One Week Witnessing in Greece
This last week Anna and I have had the privilege of helping out in a church plant in the Greek island of Kos. Kos is a small island just off the coast of turkey which has most of it's economy based around tourism. Alec and Glynn Molton are the missionaries we assisted, they hail from the Open Air Mission (another open air/street evangelism group operating in the UK).
The Molton's have been working to plant an evangelical church on Kos as there isn't one currently. Their heart is to see Greek people come to the saviour and trust in Him alone. This is much needed as many of the Greeks are trusting in the Greek Orthodox church to save them and justify them. The lamentable situation of many Greeks is that they trust a hierarchy of men to tell them what to believe when these self same men have introduce all manner of heresies into the Orthodox church. To give example of just a few, icons (decorated pictures of saints) are worshipped with festivals at which they are kissed and prayed to, many people have their own small shrine at the front of their home at which they offer praise to the creature rather than the creator. In this environment the work is hard and the Molton's have my admiration for working in Kos and they need as much prayer support as possible.
We arrived very early morning Sunday Kos time and after a short sleep joined the Molton's and their grand-daughter and travelled to Kos town for Sunday morning church service. We set up in the hotel tv room that is the Kos Christian Fellowship's chapel and were joined by a Dutch family for the morning. It was wonderful to start a week of evangelism with praise and worship to our great God and father in heaven. After the service we headed to the pool area of the hotel to have lunch together and rest until the evening service. We enjoyed the rest and after afternoon passed we set up for the evening service again, as no-one else arrived we spent some time in prayer and packed up for home. With a hit and miss congregation it is quite jarring for the Molton's on Sunday's and we pray that God would encourage them. Monday was a day of rest and preparation for Alec for the following Sunday and for us to recover from the flight.
Tuesday we went out to deliver newspapers of a very different sort to the normal ones people would expect, bilingual (Greek/English) papers delivering the great news of eternal life. Before going we all joined in prayer and a time of bible study as is the habit of the Molton's every morning. After appealing to God on high to work in the lives of those we witnessed to this day we drove to kos town. In town we dropped Alec at his normal spot by the harbour where he has a board advertising the church and tracts/literature he offers to all passing. Leaving him there we headed into the town residential area and began with Glynn to deliver newspapers. This seems like a small work to some but I am convinced that it is a very useful way to get literature into the hands of people who would not publicly take it on the streets.
We delivered papers to a variety of places and one of the news papers got into the hands of Drosos who then called Alec wanting to talk. Drosos a is rich Greek man and wants for nothing material but is alone in the world and himself says that he "has nothing at all". Later in the week Alec and he were able to sit and talk for quite some time and we pray that this would be the beginning of God's drawing this man to Himself. We praise God that one of the Greeks responded positively to the newspapers and pray that He would bring Drosos to a living faith in Jesus.
In the afternoon we drove down the length of the island and stopping at the beaches we tracted all the tourist cars and gave out tracts to those we met. Hot work but satisfying to know that there are many who have come to the church through this witness.
Wednesday we travelled to a nearby volcanic Island called Nistros to do some sight seeing. The island was an interesting visit and I was fascinated by the caldera/crater of the volcano with all it's vents and sulphur gas plumes. The boat ride home was a little rough so praise God that we got home safely.
Thursday we headed into Kos town and were handing tracts out in the tourist cafe stretch on the harbour front not far from Alec. This was the first time that Anna and I have worked in a multilingual setting for giving out tracts. It was sometimes difficult to tell if people refused tracts due to language or because they didn't want them... oh well. Many tracts went out and we were able to give tracts to many of the locals also which we were surprised at given they are very often anti-protestant.
During the morning Anna was approached by an Irish couple doing a great and slightly unconventional thing, they are walking across Europe praying for its people. They began quite some time ago and have a caravan as their base from which they walk out 25mi each day while they pray. They encouraged us and Alec and among other talk said they would pray for the Molton's work. We were also able to speak with a Jewish family and give them some tracts. After we finished the tracts that we had from Alec for the morning it was time to go so we headed over to be picked up by Glynn with Alec.
Today Alec and Drosos had their chat and while this was happening Anna and I went to the nearby beach for a swim and also tracted all the tourist cars present. As is this faithful couple's habit drove back home via the beach car parks and placed tracts on the cars.
