|Bribie Island (QLD) Team||Sunday, 26 January, 2020|
|Brisbane (QLD) Team||Monday, 27 January, 2020|
|Capalaba (QLD) Team||Monday, 6 January, 2020|
|Gold Coast (QLD) Team||Friday, 3 January, 2020|
|Hobart (TAS) Team||Friday, 22 November, 2019|
|Melbourne (VIC) Team||Saturday, 25 January, 2020|
|Redcliffe (QLD) Team||Saturday, 4 January, 2020|
|Special Outreaches||Friday, 24 January, 2020|
|Sunnybank (QLD) Team||Thursday, 2 January, 2020|
|Toowong (QLD) Team||Tuesday, 28 January, 2020|
|Toowoomba (QLD) Team||Friday, 3 January, 2020|
|Warwick (QLD) Team||Wednesday, 13 November, 2019|
|Wellington Point (QLD) Team||Monday, 20 January, 2020|
|Woodridge (QLD) Team||Tuesday, 22 October, 2019|
|Myanmar (Burma) Short Term Missions||Saturday, 21 September, 2019|
|Auckland (NZ) Team||Saturday, 17 August, 2019|
|Christchurch (NZ) Team||Wednesday, 29 January, 2020|
|Timaru (NZ) Team||Saturday, 23 November, 2019|
|South-East England (UK) Team||Saturday, 7 December, 2019|
|West Country (UK) Team||Saturday, 5 October, 2019|
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.
Wednesday in Christchurch dawned with rain - which was actually good, because the day developed into a very hot and sunny day and the cooler weather was better while I did some more letterbox dropping in the morning.
And for two days in a row, I was able to get into a gospel conversation while letterbox dropping! Here is a pro tip: smile. Everytime I pass someone on the street, I give a friendly smile, if they respond with their own smile it can easily allow for a conversation to start, which can lead to a gospel conversation. Well today, my smile to a gentleman walking the other direction led to him receiving a tract and asking what it was. When he learned I was a Christian, he quickly declared his Atheism - but was keen to chat.
Like yesterday, I wasn’t able to have a full gospel conversation, but I was able to challenge him on why evolution wasn’t sufficient as a creative mechanism, and why only God explained the existence of the universe and the life found in it. I was able to give him a basis for morality, and show him how none of us met the standard. But, sadly, he didn’t want to hear the good news of the hope of eternal life found in Jesus. I hope he was challenged, and reads the tract that he put in his pocket.
Once I made it to Cathedral Square to start the first outreach of the day, I was able to catch up with one of the stall vendors. I was encouraged to hear that some Christians had been preaching the gospel (a few days prior) in Speakers Corner using Ray Comforts’ trivia/money technique. I hope I get to encounter them one day soon.
I ended up settling on the corner of Cashel and Colombo for the outreach and had four great gospel conversations.
An Indian girl heard and understood the gospel, but wasn’t willing to let go of her Hinduism.
I had a long conversation with a man who was a big fan of Jordan Peterson. I had to be patient as the man processed the reasoning that undergirds the gospel. He heard the law, but (again) didn’t want to hear the gospel. But he seemed to really appreciate the chat. He took a tract, and it would be great if I get to see him again.
At this point, the heat of the day was starting to take its toll, so I had an energy bar. I went to put the rubbish in the bin, and to my surprise people had started to gather around my flip chart in my brief absence. This led to a solid gospel conversation with two young ladies.
To finish off the morning outreach, I had a guy and girl show interest in the chart. It turns out she had already done it about six months ago. I asked her if she passed the test, and she said she hadn’t. I asked if she knew the good news, and she didn’t. So going from there, I took them through the chart. Sadly, they were understanding, but not understanding. They really weren’t interested in the good news. And not surprisingly, they both failed my first checking question. They had to go.
After lunch, the second outreach of the day started. I ditched the flip chart and looked for shaded areas to approach people to chat. I ended up having five gospel opportunities. The two highlights were: a conversation with a young lady with a Catholic background who seemed very open to the foreign concept of salvation by faith alone: good news! And a wonderful conversation on my first walk down High Street for the year (I only made it halfway due to this conversation).
