On Saturday night, the evangelism team headed into the Queen St Mall, Brisbane City. As usual there were crowds of people around, despite the dreary weather. After the heavy rain at about 7pm people still flocked into the mall, walking up and down and seeking after fulfillment in the abuse of the pleasures of life.
The team at first was small and a prayer request was made to God for more labourers but within the next hour the rain had stopped and a team of 11 members were out sharing the Good News of salvation with the passers by, through the means of preaching, tract giving and conversations.
With the heavy rain early on people were hindered from walking in the open area and were confined to walking closer to the team members allowing for some conversations, a young man named Gustav who we talked with early in the night, wasn't a native English speaker. A decent conversation was had and thankfully he did understand what was being said, even if occasionally it had to be explained a few different ways. Sadly the problem was, Gustav is a Catholic, he adamantly defended that it wasn't Jesus alone which saved Him but was also in part His exertion and ability to honour God through His deeds.
Please keep Gustav in prayer and commit him to God, we challenged him to pick up his Bible and take a read as he said he rarely ever did. May God use this small conversation, the tract and the power of the Bible through the Holy Spirit to bring Gustav into the Kingdom.
As the rain died down a little the team was able to set up the amplifier with an umbrella over the top for protection and some preaching took place, there were fluctuating crowds as the rain came and went but generally there was a presence of unbelievers listening and engaging the speaker. The preaching drew a crowd of twenty or so at one stage and some individual conversations were started, one of those was with two young men, David and Rick.
These two men, said they were 'spiritual', they had some belief in a 'Higher Power' but believed that He was no relational being but just some sort of entity. This discussion lead towards one of morality, when there was a back and forth that took place about what is the source of morality? Why are things right and wrong? How can anyone know such things? The conversation continued. A consensus was not reached. Though the two men had been challenged to a place where they weren't quite as sure as they seemed to be when the conversation started.
After a good hour or so of discussion, including an in depth discussion on the claims of the Bible, a sprinkling of what truth is and a meaty piece about the sin of humanity and our collective fallen state, the conversation reached a point where it became less about the team member asking questions and more about David and Rick asking questions.
Rick was fixated on how Jesus' sacrifice can be the atoning sacrifice for sin and how it isn't about personal goodness and David went into the logistics of those who are in isolated areas around the planet and haven't heard the Gospel. By the end of the conversation they were both asking questions and by God's saving mercy, pray they may come to saving faith in Jesus Christ!
This is just a small snapshot of the wonderful night that God provided, a prayer was made that people may engage the team members and that the Gospel would be articulated clearly and we know that God's word does not return void, conversations were had and the Gospel, the power of God unto salvation was shared.
Please keep the team in prayer, acknowledging the humanity of the team and the ease to fall into sin, pray that they stay vigilant in the seeking of God and His truth and are wary to fight the temptations of sin in the power of God.
Please pray for Gustav, David, Rick and for the rest of those who heard the Gospel, engaged a team member or took a tract tonight, pray to God, pleading on behalf of those exposed to the truth that they would come to salvation.
Soli Deo Gloria!
It was an eventful afternoon of evangelism yesterday in Brisbane city.
Firstly, we had the council worker, who has been for the past 2 months unlawfully trying his hardest to stop the gospel going out in Brisbane, standing around watching us for about an hour and a half from the moment we arrived. Eventually he came over and issued one person on the team a $236 fine for handing out Christian literature, despite the fact we have permission to be there and do that there.
A little later on I noticed a lady with tattoos all across her arms talking to the council worker and his colleague. Then moments later, while the council workers were looking on, she stormed over to our free Bibles table and started throwing all the materials on the ground. She was screaming, "You can't do this here!"
Then she went up to George, who was preaching at the time, proceeded to hit him and snatch the microphone out of his hand. She then came over to me, hit me and then also punched an elderly man who was defending us. There were lots of people looking on by this time.
This lady then went over to our bag area and started picking our things up and throwing them at us. It was only then that the council workers wandered over to talk to the lady and told her to go away. Isn't it interesting to see their inaction for so long while this was going on? And note, she didn't receive any fine from the council workers for what she did, even though they saw it with their own eyes.
A large crowd had gathered by this time and so George continued preaching to all those who had gathered. Quite a number of people went over to the Bible table, asking for materials. What she intended for evil, God used for good!
Once George finished preaching, the council workers then went over to George and gave him a $589 fine for using an amplified device (despite having permission). We will be challenging the fines.
Not long after, the police arrived and they said they were going to go look for the lady. We have a very relationship with the police in Brisbane city. It is great having their support.
As the afternoon progressed, the team was busy in conversations and people kept coming up to the Bible table asking for Bibles.
One man said that he was staying in a hotel and read 100 pages of the Bible while he was there. But he knew the Bible was hotel property so he couldn't take it with him to keep reading it, even though he wanted to. So he asked is there any chance he could have a full Bible? We said, "Absolutely!" and gave him one.
