On Friday evening we had another big turn out! The team for the night: Carl, Wesley, Oliver, Paul (a friend of Oliver's), Michael, James Crooke, Jannah, Susi, Steve, Ben, Adam, Katie, Lizzie (a friend from my church), Ashley (a friend of Nigel, who is a good friend of mine) and me. After meeting at Café Nero for a time of prayer and devotions we headed up to the square.
Carl stood up to preach first and preached faithfully, drawing people into discussing as they walked passed. Carl is really growing as an open-air preacher, and while his style is a little different to mine, he preaches faithfully the Word of God without shying away from the truth. After a while Carl tagged me in and so I stood up to preach the Word of God. After a short while a man began to heckle me concerning the existence of God. He maintained that he could never believe in something he had not seen. I told him that we cannot see the wind yet we know it exists. This of course is because we can feel the wind tangibly. I agree that we rarely feel the Lord in the same way, however we can see the effects of the Lord, just like we can see the effects of the wind. There are many things we believe in that we cannot see. It is not always necessary to have to see something or someone in order to know that that someone or something exists. I could, for example, see a painting without ever having seen the painter. Simple deductive logic will lead me to recognise the intelligent design of the painting, thus helping me to conclude that there must be a designer. I went on to explain to the crowd that the God who made this world commands that all men everywhere repent and believe the Gospel. It is not just God's wish that all be saved, God commands that all turn from their sin in order to be saved.
After I finished preaching we all engaged in one-to-one conversations. I got talking with two Muslim men who both took a copy of The Jesus Film that we put out on the table. During our conversation it became apparent to me that both men were "pre-armed" with objections towards Christianity. The objection that the Bible is corrupt and has been changed multiple times of course came up. I explained that the Bible has not been changed, we simply have many translations of the Bible into the languages of today, from the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek manuscripts that we have. They also questioned the divinity of Christ and so I took them to the Scriptures so that they could see that Jesus is clearly shown to be both fully man and fully God. As they left they both took an in-depth gospel tract, for which I was very pleased to see.
Many conversations were had by the team and it was so encouraging to see the gospel being proclaimed. Below is a little report that Michael has written showing his involvement during the evening.
My first encounter was with a guy called Naz, he was a really good natured person.
I took him through the 'good' test, he turned out to be guilty on all accounts but said that he would go to heaven; he believed that God would just forgive him because he had done good things. That led me to take him into a court of law. Throughout our encounter I had to keep taking him back to our own court of law because he was intent on justifying himself. He then wanted to know what the bible says about Hell; which I explained.
He then tried to turn it around by asking me if I had done those things, I told him that I was guilty of breaking all of those commandments and that was why we all need the Savoir.
He then wanted to know why there are so many other religions and how did we know we had the correct one. I explained that prophecy 100% proves the Bible is the word of God. I asked him if he could name who the president of America would be in 700 years time, where he would be born and how he would die. Obviously he couldn't.
I ended by telling him that when he lays his head on his pillow tonight that his conscience, that inner voice that he has no control over would probably start speaking to him. I asked him to think about the things we spoke about. He said he would.
I had two other encounters with Lucy and Angela. Again I gave them a million pound track and asked her the million pound question. She agreed to take the 'good' test. They were both guilty of breaking 4 out of the 10 commandments that I asked them. I went through our own court system with them and ended up sharing the Gospel with them.
The most interesting encounter happened on the way home. This encounter may have had the Lord's hand in it.
James Crooke told me that he was leaving because he had to be up early in the morning. I was in two minds about leaving with him as I wanted to stay and try to witness to some more people, but I looked at the time and felt lead to leave with him as we both go the same way home.
We got to the station looked up at the board and saw that we had 6 minutes for James to get a ticket. The nearest machine had two people in front of him. Time was ticking so James ran around the corner. With sixty seconds to go James came running around the corner. We got on near the back of the train with about thirty seconds to go.
We both sat down, me next to a guy with some earphones on drinking a can of beer and James opposite me next to a lady. I proceeded to pass around some million pound note tracks and to add a bit of light humour, I told all the recipients that they were great when you get the change. I then handed one to the guy sitting next to me drinking the beer. He then looked at the back and said "what's this about" I took him through the good test and as usual he was guilty on all accounts. He said that he had been thinking about these things because his dad was a staunch Catholic and his Gran was a Christian and that she had spoken to him a few times and had been praying for him.
I said to him "speak to your Gran and your father" second thoughts only speak to your Gran and get you father to speak to your Gran. I also said that this could be a divine appointment bearing in mind that we had caught the train with seconds to spare and we could have ended up anywhere else on the train, but we ended up sitting next to him. James said "could we be the answer to his Gran's prayers?"
He asked some questions on Catholicism and other religions which James explained to him. James also gave him his contact details and asked him to contact him if he had any other questions.
All in all it was a great night of evangelism.
Soli Deo Gloria!!
Friday, 2nd January 2009 - London
The plan for today was to head back out on the streets and once again make known the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sadly Fredee was out ill today, so only Mel and I went out on the streets during the day, while Peter stayed back at the house with Fredee.
Mel and I made our way to Piccadilly Circus, and we were surprised to find that there wasn’t that many people present. So we made the most of the situation and began to hand out tracts. The people walking pass seemed to like the tract and many were handed out. After doing tract for work for some time I thought it would be good to open air preach. So I climbed up the step ladder that was placed under the Eros statue and I began to preach. A few people stopped but not overly many. And there was no heckling. After preaching for a while I stood down, and we once again went to handing out tracts. We did this for a while then we headed back to the house in order to prepare for the nights outreach.
Later in the evening we joined up with the Operation 513 London Evangelism team at Piccadilly Circus. It was a great time of preaching and fellowship with these guys. They all have such a passion for the gospel and for the lost. During the course of the night Rob, Carl and I all preached. God was kind to allow people to hear the gospel. Including one heckler that I had who was in love with the idea of him going to hell. I tried to plead with him but he seemed consumed with the love of his sin.
Monday, 5th January 2009 - Leicester
Today we got to witness in one of the hardest places of all. I have been able to witness in many different cities around the world, but Leicester in the UK was probably the hardest I have been in. There was such a hatred of the gospel and a hatred of Christians.
I had planned on not preaching today due to the fact that my voice was still weak from the sudden change in temperatures, from the heat of Australia to the freezing conditions of the UK. But as we left the car park in which we parked we could hear the sounds of a preacher proclaiming the gospel. So we walked over to listen to this evangelistic preacher. They were standing under a huge white Christmas tree with a PA set up.
People were listening and moving on, but still the gospel was going forth. It was actually quite awesome as one of the guys on the team had met Peter a couple of weeks early in Plymouth, so since we had the connection I was invited to preach. Since they had a PA it made it a whole lot easier on my voice, so I opened up my Bible and preached my ‘Stalker’ sermon. A few people stopped to listen, but not too many. But the beauty of using a PA is the fact that many people can hear the gospel from a great distance away.
After the preaching we went about handing out tracts. Fredee gave some youth tracts but their response was to walk back to Fredee rip the tract up and through it in her face. Such was the hatred of the gospel. But even though so many rejected the gospel many more took tracts and read them.
As we were preparing to leave I ran into two Mormon missionaries. So I decided to engage them in conversation. Out of all the cults I love talking to Mormons they have been so deceived by the lies of the Latter Day Saint Church and by the False Prophet Joseph Smith. As I spoke to these two young men I stressed to them the differences between LDS teaching and that of evangelical Christianity. The main point I focused on was how the LDS teach work based salvation, whereas the Bible teaches that we can never earn salvation. I had the missionaries open their Bibles and read the different verses I mentioned then asked them to explain. They responded by telling me to pray about the Book of Mormon. Sadly these men were so entrenched in the lies of the Mormon church that they openly declared that they would reject the Scriptures if it went against the LDS.
After this encounter we made our way back to the vehicle for the drive back home. It was a good day, even though the city was hard.