Friday morning there was a large sea liner from Cyprus in dock as we arrived, this was to be quite a benefit today as we could witness to the day visitors from Cyprus also. As per yesterday we set up in the cafe strip and began to hand out tracts. Today I noticed that there were a lot of Greek speakers (silly me was told later that they were Cypriots!), regardless they were taking tracts and we even had a couple of people come and ask for a Greek tract. I also noticed that the tracts we'd given out were being shared around the tables at the cafe next to us. It is exciting to see this happen, people wanting to know about the work of God in Jesus Christ.
During the morning a Jewish couple came up to ask for directions and I was able to engage them in conversation for a short period. The were cultural Jews only but I challenged them to consider the claims of their ancestor's Messiah and after chatting for a short period they left with some literature smiling. We also were encouraged by a Christian Dutch couple who likewise were after directions. After the encounters I've had so far with Dutch Reform folk I must say that they strike me as genuine warm Christians pleased to see the word preached however it can be. This is a saddening contrast to the many evangelicals I have met who are much more willing to cast aspersions as to "effectiveness" and judgement than to encourage us.
During the morning an ex-pat Cypriot named Andrew also came to enquire what we were doing. After giving him a tract Anna and I engaged him in conversation which had an easy starting point, given he hailed from Brisbane! We were able to talk for a short period only as the liner was soon to leave, but we talked through sin judgement and salvation and I confronted him with the demands of Christ to repent and trust in Him alone. After thanking us and receiving some literature Andrew headed away and we pray that he would make it back to Brisbane a changed man and there begin a new life in Christ.
As the morning came to a close we travelled to the various car parks and then stopped at one of the beaches to have an evening swim.
As Saturday was our last day on the Island before an overnight flight we started late and had an easier day. We went to the tourist town of Kardamina in the afternoon, partly for us to have a wonder around and partly for Alec to chat to Stefos another Greek contact. A lot of the conversations they have are building foundations for ongoing evangelism but Stefos knows the gospel and what the Molton's stand for. In the evening we went to one of the Greek festivals, a honey festival. This was all the things that Greeks appear to love, lots of food, loud music, and dancing. We enjoyed the food and atmosphere but had to leave before the night's entertainment began, we had to get to bed.
Now back in the UK almost a week later we can only thank and praise God for the work of the Molton's in Kos and also for their hospitality to us. We pray that God would be glorified in them and that many in Kos would be saved for Jesus name's sake.
The Skypecast started at 9pm and was rather busy throughout. The entire Skypecast was also broadcast again live on Voice of Truth Radio. Many people's questions were answered and we made sure that the gospel was preached throughout.
However, there were quite a few technical difficulties during the night, which resulted in people getting dropped, microphones stopped working, etc. Please pray that the entire Skypecast will run unhindered next week.
One of the hecklers we had was a Muslim, and he made the claim that in Christianity we have many different Bible versions. It's a common argument used by Muslims to substantiate their doctrine that the Bible has been changed. However, the argument is just based upon ignorance. For they are not different versions, they are just translations from the original language. We do not claim that any English Bible translation is inspired, but rather only the original manuscripts were. So a translation is the work of Bible scholars in order to bring the Bible to our common language. Just like the Qur'an has many translations as well, such as an English translation done by Yusuf Ali. And Muslims agree that the translation is not inspired, but only the original is.
The man then diverted onto another subject and asked the question, "Does the Qur'an say that Jesus is God?" I argued that the Qur'an says in Surah 29:46 that the Bible is a revelation of Allah. So therefore, if we look at the Bible, we see that Jesus himself claimed to be God (John 8:58). But that contradicts what it says elsewhere in the Qur'an regarding Jesus, such as Surah 5:116 "And behold! Allah will say: 'O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah.?' He will say: 'Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart, Thou I know not what is in Thine. For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.'" So that proves that the Qur'an is not the Word of God because it has blaring contradictions such as that.
If they claim that the Bible has been changed, we see that Qur'an also states that no one can alter the words of Allah (6:34; 6:115; 10:64)).
The man saw this contradiction, so he quickly tried to change the topic. After some further discussion, we got onto the topic of how one gets to Heaven. This is where I could share the good news of grace to the fellow since he is under the burden of a work-righteous religious system.
