Thank you to all who prayed for the outreach in Brisbane city Wednesday. It went well without any hassles, praise the Lord!
As we were preparing for the sketchboard presentations, a bunch of kids were intrigued at was being drawn, even guessing which colour would be next. Once prepared, we used the sketchboard to speak on the subject of the Way to Heaven. As others came by they saw this group of kids sitting on the ground looking on, so a number of them joined in sitting on the ground listening to the gospel. It was good to see the crowd were even happy to interact and answer questions.
Throughout the afternoon, the team was busily sharing the gospel with people who were interested. We gave a couple of full Bibles out and dozens of gospels of John. Not only that, plenty of gospel tracts went out too. We praise God that He can use all these different things to draw people to Himself.
Despite the Council opposition on Wednesday, it was still a great day where the gospel went out to many. It was extraordinarily busy in the city due to the school holidays. Jesus' statement of "The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few" was particularly evident.
In fact, as I was painting up the sketchboard to prepare it for my message, every minute or so an individual or group of people would come up to me asking what I was painting and that provided an opportunity to share the gospel with them.
But as I was half way sharing with one person, some more people would come up asking the same question. So I had to juggle multiple groups of people at once, and eventually had to call others on the team over who weren't already in gospel conversations to witness to the new arrivals.
The two young people in the photo with the sketchboard in the background were very open to the things of God. They said they were in a rush, but wanted to quickly stop and find out what was being said. I interacted with them in the open air, and they thought their own goodness would get them to heaven.
But by the end, they had come to recognise the only way of forgiveness is through trusting that Jesus died for their sins, and they left counting the cost. They were so appreciative that someone would share this important message with them.
I pray that you would consider joining us out on the street. Many Christians have the misconception that no one wants to talk about the things of God on the street, but actually so many do. And we as Christians have the words of eternal life, how can we keep silent about it?
For times and locations, see: http://www.operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams/
On Saturday night it was a cool ten degrees, meaning there wasn't many in the mall and so a quiet night was had. That being said, the team was still diligently denying themselves and their desire to be at home in the warmth but they went and took the opportunities to share the Gospel with anyone who would engage.
There was one highlight conversation with a man, he was a very decided atheist, proclaiming his certainty about what he believed. This is always interesting to see someone being so sure of what they believe but it had undertones. The conversation went many directions, starting with the authenticity of the Bible and the apparent 'contradictions'.
These were discussed at length but even when an answer was given or the problem was explained he would just bring up another one. He had contention with God's sovereignty and yet humanities accountability. After over an hour of discussion it came to a place where it was apparent.
Though he proclaimed that he was open minded and would change his mind if God was proven, the tenacity and strength with which he held to his arguments even when the logic had holes. It was evident not that he was doubting and not sure what to believe but rather he didn't want to believe because the implications of surrendering to a perfect and sovereign God were something he desired.
Please pray for him, that he will acknowledge the truth of God's Word and surrender to Christ, trusting in the Gospel, the power of God unto salvation!
Please consider the team, those we shall talk with these coming days in your prayers before our creator and even ask God to challenge you to come out and join us! It would be great to have you on the team, declaring that Jesus Christ is the way of salvation!
Soli Deo Gloria!
On Saturday Night the team headed into the Queen St Mall and spread out to share the message of salvation. The sketch board, flip chart, resource table and tracts were all used as helpful tools to share the Good News that Jesus came to save sinners.
As you might know at this time of year many Muslims celebrate ramadan, which is the idea of stopping eating between sunrise and sunset. Meaning many Muslims were out in the Mall, living the night life and eating food.
This means many conversations were with Muslims, though there are a range of other people around as well. A conversation was had with a man named Mohammad and his wife Tarnie. Mohammad is a Muslim and was very quick to acknowledge that God is Good, Perfect, Holy and Just and infinitely so in all cases. Mohammad said he knew that God would judge people and because God is good He MUST judge.
But Mohammad was adamantly defending that idea that, disobeying God's standard is wrong and wicked but God won't punish you for it. He then corrected himself and said God would but not very harshly as long as you are sincerely sorry for doing it.