The conversation was with an Atheist and was going really well, when a guy I hadn’t noticed came and interrupted. He had overheard me say: “Jesus said ‘anger is like murder of the heart’”, and so his interruption was to ask if I knew Aramaic. I was initially confused by this, but soon understood what he was getting at. Interestingly, I think this guy was expecting me to get into an argument with him - he looked tensed up and ready to fight! I think he was surprised when I responded gently. We ended up shaking hands. Maybe I broke his street evangelist stereotype? I hope so. Unfortunately, the conversation with either men wasn’t able to continue - the first guy had to go back to work. But I hope these guys get more opportunities to hear the gospel - maybe from you? You're ready to share the gospel - right?
I’m starting to get back into my regular schedule post some holidays and the NZ Summer Mission. As always, thank you for your prayers and support!
Sunday afternoon was the first outreach after the completion of the NZ Summer Mission in Christchurch & Dunedin (you can read the reports from the mission here).
It was a nice day, and there were lots of people in Cashel Mall. But for whatever reason, it was really difficult to get a conversation started (in stark contrast to my experience in Dunedin). Oh, how I miss being in Dunedin! My three daughters were with me, and it was a good lesson in perseverance for them. Evangelism is not easy - but Jesus is worthy! Yet some tracts were received and I did manage to get into one conversation.
Mike joined us later in the outreach, and armed with his new mini flip chart, he went off in search of a conversation (paired up with Haley). He came back with a wonderful report of a conversation with a tourist. He was able to go through the whole flip chart with him - and the checking questions really helped the guy to understand the gospel.
On Tuesday I was doing some letterbox dropping before heading to Riccarton for the late afternoon outreach, when I was challenged by an older lady about what I was doing. I looked up and informed her that I was putting gospel tracts in letterboxes. She asked what a gospel tract was, so I explained that I was a Christian and that I wanted people to know the good news about Jesus - and a gospel tract communicated that message. I was very surprised by her response. I was expecting her to tell me not to put one in her box, but instead she was delighted! She was doing some gardening, but was obviously very keen to talk, and so I sat down to oblige.
She had a Catholic background, and figured that her goodness would get her to heaven. So she was deeply challenged when I showed her what Jesus taught about goodness. She kept changing the subject to political issues, and how bad the world was, and how much people like me are needed. But I kept gently bringing the subject back to the problem of her own sin. She wasn’t open to a full gospel conversation, and so didn’t hear the good news. But she did receive a tract. As I moved on, I came to the end of the road, and crossed to come back down the other side to deliver tracts. I was going to wave to her, but to my surprise she was gone. I hope she went inside to study the tract.
The last time I had been in Riccarton was two weeks prior during the NZ Summer Mission. There were about ten Christians there and I was amazed at how many conversations the team were able to have. Now I was back on my own, and I struggled a bit to get conversations started. Yet tracts were received, and over the outreach I was able to have three good gospel conversations.
The first was with a young lady, who was intrigued by my question about the afterlife, and stayed to hear the gospel via the big flip chart. The second was with a guy (pictured walking away reading a tract) whom I had to really labour with to get him to understand the way to heaven.
The last was a wonderful conversation with another young lady, who had some Christian influence in her life, but had not really been able to sew it altogether. Many times through the conversation I was able to observe the penny drop as she joined the dots and understood the gospel. She would say things like: “It’s making sense now!” (multiple checking questions confirmed this). At the end she was challenged to respond to the gospel. She was keen to accept a free Bible and start reading it, and wanted recommendations for a youth group. We talked about church options for her area, she also received a contact card for my local church.
As Monday was a public holiday (also known as a governement sanctioned evangelism day), the team of twelve headed into Brisbane City for an outreach. The team managed to have many conversations over the course of seven hours and overall it was a wonderful use of a day free from study or work.
After a few attempted conversations that were turned down a young Brazillian man, named Juan, stopped to chat. It was a valuable conversation and after comprehending the law and his guilt out of nowhere he mentioned something incredibly honest! He went on to explain that whilst he lived in Brazil he always felt dissatisfied and always thought that moving to another country would fulfil him. So he left Brazil and came to Australia and said that all his friends looked at his photos and were really jealous but once he arrived he just felt empty again!
This was used to show him that his greatest need wasn't his personal satisfaction but that he is still God's enemy and on his way to Hell, the gospel was explained and then it was pointed out that truth satisfaction will be found in knowing God. It was made clear that we shouldn't come to God to get satisfaction, we should come to God to get God but a life and eternity that is satisfying will result. He was able to articulate the gospel back and was encouraged to think about it seriously!