Unfortunately, Skype has announced that they will be discontinuing Skypecasts from 1 September onwards. So that means that this Sunday, 31st of August, will be our last Operation 513 Skypecast (until they return). However, we are currently looking for alternative software that we can use to continue this outreach. Please keep us in prayer.
To God be the Glory!
I met up with Chris Addison and Tim Neal on Sunday, and after spending some time in prayer we headed out along the jetty handing out tracts. It was great weather, so there were a lot of people about, and quite a few took tracts. There were heaps of people who came in off the whale watching boat as well, and we were able to tract quite a few of them. Unfortunately, not much in the one-to-one department happened though.
The only conversation I got to have was with an elderly lady, whose husband was continually edging away while I was speaking to her, putting something of a time frame on our conversation. We talked a bit about what it means to be a good person, and she acknowledged breaking the 10 commandments. She also mentioned that she had a Bible at home, so I encouraged her to read it. After a few minutes, she saw that her husband had "edged" a considerable distance down the pier, so she went off after him.
Pray for her, that she would pick up a Bible, and that God would convict her through His Word, and for all the other people who took tracts.
After being away from Brisbane for a week, I was quite excited at the prospect of being able to preach once again in the Queen Street Mall. While it is always a joy to preach elsewhere, and while I loved preaching in Adelaide, there is just something about coming home and preaching in your regular spot.
We met did all the normal things, prayer, bible reading, and then a time of fellowship was enjoyed by those present. Once 9pm rolled around, it was no longer a fellowship time, but now it was a time to go out and witness to those who did not know Jesus Christ.
Ryan was the first preacher up for the night, and he wasn't long into the preaching when a good size crowd gathered around. In this crowd there were a few hecklers, first there were two self-confessed "bad Christians" and also two lesbians. This made for some interesting heckles, as when the lesbians made a case for homosexuality, the ‘bad' Christians would agree with her, and then make a case supporting it also. It seemed to be the night of all the hot topics, first there was homosexuality, and then there was abortions.
For about thirty minutes Ryan held his own against them, but his voice was starting to go (which was a surprise!), so he tagged me in and I began the long task of dealing with the hecklers. First I addressed the ‘bad' Christians, they weren't to impressed, when I stressed that the Bible teaches how we must examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith or not (2 Cor. 13:5) and then told them about how some people think themselves saved, but in reality they aren't (Matt. 7:21-23).
By now the lesbians had left, but a young man with an accent and wearing a New York Yankees hate had taken their place. This man was very vocal, and very opposed to Christianity, he started to rant that it was Christians that killed all the Jews, I tired to counter by pointing out that those who kill innocent people in the name of Christianity, are according to Jesus not true Christians. But this man wasn't interested in listening, he just kept on with his argument, and refused to listen to the counter. By the way he kept talking about Israel and the Jews I presumed he was Jewish, upon asking him, he then confirmed this fact. Since he had been yelling at me for some time now, I thought it proper to at least know who it was that really hated me and Christianity. His name was Noam, and he is a practicing Jew. This led to an interesting discussion about the Messiah, he stated that Jesus could not be the Messiah since he is dead, but I pointed out that God showed that Jesus was the Messiah by raising Him from the dead.
Noam ignored, and kept on yelling his hated at Christianity and Christ. So I opened my bible and asked if I could read something to him, and then get his opinion on it. At first he refused, so I made the statement "clearly this man isn't interested in learning!" This made him stop, and then tell me to read out of my Bible.
So I opened the pages and began to read:
"He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors."
Once I finished reading, I looked up and noticed that he was already scoffing, so I asked, "What do you think about that, who is it talking about?" Noam looked at me and in an arrogant fashion said "That is talking about Jesus from your apostate New Testament!"
I turned my Bible over so he could see the pages and said "No, that was written by the Prophet Isaiah, from your Bible! Isaiah is talking about the Messiah, and you just admitted that this passage is talking about Jesus Christ!"
