It was a beautiful summer's evening in Brisbane as we arrived in King George Square to commence our city Christmas outreach. Crowds of people had gathered outside of City Hall to watch the light display, so in-between shows we would hand out tracts and talk to people.
I noticed that things were a bit different this year to last year. The crowd numbers were slightly down, and there was this stark reminder all around the square that we live in an unsafe age. Around the perimeter of King George Square anti-vehicle bollards had been placed, and then covered in Christmas decorations.
I can only assume that these bollards were installed to ward off a Nice style terrorist attack. All this stood in contrast to the celebration of the coming of the Prince of Peace; and I was reminded that we will never truly know peace until we come to the Lord Jesus.
The whole outreach went well. Many people took tracts and the team was able to have several good conversations. One discussion I had was with an Asian man named Brian.
Originally he had stopped to talk to Alan, but somehow I got chatting to him. It was clear from the beginning that Brian was running an agenda. He asked lots of questions, but then tried to sow seeds of doubt in regards to Christianity.
Brian asked me to share my story of how I came to know Christ, so I told him my journey, and explained the gospel. He then asked me, "How certain are you that Christianity is true?" I replied that I had absolute certainty (this seemed to shake him).
He then said he wanted to try and move me to 95% certainty and to give me 5% doubt. I pointed out that this would be impossible as I know Christ; it is impossible to make me doubt His existence and truth when I actually know Him. It would be the same as Brian trying to convince me that I don't know my wife; it is completely impossible.
Brian at this stage described himself as an agnostic stoic, and that he was interested in learning. The conversation really took off from this point. I decided that since Brian wanted to rattle my worldview that I would return to favour by challenging his.
We discussed everything from morality; truth; science; ethics; belief; religion and slavery. Throughout I kept pointing him back to the gospel, and he openly admitted that he didn't like the concept of Jesus paying the penalty for sinners. This revealed the heart of the matter - pride.
As we spoke Brian admitted that his worldview was falling down around him and that he had hard questions that he needed to answer, but he was determined that the answer would not be found in Jesus.
We spoke for over an hour, and eventually we parted ways. Brian had his objections answered, but he still wouldn't believe, because at heart he wanted to be his own saviour; he didn't want anyone to rescue him. Please pray that the Lord would save Brian.
Overall the outreach went very well. Please keep us in prayer as we seek to make much of Christ during this Christmas season.
We praise the Lord for the amazing week-long outreach at Schoolies on the Gold Coast last week. Thousands of year twelve graduates received a gospel tract or had a conversation about Christ with us.
God sustained our voices, kept us healthy and kept us relying on Him for strength. It was great seeing so many labourers with us on the team this year, and also seeing so many of them step out of their comfort zones and start conversations with people about eternal matters.
All glory to God that He uses unworthy servants such as us to make known such a wonderful message of reconciliation!
Watch this 2 minute video from Saturday 24th September Riverfire outreach in Brisbane city.
Anzac Day 2016 Outreach
Yesterday afternoon in Brisbane City the mall was quite busy as it was the Anzac Day public holiday, where Australian's celebrate the sacrifice of the lives that men and women gave for our country's freedom.
So we went to proclaim the sacrifice Jesus the Christ paid, His sinless life, so that we may have freedom, from sin and death.
The tract we were handing out was our new Anzac gospel tract.
Watch the video from the outreach:
Soli Deo Gloria!
A great day of evangelism at the Redlands Easter Family Festival. Over 5,000 gospel tracts and hundreds of gospels of John went into people's homes.
Operation 513 goes to Redlands Easter Family Festival!
On Monday, the team headed to Redlands Showgrounds, at the Redlands Easter Family Festival to share with the celebrants the reason for the season, that Christ Jesus came into this world, lived a perfectly life, died a sacrificial death, was buried and rose victorious from the grave, to save sinners such as us.It was a day packed full of excitement, here is a highlights video!Posted by Operation 513 - Evangelism Action Group on Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Please be praying for all those who heard the gospel. To God be the glory!
We had a well spent morning putting about 2,000 gospel tracts into letterboxes in the Wynnum/Manly area (QLD).
We started off with bacon and eggs for breakfast and then split into pairs to distribute the 'This was your life' tracts into letterboxes.
The weather was very pleasant, being mostly cloudy, and at times God brought in some light rain to cool us down.
We praise God that the gospel message could go into 2,000 more homes this morning. Please pray for all those who read the tract.
We aim to do this again later in the year, we hope you can come along then too.
To God be the glory!
