Battle Log

The Battle Log is the place where reports from each of the Operation 513 evangelism teams are posted.

It gives you a brief idea about what occurred during the outreach and some of the highlights.

Even though there is not a report from each team on the Battle Log every week, all these teams do meet according to the schedule (usually weekly).

So please keep them in prayer and consider joining one if it is in your area.

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Christchurch (NZ) Team

Wednesday 1 April 2020

Posted by Posted 1 April 2020, 5:36 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

After a day off on Monday; Tuesday and Wednesday involved more online evangelism.  So much learning is taking place - about new opportunities and ways of reaching people with the gospel, and also about new avenues for Christians to get involved with the great commission.  Personally, I don’t think I want to do online evangelism full time for ever, but there is no doubt it is a great option.

On Tuesday I tried my first video chat on Omegle (after some text chat conversations to warm up first).

I got into my first chat quite quickly.  A young lady who was shielding most of her face.  She thought I looked like a teacher!  She was keen to talk about spiritual things.  But she only wanted to type (not talk), and when I talked, I got feedback.  So we ended up just text chatting.  I had to work with her to get her to understand how we know God exists, and took her through the law.  She wanted to know why I was doing this, and so I said that I wanted to share the good news.  In the end, she wanted to go without hearing that good news.  But she did say that her thinking had been expanded.

To eliminate the feedback, I put on a headset - that seemed to solve the problem.

I then had a long string of people hang up on me, plus one guy who tried to show me offensive material - so I had to leave that chat quick smart (reader beware - set up a system to hide the picture till you are into a conversation and you know it’s safe).

I finally struck a guy who didn't cancel on me!  I quickly worked on getting a conversation started.  It turns out he was a Christian, so we didn’t talk long so I could get talking to someone who needed the good news!

I moved on and had another string of cancels before getting into a conversation with a likely false convert.  I used my mini flip chart to share the gospel with him.  He seemed enlightened / challenged in many ways.  I was very encouraged!

Video chat can be a lot quicker to share the gospel than via text chat - that's for sure, but I still enjoy text chat as well - it has its own flavour for communication.

I needed a break, so I went for a short walk.  And then I decided to go for another text chat, and it was epic!  It went for over an hour, but it was worth it as the person I was talking to wrestled through understanding the concepts I was explaining, and then working through objections.  Here are some snips from that chat:

You: too deep
You: ?
Stranger: yes haha
You: Fair.
Stranger: never thought i wild have this type of conversation here

You: I'm a Pastor.
Stranger: no way
You: My job is mainly on the streets talking to people about this.
Stranger: NO WAY
You: But because of covid-19, I can't be on the streets right now.
Stranger: tell me you’re kidding
You: Yes way :)
You: Not kidding.
You: Just over a year ago, I worked in IT. But now I'm a Pastor.
Stranger: how old are u?
You: But most of my time is working on the streets. I'm 43.
You: Married, with 3 awesome kids.
Stranger: this is unbelievable
You: Hell is real. Logically, and I've been saved. And I just want to tell others about Jesus.
You: He died to pay my fine, so I could be forgiven.
You: It is an amazing gift.
You: Why unbelievable?
Stranger: so god is doing this to us?
You: ah, good question.
Stranger: like this world crisis
You: Very deep question, now we are getting somewhere!

You: He has a plan to save us, so He is holding off justice so we can receive mercy.
You: But I'm starting to ramble...
You: If you want to talk it though, I'm keen.
Stranger: im laura
You: Hi Laura, I'm Glen :)
Stranger: so all of those world wars

Stranger: but talking abou covid- 19 many of his followers are dying
Stranger: did they deserve this?
You: Lets, back up a bit. Are you a good person?

You: He sees our anger, like we feel about a murderer.
Stranger: so we would never be good enough
You: In our own effort - yes... but God has done something amazing, so we can be forgiven.

You: But... the problem is.
You: Who is there that is perfect? Let alone willing to die for us?
You: Do you know anyone who is perfect?
Stranger: oh i know where this is going
You: :)
You: You don't like where it is going?
Stranger: it’s not that i don’t like
Stranger: it’s that i’m angry with all these rules bc it only brought sadness to my life and the ones i love
Stranger: my boyfriend was a jeová witness
Stranger: you are almost convincing me
Stranger: BUT
You: I can't convince you :)
You: Only God can
You: But he uses weak people like me to share his message.
You: I'm listening...

We went into a discussion about suffering here.

Stranger: im a little lost
You: Do you have more questions? I want to make sure you understand
Stranger: but i think i get it

You: We will still muck up, no doubt! But our desires will change.
Stranger: so we only have to be grateful and try to do better
You: no, not at all.
You: It is not "try to do better".
You: You must only Trust in Jesus sacrifice to pay your fine.
You: If we do that, if we accept his gift of paying our fine, our desire for sin and God will change.
You: We won't WANT to sin anymore (even though we will).
You: We will go from wanting things our way, to wanting things God's way.
You: Sorry for preaching at you Laura! :)
Stranger: haha not at all
You: I just want to help you understand :)
Stranger: it was fun
Stranger: gave me another perspective
You: So, what do you need to do to go to heaven, based on what I explained?
Stranger: that i’ll think about it i promise
Stranger: trusting jesus is the key
You: Amen!
Stranger: got it
You: :)

Very encouraging for me.