Noam looked stunned, but instead of admitting that Jesus is the Messiah, he went off on a tangent and refused to deal with the issue. But you could clearly tell that the Scripture had found its mark, as he wasn't as arrogant as before, and now more than ever he wanted to move away from the open air discussion. I wasn't going to let him move on that quickly, so I kept engaging him about Jesus Christ being the only one that could be the Messiah of God. From there I explained how in the Torah it was taught that there must be a sacrifice made for the atonement of sin, and that how that was a foreshadowing of the Lamb of God, who would come to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
By now Noam was very uncomfortable, and at the first chance he got, he headed out to the outer of the crowd that had now gathered. Please pray for Noam, that God would open his eyes, and that he will come to know Jesus as the Messiah.
The rest of the night was made up with the normal heckling, I covered issues of evolution, atheism, Islam, the Bible etc. At one point a Muslim became rather angry as I pointed out that the Quran is a book that teaches hate, and killing. The man started yelling that the Quran taught no such thing, so I quoted the Surah for him, and told him to go look it up. It is interesting, the "religion of peace" is so big on covering up the fact that in their book it says kill Christians and Jews. And the problem is so many people in the West has been duped into believing them. As you read this Islam is on the march in every Western country, the United Kingdom is nearly invaded by Islam, and it is to the point where there are no-go zones due to Islamic violence. The answer for this invasion of the demonic religion is not atheism, or even new political laws. The answer is the same as it has been for 2,000 years, and that answer is found in Jesus Christ. The church in the west needs to wake up, and realise that unless they start preaching the Gospel, one day they will wake up to find that Islam is now in control, and that they are facing death for their belief.
The rest of the night was spent for me in dealing with Christians who believed that we should emotionally manipulate people to make a decision for Jesus, and witnessing to some who had been listening to the preaching.
Andre then got up and preached, and closed the night off.
It was a good night, and many people got to hear the gospel. Please pray for them.
Soli Deo Gloria!
JM: Special report by Dave Strachan, precious assistant in the Lord
Another Sunday afternoon had already arrived. Soon Josh Mitchell and myself were cruising down the gold coast highway. We picked up Josh Williamson who joined us for the afternoon. I really love hanging out with both Josh's - their passion for God's glory and the way they boldly declare the truth whatever the cost is a real testimony of God's grace working in their lives - and a challenge to me!
As we approached the beach front at Surfers Paradise (Cavill ave) we knew that we were up for another very windy day. We decided to bring the bible table - but later discovered that the bibles and gospel tracts would have probably flew everywhere (likely never to be seen again).
It was great to see Tim, and some of the guys and gals from Helensvale Baptist church. We prayed together at the tables nearby and then quickly set-up (I got to test out my new camera-tripod - it proved very handy). Josh Mitchell got up to preach first. He did well to preach audibly and clearly in such windy conditions ... he also did a fantastic job of interacting with a number of people watching on. It was clear that quite a number of people were interested as they came over to hear the message that Josh was preaching.
Josh Williamson got up to preach as well and had no trouble preaching over the wind. He had a lengthy debate with some guys who seemed to be trying to push their point that Science is incompatible with religion, but they seemed rather confused and often when Josh handled an objection that they put forth, they would quickly change the question. Josh was fantastic in reasoning well, patiently and in an engaging manner with them - quite a crowd accumulated. Josh ended strong with a clear gospel presentation urging people to repent and put their hope and trust in Jesus alone.
After we had finished I asked a few guys who were still hanging around what they thought. One guy said that he thought Josh Williamson was using too much sarcasm. The others had questions as well which I attempted to clarify for them. I assured them that the main thing in all of what we do is the Gospel - not a watered down gospel which pleases people - but the true gospel revealed in God's word.I also thought it would be helpful to let them know why we don't just preach 'the nice guy' approach. Basically I shared with them how important and urgent the message of the gospel is - and that nobody listens to the 'nice guy' who is always polite and seeks above all to not offend anybody - they are usually just incredibly boring, and nobody pays any attention.
Ultimately, we want as many people to know the truth because God uses the truth to set people free (John 8:32).
2 Cor. 4:2 (ESV) But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every one's conscience in the sight of God.
On Friday night the team met up once more at Leicester Square for another night of ministry. Carl, Philip, Andrew Noble, my brother James, Andrew and I came together in prayer and looked forward to an evening of ministry. Leicester Square was full to the brim with people, just the way we like it!
