Praise God that the gospel went out today in Woodridge. We had seven of us on the team across the afternoon, and together we handed out hundreds of gospel tracts. The wonderful thing about tracts is that they speak even when we are asleep. Plus they can be taken home to influence even a whole household, and then be passed on to others!
This afternoon at Woodridge we had several really good gospel conversations. One thing I love about evangelising at Woodridge is that it's such a multicultural place with dozens of different nationalities of people living there. That means without us having to travel to each of the countries where these people are from, they have come to us! And this afternoon we got to talk to a young man named Chekole from Ethiopia.
When we asked him about whether he will go to heaven when he dies, he wasn't sure. But he was open to listening to the message and asked a few questions. After explaining the good news of Christ to him, he asked for a Bible in English that he could take home and read. So we gave him one.
Praise be to our God who is calling a people for Himself from all the nations!
It was another fruitful outreach today in Woodridge. It is great seeing people come to grasp the gospel for the first time.
Today, I asked a young man named Fire what he thinks will get him to Heaven. He didn't want to answer the question right away, but asked me to ask his friend the question instead. His friend thought that he would be let into Heaven because he has tried his best.
So I talked about sin and how we fall short of God's perfect standard and therefore our own goodness would never save us. I explained how Jesus died to take our sins, but Fire's friend didn't understand it at first.
So I then placed a pile of gospel tracts on my hand and said "Let's say these tracts represent all the sins you've done. God sees you, He sees your sin." I then pointed to my other hand, "This is Jesus' record, He is perfect. And 2000 years ago he took our sin from us and died for them, and He then gave us His perfection." While I said this, I transferred the tracts to my other hand.
Then it clicked in the mind of the friend, he came to understand what Jesus did on the cross for him and how he needs to respond in repentance and faith. It was so exciting to see this.
I then turned back to Fire and asked him what he thought would save him. He explained how he used to trust in Christ alone for his salvation and nothing of his own efforts, but he said he has now outgrown the need for the Bible. He said he has been influenced by an African preacher who says that he has learned about God more when he gave up reading the Bible, and unfortunately Fire has followed suit.
Fire said he hears from God in his own mind, and so he said, "What will save me? I used to trust in Christ's righteousness and sacrifice on the cross to save me, but now believe I will be saved simply because I exist." This unfortunately is what occurs when a person gives up on the sufficiency of the Word of God.
Please pray for Fire, and also for his friend who has come to grasp the gospel. To God be the glory!
Today at Woodridge the gospel went out. In fact, two of the people on the team thought they had enough gospel tracts with them, but both ran out! One commented, "There is no other place where people take tracts as readily as here in Woodridge."
We had many good gospel conversations. One conversation in particular we had was with a high school student named Abid, whose family moved to Australia from Libya 15 years ago. He was a Muslim, but he was very open to hearing about Jesus.
As we were talking, he was beginning to see how he needs a perfect substitute to take the punishment for his sin - that being Jesus. And when he heard that Jesus said that He was God, it really shocked him. But he saw that it was more important to please God than just continue believing what his family had always taught him. He said he wanted to trust in Jesus today.
Abid was happy to take a gospel of John to start reading. Please pray for him.
It was also good today to see someone who we have witnessed to before and given a Bible to, who is now going to a church in the area and a mid-week Bible study.
Praise God that He uses our simple words in His mission and for His glory!
We had a good outreach in Woodridge on Tuesday afternoon. There were four of us on the team, and many tracts were handed out...not just in English. Since Woodridge is very multicultural place, we had with us tracts in a dozen or so languages.
One person we spoke to was Samson. He had just recently been chosen to be in the Broncos development program. Even though he used to go to church, rugby training was now the focus of his life. He thought God would let him into heaven because everything in his life is going really good right now.
