Sunday, 13 July, 2008
Keith and I had been in Sydney for the past few days getting ready for the big outreach to coincide with the Roman Catholic World Youth Day. Over the past couple of days we had done outreach locally in and around Sydney, and even hooked up with Yorke and his team in Manly for a bit of outreach. But today was the first day in which we were able to engage with those who were in Sydney for the Pope.
In the morning we went to church at Castle Hill Baptist Church, and heard a brilliant exposition of Hebrews 12:1-2 by Rev. Ian Deane. Then after that we headed into the CBD of Sydney to do some witnessing in Hyde Park.
By the time we fought the Sydney traffic, we realised that we only had one hour to witness in Hyde Park before he had to go back to Castle Hill to fulfil a prior commitment. So we set to work witnessing and handing out tracts as fast as we could. Hyde Park was full of Roman Catholic's who were all there for the big celebration. Tracts were going out really quickly and the majority of people thanked us for the tracts. The interesting thing is that we even have priests and nuns lining up to take the gospel tract from us, and then as they left they would pronounce a quick blessing upon us.
We had been witnessing for awhile when this man came up to me, and started to yell "THOU ART PETER!" I looked at him blankly and was thinking "I am not Peter, I'm Josh." But he kept on yelling "THOU ART PETER!" It appeared that this was the only few words he knew. For the next few moments he just kept repeating these same few words, and then said "Do you believe that?" I replied that if he was talking about Matthew 16 and Jesus saying those words to Peter then yes, I would agree. But however, if he meant that to mean that Peter was the rock upon which the church was built, then I would strongly disagree. The man then went nuts yelling at me, that the Roman Church was the only true church, and that all others were imitations. I tried to reason with him but he just stormed off saying "THOU ART PETER!"
By now Keith had joined me, he had been witnessing to a Roman Catholic who kept stating what the Greek text said, so I Keith asked her to show him in the Greek where she got her info from. It soon became clear that she didn't know the Bible, nor the Greek.
We went back to handing out tracts as fast as we could as many people were coming up and grabbing tracts from us. People seemed grateful for the tracts, and many people were excited about the gospel being handed out. Then Jeff had a woman start screaming at him for handing out tracts, and then she came up and engaged Keith. Keith was very patient with her and kept asking her "What part of the message do you disagree with?" She couldn't provide an answer, and after a while she left.
After an hour we started to leave, and make our way back to Castle Hill. On the way to the train station Keith spotted a large group of ‘pilgrims' standing along George Street so he rushed over to them to try and give out some tracts. The pilgrims were all standing in a big circle, and when he got to them they freaked out a bit as these ‘good' Roman Catholics were all smoking marijuana.
Keith then turned his attention to a Scientologist who was handing out literature. They spoke a bit in an apologetic realm, and then the Scientologist started to yell at Keith; "You're hacking my brain!" Keith left him with a tract, and then we made our way back to Castle Hill.
It was a good hour of witnessing. Between three of us in one hour we were able to hand out over 2000 tracts!
Monday, 14 July 2008
Today we return ed to Hyde Park. We arrived at about 11am, and began to hand out tracts as quick as we could. Like the day before it was packed in the park. As we were witnessing I noticed that SBS had set up a television crew and they were interviewing people about World Youth Day. I was approached by the host and asked if I would be willing to be interviewed, I quickly agreed. But when they heard I was from Australia they didn't want to talk. As they only wanted to speak to foreigners. So I called Keith over and pointed out to them that he was actually Irish. They were then interested in interviewing him.
Keith began the interview, and he made sure that he constantly got to mention the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was asked questions about Rome, and he answered from a Biblical worldview and kept on stressing that salvation is not of works, but by grace alone.
While Keith was being interviewed some Samoan pilgrims came alongside me and started to say "They shouldn't interview him, he is a protestant!" So I simply asked them what was wrong with Protestants. They replied "They don't have Jesus, they aren't real Christians." This of course led into a discussion. I started to ask them about what they believed, and as soon as I started to talk a Catholic seminary student joined in the mix. He was quick to attack Biblical theology, but it didn't take long for me to counter his arguments. So he left me and engaged Keith who had just finished his interview.
For the next hour we spoke about many topics, from Mary, the mass, the Bible, the church, the pope, and also salvation. By the end the group of Samoans that I was talking to had realised that there own works would never merit them salvation. But rather they had to flee to Christ alone to save them. After talking they all took tracts and then posed with us to have our photo taken.
We then headed down to the entrance of Hyde Park and began to hand out tracts to everyone who walked past. Like yesterday priests and nuns were lining up to take tracts, and they were once again very grateful. But this all seemed to be the calm before the storm. After handing out tracts for awhile an American Catholic priest approached me, and read the tract. He then came back shoved the tract back into my hand and said "That's anti Catholic!" So I asked what part was anti Catholic, since Roman Catholicism and the Pope were not mentioned in the tract. He looked at it again and said, "It is anti Catholic, as it says you are only saved by faith alone in Christ alone!" I pointed out to him that everything stated in the tract was backed up by Scripture, so how would he reply to those verses. He agree that everything in it was biblical, but the church however has a different teaching. When I tried to engage him in apologetic discussion, he quickly backed off and started to tell everyone not to take our tracts as they opposed Rome. So this time a bit louder I asked him with everyone watching "Which part opposes Rome, and what part of the Bible do you disagree with?" People stopped to look, then quickly took tracts. The priest chased after them trying to get the tracts off them, so I said to him as he was leaving "God's judgment will be a lot harsher on those who try to keep people from the Kingdom!"
The priest stormed off so I continued to hand out tracts. Things once again went along fine. Although after awhile some New South Wales police officers arrived to say that they had received complaints about the tracts. So we gave all the police tracts and they read them. After reading them they all agreed that there was nothing wrong with them, and that we had the freedom to keep handing them out. In fact some police stayed for awhile and were encouraging us to go and engage the atheists on the other side of the park in debate as it would be interesting.
Tracts were going out at a rapid pace, and by now Ryan had arrived from Brisbane so he also started to hand out tracts. Every now and then we would get people stop and engage us in debate over Roman Catholicism, and they all seemed to use the same arguments over and over again. But most of the people we spoke to left thanking us.
By now it was getting late in the afternoon. And we had handed out thousands of tracts. Then things took a turn for the worse. Another local ‘evangelism' ministry joined us on the streets, and they also were handing out tracts. Since I knew the team leader I believed that I could trust him not to do anything that would cause trouble. I was proven wrong on this matter. He decided to enter into the big Roman Catholic Cathedral where they had a ‘Saints' body on display and tract up everyone in the Cathedral. This of course got him in trouble with the police, and also caused a very irate Roman Catholic to follow him. The problem for us was that he came to us to brag about his exploits. In my opinion the thing he did was rank stupidity and it endangered the whole outreach. It was then that Keith and I noticed that the angry Roman Catholic was on the phone to the police now making a complaint against us.
During this time a bunch of young Roman Catholic girls approached and were screaming at us that we were Protestants. And their leaders were yelling for people not to take tracts, and to rip them all up and throw them on the ground. This brought the police down, who told the Catholics that we had every right to hand out tracts, and that they had no rights to encourage people to destroy property and litter. The Roman Catholics quickly apologised.
Once again these Roman Catholics maintained that our tract was unbiblical, but when challenged to show us what part was wrong, they couldn't.
We put up with them for a few minutes, then the police arrived who had been called by the irate Roman Catholic that had followed the other guys from the Cathedral. Because of his complaint the police asked us to stop handing out tracts until such time as they could investigate what was happening. The police were very friendly, and were real apologetic over stopping us, but they indicated that someone had called to make a complaint.
Keith and I chatted to the police, and all the police were reading our tracts, so we were fine with that. As it gave us a chance to minister to these officers of the law. But things changed when the guy who had handed out tracts in the Cathedral entered in to find out what was happening to "his team". The police told him to go away as it had nothing to do with him. And Keith and I weren't to amused as we weren't "his team" and because of him, we were being stopped from witnessing.
Then the police received a call from headquarters and they were informed to issue us a move on order. Which means we weren't allowed in the Sydney CBD for twenty four hours. As they issued the order they also apologised, and made sure to stress that this order came from higher up, and was not due to them. We thanked the police for their time, and also informed them that we had no problems with them as they were just doing their job.
So we packed up our tracts, and left. The day had been very productive although it was shorter that we had planned. It goes to show that on outreach you must watch out for "glory boys" who seek to do something ‘daring' (stupid) in order to have something to brag about. It was because of one guys stupidity that a whole outreach was shut down. The worse thing was, that he isn't apart of Operation 513 but rather he leads a different ministry. We got shut down but he didn't.
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Since we got shut down yesterday, and because we still had twenty four hour ban on us, we decided to have a bit of a sleep in, and then head across to Manly to do some witnessing. Our ban ran out at 4:30pm, so all we had to do was stay out of the CBD till then, and after that we could witness all we wanted to.