Tuesday, 6th January 2009 - Coventry
Today we were joined by a dear brother from Mansfield. It was good to have Nigel come out witnessing with us. Before our outreach in Bradford we had a few car problems so we had to sort that out before hand, but once the car was fixed we were able to commence the outreach.
Coventry is a lovely city, and the people there seemed to be quite open to the gospel, which was a nice change from the day before. We set up our preaching stool in the main shopping area of the city and I began to preach. While my voice was not 100% God was kind enough to allow it to hold during the gospel presentation. Only a couple of people stopped, but God was still glorified in the preaching of the gospel.
After the open air many one to ones were had, which was really great. It was during this time that we were approached by security and asked to leave as we were not allowed to witness in that area. So we made our way to a different part of the city, which proved to be a great spot to hand out tracts and talk to people. We spent the rest of the day talking to people about Jesus and also handed out thousands of tracts.
Wednesday, 7th January 2009 - Birmingham
Today we were joined once again by Nigel, but we also had an addition. It was great to be joined by King Straw man - Wayne. He is a great brother, and he was so kind to allow us to stay in his house.
We all made the journey across to Birmingham. And I must admit I was a bit nervous about going to this city, as I have been told many things about this city, for instance I have been told of the violence and Muslim invasion in this city. So these things were all running through my mind as we drove across, but I was later surprised to find that it wasn’t that bad of city.
When we arrived the car park was covered in snow, this was quite a novelty to me as coming from Australia we don’t see these sort of things. Of course with that much snow about we had to have a snowball fight (my first ever!!!). So there we were on the top of a building in Birmingham running around throwing snowballs at each other. What a great start to the gospel outreach!!
The snow began to fall as we made our way to the city centre of Birmingham, this would hinder any open air preaching, but it didn’t stop the one to ones or gospel tracts. During the course of the day we were able to hand out thousands of tracts.
While Fredee was handing out tracts a young man walked past. She offered him a tract he took it walked away and then a few minutes later returned to ask a few questions. From there I was able to engage him in a one to one conversation. He was really open to the gospel, and as I explained to him about the love of God, and how forgiveness is offered at the cross of Christ he asked this question, “Can I get right with God now?” This shocked me, as it isn’t something you hear a lot of on the streets. So then and there in the middle of the street in the city centre of Birmingham this young man prayed to receive Christ as his Lord and Saviour. He left us soon after taking with him a gospel of John and a “Save Yourself Some Pain”.
I later found out that Wayne and Nigel had another man who professed faith in Christ also. It was a great day of witnessing on the streets. God was working in the hearts of those whom He had elected.
Friday, 9th January 2009 - Edinburgh
After a nice drive up to Scotland yesterday, we spent our first day in Edinburgh. I had been bracing for extremely cold weather, however I found the temperature to mild and no where near as cold as it was down south.
We started out on the streets about mid-morning, and after witnessing for a short time on the Royal Mile we discovered that it was no ideal for witnessing as there weren’t many people about. So we headed down to the main street that runs through Edinburgh. This street was packed with people, so we set ourselves up on either side of the road, and began to hand out tracts and witness to people. During this time I noticed that there were a lot of enclosed bus stops along the road, so I walked along all of them handing out tracts to those who were waiting for a bus. This turned out to be quite a good way of tracting, many of those waiting for their ride had nothing to do, so they gladly accepted some literature to read.
Later in the afternoon we made our way to St. Giles Cathedral, and there we did some phone fishing for Wretched Radio in the USA. The first man that was interviewed was an elderly gentleman who walked away when Todd Friel started to talk to him about the cross, and the second man was a young bloke from Canada who turned out to be an atheist. Todd and him seemed to have a great conversation.
Saturday, 10th January 2009 - Edinburgh
I awoke to the sound of the wind whistling through my room, as I sat up to look around Peter informed me that it was going to be freezing cold today so I had better make sure I rugged up (something I chose to ignore!).
We started the day by heading out to Stirling Castle, and it was not much use witnessing there as it was blowing a gale, so we headed back to the city centre of Edinburgh. Upon arrival we found many of the roads closed, and to make things worse it had begun to rain. The reason for the roads being closed was to accommodate a large anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian protest that ran the length of the city. So into this crowd we went with gospel tracts to let people know about the Prince of Peace.
During this time we were able to have a few good conversations, but eventually the heavens opened up and the rain began to heavy to witness in. But, we did manage to have a good time of fellowship with a couple of brothers from Edinburgh.
It was sad to leave Edinburgh it is such a beautiful city, I would have loved to spend much more time there.
Monday, 11th January 2009 - Bradford
They day was overcast and rain was threatening, but we made our way to a city that has been called, “The Islamic Capital” of the UK. I was really looking forward to witnessing here today, however, I was not sure what the peoples response was going to be like.
Mel and I started off by handing out tracts in the city centre, while Peter and Fredee went to a different location. It soon became clear that there was a great openness to hearing the gospel here, people seemed to be really interested in the claims of Jesus Christ.
I had a chance to speak to one Muslim man who had not long returned from Mecca. As we were talking I explained him about how he needs a Saviour, this then went into some apologetics as he tried to show why the Quran was correct. I dealt with his arguments for some time, and in the end he admitted that the Bible was correct and that the Quran had it wrong. It was at that moment that Muslim men in long robes appeared from no where and surrounded me and him. They all started in at once saying about how the Bible was corrupted. So once again I went though some apologetic arguments, and then swung to the gospel. As I reasoned with the Muslims they started to back away, but all of them took tracts and left.
Later on in the day, I was able to once again witness to a Mormon elder who was out and about in the city centre. We spoke about how one is saved by God’s grace alone, and not of works. The elder became rather hostile and began to yell at me. I remained calm and reasoned with him from the Scriptures, but he wasn’t interested. In the end he just walked off claiming to be perfect.
Tuesday, 13th January 2009 - Leeds
Once again the weather was bad, and it looked like it was about to rain, but we still decided to head up to Leeds for the day. The city centre of Leeds is one of the nicest ones I have seen, it is very spread out, and very pedestrian friendly. This makes a great space for us to conduct outreach, so I want to thank the Leeds City Council J
The day was fairly good, we had many great conversations and thousands of tracts were handed out. Towards the end of the day, once again I was able to get into a conversation with two Mormon missionaries.
In Australia we get to encounter many Mormons, but I have never seen so many of them out on the streets like they are in the UK. Just like every Mormon I have spoken to, we engaged the topic of how is one saved. In their understanding it is “Faith and Works”, whereas the Bible teaches “Faith Alone”. We went around and around, they appealed to emotional arguments, and I appealed to the Bible. In the end the Mormons just walked off saying they would trust their “burning in the bosom” over the Bible. So sad.
Wednesday, 14th January 2009 - Sheffield
The first day in Sheffield, last year I had the privilege of ministering here, and this year God once again opened up the door for outreach. We met in the city centre, and there we were joined by David Gee and a few other street ministers. We had a great time of open air preaching and handing out tracts.
Dave, Jim and I all preached, but the crowds were mostly apathetic, it was really hard to get a crowd here. But, nevertheless, the gospel was preached and that is all that matters.
Thursday, 15th January 2009 - York
Once again the “fine” English weather greeted us as we began our outreach. Today, we were at the walled city of York. Out of all the days today was probably one of the most heavy days for rain, but nevertheless, we continued the outreach.
Once inside the city walls we found a fairly dry spot in which we could hand out tracts and talk to people as they hurried up the street. Like many of the other cities we had been in, there were two Mormon missionaries out on patrol, so once again I engaged them in conversation. Like all the rest these Latter Day Saints were trusting in their own perfection and own good works in order to inherit eternal life. So I spoke to them about the assurance I have of salvation because of what Christ did.
For some time I pleaded with them from the Scriptures, and begged them to considered the claims of the Holy Bible, one of the missionaries looked at me and said, “We believe the prophet and also the Book of Mormon, but you are making us think, as we can tell you clearly care for us.” We continued talking for a little longer and then we parted ways. It is so sad to see a cult like the LDS teaching its people that they have to be perfect by their own merits to be saved, instead of trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Later in the day we had a quick walk around the walls and gardens in York, during this time Fredee was off running around to every person that passed her giving them tracts. Now, I have worked with quite a few people in evangelism, but from what I saw, Fredee would be one of the top people for having a passion to reach out to the lost. It was a real encouragement to me as team leader to see someone with a great zeal for God, and love for fellow humans.