Australia Day 2016
"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34)
To celebrate Australia Day, we headed into the Queen Street Mall to share the Gospel. Since, many things were closed today, we found that quite a number of people were just hanging out in the area.
We started the outreach by handing out tracts and chatting to people. After doing this for awhile, we decided it was time to preach. Earlier in the day I had decided that I wasn't going to preach today, instead I was just going to focus on one to one witnessing. However, God had other plans.
As I was chatting to Ryan, I came up with an idea for a sketchboard message entitled, "Good Aussie?" Before I realised what was happening I was painting up to preach this message. But again, God had other plans.
I started to preach using the sketchboard, but I hadn't gotten very far when a man began yelling at me. He was screaming about how the Bible supported rape and slavery. I challenged his position and asked him to show me from the Bible where these things were. The man then began to state that on every page of the Bible there is immorality. He then challenged me to open my Bible to any page and he'd show me the error.
Well, I decided to flick my Bible open and let the man choose where we read from. He randomly chose a passage in Luke's Gospel which declared the greatness of Jesus. He wasn't happy with that passage, but it ended his argument (for now).
After this, the man began to ask about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. I was able to present an apologetic for traditional marriage, but the man kept falling back to the 'love argument.' He said that if two adults loved each other, then they should marry. So, I asked him, "What about brothers and sisters, can they marry? Or how about mothers and sons? Or perhaps fathers and daughters?"
You could see that this man was getting uncomfortable, but he held to his convictions. He boldly declared (to the shock of the crowd) that incest was acceptable and that it wasn't his business to judge. Again, I was able to challenge the man from Scripture as to what the Bible says about this topic.
From this topic we jumped around to people misinterpreting the Bible and to the issue of if someone should be killed for working on a Sunday. After answering all his questions and setting forth the Gospel, the heckler came up to shake my hand. We had a bit of a joke and then he left.
As the man left another heckler rose up. This man was heavily focused on homosexuality. He seemed to have the view that God just singled out homosexuals and that they were picked on. I read to him 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and asked, "Are homosexuals mentioned in this passage?" He agreed that they were. Then I asked, "Are they singled out?" He answered that they weren't.
From there I was able to show that God is Holy, so He is against all sin. But the beautiful thing about the Gospel is that all sin can be forgiven. The man came up and shook my hand upon hearing this.
I had planned to use the sketchboard, but God wanted an apologetic discussion and Gospel presentation. It was really encouraging to see crowds of people gather to listen and to engage in the discussion.
After, I finished preaching, Ryan decided to preach also. He also saw crowds gathering around to hear the Gospel proclaimed. Overall, today was a wonderful day. May the Lord bless the preaching of His Word, and may our country be blessed.
As we headed out to the Coast tonight, some of the schoolies had settled down a bit but many were still going crazy. The volumes of drunk people weren't as large but there were still some very drunk people.
There were some awesome discussions we had tonight, many people we hadn't talked with before came up and chatted with team members and again there was a very large range of discussions but most schoolies will come up and ask a single question or two often related to "Is drinking a sin?" or "What do you believe about homosexuality?" and so the schoolies are keen to talk but sadly earlier in the night many of the schoolies are still quite drunk and so the conversation doesn't go far.
There seems to be a very large amount of Catholics around, they will readily profess to be a 'Christian' but sadly they are often very drunk and there are out on schoolies week doing exactly what God hates. This is often an in to the Gospel because people who profess to 'believe' in God will normally take the moment to chat about their beliefs.
One instance of this last night were two girls, Tahlia and Courtney, they professed to be Catholics and in reality they probably were but Catholicism doesn't get anyone to Heaven, as at its core the catholic belief professes that it isn't by faith alone in Christ that saves you, therefore deny what God Himself said about salvation. So we discussed what the girls thought was going to get them to Heaven. Sure enough very quickly it was 'works', they professed their goodness and were quick to share how great they were before God.
But this lead into a discussion about God's law, when we examined ourselves we saw how far we all fell short of God's standard, the girls at first didn't like this but started to accept the truth of it soon afterwards, allowing for the opportunity to share the Gospel, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.
Another young lady the team had talked to, when she heard about her sin, simply responded with, "Well it looks like I'm in a bit of a pickle"
Please pray for the many Catholics we talked with and will continue to engage with, as just like the rest of us, they need the salvation offered in Christ alone!
Please pray for those who were exposed to the Gospel, pray that God will use His glorious message of salvation through Christ Jesus to bring many unto repentace!
Soli Deo Gloria!
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!