After meeting up with a new bloke who wanted to join us, we head over to Manly and began to hand out tracts and witness. Within minutes of getting there we had a bunch of American Roman Catholics start to engage us. One of them was getting rather angry at me, that Keith believed that he was going to hit me. We spoke about church history for a bit, and this man even though he claimed to be a theology student didn't know much about history nor theology. So we examined his beliefs in the light of Scripture. He kept making statements so we challenged him to provide biblical evidence for what he was saying. Of course like most Roman Catholics he knew more about Tradition than he did about Scripture.
After witnessing at Manly for a time, we caught the ferry back across the harbour to the CBD. Upon arriving we noticed that the opening mass was underway, and literally thousands of people were walking along the harbour. So we set up and started to hand out tracts as fast as we could. Many people took tracts, and soon it became clear that we probably wouldn't have enough tracts for the night. While we were handing out tracts one of the police officers from the day earlier approached us and said "G'day" once again he apologised for yesterday and encouraged us to keep going.
After a while we headed up to Barangaroo where the opening mass was being held. Upon arrival near the entrance we spoke to the World Youth Day security team, and they told us where we could stand. They were fine with us being there as long as we didn't block traffic. We agree with their terms and made sure that we were spread out so that no one could accuse us of blocking the flow of pilgrims.
As the Mass ended we were surrounded by a great sea of humanity, and many thousands upon thousands of tracts went out. The traffic flowed freely so we were having no trouble. The whole time we were right next to the World Youth Day security post. After a couple of hours of handing out tracts four police officers approached me and the Crown Sergeant who was leading them started to yell at me and snatched all my tracts out of my hand. The police officer then started to blast me for standing the walkway handing out tracts. I pointed out to him that World Youth Day staff told me to stand there, and he replied "I don't care, this is my turf I am in charge of it!" He said many complaints had been made against us, so he was going to shut us down. I asked him what law we were breaking, and he didn't answer. So I said "I have constitutional freedom to do this, so if I am not breaking any law I will continue." The Crown Sergeant then grabbed a tract and began to read it. As he read it, he started saying "This is hate speech!" So I asked what part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is hate speech, he indicated to the part that said "going to church won't get you to heaven." So I pointed out that is what the Bible says, he maintained that it was hate speech, and that I couldn't hand them out. I stood my ground, and said that since no law was broken I would be continuing to hand them out. He snapped at me that I couldn't and then said "I am detaining you under the World Youth Day laws." This surprised me since only two hours earlier the Australian Government overturned the World Youth Day laws stating that they were unconstitutional. I pointed that out to the Crown Sergeant, and he just replied "Tough!" It was then that I said I would be making a formal complaint over this matter, and he just laughed saying "Go ahead, they can't touch me, I am above that!" To which I replied "You may be above this legal system, but you aren't above God's, and He will all you to give an account one day." This made the Crown Sergeant mad, and he ordered me to sit on the wall of an Anglican church and not move less I be arrested. But before I would move I asked him for his details, and also for the details of the other police officers. The Crown Sergeant refused at first, but then gave me his name, but wouldn't tell me his station. So I turned to the three constables and asked them for their details. The crown sergeant ordered them not to give me their details, and told me I wasn't allowed to have them. To this I replied "By law, you must give me your details." He just laughed and started to turn away. One constable quickly gave me his badge number before the Crown Sergeant stormed off.
So I was confined to sit on the wall of an Anglican church. Immediately I called my Barrister and started to ask him on how to proceed. He pointed out that the police had just broken the law, and they couldn't confine me to a wall. After speaking to him for awhile another police sergeant walked past, so I asked her about the law, and why was I detained. She told me that I had been detained for "incitement" but I pointed out that the Crown Sergeant said "World Youth Day laws and hate speech", she was a bit shocked at this, so she read the tract and said "I have no problems with this, you can continue to hand these out". Upon hearing this (in the presences of witnesses) I headed back out to hand out gospel tracts.
While I was sitting on the wall, I got to see what some of the priests and nuns were doing to our tracts. Some burnt them, others spat on them. Still others urinated on them. All this and these people are supposed to represent God's Church! The Roman Catholic Church revealed itself that night as being a church that is corrupted and a church that hates all those who aren't opposed to it.
I rejoined Keith and Ryan, and we were able to hand out thousands of tracts. As we looked at our stock level we saw that it had nearly reduced to nothing. But then the Crown Sergeant entered back into the scene. He stood right near us and watched every move, after awhile a bunch of American Catholics started trying to stop us from handing out tracts, all the while holding an American flag. We challenged them on what Freedoms the American people held dear, they responded "Freedom of Speech", so we asked why they would stop us from having Freedom of Speech in our country when over 100 000 Australian soldiers had died to give us that freedom? The Americans over the course of this outreach were the worse behaved. They shouted "Freedom" then opposed those who didn't agree with them. This is really sad, but it is clear by their actions why most of the world hates the USA.
The Americans stood in the middle of the road (blocking traffic) yelling at people to rip up the tracts and throw them in the bin. The shocking thing was the Crown Sergeant was encouraging them to do it also. So I turned walked up to him and said "Sir, you told me that if I am in the road I would be arrested, yet you are allowing them to do it, why?" His reply was "One rule for them, and one for you!" To which I replied "So, one rule for Catholics and one for Protestants?" He just grinned, and then said "They are sick of your propaganda and protestant c**p!" This stunned me that a member of the New South Wales police would discriminate against me in regards to religion, so I turned my phone on a called a friend so he could hear it. I asked him to repeat it, and when he realised that I was recording he refused to say much. This was a clear display of Police corruption, this Crown Sergeant openly opposed those who were Protestants, whoever thinks that Rome has changed need to spend a night in Sydney to see how the antichrist (pope) has the police wrapped around his little finger.
During this time a group of Catholics approached Keith and said that we need to watch out as they would be waiting at the foot of the hill to beat us up when we left. We continued to hand out tracts despite the opposition from the American Catholics and also the police. And by God's grace His Word still went forth!
As we were leaving we asked for police protection due to the Catholics saying they would get us. The Crown Sergeant refused to assist and told us to go down the hill and talk to someone else.
We made it out of the city safely, and it was a good feeling to know that God had seen fit to allow His Word to go out even though people tried to stop it!
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Today was the final day of outreach for us in Sydney. We began the day off by meeting up with some friends, and then heading to an Anglican church to attend a Bible study. This church had been doing Bible studies all week about why Roman Catholicism is wrong, and each day they had a testimony from those who had been Catholics but had left the false church.
After attending the study for an hour, we headed out on the streets to witness. We made our way to Hyde Park as it was a hive of activity. Yorke and Jeff were already present handing out gospel tracts, so we joined them for a time.
Today seemed to be a day of debates. Within minutes of arriving I was engaged in a debate with three Catholic priests from the USA. One of them kept yelling "Shut Up!" While another priest was telling me that the priest is the mediator between God and man. This interested me, so I handed the priest my Bible and asked him to please read 1 Timothy 2:5, as he read it I asked "According to the Scripture, who is the only mediator?" He replied "Jesus Christ" and then went silent. Before leaving he thanked me for showing him that verse and said that he needed to study out some issues now. Please pray for that man.
After finishing the discussion with them, I turned and was engaged in debate with two Mormon missionaries. These men were out pushing that we must have good works in order to be saved. So I spoke to them on that topic for awhile, and I illustrated how that we do good works not to be saved, but rather to be saved. After explaining this to them I showed them to Ephesians 2:8-9. The senior missionary wanted to leave the discussion, but the junior missionary was very interested. After talking for awhile the junior missionary said "I agree with you, the Book of Mormon is wrong." This statement caused the senior missionary to drag him away. Please also pray for him.
Once again I turned, and this time I was in a debate with a traditional Roman Catholic who was a fan of having the mass sung in Latin. We had a good discussion in regards to the Bible and salvation. He didn't like the state of the modern Roman church, and wanted it to return to the traditional teachings. We spoke at length about salvation and then parted on good terms.
By this time I was starting to feel like this was the day of debate, then before I knew it I was once again locked in a discussion. This time with two Franciscan Monks. These men were very polite, and were very well educated in the Bible. We discussed a variety of issues from the immaculate conception of Mary to salvation by works or by grace. It was a great time of chatting, and we all left on very good terms.
I spent the rest of the day handing out tracts, and I thought that perhaps I wouldn't need to debate anymore. But then once again an angry American priest appeared, so I engaged him in debate while his French friend yelled at Yorke in French. After talking for awhile about Jesus being the bread of life, it became clear that this priest did not know his Bible. So I used the Scripture to show him the gospel, the priest quickly stated "I must leave, and go um... pray now." Then left.
The rest of the day was quiet, with many tracts going out.
At the end of the day we tallied up the total number of tracts handed out in three days, and we estimated that over 30 000 tracts were given to those at World Youth Day. Please pray for all those that received the gospel!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Sunday, 27 April, 2008
Tonight I had the honour of being asked by my church (Beenleigh Baptist) to preach an evangelistic service. It is not normal for my church to actually hold a service with a focus on the lost. For the past two months the event had be planned and re-planned. Advertisement went out, and the congregation was encouraged to invite their unsaved friends and family.
