This year as usual the team has set up camp on the Gold Coast for the week of Schoolies. Throughout Sunday night there were some showers of rain but that didn't deter the schoolies in their celebrations of finishing high school.
Due to the limited number of things to do and the small area they are confined to, many of the schoolies are walking around bored with nothing better to do than find people to talk to.
As a result, the team had numerous Gospel conversations. Here are a number of stand outs:
A group of four young men were sitting down on the chair next to the team and were approached with the question, "What do you think will happen after you die?" Two of the young men, Jacob and Blake, engaged. Both initially just rejected God's existence but this seemed to just be a smoke screen as both very quickly acknowledged God's existence and were more than happy to begin to dialogue about where they will spend eternity.
After a lengthy discussion and a number of clear Gospel explanations Jacob who mentioned he sort of wanted to trust Jesus, the conversation was bought to a close with a pointed question, "Would you be willing to up give all the money you've spent, pleasure you're seeking and time you've set aside for this schoolies week and go home for the sake of Jesus Christ?". Or more simply, would you be willing to surrender to Jesus at the expense of giving up Schoolies. Jacob after a long pause said, "I don't think so, maybe after schoolies." He wasn't overly confident in his decision but he did stick to it for the remainder of the conversation.
Please pray that God changes Jacob's mind.
Another chat was with a young man named Joe. Joe knew God existed and wasn't sure where he'd spend eternity. After a simple talk about the sinfulness of humanity and the penalty this sin deserves Hell, Joe's demeanor began to change he began to seriously consider what was being said.
When asked how this could be solved. Joe had a few ideas but none of them were a solution. After a quick discussion the team just shared with him, the greatest news, that even though we have no hope in ourselves to remove our sin, the Holy God of this universe, acting in love, took the penalty for our sin Himself so that we could be reunited with Him. He did all this so we could be freed from the power and penalty of sin. At the end of the conversation Joe said he would definitely consider surrendering to Jesus.
We encouraged Joe to read the Gideons Bible in his hotel room and to come back tonight to speak with us again! Please pray that God will renovate His heart!
Please be praying as the team heads out this next week.
Warwick Rodeo Outreach
It was a great day with perfect weather to share the gospel with the people of Warwick (QLD, Australia) and the many people who travelled from surrounding country areas to join in the events at this year's Rodeo. The Rodeo started on Monday and finished on Sunday and is a highlight for Warwick and is held on the last week of October each year.
The street parade was held on the Saturday and it was the best place to pass out some gospel tracts as crowds gathered along the streets as well as in the park where there was a large community markets with many stalls.
As the event was announced at the church we attend there was a call for prayer and workers for the day, and we were very thankful to God for the prayers and 11 workers to hand out tracts. As we met and prayed together there were some who had never done this before that felt the fear that is a natural feeling that we all get when we begin this work, even after years of handing out tracts we can allow this feeling to stop or hinder us, but we know what Jesus wants us to do, and that is to allow Him to help us to trust that He will give us the words to speak and to obey the call to go spread the good news.
After praying we split into groups and started in the park just before the street parade. We handed out to stall keepers and people browsing in the markets and had such an easy time giving out the Big Money tracts.
One of the children in our group gave to a local school that had a stall and as she walked off the kids came running and asking for more to give to their friends. This gave a boost to the young believer and her fear became less and as the day went on she was giving out with more courage...so praise God for how He works in us and through us.
With almost 2500 tracts given out in the time we were together it was a blessing to have a few short conversations and plant some seeds that we pray will take root and grow unto salvation.
Thank you to all who prayed and stepped out in faith on this day.
All Glory to our God!
On Saturday we got to be a real light in the darkness at the Manly Halloween Street Party. Each year, thousands of people gather on the waterfront dressed as ghouls, demons, witches, and a variety of dark and evil personalities. Often times the costumes are quite revealing and sexual; other times they are horrifically violent, yet, this is considered a 'family friendly event.'
We gathered at around 2:30pm to hand out tracts and talk to people. In nearly two hours we handed out 1000 tracts, and had several good conversations.
One conversation I had was with a young Police Officer. She took a 'Trick or Treat' tract and asked me what it was all about. I explained to her that the biggest 'trick' people fall for is is the idea what we can somehow earn our way to Heaven by being good. She told me she didn't believe that and that there was no hope for her as she had done too many wrong things. She handed the tract back and said seriously, "It is straight to Hell for me." I told her, "It isn't too late, there is still hope. As long as you have breath in your lungs there is hope." She walked away saying, "It is too late for me."
After this I was able to talk to an Irish lady who also asked what the tract was about. Again, I said that the biggest trick people fall for is the idea that someone has to be good to get to Heaven. She looked at me, then said, "I don't believe that. But, I don't know how to get to Heaven." She then asked if I knew how someone could get there. Well, I was more than happy to tell her of the Lord Jesus and all that He has done. As I explained salvation not being by works, she smiled and said, "It is all by believing in Him! I need to believe in Him!" Excitedly she kept saying, "I need to believe in Him!" She walked away rather happy. I do pray the Lord has granted her repentance and faith.
