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Saturday, 7 November, 2009
Rick, Glenda, Chris and Blake joined me today at the Gold Coast and it was a beautiful sunny day. After praying together, we started our outreach. We noticed that there was a crowd already gathered near the area where we usually preach and so I thought it was a great idea to start preaching straight away.
After preaching for about half an hour, I stepped down and had a conversation with two guys on holidays from a nation in the pacific. They obviously had some sort of Catholic upbringing, for they mentioned that they plan on having their sins forgiven by a priest absolving them of it. So I explained the message of God's justice, that God cannot forgive them simply by going to a priest because God is good. Then I explained the message of God's grace, that Christ can take the wrath of God that they deserve on their behalf by dying for them if they repent and trust in the Saviour's death as the only reason they are saved. At that point, it seemed to 'click' in their mind, and thanked me very much for telling about it. They said they would think seriously about this and start reading the Bible.
Blake then did some preaching too and he faithfully proclaimed loud and clear the message of the gospel. After he got down from the preaching spot, he got into a discussion with a guy from Sydney. While at the same time I chatted to his mate. They both had some sort of Roman Catholic background, but the guy I spoke to was very keen on the idea of sin. He loved it and was unwilling to turn from it even though he knew the consequences of it.
Meanwhile, the guy Blake was talking to had a hard time understanding grace. Firstly, he thought he was saved by his works and that he was a very good guy. After showing him the extent of his sin, Blake explained the gospel. The conversation went for over an hour as Blake explained in many different ways the atonement that is only by grace through faith alone. By the end, he did seem to understand it.
After that, we had lunch together and had some good fellowship. It was Chris' second time out on the streets with us and she did a wonderful job again handing out tracts. Rick and Glenda have been very good guiding and teaching her how to evangelise. Rick and Glenda also handed out many tracts and had some good witnessing encounters today.
To God be the glory!
PS: If you are ever in the Gold Coast area, feel free to be part of the Gold Coast team, for as Jesus said, the workers are few but the harvest is plentiful. Please contact me for more information to be part of the team.
Saturday, 31 October, 2009
Today on the team we had Blake, Yarran, Dan, Ori and myself. It was warm day with the sun brightly shining. Just before Yarran, Dan and Ori arrived, Blake and I had a conversation with two middle-aged guys. One of the guys was rather strange, yelling at random times and changing topics constantly. He was arguing that the dead sea scrolls were discovered 400 years before Isaiah, yet he didn't present any evidence to support it, much less present a reason for arguing that.
He then went on to speak about how he thinks Genesis references aboringines in relation to the serpent being cursed. Like most things he said, I did not understand what he was trying to say. But I kept the conversation going, for while this was happening, Blake managed to have a conversation with the other fellow who seemed much more reasonable. I kept trying to bring back the conversation to sin, judgment, gospel, etc but the man just kept avoiding the topic. Blake told me afterwards that he had a conversation with the guy he chatted to where he was able to present the great news of Christ atoning death on the cross.
I was the preacher first up, and started off by talking about a day that is coming, and that is judgment day. After talking about sin, I preached about the great news of the salvation we have in Jesus. A few people heckled me for a bit, and afterwards I chatted to them further.
Blake then got up to preach, and a one point an older gentleman started yelling at Blake. He was saying, "Where is your badge? You cannot preach without a bradge identifying your religion! Show me your badge!" This grew a rather large crowd, and a number of the people listening defended Blake and responded to the man saying that we have freedom of speech in this country and people do not need badges in this country. They then pointed to Blake's Bible that he was holding and said that that is like his badge if you want him to have one. The man responded, "In my country, you need badge!! Where is your badge!" The man eventually left, but a crowd had gathered and so Blake was able to preach the gospel to them all.
The other three members of the team also faithfully handed out many gospel tracts and got into various conversations. Please pray that God will grow the seeds of the gospel that were planted in people's hearts today.
To God be the glory!
Saturday, 14 November, 2009
Tonight as I prepared for the city I was concerned. Concerned because of the fact that it was party night due to university being finished, and concerned because we had a smaller team. But, our trust is in the Sovereign God, not in how many troops we can field.
Once again, it was good to be joined by our Australian brother who lives in Texas, USA. Andrew Peck came out for the second week in the row, and it was a major blessing to have him on team. He is a great guy who is passionate about the Gospel and the God of the Gospel.
The first preacher up for the night was Andre, he did a marvellous job of expounding the gospel and bring the knowledge of sin. In the time I have known Andre he has developed into a great open air preacher. While he has a long way to go (as we all do) he is turning into a good open air communicator.
After Andre preached it was my turn to take the box. I started off by talking about death and how early in the night a man became angry when hearing about the reality of death. Before long I had a couple of hecklers. One of them was a young man from the UK, who argued that atheism is the way to go, so I engaged him in apologetics and showed that the belief in God is rational and logical. This in turn created more hecklers. I then proceeded to engage them in open air discussion. But the whole time I kept swinging back to the gospel. The arguments were the same old arguments “Who made God?” “What about evolution?” I was able to answer these, but then two men stepped up who both claimed to have theology degrees. One claimed to have studied in Oxford, UK (I think he was breaking the 9th commandment). They wanted to argue Church History and how they believed the Bible to be wrong. I dealt with their non-theological objections, and found out there ‘theology’ came from the Da Vinci Code (Hope that isn’t a course at Oxford).
