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Brisbane Team

Saturday, 25 July, 2009

Posted by Posted 28 July 2009, 10:57 PM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

It had been a big week and an even bigger weekend. On the Sunday I was due to preach a teaching message in the morning and an evangelistic sermon in the evening. But before any of that we had the honour of making Christ known in the streets of Brisbane. We were expecting an interesting night tonight, as we had been tipped off that the Brisbane atheists were coming in for a bit of heckling. So we prepared for that and even looked forward to the gathering storm.

I was the first preacher up for the night, as I preached some professing Christians took offence that I mentioned the words “sin” “judgment” and “wrath”, they moved on shortly afterwards and didn’t hang around the preaching. Not long into the preaching a young man began to heckle. He seemed fairly open and even though he was an atheist he was prepared to talk about issues. His arguments were very basic and I was able to do some apologetics on him and also present the gospel to him.

While I was dealing with this atheist, another one came along. This guy was King Irrational, his arguments consisted of stating that there was no mention of Jesus in any writings until 170 years after Christ died. This of course is absurd from an historical perspective. But the man wouldn’t listen, whenever I answered one of his objections he would jump to another. This commotion attracted in the Brisbane atheist group, they came in and the heckling began. The arguments were as varied as the people in the group, we had everything from textual criticism, evolution, death and suffering and alleged contradictions in the Bible. I did my best to answer all their questions and present the gospel to them.

After the open air I was able to talk to Wayne our friendly “non-heckler” heckler, he was talking about the children of Israel being lost in the desert for 40 years, and then somehow we got onto dinosaurs. I enjoy talking to Wayne as he is very decent and he will let you answer the questions he puts forward. I would ask that all our readers please at this time pray that God would grant Wayne repentance and faith in Christ.

Ryan preached later in the night and once again the atheists entered into the fray. This time they were more aggressive. During the confrontation the police stopped to observe to see what was happening, then after they left an onlooker made a ‘flame-thrower’ and put a blast of flame in the air. I stepped in then and ordered the man to put down the weapon or the police would be called. The man complied and joke about how he was only mucking around.

It was a fairly interesting night, albeit a night where the atheists came in and showed that in reality their faith is just that… faith.

Brisbane Team

Saturday, 18 July, 2009

Posted by Posted 28 July 2009, 10:57 PM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

Another slow night, as once again Brisbane shivered under below average temperatures. I had already decided that I would not be preaching tonight, due to the fact that I would be preaching at an evangelistic service the next morning at Rosalie Baptist Church, so it was with that in mind that we set up the preaching roster for the night.

First preacher up for the night was Andrew Hsu, he spoke as normal on the gospel, and he even got a few hecklers. He dealt with the hecklers with the best of his ability even though those hecklers were far from rational. While all that was going on I was able to get into a conversation with a Sikh who had never heard of Christianity. I had the privilege of explaining to this man the gospel message. He was stunned to hear about this One and only God who loved the world and sent His son to save His elect from their sins. The man was amazed that God would have that much compassion on a people who do not deserve God’s kindness. The man soon had to go, but before he left he took a Gospel of John and a gospel CD. Please pray that God would save this man out of an idolatrous religion and bring him into the truth.

The rest of the night was spent with Ryan preaching and also with members of the team reading out the first five chapters of Romans. Even though it was quiet God was still at work in this city.

Brisbane Team

Saturday, 11 July, 2009

Posted by Posted 28 July 2009, 10:56 PM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

It was a strange feeling being back in Brisbane after spending a week on the beach front of Surfers Paradise. The city just seemed dirty and as Ryan later commented, you could “taste” the air of Brisbane. But, it is always good to head back into the CBD. As we set up for the night it was no surprise that the city was not very busy. This is due to the extra cold winter we have been having of late.

Due to the quiet nature of the night we spent much time in one to one and tract work. It is always easy to get conversations in Brisbane, and of late we have had an increased number of Arabic speakers. This is good, since we are able to minister to them in their own language, they way in which we accomplish this is by carrying Arabic tracts and Bibles.