Please pray for all those we met today. May the Lord Jesus continue to banish the darkness in this land, and may of the light of the gospel spread.
Riverfire Outreach - Brisbane
We praise the Lord that on Saturday over 10,000 gospel tracts went out during our outreach in Brisbane city during Riverfire. We started in the late afternoon, and it was great seeing people receive the tracts, with some beginning to read the message aloud as they continued walking down the road.
After the fireworks, a bunch on the team took turns preaching the good news of the gospel with much passion. This was while the rest of the team continued handing out tracts and started getting into some gospel conversations.
Over the course of the outreach, we had about 25 people on the team, which we praise God for that He raised up labourers for us. We encourage you also to join a local evangelism team in your area, details here: http://www.operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams/
To God be all the glory that His gospel went out and we know it won't return void!
Day 1 - Monday:
We had our first full day of evangelism yesterday during our mission trip to the country of Myanmar. What an experience it has been so far!
The people here are so happy to take a gospel tract and talk. The local pastor, whose number is on the back of the tract, has already received 4 calls from people wanting to meet up and learn more about Christianity, with one saying that he wants to bring 10 people along with him to church.
We have had people come to make professions of faith. We know that God is in charge of the results. Praise Him for that!
Please pray that God will save many souls through the gospel going out here this week. Pray for continued strength for the team in the midst of the heat and humidity, and for today as we are about to start our second full day of evangelism.
Day 2 - Tuesday:
God is really moving in this country of Myanmar. On Tuesday, we were able to get out about 30,000 gospel tracts, with many great gospel conversations with Buddhists, Muslims and Atheists also had. Some even came to profess faith in Christ, glory to God!
There is a hunger for the word of God here, which was shown to us again by the fact that two Buddhist people (university students) who received tracts yesterday made a long journey just to meet up with us to learn more about Christianity. They said they now want to follow Jesus and will be continuing to meet up with a local pastor for further discipleship.
Praise the Lord that His word is going out in this country and that the team is able to help the local church get out of their comfort zones to share the good news of Christ. Please continue to pray for the team and for the salvation of many people. Thank you!
Day 3 - Wednesday:
On Wednesday, the team on mission in Myanmar went to a different part of Yangon to continue sharing the good news of Christ. We also found a good location to do some preaching with the sketchboard, where people gathered around to watch and listen.
While on the streets, it is a great blessing that each person on the team is paired up a local person who can translate for them, as together we reach the people of this country for Christ.. Buddhism has a big dominance on the hearts of many, but mainly because of tradition and because people generally like the idea being able to earn their forgiveness.
It seems that most conversations will involve giving a courtroom analogy, showing how a good judge cannot let a criminal go free based on how many good things a person has done compared to his bad deeds. We've found that most people come to understand that, which then leads on to the gospel, that we need someone who can take our punishment on our behalf.
Please pray for the team as we are able to head out on the streets again today. May God be glorified!
Day 4: Thursday:
On Thursday in the country of Myanmar, the mission team went to the city centre of Yangon to share the gospel and it was a very fruitful day. We also used a good person test flip chart to preach with in the open air, and it attracted lots of people to come and listen.
One of the locations we did it was at a bus stop, and so once we finished one presentation of the gospel, we'd do it again only minutes later and a whole new crowd would gather around to listen. As a team, we probably ended up preaching over 25 times. God is good!
Please pray for continued strength, health and energy for the team, as we are about to set out for our second last day of evangelism in this country.
May God bring many people out of darkness and into His marvellous light!
The mission team to the country of Myanmar have returned back to Australia, praising the Lord for all that He has done through this past week.
140,000 gospel tracts went out over the week, and 10,000 more in-depth books on Christianity also went out. Even though the locals expected it to rain for most of our time there, we hardly experienced any rain during the times of outreaches, and on some of the days only after the outreach was finished did it pour down rain.
We had dozens of people, including mainly Buddhists, come to profess faith in Christ. The local pastors we worked alongside are now continuing to disciple them and those who are seeking.
God is amazing and to Him be all the glory! There is a great openness towards the gospel in this country. But there is much more evangelism that still needs to happen in Myanmar, pray that God raises up labourers to go into the harvest field there.
Warwick Outreach (July 2017)
It was a beautiful winter's day here in Warwick (Queensland, Australia). The mornings are a little cool at minus 3, but it warms up to the low 20s for a pleasant temperature to hand out gospels tracts.
For a couple of weeks in July each year Warwick puts on an event called "Jumpers and Jazz" where locals dress up the trees with jumpers, beanies, scarves and colourful knitted crafts and fill the streets with live jazz bands which brings in many visitors from surrounding areas to enjoy the festivities and is a great opportunity to share the gospel.
We located a good spot and started handing out our tracts and it wasn’t long before I struck up a chat with a man and his wife after handing them one of our “What will matter to you in 150 years time” tracts.
They both agreed that they wouldn’t be here and be long dead and buried and I said, "Have you thought what happens when you die?" He said, "You just go into the ground." I found out during the chat that he said that he was a born again Christian for twenty five years - many years ago but now he isn’t and doesn’t believe in Jesus and that we are all gods.
