It has been an amazing week of Christmas outreaches in Brisbane city, with 15,000 Christmas gospel tracts going into people's hands just last week.
But as one week finishes, another begins. This week we have an outreach scheduled for every evening in King George Square from 7pm (except Friday which will be at the Gold Coast). It is such a great opportunity to get the gospel out to people at this time of year and so we encourage you to come along. Or if you cannot, please be praying.
The team have been having some very fruitful conversations with people too, like with a young man named Justin last night who said that he hasn't grown up in a religious home at all so he doesn't know much about Christianity whatsoever. But he said he knew there had to be a creator. So we went through the law of God and he came to realise his sin and his need for a Saviour. He had heard that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but had no idea what that meant. I explained that Jesus took our Hell punishment for us on our behalf, and he said, "Oh that makes sense!"
He said he was a logical guy and wanted to investigate more, and so I gave him a gospel of John and Lee Strobel's book "The Case for Christmas" which he was very thankful to receive. It has been really handy having the free Christmas resources table, as lots of people have been taking things from it throughout each night's outreach. In fact we have completely run out of kids resources like the "The Beginner's Bible - the First Christmas". We are aiming to get some more for this week's outreaches.
To God be all the glory!
God raised up some more labourers for our Christmas outreach in Brisbane city, we had 10 on the team. It was great to see over 2,000 gospel tracts get into the hands of people walking by.
This year we also have a free Christmas resources table set up, with things on there like the Gospel of John, The Case for Christmas, and The Beginner's Bible The Very First Christmas for kids. It's encouraging seeing lots of resources go out to people, including parents getting things for their kids.
Please pray for those who received gospel literature last night, but also for those who we got to speak to, including two ladies from Papua New Guinea who thought their own goodness would save them, but by the end of the conversation they said they wanted to place their faith in Christ.
If you live nearby, join us for tonight's outreach at the same place from 7pm.
To God be the glory!
We enjoyed a great night of evangelism in Brisbane city last night, handing out another 1,250 Christmas gospel tracts to people who came to see the light show. We only had 3 of us on the team, but it was a fruitful night.
One conversation that I had was with a guy named Rhys. He said that he didn't believe there was a God, but after pointing out to him a building nearby, and saying to him, "That building wouldn't be here without a builder, right? So in the same way, since this universe had a beginning, it wouldn't be here without a creator for it, right?" He agreed. (Our new tract goes along these lines too: www.op513.com/GodExistsTract )
Rhys then said that he thinks God is bad (he used a different word). I asked him why. He said that God is judgmental and tells people that they have to live His way. I replied, "Just like a good judge in a courtroom will punish a criminal for the crimes he has done and tell him that he has to live a different way for his own good and those around him, so it makes sense that the God who made us would tell us how to live, as it will be for our good and the good of those around us."
He began to see that, and so we went through the law of God and Rhys saw his sinfulness and listened as the gospel message was explained to him. He expressed how he would prefer to live life his own way though, but as we talked about the reality of hell, it began to concern him. Rhys has had some religious background and had a Bible already. At the end of the conversation, he said that would start reading the Bible again. I encouraged him to start with the gospel of John.
To God be the glory!
This event at Leslie Park Warwick has been organised by local churches in the past but has gradually changed the focus from Jesus is the reason for the season to more about Santa... and although the event is called Carols there is mostly music that is taking away from the true meaning of Christmas.
Thankfully there were still Christmas Carols like - Away in a Manger, Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels, O Come All Yeah Faithful, The First Noel, & Little Drummer Boy! But there were more secular songs such as Jingle Bells, Six White Boomers, All I Want For Christmas, Santa Is Coming To Town, Here Comes Santa Claus, more songs I haven't mentioned were middle ground songs such as this one... Happy Christmas (War is Over) that was the last song to end the night.
On a radio announcement for this event it was said that the guest of honour would be Santa. So all the more reason why we need to go into these events to share the clear message of Salvation in Jesus, what Christmas is about. These are opportunities that we as Christians have been given to go to the crowds and share good news that will be the solution to the bad news we all face without forgiveness of sins.