There was a general sense of excitement among the congregation at the prospect of a gospel message being preached. The bit I found most exciting was the fact that the church was becoming more involved in outreach.
My text for the night was James 4:13-17, and my sermon title was "What is Your Life? Answering the Question of Why there is Death and Suffering? As the time neared for me to preach, my nerves increased. Tonight turned out to be one of the biggest night time services the church has ever had, after the service I was told by one of the Deacons that the head count was 160 people. With many of them being unsaved.
As I preached I wanted to stress the reality of death, and how we all die as a result of sin. From there I preached the cross of Christ, and pointed out that there is forgiveness of sin for those would repent.
At the end as the call of salvation went forth I was encouraged to see five people respond, and surrender their lives to Jesus Christ.
Praise God for all He has done!
Listen to the Sermon: "What Is Your Life?"
Driving up to Carlisle on Saturday morning with a team of evangelists was both exciting and daunting. The weather was predicted to be bleak indeed and I was worried we would be ministering to an empty city, as all the Brits seem to keep indoors when the weather is bad.
Joining Anna and I today were John and Jim from Sheffield, with Rob, James, and Carl from London. We were meeting Dale, Kevin, Allan, Keith and Marion at Carlisle and aiming to minister in the centre of town where Dale, Keith and Marion normally witness.
We gathered in the square of the town and together prayed to the Lord that He would bless our efforts and go with us as we witnessed. The team spread out and started to tract the area as Rob and I sought out a good vantage to preach from, quickly there were many one-to-one conversations happening. As seemed to be the pattern for the day from this point onwards, there was at any point I looked around at least one or two witnessing conversations going. What an encouragement to see the people hearing the gospel and God drawing those who needed to hear!
Dale was the first preacher of the day to preach from in front of Costa coffee shop, he has become increasingly bold for the Lord and it was a pleasure to hear him preach again. Dale confessed that he was fearful before starting, this is normal for any preacher who knows before whom they preach and appropriately Dale went to his heavenly father in prayer about it. The gospel sounded out and some gathered to hear, from these some stopped to talk with members of the team afterwards. We pray they would turn and be saved.
Rob was next up to preach and as he proclaimed the gospel many went past scoffing but few stopped and those seated around us heard loud and clear. Rob works very hard to ensure that he does not obscure Christ when he speaks and the fruit of this is that his preaching is very clear and easily followed.
As Rob stepped down the team swung into action and for the next 45 minutes one-to-one conversations were continuously happening. During this time I noticed two things that made me smile. Paddy (our dog) would effectively be starting one-to-ones when Anna would witness to those that came to say hello to him (she told me later that he also hijacked a few conversations!). Also John seemed to be in constant conversations, he carries a large banner with scripture verses on it, it was great to see people coming to talk attracted to the word of God.
Kevin preached next and he began by pointing to the stupidity of women in accepting the perversions that so many men see as normal now, pornographic magazines and tv shows and even strip clubs. This is truth is an affront to the pride of man, and while true it of course offended a few people and a complaint was made. Part way through the preaching some community officers stopped Kevin and took him to one side. At this I stood up and addressed the gathering crowd, intending to preach the gospel to them while Kevin spoke to the officers. An irate officer also stopped me and after a short discussion we agreed to the reasonable request that the preachers moderate their language. Kevin got up and preached to those who remained and during this time answered heckles from a local drunk and a couple of ladies. Praise God that we were able to continue in preaching the gospel; pray that it would be the righteous demands of God that would be an offence to people and not us as preachers of those demands.
Jim preached next and began by comparing the world and its perishing demands to a luxury car going off a cliff with a humble mini (the Christian life of humility under God) that safely gets you where you want to go. As Jim preached the Lord opened the clouds and down came the hail and rain, unfazed Jim preached on and urged the people of Carlisle to repent and humble themselves before Christ.
When Jim stepped down we headed for the shelter of the nearby mall and spent some time in the warmth in fellowship until the showers passed and we'd warmed up.
I was next up to preach as we went out to witness again, I was interrupted as I was setting up though. A "Christian" lady was with her friends at the coffee shop and came to ask me if we could preach further away, so that people in the coffee shop would not be disturbed by the sound of the preaching. I was saddened and offended by this, a professing Christian coming to stop the preaching of the gospel! I promised her I would take her request into consideration, considering it fired me to preach with passion. With this passion to see the lost saved I poured out my heart to all who could hear and spoke to the people of Carlisle of the disease of sin in their hearts and the eternal death and punishment that would be its deserved end. I pleaded and called them to come and consider Christ and to repent of their evil ways and turn to him in faith.
During this a lady came to speak with me who claimed that through transcendental meditation she could become God! I pointed her to the author of this lie, Satan himself claimed that he could ascend on high and become as God and has been teaching others they can do likewise since the fall. Satan's end will be in the lake of fire as this lady's will be if she would not repent. The discussion ended with her leaving quoting the post-modernist credo "what's true for you is not true for me". Unfortunately for those who trust in the relative truth propaganda it doesn't work in practice. In the same way that it is absurd to jump from a rooftop saying "gravity is true for you but not true for me", it is equally absurd to claim that two contradictory points of view are both true.
As Christians we claim that the only way anyone can be saved from the just and eternal punishment of sin in hell is through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. This is either wrong and or right and Jesus when He said "I am the way the truth and the life no one comes to the Father except through me" left us with only two choices.
With only a little time left in the day James stood and preached the glorious news of salvation through Christ. This was his first time and he preached well and strongly and I don't doubt that he will make an excellent preacher.
After this when the one-to-ones had finished we joined together to praise God for His goodness and mercy in allowing us the opportunity to witness. We offered up our requests that the people of Carlisle would be saved and prayed that more labourers in the harvest would be raised up. We shared in some dinner together and after our goodbyes drove home, and it was at that point that the heavens opened and down came the sleet and rain. Praise God for such a good day and for His infinite grace and mercy to wretched sinners in desperate need of a saviour.
Soli Deo Gloria!
REDLANDS EASTER FESTIVAL - Monday, 24 March, 2008
Today’s outreach was to be held at the Redlands Easter Festival. Last year we went to the event uninvited and handed out tracts and spoke to people, and then by Godís grace the organizers allowed us to share the gospel at the event. But this year they extended a formal invitation for us to bring a team in so that we might be the evangelists on the ground.
When we arrived we were given a ‘show bag’ which contained some details about local churches, a gospel, and also a very soft gospel tract. Seeing this made us more determined to go in and share the biblical gospel with as many people as possible.
I noticed when I was signing in that my name bag had ‘connections’ on it, so I asked the admin man about it, and he said that was a ‘friendly’ way of saying evangelism. Personally I thought it was a way to soften the blow of the gospel, and to also hide the light just a little bit. After signing in I headed down and had a look at the ‘connection’ tent, and I saw that many of the tracts were very squishy, so I pulled out a pack of the Operation 513 ‘Big Money’ tracts, and placed them on the table. Within seconds people began to pick up our tracts and leave the others behind. It was really cool to see so many people walking around the festival with our tracts.
Desma and I teamed up to do some one to one witnessing and recording for Way of the Master radio, and as we began to witness to people it soon became clear that many of the professing Christians, weren’t Christians at all, but rather they were impostors with in the Christian camp!
One interview that really stands out is the one with a street van leader from 96.5 FM the “Christian” radio station in Brisbane. The young lady told me that they were all about showing people the love of God, and sharing the gospel. But they wouldn’t tell people about the gospel because it may offend. So I asked her how many people she has had a chance to witness to, she stated that to date she hasn’t shared the gospel with anyone. It was then that I offered her the chance to declare the gospel to me, she looked at me blankly, and after a few moments all standing around could see that she did not know what the gospel was. So I asked a few questions, but she didn’t mention the name of Jesus, nor did she mention what God had done for us, so I thought it wise to witness to her. It is so sad that one has to witness to an ‘evangelistic’ ministry leader from a Christian radio station, but it just goes to show us the truth of Matthew 7:21-23.
We did a few more interviews, and one young man came under very heavy conviction as we shared about the gospel. After that interview we heard that the Premier of Queensland would be arriving soon in order to open the event. A group of us stopped and prayed that God would open a door for us to get a gospel tract to the Premier, after this quick prayer we went back to sharing the gospel.
About thirty minutes later we found out that the Premier was there, so we made our way over to where she was. Instantly we saw that there were a few security guards standing around, and to get to the Premier one would also have to get through a bunch of local politicians. So I grabbed my gospel tract and walked up to the security guards, when I got to them I patted them on the back and told them that they were doing a good job, and that they should keep up the hard work. They smiled, and I walked right by them, I was then into the group of politicians, so I went up to the Premier and said “Excuse me Mrs. Premier”, she turned, from there I shook her hand and wished her a happy Easter, she wished me the same thing, and then I gave her the gospel tract and explained to her that it contained the message of why we are here today, and asked her to read it. She said she would, and as I walked off she was looking at the tract. Please pray that God will convert her.
