Ryan Hemelaar and Josh Williamson spent the afternoon in Brisbane sharing the Gospel. Today, we were able to have some great conversations and many tracts were distributed. Sadly, two Local Law officers from the Brisbane City Council tried to stop the outreach. Even though they admitted we weren't breaking the law, and that we had permits, they personally opposed our message and think that we shouldn't be allowed to preach.
Please pray for those who heard the Good News today, and also pray for those two Local Law Officers. Pray that their attempts to silence the Gospel will fail.
There were lots of young people about on Friday night at the Gold Coast. Many had gone to Catholic schools, thought being a 'good person' would save them. It was good being able to use the law to bring the knowledge of sin and then share the gospel with them.
One chat I had was with a man in his 50s who called himself a Christian, but had completely rejected all churches. He thought he doesn't need to be under any elders. I warned him that not being part of a local church can often make you go loopy theologically.
And this man was no exception. He hadn't been to church for 23 years, and he had all sorts of bad theology. He believed that Jesus was the Christ, but is no longer. He said that on judgement day we'll be standing before Satan and not God. He said that Jesus is the Father and is the Holy Spirit as well.
I showed him verses in the Bible which counter his ideas, but he was very hard hearted. He didn't know the Bible very well, so I pleaded with him to start reading it and to come know who God really is, for his salvation depends on it. Please pray for David and his wife Carol.
We sow the seed, God gives the growth! To God alone be the glory!
On Friday, 28th November, the team was out once more in Leicester Square to preach Christ crucified. We were seven strong: Glen, Waithera, Esther, Andrew, Kwadwo, Steven, and Rob.
After meeting in Caffé Nero for a time of prayer and Bible study, we headed over to the Square. It was very loud due to a carnival atmosphere, but I was still able to preach for a short while during one of the quiet periods!
Due to the ambient noise the open-air did not bring in a big crowd like the week before, however, afterwards we all managed to get into some great conversations! Here are a few highlights from the team...
Waithera: On Friday, Esther and I talked to a homeless guy from Angola called Jose. He had a lot to say against the church, against prosperity teaching, etc, and said early on he wasn't a Christian. Later on he said he wasn't clear on why Christ died and questioned whey the Bible is our final authority. Esther and I are hoping to see him again. We then spoke to a Polish man and his friend. The Polish guy's name is Radek. He was very honest about his sin and about his state before a holy God. I went through the gospel with him and Lord willing he will be meeting up with Esther this Thursday as he goes to the Uni near where Esther works. She should be giving him a Bible and he did say he may come to church sometime so please pray for him. (Waither and Esther are to the left)
Kwadwo: Firstly, I had a conversation with two Muslims, one called Jordan and another I believe called Francesca. Jordan was the most vocal, acknowledged he was a sinner but essentially thought he can always chance it with Allah. In sum he denied the gospel because in his words he couldn't understand it, nor the Trinity. Next I had a conversation with a group of about three to five 17 year olds. They largely heard the gospel, but only one who maybe had a bit of a Christian background seemed very genuine in her questions, and she would have asked more if her friends weren't in a rush to go. Finally, I spoke witha a girl called Irene. She had a very interesting stance on things. She listend as the gospel was explained but wouldn't accept due to not wanting to be a hypocrite... She largely gave up knowledge and seemed content with that. I think an 'experience' of Christianity and of past believers hampered her view on the faith. Please pray for her, because she has heard the gospel and she does know that she needs to repent. (Kwadwo is in picture to the right)
Steven: I spoke to a guy called Daniel who denied the God of the Bible as something made up by "the system." When I pushed him to account for his knowledge of this it basically boiled down to him knowing it because some higher power revealed it, but he couldn't account for the truth of this "revelation" either. He knew because he knew. Also, I had a conversation with a guy called Kan, not sure if he was all there but he was very open to know more about the Gospel so we exchanged e-mails.
I had an encouraging conversation with a young couple earlier in the evening who listened well as I explained the gospel to them. We spoke for some time and it did amaze me how prepared they were to stand and listen to what I had to say. God is so good. Towards the end I asked if they had ever heard anything like it before, and they said no. But then they said that it made a lot of sense, and that there was nothing they could come up with that could rebutt what they had heard. They left saying that they had a lot to think about. Do pray for them!! (the Lord knows their names).