After hearing the gospel and the cost of discipleship - that Jesus can't just be an add-on to our life, He should be the centre - he said he can't trust in Christ yet. He said he now realises that if he died right now he would be going to hell. For he saw sport as his idol, but he wanted to keep it that way until he was older.
After speaking with him further and challenging him, he was happy for us to pray for him. Please pray that God will really convict Samson of his sin and draw him to Himself.
Please also pray for Hakim, a Muslim young man from Uzbekistan. He came to realise the only way his sin debt can be paid for is by a sinless substitute taking his hell punishment for him. He was happy to take a gospel of John to start reading. Please pray that God will save him.
To God be the glory!
The Way to Heaven tract we were using is available here.
It was another fruitful outreach on Tuesday at Woodridge. I was wondering who we would have on the team as most of the regulars were unable to make it today. I thought it would just be me.
But praise be to God, before 2pm rolled around I got a phone call from Jeorge, who has evangelised with us before but hasn't been out for several months, saying he is coming to be part of the team at Woodridge and he is bringing six or so people from his church! God really answers prayer!
Many of these people he brought along hadn't ever evangelised before. It is great to see God raising up new labourers and sending them out into His harvest field.
The police were positioned near where we were evangelising for a lot of the afternoon, keeping the area safer. It was great even hearing from the officers that they appreciate what we do.
There were plenty of good conversations that were had throughout the afternoon. Just to mention one - please pray for Lilliana and Anna, who attend a catholic school. They thought that trying to do good was going to save them, and so I explained how that wouldn't work because doing good doesn't cover the bad we have done, and Jesus said "you must be perfect" (Matthew 5:48).
As I was explaining how forgiveness is only available by having someone else who can take our punishment for us (that is Jesus), I noticed Anna was quite distracted and looking around the place. But at the same time I saw Lilliana very intently listening and you could tell she was beginning to grasp the gospel.
It is interesting to see in some ways the two different kinds of soils Jesus spoke about in one of His parables, in the one conversation. Please pray for them both as they have heard the truth and now have to consider how they will respond to it.
We sow the seed and leave the results up to God. To God alone be the glory!
There was a heavy Police presence in Woodridge yesterday, which was quite good as it made the area much more peaceful. Sadly, when the Police aren't around there is normally quite a bit of violence, abuse and public drunkenness.
The Police seem to be a bit of a 'band-aid' solution to the problem. However, it must be noted that real community change will not come from laws and legislation, but rather it will only come when Christ is submitted to as Lord.
Our desire for Woodridge is to see Jesus lifted high, and the community transformed by the Gospel. To help achieve these ends we engage in literature distribution and personal witness. Our Free Bible table had a bit of interest yesterday.
I was able to speak to one lady and her son who had just arrived from somewhere in Africa. They were professing Believers, but didn't know where to go to church. I was able to point them to a solid Baptist church just around the corner from where they were living.
During this time, other members of the team were also engaging in conversations with people. One of our team members had a chat to a Muslim girl who had many questions and seemed to be quite interested in Christianity.
One of the wonderful things about ministering in Woodridge is that we often get to see the same people over and over again. Each week we get to build on the foundation which was previously laid. Yesterday, we saw people that we've spoken to in the past, and again we were able to point them to Jesus.
Please pray that the Lord Jesus will rule and reign over this community.
It was a windy, yet, productive outreach in Woodridge today. We arrived at just after 2pm and began by setting up the "Free Bible and Literature Table." We then proceeded to hand out tracts and talk to people. At one point the Police came by; they were quite friendly and chatted to us. They even helped us pick up all our resources when a strong gust of wind flipped our table.
I was able to chat to one man whom we've spoken to several times before. He was looking for any excuse to justify his unbelief. We chatted for sometime, and he admitted that he was more concerned about his children and his children's children than he was about his own soul.
I quoted to him from Deuteronomy 6 about the responsibilities of parents. I stressed to him that if he was truly concerned about his children then he would be seeking to instruct them in the ways of the Lord. He admitted that this was true.