The rest of the day was spent handing out tracts, and doing one to ones. It was also good to see other evangelistic ministries handing out our tracts, everywhere we looked you could see people with Operation 513 tracts, from the youngest of children through to the Police officers patrolling the event. The place was well and truly covered!
Praise God for His faithfulness in opening doors for the Gospel!
Soli Deo Gloria!
TOOWOOMBA EASTERFEST - Friday, 21 March, 2008
The troops gathered at my place at 8am for our trip up the great dividing range to Toowoomba for our Good Friday outreach. This has become a bit of a tradition for us, since for the past three years we have made the journey to witness at one of Australia’s largest ‘Christian’ festivals. This year the Australian Gospel Music Festival had changed it name to remove reference to the gospel, now it is simply called ‘Easterfest’. While the name had changed the false teaching remained.
We arrived in Toowoomba at just after 10am, after making sure we were well stocked with tracts, we made our way to the main tent of the festival. As we walked into the tent, I could not help but think about how Jesus over turned the tables of those who were selling in the temple. This tent was set aside to the god of mammon, many of the goods for sale were religious at best. As we walked through the tent we saw advertising for the upcoming visit of the antichrist. So we stopped at the Roman Catholic youth stand, and asked those who were manning it when the Pope was going to arrive, and also where he was going to be. They gave us some details which was handy since it makes it easier for us to plan our outreach for his visit in July.
After an early lunch we began to hand out tracts and witness to people. One of the first people Ralph got to witness to was a young lady who was attending the festival who claimed to be a Christian that was going to hell, and that she also believed in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Ralph did a fine job explaining the gospel to her, and also explaining how the FSM is not actually a possibility based on scientific laws.
We spent some time handing out tracts, then we decided to get out our recording equipment and begin to conduct some interviews to send to Way of the Master radio. The first couple we stopped were more mature, and it was good to hear that they actually understood the gospel, and they were even able to explain the plan of salvation to me. It is always refreshing to hear a Christian explain the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
The rest of the afternoon was spent doing interviews, and we had some good witnessing encounters. During one of the interviews the young man I was witnessing to turned and began to witness to me using the methods laid down by Way of the Master. This was really encouraging.
One interview that really stood out to me was with two young ladies, they both claimed to be Christians, yet they were not sure if they were saved. So I began to explain the gospel to them. One of the young ladies soon came under conviction, however, the other lady walked away in disgust. It is always amazing how people react when confronted by the enormity of sin, so many people will come under conviction and look to the Saviour, but others will harden their hearts and rebel against God. I continued the discussion and explained the amazing grace of God. Please pray that these two young ladies come to repentance.
Since it was a hot day we moved under the shade of a tree to continue witnessing, again we had an opportunity to speak to two young ladies. Both of them claimed to be Christian, but again weren’t sure if they were saved. So I began to explain the gospel, instantly both of them came under conviction, and one of them was holding back tears as I explained how God showed love towards us. They both took in-depth tracts, and thanked us for being out there witnessing.
The rest of the day was spent handing out tracts, and doing one to one witnessing. Thousands of tracts went out, and many people got to hear the gospel. After 18 hours in the field we finally made it home at just after 2am. Overall the day had been great!
Praise God for His Faithfulness!
Many things that happened on this outreach will not be included in these reports, apologies beforehand if I forget names or details. I believe that Josh Williamson and Kevin Williams have also got reports going up soon.
On Saturday morning we arrived in south London after a long trip down from Sheffield. We spent some time catching up with Robert, Peter and Josh at Robert's house (he was kind enough to allow us to stay at his house over the weekend). From there we all headed back into London to do some site seeing and witnessing. On the tube to Wesley's chapel Josh preached to the people riding the tube, it had to be short because of the distance between stops. Afterwards almost everyone took tracts and we had to scoot out of the train as it was our station.
We found much to our disappointment that the chapel and house of John Wesley were closed for the afternoon and also the graveyard bunhills field was also closed. What is a greater disappointment to us is the fact that the Methodist church, that Wesley and other Godly men began, is currently ordaining homosexual men and women to preach. This goes directly against what Wesley believed and more importantly against what the bible teaches us.
Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?
(1 Timothy 3:2-5)
We left this sad scene of decay and went to Tower Hill, the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. At the top of Tower Hill Robert preached, people stopped to chat and again the people present took tracts gladly (and politely!). As Josh took photos of the tower and the bridge we stopped beside the entrance to the tower and I began to preach on the traitors of mankind in their duty to mankind. I was interrupted by one of the beefeater guards who informed me that I was preaching on private land and must stop. I wrapped up quickly and stepped down as we didn't know if we were on private land or not. After a little more tracting we headed home for dinner and rest.
Sunday morning came around bright and mild (surprising to say the least in winter!), Josh and Peter went to the Metropolitan Tabernacle and with Rob's younger brother James we headed to Trinity Road Chapel. The Chapel is in Tooting and had offered us the privilege of staying at their church hall for the week's outreach, a very generous offer we gladly accepted. At the church we met the pastor Doug McMasters and many others and were very warmly welcomed into the church. During the service I made a small presentation of what we were doing during the week and thanking the church for their support. I also asked for their prayers and support, something we always have need of (please take note if you're reading this!!!).
After an excellent sermon we had a fellowship lunch with the church family, meeting many friendly faces. From this time another member was added to the team for part of the week. Joe approached me after the service and asked to join us for the start of each day and I gladly agreed.
We traveled from here to speakers corner in Hyde park to have a look at the preachers that gather their each week to give the Gospel. When we arrived there were many preachers, some giving the gospel of Christ, a couple of muslim apologists, others atheistic speaches, and others just having a rant. We just mingled with the crowd for a while but pretty soon Rob, James and I were all drawn into debates with muslims. I debated far too long and too loud against the assertion (with only the qu'ran and man's faulty logic to back it) that Jesus could not be God and that the incarnation is a lie. Yet it is written:
Day One Tuesday 22nd
Tuesday began with everyone full of enthusiasm and ready to witness so after devotions and breakfast we trooped off to the local tube station and headed to Leister square. On the way many of the team where able to witness to people on the train and going to the train many tracts were given to the locals, this became the standard approach for the team for the entire outreach.
There were relatively few people in the square when we arrived, so we began tracting the people passing through. During this time one-to-ones began to start as people wanted to know about the tracts. Anna began a discussion with one of the local law officers who didn't want us to stop but rather wanted to discuss his eternal destination. Rob H, Barnabas, and myself also had good conversations with people and the gospel was proclaimed in written and verbal form as the team worked down through the square.
At the ticket booth for discount tickets there was a line of people waiting and so Rob H and Josh both preached to the staff and their customers. As often is the case one of the listeners didn't like the conviction of their sinfulness, and so a member of staff yelled abuse while the preachers out of love told of Christ's work to save him if he would turn from his sin and have faith.
We walked the short distance into Trafalgar square, intending to witness to the crowds in the square. While the team was tracting all of the passing people and many one-to-ones where going on, Josh and I set up a preaching post at the base of the wall for the National gallery. Josh preached and while no-one stopped for long a camera crew working the area heard God's righteous demands and of their sinfulness and of the risen saviour Jesus Christ. As Josh finished the team continued to tract the area and offered them to the film crew also.
After a break in the warmth of the gallery we moved the preaching post to facing the gallery hoping to preach to those going there. Rob began to preach and was doing excellently until his voice showed the strain of his recent flu and he was forced to stop, another preacher down and out for the day! Josh tagged into the preaching and engaged a young American Jew named Simon. He went through the law with Simon revealing his sin before God, and gave him the glorious gospel showing God's great mercy and grace.
Afterwards a catholic man came wanting to discuss the preaching with Rob and Josh, so while this was happening Kevin got up and preached further to the crowds. He did an excellent job and the team were giving out tracts at a rate of knots. The team continued to tract and one-to-one in the square until lunch, during this time I was able to engage a group of four youth and share with them the good news, please pray for Sam, Kim, Jack and Joe and the many other people who heard the word s of eternal life.
After lunch at marble arch we all headed for Paddington, but due to many delays and a stop to get supplies we were at the tube station exactly when Josh was due to do phone fishing for Way of the Master Radio. We split the team and some headed to Tower hill and some staying for phone fishing.
During the interviews for the radio show a man begged David for some cash as he was on the street, responding to his greater need David began to witness to him. When the conversation was over the man was in tears repenting of his sin!! Praise God that He works in the hearts of men and brings new life to those dead in sin! Pray that he will continue on in the faith and find a good church where he will be built up and taught well.
Meanwhile the other part of the team arrived at tower hill at exactly the right time to have Peter preach to the “Jack the Ripper” tour group before they left for their tour. After the preaching almost every team member had a cluster of people around them asking questions as they again proclaimed the gospel. Praise God that many took tracts and a couple even took bibles. Pray that God will use these and the preaching of His word to convict of sin and call the lost to the saviour.
Day Two Wednesday 23rd
Today’s focus was on the Tooting area and we planned to preach at Robert’s local preaching point and do door to door witnessing around the church.