During this time another man came up to me and began to yell “THIS IS NOT THE GOSPEL OF PEACE!” I replied and asked him, “Is not preaching Christ died for sinners a peaceful thing? For it by that action we can have peace with God!” The man ran off, only to return a few minutes later. This time he came back angry and began to scream at me “OPEN THE BIBLE!” Which I found interesting since my Bible was open in my hand. He then demanded I read John 1, I complied since reading the Bible is always a good thing. As I read the first few verses he yelled “THERE! SEE WE ARE GODS!” I asked him how he got that out of those verses, since they are talking about Christ. At this stage he yelled and ran away again. Only to return a few minutes later. This time I went after him for being a wolf, and for trying to deceive people with his demonic doctrines. The man went ballistic and ran off for the third and final time.
After preaching for about 55 minutes, I tagged Ryan in, who continued the discussion. He did a great job in countering their objections and presenting Christ to them. Whenever we went near the topic of Jesus Christ, people would respond in anger. People have a natural hatred for God and they want nothing to do with His plan of salvation.
The night finished with many hearing the gospel and receiving tracts. Praise God for His kindness in allowing us to share such a good message.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday, 7 November, 2009
As I walked into the city I noticed that many of the walkways were free from pedestrians, and it seemed that there was a hush over Brisbane. There wasn’t many people out partying, nor were there many people out in the restaurants. At first I couldn’t think why this would be, but it soon became clear when I was told that University exams were being held that week.
As we set up for the night, people began to gather around a conversation soon developed. I was approached by two men of middle eastern appearance who started to throw questions at me in regards to “How do I know Christianity is right out of all the religions?” I did a quick apologetic, but they weren’t interested in answers. But, I did however, manage to present the gospel of Christ to them. One of them claimed to be Roman Catholic, so that assured him of favour with God. I replied that no man made religion can get anyone favour with God. He then asked me, “How do I find favour with God?” It was then I was able to talk about how Christ satisfied the wrath of God, and by repentance and faith we can enter into relationship with our Creator. At this stage he had to leave, but did promise to come back later. He took a tract and then left.
By now all the Bible table stuff had been set up, so I stood to preach. I began by talking about how in life, everything is captured in some way, be it CCTV or personal records, but then I swung and spoke about how God captures everything we do, and how He calls us to account. A few young people stopped to heckle, one of them was drunk and drugged out of his skull and one young female was talking in obscene language about sex. I engaged them and presented Christ to them. The beauty of their heckling was that it drew a crowd to hear the gospel.
My preaching lasted for about 40 minutes. After that Blake got up to preach. He did a good job, and then it came time for David Gee to preach. He went for about 30 minutes but then his voice gave way. But not a drama as we had Ryan to finish the night off.
Throughout the night we were able to have many great conversations and hand out many tracts. Also, it was great to see so many people getting witnessed to then have them walk away with a Bible. Please pray that God would grant repentance and faith to all those who heard the good news tonight.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday, 24 October, 2009
This week Josh was back from his 8 week long outreach in the USA and was happy to be part of the Brisbane outreach again. We met in the newly opened King George Square in the elevated part to read the Bible, to pray and to have fellowship. At 9pm, we walked to Queen St Mall and started setting up the Bible table.
Blake preached first up, and he had a few hecklers ask him questions and he was able to provide responses to them. He faithfully preached the gospel for about half an hour before stepping down.
Then Josh got up to preach. Wayne was delighted to be able to heckle Josh, something he had been missing for the past two months. Josh argued that evolution does lead to racism and Nazism. But Wayne disagreed and said Darwin never talked about different races. So I brought up a picture of the cover of Darwin's Origin of Species on my phone and showed it to Josh. For the book's full title is: "The Origin of Species by means of natural selection on the Preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life". Wayne was completely unaware of the full title.
Wayne then asked Josh, "Do you celebrate Christmas?" Josh said, "Yes". Wayne then pointed out that some other pagan deity as well has their birthday being on the 25th December, and so Wayne concluded that Christians copied from this other religion. So Josh responded by saying that no where in the Bible does it say that Jesus was born on the 25th of December, that day was chosen as a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus because it was a day set aside in the Roman world to celebrate a pagan deity. Since Christians did not worship this other god, they instead celebrated the birth of Jesus on that day. Wayne kept trying to insist that it's part of Christian doctrine that Jesus was born on the 25th of December, and tried pointing to the Catholic Catechism. So Josh reminded him that evangelicals do not subscribe to the Catholic Catechism, only the Bible.
After Josh finished preaching, I discussed with Wayne for a little bit and asked him whether he thought that just because there may be similarities between Christianity and another religion, does that make Christianity wrong? He said it did because it means it was copied. So I pointed out that firstly, having similarities with something does not necessarily imply that it was copied. And secondly, that argumentation actually commits the genetic fallacy - which is, dismissing a belief as being wrong because of the origins of that belief. Even if Christianity did have its origins by copying from other religions, it does not mean that the beliefs of Christianity are wrong. He didn't seem to understand that at first and so I gave him a few examples - such as if someone said today: "America will never be at peace, for look at who founded it", then that person would be committing the genetic fallacy. As who founded the nation is irrelevant as to whether America can be at peace at some stage in the future. After giving a few examples, he seemed to understand it.
To God be the glory!
Saturday, 24 October, 2009
This weekend, the SuperGP cars were supposed to race on the streets of Surfers Paradise. They didn't end up coming and so only the V8 Supercars raced. However, there were still lots of people about and so Blake and I expected a busy day. After reading John 15 and praying together, we began our outreach. There were not many people around the area where we usually preach, so we decided to walk closer to the where the race was taking place to see if there were any places to preach there. There wasn't really, as the car noises would drown the preaching out. So we just made a circuit back to the esplanade, handing out tracts on the way.
By this time, more people were around the area where we usually preach, but unfortunately there was a guy sitting on the concrete block that we usually preach from. So we decided to continue handing out tracts while we wait for the man to move along. He didn't, even after waiting half an hour. So Blake and I then prayed that God would free up the preaching spot, and then read again some of the verses in John 15 regarding God answering prayer. And within 10 seconds of us doing this, the man moved off the preaching spot! Praise be to God!