Eleven conversations later, the final conversation of the night took place with Freddie and Clement two German young men. They had grown up in a liberal church in Germany who rejected Hell and the sufficiency of scripture. It was interesting because at first they were arguing that God doesn't exist but they were shown that was simply an attempt to convinced themselves they really could live however they wanted and they both agreed. They saw that God because He is good must punish evil and that they are in very grave danger. Then they good news was shared, they came to grasp it and were able to explain the way to Heaven and it seemed like they really understood it!
Both commented how the conversation had really challenged them in many ways and therefore they would be thinking a lot about it as they headed on home. Usually European's are quite heard to the things of eternity but God is His kindness allowed these men to have some time of openness to be willing to consider that what they had hoped for was wrong.
Please be praying for these three guys that they trust in Christ alone for their forgiveness and as a result forsaking their sin and living for God!
What a wonderful day of outreach it was! Why not join us next week!
A battle log report of the New Zealand Summer Mission from an Australian perspective, part 2.
The week in Dunedin started very differently, the first morning of outreach consisted of three conversations with three heretics. The first was a lady who had been lead to believing that because she could utter phrases out of her mouth that she couldn't understand and had been immersed in water, although she was living adulterously and in direct rebellion toward God, was pretty sure she would be ending up in Heaven. The next was a lady from the same group (Revival Centres, an Australian export of false Christianity) except she was even further in, she was so sure that was how she would be saved that she rejected what God's word says in Romans 4:1-6, Ephesians 2:8-10 and every analogy about how gifts work. She was insistent, even after reading John 3 for herself (which she claimed talked about baptism) that it was her obedience toward God that would secure her eternity in Heaven. Lastly was a man who also was from Australia and was preaching that the life one lives after beliving in Christ was what would determines someone's entrance into Heaven. Thankfully despite the initial sadness bought by people professing the name of Christ who had been sucked in by cults the week began to improve significantly.
The first guy spoken to after lunch was named Cody. Over the course of the week the opportunity to have three conversations with him took place. This first conversation he came to understand the way to Heaven. After a morning with hard hearted people, he was open, willing to chat and grasped the good news very quickly. Two days later when he was chatted to again he said he had been wrestling with it. Not because the gospel wasn't good news but because he wanted to live his own way and specifically disagreed with God on the area of sexuality. He was given some simple answers and explanations from scripture as well as being asked some strong questions, the one that bought silence, was this, "Who knows better, Cody the twenty year old from New Zealand, or the eternally existing, all knowing, good and loving Creator of the universe?"
It is a pretty simple question to answer and Cody saw that his attempts to argue against God were folly. He was checked in with a final time on Friday and said he was really thinking it over. He knew that it was imoportant to consider, he was going to have a read of the gospel of John he was given and was very thankful for the opportunity to chat with someone who was patient, had simple and clear answers and really believed what they were saying.
Another exciting conversation was with Nelson who had moved away from the UK for work and left his wife behind (to follow when he got a job). He didn't really profess to be a Christian but was seriously challenged after a short conversation, was able to articulate the good news and how someone is saved and then asked a few questions about how to answer his wife who had started arguing some things about what meats "Christians' are meant to eat as she had started attending a SDA church. He was given the simple answer but was more importantly encouraged to start reading his Bible for himself (starting in John through Romans) to get a good grasped of the Christian message and lifestyle. I was able to speak later in the week and Nelson said he had a really tough chat with his wife about it. I encouraged him to pray for her, to keep reading his Bible to grow in knowledge and love for God so that he could lead and serve her well when they were back together.
A final conversation worth noting was with Gunja. A man who had been influenced by the JW's and was certain that if the Bible did not say what he thought, it must be "bodgey". He said the NWT was the only real Bible. In the first conversation he had two serious issues, firstly that people are made right before God by their own righteousness and secondly that Hell doesn't exist. Gunja, the discussion about Hell came first (as it was written on my tshirt) and it was answered simply by getting Gunja to read Revelation 20:7-14 in the NWT. He read it, asserted that it doesn't mention the word Hell and it was agreed that instead we could call it Gehenna, the Lake of Fire or the Second Deeath if he would prefer but that the idea of God's eternal judgement for sinners was clear in scripture.