When pressed on this Mohammad found himself in a loop, God is Perfect, Holy and Just and must judge and punish evil but would then back away from such a claim by saying or implying that God didn't really care about being Blasphemed. That the creator of the universe wasn't really worried by our incredible offence to a Holy God by deny His standard and replacing it with our own.
Mohammad, though he claimed to have a very high view of God, so high that he would never be able to become a man, in the same breath would support the idea that God isn't really offended by sin and that fallen, rebellious and wicked sinners can impress and honour a Perfect God.
The question posed to Mohammad was phrased as this, "How can God remain God and humanity be anything other than eternally damned?"
Sadly the Gospel was never reached as Mohammad had no understanding of the weight of his own sin. Please be praying for Mohammad (and his wife who stood beside him the whole time). Pray that he will be overwhelmed with an understanding for his own guilt and understand his complete inability to save himself therefore surrendering to Christ, the God Man who came to save!
Please pray for the team, as even with outreaching it is easy to fall into the trap that we are out to evangelise and forget that it is only by God anyone can be saved, that it is only by God that we have been changed and greatest of all, it is only by God that anyone will talk with us. Please pray that we will be reminded of our complete need for dependence on Christ and from the great encouragement that Jesus did die for wretches like us, that we will be strengthened to share Christ more!
Thank you for continued prayers, please consider joining with us in person, to proclaim Jesus' saving power!
Soli Deo Gloria!
In Queen St Mall (Brisbane) this afternoon, there was a threat of rain but just before it was time to head in, after all morning it raining, the sky cleared and we were able to proclaim the Gospel unhindered!
We had a larger team than a usual Wednesday, allowing for a greater coverage of conversations and the afternoon was filled with many exciting moments. One comment from a team member was, "This afternoon was filled with divine appointments, people who needed the word of God and were willing to listen and learn were here at the right time."
As things got underway there were a few new team members who paired up with some more experienced members and went out listening and learning as conversations were had. Even having some conversations of their own by the end of the afternoon.
One highlight was a discussion had with John. He professed that he deserved Heaven but after discussing God's law, John acknowledged his sinfulness and was wondering how he could have his sin paid for. The Gospel was shared and John took a tract saying he would have to consider it, even thought he wasn't sure.
Another conversation was had with Deborah. She was asked, what is the world's biggest problem. To which she replied, "Lack of education in the world". When pushed a little about the fact education doesn't stop selfishness, Deborah conceded that it was humans and their desire to live for themselves that was the problem. When asked if she thought she was selfish, she quickly dismissed it, as she, like us all, considered herself pretty good.
Then prompted about God she said she believed there is a God. This was followed by asking if God judges people, to which she quickly denied it, saying that God was good and loving and thus doesn't judge.
To push a little further, the question was posed, "Is it our good or wicked desires that cause us to want stop and have justice for a guy beating his girlfriend?" "Definitely goodness," Deborah answered. Seeing the fault in her previous answer she said, "That means I suppose that God must judge."
To continue the implications it was asked, "How good is God's standard and what is the penalty for breaking God's law?" Deborah said, "God's standard is absolute goodness and because He is God there must be a pretty big punishment for breaking God's law." When suggested with the idea that denying the giver of life by breaking His law means we instead deserve death, Deborah agreed and then took a moment to pause as her eyes teared up.
She took a breath and said, "That means because no one is truly good, and we haven't upheld God's standard everyone here deserves death. How can it be fixed?"
Deborah offered a few suggestions and after dismantling all human efforts she stood there and said, "That's it, I have no idea." This seemed way to, 'Easy', God had bought along a person who was ready and wanting an answer to their sin problem. The Gospel was explained, that only by Jesus dying as our substitute could anyone be saved from sin and a complete surrender to him was required. Deborah took a Bible with great joy and said she would have to take a read and learn some more. Although she had to leave, God willing she will return or find another faithful Christian and be able to discover and learn more about the saving work of Jesus Christ!