After talking to him, I was able to chat to a man who had just finished talking to Mako. This man wanted to know how he could be sure that God exists. I pointed out to him that he already knew that God exists (Romans 1) and then proceeded to use the cosmological argument to confirm this knowledge. The many very readily agreed that God does exist.
During this time, Ryan and Pastor Luther were talking to two people from Iran. Both of them have arrived in this country as refugees. It was great to have a local Pastor with us as we ministered, as he was able to get their contact details and will be meeting with them tomorrow.
It was great to get back out to share the Gospel in Woodridge. Please pray that the light would dispel the darkness in this community.
Over the past few weeks we have had opposition for our Gospel work in Woodridge. So, today we headed there not sure what would happen. Unfortunately, in the past few weeks we have even experienced opposition from Police Officers who have acted unlawfully in regards to our rights and freedoms.
However, our concerns were unfounded. The afternoon turned out to be an awesome time of evangelism. We had twelve team members join us, so we were able to reach many people with the Gospel.
On highlight was that Matt was able to talk talk again to a man that he first spoke to 8 weeks earlier. When they last chatted, they were professing Jehovah's Witnesses. They believed that their works was the method of salvation and they believed that Jesus was fully man but not god.
Arthur mentioned during the conversation that he had been thinking about the last time they had spoken. In particular he had been thinking about how Matt had shown him some Bible passages showing that Jesus is God. Arthur said at the time he wasn't sure but he went home and considered it and today he told Matt that he was certain that after reading some of the Bible that Jesus must be God, that the events of His life could not have happened any other way. Better yet Arthur told Matt that he was trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
We thank God for the wonderful account of Arthur coming to the truth. Please pray for him and also the people of Woodridge. May the Gospel continue to go forth.
Soli Deo Gloria!
At Woodridge on the 20th of October we had a rather eventful afternoon, before we had even started some young teens broke out into a fight with everything from hair pulling to punches. It was a sad display of the state of humanity but by God's grace it was broken up and dispersed and people were able to head off and calm down.
There was the normal busy rush of school children on the way home and around this time Josh started preaching out near the bus stop area; sadly there was some hostility from a few local drunks which got a few people stirred up, but amazingly it bought a massive crowd of school children who stood around and listened to the preaching, many of whom took literature or stayed around to talk afterwards.
There were also some other incidences where a late teens girl didn't want to hear the Gospel and yelled at Josh to stop and sadly she caused a big fuss, also getting her parents down who took a full fledged aggressive words war assault on the team members, making many false claims.
Thankfully Queensland Police were diligent in sorting out the issues and the afternoon went on as normal, with many people hearing the Gospel.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Pray for the woman, her daughter and husband who are hostile to the Gospel, pray that God will drastically and dramatically change their hearts and minds that they will by God's grace be changed, surrendering their lives to Christ and desiring to come out and preach the way of salvation alongside us!
During the business of the shenanigans many young men wanted to stop and talk, we were able to share the Gospel with, we talked with a young man named Hikim, he had a little bit of Catholic exposure and was the normal stereotype, he thought he was a decently good person and would most likely get to Heaven.
We were able to discuss what God's standard is and that in reality because God is perfect we all fall short. Hikim said that this was a bit worrying, what would he do. He asked if he work hard could he regain God's favour and we talked about the implications of that. "Do good deeds pay for wrong deeds?" we asked him and he had to conclude that they couldn't. He then asked if we thought we were going to Heaven, to which we responded "Yeah but not based on our own goodness".
We were able to discuss that God came into this world to lay down His life for sinners, just like us so that we could be counted as righteous and go to Heaven. Hikim said this was encouraging, we talked a little more but he had to leave, we gave him a Gospel of John.
Please be praying that God will use the conversation and His word (The Bible) to transform Hikim's life!