I addressed those issues and quickly moved onto the gospel but half way through the commandments they said they had to go. So I asked them to read the tract and remember that they had to stand before a Holy God in judgement one day and give an account of their lives to Him.
There was a few more conversations that arvo and we got to hand out about 150 tracts. Scripture says that God’s word does not return void but accomplushes what he has sent it to do.
All glory to our God and King!
We had a team of 14 or so of us this morning that met to get thousands of gospel tracts into people's letterboxes in Springwood (QLD). We started off with brekkie, and then loaded our hands with eternity postcards and set out. It was a great success, with lovely weather. Glory to God! Please pray for all those who will be reading the gospel tract they've received when they next check their letterbox. God is good indeed!
Every year around winter solstice Hobart hosts the pagan “Dark Mofo” festival. It is without fail a festival that insults the values of Christians and often aims insults at Jesus Himself. It is all based on Bacchanalia according to Leigh Carmichael the artistic director of the festival, all about “…the link between sex, death and beauty…”. Most go thinking they are going to enjoy good food and art but really the festival is a celebration of all things dark, violent, licentious and pagan. I could go into the horrible examples of this but those of you with a need to know and a cast iron stomach can google the horror for yourselves.
Into this darkness, myself and 4 others went armed with bibles, tracts and backed by the prayers of many. We went to the street outside “Dark Park” on the wharf in Hobart. We prayed before beginning that God would act to save people from the festival and allow us to witness freely to the crowds.
As this was the first year we’d tried this I was tentative and brought what I thought would be enough tracts. This caution very quickly proved unnecessary. Within 30 minutes every one of my tracts went out to the passing crowds. Most people took the “Eternity” cards thinking it was to do with the festival, but most kept them even after reading them praise God! As is always the case there were some who refused or returned the tracts as “God stuff”.
During this time, I had a quick chat with a Chaplain from the north of Hobart who was excited to see Christian witness at the festival and encouraged me to continue the work next year. I also encouraged him to continue reaching out to the kids in the schools, a vital work, and assured him that we would be back next year.
After so quickly running out of tracts we stopped to pray again and then set off to find an area to preach from. I found an ideal spot across the street from the main gates of the park. As the street is pedestrianized for the festival there were many people milling around in the street and not many cars.
The symbol of the festival is a red cross on a black background, so bouncing from this I preached about the Cross of Christ and the gospel of free salvation by faith alone in Him alone. Many passing looked and listened and some even gave a thumbs-up as they went past. There were a couple of heckles but for the most part the preaching was uninterrupted. The security and festival staff were not pleased to see the Gospel preached and most of them were on their phones and there was a lot of pointing and discussing happening on the other side of the street. Shortly after this the police turned up and after speaking to the staff they loitered near the gates obviously checking out what we were doing.
I opened the bible to the account of Lazarus being raised to life by Jesus, showing Him clearly to be Lord over both life and death. At this the police came and spoke to Tim, one of the team. They asked what we were doing and when Tim told them they responded that we should be careful as the “ratbags” will be out and about soon. With that they left!
As if being left unhindered was not enough of a blessing, one of the festival staff gave a clear contrast between peaceful, lawful gospel proclamation and the heart of the festival. She came rushing over as the police left to shout abuse at them (I can only assume for not removing us) and then disappeared back into “Dark Park”. I have no doubt that those two officers will remember the contrast.
We prayed together before heading away for the night, celebrating the great blessings of God and praising His name for blessing us with the opportunities we’d had tonight.
Yesterday a small team of us made our way to Brisbane city to share the gospel with the lost. Being a public holiday, we found people were not in a rush to get anywhere, so some extensive gospel conversations were able to be had.
We chatted with a lad named Tang from Vietnam who is studying here for the next 4 years. He said he has no religious background at all, in fact he said he doesn't know anything about what religions believe.
After being shown that just as a building has a builder, so must the universe have had a creator, he agreed that made perfect sense. So we went on to talking about our sin and how we have offended God based on how we have lived and so therefore need a substitute to pay our penalty for us - Jesus.
He wanted to know what is the difference between Christianity and other religions, and so we said, "Every other religion will tell you that to get to heaven, it is based on how many good deeds you do compared to the bad deeds you do."
He thought about that for a moment said, "But that doesn't deal with the past. Doing good wouldn't undo their history." I replied, "Exactly right. That is why Christianity stands out and is the only one that is true - for Jesus' death on the cross satisfies God's justice for all our bad deeds so that God can show us mercy and let us into heaven, if we trust only in Him."
Please pray for Tang. He was happy to take a gospel of John to start reading and we referred him to a good church in the area.
To God be all the glory!
Today we got to hand out over 4,000 gospel tracts in Brisbane to those who came out to see the Anzac Day March. God raised up a team of about 10 of us.
As people remembered the great sacrifices that people have made for our country, we were able to bring people's attention also to the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made to bring us freedom from our biggest enemy, our sin and its effects.
To God be the glory!
We are always praying for labourers to join us in the Great Commission, for outreach times and locations visit: www.operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams