Tonight at Schoolies the night started off very sad, no matter how much I try to prepare my heart to see people on alcohol and drugs it never seems to numb the sadness it brings. But by God's Grace it fills me with this compassion that these people need Jesus Christ just as much as I did and still do.
Tonight it was the schoolies second night, they had been out the previous night and were still revving up and getting into the craziness of it all. But as is so characteristic as we first headed out the vast majority were seriously drunk, the schoolies (as many are under aged and cannot buy drinks while on the street) get really drunk in their apartments at about 6pm, they drink, drink, drink and then head out into the mall to wander around till the sun starts to rise.
But amazingly as we saw God is sovereign, God bought us people to talk with, He allowed many people to want to talk, many of whom stayed for lengthy periods of time, in fact some conversations went for over two hours! Everything from people asking question after question about God, to those who wanted to discuss or debate even the existence of God, the ground covered in discussions were vast. But in all of this, the team was able to proclaim Christ and Him crucified and many heard the Gospel and so we can know that our efforts were 100% successful, in that, it is God who saves and our job purely is to share the message of salvation.
Two awesome highlights were;
Firstly a chat with Evan, the night had been fairly slow, up until the talk with Evan. In fact most people I had engaged with were some what intoxicated and didn't really care but Evan was different, he was inquisitive, asking question after question for over two hours, he would ask something he wasn't sure about and when I would do my best to explain what the Bible said about such things he would very quickly catch on and say he understood and then ask about an implication from the truth of the last question.
It was awesome, we talked and talked, we discussed many things and Evan even though he isn't a Christian understood after a simple explanation most basic and a few more complex Christian theological points. Evan had heard the Gospel, he knows the Gospel and he has had many of his questions about the Bible answered.
Please be praying for Evan, he is quite an intelligent young man, he knows the truth and he has been challenged to consider the cost of following Christ.
Another great highlight was right at the end of the night, we were in the final stages of packing up, there was a bit of a hold up and a young man (named Mitchell) approached us, He asked two questions, "Why is there evil things?" and followed up with, "Why would bad things happen to good people?"
We discussed this, but first we had to establish a common ground of the reliability of the Bible, with some simple discussion about the fulfilled prophecies of Christ and the eye witness testimony that is the new testament. Mitchell quickly submitted to the fact that more than likely the Bible is God's word. Then from that grounding, we discussed sin.
We discussed the fall of Human kind and therefore the fact that the world fell as well, that creatures whose design was never to do bad, people whose design was never for evil suddenly were things that they weren't created to be.
Mitchell listened intently and was constantly asking questions, making sure he understood. But it got better, we discussed evil and then we talked about 'bad things, happening to good people', this is one of the easiest questions to use for sharing the Gospel!
We talked about the fact that there are no good people (All have sinned, all have fallen short of God's standard), meaning the original question had a false premise when applied to humanity but that the only person it could be correctly applied to is Jesus Christ, in fact we got to discuss the amazing love, that Jesus displayed that He volunteered His perfect life as the only good person to ever have a bad thing happen to Him leading to something greater.
Because of what Christ did we were able to discuss the flipping of the original question, that God laid down His life to offer a good thing to bad people. Mitchell heard this line and said wow, he would have to consider such things. He left with a tract and I strongly encouraged him to consider eternity.
Please pray for the those who heard the Gospel! There were many more, there were hundreds who took tracts and lots the engaged the preaching and a large amount who had an individual conversation. Please pray (knowing that God is in control of salvation), that God will use these events, use the Gospel of Christ that the team preached to bring many schoolies unto salvation.
Please pray for the team as we head to bed now that we will rest well and be able to wake up tomorrow refreshed and ready to share the Gospel. Please also pray for the safe travels of those who are joining us in the next few days. And please thank God and give continued prayer for the team being able to seek Him as we were out on the street and being able to flee from sin and please continue asking Him for strength to serve God and not fall into temptation.
Soli Deo Gloria!
SPECIAL HALLOWEEN OUTREACH!
Today, people all-around the world celebrated Halloween. Many set aside the night to dress up in scary outfits; others just used it as an excuse to spend the night drinking and partying.
However, there is something much more important than lollies, scary costumes and alcohol. No one would buy a car and not insure it, yet, many people go through life not thinking about the most important of issues, namely, where will we spend eternity?
Today, we headed out to a Halloween festival in Manly in order to hand out 'Trick or Treat' tracts and to talk to people about the issues of life, death and eternity. By God's grace over five thousand people took tracts!
During the course of the day, Ryan had the oppurtunity to share the Gospel with the Lord Mayor of Brisbane. Like most people, the Mayor said he was trusting in his own goodness as the way to Heaven. Please pray that the Lord Mayor will think about what he has heard, and that he would come to faith.
Also, please pray for all those who received the Gospel in written form. Pray that the Lord would use these simple tracts to bring many people out of the darkness and into the light.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Be Educated Outreach
On Tuesday morning we went into the University of Queensland to distribute 200 Bibles, that were donated to us by the Trinitarian Bible Society.
We headed in and first set up at the UQ Lakes bus stop, there we were for about an hour, it was relatively busy and we handed out about sixty five bibles while we were down there.
After forty minutes though a security officer made his way to us and had asked the team to no distribute Bibles, by God's grace while he was checking information about where we could go and things like that we were able to hand out another twenty or so bibles.
Then as we were leaving, we walked past a statue of 'St Vladimir', a statue donated to UQ in 1988, to celebrate Christianity making its way to Russia one thousand years earlier, this man was literally being honoured for distributing Christian literature to Russia.
After a little bit of discussion the team decided we would head to the other side of the campus, out to the council owned land, where we were dropped off and were able by God's sovereign Grace able to distribute the other one hundred and fifteen in a matter of less than thirty minutes at the front entrance to UQ.
Praise God that so many students were able to take Bibles and may be able to read the word of God!
Soli Deo Gloria!
We would like to thank all those that helped on Saturday for the OP513 Letter Box Drop.
After a good hot breakfast and even better fellowship, 24 willing saints divided over 6 areas around Holland Park, Brisbane, to distribute more than 7,000 Gospel Tracts.
We praise God that all returned safely a few hours later.
The tract we were distributing was the Eternity Postcard.
Please be in prayer for each household that received a Gospel Tract.
Pray that God would have mercy and open the hearts of those lost in darkness so that they would see the glorious light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Despite the rain it was a productive outreach in Wynnum. We were able to hand out 500 tracts and have several conversations.
I spoke to one lady who is a spiritualist. She was telling me that all religions are true, and are all paths to God. I asked her if God could lie, she said He couldn't; I then followed up by asking, "Is Jesus, God?" She replied that He is.
From there I said, "Jesus said in John 14:6, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.' Is Jesus speaking the truth?" The lady quickly affirmed that Jesus speaks the truth.
So I asked her why she would reject the truth and follow spiritualism? This question seemed to stump the lady. She fumbled around for a bit, and kept saying, "I am going to the sprit realm, the spirits have told me." I answered her claims from the Bible, but she seem to be deaf to whatever I said to her. Please pray the Lord would set her free from the spirits that currently deceive her.
After talking to the spiritualist I then got into a conversations with two agnostics who identified themselves as anti-theists. They made the following arguments against Christianity: 1) The Bible enslaves women; 2) The Bible was made by men wanting power; 3) The Bible has been changed thousands of times; 4) The Bible is myth; 5) Christianity has done nothing good for society.
I answered all their arguments from Scripture, history and textual criticism. The response from the two anti-theists was to say that I was brainwashed. I pointed out to them that they had made unsubstantiated claims which were incorrect, and that they rejected any answers to their questions. In the end they called me names and walked away. Clearly, they were not interested in answers. They just wanted an excuse not to believe.
Please pray for all those who took tracts, and who we spoke to today. This was the first of two outreaches planned for this Saturday. Please also pray for tonight's outreach in the Brisbane CBD.
I preached using the Sketchboard a couple times throughout the afternoon. A crowd stopped to listen to the message each time. Then Jordan got up and preached, spring-boarding off of James 4:13-14.
Afterwards I got back up to preach and pretty much straight away there was a loud heckler. It is great having loud hecklers as they attract a crowd. He asked all sorts of questions from 'How do we know God exists?' to 'What about slavery in the Bible?'
This resulted in a large crowd forming, which then started asking their own questions too (like 'Why is there a Hell?', 'Why doesn't God like shellfish?', 'What about homosexuality?'). The crowd didn't disappear at all during the 1.5-2 hours of continuous preaching, with some people staying the entire time.
I made sure to explain the gospel again and again in amongst the questions that people were asking. because I knew that there were new people in the crowd all the time.
The team kept handing out tracts during this time and talking to people about Christ. We handed out about 20 Bibles during the outreach.
We were planning on finishing the outreach at 4:30pm, but because the crowd was sticking around asking more questions, with new people arriving all the time, I ended up finishing preaching after 5pm. We then packed up shortly after that.
Please pray for all who heard the gospel on Monday in Brisbane.
To God be the glory that He would use unworthy servants like us!
It was a great day of evangelising at the Redlands Easter Family Festival today. We handed out 5,000 gospel tracts, over 200 Bibles, and many good gospel conversations were had.
Here is a short video from the day:
Please pray for all who heard the gospel. To God be the glory!
We had a special outreach for Australia Day 2015 at the Gold Coast.
There were 9 of us on the team, and the tract that we were handing out was the 'Good Aussie' card. It was so easy to hand them out as almost everyone was willing to take one.
Please pray for three people from Iran - Matthew, Andrew and John. They were attending a church but they had no idea of how to go to Heaven. They were very appreciative of hearing the gospel explained and said they would think about it.
Here is a video from the outreach:
Here are some photos from the outreach:
It was an eventful day in Brisbane. Before we had even commenced the outreach, as we were setting up, an irate Atheist approached the literature table. He proceeded to pick up all the Bibles and materials then try to throw them in the bin.
We were able to stop him doing this, but he continued to increase in hostility. Eventually, we had to physically restrain him in order to stop him destroying Bibles.
A large crowd gathered to see what was happening, and it was encouraging to have businesses, and members of the public supporting us.
The Police were called and they issued the angry Atheist a move on order.
After that we were able to hand out over 1600 tracts, and numerous Bibles and books were taken by members of the public. We also were able to present the Gospel via the sketchboards in the open-air.
Sadly, as the day was coming to a close, a Brisbane City Council local law officer approached us. Previously, he stated that he wanted us banned from the Queen Street Mall as he personally objected to the message we preached (even though we have permits and are legally allowed to preach).
Today, he tried to ban us handing out tracts and then tried to stop the preaching. These efforts of his failed.
Please pray for all those who received the Gospel today, and also please pray that the Lord would thwart those who would seek to silence His Gospel.
It was a 'lively' day in Brisbane for the second day of our Christmas Campaign. The violent Atheist returned again, this time he destroyed more material and made Christophobic comments, he then fled. Unfortunately, the Police were not able to catch him, however, they have assured us that they will be increasing patrols in our area for tomorrow.
Once again we faced opposition from a Brisbane City Council local law officer. This officer has been engaging in religious vilification for many weeks now. Even though he has admitted (on audio) that we are not breaking the law, and that we have the legal right to preach in the Queen Street Mall, he keeps trying everything possible to shut us down.
Today, because some people objected to the Christmas message he threatened to fine us if we continued to share. He also called the Police who promptly told him that this is a civil matter and not a Police issue. We pointed out the law to the Council Officer, but he refused to submit to it, instead he declared himself to be the authority. As a result, we are now looking into what legal action we can take against him, as tyranny must be stopped.
We ignored the unjust and unlawful order from Council and continued to share the Gospel. In the end he walked away without fining us.
However, it must be said that with the increase of opposition more people are opening to the Gospel. Numerous tracts, and Bibles were given away today, and many great conversations were had. We even had a crowd gather for the open-air preaching.
