Several baby plovers greeted us on our arrival at Wellington Point. We invited 2 passer-bys to view them and 2 tracts went out. Then Glenda, from the Warwick crew, joined with us to make a team of 7. Praying, we went forth and among the prayer points:
- About 16 young Asians were in one rotunda and one had a t-shirt marked, 'anti-anti-social club'. Entering their midst and mentioning that shirt's message soon led to tracts being handed to each one. These were read and they indicated that they wished to resume their social activities without the team. Asking for a little time to explain the message to one interested lady, they all ended up hearing the law and gospel. May our Lord be pleased to grant repentance and faith as He sovereignly has purposed.
- Shaun's room-mate had recently encouraged him to read the O.T. After some apologetics and presenting the law and gospel, Shaun said that he needed to read the Bible before making any commitment. Ryan suggested that his love for sin was his real reason to delay; to which Shaun agreed. Ryan urged him to read Genesis then the N. T. Pray that Shaun gets an urgency to respond to the gospel. As we all know, eternity may be the next breathe away!
-- An Asian couple with a SDA friend who had been encouraging this couple to become Christians were still unconverted but had received a Bible. Taking them through the law and gospel, they indicated that they were living for now. They were warned that this is a most foolish attitude to have.
- A mature age man who had been in the Presbyterian church in the 1970s but he said that they never majored on Jesus so he left. He was pleased to hear that that is not the case today. He was further impressed with the fact that a Presbyterian (within Operation 513) was on the 'street' witnessing for the glory of God. He reads his Bible daily but was encouraged to rejoin a fellowship. (Each Christian is united to Christ and to every other member of that body = we need fellowship...)
As always, there was more so join with us in praising our Lord God Almighty for His work of saving His people and let us continue to give Him all glory.
The Lord's work keeps His people prayerful for we know that we need to be fueled by grace. There was a 22 year old man, Braden who was on a 10 minute smoke break. He thought that Lee-Anne had already spoken to him before. She hadn't but then seized the moment and after conversing a while, Braden stated that this had to be a God-appointment.
Last Saturday, his sister had asked him to come to church but he declined. Now, going through the law, the court room analogy then the gospel, Braden listened carefully. He heard the evidence for the reliability of the Bible, received a gospel of John and after expressing his thanks, returned to work. He has the 'way to heaven' tract. Please pray that God grants him the gift of saving faith and its attendant blessings.
Ryan had a chat with Ramia, a teenager, who had been raised Roman Catholic Being taken through the law and gospel, Ramia exclaimed that he should respond to the gospel today. He was challenged to count the cost and start regularly using the means of grace. Pray the Good Shepherd speaks to him.
He also met a young lass who claimed to follow satan's bible. She lives for today to please herself. She said that there has to be a god if one believes in satan. For her, hell was a temporary something or other. She freely admitted to breaking the commandments of God but tried to justify her sins by saying that the bible has been altered and is full of terrible deeds done by believers. Ryan countered her statements. She changed her mind about the Bible, but then, her bus arrived. Pray that God sends more of His messengers to complete the gospel presentation to her.
I had a long chat with Fabian, from P.N.G. His professed faith in Christ was reinforced as he talked about his daily walk with the Lord using God's means of grace. He stated that life without God was meaningless. How true! The sad thing was that he had met very few Christians on our streets since he arrived in Australia. Rom. 1:16,17!!!!!!!
Again we give God all the glory for the above and other events of this time serving Him. How privileged we are to be used of Him as we are in our many faults. Maranatha!
It was a rather warm and sunny day in Redcliffe as we shared the gospel. I arrived at our usual outreach location at 11am, and began to set up the Free Bible and Literature Table.
As we set everything up, a lady came by and said, "May I have a Bible?" We were more than happy to give a copy and she went on her way (this was the first of seven Bibles we'd give away today).
Today, I wasn't alone on the outreach as two local Christians were also out witnessing so we all worked in the same area. It is always encouraging to work across denominational lines in the effort to reach the lost.
Over the course of the outreach we were able to have many excellent gospel conversations, and also serve to encourage a number of Christians who were excited to see evangelism taking place.
One particular conversation I had was with a family from a Pentecostal church in Brisbane. We got chatting and they explained to me that they had been Christians since birth; this kind of answer is not uncommon, but it does show that there is a lack of gospel understanding. I followed up their statement by asking, "What does someone have to do to go to Heaven?" They answered by saying that a person needed to accept Jesus, be baptised, and keep the commandments.
