Everything looked brilliant when we arrived at our Redcliffe outreach; the sun was shining, we had four members on the team and there were quite a number of people out and about. We set up the Free Literature table near Bee Gee way, then began to hand out tractsSome days I come home from witnessing with a spring in my step as it had been a good day of gospel ministry… today was not one of those days.
At first things seemed to be running smoothly; people were polite and some even took literature from the table, but as the day progressed things became harder and even hostile. What was surprising was that the rudeness and aggression came not from the younger segments of society, but rather it came from the more mature and grey haired folk.
One older lady walked pass and yelled, “GOD IS DEAD!” Another demanded to know what material we were handing out; when I told her they were Christian leaflets, she launched into a tirade by shouting, “What has God done for me?” I replied to her by saying that God had given her life, breathe and her very existence; her response was to give me the finger and walk off.
Another lady came up to me, who had all the hallmarks of a sweet grandmother like you see in the movies; but appearances can be deceiving. She asked, “Is this Jesus material?” When I told her what the tract was she screeched, “EWWWW…. YUCK!” then stormed off.
The most hostile encounter of the day came when a man took a tract, read it, then returned it. He was an older man, probably in his mid-60’s. He started to scream and yell abuse at us for being Christians, then he looked to the sky and began to curse God. After doing this he followed up by calling us extremists and hate preachers. I tried to engage him in a calm manner, but he wasn’t prepared to talk. I honestly thought he was going to punch me in his anger.
All this left me rattled. I hate confrontation, and if possible I will avoid it. Even though I have been out on the streets sharing the gospel for many years, I still find such open displays of hostility concerning.
I share this because even though things were rough, God was still at work. As the darkness rushed in like a flood, God used their evil actions for good. After all the hostility, a lady with her family came up to me, she said, “I am not religious, nor a Christian, but I want to say that the way that angry man treated you was wicked and rude. You did well in being calm and loving.” Her whole family then took tracts and gospel material. She could see the difference between light and darkness.
Christians also started to appear on the scene to say that they were encouraged to see a stand for Jesus taking place in public. Another lady then asked for directions to a local church so she could attend.
We live in a day where there is a growing hostility to the things of God, but at the same time we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that God is sovereign, and He is still at work. If we have to endure the hardness and hostility so that others may hear of Jesus, then so be it. Christ Jesus is worthy, let us face whatever comes our way with a confidence that all the nations, including this one, have been given to King Jesus. Let us go and make Him known!
Redcliffe Team (QLD)
Meets fortnightly on Saturdays 11am-1pm near the Redcliffe Jetty on Redcliffe Parade outside Chemist Warehouse.
Contact us for more information.