Friday, 16th January 2009 - Sheffield
Peter, Fredee and Mel all went for a drive out to the Peaks District in Yorkshire, while I stayed back at the house and prepared my sermon for Sunday morning. It was a great morning in which I could spend some time with God and then prepare my message.
That evening we all went out and joined with Operation 513 - Sheffield, we spent a few hours witnessing in front of the war memorial and we were able to have many great conversations. Jim was witnessing to a large group of youth who hung on his every word, Peter was also busy talking to people. Both Mel and Fredee were witnessing to a security guard. Everywhere one looked you could see people engaged in conversation about the claims of Christ.
I was blessed to be able to have a conversation with two young lesbians, they stopped, took a tract then asked “What is this all about?”, I replied, “On the back it has a question that we all think about, but never stop to ask, and that question is: ‘Will you go to Heaven when you die?” The young ladies looked at me and said, “I don’t know as I don’t know how to get there.” I asked them if they have ever heard the message of Jesus Christ, and about how He came to earth to die on the cross. They looked at me blankly then stated, “I have never heard of what Jesus did, I have heard his name used to curse, but I don’t know anything about him.”
That broke my heart, here you have two young ladies in their late teens / early twenties, and they had know idea of who Jesus Christ was. It would have been expected if I was witnessing in a “non” Christian nation, but here I was in the heart of England and people did not know anything. As clearly as I could, I explained to these girls about the God who made us, and about how we rebelled against Him, then I spoke about our own personal sin, and how we must be judged by our Creator. The girls were listening to every word and their attention was fixed. As I explained judgment, I also explained about how God is loving, in that He came to earth as Jesus Christ to die in the place of sinners, and rise again defeating sin and death. As I explained about how because of what Christ did they could be forgiven, one of the girls reached out with a big smile, grabbed my hand and said, “Thank you for telling me this, that is so wonderful!” It was then that I noticed she had a tear in her eye, as did the other young lady. So I stressed to them the importance of repentance and faith in the finished work of Jesus. They left both taking with them a Gospel of John each. Please pray that God would save them for His glory!
As the night drew to an end we were joined by Rob Hughes, Carl, and Andrew from the Operation 513 - London team. They had driven up to spend the weekend witnessing with us. It was good to have a time of fellowship as we headed back to the house.
Saturday, 17th January 2009 - Sheffield
Once again we headed back to the city centre of Sheffield to witness, it was good to have the guys from Sheffield and London with us. And when we arrived we were blessed to find out that our brothers and sisters from Nottinghamshire were also driving over for the outreach. But there was also some sadness to the day, as it was the day in which Peter had to leave us in order to return to Australia.
The weather was fine, so we began to open air preach. Rob Hughes was the first preacher up and he did an excellent job. Crowds gathered as he opened up the gospel, these were the first decent size crowds we had seen the whole trip. Rob preached for a good hour and he engaged in many great conversations with hecklers in the crowd.
After Rob preached it was my turn to get up, so I began by sharing an analogy. A crowd gathered in, so I began to expound on the gospel of Christ. While I was preaching two young lads on bikes stopped, so I engaged them. They believed themselves to be good people, and they certainly believed they were good enough to go to heaven. So I challenged them on that, and at the end of walking them through the Ten Commandments and also through the gospel, they believed themselves to be on the path to hell. I begged of them to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, and they both took Gospels of John.
That evening, Rob and I had the privilege of meeting up with one of the UK seasoned evangelism Roger Carswell, he was such a nice man, he gave us some advice on the ministry of an evangelist and also encouraged us in the work of the ministry.
Sunday, 18th January 2009 - Sheffield
Today was designated a rest day, but first I had the honour of preaching at Rotherham Evangelical Church in Sheffield. I spoke about “Why is there Death and Suffering”. After the service we parted ways with the Operation 513 - London boys as they had to return back south. It was great to work alongside them over the course of the weekend.
Monday, 19th January 2009 - Sheffield
It was bitterly cold today, the wind was blowing and no matter how many layers you had on the wind would go right through you. We made our way to the Fargate Mall where we met up with Jim. We spent a ood few hours just handing out tracts and talking to people. The majority of those in the mall were glad to take a tract and it was good to see that many one to one conversations stemmed from this outreach.
Tuesday, 20th January 2009 - Sheffield
Our last day in Sheffield, it was kind of sad to leave this city, as it seemed like God was starting to awaken His people. But, it was the last day of active service here so we hit the streets hard. It was a joy to be joined by David Gee after lunch and immediately he decided that he wanted to open air preach.
Dave set up, and prepared to herald the gospel, the starting point was the fact that the USA had a new president, and that president was one who supported the mass genocide of babies. As Dave preached a crowd began to gather, and one man came to the defence of abortion, stating that those children in the womb weren’t real people as they couldn’t look after themselves. Dave countered this point by saying, “Once a child is born, is it then a real person?” The heckler replied “Yes!” “Can that new born baby look after itself?” Dave fired, “No it can’t” the heckler answered. “So, based on what you said before I guess that child isn’t human as it can’t look after itself, would you suggest it is alright to kill the baby now?” The heckler went quiet and didn’t quite know how to answer, so he did what all good hecklers do, and that is rabbit trail onto a different topic.
As Dave was preaching he began to get various hecklers from atheists to evolutionists. While he was dealing with one young man he called out for me to take over as his work had just called to see if he could come back to work. So I engaged the crowd and the hecklers that Dave had.
The crowd seemed to be full of either atheists or Muslims. So I countered their objections to the best of my ability and then preached the gospel. For well over ninety minutes I engaged the crowd, which was fairly polite. We covered such a wide range of topics: atheism, Islam, The Bible, Creation, Evolution, the Crusades, Justice etc. It was a great open air environment with many questions coming, but best of all, every question led back to the cross.
Overall today was a great day, many got to hear the gospel and may God save His people!!
Thursday, 22nd January 2009 - Workington
It was a nice change to be a small town compared to the big cities we had grown accustomed to. When it comes to small town evangelism there is a new dynamic, and that is no matter where you do it, the whole town is going to know about it, and if you live in that town people know where you live. This was the case with Dale who we had the privilege of working and staying with.
The first day in Workington we headed out to the town centre, and began to preach. Both Dale and I preach. A few people paid attention but overall not many did. However, lots of tracts went out and there was some great conversations.
Friday, 23rd January 2009 - Newcastle
A nice and early start today as we set out on a two and a half hour drive from Workington across the country to Newcastle on Tyne. I had witnessed in Newcastle before, and found it to be a very nice city to witness in. So I was rather looking forward to the day.
When we arrived we found the city centre jammed full of people, so we began to hand out tracts and talk one to one with people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After doing this for some time we decided it was time for an open air preach.
So Dale started it off we some preaching about salvation, I am quite happy with Dale, his preaching has improved tremendously since I last saw him a year ago. He has a huge heart for the things of God, and He desires to make Him known. As Dale preached a bit of a crowd gathered to listen. And afterwards many of them took tracts.
Shortly after Dale finished preaching, it was my turn to open air. I started off with my UK Stalker sermon, this drew a crowd in, as people like a good story. Then, once I swung from the story to the gospel more people stopped to listen. In the crowd there was a couple of vile hecklers yelling out things that dare not be repeated, but there was one young man a Muslim who had a few questions. He wasn’t a very strict Muslim, so I reasoned with him on a basic apologetic front, then I swung it to the gospel. The man had never heard the gospel before, so it was a great privilege to tell him of Christ. At the end that Muslim man took a gospel of John and he appeared very grateful.
We had to cut the preaching short as we had to do phone fishing for Wretched Radio in the USA. It was good to be able to talk to my brother ‘Hip Hop’ and also Todd Friel. The first person we had for the phone fishing was a Muslim man from Iraq. He seemed quite interested in talking more after the radio interview. Then the second man for phone fishing was a lively character, he began by telling Todd how he wants to kill people and kill the police. He was really strange, but he took a gospel tract at the end.
Once the job was done, we packed up and started the long drive back across the country to Workington.
Saturday, 24th January 2009 - Workington
Once again we spent the day in Workington, I was a bit worried that it would be a very quiet day, but God had other plans. As I began to preach today a female Police Constable came up to me and ordered me to stop preaching as people didn’t like it. So I challenged her on what law were breaking, she replied that we were “Disturbing the Peace”.
Now, when I deal with the police I want to be 100% certain with what law we are breaking and also, what will the consequences be if we continue. The officer was rude and abrasive as we tried to reason with her, so I asked simply, “If I continue to preach the gospel, what will happen?” Her reply was “If you continue to preach the gospel, I will arrest you for that.” The officer had just made the gospel the issue, so Dale and I walked to the police station to talk to a higher ranking officer.
The Sergeant we spoke to was very apologetic and stated that the officer needs to be educated. He then gave us the freedom to go back and preach. So that is exactly what we did.
I stood up to preach for a second time, then God moved. This small little town all of a sudden came alive as a crowd of over 150 people gathered. Dale was in shock, as was many of the locals. Never had there been a crowd this big in the open air for a meeting. It was great to see what God does when people try to stop His gospel. One young man from the crowd was trying to make a show, so he began to heckle, and brag about going to hell. So I targeted him and began to reason with him from the gospel. He quickly changed as he realize the depths of his sin, and what hell is like. The man then listened intently as I told him about the one who came to save sinners. That young man then took a Gospel of John and he shook my hand, thanking me for taking the time to talk to him.
After the open air we had many great conversations, groups of people would just come up and ask questions, so we would spend much time explaining the gospel. Afterwards Dale preached and once again God brought a crowd in to hear His Word.
Monday, 26th January 2009 - Carlisle
Happy Australia Day!!!! For the second year in a row I spent my nations holiday in a different country. It is such a sad thing being an Australian abroad on Aussie Day, it makes you miss your country and you long to be at home with your fellow countrymen. But, God had decided to deploy us to Carlisle today.
The city was a nice looking city, but it was very quiet. But God allowed us to hand out many tracts, and even have a few great conversations. During the course of the day, both Dale and I preached, but the crowd numbers were low. But, nevertheless the Gospel went forth, and that is all that matters. People need to hear the gospel, if one person stops then it is worth it!
Wednesday, 28th January 2009 - Manchester
We left Workington this morning to make the trip down to Manchester. We arrived about mid afternoon, and it was good to be able to meet up with my mate Kevin Williams and also his family. Much to our surprise it was good to find Wayne and Nigel from Nottinghamshire also present. We had a great lunch together, and built each other up as we spoke about theology.
In the evening we headed out to the city centre of Manchester, and there Kev began to preach. Since we were opposite to the tram station he had a consistent crowd, but then entered the hecklers. Kev was surrounded by a group of young lads all of whom were Muslims. They began to chant “Allah Akbar!”
This made people stop, and Kev pushed on in presenting the gospel. For well over an hour Kevin preached hard, and then afterwards we all engaged in conversations with these Muslim men. Each of us had our own little group to talk to. And, while we did engage in apologetics, our main focus was presenting Christ. At the end of the night we parted on fairly good terms with these Muslims and they all left with tracts.
Thursday, 29th January 2009 - Manchester
At around lunch time we headed back out to Manchester city centre. We spent quite a bit of time talking one to one with people as well as handing out tracts. Melissa and Fredee were able to witness to a group of Catholics and also Muslims. While Kevin and I got to talk to a man who believed himself to be God and from an alien.
About mid-afternoon, Kevin stood up and began to preach. God was kind and a crowd gathered in. People stopped to listen to Kev preach about the cross of Christ, and how by Christ alone cane we be saved. After Kevin finished preaching it was my turn, so once again I used my UK stalker sermon, and God was kind yet again to bring a crowd in.
The crowd grew and grew. And with the large crowd came many hecklers. Out of all the hecklers I had that day my favourite would have been Garfield. This man was wearing all black, had his beard done in beads, and was carrying a cane. Once he entered the crowd, he began to make himself known by laughing and jeering. So I engaged him, and he yelled out saying, “I can destroy Christianity with two questions, and no preacher ever takes me on!” So I replied, “Alright, go for it, what’s your questions?” Garfield looked a little stunned, then smiled and yelled, “Oh… Preacher wants to play!” With that he threw his cane to his friend.
Garfield’s two questions were two that I had not expected. I was bracing for some scientific, or deep theological question, but instead his two questions that he claimed would destroy Christianity was this, “Why did Jesus have to die? And what did He die upon?” Well, I was happy with those two questions as it provided me a perfect opportunity to preach the gospel. So I presented why Christ had to die, and what Christ died upon.
Garfield was a bit perplexed, and it appeared that he hadn’t expected an answer. So he quickly changed tact and said loudly, “Well, your preaching isn’t needed, as it clearly states in Genesis that those who have never heard of Jesus Christ will not straight to heaven. So, you are actually sending more people to hell by preaching!” My reply to this was to simply hand him my Bible and say, “Please, show me that verse.”
Garfield was stunned, he didn’t know the verse, but he assured me that it was there. Then I pointed out to him that the name ‘Jesus Christ’ did not appear until Matthew, some 39 books later. He fell silent as I pointed out his error, and he did a quick bow and said, “Thank you for your time” then left, but the crowd remained. So once again I presented the gospel to them. The vast majority of the crowd took tracts afterwards, and it was then that Kevin informed me that the crowd was well over the 200 mark. Which shocked me as I was only focused on the heckler I was dealing with.
God is so kind!
Friday, 30th January 2009 - Manchester
Another day, and once again we found ourselves back in Manchester city centre. However, today we were joined by people from Heaton Road Chapel and Stockport Calvary Chapel. It was good to work alongside our brothers and sisters from different churches. It is always good when the church unites for the cause of evangelism.
We started preaching almost immediately today. I was the first preacher up and I spoke from John 3:16. A bit of a crowd gathered, but no where near like the size of yesterday. There were a few hecklers, but it was a really tough crowd to work with. But, the gospel still went forth.
Afterwards, Kevin preached and he also got a crowd. Manchester was turning out to be a great fishing hole. The rest of the day was spent handing out tracts and talking to people one to one about the gospel. It was a great day!
Saturday, 31st January 2009 - Manchester
Again we were joined by people from Heaton Road Chapel, in fact there was about 25 of us out on the streets witnessing today. Young and old all were there with the purpose of making Christ known.
The first preacher up was Kevin, he did a marvellous job of presenting the gospel. Like every other open air thus far, God brought in a crowd to hear His word. Kev’s preaching is great, he is used to be a lot harder, but now he has a move loving tone to his voice. It was really good to see Kev develop in this area.
After Kevin preached it was my turn, so I began by talking about the Gospel of Christ. People began to stop and a crowd around a 100 people gathered. One young man was laughing at the preaching, so I decided to use him as my heckler and I did a call out. It turns out that he had just got back from Afghanistan, he was there as a British infantry soldier. So I thanked him for his service, then began to bounce the gospel off him. He started out as a hard, don’t care man. But then he became a man who cared and who realized his fate without Christ. He took a gospel of John and afterwards he had a long chat with Kevin in regards to how to be saved.
Afterwards quite a few of the guys from Heaton Road Chapel open air preached, including a couple of 14 year olds, who did for the first time, and one 70 year old former homosexual Roman Catholic priest also preached. It was a real encouragement to see them get up and preach. God is so awesome!
Sunday, 1st February 2009 - Manchester
We spent the morning at Kevin Williams church, then in the afternoon I prepared for the evangelistic rally that was being held at Heaton Road Chapel that night. The text I was preaching on was from Amos 4, and my sermon was titled “Are You Prepared to Meet God?”
That evening I preached for about an hour, and the congregation seemed to be very attentive. It is my prayer that many of those who weren’t saved that night would come to saving faith.