I then began preaching and within minutes a large crowd had gathered. When I mentioned that getting drunk is a sin, a lot of the people were outraged at that thought. I also mentioned that Jesus said lust is adultery at the heart. And a lot of the males listening called out that that is the reason why they come to the Gold Coast, to do exactly that. I warned everyone that our sin makes us deserving of Hell, but that is why Jesus came to die on the cross to pay for that sin. But a person must repent and trust in Christ's death on the cross as the only reason that they'll be going to Heaven, in order to be saved.
Throughout the course of the preaching I did there that day: Twice an angry fellow ripped the Bible I was holding out of my hands and was going to run away with it until his friends stopped him. Another fellow at one point pushed me off the preaching block I was standing on. But the crowd was on my side, saying that I have the right to do this. And another guy that was sitting next to preaching spot drinking alcohol who tied my shoelaces together while I was preaching. But all these things did was to attract a larger and larger crowd. A crowd of about 100 was listening for about the two hours I preached for, with many of them asking all sorts of questions. And by the end, there were still lots of people listening wanting to hear more, but I got down from the preaching spot (as it was now approaching 5pm (2 hours longer than normal) and we had to make our way to Brisbane city for the outreach there that night) and so we simply handed out tracts to them all.
I had a chat with one fellow afterwards that had been listening and he thought he was going to Heaven, but on the basis of his works. So I explained the gospel to him, and asked him, "If God was to ask you the question: Why should I let you into Heaven, what would you say?" His response showed he still did not understand grace. So I explained it again to him and asked him the same question. This time he understood the gospel and said, "It's only because of Jesus' death on the cross I will go to Heaven!" The man was overjoyed that he now understood the gospel and started believing it. Please keep him in prayer, his name is Fred.
Even though there were just two of us today, God saw fit to allow the gospel to go out. Please pray that God will raise up more laborers to enter His harvest, for the harvest is truly plentiful. If you live nearby and are keen to get involved in this outreach, please do contact me.
To God be the glory!
Saturday, 17 October, 2009
To begin the night off, I got into a conversation with two gentlemen - one a Hindu and the other a Sikh. Firstly, I brought them through some of the 10 Commandments to show them that they aren't good people in the sight of God, in order that I could tell them of the great news of Christ's death on the cross and what that means. I explained the atonement, that Jesus' perfect life and His death on the cross can satisfy God's wrath on our behalf, and so God can declare us righteous in His sight. The guys seemed to like the idea and agreed with it. But so often with people who hold to religions that are popular in the East, they simply add Jesus onto their existing religion. So I explained that Jesus said that He is the only way to Heaven, meaning that every other religion is wrong. They were shocked at this thought, for although they say they believe in Jesus too, it is always that they don't believe in the real Jesus whose life and sayings are recorded in the Bible. They thanked me for the conversations and said they would read the Bible and think about this important matter.
The first preacher up was Blake, he faithfully proclaimed the message of the gospel and some people stopped to listen.
This evening, Wayne (the friendly atheist debater) and his son were in again, ready to do some heckling to support their viewpoint. And so when Andrew got up to preach Wayne and Andrew had a long debate in the open-air over "What is true, Christianity or Atheism?" During this time, a pretty large crowd of people had gathered, and various people asked Andrew all sorts of questions.
Wayne's son didn't have a chance to ask any of the questions during that time that he had been thinking up, so when I preached, he asked away. He asked questions like: 'How can God create a world knowing that people would sin?'. We also had a big discussion on evolution and he was wondering how there are different skin colours. So I explained about genes and also natural selection, how things more suited to their environment will survive and reproduce, and so things adapt to their surroundings. Christians believe in natural selection, just not evolution (animals changing from one kind to another).
To God be the glory for another great night!
Saturday, 17 October, 2009
I thought it might just be me at the coast today, but as I was walking towards Cavil Avenue after parking my car, Blake beeped at me. I was very glad Blake was able to join me today, as it definitely is better witnessing and preaching having another person with you. As I was waiting for Blake to arrive on the esplanade, I handed some tracts to a large group of young people. They wanted to know what it was about and so I asked them whether they thought they were going to go to Heaven. Most said yes, some jokingly said no. The reason why most of them thought they were going to Heaven was because they considered themselves to be good people. So I let them know of the standard that God will judge them after they die and they admitted that they actually deserve Hell. Some of the group were very concerned about this fact, while others remarked that they love sin too much to even consider stopping it. So I shared the news of the cross with the group and talking about how someone can be forgiven if they repent and trust in the death of Jesus alone for their forgiveness.
At this point, another whole group of young people joined in listening to the conversation taking place as they were obviously friends of the people I was talking to. So I explained the message again to everyone to solidify it in their minds.
Just before I got up to preach, a young guy came up and chatted to me and we starting talking about things of eternity. At first he seemed open to the message, however he at random points would just have outbursts of anger and throw the things he was holding around. Possibly something demonic as when I was preaching he so vehemently opposed the Word of God that he got very angry, but when the Word of God was not being spoken about, he would be fine.
Still before I got up to preach, a young girl came and chatted to me, saying that she got 'saved' at age 7 but left Church at age 13. She was now about 15 and realised that she should return, but admitted she just loves sin so much. So I explained how it is so important to receive the forgiveness that Jesus offers as soon as possible for death could happen at any moment and Hell is a very bad place. Then I explained, "But Jesus died to save you from that only if you repent (hate sin instead of loving it, and thus you'll start turning from it) and trust in Jesus' sacrifice on the cross."
