Today we were taking full advantage of the crowds that were Christmas shopping in Romford. We arrived on the high st, (we being Chuck, Mario, myself and later Jacob) but found that our favorite spot had been taken over by the salvation army band. We decided to go further down the street under an awning and preach there. There was a lot of Christian groups and churches present on the high st today, however none of them preach the Gospel direct to the public (which is a shame!) We set up and prayed and I preached from Matthew 1 about the birth of Jesus and that "He will save His people from their sins".
Mario spoke briefly after me and during this time, Chuck had got into a conversation with a guy trying to get people to donate to red cross charity. Chuck spoke after Mario and I handed out tracts.
Later I preached again from Mark 7 about what comes out of a person and a few people stopped to listen (because it was a cold day). A number of young Christian kids who were on the high st with another group listened and later asked me about preaching. They seem to be curious, impressed and a little encouraged that people still go and the proclaim the Gospel in such a manner. Maybe they will be encouraged to take this mantle upon themselves?!?! God only knows!
Overall the afternoon was a great time of Gospel proclamation and a little fellowship. May God be glorified through our efforts! SDG
It was pouring with rain today and I had to force myself not to cancel the outreach. I made my way to Romford through the rain and met the team which consisted of Chuck, Rob, Deji, Mario, Jacob and myself. Even though it was very wet and cold, there were still a lot of people on the high st, so I set up under a shop awning and we prayed. I spoke from Mark 7 as it is my favorite passage and the team engaged in conversations.
Chuck spoke after me and a number of people engaged him in dialog.
During this time I got into a conversation with a Jehovah's Witness. I tried to cut the issues down to the cause of our differences, which is what authority do we each follow?
Do you practice (A) sola scriptura + infallible interpreter OR (B) sola scriptura allowing the Bible to interpret itself.
JWs practice model (A) and evangelicals practice model (B) and this was explained to the JW who replied, "the Bible is the Word of God and we follow it". I completely expected this response, but the problem is that JWs acknowledge the Bible's authority with their lips and then deny it by following the teachings from governing body of the watchtower. This problem plus other glaring inconsistencies made by the watchtower, show that the governing body cannot be the standard of truth since they contradict themselves. Mr JW did not appreciate this but we still parted amicably.
Rob had a number of conversations and one was with two Mormon gentlemen.
A number of local Christians were also present on the the street this day and were very encouraged by what they heard and saw. Mario preached after Chuck,
and then Deji preached.
The outreach was a complete success as the Gospel of Jesus Christ was preached and by God's grace we were uninhibited all day!! SDG!
Romford was teeming with people today we I approached the high St. We were blessed with good weather this Saturday and prayed it would continue as such. Todays team consisted of Chuck, Jacob, Jacob's Pastor named Joe, Mario who was a newbie and Myself. We set up and prayed for the day and I began to speak. I preached from Romans 1 about how all men know God exists and suppress this truth. Eventually I had a gentleman heckle me who was wearing a nice suit. I soon recognized that he knew the Bible fairly well but accused me of not telling the truth about Sabbath worship. Eventually he confessed to being a Seventh Day Adventist who had recently been at church.
His major argument rested on this type of statement -
If (P) Jesus said the Sabbath has changed, then (Q) it would have changed. (~P) Jesus never said the day changed,
Ergo (~Q) the day of worship must be Saturday.
This is the fallacy of denying the antecedent - If P, then Q. Not P. Therefore, not Q. (I have also heard JWs and Muslims use this line of reasoning in denying the Deity of Christ).
Needless to say when this error was pointed out to the gentlemen he didn't like it and rather than concede that his reasoning may be at fault he just continued to talk over me and not engage in dialog. Instead I decided to move on swiftly and continue preaching the Gospel and by that time my crowd had tripled in size, Praise God! I concluded my message by explaining the need to repent and turn to Christ in faith as He is the only name by which we can be saved.
Chuck preached too and I handed out tracts. A number of Christians were very encouraged by the preaching. The other team members were also busy chatting and handing out tracts to the public. It was a good day of gospel proclamation and God showed us favor with the civil authorities and crowds. SDG!!
The Operation 513 Team evangelized Basildon today and we were blessed with fabulous weather. The team consisted of Rob, Chuck and Myself and a young man named Sasha who lived nearby and had contacted me through the website. We set up and prayed. This was Rob's first time in Basildon and it was his first outreach since coming back from Canada, therefore it was his job to start !! Rob began to preach using his new amplifier which is very loud and clear; he was soon approached by a man who said "the ten commandments were great advice for life". However, as Rob unpacked the commandments the Holiness of the Law began to expose the mans sin to which he began to get angry and walk away.
As Rob continued more people gathered to listen and/or heckle. A young couple came up and began to ask "why we were forcing our beliefs on people" etc. Rob dealt with the arguments very succinctly and soon the girl confessed to being a pagan. The conversation was cut short by a lesbian yelling that we were "judgmental", to which Rob turned the accusation against her and asked her not to judge us either. Another lady asked about Bible translations and was thankful for the answers she received. A girl named Sarah who grew up in a Christian home also had a number of good questions and the Gospel was preached to her. Also a grandmother and her daughter and grandchildren came up and asked "the problem of evil question" relating it to specific events in their life. Rob responded with empathy and decorum to which the grandmother kind of appreciated his response but her daughter was not interested.