Brethren, pray for us. Please pray that Christ will stop the plans of wicked men in trying to silence the Gospel, and that many will be saved.
We had an excellent day of outreach in Brisbane. Today, we had no opposition from the militant Atheist, nor from the Brisbane City Council Local Law Officer. Instead, we had a member of the Queensland Police affirm that we have the law on our side when it comes to the outreach.
We had a good problem today, in that we ran out of Gospel material. All the Bibles, books, tracts etc. that we had were snapped up by those in the Queen Street Mall. Over the past two weeks of Christmas outreach we have been able to distribute over 25,000 tracts, and over one hundred Bibles.
Please pray for all those who heard the Gospel via the preaching, and personal witness; also pray for those who received tracts. May Christ be exalted in the saving of souls.
Schoolies is a week long time of celebration for thousands of school leavers who have just finished grade 12. The vast majority of them converge on Surfers Paradise where the government funds nightly dance parties on the beach.
Even though many want to come to schoolies in order to sin, schoolies provides a great opportunity for us to share the gospel with the school leavers, as they are at a crossroads in their life.
Here are some updates from the week:
The first night of Schoolies Outreach at the Gold Coast went well. It is such a great opportunity to talk to these teenagers about eternal matters.
A number of the schoolies came to understand the gospel, and so we encouraged them to count the cost first, but at the same time, to not delay in getting right with God.
Day 2 & 3
The third night of Schoolies outreach has just finished.
As the week rolls on, some of the Schoolies are becoming more and more dissatisfied with the partying and are very willing to stop and chat.
We have seen again tonight many who love their sin and want to keep going in it, but also some who are really considering the message of the gospel.
Please pray God will draw these Schoolies to Himself. Pray also for energy and strength for the team to continue faithfully making Christ known.
Day 4 of Schoolies outreach is complete.
We have been talking to heaps of different Schoolies each day, but it has been great talking to a number of the same schoolies each day, expanding on the message with them, answering their questions, and pleading with them to repent and believe.
We got to hand out a few gospel of John's tonight for those who were really interested. A couple people were even welling up with tears.
This afternoon, we happened to meet Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis who was walking through Surfers Paradise with his family.
It has been a very worthwhile outreach. But one of the saddest things we have been seeing is not the fact that many schoolies are drunk or taking drugs, but that there are a bunch of professing Christians that have been standing nearby us teaching the schoolies a man-centred love-only false gospel.
They would sometimes even interrupt our conversations with the schoolies to say that what we are saying is wrong. One of the them could not control his anger that he threatened to punch one of the team. The police quickly dealt with him, fining him for being a public nuisance and moved him on.
Thankfully, God is sovereign and His word never returns void. So for the hundreds of schoolies we spoke to today, they will never be the same - they have heard the gospel, and are accountable for what they do with it. Please pray that God would save many of them.
Day 5 & 6
This afternoon's outreach at Surfers Paradise was productive with a number of the schoolies being concerned where they are going when they die and are counting the cost of coming to trust in Christ for their salvation.
One sad thing to hear today was from one of the schoolies that we talked to last night who very open to the message and even took a gospel of John from us, after our conversation she was told by another "Christian" group to not listen to anything she heard from us and to not read the gospel of John because it is wrong.
But it was good seeing her today and being able to encourage her again to start reading God's word.
Last night the rain came down very heavily just before midnight, which meant most of the schoolies headed back to their apartments for cover.
Despite the rain, we still had many fruitful conversations. We leave the results in God's hands.
Schoolies outreach 2014 has come to a close. Thanks for your prayers.
10,000 gospel tracts were handed out this week. Praise God! We won't know their full effect until Heaven. We sow the seed but God gives the growth.
These school leavers have been eternally impacted. Whether they come to faith or not, they have been told the message and so they will be even more accountable on Judgement day.
Please pray for the thousands of people we spoke to and handed out tracts to, that God may draw them to Himself.
Soli Deo Gloria!