An analogy that I like to use to show that it is foolish to choose sin over salvation is this: "Imagine that you are in a house, and you are doing a very fun activity inside. Then you notice the house is getting warmer and there is smoke around, and so you conclude that the house is on fire. Now what would you do: Just sit there because you are doing something so fun, and then you'll get burnt up and die? Or would you run out the house? Obviously run out of the house. In the same way, that is like your life. For it is as if the flames of Hell are coming closer and closer towards you, for the amount of time you have got left to live is getting shorter and shorter. So would you say: 'I would rather keep on sinning' and then you will receive an eternity in Hell? Or would you flee from the flames of Hell by trusting in the death of Jesus, and you will also receive an eternity in Heaven? Which is the better the option?"
I then got up to preach and there was a bunch of hecklers who I was able to engage in a discussion with to draw a larger crowd. These guys were mostly atheistic and some were possibly drunk, but it drew in a rather large crowd to hear the gospel message being preached for 45 minutes.
After having a bite to eat, Blake got up to preach and he preached a brilliant sermon. He started off by getting everyone's attention by telling them there is something they need to hear that is urgent. He preached for 45 minutes and the group of young people that I chatted to at the start of the day had returned and sat and listened to most of what Blake had to say.
To God be the glory!
Saturday, 10 October, 2009
At 7:30pm we met in King George Square for prayer, Bible reading and fellowship. Once the clock struck 9, we walked to Queen St Mall, and started setting up the 'Free Bibles' table. I got up to preach first, and a number of people heckled as I preached the message of reconciliation with God by the death of Jesus, which every person must believe in and repent to be saved. None of the hecklers stayed for a long period of time, however. But other people did stop to listen to the message being preached.
After I got down from the preaching spot, I offered a tract to a man that was walking past eating a burger. Upon hearing that there was a Christian message inside, the man got outraged. He started spitting on me and so I pulled back, hoping that the guy would just move along. Then he started yelling at a whole group of us. A newer team member then went forward and started preaching about the atonement of Jesus. The angry man did not like hearing about Jesus and started spitting on him as well. At this point, Andrew stood on the soap box and tried to engage the man in some sort of discussion. The man wasn't at all keen, and instead was just hurling abuse at Andrew. A few moments later, the angry drunk man decided to throw the burger he was eating in the face of the first person who started preaching at close range. At this point, we called the police and arrived pretty quickly and arrested the man.
But while this was all happening, a massive crowd had gathered and Andrew was able to preach the message of the gospel to them all. Week after week, whatever the devil tries to do to stop the preaching simply results in more people hearing the gospel.
To close the night off, Blake stood on the soap box and faithfully preached the gospel. Just after this, Andrew and I had a conversation with some guys who had been studying philosophy and their studies unfortunately had lead to some of them denying that we can know anything of history. We tried reasoning with them, and made sure we shared the gospel wit them. Please pray that God will convert them.
To God be the glory!
Saturday, 17 October, 2009
Tuesday, 25th August 2009 - Riverside, California
We have been in the USA for two days now, and during that time we have been recovering from jetlag and also playing tourist. Yesterday, we were able to see the sights around Santa Monica and also Hollywood. But, from today the outreach began.
The alarm sounded way to early, it was about 5am as I rolled out of bed and wondered what I was doing up. I quickly downed some breakfast, then Heath and I ran out the door to meet with Warren. The plan for the morning was to go to the courthouse and do some open air ministry.
We arrived at the courthouse at around 6:30am, and after some time of prayer and Bible reading we prepared to minister. Somehow I ended up being nominated to open air preach first. This was the first time I have ever open air preached at a courthouse, since in Australia most people go into the court building and don’t hand around outside.
The open air sermon went well, while I was preaching a Jehovah Witness began to hand out Watchtower magazines, so I made mention to this. The man was not amused, but I could not tolerate the fact that he was willingly deceiving many with a false gospel.
After the open air, I handed out a few tracts, but noticed that the Jehovah Witness was still spreading his cultic lies. So I followed him around and when he handed out literature I would speak to the person who received it. I would inform the person that the JW’s deny that Jesus is God and that He arose bodily from the dead. Many of the people who had taken Watchtowers either returned them or placed them in the bin.
Eventually the JW turned and threatened to sue me for slander. I informed him that it was only slander if what I was saying was false. I was kind of surprised, I had only been in the land of lawsuits for two days, and already someone wanted to take me to court. This should be an exciting couple of months.
To view the video of my open air check out:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z60ovB-IxZ4
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QY3-tlgUC6w
Wednesday, 26th August 2009 - Riverside, California
Once again the alarm sounded early, and just like the day previous we headed out to the Riverside Courthouse. Jeff picked us up at 6:30am and by 7am we were at the courthouse meeting with the evangelism team.
It was good to meet some new brothers and it was an honour to labour along side of them. Once again, I was nominated to preach. As I preached the gospel the crowd listened, one lady liked the preaching so much she started to dance and say “Praise Jesus”. After the open air the majority of people took gospel tracts. And, much like the day before our friendly JW was there, although today he didn’t engage us.
Once we finished the ministry at the courthouse, we went and had breakfast together as a team, then we headed off to preach elsewhere. This time, we went to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to open air. There was about 150 people lined up, so I began by preaching a message of Hope from John 3:16. The crowd fell silent as they listened to the gospel being preached. Much like the courthouse the majority took tracts afterwards.
Please pray for all those who heard the gospel today, may God save them.
To view a video of the open air at the DMV click: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjTUJP9VfW0
Friday, 28th August 2009 - Hollywood & Glendale, California
Warnings were issued to us today as we prepared to head out witnessing. After two days of evangelism training at the Ambassadors Academy the team was ready to hit the streets and do some ministry. The only problem was that we had a severe weather warning in place. The temperature in the LA region has soared over the past few days, and as a result many bush fires were burning on the mountains around the city.