After setting up our table with gospel tracts and free Bible I stood up to preach. It wasn't long before we brought in a crowd. Carl had a number of laminated cards that he had made up, that showed things like the scientific facts we see in the Bible, the Ten Commandments, fulfilled prophecies, etc. He stood next to me whilst I preached so that I could use them during my message. As I continued to preach the crowd got larger and before long I was being heckled by a number of Muslim men. I refuted their arguments and answered their question; unfortunately they were not best pleased and became quite aggressive. Carl could tell that they were starting to make approaches towards me and so tried to keep a perimeter in front of them and me. This was not working and I was actually more concerned for Carl than I was for myself! Being elevated serves two purposes. It causes people to stop and listen and it is also offers a form of protection.
I had preached for less than twenty minutes when I stepped down. It was frustrating but we were getting nowhere fast. There were people in the crowd who wanted to listen but our Muslim hecklers were not interested in listening at all. It is worth noting how aggressive Muslims can get, and I believe this is due largely to the fact that Islam is a religion steeped in militant teaching. Not all Muslim people that I speak to are this way mind you. Before I had stepped down, Christians from a ministry called "John 3:7" had arrived. One Christian gentleman in particular was very supportive of my preaching and when I stepped down began engaging with many of the Muslims. I also discovered later from the team that a man from the crowd, who was not a Christian, had been prepared to come to my defence, had things turned south. Praise the Lord!
As soon as I was down I made my way over to a young couple who I noticed had been listening to my message. I got talking with Mark and his girlfriend Danielle and we spoke for about an hour. We covered much as they had many questions. One particular question they asked was centred on knowing which religion was the right one. This allowed me to comprehensively share the whole counsel of God with them so that they could see that there is only one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5). They took a Bible to share and some tracts and we also exchanged contact details. I have since written them an email and so do pray that they would write back so that we can continue where we left off.
We left about 11:30pm, which is more or less the time we need to leave as we have to catch the tube home. It had been a somewhat frustrating evening, however many tracts had gone out and I was particularly grateful to the Lord for the conversation I'd had with Mark and Danielle. Do pray for them. After talking it through we have decided to cut back our ministry on the Saturday at Tooting Broadway to once every two weeks. This is simply down to the practicalities of life I'm afraid. As it happened I was contacted about a week ago by a man named Michael who attends a Calvary Chapel church in London. Every year his church does an outreach at the Notting Hill Carnival. The carnival involves marches and parades and so forth. There is always loud music and much food and drink. There is also a great deal of lasciviousness that goes on and so I have avoided it for obvious reasons. However, there are simply thousands and thousands of people who attend and so there is no better place to go if you're looking for people to witness to. My only gripe is that the music is incredibly loud and so it can be somewhat of an obstacle when talking to someone. I had been contacted after Michael had seen my blog. He wanted to know whether my team and I could attend their outreach to give a helping hand. Of course I was quite willing to do so, and so Carl, my brother James and I headed up there Saturday afternoon. The area they use is the same each year and has come to be known as "The God Corner." During our time there we spoke with as many people as we could. The music was quite deafening so we did our best! Michael and those from his church were handing out tracts and talking with people as well. In addition his church had set up a stage and where they had performers who rapped and sang Christian songs. It was certainly different to what I am used to.
I was asked to come up on stage to deliver a gospel message, and so I preached a solid gospel message for about twenty minutes or so. I did not offer an alter call but urged those who did not know the Lord to come to Him in repentance and faith. Please pray that the seed fell on good soil. So in the end a packed weekend of ministry. Praise the Lord that we are privileged to serve Him by sharing the gospel with others.
Soli Deo Gloria!
The Skypecast started off really well, with the room filling to 100 people (the max limit in Skype) within minutes. Also, for the entire night there was many people who wanted to have a conversation with us.
One of the first hecklers I chatted to was a Hindu man who had many questions about Christianity. One of the main issues of discussion was, 'Who is God?' As a Hindu, he proclaimed that God is everywhere, so thus everything. That is why there are some 330 million Hindu gods today. However I pointed out to the man that his pantheistic belief is logically inconsistent. For if a tree is God, then God would have to exist (to create the universe) before he existed, which is simply absurd. The man was actually surprised to hear that other God believers don't think God is everything. So he asked what I thought God is, and I said that He is the creator of the universe, with the attributes of being good, holy, loving and just.