Soli Deo Gloria!
Praise God the gospel was proclaimed in Brisbane city tonight.
The couple in the first two photos were from Italy. She was about to make the oath to become a nun but had just pulled out. Josh was able to explain the gospel to them and even got them to read the gospel presentation in Italian on the GM28 iPhone app. Please pray that they would come to understand grace.
As you can see in the last photo, quite a number of people took the Bibles and other resources we had on our Free Bibles table.
Listen to the open air message that Josh Williamson preached tonight:
(This audio is raw and from the streets. It gives the listener a taste of what open-air evangelism is like. Due to the nature of this audio there may be some language that is offensive to some listeners.)
God's word never returns void!
Schoolies is a week long time of celebration for thousands of school leavers who have just finished grade 12. The vast majority of them converge on Surfers Paradise where the government funds nightly dance parties on the beach.
Even though many want to come to schoolies in order to sin, schoolies provides a great opportunity for us to share the gospel with the school leavers, as they are at a crossroads in their life.
Here are some updates from the week:
The first night of Schoolies Outreach at the Gold Coast went well. It is such a great opportunity to talk to these teenagers about eternal matters.
A number of the schoolies came to understand the gospel, and so we encouraged them to count the cost first, but at the same time, to not delay in getting right with God.
Day 2 & 3
The third night of Schoolies outreach has just finished.
As the week rolls on, some of the Schoolies are becoming more and more dissatisfied with the partying and are very willing to stop and chat.
We have seen again tonight many who love their sin and want to keep going in it, but also some who are really considering the message of the gospel.
Please pray God will draw these Schoolies to Himself. Pray also for energy and strength for the team to continue faithfully making Christ known.
Day 4 of Schoolies outreach is complete.
We have been talking to heaps of different Schoolies each day, but it has been great talking to a number of the same schoolies each day, expanding on the message with them, answering their questions, and pleading with them to repent and believe.
We got to hand out a few gospel of John's tonight for those who were really interested. A couple people were even welling up with tears.
This afternoon, we happened to meet Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis who was walking through Surfers Paradise with his family.
It has been a very worthwhile outreach. But one of the saddest things we have been seeing is not the fact that many schoolies are drunk or taking drugs, but that there are a bunch of professing Christians that have been standing nearby us teaching the schoolies a man-centred love-only false gospel.
They would sometimes even interrupt our conversations with the schoolies to say that what we are saying is wrong. One of the them could not control his anger that he threatened to punch one of the team. The police quickly dealt with him, fining him for being a public nuisance and moved him on.
Thankfully, God is sovereign and His word never returns void. So for the hundreds of schoolies we spoke to today, they will never be the same - they have heard the gospel, and are accountable for what they do with it. Please pray that God would save many of them.
Day 5 & 6
This afternoon's outreach at Surfers Paradise was productive with a number of the schoolies being concerned where they are going when they die and are counting the cost of coming to trust in Christ for their salvation.
One sad thing to hear today was from one of the schoolies that we talked to last night who very open to the message and even took a gospel of John from us, after our conversation she was told by another "Christian" group to not listen to anything she heard from us and to not read the gospel of John because it is wrong.
But it was good seeing her today and being able to encourage her again to start reading God's word.
Last night the rain came down very heavily just before midnight, which meant most of the schoolies headed back to their apartments for cover.
Despite the rain, we still had many fruitful conversations. We leave the results in God's hands.
Schoolies outreach 2014 has come to a close. Thanks for your prayers.
10,000 gospel tracts were handed out this week. Praise God! We won't know their full effect until Heaven. We sow the seed but God gives the growth.
These school leavers have been eternally impacted. Whether they come to faith or not, they have been told the message and so they will be even more accountable on Judgement day.
Please pray for the thousands of people we spoke to and handed out tracts to, that God may draw them to Himself.
Soli Deo Gloria!
On Friday night the team was out in Leicester Square, excited and eager to tell people about Jesus. We were six strong, which is a good number :-) — Rob, Gemma, Kwadwo, Glen, Graham and Megan. Graham and Megan were with us for the first time.