With the sun being high and hot we boarded our bus for the ride to Hollywood, only to be greeted with something no one wants to encounter on a hot day. It turns out that on the way to the Academy to pick us up the air conditioner on the bus had died, thus leaving the bus a big hot tin can.
But, this was just the beginning of what would be a hard day of hot battles. When we arrived at Hollywood the heat was oppressive. Within minutes people were downing bottles of water and grabbing more bottles for reserve. While we were setting up the four different preaching locations I noticed a young man wearing a sandwich board. This was no surprise to me as I had been warned this “preacher” would be present. While, I admire this man’s zeal I find myself abhorring his theology, the reason is because he denies original sin and believes in open theism (which teachers God does not know the future). These heresies have placed him outside the bounds of Christianity, yet, he is still out on the streets in the heat preaching that you must stop sinning and that Christians are perfect and never sin.
Myself and Paul Kaiser wandered up and down the famed Hollywood Boulevard handing out tracts and talking to people. However, we thought it would be good to grab some lunch before any preaching. The cool air of MacDonald’s was nice and while we sat eating our “healthy” lunch, I was able to start a conversation with two young men opposite. One of them had just gotten out of rehab, the other was a professing Christian. He seemed to have a few theological questions, so I let Paul deal with him, while I spoke to the non-Christian. For about ten minutes we shared the gospel in MacDonald’s. After I finished witnessing I noticed that the guy I was speaking to had no food on his table, so I went and bought him some lunch. He seemed genuinely touched and he took a few different tracts after this. We saw both men again throughout the day and they waved every time they saw us. Please pray that God would grant them repentance and faith.
After lunch I was able to preach outside of the Hollywood Metro station. While I was preaching I was able to get one man to engage me in conversation. This young man was interested in bragging about his sin openly, when I confronted him about his sin, his pride swelled, he loved his sin and bragged about it. He left before I was able to give him grace, but there were a couple of people sitting around listening. Please pray for all those who heard.
The rest of the day at Hollywood was spent with me handing out tracts and talking to people one to one. I have found it very hard to hand out tracts on Hollywood Boulevard, I think this is due to the fact that there are many people out there handing out literature and selling goods.
As the temperature dropped and the sun lowered in the sky, we were herded onto a bus for the ride to Glendale for an evening of witnessing. After a nice dinner with EZ, we did some outreach near the cinema. I was walking around taking photos when I heard security challenging one of our preachers. The preacher was on public property preaching to a crowd also on public property. The security guard came out of private property and demanded the preacher stop. This young security guard dripped with arrogance and was mocking towards Christianity. He would laugh and scoff at what the preacher said, this earned him a stiff rebuke from my brother. The security guards grin soon faded when faced with the reality of judgment day.
This was just the first round of the fight for the night. Within a minute another security guard was taking on another preacher. This time I spoke to the security guard so the preacher could continue. Te security guard informed me that it was illegal to preach the gospel where we were. I asked him if it was public property, he said that it was. So I asked what part of preaching was illegal and didn’t we have first amendment right to preach? He refused to speak and just said, “I’m calling the police!”
The police soon arrived and they informed security that we had legal right to preach and that security had no authority to stop us. This seemed to anger the guard, so they started a new tactic to disrupt the preaching. By now there were about four guards standing around and they began by encouraging young men to start dancing in front of the crowd to disrupt the preaching. I began to take photos of what the security guard was doing, at the same time I was very careful not to cross onto private property to get the shots. While I was taking a photo the head security guard walked up behind me and said, “Thanks for that, now I can have you arrested!” He then called the police. The police arrived and they stated that once again we were doing nothing wrong and therefore couldn’t be arrested. Once again the security had lost the battle to stop the preaching of the gospel.
I spent the rest of the evening walking around and handing out gospel tracts. It was a good night of witnessing and many people got to hear the good news of salvation.
Saturday, 29th August 2009 - Huntington Beach, California
The second and final day of outreach had arrived. It would be sad to leave these men and women who had become my brothers and sisters in arms over the past week. But, we all must have one last push, then continue on in the battle elsewhere. The weather today was nice, much cooler than what it was yesterday. We hit the streets at around 10am and began to evangelise the Huntington Pier. Upon arrival we were met by the sight of a “street screecher” who had a massive banner that did nothing but cause offence. Now, I believe the gospel will bring offence, however, this sign had nothing of the gospel on it. Therefore it was the word of man that caused the problems. If I must offend someone, then I would rather have the everlasting gospel do it, rather than my own stupidity.
I walked down under the pier and it was then that I saw a man carrying a dog. He was moving rapidly towards one of the Academy preachers. As he came near me I heard him mumbling about shutting him down. Since the person who was preaching was new to open air evangelism, I decided to engage dog man in conversation. He stopped and began by telling me that he was a Christian, yet he refused to go to church since they were all wrong, except for him. My initial thought was “cult”, and that proved to be true. He started his tirade on how the church got it wrong, since Jesus had returned in 70 AD, and that we didn’t believe in the Bible. He then began to espouse the teaching that hell was not a real literal place. I engaged him in apologetics for some time, the whole time thinking I must keep him busy and away from the preacher. I figured if I tie him up for a while then the preaching of the gospel can continue. After about 40 minutes of dealing with this man I handed him over to a friend of mine, who engaged him for another length of time.
During my break I went off with the other Australian’s to get some lunch. When we returned the preaching was still going, but everyone was excited since Ray Comfort was soon to preach. Ray arrived and began to preach. It was then that I noticed that Dog boy was in the crowd. So I encouraged him to heckle Ray. The man was gladly prepared to heckle and Ray was happy to have a heckler.