The man proclaimed that he believed there is only one God, but just many representations of Him. So he was saying, the god of Islam is the same as the God of Christianity, and the same with Hinduism. But that belief is obviously false, for the the law of non-contradiction within logic demands that something cannot be two mutually exclusive things at the same time in the same relationship. So a trinitarian God (of Christianity) is contradictory with a Unitarian god (of Islam). Thus they both cannot be true.
Later in the Skypecast, I had a chat with a Muslim who proclaimed his own beliefs. But when his beliefs came under scrutiny, he was unable to respond to the blantent contradictions within Islam.
Again later I had a conversation with an Atheist who proclaimed there was no God, yet he had no evidence to back his claim up. So I provided a positive case to Him why there must be God, this then progressed unto why we can know the Bible is true. By the end of the conversation, he couldn't rationally continue to say that there is no God.
The Skypecast was broadcast live on Voice of Truth Radio and we had Rob Liaison help answered a few common questions during the Skypecast. There was 500 people who listened in during the course of the night. So we made sure the gospel was preached often.
We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.
To God be the glory!
Warren and Chris joined me this week at the Redcliffe Jetty, for purpose of sowing the seeds of the gospel in Redcliffe. After some prayer together we started handing out gospel tracts, using that as a springboard into a one2one conversation with them.
I had a conversation with two atheist blokes who were from Europe. They acted in the natural way Atheists act, that is, they say that "there is no God" and when asked what evidence they have for that belief, they turn the tables on me. Instead of proving their absolute negative claim, they try and shove the burden of proof upon the theist to give evidence for God. It is true that a theist must provide evidence for God, but if an atheist wants to contend that there is simply no God, they must have good evidence to substantiate that claim.
They often then try and say that an absolute negative cannot be proven, in order to be released from their burden of proof. However, they are wrong in that claim, for if a contradiction can be shown within something, then it cannot exist (eg: square triangle). Or if somebody knows everything about a subject matter, they can use that to prove an absolute negative. Regardless, the fact that they are admitting they cannot prove the absolute negative that God does not exist means that if they are rational, they cannot make the claim that Goes does not exist.
So I briefly reasoned with the guys why we can know there is a God from the very existence of the universe itself. They understood it was a rational belief to hold. This progressed onto what happens after we die and then the gospel message.
When the whale watching boat came in, we made sure nearly everyone got a gospel tract (would be close to 200 on-board). This lead into further one2one conversations as well.
To God be the Glory!
Report for 15th August & 16th August
On Friday evening the team was back to preaching the gospel at Leicester Square. I was particularly excited as we were due some new faces. Andrew Noble had contacted me via the Operation 513 website, keen to join up with some people to go witnessing with. Ivan and Benjamin, two young men from Denmark, had been directed to the Operation 513 website through listening to Way of the Master Radio. This was their first time to England and even though they had come for a brief holiday they were dead set on coming out to evangelise with us. Arriving at Tooting Broadway around 8:30pm, I met up with Carl, Ivan and Benjamin, and the four of us hopped on the first tube we could get.
We arrived at Leicester Square a little later than we would have liked, having missed our connection. We linked up with Andrew and my brother James and made our way over to one of our commonly used spots. It wasn't until after 9:30pm that we had opened in prayer and were ready to start ministering. Earlier in the day I had bought a fold-up table from a D.I.Y. store. This little table folds up a real treat, which allows you to carry it very conveniently in a small bag. We placed a good number of tracts and Bibles on the table for people to take away free.
When I was happy all was ready I stood up to preach. We were blessed in the fact that there were a number of Christians from another church who were in the square singing choruses. When they saw our table full of tracts and Bibles and heard that I was about to preach open air they formed a crowd in anticipation. This is always helpful because people draw people. During my message I did a call out to a young man named Prince, and taking him through the law, showed him his need of a Saviour. I was of course careful to put the same message over to the rest of the crowd. I was getting plenty of Amen's from the Christians in the crowd, which is all good and well, but we are out to preach to the unsaved and so I was pleased that a good number of people stopped to listen.