Monday, 2nd February 2009 - Liverpool
The plan for today was to leave early and head to Liverpool, however, the UK was suffering the worse blizzard for 100 years. So went spent the morning playing in the snow. Then in the afternoon we made our way across to Liverpool. When we arrived the city was covered in a thick blanket of snow, so it was hard to witness. But we met up with Matt Frost and a couple of the other guys who witnessed. We had a great time of fellowship dinner, then we handed out a few tracts on the walk home. It was a good way to spend my birthday, but I would have rather it hadn’t snowed so we could have preached.
Tuesday, 3rd February 2009 - Cardiff
We left Liverpool bound for Plymouth, but we took a detour into Wales to have a look around Cardiff. Not much happened while we were there, however, Fredee and I were able to have a great conversation with a man who ran a corner store. He took a gospel of John and promised to read it.
Thursday, 5th February 2009 - Plymouth
Mel and I headed out today to the city centre of Plymouth to meet up with Shirley from Cornwell mission. The plan for the day was to simply share the gospel with the people of Plymouth.
I preached first, and I used John 3:16 as my starting text, and for about 20 minutes I expounded on why God loves the world, and why we need a Saviour. Very few people stopped to listen. After I preached Shirley stood up and preached, she wasn’t long in before the police shut us down on the grounds that shops were near us, and that we need to have shop owners permission before preaching. She also said that there was no law saying we had to do that.
The decision was made to challenge it and we continued to witness in Plymouth. God was great in letting us to continue to make Him known.
Friday, 6th February 2009 - Plymouth
Fredee and I headed out to do some phone fishing for Wretched Radio again today, we were able to grab a couple of different people, one of which was a militant atheist. It was great to see these guys being witnessed to. That evening we headed out to on the town, and we began to witness around the clubs and bars. Some great conversations were had, and many people took tracts. I even had a chance to briefly witness to a police inspector.
Saturday, 7th February 2009 - Plymouth
Today we had a combined outreach, with people from Plymouth and Cornwell Mission. It was good to see so many people out on the streets with the purpose of outreach in mind. The team started witnessing while Fredee and I ducked off to go get some lunch, when we returned it was good to see the outreach in full swing. Matt was up preaching away and he had a small crowd that he was taking though the good person test.
While he was witnessing I noticed two Mormon elders walking our way, so I walked over and engaged them in discussion. Like every other Mormon I had spoken to on this trip they were trusting in good works to get them to heaven. They maintained that one is justified by faith and works. So I asked them to explain Romans 5:1. They seemed a bit stumped at that verse, so I took them to Romans 4 to show that Abraham was justified by faith and not of works. They didn’t quite know what to do, so I shared the gospel with them about how faith in Christ is sufficient for salvation. They didn’t agree, but they left with seeds being sown in their hearts.
The members of the team continued preaching in this time, and soon afterwards it came to my turn to preach. So once again I employed the UK stalker sermon and a crowd began to gather. The crowd was probably the most rowdy crowd I have had in the UK, many youth were in the crowd and they were yelling abuse, throwing water balloons and condoms at me. But all this just served to bring in a bigger crowd to hear the gospel. The interesting was that afterwards a police officer came up and said, “Come back anytime, we need more of this!”
It was a great day, and God was glorified.
Tuesday, 10th February 2009 - Brighton
Today had us working with our brother from Manchester- Kevin Williams who had come down to London for a week of outreach. But, today we headed south of London to the Gay Capitol of Europe, Brighton.
Brighton is a very nice city, the beach and pier are beautiful, and the people are hard to witness to. So many people are set in their ways and are very anti to the gospel. But, we did manage to have quite a few good conversations about the gospel, and also hand out many tracts.
Wednesday, 11th February 2009 - London
It was great to be back in London, such an awesome city. On the way to the city, I stood up and preached on the London Underground, people seemed to be generally interested, so we gave out tracts afterwards.
We made our way to Piccadilly Circus and there we set up for a day of preaching and one to one witnessing. I was able to have quite a few good conversations, as did other members of the team. Again, Kevin preached and did a good job of preaching under the Eros statue.
That evening Rob and I met up for dinner and a ministry meeting, while we were munching on a nice South African steak our waiter was very friendly doing everything possible to make our meal enjoyable. At the end of the meal we called him over to pay for the bill. Of course this involved giving him a tract, and he asked the question, “What is it?” From there we went into a one to one. His name is Bonwell, and he believed himself to be without sin, so Rob and I tag teamed through the gospel. By the end Bonwell realized his need of the Saviour, and spent much time thanking us for telling him. He took a Gospel of John. As we were leaving he yelled out from the other side of the room, “Thank You so much! God Bless!”
Thursday, 12th February 2009 - London
Another day of ministry in London, once again we headed to Piccadilly Circus and today it was absolutely freezing!! Carl started off by preaching, and he preached for well over an hour. As Carl was preaching snow began to fall, so we decided to hit the underground and spend the rest of the day preaching on the trains. This was quite fruitful, people turn and listen to preachers who boldly stand and declare Christ as they whiz under the streets of London.
It was a great day, many got to hear the gospel!
Friday, 13th February 2009 - London
Our final day in London, it will be sad to leave this city. It is such an awesome place to witness. So many people, and so many different cultures. You could stand in one spot and witness to people from all around the world.
We once again set up in Piccadilly, and we were joined by Andrew and Carl. Kevin was the first preacher for the day, and he did a great job. God drew a crowd in to hear him preach, and we were able to have some great one to one conversations afterwards. While Kevin was preaching we heard the sound of a large band of Krishna worshippers approaching, so Andrew and I ran after them to make sure they all got the gospel.
We then moved into Leicester Square where Carl open air preached. By now we had been joined by Nigel and Wayne from Nottinghamshire as well, so it was a good turn out. We broke for dinner and a rest before joining with the Operation 513 - London team that evening.
That evening we met up with Rob and the team, it was good to be back with them again. They are all very passionate about the gospel, and they all just want to reach the lost. By far they are one of the best teams I have worked with. Rob Hughes has done a great job in building and leading that team.
The first preacher up for the night was Rob he had not been preaching anymore than a few minutes when four Special Constables approached him and told him to stop. They said preaching is not allowed tonight as it will draw a crowd and crowds aren’t allowed in Leicester Square. We tried to reason with the Special Constable, but he would not listen. We pointed out that he hadn’t stopped other crowds, just us. He didn’t care, so we took his name and number then headed to the police station to speak to his boss.
We got to speak to an Inspector, who was very kind and very apologetic. He assured us that we could preach and have a crowd. So that is exactly what we did. We went back and preached. God then brought the crowd in.
Rob got up again and preached, he did a good job in presenting the gospel to those who had gathered, he preached for near on an hour. Then it was my turn. I started off by preaching from Hebrews 4:12-13 and how all things are recorded by God. A crowd gathered and a heckler opened fire. He was from Sweden, so we reasoned with him from the gospel. By the end of our open air conversation he had changed his stance, and thanked us for telling him about Jesus. He then took a Bible and left. Please pray for him.
The basically concluded our night, and our outreach in London. It was a sad time and I am looking forward to returning to that great city.
Saturday, 14th February 2009 - Oxford
We travelled today for our last day of the UK outreach to the intellectual capitol of the UK. Many great thinkers have come out of this city, and today we hoped that people would think about the things of God.
We met up with quite a few people in Oxford, and the first thing we noticed is that it was a very hard city to give out tracts in. So many people were not interested, and scoffed at the gospel message.
Carl, Rob and I all preached. However, I had to tag Carl in within ten minutes of starting due to the fact that my mouth filled with blood. That was my preaching over for this UK tour. Carl did a marvellous job of taking over and presenting the gospel.
The whole day was spent talking to people about Jesus and presenting Him as Saviour and Lord. Please pray that Oxford will once again produce preachers like Wesley and Whitefield.
Sunday, 15th February 2009 - London
The day to return to Australia had finally come. It was a sad time leaving Fredee and Mel. Over the past two months we have seen the best and the worse of each other. But God was now splitting the team up and re-deploying us elsewhere in the world.