Then he started to declared his own righteousness as the reason he would enter Heaven. He declared that he was definitly good enough. It was pointed out that he had blasphemed God multiple times by name during the conversation, had sworn, lied and been rude and angry and therefore he had no grounds upon which to declare that he would be good enough but Gunja in his pride determined he was fine. He was warned seriously about his eternity without Christ and he went on his way. He made a few stops by over the course of the week to stir up trouble but was mostly ignored because he already knew he was wrong and tried to justify himself with the declaration, "Hell does not exist".
A quick mention to God's sovereign will is regarding a young man named Ahmed. Glen approached him on Thursday and asked him what he thought happened after life, to which he responded, "Someome has already talked to me about this". When asked when and who, he mentioned it was in Brisbane and it was a guy with a camera. Glen pointed me out to him and he was pretty quickly wanted to leave. I spotted him and went to chat to him but he ran away. When he returned, I had a quick chat to him, he wasn't able to articulate the way to Heaven but I assured him that God was serious in getting his attention, this was now the third time we had spoken in as many cities. He was given a gospel of John and a tract and was challenged that he would have no excuse on judgement day when God had given him three very clear opprotunities.
Overall it was a week 89 conversations with 112 people and a wonderful time was had with the local Christians who hosted us and joined us for the outreaches. May God build His church in Dunedin!
A battle log report of the New Zealand Summer Mission from an Australian perspective, part 1.
The first week of the Summer Mission in Christchurch started strong. The first morning a team of eight turned up which was very exciting considering it was a Monday. The week continued, with eleven people on Tuesday and similar numbers throughout. Over the course of the week I personally had 77 gospel conversations with a total of 96 people. 5 days, 11 outreaches and over the course of the week, there have been a few stand out conversations.
Every opportunity to speak of Christ is a good one. Even opportunities to challenge people about the inconsistencies in their beliefs, to point to God's existence or to reveal sin via the law are valuable as well. Occasionally though there are moments in which God seems to really be calling someone.
On the first day there was a young man named Salomse, who had only been in the country for a matter of days and had been looking for some accomodation, as he was intending to start at university in the coming weeks. At first he was being quite closed and a little hostile and was struggling to engage as he was really trying to shut it down but by God's sovereign hand there came a point where he declared that he had tried his best to convince himself that God doesn't exist, so that he could justify living his own way but he knew that wasn't true. It was a wonderful moment where I got to help him with the clarity of how one is justified and the importance of responding in faith and therefore the resultant life change that will occur.
There was an important conversation with Jamie a professing atheist and quite knowledgeable about many topics but this didn't stop the gospel being his greatest need. He first came to hear the good news, was able to explain to me the way to Heaven and how a Christian will live and then was challenged as to how he would respond to it and then the excuses started. After answering quite a range of his objections, each time pointing out that it wasn't intellect or information stopping him from trusting in Christ but his desire to live his own way, it was cemented with the analogy showing that in every other case one can simply leave the place where the rules are set but when it comes to God because we cannot leave the universe we are stuck either to obey or to try and justify our disobedience by declaring that we don't believe God exists. Jamie heard this, said it made sense and was actually the best answer he had received and said he would have to consider the gospel.
A theme of people that I spoke to was professing Christians. It is almost hard to believe how many people say they are Christians (attend evangelical Churches) and then when asked what they would say to God if He asked, "Why should I let you into Heaven?" have in the forefront of their answer or sneak it in the back that they own obedience, or their baptism, church attendance or prayer life is why they are hoping they will end up in Heaven.
The last conversation of the week was with Louis an American who had stopped by in Christchurch on his way to working in the Antartic project. He said he had grown up with a Christian grandmother and once upon a time attended church but had walked away from it all a few years back. He was surprised that we stopped to chat to him and mentioned late in the converastion that he was sure God was trying to call out to him as just that previous night he had been pondering it in his hotel room. He was able to grasp the way to Heaven and was able to answer the questions asked correctly and took a gospel of John and a tract. He was challenged not to leave this just as knowledge but to trust in Christ this day because there are many people in Hell who knew the way to Heaven and yet never responded in faith.
Our last outreach at Bribie Island was incredible! The usually quiet island came alive as people flocked to the beach to celebrate Australia Day. It was greatly encouraging to have our usual team joined by others who came from various churches and areas. Between 1 and 3pm, around 900 Gospel tracts were distributed, as were many booklets, DVD's, and Gospels. For most of the team, there was a continual flow of conversations.