I replied to them by saying, "Ok, so you are saying we must do some works to be saved?" They all nodded. My next comment seemed to shock them, "What would you do if the Bible said that works cannot help us?" The wife exclaimed, "But the Bible doesn't say that!" Together we then opened up the Bible and read Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5 and Philippians 3:1-9. At the final reading they all said, "We are saved by Jesus, not by our works." It was great to be able to explain the true gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
The rest of the day was spent talking to professing Christians who had many questions, and some new converts that were growing in the faith. We also had a Jehovah Witnesses come by to give us material, but he beat a hasty retreat when we started to ask him questions about the Deity of Christ.
Praise God for a wonderful time of outreach. May the Lord Jesus rescue sinners in Redcliffe.
A quick video testimony from our Melbourne evangelism team who went out to the Bourke Street Mall on Friday night to share the good news of Jesus with the lost.
Thank you for your prayers for today's outreach in Brisbane city. We had a variety of different conversations, from those who say "that's just true for you", to others who said they want to keep on living in sin, and then also to others who went away from the conversation seriously considering the claims of Christ and are going to start reading the Bible for themselves.
And it is wonderful to know that God is in charge of the results. So even if a person's initial reaction to the message of the gospel was negative, he or she might be the very person who can't focus on anything else until they too have placed their faith in Christ.
God also sent across our path today a few Christians who were able to encourage us in our endeavours to reach the lost. Please pray for all those who received the hundreds of tracts that went out today and for those who we got to speak to. To God be the glory!
On Saturday evening the Brisbane evangelism team took up a slightly different location on the edge of King George Square. This location usually has a decent amount of foot traffic and as a result numerous conversations were had.
Two stand out conversations were with a Jewish man named Jacob and a younger man who was seeking for truth, named Alex.
Jacob, who is a Jewish scholar and teacher professed that he was saving himself. He said that humans weren't sinners, we were just people who needed to be taught what was right and that we made mistakes occasionally. When the Old Testament was quoted as saying the direct opposite to this, Jacob's argument was that these passages were being misunderstood but he wasn't interested in engaging with the text.
The conversation stretched on for over two hours and he was quite angry. For a man who proclaimed to know God intimately and to even be one with YHWH Himself, Jacob was incredibly rude. He swore many times, called team members various names and sadly his hostility during the night didn't turn to humility. Jacob was given repeated clear explanations of God's promised to send a Messiah to save the guilty but Jacob didn't want Jesus. At one moment he said, "If Jesus was to come here now, He would be bowing down to me."
We pray that you feel the weight of Jacob's deception and feel compelled to pray, to earnestly and reguarly ask God to change Jacob's heart, that He may have true abundant life and forgiveness of His sin.
The second and more exciting conversation was with a man named Alex. He mentioned that his friend has recently become a Christian (saved out of an addiction to Marijuana) and that as a result he had been searching for the truth. Alex quickly followed up, that he wasn't sure what to believe because there were so many opinions and ideas. The bad news, of human sinfulness and the good news that God came to save sinners, was shared with Alex and he was very open.
When asked, "What is stopping you from believing in Jesus?" He paused and said, "I'm not sure if there is anything". Alex then downloaded a Bible app on his phone and was encouraged to read the Gospel of Mark.
Please be praying for these two men and for the others who heard God's message of salvation. Please also ask God to grant the team boldness that we may continue to be empowered by God's Spirit, motivated by God's love to preach God's Gospel!
On Saturday we got to be a real light in the darkness at the Manly Halloween Street Party. Each year, thousands of people gather on the waterfront dressed as ghouls, demons, witches, and a variety of dark and evil personalities. Often times the costumes are quite revealing and sexual; other times they are horrifically violent, yet, this is considered a 'family friendly event.'
We gathered at around 2:30pm to hand out tracts and talk to people. In nearly two hours we handed out 1000 tracts, and had several good conversations.
One conversation I had was with a young Police Officer. She took a 'Trick or Treat' tract and asked me what it was all about. I explained to her that the biggest 'trick' people fall for is is the idea what we can somehow earn our way to Heaven by being good. She told me she didn't believe that and that there was no hope for her as she had done too many wrong things. She handed the tract back and said seriously, "It is straight to Hell for me." I told her, "It isn't too late, there is still hope. As long as you have breath in your lungs there is hope." She walked away saying, "It is too late for me."
