His next question was, "Why Christianity?" Answered in the simplest of ways, (apart from all the prior discussion), with a discussion about God's character, if God is Perfect, if God is Just and if God is Loving, a Perfect God can't stand sin, a Just God must punish sin and a Loving God wants to save sinners.
How could one reconcile this, the only way is if God was able to punish sin, pour out justice and yet allow sinners to live. Meaning someone had to take the Hell punishment, the death penalty sinners deserved and be a substitute for the sinner. This was answered in true biblical fashion by explaining who Jesus was. After the first explanation Raphael said he didn't understand so it was explained again, this time he nodded in agreement, acknowledging that it made sense.
The end of the night drew near but the conversation wasn't quite finished, we continued through later than planned as one by one Raphael asked a question and it was answered. From the problem of pain, through the question of whether Christians could just do whatever they wanted as long as they said a prayer at the end of a day, past the question of why each sin in the sight of God deserves hell and why hell should be eternal.
As it was time to leave, Raphael said, "I have just one more question," it was a final question about salvation, a final clarifying question about the way of having sins forgiven. This conversation which seemed as if it would be purely apologetics from the start ended up mostly being about Jesus Christ, sin and the saving power of the Gospel!
Please pray for Raphael, please pray that this Easter is the first Easter he is able to truly celebrate. Pray that he read his Bible, pray that he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and pray that through the power of God his life will ever be changed! God is King and Jesus is the Risen Lord!
As a team we also ask that you consider us in prayer, the work of evangelism is exciting and tiring but please pray that we keep vigilant in the word of the Lord, that we continue day by day to seek God's truth and that we are continually in repentance. Pray that our love for God, our love for the lost will continue to grow that we might not sin against God!
May you also commit the many who were exposed to the preaching of the word to the Lord, that this exposure to the Gospel will be the start of a life long journey as a child of God! Thank you for the prayer support, it would be a wonderful opportunity to have you join us on the team!
Soli Deo Gloria!
We arrived at about the same time as Ryan did so we got to chat on the way down the hill to meet the others at our usual spot to pray. On our way Ryan told us about Barry who contacted him during the week and said that he had come over from Perth and was with us till the 31st of March to get some training out on the streets with us!!!
Praise our God for answered prayer, He sure is sending labourers our way so that the Gospel can be proclaimed around this beautiful country we have the privilege to live in!!! Thank you LORD. We met up with the team and introduced ourselves to Barry. We prayed together and split up into three groups and started to hand out tracts.
Barry and I went to the shady tree spot and chatted as we handed out Easter tracts which are so easy to hand out by saying ‘Happy Easter’.
I handed Paul a tract as he approached with his wife and two small children. His wife and kids walked on as I engaged him with the Easter message, he was very open as I took him through the law to bring about the knowledge of sin, then the Gospel. I encouraged him to think seriously about what we had discussed for his sake and for that of his family. He said he would, thanked me, and joined his family.
Tai arrived shortly after and we handed him some Easter tracts which he handed out gladly. As we chatted I was able to encourage both of them in their willingness to join in witnessing with us.
It is really amazing as both these guys have a similar story in that around 2 years ago they both received a Gospel tract from our team at the Gold Coast and although Barry was already a Christian, Tai was not at that time but both of them were impacted by God to do something about the message. Tai was challenged to get right with God and Barry was stirred in his heart to the point of coming all the way to Brisbane to meet up with Ryan so he can be trained to do the work of evangelism back in Perth. Please pray that our Lord would stir up some saints in Perth to join with Barry to share the Gospel there.
Then the girls came and joined us after they had a good number of one on ones and some names to pray for, praise God!!! He always has someone to pass this great news to.
Ryan and Gordon joined back with us and told us about some of their conversations as they walked around the park area and we all shared in the joy of just being able to come together for this work. Another great day at Wellington Point. All praise be to our God!
One of the best things about evangelising at the same spot each week means you get to encounter people who you have witnessed to before and ask them whether they have considered the message more since we last spoke.
There were quite a number of conversations like that yesterday in Capalaba. To mention one - Troy. I had spoken to him before and I wanted to see if he remembered the way to get to Heaven.
