The NZ Summer Mission has started! We have now finished the first two days of outreach, and they have been better than I could have imagined. We had a total of nine people involved on Monday and eleven on Tuesday. That’s a lot more people than the regular outreaches - so very encouraging. Not only that, but it’s been wonderful seeing all those people having many opportunities to share the gospel with people. Those with more experience have been encouraging those with less - everyone is growing. And most importantly, God is being glorified in his people obey the command to go!
Monday started with a morning and afternoon outreach within the central city - and Andy open air preached during lunch time too (pictured).
After prayer, we split into pairs and made our way around Cashel Mall, Cathedral Square, and everywhere in between sharing the gospel with anyone willing to listen.
I was initially paired up with my wife, Ruth, and one of the first people we had a good chat with (pictured) worked with her step brother! It is a small world. :) He stayed to talk for as long as his break allowed. We didn’t get to fully unpack the gospel with him, but he did take two types of gospel tract.
By about 10:30 am, lots of construction workers were also taking their breaks providing some great opportunities for gospel witness with them. Ruth and I had three conversations and many of them received tracts.
The second conversation was with two of them sitting down by the Avon river. As I was approaching them, I looked at them and the thought went through my mind that they wouldn’t be interested. Thankfully I didn’t let that stop me, because they were very interested in the conversation and were very engaged! They heard the law and the gospel.
The third conversation was with three more construction workers - and it was one of those conversations where it just clicked. They seemed deeply impacted as they heard the gospel and my impassioned pleas to respond to it!
In the afternoon, we continued our gospel work. The conversation that stands out to me is one my daughter and I had with a lady (pictured). Firstly, as a Dad, it was wonderful watching my daughter taking this lady through the law and the gospel with the mini flip chart - she did a wonderful job.
But this lady, kept getting stuck on the checking questions. She kept defaulting back to saying that her good deeds would get her to heaven! Eventually she started giving the right answer (it’s faith alone not works), but I suspect that she was just saying it rote. I don’t think she was understanding. She left with two kinds of gospel tract, and I hope she was challenged enough to start thinking about this more deeply - she is in God’s hands. But I was afresh challenged in realising that a) without the illumination of the Holy Spirit, we will be blind to the truth, and b) my responsibility as a Christian to labour with people in getting them to clearly understand the important concepts of the gospel.
Tuesday saw us at the Eastgate bus stops in the morning, and in Riccarton in the afternoon.
Initially there were way more evangelists than people to share with, but us the day grew hotter, buses brought more and more people to talk to.
The highlight conversation from this outreach was with a man who was going to prison, so the courtroom analogies had high impact. He was very engaged, and seemed to really appreciate the conversation. He wanted to be able to get in touch and so we connected on Facebook. He left with gospel tracts.
In the afternoon in Riccarton we set up four flip charts in various spots, and had people also doing “walk up” at the nearby bus stops. And everyone was really busy sharing the gospel.
Near the start, one of my daughters noticed a girl and asked if she should offer her a tract (did she really need to ask?! 🤣 ). But I told her to try taking her through the mini flip chart, she looked really nervous, so I said a tract would be fine. I was busy getting flip charts set up, but a few minutes later, I glanced over and noticed that my daughters were taking the girl through the mini flip chart together! (pictured) Go girls! I was so pleased to see them getting over their fears, giving it a go, and seeing the fruit of it. Praise God. What about you?
Personally I had a number of wonderful gospel opportunities through the outreach, but I’m out of time to write about them. And I know all the other team members had wonderful gospel opportunities as well. Many are hearing the gospel, because a group of feeble Christian are stepping past their fears and giving it a go. It’s wonderful seeing God show His strength through us! All glory to him.
And thank you for all your prayers and support! Please keep praying for us! We need His power. God bess.
Special Outreaches (QLD, Australia)
Australia Day (26 January)
ANZAC Day (25 April)
Christmas Outreaches (December)
New Years Eve (31 December)
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.