We need to always be kind and compassionate as we share but never compromise the truth, if we do this with Gods Spirit we know that people will have opportunity to come to know Gods Grace. Even if we go for one person that is Gods heart to go for that lost sheep.
Praise our Lord we had a great time handing out the Christmas tracts to the people of Warwick, we had 5 workers and around 800 tracts went out.
We had two really good one on one chats and one of those we will follow up. Please pray for Robert & Ron.
We always come upon other Christians at these events and it is a blessing to receive encouragement from them.
Also the prayers of those who can't make these outreaches are so precious, Thank you for praying, you are the backbone of the feet that go out with this work. Please pray for more feet to take the Gospel, keep praying for all things.
Jesus is our King who has come into the World to Save us sinners...All Glory, Honour and Praise be to our Lord Jesus!
On Wednesday the team out again on the streets of the Gold Coast for Schoolies.
As the beginning of the week had shown, the schoolies are very interested in talk. Many had attended "religious" schools and had ideas about God but the vast majority have no handle on the Gospel.
Please pray for these young men and women:
Maddie had previously professed to be a Christian (four years earlier) but had since rejected it. She heard a simple presentation of the judgement of God and His Gospel and acknowledged her understanding of the truth and yet still wanted to reject God because He didn't give her what she desired.
Tom chatted with the team for a lengthy time as well. He heard many apologetics about different parts of the Bible, most of which pointed back to the Gospel. But ultimately Tom left saying, "I understand a lot more about Christianity but I am happy living life as I want."
Taylor came two nights in a row and engaged in long discussions both times but on both occasions was quite drunk and was being a little silly. He said that he'd taken 22 shots before he had come out! Taylor talked with the team on most aspects of Christianity and had actually attended a local Brisbane school and one of the team members knew his brother. But even after 13 years at the school he had more questions rather than answers about Christianity.
Jamaine was a young man that had many questions and chatted with two different team members. The last thirty minutes of conversation were spent repetitively explaining repentance and faith and him trying to explain it back to us. Ultimately he left seeming to understand and we gave him contact details if he was interested in catching up with us.
The week has been moving along well, the team is pressing on despite the tiredness and God is graciously bringing us people with which we can share His truth.
Please keep us and those we have and will talk to in prayer!
So far during Schoolies at the Gold Coast, the "Good Person test" flip charts have been really great. They have been a very valuable asset as the Schoolies run up wanting to do the good person test, with some groups of people even waiting around for their turn to go through it. There have been plenty of new people coming along each day to try out this test. It has been great to see hundreds of Gospel conversations come from such a simple and easy to use prop.
One conversation started by these flips charts was with Angela and Brooke. The pair just happened to be walking by, saw the picture and inquired as to what it was about. Angela and Brooke had attended a catholic private school and had some ideas about salvation. Sadly most of their ideas were misunderstandings.
But the flip chart soon changed that. They learnt that we weren't just good people who made mistakes but rather we were bad people, who chose to do wrong. They then learnt that this sinfulness deserves Hell, which means all of humanity deserve Hell. To finish off they heard of God's incredible love, that He chose to suffer the penalty for our sin, so that all who trust in Him may have eternal life. This all happened in under five minutes, with the aid of the chart.
Sadly, the two girls weren't really phased and even though they intellectually understood the Gospel, they were more interested in living life according to their desires rather than in submission to God.
Please be praying for Angela and Brooke, that God may use this small conversation as the turning point which leads to salvation!
On Tuesday night as the team headed into the Surfers Paradise mall there seemed to be fewer schoolies out than the previous nights. Thankfully, that didn't stop many conversations from taking place.
Two notable conversations took place together. First was a conversation with young man named Sam who joined into a conversation that was already taking place with two guys, Jacob and David.
Sam was quite adamant about things he believed and was quite strong in his opposition of God's truth. This all collapsed quite quickly as Sam began to declare that he only believed things as true on the basis of his own experience.