Later, I had a chat with a guy who was suicidal!  Part of me wondered if this person was just playing with me.  But you have to assume what they are saying is true:

Stranger: I’m going to end it
You: https://www.livingwaters.com/movie/exit-the-appeal-of-suicide/
Stranger: There is no point
You: Don't do that, there is hope.
You: Are you a good person?
Stranger: No there’s not I can’t ever see the light
Stranger: I try to be but it doesn’t work
You: ok, lets confirm... 1) Have you ever told a lie?
Stranger: yea

This guy heard the gospel, although he didn’t respond to my checking question.

Stranger: Ok
Stranger: Thank you for helping me
You: What do you need to do to go to heaven?
Stranger has disconnected.

I leave him in God’s hands.

On Wednesday, I decided to head back to IRC: freenode network, ##truth channel.  Over 200 people in there.  I’ve been keeping my eye on the channel for days, but today I decided to jump in.  And I managed to get into a wonderful debate with a few of them taking me on.  It was quite a challenge, but I managed to stay on target and share the law and the gospel, while keeping those who were talking to me engaged.  I was overjoyed.  All glory to God for helping me through!  I have no idea how many of the people in the channel were following the discussion, but I know there was at least one other.  I went for a break, and then came back and had someone else gently challenge me - he had been watching.  I was greatly encouraged.  It felt like open air preaching - you just don’t know who is listening!

On Omegle I had another great conversation with a young teen boy, who had given up on church three years earlier.  Today he received a wake up call:

You: Here is my point, Jesus said, if you are just angry with someone, it's like murdering them in your heart.
Stranger: oh

You: His name was Jesus. Do you know how Jesus died?
Stranger: yes
Stranger: he suffered for us
Stranger: he was crucified
You: You are right, by dying on the cross.
You: Why? Because he was being the perfect and willing sacrifice to pay the fine for our sin.
You: If Jesus has paid your hell fine. Where will you go when you die?
Stranger: heaven
Stranger: ohhh
You: Good news, right?
You: But, we have to accept his gift.
Stranger: yeah
You: This is how: it's not by being good.
You: It's by trusting that Jesus has paid your fine.
You: Does that make sense?
Stranger: yeah
Stranger: i get it now
You: So, what must you do to go to heaven?
Stranger: i must believe that jesus has paid for my sin

Thank you for your prayer support as the Operation 513 team continues to engage people with the gospel, in spite of lockdowns.  God bless! :)
 


Christchurch (NZ) Team

Sunday 29 March 2020

Posted by Posted 30 March 2020, 6:52 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Saturday & Sunday I was back out on the virtual streets (literally)!

On Friday night I watched a YouTube video about a virtual pandemic that had occured in an online game.  This got me thinking about this as an option for online evangelism, but I didn’t want the game to distract from my time in sharing the gospel.  And this made me think of something that caught a lot of media attention back in the year 2000 (I think it was): Second Life (https://secondlife.com/).  It was a virtual world, where people could build things and socialise.  I looked it up in the morning, and to my amazement, it is still a thing - all these years later.

I signed up, downloaded the client, and installed it.  I logged in and instantly I was in a virtual world, with people around I could interact with!  I followed the tutorial and it wasn’t long before I was attempting to start conversations with real people.

Interestingly, second life has rules, just like real life (pictured).  But that makes sense.  The same gentleness and respect is required in virtual conversations as in real ones!

I managed to get into a conversation with a newbie (like me) from Poland.  But she wasn’t keen to talk about spiritual things, so I just left it.

Later, I was in a spot with three other people near me, and I realised I could talk to them all at the same time.  So I simply, and politely asked them what they thought happened after life.  I got a nibble from one of them, but the conversation didn’t get rolling.  Just like in real life!

To my surprise, the girl from Poland got in touch later on.  She wanted to catch up, and she was bringing a friend.  Before I knew it, I was talking to both of them about the important questions of life (pictured)!  Unfortunately, they both left before hearing the gospel - but I was very encouraged by the gospel possibilities - even while in COVID-19 lock down!

What have I learned so far?  1) Typing in the Second Life client is laggy (I can type faster than the letters appear on the screen) - this actually makes it really hard to communicate.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to find a solution for this.  2) There are areas in Second Life to be avoided, just like in real life.  I ended up getting teleported into a nightclub at one point, and you can come across some visuals that are not wholesome.  So beware of this if you are thinking of trying this yourself!

On Sunday afternoon I would normally be on Cashel Mall, but I can’t be there!  So I decided to try Second Life again.  I didn’t want to waste time, making the most of my opportunity to share the gospel, so I realised I was just going to have to start approaching strangers and try to start conversations.  I was suddenly very nervous!  Just like in real life!  But putting aside my fear, I got to it.

The first two people I tried talking to ignored me (pictured).  But on my third try, I got some response (pictured)!  To my shock, the guy was a pastor in real life too!  He gave me some in-game money (I don’t know how to use that yet), and he gave me some tips.

Due to the typing delay, I decided to move back to Omegle.

My first conversation was with another guy who seemed to be involved in a Christian cult.  I could tell this was going to be a good conversation, but he unexpectedly left. :(

My second conversation started well.  The person on the other end didn’t believe in God, but when I explained how we know God exists - they clearly saw the logic of it.  I was encouraged, and used the law to explain the bad news.  At this point they started to understand the implications, and didn’t like it.  They insisted they would go to heaven, but eventually came to see it wasn’t so: “OK i understand”.  I now had the chance to swing to the good news, but I decided to try to spend a little more time to make things clear, when they suddenly disconnected.  I felt grieved.  Maybe I should have just shared the good news first, and then tracked back?  Oh well, I leave them in God’s hands.  May they have another opportunity to hear it!

