As I walked into the city this morning, I was looking for some motivation and I thought of one other religious group that is often in Cathedral Square, day in, day out, handing out their material. It encouraged me. If they can do it, so can I.
Low and behold, as I get to The Square - there they are. I smiled. This must be worth it - they wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t.
But as I write this, I realise how wrong my attitude was. All the motivation I need is:
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
ESV (Mt 28:18–20)
And yet, today was a day of great encouragement. In spite of the cold and often cloudy weather, and the lack of people about (the market stalls didn’t even bother coming out today!), I had an almost constant run of Gospel conversations - especially in the first outreach from 11am till 1pm. I couldn’t believe it when I looked at the time and it was already 1:07pm and time for a lunch break.
I was having so many conversations, I pulled out my phone to start writing down names so I wouldn’t forget to write about those conversations in this log. And even as I was doing that, an atheist walked up to my flip chart and wanted to talk! He was at a crossroads in his life. All praise to God, the fish were jumping into the boat!
I’m looking at that list, and in the two hours before lunch, I had eight Gospel interactions.
I’ll give two very special highlights that jump out at me. Both were connected to previous Gospel conversations I had earlier in the year.
The first was with two young people, and I could see they had a lot of hurts, both physically and in other ways too. I approached them as they looked like friends (by the way they dressed) of two other young people I spoke to earlier in the year. It was a place to start the conversation with. And, indeed, they were friends - so I asked them to let them know I was praying for them. But I cared for them too and wanted to share the precious message of eternal life. One had a Christian background. As I was sharing the Gospel, I could see him tearing up a little.
The second was with another young man. I was incredibly encouraged to learn that this guy had been watching me out on the streets. I could tell he was really wrestling with the Gospel and also with the way I dealt with life. He is struggling with sin, and other life issues that I don’t need to talk about.
Oh, how my heart cries out for these people as I’m writing about them now! How desperately do I want them to know the change that can come through the amazing grace of Christ. I’m praying that they would be saved from sin and hell.
Due to the wonderful outreach before lunch, I decided to stay right where I was after lunch - instead of moving to the hospital. And, although not as busy, I had many wonderful Gospel opportunities. I open air preached. And I had a wonderful opportunity to share with a man (pictured, walking away) from Myanmar (I’ve been on two short term missions there, and will be going again in September)!
I praise God for the encouragement I received on these two outreaches today.
Yesterday (Tuesday) I was again in Riccarton for outreach, and had three solid Gospel conversations with people. But beforehand I had been letterbox dropping closer to the University.
As I was doing this, I had two opportunities to share the Gospel with students as they were walking past. One of those students was particularly open and seemed impacted by the logic of the message.
So two wonderful days of outreach. A good reminder to not be discouraged and to trust God as we step out to reach people. He is working. He is seeking and saving the lost!
Thank you for praying for and supporting the Christchurch Operation 513 team - we so need and appreciate it.
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.