After I had come down from preaching the team set about speaking to people who had been listening. Carl and Andrew got into a conversation with some Muslims that had been listening whilst I preached; Ivan and Benjamin set about handing out tracts to as many people as they could and my brother got into some conversation as well. I managed to get into a number of one-to-one conversations. I spoke with a man from Italy, who had been brought up Catholic. He held the belief that the Bible is not the final authority and that there is latitude to believe whatever you want to believe when it comes to spiritual things. Our conversation was quite brief and so I did not get much of a chance to speak to him in depth. He did, however, take an in-depth gospel tract. It struck me that I have yet to meet a person, who having grown up Catholic, is of the mind that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God. The next people I got to speak with were two young Muslim guys. I was able to share the whole counsel of God with them and take contact details so that I can contact them again. They in turn took my contact details. We had a good chat and I was grateful that they listened to what I had to say without throwing up a wall.
By the time it was ready to go only a few Bibles were left. Many of the tracts had gone too. I was careful to hand out Why Christianity? tracts to the Muslims I spoke with, as they are very good at showing why Christianity offers what no other religion can offer. They show that Christianity is the answer. It was a great night and we were all quite encouraged by the time we left. Andrew said that he would be back next week and the Danish lads were beaming too!
Carl and Andrew witness to some Muslim men...
James witnesses to some young men...
Saturday morning came around and we were back at Tooting Broadway. We arrived at 11:30am. The first thing I noticed is that there were some people standing where we normally stand, handing out some literature. At first I thought they might be Christians but when I approached them I discovered they were in fact Jehovah Witnesses! I wanted to get up and preach as quickly as possible so that they would hear the gospel, however as we were setting up they left. It was interesting that the literature they had was in Tamul, which is an Indian language. Tooting Broadway does have many Indian people so I can only think it was done for that reason.
Watchtower magazines in Tamul. Incredible.
I spent some time preaching the gospel open air. As is normal with Tooting Broadway I did not get much of a crowd, however, people would have heard the gospel as they were passing and we also managed to hand out many tracts to people as well. Ivan and Benjamin joined us for a second time and Phil was with us too. As we were all handing out tracts, etc, I got the opportunity to speak with Assad and his friends. Click on this link to listen to the audio of that conversation.
As you will discover Assad is a Muslim, as were the majority of his friends. There were I think five of them in total. It seems that I cannot avoid speaking with Muslims these days; they certainly are popping up wherever I go! The more I speak with them the more I learn what I should be saying and the more my desire increases to see them saved. Islam certainly is on the rise and so we need to be about the business of reaching out to them in love with the truth of the Gospel.
Praise God for a great weekend of ministry. It was an encouraging time.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Josh Mitchell writes: Before I let you read Dave Strachan's report on the Gold Coast gospel team, I want you to know that the Gold Coast is an excellent opportunity to impact the world and local community for Christ. Many people come from the other side of the world, by God's grace to hear the gospel, and you can be a part of that. Please come and join with us, in evangelising with tracts, one2one, preachings or even just to help us with tasks that free others up to evangelise!
Dave Stachan: When we arrived at the beach it was very refreshing, upon opening the car doors, to breathe in the rich, fresh sea breeze. As we walked to the Cavill Ave beachfront we greeted some guys and gals from Helensvale Baptist who were keen to help out. Not long after I had put on some sunscreen and got my camera ready, Josh got up to preach and he did so for the whole time (for about an hour to an hour and a half).
He was quickly able to interact with those watching on and did so with a good number of people throughout the duration of his preaching. It was great to watch on as he urged people to put their trust and hope in the true Gospel.
There was a really decent bloke with whom Josh interacted called Bronson who reasoned fairly well and seemed genuinely interested in what Josh was saying. May God save Bronson for His glory!
'The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Tim. 1:15-17)
Report by Dave Strachan
JM: It was a really interesting day. Out of all the Gold Coast street cleaners, some of them are becoming very friendly. One Thai man, even accepted a gospel comic tract, which I pray God will use to help him understand anything I may have missed when sharing the gospel by preaching in his presence.
I was really excited when a whole adult Arabaic family accepted gospel tracts in Arabic, and spent a great deal of time together, each reading thier copy of the gospel tract. What a precious gift we have in translators, who can bring the word of God to the understanding of all peoples!
The wind made it difficult to preach today, but God was gracious with the conditions and his powerful gospel message was proclaimed. A number of young people debated with me, and will hopefully come to Christ in the coming days. God only knows. S D G!