We met first of all in Caffé Nero for a time of Bible study and preparation. This is always a great thing to do and it really does help. Arriving in the square I stepped up to preach. It wasn't long before we had quite a crowd. There were a number of hecklers in the crowd, which was really good, as that really does bring in a crowd. One particular gentleman felt very strongly that we do not need God to make sense of this world, particaliry when it comes to the area of morality. I reasoned with him and pointed out that if we do not have an ultimate standard we are left short every time. He pointed out that morality evolves over time, and this is how we deal with different ethical situations. I showed him where his logic will lead by asking him if he would be prepared to say that it is possible that paedophilia, which is considered immoral today, could be considered moral in the future, since he believed that morality changes. Astonishingly, he said yes! But I do believe the crowd saw my point!!
I spent a great deal of time dealing with objections from the crowd, and answering different questions. However, I was very keen to steer the conversation towards the cross. Sometimes this can be difficult when you are being bombarded continuously. Thankfully, I was able to do this. The following LINK picks up my message towards the end, when I was able to address a young couple in the crowd and point them to the gospel before they left.
Here are two short reports from Gemma and Kwadwo, respectively...
Gemma: On Friday night Kwadwo and I spoke with a young couple Callum and Christine. They were very eager to wait around after the preach to discuss what had been said. Callum explained how there were so many different ideas about God that it was difficult to know the truth. We explained how the very definition of truth means there can only be one and we explained how Christianity is different from religion as we know we cannot reach the standard, but that God makes us good enough through the ultimate standard Jesus Christ. We explained the wonder of grace and how anyone who calls on the name of the Lord can be saved. They were very eager to hear about creation and Noah's ark and the flood which Kwadwo talked to them about. Callum explained that he had lost his brother and I was able to share a little of my testimony with him.
Kwadwo: Gemma and I were able to have a very good and cooperative conversation with (what we assumed was) a young couple made up of Callum and Christine. They had heard a lot of the open air preaching and waited after to talk to someone. Callum started by asking about how we know that the God we believe is true when there are thousands of other gods worshipped. When we got past that they seemed a lot more open, and asked questions that lead to explaining just how radical grace is and they acknowledged that good works would be like bribing God, which isn't right.
Soli Deo Gloria!!
It was another great outreach at Woodridge today.
The person in this picture talking to Josh claimed to be God. He said he knew everything, has spoken with Jesus, and yet needed to walk with a walking stick. At the same time he claimed he was a demon and that he must be worshipped.
Near the end of the outreach we had a young man named Wayne, who we had a lengthy discussion with a couple weeks ago, come back. He said he is now trusting in Christ for his forgiveness. We gave him a Bible and have his contact details for further discipleship.
The fields are white for harvest. Praise be to God!
Praise God for another great outreach at Sunnybank today.
One of the good conversations we had was with a young man who is in high school named Aditya. He said he doesn't believe in God and never has.
After a quick apologetic of pointing to the creation (which shows to us there is a creator), he realised that God does exist. And as we going through the law and speaking about the judgment to come, he thought that if he simply stops his sin that will get him into Heaven. I pointed out that stopping his sin won't get rid of the history of it. I then explained he needed a perfect substitute who could take his punishment for him, Jesus.
After explaining about faith in Christ and the subsequent desire to turn from sin and live for Jesus, he said "I want to do that now". I asked a few checking questions to make sure he understood grace - that there is no amount of works he could do to save himself. He did understand. He did not have a Bible so I gave him one and he said he would start reading it everyday.
He closed with "No one has ever explained it that way before. Thank you so much."
Please pray for him.
People were asking lots of questions last night in Brisbane during the preaching.
Christ was proclaimed and even though there were many hard hearts, one young man in particular came up to us asking for a Bible and expressed how he feels so guilty for his sin, he hasn't been able to sleep because of it, so he asked "How can I be forgiven?"
This man came to profess faith in Christ and then came back later on with his friends so that they could hear about Christ as well. To God alone be the glory!
We used the sketchboard again last night at our outreach at the Gold Coast. It is a great visual way to help people understand the gospel.
After one of the presentations, a number of people took gospels of John because they wanted to learn more, including a teenager who seemed very open to the gospel. We talked with him further. His mum is a psychic and his dad is very opposed to the Christian message, and ended up dragging him away telling him not to listen to anything we were saying. But the son had heard the message and received a gospel of John. Please pray for this young man.
Salvation is in God's hands. To God be the glory!