And he did, he explained that it's through trusting in Christ's work on the cross for our sins. But for him, he acknowledged he just intellectually knew the gospel and hasn't yet trusted in it or repented of his sin.
He asked, "With the distractions of life how do I ensure I keep thinking about God?" I explained that is why we need to be reading the Bible everyday. Just like we need to eat food each day to supply us with energy for our day, we need to have our spiritual food each day (reading the Bible) to keep our mind on God.
He didn't have a Bible and he asked if he could have one. So I gave him a gospel of John that I had with me. I challenged him to repent of his sin and trust in Christ, as there is nothing more important for him than where he goes when he dies. He thanked me for the chat, and I undoubtedly will see him another week, if the Lord wills.
We also had Gordon, Tai and Barry on the team today. It is amazing that God is raising up labourers to go into His harvest. These guys mentioned they had some good conversations and said they have some names they are going to be praying for.
Praise be to God!
As the team assembled and headed out to Queen St Mall at the heard of Brisbane City we reminisced of the astounding truth that no matter which government is in power, God is in control. No one has a position of authority apart from it being granted to them by God. Together we prayed committing the night to the Lord and asking that He would bring many along to hear the Good News.
We started the night with the sketch board, our usual PA system was missing in action so we used a small hand held speaker that packs a decent volume. This allowed the preaching to be well heard and a few people stopped in to listen to the message that was being preached. As the preaching took place a number of conversations were started with those slowing to listen, including with a young lady who had just landed from New Zealand and after a while of dialogue took a bible and a Gospel tract!
As the preaching came to an end a conversation was started with Matt and Elle. Matt professed to be a Christian and Elle said she wasn't. A simple question was asked, "What did you think of the preaching?" Which lead straight into a conversation allowing them to set the tone of the discussion.
Elle was fairly quiet and didn't say much but just listened where as Matt was keen to engage. After a few minutes the question was posed to Matt, "How are you getting to Heaven?" to which he replied. "As long as you keep God's commandments you should be okay." To be honest, he was exactly right, if anyone had kept God's commandments they would be able to enter Heaven but as Matt soon discovered, there isn't any human who had or could keep such commandments. In fact by God's standard we all stand condemned, deserving the full weight of God's wrath. When Matt heard this, he asked, "Then why are you guys out here? Doesn't that mean we all should go to Hell?"
Again he had hit the nail, by God's justice, according to our sin, we certainly do deserve Hell. The opportunity to share the saving work of Jesus Christ was there and it wasn't one to be missed, it was promptly explained that our sin does cause us to be damned yet God came into this world, He was in human form, lived a sinless life and suffered the wrath of God we deserve.
Three days later rising from the grave, proving He is God and conquering sin and death. So that if we acknowledge our sinfulness, understand we cannot save ourselves and surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour our sin debt can be paid and we can be set free from slavery to sin. After having this explained Matt, with a smile on his face, said "Thank you for that, I have never heard or understood that before." He took a Gospel tract and may he trust in the saving work of Jesus Christ!
A man who chatted with the team entered into the discussion after being asked if there was anything in this world more important than money. He answered, with the thought that happiness was more important. This man made comment about where he found his happiness and why it was so important to him but as we moved towards a discussion about eternity he suddenly became a little less sure. He said he enjoyed discussing such a topic but had already made up his mind.
When asked what had lead him to his conclusions of agnosticism he discussed that there was no need for a creator. When challenged on this idea in regards to the certainty that a building needs a builder so a creation surely has a creator, he admitted it was a good point but that humanity had proven there was no need for a God.
Soon afterwards when discussing why one should consider the claims of Christianity this question was posed to the man, "Can you prophesy in highly accurate detail, specific life events about someone who won't be born for another thousand years?" The man readily admitted this, humanly speaking, was impossible. When it was explained that this is exactly what happened in regards to Jesus Christ and was asked how such a thing was possible, he suddenly fell silent then proclaimed, "I don't need to answer you, I was a Hindu by tradition but now I am an agnostic by choice!" and quickly left.
The team also engaged in a lengthy conversation with a young man named Olly, the conversation was filled with discussions, from the deep question, whether truth exists, touching on why we really shouldn't steal, spending some time in the definitive claims of Jesus Christ about His deity and the way to Heaven and dwelling deeply on whether or not one can know if Christ really rose from the grave.