Glory to God that His word is going out!
It was a great night of evangelism in Brisbane. Despite the rain and the humidity, we were able to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with many people.
Since, we would be operating undercover tonight, I thought I would test out my new flip-chart. I wasn't sure if it would work in the environment of Brisbane, but I was soon shown otherwise. In the space of just under two-hours I was able to speak to fifteen people about the Gospel via the flip-chart.
The first person I spoke to was a man named Jerry. Jerry, was just out of jail and was keen to chat. He had some kind of religious background, and in general believed that Christianity was true. We spoke about the nature of God and man. We explored the issue of sin, and the need of the Saviour. At the end of our conversation Jerry shook my hand multiple times, thanking me for talking to him about Jesus.
A little bit later on, I was able to engage a whole family with the Good News. This family of about eight people all gathered around the flip-chart. Dad was an atheist, but the others professed some belief in God. We joked around a bit, and had a good conversation about the Lord Jesus. At the end of the conversation they all took tracts, and Dad's atheism was in tatters.
By now it was clear that the flip-chart was a magnet for conversations. The next person along was Shane. Now, Shane was a wild looking man. His beard was long and grey. His hair was equally as long. It turns out that Shane was a former Christian who had many years ago renounced Christianity. He then embraced Wicca, but was not a Buddhist.
We chatted for sometime about the nature of God and of truth. After he heard the Gospel, I began to deal with the issue of Buddhism. The conversation centred around Buddha versus Jesus. It turned out that Shane didn't have a very good grip on Buddhism, so he changed to topic to evolution. He was very shocked to discover that there are scientists who actually believe in Genesis. We were able to give him some creation material, and he left saying he'd be back again.
Towards the end of the night, once again the flip-chart drew people in. This time it was a group of four young ladies. They seemed quite open to talking, so we went through the Gospel. Sadly, some of their friends came and dragged them away right at the end. At least they took tracts.
During this time, other members of the team were witnessing and preaching. It was truly wonderful to see so many people hearing the Good News of Jesus.
Please pray for all those we encountered tonight.
A storm rolled through Brisbane city last night during our Saturday night outreach. There were some pretty close lightning strikes causing some very loud thunder. That provided a good opportunity to say to people, "Maybe God is trying to get your attention."
Even though the city wasn't as busy, we had a good size team. Two people on the team preached, including one who had never done it before. It's so great to see God is raising up people to preach His gospel in public in this land.
Please pray for more labourers, as the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.
To God be all the glory!
Praise God for a good outreach last night in Brisbane city. We had about 15 of us on the team, and I remember noticing a couple of times throughout the night that every team member was in a gospel conversation with someone.
On the streets, we not only reach the lost, but sometimes also encourage struggling saints that we meet or also sometimes confront those who are professing Christians who may not really be in the faith yet.
While we were first setting up for the night, one person came up to speak to us and this man had a clear understanding of the gospel - salvation by grace through faith alone.
But when I asked him whether he is pursuing holiness, he said no. He said, "That is law, we are saved by grace" and was quite annoyed that I even suggested that we should strive to be holy.
I explained that we agree we are saved by grace through faith alone in Christ alone, but the evidence that someone is truly converted is that their attitude towards sin changes and they desire to live a holy life. This man strongly disagreed and started swearing at me.
I expressed that "Jesus said, 'you'll know them by their fruits', and perhaps the reason you are so strongly reacting to what I am saying is that your conscience is alarming you about your present state." After talking further with him, he said he will have to really think about what I said. Please pray for him.
To God be all the glory!
We had a great afternoon of evangelism today in Queen St Mall, Brisbane. The team was in gospel conversations for most of the afternoon and God brought in a good number of team members.
One conversation that we had was with a man named Sheece. He was a Muslim from India and was happy to hear about Christianity. After hearing about the cross he said, "I can't have someone else take my punishment for me. That's like those Muslims who do lots of bad things all year but go do Hajj (pilgrimage) and say, 'It's all good now for the year.'"
I explained how it's not the same, for if God ignored our sins because of a good deed we have done, he would no longer just as he has accepted a bribe. The difference is: Jesus death on the cross completely satisfied God's justice for those who believe, so that God can be both just and able to show mercy at the same time.
Sheece saw the difference, but said he wasn't ready to come to faith in Jesus yet. Please pray for him.
Praise God for another wonderful outreach!
It was quieter in Brisbane city last night for our weekly Saturday night outreach. But it was so great to see several new team members join us for the first time.
A few people on the team did some open air preaching, while the rest of the team were handing out tracts and talking to people. A number of the team mentioned that the conversations that they had were quite fruitful, with people being receptive to the message of the gospel. While others mentioned that the people they spoke to were quite opposed to the gospel.
