Tuesday gave a real hint that a change of season is on the way. It was a warm day for outreach in Riccarton for a team of two. After prayer, we set up on either side of Rotherham Street along Riccarton Road. After the outreach, Roger commented about how many positive Gospel conversations he had. At one point, he even came across the street asking if I had a Bible to give away (which I did).
For me the outreach started immediately after setting up my flip chart, with a young couple: one who claimed to be a satanist, and the other who believed God was an energy. After a longish initial conversation, where I established how we all know God exists and some of his attributes, and why there must be an afterlife with heaven and hell - I then asked them if they wanted to try the good person test - they did. After that, they started asking really good questions, which I did my best to answer. They both appreciated the conversation and left with tracts.
I then had a short conversation with four young men from Christchurch Boys High School - they all heard the law and the Gospel - before moving into a conversation with some Americans.
The Americans were resistant to the logic of the existence of God. One of them tried to turn to the problem of suffering to deny the existence of God. Things started to get heated, and they all wanted to disengage, which they did. But one of them was willing to take a tract. We parted ways with a handshake.
I then had a Russian come past wanting to know what the flip chart was all about. Sadly, he too was resistant, but was happy to go through the law before disengaging. Sadly, he handed back the tract I had given him.
Wednesday had the sun, but a cold wind was blowing for outreach in Cathedral Square and Cashel Mall (I didn’t end up making it down to Ara today).
My first conversation was with a man who agreed with me in many ways, and yet flatly denied we were saved by grace through faith in Jesus. He insisted that works were required for salvation! It got worse from there, when it turns out that he didn’t attend a local church and denied that Jesus was God. So I decided to do what I always do (especially since he considers that his works are required for salvation) - I showed him his sin by getting him to look at his reflection in the law of God. And it seemed to do the job I wanted: to show that it’s impossible to be saved by our works; that we need a saviour: Jesus!
I was then encouraged to have my new Christian friend, that I meet on Sunday, join me. He had just been to the local Christian book shop and bought some Living Waters Gospel tracts, and a poster with the ten commandments on it. He dutifully unwrapped a pack of tracts and started to hand them out! So wonderful to see.
We finished the morning outreach with open air preaching - I preached, while my new friend handed out tracts. And it went really well. I had an early heckler (that had listened to me preach on Friday). I was able to show him respect and love in the face of his hostility. This drew some more people to come and listen, two of whom started to engage me. The preaching ended up turning into a time of them asking me questions and me responding, all the while I managed to stay on track in working through the law and the Gospel. It was a very encouraging time of ministry!
After lunch, we headed to Cashel Mall. On the way, I had a great follow up conversation with a young man. He had a friend with him, and I was able to briefly go through the law and the Gospel with her. I was encouraged to see that she seemed genuinely impacted! She gladly received a tract.
The highlight conversation for me in Cashel Mall was with a Christian lady who became interested in the ministry. While she was watching, I had two Gospel interactions with strangers, so she was able to see first hand how it works. It would be great if her church was to decide to get involved! We parted ways with a hug.
So a wonderful couple of days of Gospel ministry. Thank you for your prayer and other support of the Christchurch (NZ) team! Continue to pray for labourers! :)
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.