I wanted to see what other online communities I could engage in.  So I searched for “talk to people online” via Google.  A long list came up!  I tried the first one: https://chat42.online/ - it’s just like Omegele!  There are many opportunities for the gospel online.

I’m going to keep working with Second Life, and see if I can find good spots for other Christians to join me in evangelism.  I’m confident that we could even make a flip chart - you can make anything you can imagine in Second Life, and there is a scripting language for making the objects interactive.

Looking forward to getting back to the real streets, but in the meantime, I’m trying to make the most of these online opportunities.  I hope you have been encouraged and inspired.  What gospel gold mines are yet to be discovered?
 


Christchurch (NZ) Team

Friday 27 March 2020

Posted by Posted 28 March 2020, 6:30 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Due to NZ being in lock down due to COVID-19, Thursday and Friday were another two days of online evangelism for me.

At the moment, my main place to have conversations is Omegle.  Same as on the streets, you get a lot of rejections from people simply not interested.  But also, same as on the streets, you can get into wonderful gospel conversations with a little bit of patience.

On Thursday, I had a gem of a conversation.  I’m going to give you some highlights.  This is an added bonus of online evangelism: you can keep the text of all your conversations!  I hope this will encourage you (I’ve done a lot of snipping).

This person was very open to the conversation: Believed in God, heaven and hell, admitted they would be guilty.  But they were slowly becoming aware of the implications of that and wanted to put their head in the sand, but at the same time were interested:

You: So if I've broken His laws, I would deserve hell - right?
Stranger: I'm supposed to be sleeping. it’s literally 2:30am
Stranger: yh u would deserve hell bc u broke his laws
You: Well, there is hope for heaven, can I share that before you go to bed.
Stranger: yh

I then shared the gospel.  The response was encouraging:

<snip>
You: We must trust that Jesus paid the fine for our sins.
You: Trust is another word for faith...
You: We are saved by grace, through faith.
Stranger: wow
You: It is not our good deeds.
Stranger: that’s amazing
You: You said it! I agree
You: That is why I want to share this with people.
Stranger: thank you so much. that’s made me appreciate life more

So it’s one thing getting a person to appreciate life more, but that won’t save you.  So I continued to work with this person.  I explained the cost of following Jesus, and started using checking questions to get them thinking through what I was sharing.

You: so may I ask you: what must you do to go to heaven?
Stranger: ummm i think just be grateful for life and don’t regret any second of it
Stranger: is there supposed to be a right answer
You: But if I had murdered someone, I can still be grateful for life.

Stranger: i’m really confused
You: Jesus, who is God, paid the fine for our sins, when he died on the cross.
You: That's okay, I'm happy to slow down, I want you to understand this, it's so important.
Stranger: ok

I now realised I had them engaged enough, that I could slow down, and backtrack to go over things in a different way.

And then I got this:

Stranger: wow you have made me feel so much better
You: Why?
You: Why do you feel better?
Stranger: just learning
You: cool :)

Feeling better is great, but it won’t save you from hell.  So I persisted.  This encouraged me, as it showed the person was starting to understand:

You: And that is have someone pay your fine.
<snip>
Stranger: like jesus payed for our fines

And then later this:

You: So, what did I say you need to do to be saved?
Stranger: trusting jesus to pay our sins
<snip>
Stranger: i think
You: You got it!
Stranger: YAAAAYYYY
Stranger: WOOOOOO
You: Now, what is stopping you from doing that?
You: What is stopping you from trusting that Jesus died to pay for your sin?
Stranger: idk
Stranger: sorry
You: Let me explain what I mean.

I then moved on to continue explaining the cost of following Jesus, and I got this:

Stranger: i don’t understand sorry
You: All good, let me explain :)
You: Let me give you an example.

<snip>

You: Am I making sense?
Stranger: yh it’s all adding up now
You: Good. So the paradox is that Jesus is a gift... that will cost you.
You: For that reason, most people reject the gift.

For some reason, the person I was talking to became concerned for their Mum - the thought of losing a loved one.

You: Well we will all die one day.
Stranger: ik
Stranger: ok now i’m gonna cry
You: Has your mum died recently?
Stranger: no
You: Is she alive?
Stranger: it’s just the thought
You: :)
Stranger: yh shes alive
You: Yes, we love our parents - I understand.
You: Well, there is hope for eternal life.
You: Trust in Jesus sacrifice to be saved, knowing your life will come into submission of him as your Lord. Then tell your mum about the amazing gift of Jesus! :)
Stranger: i will
You: ok.
You: Do you have a Bible?
Stranger: well i have to go now i have to go sleep
You: ok
You: Thanks for talking with me.
Stranger: no i don’t have a bible
Stranger: aw it was amazing talking
You: ok, well get one, plenty of free ones as apps on your phone. Start at the book of John.
You: And then find a church (a good one).
Stranger: ok
Stranger: i used to go church but i don’t go as much
You: https://www.9marks.org/church-search/
You: http://livingwaters.com/
You: Thanks for your time! God bless you!
Stranger: god bless! x
Stranger: bye
You: bye :)

It all became rushed at the end as I realised the person was going to leave.  I wanted to connect them to a Bible and a good church.  But ultimately, it is God who saves through the weakness of us sharing the good news (even online!).  I have to leave this person in God’s hands.  I have no idea who they are and I will never see them again.  If God saves them, there will be a desire to read the Bible, and to find a good local church.