First stop of the day was Tooting Broadway tube station where we proclaimed the word to those passing and Peter preached the gospel clearly to the crowds as they went to work. During this time the team ensured that many tracts were given out and I saw some one-to-ones happening and the gospel going out to the many who are on the broad way to distruction.
We packed up after the morning rush and headed back to Trinity road to knock on doors around the church. We had with us packs holding literature and bibles supplied generously by the Trinitarian Bible Society, information about the church and of course a gospel tract. Most people welcomed these packs and by the time we had done only a couple of streets around the church we had almost exausted our supply. During this time Anna had quite a few good conversations, she was able to speak with a lady who's husband goes to the church cafe. David had someone invite him back to chat some more the following day. Kevin also talked for quite some time with a muslim man in the drycleaners across from the church and he wants to speak further with people from the church.
After lunch we headed back down to Tooting Broadway where Robert preached (praise God his voice appeared to be improving!) to the passing crowds. Josh again had Way of the Master Radio phone fishing and I heard that there were some great interviews done.
For the rest of the evening the team handed out tracts and talking with the locals. As always I never see all the encounters that happen and there are more one-to-ones than I think, but I saw Josh reasoning with some Jehovah’s witnesses, David discussing eternity with some teens, and Anna bravely giving the gospel of hope to Deeno, a Muslim man who left convicted but clinging to the justification of Islam. I had the privileged of speaking with Rafique a French Muslim who unfortunately believes that he will be justified before God because of his good deeds and moral stance. I struggled to show him his danger before almighty God who will not be corrupt and ignore sin but rather will punish wickedness wherever He finds it.
The end of the evening was possibly the most encouraging of the day. We had one of the local police officers come up and say that they (the local police) need us to preach the gospel in the streets of Tooting more! Officer Hurley also asked us to pray for the police department of Tooting, that they would have more resources for their work. This coming from a non-Christian was encouraging to say the least; pray that the message she heard preached would convict and renew her heart by the Holy Spirit’s sovereign work.
Day Three Thursday 24th
This morning we headed to Tower Hill and planned to have the morning spent preaching to the tourists that gather to see the Tower and the nearby bridge. Unfortunately as soon as we arrived and began to witness to people the local manager of the area came and told us that we were not welcome and as it is private land we had to leave. So in accordance with Romans 13 we left and began witnessing at Tower Hill for the next hour.
From here we travelled over to Buckingham Palace to witness to the many people that gather there to take photographs. In front of the palace we had some excellent one-to-one conversations, amusingly Josh and Anna (both Aussies) both kept bumping into Australians. Josh began one conversation with a couple only to find that they were Christian religious education teachers from Perth! David had the rare opportunity of witnessing to a friend that had been a soldier in Iraq and was now open to hear the gospel after having seen so much death. I spoke with a young Swedish couple for half an hour showing them their sin under the microscope of God’s law that reveals all our sin. God be praised by the end of the conversation their mouths were stopped and they heard the glorious good news of the work of Jesus to save sinners. They took tracts and a bible as they left for their plane home. Pray for these young people, that God would sovereignly change and save them. Anna also spoke to an asian man named Minh who heard the whole gospel and left with a bible.
Kevin then preached on the steps of the monument in front of the palace and loudly proclaimed the sovereignty of God over all of us, exulting the great name of God the king over all kings. During the preaching the many tourists in the area sat or stood watching and listening to the message of hope, we praise God that he made it possible for them to hear and pray they would receive the preached word and flee to the saviour.
After Kevin finished preaching the team gave tracts to the gathered people and again many one-to-ones started. At this point the police arrived to ask what we were preaching in front of the palace, on hearing the message they said there was no problem with us preaching there and then gave us permission to preach in Westminster if we wished. The only request the officers made was that we give them notice the next time we intend to preach and that we stop for today, which was fine as we were about to head home anyway.
After a long break in the afternoon the team headed to Leister square to preach to the crowds that gather for a night of west-end entertainment. Joining us for the evening was Allan and a friend from his church, it is always an encouragement to have others with us and we were grateful for them coming. Rob was first up preaching and while he proclaimed the law of God and the gospel a crowd gathered to hear him. Engaging one of the listeners Rob went through the good person test with them giving a solid defence for the gospel against the objections and again his voice held as he preached (praise be to God!). After the preaching many one-to-ones began and one interaction that was interesting was between Rob and a member of a well-known heavy metal band. Though not a Christian, this guy was happy to hear the gospel preached and encouraged Rob to continue preaching in Leister.
After the one-to-ones finished Josh preached, beginning with the stalker that we all have – death. While speaking of our uncertain position in this world and the judgement to follow, a man named Dave heckled Josh. This began a long series of hecklers and a crowd gathered around for most of the preaching many taking tracts as they left, may God use what they all heard of the gospel even if in part only. The objections raised were mostly the standard ones: ‘there is no God’, ‘science and evolution disproves the bible’, ‘what about suffering and other religions?’ etc.
The rest of the team was busy working through the crowd to give out as many tracts as possible and talk with those on the fringes. I had three interesting encounters, one encouraging and two not so encouraging. The discouraging encounters were with ‘Christians’, one deneighs the bible and God even though studying theology at Eaton. His knowledge had puffed him up with pride and the gospel was not welcome in his life and sadly he left scoffing. The other was the sadder encounter was with a young man who openly admitted to drunkenness, promiscuity, drug abuse and blasphemed God’s Holy name as we spoke. Despite this he claimed to be a Christian because he had been taught this from the pulpit and by the people of a well known charismatic church. In an attempt to show him that he was deceived I reasoned with him from the bible taking him to:
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
All of this he laughed off or jeered at and le ft as he informed me that the team and I were not Christians. I could not help but think of the responsibility of those who had taught this young man to embrace sin and formalism, surely he will curse his pastors for not giving him the truth if his end is eternal punishment.....
Encouragingly I also saw a homosexual couple standing near me as the preaching was happening, one partner was trying to pull the other away but he would not leave wanting to stay and hear the gospel. As they left I gave the man wanting to stay a tract and the look on his face was of deep conviction, he immediately began to read. God is sovereign and will call who He will!
Anna spoke to one of the local sign holders who was nearby, I think that he must have gotten the gospel from almost every member of the team! During the preaching she also spoke with two young muslim men Esam and Ash, both of them were under heavy conviction of sin after hearing the gospel. Anna had offered them both bibles and though at first they did not want them, after about half an hour these same young men came back wanting the Word of God! Not only that but they took the details of Trinity Road Chapel. Pray that they would come to trust in the true saviour.
Two police officers also were walking throughout the crowd and listening during the preaching, I later found out that they were chasing pickpocket’s (God be praised for the authorities He has given us for our protection!). When Josh stepped down the officers approached him, and again I heard a street preacher commended by the law for his preaching. Not only this one of the officers wanted to know what he must do in order to be saved, Josh joyfully gave him the gospel again. As he left the officers was saying he would think on the matter and get right with God!
There were many other interactions that went on throughout the night but space does not permit them all. Needless to say the team went home rejoicing to have seen the Lord moving in Leister Square that night!
Day Four Friday 25th
The last day of the outreach is often the hardest with little energy left in anyone, but this day we again saw the Lord move to display His strength in our weakness.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
First stop for the day was Westminster abbey where we met Rian, Dolph and Dolph’s two friends. In the area of the abbey we handed out tracts and discussed the gospel with all who passed. Dolph got into a conversation so in depth that he ended up walking several blocks with the people involved. Many tracts were given and I also saw Rian and David in conversations proclaiming the gospel. May God use the tracts and burn the message of sin, righteousness, and judgement onto the hearts of those who received tracts or who we spoke with.
The team travelled from Westminster to Covent Gardens, there a gain to speak the gospel and watch God gloriously work in the hearts of men and women. Halfway to the gardens Josh, Peter and my self were stopped by people wanting to know what the tracks were about. The man who stopped me had picked up one I didn’t even know I’d dropped! Michael asserted that there was no God and that the bible was outmoded when we began, by the end though it became clear through the law of God that he didn’t want to believe the evidence before him because he loved his sin. I gave him the gospel though he did not want to hear it, I hope and pray that God the Spirit will hound him until he submits to the Almighty One.
The rest of the team had gone onto the gardens and when we arrived they were already busy engaging in one-to-ones and handing out tracts. Anna was speaking with a young man from a charity organisation about the million pound question, would he go to heaven? Their conversation lasted some time and Anna contended for the faith and gave him the truth about himself and pointed him to the only saviour of sinners Jesus Christ. While this was happening a lady and her son who wanted to know more about the tracts stopped me. They were Christians and so I encouraged them to witness wherever they are and look for opportunities. The young man took a handful of tracts to give to his schoolmates, may God use him to witness in his school mightily!