In times like these, it is always a great comfort to know that God is in charge of the results and so no matter the response, it's never in vain. God may cause the seeds planted last night to come to growth later on. All glory to God!
Thank-you to those who prayed for the outreach today. It was a very productive afternoon / evening. We started in the Queen Street Mall at 2pm, and sadly the one Brisbane City Council Local Law Officer who has been giving us grief acted unlawfully once again.
After Ryan had finished preaching, the Council Officer issued him a $589 fine. The law protects us, so we have now handed this over to the Barrister and Lawyers that are representing us. Please pray that all this will be resolved shortly, and that the Gospel will continue to spread unmolested.
I was also able to preach this afternoon. I spoke on the first Christmas and how Jesus is God with us. I stressed the Deity of Christ since the Jehovah Witnesses had set up behind us. A small crowd listened to the Scripture being read.
Throughout the day we had a literature table set up. It was great to see many people taking Bibles and other literature.
In the evening we headed over to King George Square to hand out tracts and chat to people. A few good conversations were had, and over 2000 tracts were given away.
Please continue to pray for our Christmas outreaches.
It was a quiet night in the Queen Street Mall, however there were still enough people to talk to. Despite the slowness of the night, a crowd still gathered to hear the Gospel proclaimed in the open-air.
Early in the night we talked with a range of different younger adults, from Marlin and Alexander, who both professed to be going to Heaven based on works; to Shaun a man who attends a local mega-church but also professes that because of his own goodness he will go to Heaven.
Conversations were also had with Bubba, a Hindu man who believed in karma and being good. The talk with Bubba didn't go very far as he would say his view but would deny any countering discussion. He kept avoiding questions in relation to his view of god and justice. Please pray that something did get through to him.
The most encouraging conversation of the night was with Judd, a young man who originally said the way to Heaven was through being good. We spoke about God's holiness and our falleness. We explained to him that nothing we can do could ever remove our sin. As Judd realised who God is, his face dropped. He was convicted of his sin. This led us to the perfect opportunity to share with him the GOOD NEWS; that whilst we were yet sinners, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. He was a little confused but, an explanation was given. We talked about that Christ was punished for sinners and how He absorbed the full wrath of God.
Judd said this was great news and he would have to think about it. We gave him a tract and a Gospel of John.
Please pray for Judd that he may come to faith in the Lord Jesus.
Tonight, we had many oppurtunites to witness. Please pray that the Lord would save the people of this city.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday night in Brisbane is always an interesting time. Each week the crowds are different, so it breaks the mold of 'normal' evangelism.
In Australia many seem to be closed to talking about the read God. Even though around 80% of our population says they believe in some form of God, they really do not want it to be the God of the Bible. As a result people are happy to talk about general conepts in relation to deity, but the moment it gets the Trinitarian God of Scripture they sometimes close down.
Yet, even though there are many who are closed to hearing, there are also many who are open to talking. Each Saturday night we have the privledge of being able to speak to people from a wide variety of backgrounds about the truth of Jesus.
One member of the team, George, hasn't been with us for more than about six months but over the last three has been very keenly serving God, learning very quickly different ways to share the Gospel. He has been a great source of encouragement to us. It is always great to see new people coming along who are passionate about declaring the wonder of Jesus.
In this picture, George is bodlly proclaiming the truth, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners!
Early in the evening we spoke to a couple of people who were Jewish. When they described to us why they will go to Heaven, it was like we were hearing the Apostle Paul list his former life in Philippians 3. They truested in who they wre, and what they had done. We tried to explain to them that they must be like Paul, in that they need to let go of all that, and embrace Christ. They didn't really like the idea of Jesus being the Messiah, so we encouraged them to read Isaiah 53 and to find out whom the Scripture spoke of.
Another conversation was had with a man named Rhys, this young man was very talkative, in fact he wasn't scared about 'social norms' at all and gladly engaged in conversing about what he believed the way to Heaven was.
Rhys talked about all manner of things, and just like everyone else, he believed his goodness would get him over the line into Heaven.
Rhys was in a similar scenario to most of us, considered himself to be pretty good (judging by his own standard) but like the rest of us, when compared to the standard of God, he fell short.
He said that this was worrying; what could he possibly do to get to Heaven. Thankfully, God doesn't leave us in despair. He tells us of His amazing love through the Good News of Jesus! Jesus came into this world to do exaclty what we couldn't, be perfect so He could take the penalty for our sin, allowing us the free gift of eternal life, if we trust in Him! Rhys said this was great news and that he would consider what was shared with him.
Please pray for the Queen St Mall outreach. Pray that God will bring along people who have had the soil of their hearts prepared for the seeds of the Gospel. Pray that God will allow them to be able to engage in the a Gospel conversation and hear the amazing news!
Soli Deo Gloria!