After this I was able to talk to an Irish lady who also asked what the tract was about. Again, I said that the biggest trick people fall for is the idea that someone has to be good to get to Heaven. She looked at me, then said, "I don't believe that. But, I don't know how to get to Heaven." She then asked if I knew how someone could get there. Well, I was more than happy to tell her of the Lord Jesus and all that He has done. As I explained salvation not being by works, she smiled and said, "It is all by believing in Him! I need to believe in Him!" Excitedly she kept saying, "I need to believe in Him!" She walked away rather happy. I do pray the Lord has granted her repentance and faith.
Please pray for all those we met today. May the Lord Jesus continue to banish the darkness in this land, and may of the light of the gospel spread.
It was a great outreach last Friday sharing the good news of the gospel at the Gold Coast. It was amazing to see God raised 17 labourers including 6 new labourers that joined us for the first time.
We had some great conversations with people from various backgrounds. One of the conversations we had was with a man who said, that he believes in evolution, although he is still not sure about the whole thing. Upon being asked the question, whether he will go to heaven or hell, he said that, "I don't know but I always think about death and every time I think about it, it freaks me out". After the gospel was explained to him, he said that he has not heard about Jesus in this way and that, there is a lot for him to think about.
One of the new labourers who was on her holidays from Brazil joined the team. At first, she was bit nervous as this was her first time sharing the gospel in Australia, and English wasn't her first language. She was hoping to find some Brazilians who she can share the gospel with in Portuguese and hand out tracts written in the Portuguese language. One of the team told her that this is when God does awesome things and as we rely upon Him, He uses us despite of having language barriers. By the end of the night, she handed out most of the gospel tracts she had in English. Praise God for the spirit of boldness that comes from Him.
It is a great reminder for us all that live in Australia, that we need to be out on the streets proclaiming the gospel while the doors for preaching the gospel are wide open. We are grateful to God for giving us this huge opportunity to share the gospel with as many as we can. What we are going to do with this opportunity is up to us. I encourage you all to prayerfully consider joining the local team: http://www.operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams/
On Wednesday, the team headed into Brisbane city for an outreach, and we were blessed to be joined by three new labourers on holidays from Germany. Once they arrived, they said that they were terrified. But I encouraged them by saying that that fear will drive you to prayer to ask God for help, for courage and for strength.
And it was so great to see that it wasn't long before they were handing out gospel tracts to whoever walked by and even got into some gospel conversations.
Over the course of the afternoon well over 500 tracts were handed out. One conversation we had was with a young man named John who was very receptive as he heard the gospel and said, "Today I want to trust in Jesus."
After talking further, I asked him if he has a Bible at home and he said, "No, but I am sure I can get one somewhere." I then gave him one and he was very thankful. I encouraged him to find a good local church, and gave him some tips on how to do that.
To God be all the glory!
Just recently there has been a newspaper article published in our local rag that painted the outreach in Elizabeth Mall as the cause of arguments, noise and loss of business. Myself and the team were also painted as disingenuous hucksters only out to manipulate people. Mr S., the SSM protesters and the local shop owners were painted as angelic figures that were either "silently protesting" our outreach or the victims of our malicious actions. On reading this I shrugged my shoulders and began to pray and urged others to do likewise as we continued to work for good whilst painted as evil. Following the article, though it will never reach the newspapers, God provided this week a clear refutation of this biased nonsense.
As I said in my last post the Hobart team has faced a lot of aggression and noise from SSM supporters and from Mr S. (we're still praying for both sets of you guys!). Whilst this was going on it was tempting to think that there was something to the accusation that we were the "troublers of Israel" as such. There was a lot of nasty interactions and it certainly was quite noisy some days, with even local buskers getting into the act with drums and banjo's to boot.
Yet this last week there has been almost no SSM protesters (barring two girls who thought destroying my sign was a good pass time), and Mr S. has been absent. During two afternoons there were three preachers at work, and seven to eight Christians supporting them in prayer and conversations. Yet there were no angry exchanges whilst preaching was happening or afterwards, no violent outbursts from the Christians, Muslims or Sikhs that stopped by to listen and chat. There was none of the previous weeks of angst and outrage. There were great conversations and frequent occasions where we urged others to repent of sin and trust in Jesus. There was preaching the peace-making gospel of faith by grace in Jesus Christ our great God and Saviour. There were even bibles given out to people who asked for a copy.
As I said this is unlikely to make the papers, peace and godliness don't make good copy... But it certainly encouraged me to not that the negative commentary of the secular press is baseless when examined in practice. There is also encouragement in that shining the light of Christ in the dark of Australia's streets is being reviled. The God-haters of every age have reviled those publicly preaching the word of God, why should now be any different?
Praise be to God who sits enthroned on high! Holy, Holy, Holy are you, your glory is over all the earth!