Olly was a very respectful and interesting young man who readily professed to be open minded, which is always a strange claim. When people make such a statement, they often seem to imply that they are able to accept any belief or worldview. Yet forget to add the clause, "as long as it directly agrees with what I believe". Though Olly was different, he simply meant that he was unsure if anyone could ever know something they hadn't personally experienced and therefore he was unsure of such a deep question as to the destination of people's eternity.
Olly made many statements of truth, from adamantly defending piracy as it wasn't directly harming anyone (the producers were already rich enough) or that there is 11 dimensions and infinite possible universes. So there was a range of questions posed along the lines of, "Does truth exist? Where does it come from? How can a human trust their own brain and it's ability to reason? Does an objective standard exist?" These questions took a large portion of the time and it seemed to make Olly think.
Sadly as the night wore on the conversation was drawing to a close and he left recieving on final challenge, "Eternity is an awfully time to, "not be sure", so whilst you still have time, consider and make a decision about the claim, "Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead, proving He is God?" for in answering this claim we must either acknowledge there is a God and surrender to Him or we are truly in this world with no purpose and will continue living like we were created with one."
It was a pleasure to talk with Olly, please keep him in prayer as he walks away from the conversation and takes the time to consider what was said. Please also pray for Matt and Elle, the mystery Hindu and for the many others who were spoken with, handed a tract or exposed to the Gospel this evening. We know God is in control, all things go according to His plan, so let us plead to Him on behalf of those who heard the Gospel!
Please also pray for the team, that more people will want to come out (not just Saturday's but throughout the week) and that each team member will continue seeking God, surrendering to Him, preaching the Gospel to themselves and therefore growing in Holiness throughout the week!
Soli Deo Gloria!
It was another fruitful outreach on Tuesday at Woodridge. I was wondering who we would have on the team as most of the regulars were unable to make it today. I thought it would just be me.
But praise be to God, before 2pm rolled around I got a phone call from Jeorge, who has evangelised with us before but hasn't been out for several months, saying he is coming to be part of the team at Woodridge and he is bringing six or so people from his church! God really answers prayer!
Many of these people he brought along hadn't ever evangelised before. It is great to see God raising up new labourers and sending them out into His harvest field.
The police were positioned near where we were evangelising for a lot of the afternoon, keeping the area safer. It was great even hearing from the officers that they appreciate what we do.
There were plenty of good conversations that were had throughout the afternoon. Just to mention one - please pray for Lilliana and Anna, who attend a catholic school. They thought that trying to do good was going to save them, and so I explained how that wouldn't work because doing good doesn't cover the bad we have done, and Jesus said "you must be perfect" (Matthew 5:48).
As I was explaining how forgiveness is only available by having someone else who can take our punishment for us (that is Jesus), I noticed Anna was quite distracted and looking around the place. But at the same time I saw Lilliana very intently listening and you could tell she was beginning to grasp the gospel.
It is interesting to see in some ways the two different kinds of soils Jesus spoke about in one of His parables, in the one conversation. Please pray for them both as they have heard the truth and now have to consider how they will respond to it.
We sow the seed and leave the results up to God. To God alone be the glory!
We had 3 of us on the team on Monday at Capalaba for our weekly outreach there. It is a great place for conversations while people wait for their buses.
Sometimes we see the same people each week and can continue sharing the good news of Jesus with them. We saw one man who we see each week, but usually doesn't want to talk at all, but today it was a different story.
We were able to have decent chat about eternal matters, getting him thinking about what Jesus has done. Sadly, he seemed to want to just live more for the here and now. But he has heard the truth now, and thus will be accountable for it.
One young man we spoke to said he was a Hindu. We spoke of sin, the coming Judgement and how the only way to Heaven is through Jesus taking our Hell punishment for us on the cross.
After hearing it all, he remarked, "Christianity is more realistic, Hinduism is more imaginary." So when I asked when he was going to start trusting in Christ alone for his forgiveness, he said he wanted to right away.
