On Saturday 2nd March we had arranged to meet again for outreach in Plymouth City Centre, and as I was a bit early had a coffee and bacon bap at Gregg's. A Christian lady I knew walked past and asked me a question about the book of Job which we discussed, but a man sat next to me heard the conversation, and so when finished chatting to the lady I managed to have a conversation with this man called John.
He said he was a Christian and had been to Church before etc, but didn't like religion and people trying to force their views on others. He said he watched some Christians on TBN (not best examples) and said that he had quite a past in the forces, working in clubs as a doorman etc, and with his big beard and tattoos said he had quite a few fights before he was a Christian, but now openly told people about his faith. He said that as long as someone believed in Jesus they didn't need to get into religion etc, and so we managed to have a great chat for around 15 minutes about which Jesus people believed in, wrong views of who Jesus was (JW's and Mormon's etc) and what the Bible said were the consequences of us believing another gospel (Galatians 1 v 8-9)
It was a great conversation and was able to give him some tracts to read and think about, and seemed thankful we had spoken which I believe was a great 'God-incidence' being there at that time.
I later met with George and Harry from Faith Mission, and George preached while Harry and I were the 'rent a crowd' and trying to hand tracts to people as they walked past. I ahd an interesting chat with a man from Arizona called John who had come to the UK with friends but had come to the Southwest to explore but in doing so had lost his passport, and was killing time until meeting friends at coach station tomorrow. He had to call the American embassy etc and fortunately had a copy of his passport and hoped things would improve tomorrow when he met back up with people. He was desperate to try and find an American pastor down her to speak to, but as I was unaware of any in the churches here, managed to give him some tracts to read which he was again thankful for and said would be great to remember his journey and travels here.
I later open air preached from 1 Corinthians v 8-9 which I prayed about as is quite a contentious verse among unbelievers-
'Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
I tried to show that all of us can be deceived in different ways, through used car salesman, dodgy scams online or being short changed, but the worst thing would be to be deceived about where we were spending our eternity and that living in constant, unrepentant sin would show that we were actually not saved, but that many of us try to be religious while continually living in our sin. Christians are sinners that have been saved by grace and have also formally lived in sin and now as believers can still struggle with sin, but know that is no longer their lifestyle or desire in life. God however can wash us from the inside, forgive us, cleanse us, give us a new heart with new desires and a brand new start, IF people would admit their sins and humbly come to Jesus in repentant faith to be forgiven.
I was worried a passerby may try to pick up on the verse about homosexuality, but was fine and a few people had stopped to listen who we tried to give tracts to and speak with afterwards, one older man in particular whose brother had formerally been a street preacher but who himself did not believe in a God due to all the wars etc around us.
Ed and Laura came later after I had left and had another interesting and fruitful outreach, with Harry enduring a little bit of heckling when he preached, with I believe the same guy I had spoken with earlier interrupting with the familiar "what has caused all the wars throughout history?" question before walking away not being interested in the answer.
Laura, Ed, George and Harry spoke with many different people, but in particular ask for prayers please for Hannah, a philosophy/ psychology student (can't remember which), Muriel (ex Catholic) whom we've seen before and Finn, young guy who listened for a good while while his friends hung around.
The weather was kind to us and many tracts were handed out to passers by, with us hopefully planning to go to Plympton and Exeter next week for outreach which will hopefully be good, as well as Simon and I making some new A2 posters for people to read and a 'good person test' flip chart.
West Country (UK) Team
Meets almost every fortnight on Saturday for outreaches on the streets of Plymouth, Exeter or Truro.
Every 2 to 3 weeks, the team meets also on Friday nights at the Plymouth University.