Further into the gardens we set up a preaching point and Rob was up to preach first and as always gave a solid declaration of God’s word to this lost and darkened world. After Rob finished and the crowd dispersed I got up to preach for the first time in the outreach, I felt like Paul bringing no clever arguments and being nothing exciting as a speaker. I began to preach on evolution and how it makes a monkey of all who will swallow this fairy story masquerading as scientific fact. From this I began to speak on the law on our hearts and God’s just demands, enter Felix and his friends. Catching his gaze I called to Felix ‘YOU sir, are you right and good in the eyes of God?’, from here I poured out my heart to this young man. I spoke of the law, showing him his sinfulness and great danger before the Holy Judge, of his danger in death and of his uncertainty when that would be. He listened carefully as I spoke of the risen saviour that he must flee to for cleansing and forgiveness. He took the tracts I offered him and his friends and he left with a serious look on his face and a promise that he would seek God in prayer and in the bible. Exulting that God should use one as unworthy as me I closed and stepped down.
Josh got up to preach next and he spoke to the people Covent Garden of the stalker of death and the certainty of God’s just judgement of our every word, deed and idle word. A couple of people gathered around to hear the preaching and Josh challenged one man to give his perspective on the preaching. The man was a Muslim and so deneighed the deity of Jesus and accused Josh of preaching from a corrupted book. Josh pointed him to a greater problem he had, the book he sees as holy – the Qu’ran contradicts history. This is seen in Sura 4:157 where it is claimed that Jesus Christ was not crucified. This is a blatant contradiction of history, even the non-Christian historians Tacitus, Pliney, and Josephus agree with the claims of the bible that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and rose from the dead three days later. Josh then questioned him, which would he believe a book written at the time of a major world event or one written 600yrs later? The man agreed that common sense demands you trust the eyewitness account and not the later account. Lastly Josh confronted him with the comparison between Jesus and Muhammad; Jesus walked on water Muhammad road a camel, Jesus said love your enemies Muhammad said kill the infidel (Sura 9:5), Jesus made blind men see Muhammad made seeing men blind, Jesus made lame men walk Muhammad made sound men lame, Jesus said bless the little children Muhammad slept with a nine year old (Eyisha whom he married when she was six and took sexually at nine according to the Ahadith).
At this point the preaching was interrupted by security guards who were concerned that the man gladly shaking the preacher’s hand was getting offended. So in accordance with Romans 13 Josh stopped preaching further but we made sure that the crowd all got tracts and spoke further with those who would.
We finished the outreach at this point, encouraged and exulting in what God had done but tired we made our way back to Trinity Road for one last night of fellowship before we all went our seperate ways home. Truly it has been written:
Week 2 of the England Tour
Saturday, 26 January, 2008
The day began nice and early, the alarm sounded at 5am, and then for the next hour a mad rush followed, as we tried to get everything together for our train trip from London to Sheffield.
We got onto the train with about five minutes to spare, and I thought the trip on the train would be uneventful, as usual I was wrong…
About one hour out of London the train came to halt in the middle of nowhere, we sat there for about 45 minutes, and then we were informed that the fire alarms were sounding in the train so we couldn’t proceed with our journey since it was unsafe. At the next station we transferred to another train, and I thought that this was all going bad, but looking back now I can see the sovereignty of God all over this incident. Since during our time of transfer a young lady approached us since she had heard us joking, and it turned out that she was heading up to Manchester for an audition.
She sat with us on the new train, Dave and Anna saw this as an opportunity to share the gospel, so they set about to explain the full gospel to her. She sat and listened for some time, and then decided that it was time to leave, so she got up and went to another carriage. Please pray for her.
That afternoon we went out to the Fargate mall in Sheffield, the mall was packed full of people, since it was a clear and sunny day. As we walked up to the mall it was cool to see Paradise square, which is the square in which John Wesley preached to his largest weekday crowd. Sadly, today the square is nothing more than a car park, with a small sign talking about Wesley.
As I walked through Fargate I handed out tracts, and I was surprised at how many people readily accepted them, since in London there had been times when it was hard to hand out tracts. While I was handing out tracts I ended up getting into a good conversation with a young man who was advertising a band in the mall. It turned out that he was a son of a minister, but he had turned his back on Christianity and rejected it outright. So I explained to him the full gospel, as I spoke his body language changed, he went from being hard and anti-gospel to being convicted of sin. Before I could give him grace a friend of his interrupted and told me that it would be a sin for us not to do what comes natural, which is sin. I pointed out to him the errors in his view point, and then quickly returned to the first man I was speaking to. It was great to be able to minister grace to him. Please pray that God would grant him repentance.
By now I was suffering from the effects of the cold, and I was finding it hard to concentrate on the mission at hand. It was then that Anna Gee stood up and began to open air preach. She did a brilliant job as she dealt with hecklers and then pointed them to the cross of Christ. After about an hour she tagged me in to deal with a bunch of youth that had surrounded her, so I dealt with their questions quickly, and then gave them all in-depth gospel tracts.
This concluded my first day in Northern England.
Monday, 28 January, 2008
Today we made the two hour drive north to Newcastle for a day of outreach. Four of us left Sheffield and then joined forces with some brothers and a sister in Christ upon arrival. It was good to meet up with Jimbo from Living Waters Europe, and to be able to chat with him for a little while before we headed into town. It was also great to meet with Dale and his friends who had driven across for the day.
We made our way into the centre of Newcastle, and as we walked we handed out tracts. What struck me immediately was how easy it was to hand out tracts here, so many people took them, and others came up and asked for tracts. It would be nice if we had this kind of openness at home in Australia!
While handing out tracts in the mall I was able to engage to young men, they both were open to the gospel, and came under conv iction as they realised the justice of God, and how He must punish sin. Once they realised their state before a holy God I was able to point them to the cross of Christ in which God show mercy towards a sinful humanity.
Some of the guys did open air preaching after this, I just watched, and then once they finished I made my way into a shop to get some warm food. I was finding it hard to cope in the cold weather, but after having something warm to eat I was ready to go again.
I was the first preacher up after lunch, so I stood not far from the British Army recruitment stand and began to declare the gospel. Instantly I could feel my voice starting to give out, it wasn’t handling well after a week of preaching and being in the cold. But I decided to push on and finish the message. A few people stopped to listen, and the music shop opposite to me decided to turn up the music louder in order that I may not be heard.
While I was preaching I noticed that a bunch of soldiers stopped to listen, I found this encouraging since they are engaged in a dangerous job. And often times the fighting men are harder to reach due to the fact of them being trained to be hard.
As I was wrapping up my open air, I began to taste blood in my mouth. This wasn’t a good sign so I quickly finished my message. Then I began to cough up blood, I had pushed it to hard, and I was in need of a rest. David Gee quickly informed me that I was to rest my voice and not preach anymore that day.
The team preached two more times, and during Dave’s open air a large crowd gathered to listen as he engaged with hecklers. Overall the day in Newcastle was great, please pray for all those who heard the gospel proclamation!
Wednesday, 30 January, 2008
Today we headed across to Manchester to join up with Kev Williams, and also some of the guys from up north. We met at Kevin’s house where he treated us to a great breakfast that really helped to warm me up before we went out preaching.
The centre of Manchester was busy as we began to witness to people, I decided that I would probably not preach much today due to me having a bad throat, so I would concentrate on one to one and tracts.
I found a good position where I was able to hand out a few hundred tracts before it got to cold that we had to take a break to warm up. Kev decided that it would be good to show us the John Ryland’s library which contains P52, which is the oldest Greek papyri we have of the New Testament.
It was amazing to see something so old, and to see that the Bible has not changed from when that papyri was made till today. After looking at some different Greek papyri we headed back out to the streets.
The city did not seem as busy as it was before, but we still went ahead and preached the gospel. David Gee decided to put me up first, and then the plan was that he would go after me. I wasn’t very excited about this idea, since I thought my voice would only last a maximum of five minutes.
I began to preach, and immediately a crowd began to form. I was shocked since it is rare to see a crowd form so quickly in a city. People began to stop as I explained about how we all die and then it is appointed for us to face the judgment seat of God.
A young lady to my left kept laughing, so I called her out and asked how she thought one would get to heaven. She replied that she believed that one had to be good in order to get there. This is a standard reply the world over, so I opened up the Ten Commandments to see if she was a good person by that standard. After looking at the law she soon became serious as she realised that she was facing eternal hell because of her rebellion against God.
After I explained grace to her she left with a gospel tract, but I now had other hecklers starting to open fire. The heckles included issues in regards to evolution, and atheism, and also it extended to Islam and Judaism. I dealt with the questions to the best of my ability, always with the motive of pointing them back to Christ.
I preached for over an hour, and praise God my voice held out. Some in the team suggested that the crowd was between 150 - 200 people, and many of those people stayed for the whole thing. Dave nearly ran out of tracts as he handed out in-depth tracts to all those who had been listening. So praise God for His grace in drawing a crowd!
At the end of my open air I was approached by a Manchester city council worker, who informed me that someone had accused me of being a racist. He told me that he had been listening to what I was saying, and he had heard no racist comments. I was able to explain the message of salvation to that man, so hopefully he also will come unto salvation.