I’ve started thinking of other places where I can find groups of people online to talk to.  I will experiment, and if any of them work out, I’ll write about them in future Battle Logs.


Melbourne (VIC) Team

Saturday 21 March 2020

Posted by Posted 26 March 2020, 10:04 PM by Martin Park. Permalink

It was special Saturday, because by God’s grace we have done LETTER BOX outreach which included Corona Virus Gospel tracts with ‘life is precious’ (Abortion) tracts. God has faithfully called 4 labourers. We decided to go to CLIFTON HILL as it was known as the most unreached suburb in Melbourne. It was such a joy as we prepared together the Corona Virus gospel tract as it required folding.  

We separated into 2 teams so that we can reach as many houses as possible. Personally I was expecting good conversation with people as it was really quiet day due to corona virus hysteria but God has so graciously gave me few really good interactions with group of people. 

As I was putting gospel tracts into the letterbox I could hear upbeat songs played in one of the house and there was group of young adults enjoying the BBQ in their garage, I asked them If I could give them the gospel tract and asked them a question and one of the guy showed interest and allowed me to do so. As I asked “what do you think happens if you die tonight?” and they responded “that is actually really deep question” so I shared the gospel with them taking them through the law and the gospel as I was sharing they had some common objections but they listened really carefully. Ade was the name of the guy who show genuine interest please pray for him and his friends as you are reading this. 

I and Jack met a lady called ‘Imagine’ she was chilling at the back of the street we handed out gospel tract and abortion gospel tract. She told us she does not have standpoint on abortion yet and she promised us to read the tract and think about it. Please pray so that Imagine will repent and put her trust in Jesus Christ and through this let her heart be changed and realise that the baby in the womb regardless of how old they are, they are precious living human being in God’s sight. 

As I was finishing my last letter box I saw a grocery shop that had no people and the owner of the shop was near the entrance so I quickly went in and gently asked her what she thinks about ‘eternity’ and she told me that she is Greek Orthodox and that if she does good things she will go to heaven so I shared the gospel with her it seemed she was surprised and little bit offended but she listened till the end (and even her daughter listened to it) please pray for them !

Lastly, I met old lady in the street and as I questioned her eternity she showed interest but she was really offended with the idea that in God’s standard we are wretched sinful being and she said “ you lost me there” just before she was about to leave I could share the gospel because we are utterly helpless sinful being Jesus Christ came and died for our sins and rose again. 

Please pray for her as you read this 

From Huy Do:-

On this day’s letterbox evangelism, before the evangelism even took off, I handed out the Corona Virus tract along with the abortion tract to a group of young men as they were sitting in MacDonalds. During which, the young man by the name of Noah stood up and came to talk to me and stated that he knows that we are Christians and realize what we were preaching, he was Muslim. Since he is a Muslim, I asked him if he believed in sin? He replied yes. I asked if he had sinned before and went over the commandments, he said that it is true he had sinned. Since he is a Muslim, and since he agreed that he was a sinner, I asked him, what can wash away his sins? I asked him since he was a sinner, what can atone for him and appease the God of the universe that demands perfection? The man said that he will do good deeds such as repent and so forth. I asked if he believed the Qu’ran, and by that extension, the Bible? He said yes. I then stated that the Bible said his righteousness is like filthy rags, so all of his good works are no avail. But though he is a sinner and nothing can wash away his sins, and all his good works are no avail, Christ has died on the cross to offer his perfect righteousness to all those who believe. He was very attentive, he understood the Gospel very well. Please pray for Noah and his friends that they might repent and believe.


Christchurch (NZ) Team

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Posted by Posted 25 March 2020, 5:58 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

On Monday, in New Zealand, it was announced that the whole nation would be going into lock down to protect from Covid-19.  What this means is that everyone needs to stay at home, except those working in essential services.

As much as we know that sharing the gospel is absolutely essential, we won’t be able to be on the streets of Christchurch to do that at the moment.  And there won’t be anyone on the streets anyway.

So starting from Tuesday, I started doing online evangelism!

It started with responding to a comment on a Facebook post. (Which you can read here.  Ryan also responded to the post, here.)

I then went to a web site that facilitates starting one to one conversations (via text): https://www.omegle.com/.

It took a few tries to get someone willing to stay and talk, but I was very encouraged with my first conversation.  It was with someone who was very resistant - an agnostic who was very close to atheist.  But they were intrigued with my line of argumentation, and stayed long enough for me to share the gospel!  They left the conversation soon after.

My second attempt was with someone who was Hindu.  But they bailed before I could share the gospel.

My third conversation was with a Christian from Brazil.  He was very encouraged by what I was doing: 

You: No, the Bible teachers that God is just and must punish sin.
Stranger: and he did that
You: Yes, either in Hell, or on Jesus taking our punishment on the cross.
You: But there is 1 thing we must do in response to be saved: TRUST.
Stranger: YES
You: We are saved by grace through faith.
Stranger: YES
Stranger: i like u
You: So If you came to me, I would get you to realise your sin, and then tell you about Jesus. And then tell you to trust in Him.
You: :)
You: I like you too.
You: I'm from New Zealand
Stranger: yes
Stranger: im from Brazil
Stranger: it's a nice thing u doing man
Stranger: congrats
You: :)
You: I go on the streets to do this, but I can't now because of Corvid19... so I am trying to talk to people about Jesus on the Internet
Stranger: thats such a cool play
Stranger: i will do that too

After that, I decided to investigate other ways of doing evangelism online.  Over twenty years ago, before I was a Christian, and in the early days of the Internet, I used to use a thing called Internet Relay Chat (IRC).  I decided to look into this again, and I found a channel on the freenode network called “truth” - a place where people can talk about politics and religion.  It had been a long time since I used IRC, so I had to spend some time getting up to speed.