While Ray was preaching I headed down to the bottom of the pier with a few other Academy preachers, there we set up a new preaching point and began to preach. First up was Ephraim who proclaimed Christ to all who would listen. Then I preached. While I was preaching I had a couple of hecklers. Soon into my open air I could feel my voice going, so I tagged in Jeff Robbins. This preaching continued for some time, then finally it came time for Heath Pithouse to preach. As he preached God brought a crowd in, and that crowd was polite and full of hecklers. For twenty minutes Heath did a marvellous job of proclaiming the gospel to them.
At the end of the day, we headed back to the Academy for the final night of testimony and fellowship.
Praise God for all He has done.
Wednesday, 2nd September 2009 - Riverside & Beaumont, California
A bright and early start, we had to be over to Riverside by 7am. The plan was to meet up with Jeff Robbins and his team and the courthouse, then we needed to rush back to Beaumont, since we were invited to come and speak to the fourth grade at the local public school.
At 7am we began the outreach with the team, they were surprised to see us, but it was great to join forces once again. I was the third preacher up and was able to proclaim the gospel to all those in the line. It was great to have people respond so positively to the gospel of Christ. Sadly the Jehovah Witness was still there deceiving the people. But the truth went out.
After a quick breakfast we drove back to get ready to speak at the local school. We were asked to come and talk about Australia and also about us being missionaries. I was a bit nervous since I was not sure what the rules were in relation to speaking about God in the school system. While we were talking a child asked the question, “What is a missionary and what do they do?” This was a great opening, since now I had to explain the message of Christ. For the next few minutes I explained the Christian message from creation through to redemption. The whole class sat and listened as I explained the need of the Saviour and how we must repent and trust in Christ.
At the end of the class we were able to leave some Australian Big Money tracts for the kids, all 40 students took the gospel home with them that day. Praise God for some great opportunities to preach Christ!
Thursday, 3rd September 2009 - Venice Beach
We had an early start today as we needed to drive some three hours to visit Phil Johnson of Grace to You. We spent about an hour with him, and after that we decided to head to Venice Beach for some outreach. It was a bit of a culture shock for Joel Barnard as he had never seen the strangeness that is Venice.
We handed out a few tracts and there were quite a few people who seemed hostile to the gospel. I did manage to get in a conversation with one man who believed in many roads to God, but though Jesus was the best way for him. He was hard to witness to, but I pray the gospel will cut through the darkness and bring him to Christ.
It wasn’t that long till we had to go, the reason for leaving so early was because I was due to do a radio interview with Ambassador Alliance radio. The purpose of the interview was to talk about the Academy training and also with the state of evangelism in Australia. The interview went for about 20 minutes, then at the end the team decided to start the three hour journey home.
On the way home we stopped at In n Out burger for dinner. After I finished my meal, I decided to speak to all the people eating their burgers outside. I started by telling them about how on the bottom of their drink cups there is a bible verse. This made them all look under the cups and read “John 3:16”. That was my launch pad, I spoke about the love of God and how He is so kind to us, yet we rebel against Him. After preaching the gospel, the people applauded and all took tracts. Please pray that God would save the listeners.
Friday, 4th September 2009 - Las Vegas, Nevada
Today we thought it would be a good idea to get up early and drive for 4 hours across the desert of California and Nevada. After a few minutes of this we had re-considered the wisdom of such a move. But, we pressed on and after a long drive we arrived in sin city.
We met up with my friend Doug Koch and some members of his team for lunch, then that afternoon we went back to Doug’s place. Since it was a long weekend here in the US Doug and his family were going away. So he gave us access to his house and told us where we could attend a local outreach that night.
After dinner we headed out to begin witnessing on the Vegas strip. We were able to hand out thousands of tracts in such a short period of time. During the night I managed to get into 4 conversations. All of them with Australians who were in Vegas for holidays. It is always good to speak to my fellow country men, but it is even greater to tell them of the Christ who can save them.
We stayed in the one spot for a few hours, but then decided to go play tourist for a little bit. As we walked along the strip people kept trying to hand us pornographic cards. Since all of those handing out cards were Mexicans I grabbed my Spanish tracts and began to hand them out. Every single porn hander outer took a tract. It was so sad to see them out on the streets doing this. One of them told me it was the only job he could get, so he had to do it in order to feed his family. But the most shocking was a woman in her mid seventies standing on the street corner handing out porn flyers.
At around midnight we made our way back to the house, it was so sad to see the depths of sin that many people swam in. But what was sadder was that there wasn’t many Christians out there telling people the good news.
Monday, 7th September 2009 - Hermosa Beach, California
Everything in Southern California seems to be at least a two hour drive away! No matter where we are going or what we are doing it always seems to be the same time away. Today we had a two hour drive from where we were staying to join up with Steve Sanchez and his team at the Hermosa Beach festival. His church had arranged for a booth to be set up in the area. They were conducting intelligence tests and good person tests for all those who would stop and talk.
After arriving we grabbed some tracts and headed to the main entrance, there we handed out thousands of tracts to those entering the festival. During this time of tracting the heat was increasing. It turned out to be one of the hottest days we had experienced in California. This of course limited the amount of people who wanted to stand and talk, but we did manage to have a few good conversations.
Towards the end of the day, we were able to start open air preaching. Before I started I spoke to a security guard and asked him where would be best. He pointed me to a location right near a bus stop. This worked well since there was a very long line of people at the bus stop. So I stepped back and began to share the gospel with them. Most people listened and smiled as a preached, at the end the vast majority took gospel tracts and thanked us for taking the time to share the good news with them.