Eli was a young man who approached the literature table and listened very intently to the Gospel message that was presented to him. He was honest in answering the questions and in seeing his need of Christ, but he was taken through the Good News five or six times before he could understand that it was not by being a better person, or by having an impersonal faith that he could be saved. He finally realized he must personally trust that Jesus died for his sins, and then turn from his sin in repentance. He said it was something he wanted to do as soon as possible, and he promised to think about it very seriously. He took a Gospel of John and a tract.
Several groups of young people went through the Good Person flipchart throughout the course of the afternoon. One young man had many questions, but his main objection was that there was no way to prove the historical claims of Christ. After a conversation filled with historical facts, examples, and illustrations, he left to seriously consider what he had heard.
A woman approached the Good Person flipchart with her husband and daughter. While her husband and daughter quickly lost interest, she remained intently focused for the entire time. Over and over her husband urged her to come away, but she insisted on staying to hear us out. She was honest in her answers, and quickly came to realize her own sinfulness. When she left, she was visibly moved by the Gospel.
Another trio approached the literature table, and while the somewhat intoxicated young man and his girlfriend laughed and asked questions, it became apparent that their friend was paying attention. What was amazing was that, although they had to leave halfway through the Gospel message, they promised to return, and five minutes later, they did! At the conclusion of the Gospel presentation, the two wandered off, but again their friend stayed to talk a few more minutes. She said this was definitely something she would think about. Pray that all three young people would deeply consider what they have heard, read the Bibles they have taken, and act on the message they have received.
Dylan, a young man from Spain, also asked for a Bible. He thought he was good enough to go to heaven. When questioned further, he appeared to have a work-based ideology. He had been christened in a Catholic background, and felt secure that he was on his way to heaven. He was given the complete Gospel message, his need of faith and repentance, and he seemed to understand. We pray now that the Holy Spirit will move in his life.
Please pray also for 12 year-old Georgia, who heard the good news of the Gospel. She needed no convincing to realize that she wasn’t a good person, and she certainly seemed to grasp her need of a Saviour. She appeared extremely serious, and close to tears, but while it would have been great to continue talking with her, a sudden crowd of other youngsters arriving caused her to wander back to her family. May she read the literature that she took, and continue to think deeply about her eternal destination.
Kye, Thalia, and Jamie engaged in conversation with another team member and heard the Gospel. Please pray for them to keep their commitment to read through the Scriptures which they took. Pray that the seeds which have been planted would grow, and not be choked out by the mockery of friends and the things of this world.
One lady came and asked for a Bible. She said she was a Lutheran, but that she hadn’t been baptised. She was told that there was nothing she could do to earn her salvation, neither works nor baptism could save, but that salvation was by faith alone in Christ alone. This was a message she seemed to grasp, and she went away to consider it and read the Bible.
Pray for results from those whose lives were touched by the Gospel, whether by tracts, Bibles, or open conversation. Pray too for fruit to spring even from the little seeds which were sown, the children who took tracts or asked simple questions. Pray for those who realised their own mortality and sin. Pray for those who took the Scriptures. May the Word of God act in their lives, and may souls be saved by God’s grace triumphing through our outreach at Bribie Island.
Battle Log for Toowong Village on January 28th, 2020 from 1330 to 1500
A number of the regular team mates failed to turn up for other ministry engagement, ie. Winnie had her Inala outreach with the Southport Gospel Hall. But God led a new comer from CCCB St Lucia brother Sian Yee Li 李先義 to join. So we had a team of 5 including Johnny, Kiateck , Yuen Hang Tsui, and Hung. Johnny as captain decided we still split into two groups with him and Sian Yee went to the Eastern side near the main entrance of Toowoong Village, and Kiateck, Yuen Hang , Hung still took the position on the Western side of the Benson Street. It was still comparatively quiet after the Australian Day holiday and before primary / high school restart tomorrow. Nevertheless, there was no hurdle for God to do His work through us. All of us still got opportunities to share according to His plan and Will. Yuen Hang will supply her reflection later.
I had only six divine appointments with the last seemingly a significant one.
1) My first was with a Korean who was in a hurry and declared right away he is a Christian. I anyway still manged to check his assurance of salvation which he answered perfectly correct with some guidance.