There was another group of young men, Michael, Jermaine and, Twong who were there for the shenanigans and started talking with us but our conversation was interrupted by some loud accussations and threats of violence from the lady and so we stopped talking but amazingly, after it had all died down they returned to continue the conversation!
We discussed, the Law, Sin, God's perfection and what that means to us, that we had all fallen short. We discussed what we can do to be saved but after the conclusion of the conversation all three said it makes sense and that they would have to consider eternity and where they would go when they died.
We gave them each a Bible and they left. Please pray for these young men that the truth of the Gospel would penetrate their hearts and minds and they will turn and trust in Christ and Him alone for their salvation!
Others we talked to included a young man Marcy, who professed to be good and wouldn't back down on that claim, even after hearing God's standard, also Harrison who original admitted he wasn't sure He would make it to Heaven and heard the Gospel. Also another young man Olivia who goes to a local church but does really understand the salvation of Jesus Christ so we talked about how he would get to Heaven and we strongly encouraged him to read the Bible.
Pray for these young men, may God open their eyes to the truth of the Gospel and that they will come and join us to share the Gospel with others, starting a Gospel based trend in Woodridge!
Please pray that through the "persecution" we are receiving that many will see the light of Christ in us and that those who are currently against God and the preaching of the Gospel will be changed to the Glory of God and trust alone in His son becoming slaves to Christ and desiring all that He desires!
Please pray for labourers as well, that many more people will desire to join us on the streets, that many will take the time God has given them and honour him with it by preaching Christ and Him crucified!
Soli Deo Gloria!
On Tuesday afternoon it was still relatively quiet at Woodridge Train station, the area had the normal lingerers but there was still less people coming off the train.
The weather though made up for it, with a scorching 32degrees, God knows what heat it, praise God that we have been granted with the ability to have water, clothes, showers and the other wonderful blessings that make the heat bearable!
Woodridge is a very interesting place, one of the very few places where someone can say to you that they are a 'born again' Christian and have no idea of the Gospel, or who Jesus Christ is.
We talked with a young man named Junior, when we asked him if he deserved to go to Heaven he promptly replied that he did because he was a born again Christian. When we asked him what that meant, sure enough he had no idea.
He started to explain that he was pretty good and listing his good qualities and works, like a resume to allow him to enter Heaven. We tested him with the Law of God and sure enough, like the rest of us he had fallen miserably short, just like us his resume before God deserves nothing but condemnation.
We talked about what ways might get us to Heaven, he started talking about stopping sin, doing good things and helping people. We talked about how the debt of sin needs to be paid and how that might be paid, he offered a few suggestions that wouldn't get anyone of us closer to God then explained the Love of God to him.
The amazing love, that God loved us while we were yet sinners, Christ died of us! He said that sounded interesting, he had never heard of Jesus' sacrifice being to pay for sin and he was interested in it.
We left him with the encouragement to read his bible when he got home and to consider where he was spending eternity.
We also talked with Alex, a young man who attended a local Seventh Day Adventist Church. He professed to be also getting to Heaven by his goodness.
We looked at him and in all seriousness asked him, "What goodness?", he tried to give an account of his goodness but like us all before God had nothing to boast in, for our sin always outweighs our good works, infinity to one.
We discussed with him the ways that he might be made good or become perfect in the sight of God. He said he wasn't sure. We asked him if God had made a way did he think he'd want to respond to that?
He answered affirmatively, of course he wanted to go to Heaven, so we offered the message of the Gospel, the salvation of Jesus Christ.
He said he too would have to consider it.
Please praise God that we were able to share the Gospel, that us, lowly servants were given the great privilege of preaching the way of salvation.
Please thank God that there were people who heard the Good News, many who took tracts and others who heard snippets. Please pray for those who aren't yet saved that God shall bring them to salvation. May the Gospel of Jesus we preached on Tuesday be part in their salvation that they may dwell on the truth of it and desire to surrender to Christ!
Soli Deo Gloria!