After we started preaching Steve brought a few guys up to preach also, now we had the area well and truly covered. We took turns preaching the gospel. At the end of the day I decided it would be good to preach once more (also add Steve’s pushing). So I stepped up and began to speak to the line. It was then that an angry lady began to heckle, she started to scream that she was a public figure and couldn’t be filmed. She was rather angry and foul. So I ignored her and continued to preach. During this time another man came and began yelling at me to stop preaching, I ignored him, so he came closer and yelled again. This resulted in a person from the crowd yelling at the heckler, he called out “This is America! He can preach here!” Well by now the crowds attention was on the preaching, this then brought a security guard down. He came and told me I couldn’t preach, I ignored him as well and stepped around him. The reason I stepped around him is because I had permission to be there plus security have no authority to stop the preaching.
Steve Sanchez caught the “Aussie Two-Step” (as he calls it) on tape, you can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tPShIgNhJI
Well that ended our day and our outreach in California for now. Praise God for all the opportunities we had.
Wednesday 9th September 2009 - Atlanta, Georgia
What a change! From the deserts of California to the beautiful green environment of Georgia. Also, what a change in people. People in the south seem to be a lot more friendly than those we encountered on the West Coast.
Today’s plan was to join up with Todd Friel and gang at Wretched Radio. We met at the studio then headed out to Georgia Tech for a “Witness Wednesday”. We arrived at the Campus and began to witness to people. The only catch it was to be on the radio, this of course made things a bit more nerve racking. Todd would walk up to people and say “Have you spoken to an Australian? No, here’s one!” Then the conversation would begin.
My first conversation was with a Lutheran minister who was very biblical. It was encouraging to meet someone who actually knew and preached the gospel. After this discussion I got to speak to a Hindu man. It was a good conversation, and I stressed to him the importance of their only being one God and one way to know that God.
After this we lost Todd, he walked one way, we walked the other. About an hour later we found him again. But, during this time we kept witnessing. Once again I got to speak to a Hindu man and also a Muslim man. The Hindu didn’t get it, he agreed with me throughout the presentation but then at the end he said, “I believe in Jesus with the other gods.” So once again I had to explain it to him.
We finished up at Georgia Tech, then Todd announced that we would be going downtown to do some preaching for Wretched TV, I thought that was great until Todd said I was the preacher and I would be on TV. Instantly the nerves hit, I didn’t want to be preaching on TV, but Todd insisted.
It was annoying preaching with microphones clipped on me and also cameras pointed at me. Before I knew what was happening Todd was introducing me to the camera then it was time to preach. So I stepped up and began to preach my stalker sermon. Those in the park quieted down to listen. Many sat and listened and others stopped walking to hear the good news. I built the sermon through the stalker and then into death and eternity. Once I had explained sin I was able to share the good news. By now I had a group of people at the back of the crowd singing out praises of “AMEN!” It was like preaching in a lively church. I wrapped my message up and then caught my breath. While I was sitting after the sermon a man walked up to me and said he had been listening. His words were “As you preached my heart said ‘This is true!’” Then and there in the middle of downtown Atlanta this man bowed his head and begged God for mercy. A few minutes later another man who was listening bowed his head and prayed with Joel, also asking god to save him.
It was incredible and humbling to see. God had used a simple open air sermon to bring two of his people to Himself. To God be the Glory! This provided a great ending to the day, everyone left praising God.
To hear the Witness Wednesday radio show: http://q1rf1q.blu.livefilestore.com/y1pnQor-NAU10pQkkTlbouw8PbldN4KesVW8ZGZYiC6kfxFb_l3DSNGuk5PJBV1ZenXC0ZFtd2v88hlqlngzxw-5Q/WR2009-0916-Hr1.mp3?download
Thursday, 10th September 2009 - Stone Mountain, Georgia
We were asked to join up with a local team today at a flower festival in the Stone Mountain national park. Upon arrival we soon found the team that was outside of the main gate, they were preaching and handing out tracts. So we also joined in with the handing out of tracts and one to one witnessing. Many great conversations were to be had. The one that really stands out to me was during the lunch break. While I was getting some lunch I noticed this old man and his wife, both of them would have 70 + but their age wasn’t what caught my attention, but rather it was the fact they were in Mormon garb. Both of them were missionaries. My first thought was “Sweet, if he is still a missionary at this age he must be a really solid Mormon!” With that in mind I approached him thinking that a good apologetic discussion would follow. However I was soon disappointed, it turns out he just began his mission and he didn’t know Mormon doctrine overly well.
We went back and forth a bit over the nature of salvation and how one can come to know Christ. He maintained that we had to work, and I pointed him to the Bible which said we had to trust in Christ alone. Then he managed to jump onto the fact that there are many gods, so I showed him Isaiah 44:8. At this his wife decided it was time for them to leave, so she took him away. As he left he refused to swap emails to continue the discussion, the man was so deceived by the satanic cult of Mormonism. Please pray for him.
That night we met up with some of the guys from Deeper, the plan was to head out to Georgia Tech to do some evangelism at the football game. When we arrived we began to hand out tracts and Marcus open air preached. The police soon came over and stated that we couldn’t open air preach on public property. We spent some time trying to reason with the officer but he wasn’t interested. He also refused to say what law we were breaking. The interesting thing is he stated that if we continued to preach he would see that we were all arrested. However, after awhile he allowed us to continue ministry on the other side of the road.
When the game ended Heath and I took up positions at the main exit and handed out hundreds of tracts as people left the game. I was expecting to see many on the ground, but was surprised to see only one or two left on the ground. May God use this simple little outreach to save those who would be saved. I also did a quick message to those who were waiting to see the players after the match.