2) Second was with Katherine an Italy origin Aussie. She was once a Catholic Christian but now a fair dinkum Protestant Christian. She was originally in a hurry for a medical appointment but she stopped to chat when I disclosed to her I had a chat with a die heart orthodox Catholic teacher yesterday through which I noticed their belief was still drastically different from biblical truth that rightly qualified them as no true Christian or even back to the middle age definition that once the whole Roman Catholic establishment was considered as faith of other religion, not even close to be all the heretic branch of Christianity. Katherine felt 100% amen with my lament and told me that was the reason she broke away from the Catholic institution becoming a truthful born again protestant Christian that professes the correct understanding of Salvation by grace through faith in Christ as such she has 100% assurance to be qualified for regaining the lost Heavenly Citizenship.
3) the third was with an Old Englishmen who delightfully took my tract but declined to stop. I anyway still manged to share with him the nutshell of the gospel before we parted.
4) A family group of five were surprisingly Cantonese speaking people. So the father took the tract but once he found out it is about Christianity, he passed the tract to his son and excused himself from further conversation. It was his loss to refuse listening to the gospel, but hopefully his son will read the tract according to the Will and Plan of God for their family clan.
5) A man on bike seemingly on an Errand did not stop to chat but took a tract while he rode off for work. But sometime later, he rode back and gave me a thumb up when he passed me by. Thanks God for such an encouragement.
6) Last but not the least, God led me to sit down to chat with Penny a 20 years Old tattoo girl who was once a Catholic Christian but was turned away from church because of bad teaching and testimony. She believes there is a supreme being but not the Triune God that she once was taught in the Catholic church. Because of the rejection of the God head, she cannot accept anything willed and planned by God including the Kingdom and Redemption Project executed by Jesus in His first Coming. I suddenly realized God let me have consecutive encounter with catholic background people to gain the appreciation how the corrupted Roman Catholic teaching and the abusive past happened in most of the Catholic background church had done damaged to the life of the catholic followers. Either becoming a die heart advocate being brain washed by the fake teaching of Orthodox Catholicism or a falling out group trusting no more the God depicted by them. With this enlightenment, I choose to empathy with the young girl while still standing firm my ground on the biblical truth of God and the Gospel. I shared with her that our conversation that can last so long over half an hour was itself a miracle. We did not agree with each other but we did not reject each other as a person but rather felt the care between each other simple as a life treasured by the creator. Her bus abnormally failed to come allowing us to have non interruption chat was itself a clear sign of God special divine appointment with this lonely and loss young woman who was once His child. She did thanks and appreciate our talk when I really had to leave for the closing debriefing and prayer with the other OPN squad members. She even would not mind to continue with our chat next time if we met. Is this the wonderful and amazing work of God.
On Saturday, by God's the weather was beautiful and we had 10 Labourers to share the gospel. And we had really interesting God glorifying chats. As usual we gathered at Starbucks and shared the word and prayed. It was our first time to have a table with the free gospel tracts and bibles on it. As we were setting up the flip chart and tables, there was fear, trembling hearts but lots of joy.
As Huy Do and I started open air preaching by using flip chart, God drew many people and of course, few angry hecklers which drew even more people. There was one gentle heckler whose name was Scott (who claimed to be Christian but I think he meant that he is believes in god). He began with softer voice asking “why do you think God will send people to hell because of our sin ? How come looking at someone with lust is sin? God’s standard is not like that” and I had to explain that, that’s what we as a human likely to think, we are very good at making our own god that is comfortable with our sins but bible describe the real GOD with perfect justice and holiness. And Scott was constantly asking questions that are filled with “I don’t think God thinks like that” and started to raise his voice so I had to constantly go back to bible and share the gospel and raise my voice to the max as there were around 20 - 30 people in the crowd. I was thankful that those people heard the gospel. Praying that Scott and other people who were angry about this glorious Gospel will repent and put their trust in Jesus Christ.
As we were open air preaching, one lady stole whole bunch of million dollar gospel tracts which was displayed on the table and by God’s grace when I was on my way to the toilet I met her as she was holding onto the tract so I asked her what she thinks about the message and she asked me to sit down with her and talk to her about it. Her name was Zippy, 19 years old. she was on drug but quite sober to have a conversation. She told me her life story beginning from her childhood, how she was abandoned by her mom when she was 11 and how she became homeless when she was 14. And I had privilege to share the gospel with her she did not like it but she listened and praying that Holy Spirit will work in her to regenerate Zippy so that she can put her faith in Jesus Christ and be saved!.