This work continued today.  After rushing out to buy a new monitor before the lock down (pictured), as I’ll be spending many hours in this new venture, I had downloaded an IRC client (mIRC) and had connected to the truth channel on freenode and started reading an FAQ to relearn how IRC worked.  I could see some people talking in the channel, but I didn’t take much notice.

After some reading, I looked up, and I noticed that people were talking about Christianity in the channel!  So I jumped in.  I started with: “Interesting, I just noticed that there is discussion about Christianity.  I am a Christian.  I was attracted to this channel by the name "truth" and the topic.”  And slowly but surely, I was able to join the conversation and make connections: 


Response: “Can it be...another Christian?”
Me: “I am new, popped in yesterday for the first time.”
Response: “PLEASE return.  I'm usually the only Christian in here.”
Me: “I'm happy to stick around for the next 4 weeks at least.”
Response: “I can thank the virus for that? 😬😅”
Me: “God uses all things for the good of those that love Him.”
Me: “I can see it's going to be hard to follow conversation in this group - apologies if I miss things.”
Response: “oh, people in here will dogpile you, and yes, you won't be able to reply to all of it”
Me: “dogpile = overwhelmed with responses?”
Response: “Yes, many people wanting to go after the Christian :P”
Me: “I'm up for it.... I think :)”

So I ended up making connections with two Christians and I’m very encouraged.  I can see how important it will be to work on staying on target with online discussions - not allowing things to go down rabbit trails, but I'm hoping it will be very fruitful.

Earlier in the afternoon, I had another conversation via Omegle with a young ex-hindu now atheist from the UK.  I was able to share the gospel with him.

I’m so encouraged.  A whole new world of gospel opportunities is opening up to me.  I will keep reporting what I learn - maybe some of you will be able to do something similar while in lock down.  God uses all things for the good of those who love Him!


 


Christchurch (NZ) Team

Sunday 22 March 2020

Posted by Posted 23 March 2020, 6:42 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Thursday was hot, Friday cold; Well, Saturday was cold, and then Sunday was hot!  We are definitely at a season cross road.

Not as many people out and about on Saturday.  There were no markets in Cathedral Square, but enough people were walking through that I decided to set up my flip chart in front of the Cathedral.

My first conversation was with a man I’ve talked to before.  We had a long follow up - the conversation starting with abortion.  But I did my best to gently keep connecting things back to the gospel.

Eventually, the conversation was interrupted with someone curious enough to find out what the good person test was all about: it was my pleasure to explain.

After that, I noticed a solitary lady had turned up to protest the recent liberalisation of abortoin law in NZ - she had a sign.  I said hello.

I moved back to my flip chart and soon after moved into a wonderful conversation with two construction workers.  The both were challenged by the law and the gospel.  I could see them both understanding (and checking questions confirmed), but one was clearly resistant, where the other seemed open.

I then had the pleasure of dealing with two of my hecklers - one after the other.

First, Mr. Angry came past (I still pray for him).  He was his usual self, spitting his venom and making a scene.  While he abused me, I blessed him.

I then had the guy who once called me Ned Flanders come past.  He likes to jokingly mock me, but I refuted all his mockings - and I could tell I was hitting because he became serious at one point.  Thankfully, he decided to give up and leave me alone.

I had a quick conversation with a Christian guy before deciding to move to Cashel Mall.  By this stage, the wind had become strong, and so I decided to ditch my flip chart.

I had a great conversation with two girls from Cambodia.  They thought their good deeds would get them to heaven, and so I was able to explain to them why that couldn’t be the case (God’s holiness viewed through the law) and then the amazing gift of Jesus paying the fine for our sin.

The outreach ended with a long conversation with a young man who walked up to me and was very keen to chat.  He loved philosophy, and is studying it at university.  It turns out this young man used to be a Christian, and loved apologetics, even presuppositionalism.  But he had been challenged on a topic, and his deep intellectual study had led him away from God.  Interestingly, it was the opposite for me.  So we were able to work through this, and I touched on personal testimony a lot.  I also worked to swing the conversation away from intellectual debate, to matters of the conscience - sin, the real reason people try to deny God.  I was deeply impacted by this conversation, as it reminded me of one I had with a work mate years ago.  The guy was in the process of walking away from God, and it grieved me deeply.  I just have to rely on the fact that I can’t save people, and do my best to clearly explain the gospel (my part).

Sunday was another outreach Sunday for Redemption Church, joining the Operation 513 team on Cashel Mall.  I felt a bit overwhelmed, as there were more newbies than experienced evangelists.  But it worked out ok.  I actually had a really busy outreach, with lots of wonderful gospel opportunities.  I ended up being out thirty minutes longer than usual for a Sunday - praise God.  And I had various newbies, and various times listening in and giving it a go!

A couple of highlights included:

A guy who was keen to give the good person test a go, but then became really uncomfortable as I explained the law to him.  I was right up to the point where I was going to explain the good news when he decided to bail!  I couldn’t get him to stay, but I said there was good news on the tract that he accepted.