Please keep the team in prayer, the evangelism efforts in prayer and ask that God will bring along many more people to hear the saving Gospel!
Soli Deo Gloria!
On Saturday night in Queen St Mall the team headed out and there was over 40 Christians out to share the Gospel! By God's grace many conversations were provided and the team was able to spread out and talk with many people!
One main prayer point is two young men who first heard the Gospel at Schoolies 2014 on the Gold Coast and were again able to hear the Gospel proclaimed. Please pray for Sam and Tyson that they will stop seeking their own way and surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour!
Soli Deo Gloria!
One really encouraging and exciting thing that happened today was that a man named Jason came by. I had witnessed to him 2 to 3 months ago, and he returned today to say that he is now trusting in Christ for his salvation!
In fact, on Sunday he started going to the church in the city that I had recommended to him. He said he loved it, and met the people there and the pastor. He said he wants to start going to one of the Bible study groups, and even attend both services on Sunday.
When we share the gospel, we keep sowing the seed, and whether we hear back from the person or not, it's always a success. Even if the person we share with rejects the message, it's always a success whenever God's word goes out.
Also this afternoon, a few of us on the team preached using the sketchboard, as people stood back and listened. It was also great seeing someone preach for their first time using the sketchboard.
There were plenty of good gospel conversations had. In fact, if you notice in one of the photos, three separate witnessing encounters are being had all at once. Glory to God for His marvelous work!
(Click on photos to enlarge)
We only started with two of us on the team last night at the start of the outreach in Brisbane city due to the rain, but after praying for more labourers, we ended up with 10 of us! The city was quite busy with people and I knew that being a rainy night, there were going to be lots of gospel conversations to be had.
We talked with a variety of people, including a Satanist, some Muslims and Atheists. We also talked with a man from Istanbul who is currently studying in Brisbane. He said he was brought up as a Christian but now denies God's existence and lives life his own way.
Interestingly, he quickly came to realise that God exists, after we pointed out that things made must have had a maker for them. So we talked about sin and how the only way of forgiveness is through repentance and faith in Christ. This man saw this conversation as a wake up call from God. But he expressed how he loves sin. His name is Aras. Please pray for Aras as he counts the cost of following Christ.
It was also wonderful to hear of another answer to prayer last night. Someone on the team has been praying for his father's friends who are Muslims, that they would hear the gospel, and last night these men happened to be walking through Queen St Mall and someone on the team witnessed to them. Praise God how He answers prayer!
To God be the glory.
Today we had a great day sharing the good news of Christ with the people of Brisbane city.
It was not long after arriving that we got into a conversation with a Muslim lady studying a phD named Safa. She was really interested to hear about Christianity and how it differs from her own beliefs. Safa seems to be searching for the truth, so please pray that she finds salvation in Christ.
A few people on the team also did some open air preaching, using the sketchboard to illustrate the gospel message. It's great having the sketchboard as a visual tool, not only for during the preaching, but even afterwards, as it attracts people to have a look at it and try and figure out what it is saying.
As the afternoon progressed, two of us on the team had the idea of painting up a message on the sketchboard relating to State of Origin. We knew that a State of Origin match was on tonight, so we decided to play off that and talk about our state of origin, "Where do we come from?" Did God make us or did we come from nothing, and which of those two answers gives us purpose and hope.
After preparing the sketchboard, some State of Origin fans stopped to listen and we were able to bounce off them as we presented a clear presentation of the gospel. One young lady who stopped said she was an atheist, but as she heard the news of Christ's death and resurrection, she said, "This is starting to make sense. Deep down I really know there is a God." Her name is Ashley, please pray for her as she wrestles with the hope that Jesus offers.
It was another day without any hassles from the council, to God be the glory!
We had a great day today of sharing the gospel in Brisbane city. God brought in extra labourers that we didn't expect, which was wonderful to see.
One person on the team said, "It is a great day, even the Muslims walking by are taking gospel tracts!"
Dozens of gospels of John also were taken by people from our free Bibles table.
We sow the seed, God uses it in His timing and for His purposes.
Watch below to see a small extract of some of the preaching from today.