On Thursday, I took a bit of a break in the morning, but ended up being in the city anyway and couldn't resist going into Cathedral Square to see what was happening. It was great to see a fellow evangelist there, but he was tied up in a conversation with our main Atheist heckler. I headed for speakers "corner" (it's actually a rectangle), and feeling refreshed from the rest I decided I would preach before heading off for the afternoon outreach at the Eastgate bus stops.
To my pleasant surprise, our main Atheist heckler didn't come to bark at me. Even better than that, God saw fit to send 3 other hecklers. This was so encouraging because often it feels like no one is listening and I'm wasting my time & looking like a fool.
I was able to interact with these hecklers, and actually have some reasonable dialog! One was particularly challenging, and would ask question after question. I did my best to answer the questions, and constantly come back to the gospel message and proclaim it.
Because of this, it turned into one of the longest periods of preaching I've done. My throat was starting to dry up. And then the heckler with all the questions smiled and said "I believe too brother"! He was a Christian! He came over and shook my hand and gave me a hug. I was grateful that my ordeal was over, and I felt like I had passed the test. But I was mildly disappointed. I don't recommend any Christian pretend to be a heckler - it feels deceptive to me.
But one of the genuine hecklers had stuck around to listen, as well as some other people. Very encouraging.
On Friday (today), I headed into Cathedral Square early to try to preach before the paid musicians started up eliminating the opportunity. This worked, and I was able to preach again. Later, one from the OAC team preached, and then Andy preached.
Andy preached under fire from our main Atheist heckler right from the start. There were many people around and some other hecklers pitched in as well for some very robust and heated interaction.
Andy ended up staying to have some follow up conversations, while the rest of the team headed to Cashel Mall for some flip charting.
Tracts were handed out and 1 to 1 conversations were had - through out the day. I thank God for the opportunities to share His precious gospel message. All glory to Him.
Christchurch (NZ) Team
Tue 3:30pm - 5:30pm - Riccarton (corner of Riccarton Rd and Rotherham St)
Fri 1:30pm - 3:30pm - City (Bridge of Remembrance)
Sat 11am - 1pm - Riccarton (corner of Riccarton Rd and Rotherham St)
Sun 1:30pm - 3:30pm - City (corner of Colombo St and Cashel St).