To see me preaching check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J71OE65Zd3g
Friday, 11th September 2009 - Atlanta, Georgia
Well today was the first day of Deeper Conference. It was good to catch up with some old mates and make some new ones. While the whole day was spent in conference we did get to see some evangelism over dinner. While we were eating dinner Cameron Buettel and I were able to get into a conversation with the manager of Chick-fil-a, we told him why we were here and how we are about preaching the Gospel. Then in jest Heath said, “Someone could stand up in here now and preach!” To which the manager replied, “I would have no problems with that.” That shocked us, but now the question arose, should we preach in a crowded fast food restaurant? We didn’t have to wait long for the answer for a person at another table heard the conversation, so she stood up and preached. People who were eating fell silent as they listened to the gospel, everyone seemed to enjoy the message except for one man who began to yell back at the preacher, he claimed no one wanted to hear the message, so I called back to him, “I do, so be quiet!” He quieted down the message continued. It was quite encouraging to see the gospel preached in a public place like this. To God be the Glory!
Saturday, 12th September 2009 - Atlanta, Georgia
Today was the last day of conference, but tonight was “The 500” outreach. The outreach’s goal is to get 500 people on the streets sharing the gospel in one night. This year I was approached to co-lead a team. The team I was assigned were sent to the Four-Corners of Atlanta. This was a good place for one to one, but a bad place for open air. Also, the problem we had was the fact that we had 30+ people in a small zone. But somehow we managed to have a good night of outreach.
I spent most of the night walking around to the different people encouraging them in the outreach and helping them wherever I could. It was great to see so many people out witnessing. At the end of the night we started to walk back to the car, but then we saw a heart breaking scene. Along the road there were many churches and in the door ways of all these churches one could see piles of blankets, but under these blankets were homeless people. I couldn’t help but question why the churches weren’t open and helping these people. The church is in a prime position to minister, yet for some unholy reason the church was not doing its role. Such opportunities to minister, yet no one was prepared to get out of their comfort zone and help those who are down and out. This failure to help the poor is a sinful stain on the church and something must be done. We need to balance our evangelism with social work, they work hand in hand for the glory of God, so get out there and do both!!
Monday, 14th September 2009 - Athens, Georgia
Today was our first day of outreach into the Athens region, it was good for Heath and I to join up with Terry Berg. The plan for the day was to go to the University of Georgia and share the good news. We arrived there at about 9am and immediately we noticed many students hanging around, so we quickly began to hand out tracts.
It soon became clear that we did not have enough tracts for the outreach, anything we had was handed out, then we would scramble to search out packs to see if we had any other gospel tracts. What ever we had people would take and read. It was good to see so many tracts going out and it was even greater to see many of the students stop and read those tracts. During the time of tract work, we were all able to engage in conversations with people. I had this one young lady grill me over theology, she wanted to know what I believed and why I believed it. Always good to open up the Bible and share theology with people who are interested.
After the lunch the heat was getting too much, by now I was dehydrated and in need of a rest, so we headed back to the house to get some rest. It was a great day, many got to hear the gospel. Pray God would save them.
Friday, 18th September 2009 - Charlotte, North Carolina
For the past few days Heath and I had been students at the Billy Graham School of Evangelism. It was a great school, we learnt some great skills in regards to evangelism and during the course we were able to make some connections. One of those contacts was with a lecturer at the school, Dr. Alex McFarland.
Alex’s was there lecturing on apologetics and the gospel, this is his area of ministry since he is an apologist and also heads up Southern Evangelical Seminary. After speaking to him at the school he invited both Heath and I down to his seminary to be interviewed on his nation wide radio show. We agreed to the interview on the condition we got to share the gospel. This was quickly agreed to.
The interview went for an hour and it was very enjoyable. At the end of the show I got to present Christ to all the listeners. Praise God for His faithfulness in allowing his Word to go forth.
To listen to the interview check out: http://www.truthtalklive.com/2009/09/18/apologetics-down-under/ (Under video / podcast)
Friday, 25th September 2009 - Columbia, South Carolina
For the past week, I had been confined to barracks due to the fact that I had been running a fever and have been sick. It was great to be in Augusta with the Long family as they made sure I was rested and got better.
Today, I was feeling much better, so I was able to go out on outreach. We joined up with Gary Perez and his team as they drove to Columbia, South Carolina to preach on the campus. The campus didn’t seem very open to the gospel, but we were able to minister to many people via one to ones, tracts and open air preaching. At the end of the day I preached a quick message, while I expounded on the hope that is found only in Christ a man walked past and started to yell out “OBAMA! OBAMA!” I ignored him as I wasn’t making a political speech. After I finished my message the heckler walked past again and this time called me a “---- redneck!” Next thing we know the police were there and we believe he called them on us. It didn’t bother us overly since we had finished the preaching for the day and were heading home.
It was a good day, may God get the glory!
Saturday, 26th September 2009 - Augusta, Georgia
Early start, way to early! It was around 5:30am when we awoke and got ready for the outreach which was due to begin at 7am. The problem was that today was cold and wet, which made it so hard for us to want to get out of bed. But, we managed to somehow get up and make our way to the local DMV for some ministry. The rain actually kept many people away, but still a small few got the hear the gospel.
After the preaching of the morning, we went to the local flea market to set up a booth for another outreach. As before the rain had kept many people away, but God was at work in the heart of at least one man. While I was handing out tracts this one man stopped to talk, it turns out he had never heard of Jesus Christ and what He had done. So I was able to explain the gospel to him and then call him to repentance and faith. He looked at me and then asked, “Can I ask God to forgive me now?” Then and there we bowed our heads and this man confessed his sins to God and begged for the forgiveness of Christ. Praise God for His faithfulness in the saving of souls!
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