By now the sun had gone down, and it was really cold, so we parted ways. Kevin returned to his home, Dale and Alan returned back up north, and Dave and I made our way back to Sheffield.
Praise God for an awesome day!
Thursday, 31 January - Saturday, 2 February, 2008
From Thursday to Saturday we concentrated on outreach in Sheffield, by now my voice had gone so I was to do no more preaching during my time in England. It was nice to be able to rest, and it was also good for me to focus more on one to one witnessing, and handing out gospel tracts.
On the Saturday I was able to have a really good conversation with a man who was walking his dog. He had heard David Gee preaching a few weeks before, and he found what he said interesting. I built upon this and made the gospel personal for him, and he soon came under conviction. He saw his need for the Saviour and even stated that he wasn’t prepared to go to bed that night with God’s wrath upon him. The man willingly accepted a gospel of John, and also an invite to the local church which Dave attends.
The week in Northern England was very productive with thousands getting the gospel of Christ. Something I did notice in Northern England was the Islam is every where, coming from the outside I could see that Britain is on the verge of Islamic invasion, and many of the churches are sitting by having a snooze while the enemy is infiltrating. The church in Britain needs to awake and get out and begin to evangelise, failure to do this will result in Britain becoming an Islamic state then the freedom will be gone.
Please pray for the church in Britain that God will shake them up, and fire them up to seek His face, and to declare the gospel. Also pray for the people of that country, pray that God may grant another awakening to the land so that He might receive glory!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday, 19 January, 2008
Reluctantly I opened by eyes as the aeroplane shuddered with turbulence, as I regained consciousness I noticed a flight attendant, so I called out and asked him, “How long till we land?” His reply informed me that we were one hour from landing at London's Heathrow airport. As I looked around the darkened cabin, I saw that the turbulence had awoken many of the passengers, as I worked out the time, I realised that I had been sleeping for about eleven hours, so I stood up to stretch and to also to fill me pockets with tracts.
As I packed my pockets with a variety of gospel literature, including the last of my Australian million dollar tracts, I saw that the Asian man who boarded at Hong Kong was paying very close attention. Throughout the flight this man was rather rude and not interested in talking, but now as the novelty million was in my hand, I had his undivided attention. I found this situation rather amusing, since wherever I moved the tract his eyes would follow. After making him follow my hand for a few seconds I extended my hand, and offered him the million dollar tract, he gratefully accepted it, and then sat back to read the gospel message on the back of the tract.
The flight was now descending into London, so I buckled in and sat back with an excitement at the thought of the coming England adventure.
I quickly cleared security and customs, and as I exited the airport I saw my old mate Peter Shliahov, and also a new mate Robert Hughes waiting for me. This was a major blessing since I did not expect to be met at the airport at 5am in the morning.
The drive back to Rob's place at Walton-on-Thames was uneventful, and I enjoyed seeing the sights of Britain. We had to stop to get fuel, so I saw this as the first chance to share the gospel with a person in England, so I went into the service station and gave my last Australian million to the service attendant.
Later in the morning, we were joined by David and Anna Gee from the Operation 513 European ministry. It was a good time of reunion, and then we headed out to get some lunch. Of course this was also a time of being able to hand out tracts to the people of England. My first thoughts were that it was rather easy to hand out tracts to the English, but as one of the guys informed me, at this stage I was still in the outer suburbs, and when I get to central London, then it will be hard.
After lunch, we headed into central London to do a bit of sightseeing before the outreach started, but when you are involved in evangelism, every outing is an evangelistic endeavour. The first point of call was to Wesley's Chapel on City road, sadly it was closed, so the team took me on the hot and smelly underground to Tower Hill. On the tube ride there I decided it would be nice to preach on the London underground, so I stepped up and introduced myself to those in the carriage, and then went on to present a short gospel message. I spoke about how the English have a patriotic song called “Land of Hope and Glory” which calls upon God to make England great again, yet as a nation they have rejected God and rebelled against Him. All those within the carriage stopped to listen, and then as we pulled into the station a lot of the people listening took a gospel tract.
We then climbed out of the underground, and as we emerged I saw the remains of a Roman wall which had been standing out of the landscape of the city for 2000 years. This was a photo moments, I began to take pictures of the wall, and also pictures of the Tower of London, which was just across the road. David Gee informed me that this hill was where they executed all the traitors to the monarch, that knowledge created a strange feeling within me, as I thought about how we are traitors to the supreme monarch King Jesus.
While I was taking pictures, I heard the words “Good evening people of London!” Instantly, I knew that Rob Hughes was preaching. I grabbed some in-depth tracts out of my pocket, knowing that once a crowd gathered tracts would be needed. Rob explored the depths of human depravity while he preached, and it was good to see a small crowd gather. After he preached sin, he revealed the precious truth of the glorious gospel. The crowd listened as Rob preached, and when he finished we were able to hand out many in-depth tracts. One of the people listening, was a young lady from Germany, she was really excited about the preaching. It turned out she was a Christian, but all her friends were not. We were able to encourage her in the work of the ministry, and she left thanking us for declaring the gospel of Christ to her unsaved friends.
We then made our way over to the area near the Tower of London, where David Gee began to preach. After about five minutes of preaching, one of the famed Beef Eaters came out from the Tower, and told Dave to stop preaching. After Dave questioned him a bit on why we had to stop, we stood down, and then began to make our way home.
The trip back to Walton-on-Thames was uneventful, upon arrival we had dinner, and then I got to fall into bed for a good nights sleep.
Sunday, 20 January, 2008
It was cold and windy as we approached the Metropolitan Tabernacle, as the church came into view I couldn't help but think about how just over a century ago people crowded these very streets to hear the gospel of Christ preached by Charles Spurgeon.
The service was a good service in which Dr. Peter Masters preached from Colossians, and how we are to do things in the 'name of Jesus'.
After the morning service Peter and I made our way across London to Hyde Park, and the famed speakers corner. The plan was just to go and watch all the people speak, but God had other plans. W stood and ate our lunch as we listened to the preachers, and the one I was listening to was talking about horses. The man then started to talk about how 'mother nature' made everything. This was interesting so I decided to play heckler. I asked the man, “Where did mother nature get the matter from to make horses?” The man speaking replied that he was a Christian, and that he believed God made the matter. This created a good discussion, since now we had two Creators. The man seemed to be stunned at this, so he looked at me, and then in an angry tone began to yell, “I have one thing to say to you! Just one thing! JESUS LOVES YOU!!” I found this a bit amusing since he sounded angry, and was pointing at me screaming about love.
So again I heckled, this time about how to get to Heaven. The man said all one had to do was been a good person, so I opened up the Ten Commandments to see if he was a good person. The man didn't want to play, so he just went silent and refused to look at me or even say a word. By now a crowd had gathered, and I found myself being heckled by atheists. So I turned and began to deal with the crowd. For the next hour we had one of the largest crowds in Hyde Park, and many people got to hear the apologetic evidence for the existence of God, and also about salvation in Christ.
After preaching in Hyde Park, we rushed back to the Metropolitan Tabernacle to see how their evangelistic Sunday school operated. This was an eye opening to tour, and it was incredible to see so many kids excited about learning the Bible.
Before the evening service at the Tabernacle, Peter and I stood out the front at the busy bus stop handing out tracts to those who walked past. It was a strange feeling in witnessing outside of the place where God used Spurgeon to bring thousands to Christ.
The night service was a good one, the sermon was on repentance and turning from sin. Hopefully God used this sermon to bring people unto Himself.
Monday, 21 January, 2008
It was decided that today I would go out and do some sightseeing. In the morning I had a meeting with Pastor Christopher Buss from the Metropolitan Tabernacle, and then after the meeting I caught the bus to West Norwood cemetery. The reason for going out to the cemetery was to see the tomb of Charles Spurgeon, after seeing the tomb we made our way into the city to go to Bunhill fields, and also to John Wesley's chapel and house.
It was cool to see the places where the greats walked and prayed. But sadly we go to see the new side of Methodism. While we were in the chapel of John Wesley, I saw a notice on the board endorsing homosexual ministers and homosexual Christians. My blood pressure went up, how could a movement that was based on holiness now become apostate? I wonder how they reply to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
That night we all met at Trinity Road Chapel in Tooting, it was good to come together as a team and get to know one another. While the week ahead was going to be a big one, it was good to know that we weren't alone in the battle. God had brought people from all around the world for this outreach, we had people from: Australia, South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, Wales, and England.
Tuesday, 22 January, 2008
The battle begins... We started the day of by coming before God in prayer, and then after breakfast we hit the streets of London. Before we even arrived at our destination we had begun to witness. As we walked along the road everyone we passed got offered a tract, then when we were on the underground people started to witness.
The London underground is a hot and smelly place, it is as if its another world. No one talks and people just sit and read the paper. But things were changing because throughout the carriage you could hear the sound of the gospel being shared in one to one settings. Furthermore, nearly all in the carriage had a gospel tract in their hand.