We eventually encountered a "christian" lady who said we were not preaching the Gospel but preaching condemnation. She was very frustrating and tried to stand infront of Rob and tell everyone that "God loves everybody and has wonderful plan for thier life". It made me question if she had ever read Ps 5:5, 11:5, Mal 1:3, Rom 9:13 etc or the large number of passages that explain about Gods hatred and anger towards human wickedness and sin. Anyways, Rob countered these foolish objections by reading John 3.16-20 which makes clear that God's love is for those who repent and those who do not repent are already condemed.
During the course of the afternoon many hecklers came and went but the content of the message had obviously offended the lesbian, because she called the police. Soon enough the police arrived and questioned the crowd of angry bystanders who were telling all sorts of lies about us. The police did not ask Rob to stop preaching but waited till he had finished before questioning him. Eventually the police arrested Rob for breaching Section 5 of the Public Order Act claiming that he had used language that "caused harassment, alarm or distress". Rob was taken to the Basildon Police Station and I called the Christian Legal Center for help. Later that evening the CLC lawyer arrived and had an interview with Rob and the Police and all trumped up charges were dropped with no further action to be taken !!
Rob was vindicated but felt vilified. It does remind me of when Jesus tells His disciples "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you" Matt 5:11-12. By Gods grace we live to preach another day, Praise be to God!! SDG.
Today was a beautiful sunny day for evangelism in Basildon. The team consisted of Josh, Chuck and Myself who was fashionably late to the event... We set up behind the costa coffee store in the open air shopping precinct and prayed. I preached first from John 3.16 - 21 and attempted to show that as sinful people we don't want to come to God because we hate Him and we love our wicked deeds.
A number of people listened and took tracts and a number of Christians were encouraged by the preaching. Chuck preached next and this attracted a number of young people to listen. It also opened an opportunity to speak to a young man who had grown up in a Jehovah witness family.
He was very pleasant to chat with and after we demonstrated from Scripture that Jesus is God we encouraged him to go home and read the Bible by itself and not with the watchtower magazine. Josh preached last and this attracted the interest of a man and woman who were intoxicated.
They asked a number of questions which Josh answered but the man was beginning to disrupt and try and stop Josh speaking. Eventually Josh asked if I would call the police and the man swore a bit more and finally left.
This event did bring a lot more people to the scene to listen to the Gospel!!! Eventually two community officers arrived asking about the intoxicated man incident and a council warden arrived asking if we could "move on".
We were on public land so we have freedom of speech and the particular area we were situated on had the law clearly displayed, which explained that religious services are EXEMPT from noise restrictions!! After the authorities inspected the law, the council warden actually returned and apologized to us which we were very appreciative of!! SDG!!
Today Josh and I went to Southend for outreach. We found the High St and picked a good spot under the railway bridge so we could use the natural acoustics. After lunch and prayer I began to preach my favorite sermon from Mark 7. A number of people stopped to listen and a number of Christians were encouraged to hear the Bible being read on the street. The commotion began to arise when an intoxicated American named Barry stood infront of me and facing the crowd began to swear and yell, "Jesus never existed" etc...
This indeed brought many more people to come and listen but it did make preaching a bit more difficult. It was clear that Barry did not want to dialog, he wanted a cause a scene and disrupt the preaching.
After a little while, Barry chilled a tiny bit and a woman from the crowd was able to ask "if God exists why do bad things happen" aka " the problem of evil" question. Barrys disruption made it possible for many more people to hear the Gospel and also for a number of conversations to be carried out after I had finished speaking. Praise God!!!
After handing out some more tracts Josh preached and then Chuck joined us and he also preached. The local authorities did approach us but did not infringe on our freedom of speech which was excellent!
Josh preached once more and this time a number of reactions from the crowd began to happen with a number of explosive dialogs from pedestrians. Most of the peoples arguments against Christ were arbitrary claims backed up by their own supposed autonomy.
Many "arguments" consisted of variations of "No!! your wrong" spiced up with foul language. This was the best the unbelieving world can provide against Christ... After Josh finished, I managed to speak to a few more people and explain the absurdity of the non-Christian worldview and that "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are deposited in Christ!!"
At the very end of the day a man approached Josh and said he was a Romanian Orthodox but after listening to the preaching, he realized he was not a Christian and went and repented then and there!! AMAZING!!
Josh has posted a Romanian Bible to him and some other basic Christian materials for him to read. We praise God for salvation is wrought by Him!! SDG
Today Essex OP513 team visited a town called Harlow. Historically Harlow has had a rough reputation with approximate rates of 10% unemployment along with 30% of its dwellings being council housing. I have often thought about preaching up there because low socio-economic communities can be impacted greatly by the Gospel. We found the shopping precinct and was met by Chuck Bosio. We prayed and I preached first. People listened and tracks were taken.
