In contrast to Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday & Friday was filled with many wonderful Gospel opportunities for the Christchurch (NZ) team, in spite of the weather (rain).
The city outreach on Thursday afternoon started with Andy talking to a man via flip chart who I had already spoken to at the Eastgate bus stops in a previous week. He seemed really blessed by the follow up conversation, and took a Gospel booklet this time. And we are so encouraged that the Lord is providing multiple opportunities to talk to the same people - even at different locations.
I open air preached. It was very encouraging having people come over to interrupt me with good questions. One of those questions were about how God felt about homosexuality, which I addressed biblically: God is the basis for knowing right and wrong; I don’t hate homosexuals (or anyone), but homosexuality is a sin of which there is forgiveness of through repentance and faith in Christ.
After the preaching, Andy & I had wonderful opportunities for ‘walk up’ Gospel conversations.
I spoke with a couple, one of whom I had spoken to before in front of the bus exchange (although I had no memory of it).
I also sat down next to a man who was very open to the things of God and talked about his need to ‘accept Jesus into his heart’, something he was giving serious consideration to. But through discussion, it was clear he didn’t understand some of the important concepts of the Gospel: esp. the serious nature of sin or that we are saved not by our own effort, but what Christ did for us on our behalf. He allowed me time to unpack some of this for him - as best as I could - and also explain why ‘accepting Jesus into his heart’ is not a biblical concept.
After our time in the city, we again headed to the Eastgate bus stops. And, again, had a busy outreach with many Gospel conversations (see picture of Andy pleading with some young people).
I think I could write a book sharing the wonderful testimonies of the conversations had at this place! I’ll give one. I had a feisty conversation with a young man who thought the concept of God made no sense, and that the only logical conclusion is that nothing made everything! As I was wrestling with him on this, suddenly another lady joined the conversation and started having a go at me. I now was in a battle on two fronts at the same time. I persisted, doing my best to answer the questions and objections coming at me. Through it all, I managed to get an opportunity to start talking about the law of God - and the attacks calmed for a moment, as they listened (esp. The lady). I then, very briefly, got to explain the solution to the dilemma of our sin in light of a holy and just God: Jesus Christ. It was a testing and difficult conversation, but I praise God for it and the opportunity to share the main thing: the Gospel. We all parted on good terms, I leave them in God’s hands and hope I will see them again.
Friday was a day of four seasons: autumn leaves, spring rain, winter wind and cold (in the shade), and summer heat! Many times I had to switch between my beanie, and my sunglasses and cap. But none of this stopped the Gospel being proclaimed.
Andy preached before having an early lunch and then setting up flip charts on the corner of Cashel & Colombo.
The rain did not stop Gospel conversations. In one situation it started raining just after a conversation commenced, but it was important enough for everyone to ignore it. I even had an extra person join in! Please see the funny photo I took afterwards: the dry spots are where the people were standing.
The team had many wonderful conversations through the afternoon, and we then enjoyed some fellowship at a local cafe.
But the day didn’t end there, in the evening, we headed back out.
Initially, the evening outreach was a bit slow. But then the Lord provided 3 wonderful opportunities to share the Gospel. The last one is pictured. The first one was a walk up opportunity in Cathedral Square, where the young man had been to a youth group, but was still pondering what life was all about.
But the middle one, came about from a conversation between evangelists about how to start a conversation. The technique being discussed was by starting with: “Excuse me, may I ask you a question? It’s a deep question.” And then the perfect opportunity presented itself with two men walking towards us. So I tried it. And, for me, it lead to the highlight conversation of the night. The men were very engaged, and the important concepts of the Gospel were covered in depth. And they left with a challenge, not to just intellectually think about the Gospel. But to respond!
Christchurch (NZ) Team
Heads out on to the streets of Christchurch usually 6 days a week to various locations.
Including Fridays in Cathedral Square from 12:30pm and in Cashel Mall after that till 3:30pm. Also Sundays in Cashel Mall 1:30pm till 3:30pm.