We got off the underground at Leicester Square tube station. From there we walked around to the square. To our surprise the place was near deserted, so we started to walk across to Trafalgar Square. It was then that we spotted a long line of people standing in the cold waiting to get tickets for a show. Rob Hughes seized this opportunity and jumped up to preach the gospel to the crowd.
After Rob finished preaching, I also preached for a few minutes. I looked at how we have all sinned, yet God is still rich in mercy towards us, in that He sent Christ to die for the ungodly. A few people in the line took tracts after the open air.
We arrived in Trafalgar square shortly after, and the first thing we did was set up the ladder for an open air preach. It was decided that I should go first. I don't normally like preaching first, but since I was one of the only ones with a voice left I didn't have much choice.
I began to preach about “Rule Britannia!” and how the lyrics state that “Britons will never, never, never be slaves”. I then swung into John 8:34. It was hard going preaching the gospel here, and it appeared that very few people were listening. However, I was informed later that people we standing on the balcony behind me listening to the gospel message.
The team then broke off and handed out tracts, it was a nice change to have people be polite when you offer them gospel literature. So many times in Australia people are rude and abusive when you offer them a tract, but I have found in Britain that many people will politely thank you, even if they don't want a tract.
We spent some time doing tracts, and then it came time for Rob Hughes to preach. He stood up and began to declare the gospel. Sadly his voice gave out within minutes of starting, he quickly tagged me in, and I began to preach again. A small crowd gathered, so I did a call out to a young man who was listening. It turns out that his name was Simon and he was from the USA. We engaged a bit in the open air, and then we swung into looking at how all have sinned against God. Simon seemed to be under conviction by the end of the open air. I was told later that Simon was a Jew, please be praying for this man, that God may grant him repentance.
By now it was rather cold, so we caught a bus and headed over to Marble Arch. It was here that we took a break and warmed up. After a time of defrosting, we planned to go to Tower Hill to preach, but God had other plans. As we neared Paddington station I noticed that the time was near on 5pm, and I realised that we were about to receive a call from the Way of the Master Radio in order to do some phone fishing on the streets of London. I was disappointed that we hadn't made Tower Hill, so it was decided that half the team would go on to Tower Hill, and a three man team would stay and do phone fishing.
We did phone fishing for about an hour, and during that time both Todd Friel and Ray Comfort got to have some good discussions with people on the street of London. However, the really cool thing was that while they were phone fishing, a man named Obi approached David Hayes and began to talk to him. Then on the side of a busy London street Obi broke down in tears and cried out to God for mercy. May God be praised for His mercy!
This was the perfect end to a big day!
Wednesday, 23 January, 2008
We spent today evangelising in Tooting. This was a good chance for us to minister and assist Trinity Road Chapel which had been so kind to supply us with free accommodation. Evangelising in the suburbs is different to evangelising in the city. While the message is the same, the way in which you present that message is different.
Our first point of call was the Tooting Broadway tube station. We handed out tracts, and preached outside of the station. Many people came and asked for more information about Christianity, and we were able to have plenty of really good one to ones.
That afternoon we headed out and did some door to door witnessing. We had been given over 200 pounds worth of Bibles and scripture cards from the Trinitarian Bible Society, so we made up some packs with a New Testament, a gospel tract and a church invite and then went and gave them out free of charge to those in the community. This outreach worked very well, with many people accepting the pack. Hopefully God will use this for His glory.
Later that afternoon we headed back to Tooting Broadway for some more open air preaching, and also for some more Way of the Master phone fishing. There were a lot of people at the tube station, so it was great to minister there. During the phone fishing Todd Friel got to talk to two muslim men, who were both under conviction by the time he finished. Both men accepted in-depth tracts and left thanking us.
That night as we were preparing to leave I was approached by a female police sergeant, she stopped and asked what the purpose of our ladder was. I informed her that it was so that we could preach. When she heard that we were Christian preachers she was excited, and asked us to keep coming back to preach there since the community was in desperate need of the gospel. Rob was willing to comply with this police request. The interesting thing is that this police woman was not a Christian, yet she could see the benefit of Christianity upon society. She took a tract and even posed for a photo with me!
Thursday, 24 January, 2008
Today we returned to the centre of London. We started off by heading to Tower Hill, but when we arrived we found the place deserted, so we walked across the road to the Tower of London. While I ducked off to take some photos, the rest of the team handed out tracts, and one to one witnessed. This caused security from the castle to come out and order the team to leave. We complied with their request, although it is interesting to note that before they issued a move on order the security were reading Kevin's “Wrath to Come” tract and joking about going to hell.
We went back to Tower Hill only to find it still deserted, so we made our way around to Buckingham Palace to see if the Queen was in. She wasn't in, but many people were outside the palace. So we set to work handing out tracts and having one to one conversations. It was then suggested that we preach outside the palace, this is something Kevin decided to do, we stepped back and began to film the preaching.
Within seconds of him starting to preach the guards at the entrance to the palace were on the radio, but they hadn't tried to stop us so Kev kept preaching. After he preached for about 10 minutes armed response police arrived to see what was going on. The police spoke to David Gee, and informed us that we weren't breaking any law, but could we let Scotland Yard know in future if we are going to preach.
After we finished ministering at the palace, we headed back to Tooting for a break. Which is something we needed when one considers that we had a big night ahead of us. We had an earlier dinner and then we headed back out to London to preach in Leicester Square.
Rob Hughes was the first preacher up for the night, and God was gracious in that He drew a crowd for His glory. Rob dealt with the heckles from the crowd and made sure everyone knew the full gospel before he got down. Many in the crowd took in-depth tracts afterwards. During this time there was a man wearing dark clothing and having a long black beard standing in the crowd. He was there for at least fifteen minutes. When Rob stood down from preaching this man approached Rob and thanked him for taking the time to preach, the man then put 50 euros in Rob's hand. Robert tried to refuse the money but the man insisted, it was easy to tell by this man's accent that he was from the USA, although we didn't realise that the man we were talking to is a member of the famous heavy met al band KORN. The man was very humble and didn't make a big thing about his fame, but rather he just told us a bit about himself, and how he appreciated the gospel message. He took a tract and then left.
It then fell to me to preach, so I stood up and began by preaching on how we all have a stalker named death. God once again was gracious and drew a crowd in for His glory. The crowd was faily quiet except for a heckler named Dave, he was an interesting character, and he was a good heckler. He would ask a question and then be kind enough to let me answer. I dealt with him for about 40 minutes, and then other hecklers began to join in. During this time we had a large crowd for the whole thing, but then I noticed two police officers circling the crowd. My immediate thought was that they would be shutting us down. However, they just stayed and listened. After about an hour of preaching I stood down, a lot of the crowd took in-depth tracts, and then I noticed the two police officers approaching. They began to chat to me about the ministry, and one of them thanked me for taking the time to preach, the other officer was different, he began talking about Christianity and how he could be saved. It was a joy to be able to share the gospel with two police officers. They both left with tracts, and they also asked us to come back and preach any time.
Friday, 25 January, 2008
We had a later start today due to the late night we had yesterday. Our first point of call for the day was Westminster, it was cool to actually witness and hand out tracts in front of Westminster abbey.
Many tourists were in the area, so a lot of tracts were given out, and a lot of one to one encounters occurred. We spent about two hours in this spot and then we moved over to Covent Gardens.
Covent gardens was jammed full of people, as we walked through the gardens I noticed many a street performer, some were really good and drew a big crowd, others were rather poor but they still had crowds. All I thought was how to we compete against this, that was me not trusting in God, but rather thinking of it in a natural mindset. God once again would show His Sovereignty in drawing a crowd for Himself.
Rob Hughes was the first preacher up, and he belted out the gospel hot and heavy. A few people gathered in to listen as he expounded on the law of God. Then after Rob finished David Gee began to preach. His opening was on the fairy tale of evolution. God again was glorifying His name by drawing people in to hear the message of hope found only in Christ Jesus.
Then it was my turn to preach, so I began by talking once again about the shortness of human life, and how our life is nothing more than a mist. It was now that I saw God working despite what I thought. He drew a crowd in, and this time He even drew in a Muslim heckler. Mohammed the Muslim heckler was a good heckler, and him and I engaged in an apologetic over Christianity versus Islam. This caused a good size crowd to gather as we went back and forth. I pulled out all I knew about Islam to disprove it from an apologetic angle, this was done not for Mohammed, but rather it was done for the crowd. The reasoning behind this is because Britain is looking down the barrel of Islamic invasion, so if I can warn and convince a few people about the errors of Islam then I have done my job, but what is the point of destroying Islam if one doesn't know the hope found in Jesus. So after the apologetic I explained the way of salvation and how we all need a Saviour.
Just as I was wrapping it up I was approached by two security guards who told me to leave as I may be offending some Muslims. This was interesting since the Muslims in the crowd actually thanked us for challenging them. We left Covent gardens since by now it was dark and cold, so we made our way back to Trinity Road Chapel.
That concludes the Operation 513 London Outreach, however, the outreach in England was just beginning for now we were headed to Northern England to preach in Sheffield, Newcastle and Manchester...
Soli Deo Gloria!