After my address a gentleman asked what my stance was on homosexuality. So I read Him 1 Cor 6:9 and Rom 1, he then said it was a refreshing to hear a person stand up and endorse the Biblical view, because he was a Christian who has had to leave a church which has begun to embrace homosexual conduct as permissible. Chuck preached while Josh and I handed out tracts.
Then Josh preached and began to get into conversations with few different gentlemen. Slowly the crowd built up until there were quite a number of people looking and listening. The crowd did get a bit raucous at times with various individuals screaming or being unreasonable to chat with.
Community Officers and Police arrived but none of them approached us or told us to stop. In fact a young girl in the crowd screamed out "Jesus is a pedophile" and Josh replied with "that is racial and religious hate speech". The Police in the crowd quickly pulled the girl aside and rebuked her for saying such blasphemy! It brought to mind the words of Jesus in Mark 9.40 "For the one who is not against us is for us" while perhaps my context is not accurate I was still praising God that the cops actually defended our cause!!
The crowd eventually dissipated and we finished up only to be approached by two Harlow council officers which began to give us grief. We debated with them about the right to preach whenever and wherever we wished on public land and they got very frustrated with us. I think a further follow up by our lawyers may be required. Over all the day was a success with the Gospel preached accurately and boldly. SDG
Todays outreach in Romford high St consisted of Josh, Rob, Chuck and Myself. We set up out of the way of pedestrians and prayed that our message would be accurate and God would save sinners for His Glory!! I preached from Mark 7 on what defiles a person during which it rained a little on and off. Thankfully Josh had his waterproof Bible so my paper Bible did not get wet!! Josh proceeded to preach after me and as usual had much more of a reaction from the pedestrians with a "lady" screaming out that we needed to stop preaching etc.
After this episode, two members of Barclays bank came out and abused Josh and told Him to stop. Josh in turn proceeded to twitter on #barclays and commented on their staffs "christophobic" attitudes. This got an immediate response from Barclays on twitter and said they would investigate.
Rob preached next, during which the police arrived and went and had a meeting with the Barclays staff regarding us. The police chatted with the staff and promptly left the scene without even talking to us. My best guess is that they have a "heads up" about the "Tony Miano Arrest" and all the controversy it has started in the UK and are unwilling to stop Christian preachers till it has been resolved.
Chuck preached after Rob and I preached once more after him.
Chuck preaches and Josh talks to two girls about Jesus.
During my second address an accident had occurred in the neighboring Primark store which caused the emergency rescue teams to arrive. This in turn brought many hundreds more people into the area whilst I was preaching and a whole lot more people got to hear the Gospel!!
During this time a number of people told me to "shut up" but I reminded them that I had freedom of speech in this great nation because of the liberties instilled by a Judeo Christian Ethic!
There were also many tracts handed out when the crowds came for a gawk so we praise God that He can turn bad events into glorious opportunities to share His Gospel!! SDG
Todays outreach was held in Chelmsford town centre. Myself, Josh, Rob and Chuck gathered at McDonalds and made our way up the high st. We set up under a large tree that provided shade from the sun and prayed. While this was happening Josh cornered some mormons and began to ask difficult questions about the veracity of the LDS church.
Josh and the Mormons
I preached from Mark 7 about what defiles a person.
Josh preached after me, then Rob and then Chuck.
All of us were distributing tracts during the event as well. Rob had a number of conversations with young people, as did I, plus I encountered two quite elderly people who listened to me about the Gospel. I find older people are much more self righteous than the youth, but these two where quite willing to listen, Praise God!!
An Anglican priest came over to us and was not happy about us "condemning" people by preaching Gods Law prior to the Gospel. Josh and Rob had a quite an in depth conversation with him which ended up with the priest explaining that he was gay and that his bishop had no problem with that orientation. Needless to say the man was not a Christian and this was explained in no uncertain terms.
An number of local Christians were greatly encouraged by our presence and one gentlemen generously went and purchased us a bottle of coke each. This was well received since the temperature was about 28 degrees celsius (normal for Australia but not Britain!)
After a few hours we had a small break for lunch, then we reconvened further down the high st and I preached again from Matt 19 in regards to how God designed marriage. Not long after I had started, a homosexual man began to heckle. Chuck and Josh began to talk with him only to find that he was not willing to have an honest dialogue. The whole afternoon was a excellent and the Gospel was proclaimed! SDG.
Today the OP513 team met in Romford. I was joined by Josh Williamson, Rob Hughes, James Ntensibe and Chuck Bosio. Myself, Josh, Rob and Chuck preached at differing times, one of the wonderful things about preaching the Gospel here, is that we can use amplification! Lots of tracts went out and we proclaimed Gods truths as bold and as accurately as we could. Rob had a very good conversation with a young man who was sitting on a public bench. I preached from Matthew 19 concerning the definition of marriage as it is undergoing a lot of revision in the House of Lords here in the UK. Overall it was a great afternoon of preaching the Goodnews!! SDG.
Rob chatting with Romford kids.
Chuck chatting with a Muslim
Rob having a great conversation with a young man