That evening while I was waiting in Gatwick airport a thought popped into my mind, “Get up and go tract everyone waiting for your flight.” I was fairly nervous about doing this, but I did it anyway. Just about everyone took one, and most people sat there and read it before boarding. I was quite happy about this, but then it dawned on me. When I land in Dubai I could get in trouble for witness to Muslims. Too late now, all I could do was pray.
Monday, 16th February 2009 - Dubai
I got lost in Dubai airport so I was walking around trying to find my gate when a man walked up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. He said, “Sir, I need to speak to you.” My heart skipped a beat, here I am in a country where no one knows me, and this man has called me out. So I turned, and was greeted by a big black man. He said, “Sir, are you responsible for these?” He held out a few of the tracts I had given out in Gatwick. “Yes, I am” was my reply. “Do you have anymore of these on you?” My thoughts were racing, is this man police, am I going to be arrested, am I going to miss my flight? If arrested what do I do?
I told him that they were my tracts, and yes I did have more on me. The man then identified himself as a brother from London, who was going to South Africa. He had seen me handing them out in London, and thought, they will work in witnessing. So he wanted some so he could also witness in Africa. My heart rate slowed down as we parted ways.
That was the last of my adventures before arriving back home in Australia. Overall the trip was great and I will miss the UK and the team dearly. But, God is Sovereign and He is in control of where to next.
Once 7:30pm rolled around, we all met near City Hall for a time of reading the Word, prayer and fellowship with one another. At 9pm we made our way to Queen Street Mall and set up the free Bible table. We had a reasonably large sized team again tonight of about 16 people.
I stood up to preach first and started off talking about the wickedness of the human heart (Jer. 17:9). I pointed out that the Bible says that there is no one good, no not one (Rom. 3:12). And because we are not good people, we deserve the wrath of God. At this stage there was a group of teenagers that came up rather close to me, so I asked them whether they thought they would go to Heaven when they died. One of the people in the group was a girl who was really drunk, and who decided to hug me and then lift up her shirt. During this I kept trying to engage with the rest of the group, and asked whether they had broken any of God's commandments. Once they realised that they deserved to be punished by God because He is just, they didn't want to hear about what they can do to be saved. For it was clear they had a hatred towards God, so I didn't cast the pearls of the gospel before swine (Matt. 7:6).
After they had moved along, I proceeded to give the good news of the gospel to the crowd that had gathered. I explained that Jesus can be their substitute instead of them and thus satisfy God's wrath, if they repent and trust in His death alone to save them on the Day of Judgment. At this stage, one fellow yelled out to me saying that the Bible has been changed. So I asked him what evidence he had for that assertion. He openly admitted he had none. So I responded by saying that he then cannot legitimately make that assertion, as it is the same as if I said to him, "Look, the book you really like has been changed" without me providing any evidence to back it up. He understood my point and didn't want to heckle any further.
The next preacher up was Joel Barnard. Recently, God has given him a great desire to share the gospel and tonight he was keen for some open air preaching. It was his first time and he did a wonderful job. A number of people commented that it seemed as though he was an old timer. During his preaching, Josh Williamson called up Joel's parents so that they could hear Joel's first open-air sermon. They really liked it as well.
After Joel got down, Kevin got up to preach. It was good hearing Kevin preach again, as it had been quite a few weeks since he has had the chance to come out on the streets to witness with us.
After Kevin preached, Dave Strachan had the itch to preach the Word as well, so he also proclaimed the law (to bring the knowledge of sin), the Judgment to come, the cross, and what we must do to be saved.
This week Josh Williamson joined us here in Brisbane again, after he had just returned from spending 8 weeks in the UK for evangelism. He was the next person to stand up and preach, and it was good to hear his booming voice again. Quite a number of people stopped to find out what he was talking about, while some asked him various questions, and others decided to come up and hug him.
Overall, the night was a great success, because God's Word was clearly proclaimed in Brisbane city. During the whole night, many gospel tracts went out and many good one2one witnessing encounters were had.
If you live in the Brisbane area, I really encourage you to come out on the streets with us and fulfil the Great Commission. We meet for prayer, Bible reading and fellowship every Saturday night at 7:30pm at the Ann Street side of City Hall. Then at 9pm we evangelise near Copenhagen's ice cream in Queen Street Mall. If you are wanting more information, please contact us.
To God be the glory!
With many people struck down with flu it was just Sukhraj and I tonight. We have moved away from the memorial to the upper part of barker's pool to be closer to the constant stream of pub traffic. There were two sets of very frightening swinging rides in the square tonight and while they made a fair bit of noise they also drew in people and gave us many opportunities to witness. We gave out many tracts tonight and I was almost running out by the time we left.
Within moments of Sukhraj arriving he was in conversation about our saviour with some of the locals waiting for the rides in the square, I was also occupied with some of the local night-club reps that were willing to talk with me for a short period. Unfortunately I could not talk with them for long as they were at work and not meant to be socialising.
We set up to preach to the passing human traffic and I felt very rusty as I started (worse when I finished!). I preached on the question of how can God be good (or even be) when there is so much suffering, using the plight of those in the fires of south Australia as my spring board. During the preaching I had a couple of hecklers (uncommon for a cold Sheffield night). There was a group of young men who wanted some evidence for God and were willing to talk but had to leave shortly after arriving. I pray that they take on some of what I said and would come back as they promised in the future to talk further. The second was a very frustrating and angry lady who wanted likewise to know what reason we have for belief as Christians but then would interrupt and then claim that no reasons were given. I tried to reason with her but I think it was easier for her to right us off as fundamentalist nutters rather than actually hear why we believe.
Next up was Andy and Tom and their friends, I was able to engage them on the level of Andy being good and we went through the good person test. The conversation was very easy going and they were willing to listen through out and took tracts afterwards. Praise God that He opened their ears to listen even that little amount, may He use it to His Glory. After this I wrapped up as my throat was very sore.
Sukhraj then spoke on the thirst that we all have and the need of our souls for peace and rest that comes only through a relationship with God through Christ Jesus. Using the pointless entertainments of a night out Sukhraj emphasised excellently the need we have meaning. Only a couple of people stopped to heckle but would not stay for long so Sukhraj expounded the gospel clearly and called people to repent and turn to Jesus in trust and faith.
Tired but happy with the night we prayed together and called it a night. Pray with us that God will save the lost souls of Sheffield.
Well the team just continues to grow and it is such an encouragement to see God adding to our numbers. On Friday evening we back in Leicester Square. The team for the night: Carl, Wesley, my brother James, James Crooke, Oliver (James and Oliver have been once before so it was great to see them back), Steve, Ben, Susi, Jannah, Elyske, Petra, Lorenco (Petra's husband) and me. We were also joined by my Pastor (Doug McMasters) and his wife Royale, their two sons Matt and Ben, Barney (a great friend from church), Katie (a young student over from Texas who is attending our church) and also some of the youth from my church. So we had a great presence in Leicester Square which was fantastic.
I stood up to preach first and God drew a crowd. Not long into my message, however, a young man came and stood in front of and began "preaching to the crowd." What he said made very little sense, however he emphasised man's right not to be told what to do and as a result drew applause from the crowd. At this point I was thinking "Oh brother!" I wanted to counter what he was saying, however I knew that if I did it would simply become a "slogging match" of sorts between us and so I let him say his thing so that he could move on. After he left I refuted his claims and made it clear that all gods are not the same, there is one true God who made this world and He makes the rules. He will judge us one day and He will call us all to account.
A little time after I got engaged in a dialogue with a man named David. He was rather senior in age and somewhat of an intellectual; he admitted that one could not truly be an atheist; however he maintained that the Bible was not a credible book and therefore Christianity was not trustworthy and valid. I explained to him that the Bible is indeed very credible and when we look at the manuscript evidence, the archaeological evidence, prophesies in the Bible, and the amazing statistics found in its pages, we are left believing it to be very credible. After wrangling with him intellectually I moved to address his conscience and took him through the good person test. This allowed me to open up God's law and then declare forth the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.