I wanted to make sure he knew he couldn't just add Jesus on to his existing religion, instead he needed to leave Hinduism and trust only in Jesus. He said he understood that. Please pray for him, his name is Shevam.
To God be the glory for another great outreach!
Last night, we had a fairly good night of evangelism in Brisbane. We had a good size team. I had decided before arriving at the outreach that I wasn't going to preach, instead I wanted to focus on one to one witnessing.
My prayer was that God would allow me to have good conversations with at least five people. He brought along six.
The first conversation I had was with two young Muslim men from Africa. Both of them had no knowledge of Christianity. We chatted for a bit about Islam and the Justice of God. They told me that they hoped that by doing the best they can that Allah would one day let them into Paradise.
Ultimately, they said they weren't sure if they had done enough. I shared with them that I know with 100% certainty that I will go to Heaven when I die, even though I haven't been 'good enough.'
They seemed intrigued by this answer, so I got to share with them about the Lord Jesus, who He is, and what He has done. Both men said they had never heard such teachings before, and they wanted to learn more. Both took in-depth tracts and thanked me for speaking to them.
During this time members of the team were preaching open-air, or engaged in one to one. It was great to see a number of people from different backgrounds making their way to the Free Bible table and taking literature.
My next conversation was with a group of three elderly Aboriginal ladies. One of them was converted, the other two weren't. The Christian lady was so excited to hear the Gospel being proclaimed in public. The other two also listened closely as I spoke of Jesus and what He did at the cross.
Other conversations I had during the night was with a self-righteous man who thought he had never sinned. I also spoke to an evolutionist who believed that Christians taught that the world only began with the resurrection of Jesus. And, sadly, I also had a conversation with an apostate who use to go evangelising.
Please pray for all those we encountered last night. May the Lord Jesus be lifted high and may He receive all the glory.
There was a heavy Police presence in Woodridge yesterday, which was quite good as it made the area much more peaceful. Sadly, when the Police aren't around there is normally quite a bit of violence, abuse and public drunkenness.
The Police seem to be a bit of a 'band-aid' solution to the problem. However, it must be noted that real community change will not come from laws and legislation, but rather it will only come when Christ is submitted to as Lord.
Our desire for Woodridge is to see Jesus lifted high, and the community transformed by the Gospel. To help achieve these ends we engage in literature distribution and personal witness. Our Free Bible table had a bit of interest yesterday.
I was able to speak to one lady and her son who had just arrived from somewhere in Africa. They were professing Believers, but didn't know where to go to church. I was able to point them to a solid Baptist church just around the corner from where they were living.
During this time, other members of the team were also engaging in conversations with people. One of our team members had a chat to a Muslim girl who had many questions and seemed to be quite interested in Christianity.
One of the wonderful things about ministering in Woodridge is that we often get to see the same people over and over again. Each week we get to build on the foundation which was previously laid. Yesterday, we saw people that we've spoken to in the past, and again we were able to point them to Jesus.
Please pray that the Lord Jesus will rule and reign over this community.
God saw fit to bring in a lot of labourers last night for our weekly outreach in Brisbane city. We had about 20 people on the team, which was great because it was busier night than usual.
The team was in constant conversations with people about Christ throughout the night, as quite a lot of people were happy to stop and listen, take tracts or come up to the free Bibles table to take a Bible.
At one stage of the night an angry man walked by and yelled out some profanities at the person who was preaching at the time, and the preacher responded with a "God bless you". An hour later the man returned with a soften heart and wanted to know about God. He stayed around talking with the team for quite a long time, thinking through the message of the gospel. Praise be to God! Please pray for him.
Another man that we spoke to was Matt. He initially thought he was a really great guy and said he has never ever told a lie before. But as we talked about some of God's other commandments, he had to admit he had failed too.
He was absolutely shocked to hear that sex before marriage is a sin, and that to look at someone with lust whom you're not married to is a sin as well. We explained the gospel to him and called him to repent and believe. He said that he considered the cost of coming to Christ is so high, as he said he loves his sin. He then had to go somewhere but said he would return later in the night.
About half an hour later he came back and we got to talk further. He was beginning to see the urgency of coming to faith in Christ. Please pray for Matt.
We're simply unworthy servants and so to God be all the glory!