It was also good to have the Malyon College team come out and join us tonight, even though it was quiet the team of students seemed to enjoy the night. The highlight for me was having a mate of mine get up and preach open air for the first time. He did a wonderful job expounding on the gospel and also calling men and women to repentance. All I can say is great job Adam, may God be glorified in your future preaching.

I also preached tonight, and as I was preaching a couple of young ladies approached and asked me about lesbianism. This topic is always a sensitive one, so I dealt with it gently. I explained to them that it was a sin and that God would judge them for their sinful behaviour, I also stressed to them that Jesus Christ is the friend of sinners. One of the girls seemed really interested, and she took a gospel of John and a CD at the end of the message.

The night was great, so encouraging to see people come to the realization of Jesus Christ being their only hope. It is our prayer that many would flee to Christ and be saved.

View Photos

Brisbane Team

Saturday, 4 July, 2009

Posted by Posted 28 July 2009, 10:55 PM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

It was a quiet night in Brisbane city, this was no doubt due to the fact that it was very cold. This winter has seen Brisbane having some of the coldest weather in years, and since those in our city aren’t use to it many have been staying indoors.

But, tonight we were proud to be apart of the international outreach known as Project Ezra. This ministry seeks to have Christians the world over to read the same passage of Scripture in the open air all around the world. The passage this time was 1 John, so we as a team took turns in reading the Bible in public. Due to it being very quiet not many people stopped to listen and even less heckled.

After the reading finished we began to prepare for the preaching. It was fairly quiet all night, and now much happened when it came to heckling. But, in the midst of it all there were many great conversations.

It is such an honour to see the gospel go forth in this city of ours. May God continually be glorified.

View Photos

Gold Coast Team

Saturday, 18 July, 2009

Posted by Posted 27 July 2009, 9:50 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

After arriving at Surfers Paradise and making our way to the Esplanade at the top of Cavill Ave, Blake, Joel and I got into a witnessing encounter with a group of Muslims. They were all from Saudi Arabia and had been living in Newcastle for 4 months while studying. We discussed about various topics with them. I argued that since the Qur'an mentions that the Bible is a revelation from Allah, therefore either at all the points the Qur'an contradicts the Bible, the Qur'an is wrong. Or the Qur'an is wrong where it mentions that the Bible is from Allah. They responded by saying that the Bible has been changed, but they couldn't provide any evidence to support that claim. I asked them where they got the idea that the Bible had been changed, they said the Qur'an doesn't mention it, but it's likely that a Hadith does.

Muslims so often have this one particular misunderstanding about the Bible, as they always seem to bring up this objection, and that is that they say there are so many Bible versions that they see when they go to a book store. These gentlemen brought this same objection up as well. So I explained to them that the reason why there are so many different Bibles in bookstores is because there are simply many translations of the Bible into English. But this is something that's not unique to the Bible, even the Qur'an has many different translations into English.

Blake got into a side conversation with one of them which he said was very good, while I was discussing with the rest of the group. Their usual response was, "We're not religious, therefore we cannot answer your question." By religious, they mean scholarly/academic. None of them had ever read the Bible, but they had recently been given one. They said they would email us in about a month's time once they've read the Bible. They also said they would mail us some Islamic books.

It was interesting to notice that on one of the Muslim guys' hands, he had the Sin City Strip Club stamp. I asked them about that, and they said in Islam it is okay to lust. So I asked them why are women supposed to wear a head covering if lusting is allowed? They didn't really respond. I shared with them Jesus' words about lusting, and then went on to explain how a person can be truly saved and know 100% that they will go to Heaven when they die.

We then met up with some OM guys that were up from Sydney for a week, specially sharing the gospel to all the Muslims that have come from overseas for holidays. As during this time of year, almost every second person is a Muslim at Surfers Paradise. They graciously gave us some Arabic material. At this time, Jamie arrived and joined us.