David was quite gracious and did not become aggressive, he was a great heckler and he drew people in, which then allowed me to preach the gospel. After he left he took a Bible from me, which was really great. I spent the rest of the time pleading with the crowd to turn to the Lord in repentance in faith.
After I finished preaching open-air I joined with the rest of the team in talking with people one-to-one. I stood by the table that we put out, which is great for getting into one-to-ones. The team was engaged in conversation with people and many tracts and Bibles were taken and so for that we can only rejoice.
Soli Deo Gloria!!
Jason Lamont, Joel Barnard and I made our way to the usual preaching spot at the top of Cavill avenue. On the way we started handing out gospel tracts to everyone we met, and had a few brief witnessing encounters with people. When we arrived, we had a time of prayer, to remind us that God is the one who is sovereign in salvation.
I stood up to preach first, and after a while, a small crowd gathered. I asked a couple of the people listening whether they thought they were good people. I went through some of the commandments with one fellow, and he admitted to breaking them. He understood he deserved Hell, but after I preached about how he can be saved from his sin, he was really interested. He said he would really think about the gospel that he heard today, and he received a gospel tract.
After about an hour of preaching, I tagged Jason in to preach. He did a good job explaining the judgment to come, sin, and the wonderful news of the gospel.
During this time, a mate of mine named Jerram arrived and was keen to witness. It was his first time evangelising on the streets, but after receiving a bunch of tracts, I turned my back for a moment and he was out of sight. It turns out he had walked up and down the path that runs parallel to the beach handing out tracts to everyone he met and starting up conversations with people.
Joel also, for the whole time, was handing out gospel tracts and having witnessing encounters with people.
Right when Jason finished preaching, it started to pour down rain. So we went undercover and continued to hand out tracts there.
At 2pm, we thought we might start heading back to the car since it was still raining. But on the way back, Joel and I started up a witnessing encounter with a mother and her daughter from Melbourne, who were holidaying at the Gold Coast. At first, the mother was saying that she will get to Heaven because she's a moral person. But after going through a few of the commandments, she agreed that she wasn't really moral. She was a Roman Catholic, so she thought that the fact she tries her best, God would have to make an exception for her and let her into Heaven. So I showed her where in the Bible it says we are saved by grace through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). After 30 minutes of discussion, she seemed to understand the gospel message, and why the blood sacrifice of the Son of God was necessary to forgive our sins. She then said that she now has put her trust solely in Jesus' death to save her on the day of judgment. Praise God.
In the meantime, Joel was chatting to her daughter and she seemed to have a bit of trouble understanding the gospel message. She kept bringing up objections at every point and it seemed like her heart was very hard. But she said she now has many things to think about because the extensive conversation.
Just before we reached the car, we noticed a large line of youths waiting at a bus stop. There was a concert on that day and they were trying to get there. So we decided to give them all gospel tracts. However, we had each run out of tracts from the outreach. So we returned to the car and picked up some more and handed them out.
Many seeds of the gospel were sown today.
To God be the glory!
It’s Valentine ’s Day, the mall is filled with couples celebrating their togetherness, they are playing music normally too sickening sweet for regular consumption and the decors are fluffy and pink... what better setting to talk to people about the universal value of love and tolerance...
Too bad we are out preaching the Biblical Gospel.
Our fair sized team assembled at our usual spot for prayer and scripture reading, after that we make our way into our preaching spot in the Queen Street Mall. We had a rare guest joining us this night: Andrew Walkington from Sydney has abandoned his love wife forsook temporal earthly pleasures and came out on a fine Saturday evening to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Andre also showed up as well so we have a good number of preachers for the night. We set up the Free Bible table, the security camera rolling, and we are good to go.
Andre stepped up to preach first. He preached a very timely message of God’s love set against the backdrop of the wrath of God. While it is more desirable to focus on God’s love in sharing the Gospel, without the knowledge of God’s wrath against our sin His love makes no sense to the sinner. While Andre preaches the regular crowd shuffled in: Alex along with a few other familiar faces started to heckle the preacher. We were hoping that being Valentine’s Day they will take a break, nope, Alex “the friendly neighbourhood Atheist” remains consistent. Have to give it to him; he is a lot more regular in fighting against the Gospel than most Christian fighting for the Gospel. (The above statement is designed to inflict guilt to the guilty.)
Andrew Walkington is the next preacher up. He preached for twenty minutes the straight Gospel and ignored the hecklers. I am the next preacher up, since Andre and Andrew both fulfilled their duties without any incidence, I was hoping my time on the soapbox would be relatively peaceful as well. It took ten seconds for my hope to be completely dashed.
One of the issues I was hoping to avoid is the whole Victoria bushfire that is going on down south. Many people have lost their lives (209 last counted) and countless thousands have lost their homes, processions and livelihood. The Bible says that “we weep with those who weep” and the study of theology and having propositional answers to the question of evil and suffering is not a licence for us to be emotionally detached from the suffering of fellow human beings. While I am confident the Biblical answer of a sovereign God exacting both providence and judgement in this sinful world is the only way the problem of suffering can be satisfactorily answered, emotions runs hot over this issue right now, and I don’t think such answers, while true, is helpful.
The gentleman raised the question over the bushfire is someone I dealt with a couple of weeks ago. I still don’t know his name because he refused to give it to me and he, for a lack of a better description, really doesn’t like me. Alex and I can have a civil conversation after the night is through; this man on the other hand, is very unpleasant to deal with.
The question this man raised is aimed at what we have been preaching: that God has the right to exact judgement upon sinners whether in this life or the next, and according to the Bible, there is no such thing as “innocent people.” Not happy with that theological titbit, he asked the question to this effect: “What about those people who perished in the bush fire, what have they done to deserve having such tragedy befall them.” Of course, the problem here is that he assumes the position that men is inherently good and no one deserves to have bad stuff happen to them, while the Bible assumes the opposite, human beings are not good, and the question is not so much why bad thing happen to good people but why do God allow the “rain to fall upon the just, as well as the unjust. “ Why is God so patient with the wickedness of the world? Why does he show love to those who do not love Him?
I tried to answer the question as straightforwardly as I can, knowing there isn’t much chance that my answer is going to be received with joy and gladness. As I try to explain the Bible calls people to repentance in the face of tragedy such as the Victorian Bushfire in light of the frailty of our lives and the reality of suffering attest to the fallen condition of this world. It was not long before the men start to twist my words and try to incite the crowd. Not surprisingly I was accused of being hateful towards my fellowmen as I would not affirm the general goodness of men and the crowd gets into overdrive. It is apparent that part of the heckling crowd is no longer being reasonable and I started to ignore their antics. They “borrowed” two milk crates and tried to up stage the preaching. A couple of them started to throw profanity and insults my way. A couple of young lady decided to empty two cups of soft drinks on my pants and shoes. The man who raised the Bushfire problem decided to bring out his “question to end all questions”, directed at me, he asked: “If God exists, why are you so fat?” Incidentally, that’s the first question he ever asked me when I first met him weeks ago. Hmmm... can’t you feel the love tonight?
Meanwhile I was addressing another group of people, a young Canadian lad and two girls in their late teens who were disgusted by the uncivilized behaviour of the others, and we were able to have a reasonable discussion about the Gospel. The two young ladies had previous experiences with Christianity but were very confused with what we are preaching as they have never had the Gospel explained to them before. I took them through the Law of God so that they have an understanding of the rightness of God’s judgement upon the world and then explain the death of Christ in satisfying the justice of God on the cross and therefore making us right with God. They thanked me for being honest with them, they said that they understood what I explained, I told them I would pray for them and they went on their way.