From Huy Do:-
An interesting highlight was when I was sharing the Gospel with a small crowd, in which there were two ladies that were together and had decided to stay to go through the flip chart. They heard the law and the condemnation of God but before I could get to the Gospel, they left and on their way out. When I had finished, I thought that my labor was in vain but a fellow worker, Daniel told me that he heard them as they walked out that they said "this is very offensive". This shows that their heart was pricked and the seed was shown, for those who are offended tend to think about that which offend them more. Praise God that the seed was sown and His Word was proven that it will not return in vain.
From Daniel :-
There was a man who was yelling at Martin while he was preaching I was chatting to someone at the time and after a few minutes I couldn't take it anymore when he said " I believe in science" I approached the tall man and asked him. Sir, do you believe in truth, absolute truth? He said no. I replied, you sure about that? Is that true? He was put up in a corner. Then he proceeded to ask me how do you know your religion is true? Allah or Christianity? I replied because Jesus rose from the dead therefore He is God. He went on to his next argument and asked if Christianity is true why is there evil and hatred done in its name? I replied hatred according to what standard? The man noticed his worldview of atheism was bankrupt and walked away and said he needs to catch his tram. The atheism is self refuting Intellectually he has no reason to reject God but he doesn't want to be held accountable before God for his sin , pray for this man for God to save him.
Well, the NZ Summer Mission is complete. It was, by far, the best one to date. This is mainly due to the trip to Dunedin, the first time we have ventured past the borders of Christchurch.
The people in Dunedin were friendly, open to receive tracts, very interested in the big flip chart, and happy to chat about the deep questions of life.
The christians and churches we worked with in Dunedin were extremely hospitable and seemed very encouraged through the week we were with them.
I’m just in awe of God at what He has done through His church.
And to think all this was initiated through needing to find a church recommendation in Dunedin for someone who had followed up after a gospel conversation at the Canterbury A&P Show 2019.
This report covers the final two days of outreach in Dunedin: Thursday and Friday where we spent all of our time in the Octagon and the surrounding area.
On Thursday morning, I was manning the big flip chart and got into a conversation with an interesting lady where it was very hard to reason with her because she just kept contradicting herself making it hard to know how to proceed! I just so happened to be on the “Jesus fireball page” when a man stopped to comment on the amazing artwork. Seeing that it was obviously Christian, he decided to get in on the conversation - he being an atheist. His first port of call was slavery. I was suddenly overwhelmed trying to address two people! Thankfully, someone else on the team took over the conversation with the lady, so I could focus on the atheist.
So I addressed his slavery questions and worked to calm the guy down (who was in attack mode) so we could have a conversation. After about five minutes, I’d had success! We had exchanged names and shaken hands and were able to engage in reasonable debate.
There was a focus on apologetics. At one point he was talking about a book written by Lawrence Krauss that supposedly explains how something can come from nothing. After listening, I eventually stepped back, gave him a look and said “really?” He looked at me, and said, “yeah, I know, it doesn't really make sense”! He was being forced to hear arguments from the other side and it was making him think - I was very encouraged. Through the conversation I was able to share the law and gospel and he was happy to receive a follow up tract before he moved on.
To my delight, I met the same man on Friday too! I was able to remember his name, and we quickly fell into a warm, yet deep conversation again. He had read the tract and the discussion started there. Again the conversation had a focus on apologetics, but there was a point where I had my Bible open on my phone and we were discussing scripture (on how we know God exists). But I was also able to keep coming back to the law and the gospel. Eventually he was satisfied and about to move on, when I asked him a final question: “What is the way to heaven?”. He was able to articulate salvation by grace alone through faith alone, in Christ alone. I was encouraged. May he be saved for the glory of God alone!
The next conversation I’ll mention was amazing. Back to Thursday morning I approached a young man. He believed in Heaven and Hell but then he said he had already heard the way to heaven. I figured one of the team had already approached him, but to my amazement he said he was from Brisbane. He said a guy with a camera had already shared with him there. I turned and pointed to Matt and said, “are you talking about him?”. He looked shocked, and then quickly decided that he needed to get going. Soon after, Matt approached him to say g’day. What are the chances!? This is actually the third time Matt has been able to talk to this guy: 1) Brisbane, 2) the Gold Coast, 3) Dunedin, NZ. You can watch Matt’s first gospel conversation with him here: https://youtu.be/WhaJS4p2wjU
The last interaction I’m going to mention was really funny. I was explaining some of the pages of the flip chart to Bronya. We just so happened to be on the “Fireman” page, when a fire truck drove through the Octagon and stopped right in front of us (due to a red light). I looked at the fireman page then at the fireman in the truck that was looking at it. I smiled, he smiled. And then Bronya took the opportunity to run over and give him a tract. He accepted it. A memorable moment that hopefully made him curious enough to read it!