I had a very bright young couple keen to give it a go.  He had a Christian background, but was not a Christian.  She was very smart, that she was working out the meaning of my analogies before I had even made it halfway through!  But they couldn’t fault the logic of what I was explaining - as desperately as she wanted to.  She wanted morality to be relative but understood the implications of that and the logic of God being the basis for objective truth and morality.  They heard the gospel, but I’m confident they rejected it - wanting to enjoy the sinful pleasures of this life… but I can’t know.  May God save them!

I’m writing this Monday evening.  NZ is going into lock down due to Coronavirus for at least four weeks.  This means the Operation 513 teams in NZ won’t be able to be on the streets… but we are looking into other ways we can continue to share the gospel!  Please keep us in prayer.  God bless! :)
 


Melbourne (VIC) Team

Sunday 15 March 2020

Posted by Posted 22 March 2020, 6:45 PM by Martin Park. Permalink

On Sunday, It was Operation 513 Melbourne 2nd practical outreach session. Praise God for His faithfulness who sustains us to share this glorious gospel. By God's grace we had many wonderful chats with non believers. Dave and I made a good use of mini flip charts. 

Despite of corona virus hype there were lots of people in the city in Bourke st there are lots of men waiting for their families to finish their shopping so it gives us great chance to share the gospel with them. I met a guy in front ZARA clothe shop who was waiting for their family member, he was very interested with what I was doing with the gospel tract and graciously gave me a chance to have conversation with him till his family is out of the shop from shopping (in this case, I often pray that God will give me enough time to share the gospel in its fullness).

He was surprisingly very positive and receptive to the gospel and understood the need of God's justice and wrath to be satisfied to legally forgive us as God cannot contradict his own attribute which is HIS justice but during the conversation his family members came out from the shop so he had to leave however praise GOD ! that it was enough time to share the gospel. 

From Dave :- 

Following are ones I spoke with... 

* Michael and Steve (basketballs). Did Flipchart. 

* Joshua - Filipino good talk through Flipchart. Christian who needed assurance. 

* Man who thinks he is the devil. 

* Muslim young man who needs to know that Jesus is the mediator 

----- 

Overall, it was great day. I pray that God will use this practical training session to be used to empower the saints so that those saints can empower their church and encourage the church to share their faith regularly for God's glory sake and for people's salvation


Melbourne (VIC) Team

Saturday 14 March 2020

Posted by Posted 22 March 2020, 6:17 PM by Martin Park. Permalink

On Saturday, the weather was great and people were excited to share the gospel. We gathered inside of Starbucks as usual and we reminded ourselves John 15:5 that we can do nothing apart from Christ Jesus so we pray that we solely rely on God as we reach out to people with the gospel. As Corona Virus is on the rise we brought hand sanitiser and packs of tissue paper to utilise it for evangelism

By God’s grace, I have had many interesting conversations. I met Nathaniel and Bianca they were bright and polite people as they were passing by ‘GOOD PERSON TEST’ flip chart I asked them if they think they are good people and they laughed and said “ yeah I think so”. I told them that if they proved themselves to be a good person, 2 packs of tissue will be given to them but if they fail to do so, still 1 pack of tissue will be given to them as Corona Virus was on the rise and we all know that tissues are becoming more scarce people responded well to this deal.

And as I was preaching another lady came and joined the chat. As I finished with gospel presentation she told me that she was Christian and that she was greatly encouraged by seeing group of Christians preaching the gospel in the city. I encouraged her to do the same and gave her website that will help her to equip her. Recently by God’s grace I have encounter a lot of faithful Christians that were encouraged by the team preaching the gospel and inspired to do the same so please pray that God will raise more labourers as harvest is plentiful but workers are few ! And pray for Nathaniel and Bianca also !! 

 

From Niki & Mark :-

We had some really great conversation this Saturday. The highlight was sharing the gospel with two young men (overseas students), who wanted me to contact them with more information. Please pray for Andres and Christian, as I sense they are very close to making a decision for Christ, if they haven’t already. We also spoke to two homeless men, David and Declan. They had been through difficult family times. We shared the gospel, tracts and they were happy for Mark to pray for them. It was evident David was touched by our interaction, he had tears in his eyes.

Another conversation was with three young Muslim men. Their view was that as Muslims, Jews and Christians we had much in common. I agreed but pointed out that a fundamental difference was that whilst they believed Jesus was a prophet, we believe He is God. One guy asked me to prove it. I talked about the Old Testament prophesies pointing to Jesus, His birth and death. Also Jesus’ disciples went into hiding following his crucifixion. After they saw him resurrected (and received the Holy Spirit), they went out with great boldness, they were prepared to die as Martyrs to tell people about Him. We also talked about salvation through faith in Christ, versus works and how the Bible says no one is righteous, not even one. We gave them tracts. Please pray for these young men to open their hearts to Christ. Mark spoke to a Hindu man Suresh, who told him he was a Brahman. He could see the faults in his religion and was very open to the gospel. Please pray for Suresh

From Huy Do:- 

Due to the hysteria of the Coronavirus, despite the fact that we were out early today, not as many people were out as we supposed, yet regardless, we still proceeded to preach the Gospel of salvation. The highlight came when a young man named “Raz” came and listened, I went with him over the law and the condemnation of God for those who broke them and asked him if he was concerned about where he was going, to my surprise, he said “yes”, he was concerned over his soul. During this time, a man who was blind came and objected to the preaching, he was very hostile and very much attempted, in every way, to disturb my sharing with Raz the way that his condemnation is to be dealt with, he objected to the cross of Christ in every way possible, he was very bitter. To wit, at the end, I still managed to share with Raz the Gospel, that Jesus Christ paid the penalty of sin and satisfied the justice of God on his behalf to give him everlasting life.

I explained to him that during this season of hysteria, the fate of man grows evermore uncertain and his fear of death is evermore stoked within him, therefore, that it should be right that he runs to the cross of Jesus Christ and be cleansed. By the end, after the Gospel was preached, I asked the bitter blind man why he was so bitter towards the preaching, he stated that it was because he was promised that if he sought after God, he would be delivered from his sin of bisexuality, yet he sought for 6 or 8 years and nothing happened, therefore he now hates God. My soul aches for him, and I asked if it is in any way possible for me to give him any resource considering his blindness, he said that there is none, nor does he want any resources. The man bitterly walked off and all that I said was “there is hope in Christ” as he went away.

This provoked me greatly to think upon his condition, to which I concluded that he was not ever regenerated. If he had been regenerated, then he would have stayed, for men with far greater infirmities have struggled far longer than he, yet by the grace of God, they prevailed and came to savingly know Christ and be regenerated. Since he was not regenerated, which is evidenced through his leaving, thus his previous seeking was all a work of the flesh, he never truly sought after God, for no man seeks after God, but rather the things God offered apart from God, in other words, the benefit of God apart from He who provides such benefit, hence a work of the flesh. Please pray fervently for both of them, that God would savingly grant them repentance.

From Dave Knight :- 

One of my conversations was with a man in his late 50’s who did the flip chart right through said at the end...

“I admit I am a sinner”.

“I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins and rise again”.

“I want to call on the Lord to save me”. 

When I challenged him to do so he said he had to go. Pray this man sees the urgency of trusting in Christ asap. 

----------------

SOLI DEO GLORIA !! 


Christchurch (NZ) Team

Friday 20 March 2020

Posted by Posted 21 March 2020, 6:34 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Thursday was the last day of summer.  It was really hot!  And Friday was the first day of winter.  Wet and cold - I even had to put my thermals on for the evening outreach, first time this year.  But hot or cold, rain or shine - the gospel of Jesus needs to be shared.

Andy and I were at the Eastgate and Northlands bus stops, in the heat, on Thursday.  We both had many gospel opportunities - esp. at Eastgate.  I found it a bit slower than normal at Northlands, but ended up having some wonderful opportunities to share Christ.

I had an opportunity to share with a guy as he was walking past.  My questions engaged him enough to keep him staying to hear the next question, but at the same time, I could see he wanted to go, so I had to go fast.  I was able to share the whole law and gospel with him, and also throw a vital checking question at him before he left.  Not surprisingly, his response to the question: “So, what did I say we need to do to go to heaven?” was “good deeds”.  I corrected him (the answer is “trust that Jesus paid your fine”) and pleaded with him to study the tract.

I had an interesting conversation with a lovely person, who was a Goth.  Apparently she had become a Christian back in December, and is going to a local church.  She didn’t have much clarity around the gospel, so I tried to gently bring some.

At Northlands, I finally got into a conversation with a young man but I could tell he didn’t really want to talk.  So when I got to the law, I asked if he would be willing to answer three quick questions - he declined.  So I approached the guy next to him (his friend) to see if he would like to answer the three questions - he was keen.  But I wound back to explain how we know God exists - and we ended up working on that question till their bus came.

Once they moved on, another guy turned up, and I ended up having a wonderful conversation with a guy who clearly wanted to live his life for himself, but who turned out to have a JW background (the clue was when he said Jesus died on a stake in response to one of my questions).  I could tell that he had never heard the gospel before, had never understood the justice of God, and the incredible mercy of God.  So I was really blessed to have the privilege to explain it to him.  (One of the pictures shows us talking.)

Something unusual happened at Northlands.  Both Andy and I noticed a young girl walking back and forth around the bus stops.  Eventually Andy took the initiative to ask if she was okay.  She broke into tears and said she was supposed to meet her older sister, but couldn’t find her.  She didn’t have data on her phone and couldn’t contact.  Andy brought the girl to me, and I turned on the hotspot on my phone so she could connect to the Internet.  This solved the problem, as it turned out the sister was just around the corner!  Andy was able to reunite them.  And I think some very brief gospel communication occurred.  What a blessing to be able to serve others both practically and spiritually!  All glory to God.

I finished up the Northlands outreach with a conversation with a Christian high schooler.  He had just finished writing an essay against abortion and we discussed this briefly, as well as the gospel.  Very encouraging!

Firday’s outreaches started with the gospel + abortion outreach outside Christchurch hospital.  I’m grateful that Marty brought his umbrella and he allowed me to share it - it got quite wet (pictured).

We then moved to Cathedral Square.  It was quite empty, due to the weather, and probably due to the lack of tourists due to the closed borders because of Coronavirus.  But there were enough people around for all three of us (Marty, Andy and I) to freely proclaim the gospel (no fighting with music or construction noise today).  For me it was the first time I had open air preached in a while, and I really enjoyed it.  We had one heckler who would ramble in the background - but wasn’t any real disturbance.  I had a great, although brief, follow up opportunity after I preached (pictured).  And also, one of the food stalls blessed us with some free lunch!  What a blessing - thank you!

Andy and I then spent two hours on the streets of central Christchurch having walk up conversations with people, as opportunity allowed.

The highlight was a conversation with two young men.  Sadly, during the evening outreach, I encountered one of them again, but he wanted to keep his distance.  After thinking through the gospel - he had clearly rejected it.

The Evening outreach was difficult.  Cold and wet, and with Coronavirus, I knew it was going to be a difficult two hours.  I spent some time in prayer before heading out.  I wasn’t wrong.  Cathedral Square was completely empty.  Even the bars and restaurants were very quiet.

But, all glory to God, I was still able to have four sets of gospel conversations during the outreach!

The highlights would be the gospel conversation with a Jew and a Catholic - I had to really work to get them to understand grace through faith.  And the final conversation I had outside the bus exchange with a kid who had rejected religion (background: Mum - Baptist; Dad - Catholic).  But he was keen to talk to me.

I thank you for your prayer and support of the Christchurch (NZ) team.  Please pray for labourers.  And join us out where the fish are!
 


Christchurch (NZ) Team

Wednesday 18 March 2020

Posted by Posted 18 March 2020, 5:55 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Tuesday was St. Patrick’s Day!  There was a team of two who spent two hours on our usual Riccarton outreach in the late afternoon, and then in the early evening we were outside two Irish pubs doing the St. Patrick’s Day test with people.

During the Riccarton outreach, I had four conversations.

First up was a Catholic man that one of the team has talked to before on a Friday night outreach in the city.  Sadly, he wasn’t open to reason in any way, and so I let him move on - he didn’t hear the gospel.

I then had a lady stop, interested in the flip chart.  She liked to talk (which is okay).  So it was a longer conversation, but she was all over the place in her thinking and, again, I couldn’t reason with her.  But she did stay to hear the law and the gospel.

I was taking notes of that conversation, when Roger called out to me.  I looked up, and I had two high school students looking at the flip chart.  They were brother and sister.  And they were very sharp thinkers - so a good conversation was had.  I slowly took them through the logic of how we know God exists, the law, and the gospel, then through the series of checking questions.  There was resistance at each point, but we worked through the logic, and they didn’t seem to be able to fault the logic.  They understood the gospel.  But when I challenged them to respond at the end, they rejected the gospel.  I asked them why.  And they were speechless.  I explained why most reject it (it’s not that it’s not true, but the cost is too high).  And I pleaded with them to read through the tracts I gave them, and to discuss it with their parents.  They appreciated the conversation and went to shake my hand… but we tapped elbows instead!  (If you are reading in the distant future, it’s because of Coronavirus.)

I finished up the outreach with a short conversation with an older lady who was very interested in the flip chart.  She grew up in the church, so I asked her what we need to do to go to heaven: good works were her answer!  So I briefly explained why it can’t be good work, and what the good news is.  She seemed struck.  She became very interested in what church I went to, and got me to write down all the details.  She said she would read the After Life tract I gave her.

For the St. Patricks Day outreach, we were outside two Irish pubs over the two hours.  But, because of Coronavirus, there were not many people around (last year it was similar, but due to the mosque shootings).

But this did not stop us having some great conversations.

My first was a long conversation with a guy walking home after work.  He followed Viking religion, and was resistant.  But we had a nice long conversation where I was able to make some inroads into why the Christian worldview makes sense.  He heard the law, and I touched on the gospel.

At the second pub, the highlight conversation was with a group of three.  Two of them just wanted to go into the pub, but the third guy really wanted to do the St. Patrick’s Day test.  He wanted to know what his prize would be if he got them all right… he said I would have to do a handstand if he did.  I agreed.  To my amazement, he was getting the questions right.  But, to my relief, he stumbled at the final hurdle.

Then I asked him what the message of St. Patrick was (answer: the gospel).  He then triggered to what we were doing.  He was impressed.  He said if he knew we were Christians right from the start he would have said a foul word to us.  But now that he was engaged, he was keen to chat about religion.  And boy did he like to talk!  He would often say “let me finish, let me finish”.  Because of this, I didn’t really get to share the gospel with him.  But he did take a tract!  I hope he reads it, and that some of the things we talked about would resonate.

On Wednesday, I was back in the City.  I ditched the flip chart and decided to do “walk up”.  I made it all the way down to Ara on this outreach.  I had four wonderful gospel conversations.

The first was with a young man who recognised me as he was walking towards me while he was crossing a road.  He said hello, and even used my name!  I didn’t remember him, but then he triggered my memory saying that we had talked during a climate change protest last year.  He held to reincarnation, but also believed in God, heaven, and hell.  He heard the law and the gospel again.  But he was resistant because he understood the cost.  He said he wanted to enjoy life, and then he would consider it.  Inwardly I just shook my head, and tried to get him to understand what he was saying.

My next two conversations were with tourists: the first was with three Germans who were heading home early because of Coronavirus.  Initially, only one of them was engaging me in gospel conversation, but by the end of the conversation, they were all interested, and all took tracts.  The second was with a guy from Holland.  At one point, I thought I was going to lose him as we discussed how we know God exists.  But I quickly moved on with the law and the gospel, and he re-engaged and seemed genuinely impacted.

The last conversation was outside Ara.  It was with three students.  Interestingly, homosexuailty and abortion came up in the conversation.  But they all heard the law and the gospel.

I praise God for all these opportunities.  We may be reaching people one at a time, or in small groups.  But as the days, weeks, years pass… many people are being reached with the gospel.  All glory to God.  In God’s timing, may many come to saving faith in Jesus.
 


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