The young man from Canada on the other hand is an ardent atheist. However, he is very pleasant to talk to, frustrating but pleasant. Our conversation went well pass mid night. Not surprisingly he remains an ardent atheist at the end of the night but I was able to show him the reasonable arguments for Christianity. I don’t believe that men and women can be reasoned into the Kingdom but it is crucial to present Christianity as true and present the faith as reasonable. This young men and his friend both came from Christian families, both of them now rebelled against the faith of their fathers largely because Christianity was presented to them as being “just-so”. No one gave them the reason for believing, instead they were told to “just believe” and asking too many questions is a sign of unbelief. As this young man and I said good bye I couldn’t help but think how many sceptics we meet on Saturday nights are produced by churches and Christians who never explained the reason for their faith, Christian faith is based upon the solid rock of truth, and the Bible instils no virtue for blind faith.
I was told at the end of the night there were many great Gospel conversations. We packed up and left the mall, a chaotic but fruitful night. May the Lamb receive the reward of His suffering.
Soli Deo Gloria.
On Friday evening the team met once again at Café Nero for a time of prayer and devotions before heading into Leicester square. The team was as follows: Carl, Wesley, Ben, Susi, Petra, Jannah, James, Steve, Wayne, Nigel, Josh, Melissa and Fredee. Josh (president of Operation 513), Fredee and Melissa were at the last leg of their mission trip around the UK and joined up with us for the night. Josh of course is from Brisbane, Australia, and the two girls are from California. Nigel and Wayne are two friends from Mansfield who travelled down to London to join. We truly were blessed to have such a large team; brothers and sisters in Christ from all over partnering to fulfil the great commission!
We headed to our usual spot and set up our table that has free Bibles, DVDs and tracts for people to take away. Once we were sorted I stood up to preach. I had not even been preaching for even five minutes when four police officers approached me and asked me to step down. They told me that they did not permit public speaking in Leicester Square because it draws a crowd, which "lends itself to pick pocketing." This seemed ridiculous to me and I explained to the officer that we had been coming to Leicester Square for over a year. I asked him if we had broken the law and he said no. With Josh coming to give support we pointed out to the officers that there were buskers in the square that also brought in a crowd, as did the nightclubs, but he simply said he was not interested in them and was concerned simply with what we were doing. It was quite apparent that they were not prepared to let us continue so we asked them what we would be arrested for, since we were not guilty of breaking any law. We were told that we would be taken in for anti-social behaviour. At this point righteous indignation arose in us and we decided we needed to speak with the inspector at the station. We had been discriminated against and it was only right that we made a stand concerning our rights (see Acts 16:35-39).
Josh, Steve and me then made our way to the police station. Before leaving we told the team to remain in the square and hand out tracts and speak to people one-to-one. Arriving at the police station we waited until we were able to speak with the station inspector. Josh took the lead in this and I was really impressed with the way he handled himself. He was very assertive and bold, but at the same time he was deeply respectful and courteous. He did use strong words with the inspector and told him that we had been discriminated against and as such felt vilified. The inspector was very apologetic and agreed with us that we had done nothing wrong. He said that we were not in breach of any law. He assured me that we were totally within our rights to preach open-air in Leicester Square, provided of course we did not deliver hate speech. We of course had no problem with this and thanked him for his time. We headed back to the team and told them the good news. They of course were very encouraged.
I stood up once again and preached a solid gospel message. God brought people to listen and you can see that in the photos below. The gentleman in the white cap was a good sport and agreed to go through the good person test. It's always good to be able to do this as it brings a bit of humour and also keeps the crowd interested.
After I preached Josh stood up to preach and he did a wonderful job of defended the faith against a number of objections that came from those listening. Josh is incredibly knowledgeable in the field of apologetics and I always find it inspiring when I go witnessing with him.
During both open-air sessions the team spoke with many people and handed out many tracts. God was so very good to us and we give Him all the glory that He sovereignly intervened and used us to proclaim His gospel in the midst of persecution. It was a great night of ministry and one we will remember!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Tim, David Strachan, and I arrived at the coast and as we walked to Cavil Avenue, we started handing out gospel tracts. This lead into quite a few witnessing conversations with people.
One in particular was with a guy who responded by saying he's broken so many laws, when we asked, "What law do you think everyone in the world has broken?" We explained that the only law (or group of laws) that every single person in the world has broken is the Ten Commandments. So I went through a couple of them and he admitted that he had broken them. He understood that he was deserving of Hell. So I explained the gospel to him, but he said he wouldn't repent and believe because he wants to get his just deserts. He said that in life he would rather receive the consequences of his actions, and not be let off the hook. But I explained to him that that is foolish and he doesn't really hold that philosophy in life. For I got him to imagine that if his job wasn't paying enough money to provide food on the table for himself or his family, and so some people were offering food to him. I asked him, would you accept the free food or let you and your family die? He said that he'd obviously accept the food. So in the same way, I explained, we deserve to be sent to Hell for eternity and Jesus is offering forgiveness if we repent and trust in Him. Why would you reject His free gift? And this gift is much greater than simply food, as this has eternal consequences.
Due to the fact that by the time we arrived at Cavil Avenue, it was already late. We decided to not preach today and simply continue to hand out tracts and witness to people. I was able to witness to the Meter Maids briefly, many gospel tracts went out.
To God be glory!
After some time of prayer, Bible reading, and fellowship, we moved to our regular spot in Queen Street Mall to begin our night of evangelism. Craig Ireland and a number of people from his Church joined us again for this outreach, which was a real blessing.
I stood up to preach first and talked about how every single human being knows there is a God (Romans 1). But what many people do is that they suppress this truth in unrighteousness. Alex (our weekly agnostic heckler) didn't like hearing this so he immediately began to heckle me with his usual line, "There is no God!" Since Romans 1:20 tells us that the way everyone knows there is a God is through "the things that have been made", I gave a simple argument for God's existence from the universe's existence. It is outlined below:
This argument is logically valid, but Alex wanted to dispute the first premise. He said that there are examples in quantum mechanics (like virtual particles) of things that arise without a cause. However I responded by saying that wholly apart from the disputed question of whether virtual particles really exist at all, the central point to be made here is that the quantum mechanical vacuum on which they depend for their existence is emphatically not nothing. The dynamical properties of vacuous space arise out of its interaction with matter and radiation fields, in the absence of which "this dynamism of empty space is but a formal abstraction lacking physical reality." The quantum vacuum is a sea of fluctuating energy which gives rise to virtual particles. Thus, virtual particles can hardly be said to arise without a cause.
Alex simply ignored my point, and kept repeating that virtual particles are an example of something coming into being uncaused. So as to not get the discussion bogged down on this topic too much, I then talked about what is to come after we die. Since there is good evidence for God, the topic of the afterlife is very relevant to discuss. Alex brought forth his usual argument against any afterlife by saying, "Have you ever had a thought outside your brain?" Obviously we haven't. Therefore, he concluded that there is no afterlife. I pointed out that his conclusion does not logically follow from the argument's premises. For in order to prove a negative, one must either know absolutely everything about the subject matter to know it does not exist (like there are no Muslims in the U.S. Senate), or show a logical contradiction within it, making it impossible to exist (like a married bachelor). But Alex did not do either, so therefore his conclusion does not logically follow.
So I briefly outlined how we can know there is a judgment to come, and the existence of Heaven and Hell. I then proceeded to talk about how we've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I warned both Alex and the crowd that had gathered that every idle word that you speak will be judged on the Day of Judgment. Jesus even said that lust is adultery. Alex did not like hearing about the judgment to come and sin, and so kept repeating, "There is no God!" After warning about the judgment to come, I gave the good news of the gospel to those listening. And that is, we can be forgiven of our sin through the death of the sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ. But we must repent and trust that He died on the cross for us. I also pointed out that we don't serve a dead Saviour, for three days later Jesus rose from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father.
After I had finished preaching, Andrew Hsu got up to preach. After a little while, he had a few hecklers asking him various questions. God brought in quite a few people to hear the message he was preaching. After Andrew had finished preaching, he continued to chat with a couple of the people who had been listening for many minutes afterwards.
By the time Andrew got down there was only half an hour left to go on the outreach, and since we had no other spare preachers, we all instead focused our energies in handing out gospel tracts and witnessing one2one with people.
There were many people who heard the gospel this evening. Please pray that God will convict them of their sin and draw them onto Himself.
To God be the glory!