We were sharing the gospel right up till 4pm on Friday. So many wonderful conversations. And over the week, hundreds heard the gospel. Over the whole mission, hundreds and hundreds of precious people heard the hope of eternal life found only in Jesus. And many, christians and churches have been encouraged. Please keep praying that the Lord will continue to raise up labourers for the harvest. May the Lamb that was slain, receive the reward of His suffering!
Day eight of the NZ Summer Mission is complete. Two days to go. Today we spent the late morning and early afternoon in the Octagon (it has quickly become a favourite outreach spot!) and then we had another evening outreach outside Otago Museum. I love Dunedin! So much opportunity to talk with lovely people. And the flip chart has been a hit. It turns heads, and people are keen to try it leading to wonderful gospel conversations.
In my last report, I mentioned that two overseas Christians who heard the preaching on Monday were keen to join us for outreach today. True to their word they joined us! Estelle and Laura. The team was greatly encouraged.
Estelle was paired up with me, and is in some of the photo’s sharing the gospel via the big flip chart. We were having a harder conversation and the big flip chart had the “Jesus fireball” page open. A young lady stopped and her eyes turned to saucers! Estelle didn’t hesitate to take the opportunity and cut across to talk to her while I continued on the big flip chart. I quickly pulled out my mini flip chart and passed it to her and she was away on her own! Well done! She had two gospel conversations with the mini flip chart while I had two on the big one before we teamed up again.
Some cruise ships were in port today, and so there were lots of people around. A funny conversation that occured started when a man from a cruise ship came and stood right next to the flip chart while I was talking with someone else. It was going to be too hard for me to interrupt the current conversation, so I passed him a gospel tract. He took it, but wasn’t satisfied. He then interrupted to ask the way to Larnach Castle. It was then that I realised he thought I was a tourist information stand! 🤣 I couldn’t point him to Larnach Castle, but I could point him to the way to heaven: Jesus! I hope he read the tract.
The evening outreach again started with plenty of people around, but the numbers soon dwindled. But, same as the previous evening, there were enough people to keep us busy.
My first conversation was with an Asian family: Dad, Mum, and a young daughter - maybe seven years old. The thing that stood out in this conversation was some absurd arguments the Dad was making. Three times in the conversation, I addressed the daughter to get her thoughts and she gave the logical and obvious answer - showing up her Dad! Eventually, the parents stopped to listen. Tonight all three heard the gospel and took follow up tracts - they all seemed to appreciate the discussion.
In search for people to talk to, I ended up on the University campus and encountered an Atheist. We had a lovely conversation about the gospel, which he thanked me for - but he wouldn’t take a tract. But he did see the “Jesus fireball” page of the tract, and he said he had seen it before. He asked if we were in the Octagon earlier! He had seen the big flip chart there! We are reaching people - be encouraged.
On my way back to the Museum, I noticed a bird that had lost all the feathers on its head. I was looking at it, it was looking at me, when a lady walked past. So I asked her about the bird, and from there we got into a conversation. She had a Catholic upbringing, but had rejected it when she read the new testament. But now she seemed in a bit of a limbo: believing in God, but denying hell (as an example). So today she heard the gospel, along with a good discussion about what hell was and why it logically must exist.
The last gospel conversation I’ll write about was the best one I’ve had in a long time. It was with a young couple that were extremely postmodern in world view. It’s hard to pinpoint why it was so good, but I seemed to have the right response at the right time to the objections they raised. And I became quite passionate. And yet, as I think back on that conversation, I realised that it wasn’t a technically ideal gospel conversation: e.g., I didn’t ask checking questions. I guess it’s a good reminder that even what we think is our best is nothing compared to God and what He can do in our weakness. This work is not dependent on my ability, but God. Our job is to share this gospel message, no matter how weakly, and God can use that mightly. So be encouraged to step out. You can do this. Be encouraged. Join us.