The brief and quick response, "So you're telling me that World War II never occured?" silenced him and stopped him in his tracks. Sam realised the basis for his belief was flawed. This opened a great opportunity to share that a human being could never reason or work out in their head anything about God, unless God Himself had revealed it. Sam acknowledged this as true and then listened for a few moments before recieving a phone call and leaving. Thankfully the last minute of the conversation consisted of a clear and consise Gospel presentation of God's actions to save humanity.
The other conversation with Jacob and David lasted for almost ninety minutes. This consisted of many interruptions but was primarily based around, "questions we tried to ask our school chaplain but he didn't really want to answer". Jacob and David laid question after question on the team and we were happy to provide God's answer to each question. This back and forth covered everything from human sin, other world religions, to the problem of evil and the justice of Hell.
When the discussion was coming to a close, Jacob asked one final question, "What is the answer to your shirt?" One team member was wearing a shirt which read, "Did you hear about the bad man who went to Heaven?"
This question provided the perfect opportunity to present the Gospel one final time as the pair headed off for the evening.
Please thank God for His absolute authority and providence of these conversations. Thank Him for providing many Gospel opportunities in conversations that to begin with seem fruitless.
Please also lift Sam, David and Jacob before God and plead that God would free them from the bondage of their sin and cause them to turn in surrender to Him!
On Monday afternoon the team headed out again for Schoolies at the Gold Coast. During the afternoons people are usually sober and therefore there are less people around and those who are around have a little more schedule in their plan. Thankfully that didn't stop numerous people from stopping to chat with the team.
A notable conversation was with a young man named Emerson. He had a range of questions about Christianity specifically. He mentioned that he thought it was okay to believe in God but not really follow or obey what God has said.
When asked, Emerson didn't know where he'd spend eternity and was a little worried about it. He then changed the topic and was asking about gay marriage and what Christians think about it. It was explained that God designed, life, sexuality and relationships and therefore knows how they should be best used leading to joy and happiness and equally the contexts in which they would be detrimental and damaging. We also explained that God in His love has revealed this to us so that we may live the beautiful life God designed for us.
We told him the implications of this truth don't just relate to sexuality but to all aspects of our life as humans. This means it is hateful to encourage anyone to live against God's design for us because it is to encourage someone to miss out on the beautiful life of intimacy God designed us for and to encourage someone to act in a way that offends God.
This is where it became relevant to Emerson, the team pointed out that he was doing the same thing. Emerson was missing out on God's good design because he thought he knew better. We pressed him a little and ultimately left him with two options. He could either continue to live in arrogant defiance against God, thinking he knew better and ultimately ending up in hell. Or he could surrender to the humble God who, in love, chose to suffer in his place, that he may have life.
Please pray that Emerson reflects on this truth and ultimately turns in total surrender to God!
Please also keep the team in prayer as this week is exhausting and takes a toll physically on the team.
On Monday night at the Gold Coast during Schoolies the team had many, many gospel conversations. The schoolies this year have basically been coming up and asking the team to tell them about the Gospel. It also seems that almost everyone we've spoken to has gone to a Catholic or Anglican school. This is sad because many of the school leavers have never heard a clear and simple presentation of the Gospel, despite attending a "Christian" school for 12 years.
Oppositely, it is an absolute pleasure to have an opportunity to preach God's message of salvation to these young men and women, so that they can know of God's work in salvation.
A stand out conversation was with three young men, Sebastian, Tano and Nick (who have sinced come back and chatted with the team a second time). These young men went through the flip chart presentation with one team member and then asked some questions to a few team members.
Tano and Nick weren't the main focus of the conversation on Monday night but did recieve the priority of attention on Tuesday. The challenge was put to Sebastian numerous times to count the cost of trusting in Jesus. He understood that God knows what is best for us. He acknowledged that he was living in a way that is contrary to God's design but Sebastian didn't really want to surrender to Jesus as Lord.
Please keep the team in prayer that we can continue to be fervent in our evangelism, actively seeking a new conversation whenever we have finished the prior one.
And please continue to lift up those we speak to before God, that He may grant them repentance and faith!
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.