I then had a conversation with a guy from Korea. When I asked him whether he thought he would go to Heaven, he didn't even know what Heaven was. So I explained to him basically the complete Christian message and after presenting the gospel to him, I asked, "So when will you repent and trust in Christ's death alone for your salvation?" He responded by saying, "Well, why not now?" But to make sure he understood the gospel I asked him, "If God was to say to you: 'Why should I let you into Heaven?' What would you say?" He responded, "It's only because of the death of Jesus." So I then gave him a Bible and found out that he was simply on holidays to the Gold Coast and was leaving the following day. Praise God that he could hear the gospel while he was here, and that God opened his eyes and drew the man unto Himself! To God be the glory!

On our way back to the car, I got into a conversation with two Aussies who were about 20 years old and were from Perth. They were at the Gold Coast on holidays as well. After hearing about the judgment to come, their sin, and the great news of the cross, they too stated that they would repent and trust in Christ today. I discussed further with them, and gave them Bibles as they both did not have one.

To God be the glory for all that He is doing here at the Gold Coast, and all over the world!

Gold Coast Team

Saturday, 11 July, 2009

Posted by Posted 24 July 2009, 11:10 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

After praying together, Josh, Witali and his two German friends, and I started handing out gospel tracts and getting in conversations with people. Josh and I did some preaching, and a number of people listened but there wasn't any hecklers.

While Josh was preaching, I got into a conversation with two Mormons. When I asked them why they believe the Book of Mormon is from God, they tried to argue from the reference of two sticks in Ezekiel. They said that the stick of Judah is Israel and the stick of Ephraim is the Americas. I asked them what evidence they had to interpret the 'two sticks' that way. They couldn't say a thing, and so I point out that Ezekiel wouldn't have even known that the Americas existed, so I don't see how could he be referring to that. I then asked them about Heaven and Hell, and they said that only adulterers and murderers will go to Hell. But if that's true, why then do we need the cross if most of us have never committed such acts?

At this point in time, Josh joined the conversation and we were asking them how many God(s) they think exist. They said one, however in the very next breath, they said that Jesus is another God besides Elohim. Josh also pointed out that the Mormon doctrine is that there was a council of gods in the beginning, and that Mormons can become gods one day. They didn't expect us to have knowledge about Mormonism and couldn't refute the seeming contradiction between how many gods they actually are. They proceeded to say, "Well it doesn't really matter, we'll find out who is right on Judgment Day." So Josh reminded them, that by then, it will be too late and if they are believing in the wrong god, it will make them end up in Hell. One of them really didn't like hearing this and so stormed off. But the other one stayed around for a bit longer, but it was clear that he didn't really want to keep discussing with us.

There were also about six Hare Krishna's about spreading their religion. It seems as though their method is to place a book in your hands and say it's a free book. But then they say, "We appreciate a donation for it though." And if you don't give at least $10, they'll take the book off you. So it's not really free then.

A number of us had rather long discussions with them, and they tried to claim that they believe in Jesus. So we pointed out that Jesus said that He's God and the only way to Heaven, and by that He's saying even Hare Krishna-ism is wrong. So I asked, do you believe in that Jesus? They said no. So I left them with a challenge to investigate to see if either Hare Krishna-ism is correct, or Jesus is correct; they both cannot be correct at the same time. And I also shared the gospel with them.

It was another great day of witnessing, to God be the glory!

Gold Coast Team

Saturday, 4 July, 2009

Posted by Posted 20 July 2009, 7:18 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

It was very busy down at Surfers Paradise today, and so Joel and I were excited that we once again had the privilege of sharing the gospel with those who don't know the Lord. After praying together, I stood up to preach. A number of people stopped to listen but there wasn't any hecklers.

I got into a conversation with two Jehovah's Witnesses, and when responding to the question I asked them about whether they thought they were going to Heaven, they said, "No, because we're not part of the 144,000 and so we'll simply live on Earth forever". I pointed out that in Revelation, it mentions that the 144,000 are male virgins (Rev 14:4), so I asked, "Will only 144,000 male virgins go to Heaven?" They said that that is symbolic language. So I asked them, "If that is symbolic, why can't the number too be symbolic?" One of them responded by saying that numbers are never symbolic in Revelation. So I pointed to Revelation 17:12 where it talks about ten kings who will reign for one hour and I asked them whether they thought that was symbolic. They said it was, even though it's a number. They saw their double standard and proceeded to say that they are sure that the scholars of the Watchtower Society have got it all sorted regarding this issue.

So I then asked them what they think of Jesus. They said He is simply Michael the Archangel, and not God. So I brought them to Hebrews 1 where it makes the comparison between Jesus and the angels. In verses 7 and 8 it says:

'Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.”
But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever...”'

They then tried to argue that that is not what it says in their New World Translation (NWT). However, since neither I nor them had a copy of that translation with us, we were unable to verify that point. After looking it up later, I can say that Heb. 1:8 is changed in the NWT to say: 'But with reference to the Son: “God is your throne forever and ever...”' However, the whole chapter still makes the comparison between Jesus and the angels even in the NWT, like: "So he has become better than the angels" (Hebrews 1:4 - NWT).

I challenged the JW's to research and check to see if what they are believing is true, because otherwise they are still in their sins.

Many other great witnessing encounters were had throughout the day, and Blake even arrived to join us at one stage. However he came 5 minutes before we were scheduled to leave, as there had been shocking traffic on the way for him.

The gospel was proclaimed today, so to God be the glory!

Special Outreaches

Sunday, 28 June, 2009

Posted by Posted 20 July 2009, 5:42 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

Sunday 28th June

Since both school and university holidays had started, we thought it would be beneficial to have an outreach at either Brisbane City or the Gold Coast everyday for the two weeks of school holidays. So we decided that the first week of evangelism should be held everyday at Brisbane City and today marked the start of it. So Blake, Jeremy, Strachan and I met at 1:30pm at the bottom of Queen St Mall ready to witness to the lost. We made our way to King George Square to see if that would be the best location to witness. Once there, we started getting in conversations with people walking past. Jamie arrived not to long afterwards.

Not too long after we arrived, an older gentlemen started singing hymns and doing a bit of preaching near where we were. He was also handing out DVDs on the Origins of the Universe. Even though no one seemed to heckle him, he was facing into Queen St Mall, so even people in there could hear him.

We stayed evangelising till about 5pm as there were many people to talk to, as the Queen St Mall shops are nowadays open on Sundays. A lot of gospel tracts went out as well.

Monday 29th June

Jeremy and I arrived at the city at about 11am and after witnessing a bit in King George Square, we decided it would be good to witness in Queen St Mall, as there were a lot of people sitting down. We didn't use tracts to start up conversations, as that's not allowed in Queen St Mall, instead we just started the conversation by asking the various people we spoke to about whether they thought they would go to Heaven if they died today. There were a number of large groups of gothic-like teenagers with most having strange piercings and being heavy smokers. We witnessed to a number of them. Some got angry when they heard about the coming Judgment and sin, while others were actually interested. One person in particular was very happy that we spoke to him. He had been a regular Church goer a number of years ago, but had since gone off the rails. So we explained the proper gospel to him and he said he will really think about getting his life right with God.

Another conversation we had was with a Raelian, one who believes we came from Aliens. He tried to argue that there are a lot of unexplained things that people see, therefore we came from Aliens. I found it very strange that this person can believe that we came from Aliens even though there is a severe lack of proof, and yet at the same time deny God's existence, even though there is stacks more proof.

Tuesday 30th June

It was just me today in the city. I arrived at 11am and started witnessing in Queen St Mall. I witnessed to a number of the groups of teenagers, and even some of the people I had witnessed to the day before.

But at one point, a group of teenagers came up to me and said, "Hey, it's the Jesus guy." Then one of them proceeded to ask me, "Guess what I did last night?" So I guessed, "Did you maybe think about what I talked to you about?" He said, "No, more than that." I asked, "Did you read your Bible or pray?" He responded, "No, even more than that." So I asked, "Did you repent and trust in Christ?" He exclaimed, "Yeah I did! I did it last night with my mum." Praise God! This fellow's name is Brock. Please keep him in prayer in his new walk with the Lord.

David Strachan witnessing in Queen StWednesday 1st July

David Strachan, Rachel and Juan joined me today in the city and it was once again, a very successful day because the gospel message went forth. We broke into pairs and started witnessing to those in Queen St Mall. We had many great conversations with the younger folk that were hanging around, warning them of the coming judgment and telling them of the wonderful news of the gospel and that they must repent and trust in Christ to be saved.

Thursday 2nd July

We had three people I had never met before join Juan and I out on the streets witnessing today in Brisbane City. Many conversations were held with the people in Queen St, with one of the conversations we had being with a group of teenagers who seemed very immature. One of the most vocal of the group was an atheist, but wasn't really interested in hearing evidence for God and so got the group to go to another place. However, later on the group seemed to have grown in size and they came back up to us wanting to know more about Christianity. So Juan and I shared the gospel with them and answered any questions they brought up.

Friday 3rd July

Throughout the week, the way I had been getting to the city was by driving to a train station near the city and then catching the train the rest of the way in - so as not to pay a small fortune in parking (as Brisbane City is one of most expensive places to park in the world). However today I arrived at Coorparoo train station and realised that I had forgotten my wallet, so I couldn't get to the city. So instead I witnessed to a number of people at the train station before handing back home. It was a shorter day, but the gospel still went out. It was also good to have that little bit extra rest as the second week of evangelism was about to begin. :)

To God be the glory! Please pray that God will convert those that heard the gospel this week.

Special Outreaches

Sunday, 19 July, 2009

Posted by Posted 20 July 2009, 8:14 AM by Matthew Rolfe. Permalink

London Evangelism week- Monday 13th- Saturday 18th July

WOW! What an amazing week we all had up in London. On Monday on the way to the Church I chatted with about 8 teenagers going into year 10 at school. We had a great chat and shared the gospel with them and showed them my leg and the story about how short life is, and that we just dont know how long we have left on this earth, and so the importance of repentance and getting right with God while we still can.

We all arrived on the Monday, about 10 of us, not quite as many as expected, but everyone excited about the week ahead. Was great that the Church had a stone that was layed by the Prince of Preachers himself in the late 1900's, and so we knew we were in a great place. Food was FANTASTIC throughout the week, with volunteers cooking us various dinner's throughout the week, as well as being able to have a free drink from the connected cafe everyday which was great.

Most days we walked to Tooting Bec tube station to set up Bible table and give out tracts and speak to people, and then we would either go to Covant Gardens, Leiscter Square or a surrounding area.

A few of us had a go at open air preaching in Leiscter square and near Picadilly circus station, and we all had a few hecklers. One man walked past stating to me that there was no historiuc evidence for the life of Jesus. He obviously hasnt done his homework or looked at the year on the calendar yet!

We all prayed with quite a few different groups of people to get right with God, teenagers and adults alike. I remember praying with Hindu's, Muslims and a Chinese man with a Jewish girlfriend, even got hugged by one teenage lad afterwards, in front of his mates, and so was great. Praying they all grow as Christians and tell others of their experiences.

We also had one 'interesting' meeting with a guy who claimed to work for the council and Police, who assured us we were not allowed to set up out bible table in a certain area as all the spots had already been taken. Rob and Dave got out the relevant Christian institute documents and refuted his remarks, though he continued saying we were not allowed and if we didnt move he would phone someone to move us on. Howevere, 2 PCSO's came to our rescue. We explained the situation to them, then they spoke with the man. It turned out he was just a magician doing a show, and was trying to move us out the way of his act in case we diverted attention away from them. The Police said we could make a complaint against him for falsly impersenating a council worker. Was quite funny in the end, as he was wearing his bright red bowler hat, waistcoat andthree quarter length trousers, with no ID, and so we should have guessed!

All in all was a great week, although I somehow managed to leave my good person test board and sheets in a bag on a tube somehow! Photos have been uploaded to facebook, and was an amazing time of fellowship, teaching and ministry! Many thanks to Rob and Dave for organising it all, and to the Church for putting us all up!

Brisbane Team

Saturday, 27 June, 2009

Posted by Posted 4 July 2009, 3:51 PM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

I was in a great mood tonight as I made my way to the city. This was due to several reasons, first, that morning I was at a young evangelist conference, it is always great to be with other like-minded Christians. Second, I had the privilege of making known the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ to all those who would listen.

Those things combined made me excited about the night. Also, the preaching tonight would all be focused around the one thing that had shaken the world, and that was the unexpected death of the pop superstar Michael Jackson, now while I am not a fan of his music, I myself was shocked at his death, it caught me unaware. My first thoughts upon hearing of his death was “I wonder if he trusted in Christ?” Maybe, you are reading this now, and you have never trusted in Christ for your salvation, if that is the case right now I would encourage you to turn from your sins and trust in Jesus Christ, as He died upon the cross for sinners and then rose again. He now offers Kyosti witnessingyou forgiveness of all your sins if you would come to Him.

It was great for the team to once again meet in King George Square, we use to meet all the time in the square, however, with the re-developments we have had to move to Ann Street. But from now on we are back in the heart of the city. We spent some time in prayer and then read the Bible together, it is always great to commit the outreach to Christ before we begin, as apart from Him we can do nothing.

As 9pm rolled around, we made our way to the Queen Street Mall, and began our set up process. I was to be the first preacher for the night, so I began to prepare for my message, my text for the night 1 Peter 1:24-25

“for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”

I used the Michael Jackson death as the launch pad, but then spoke about the good news of death and sin being defeated by Jesus Christ. A few people stopped to listen, one young man began to heckle a bit. He was rather proud, but he soon saw the seriousness of things. After presenting the gospel to him I called this young man to decision, and his words were heart breaking “I choose to reject Christ!” Before he left I said to him, “Mate, remember this, on the day you regret your sins, know Christ can forgive you.”

Josh Williamson preaching

I wrapped up the preaching shortly after that. Then it was time for Amy Barnard to get up and read the Scripture, but she did more than just that. She expounded on the verses and preached a gospel message from Genesis 3. It is encouraging for me to see her getting up to preach. She has grown dramatically over the past couple of years. It is my prayer that she will continue in this ministry. She is such a blessing to all those within Operation 513.

Elaine witnessingAfter Amy finished, it was time for her brother to get up and preach. Joel’s preaching is going well. He is becoming more confident in his preaching. Other preachers for the night included Ryan and Jeremy, both of whom did very well in dealing with hecklers and making known the glory of Christ.

During the preaching I was able to get a conversation with a young man who was walking down the Queen Street Mall wearing the classic Australian driza-bone jacket. Since I have one that is exactly the same I decided to grab this bloke for a discussion, it turned out that he was a bush boy and he was in the city for a night. He didn’t seem overly impressed with everything in the city, but he was happy to have someone to talk to, and since I lived in the bush for a time, I was able to relate to him. He had never heard the full gospel message before in his life, and he saw the serious nature of his sin and his need for the Saviour, he left me with a Bible a Gospel CD and then he promised he would think about our conversation. Please remember him in your prayers.

The rest of the night was spent handing out tracts and having one to one conversations with people. While it was a slower night due to the cold, it was a great night of ministry. To God be the Glory!

Soli Deo Gloria!

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