Day eight of the NZ Summer Mission is complete. Two days to go. Today we spent the late morning and early afternoon in the Octagon (it has quickly become a favourite outreach spot!) and then we had another evening outreach outside Otago Museum. I love Dunedin! So much opportunity to talk with lovely people. And the flip chart has been a hit. It turns heads, and people are keen to try it leading to wonderful gospel conversations.
In my last report, I mentioned that two overseas Christians who heard the preaching on Monday were keen to join us for outreach today. True to their word they joined us! Estelle and Laura. The team was greatly encouraged.
Estelle was paired up with me, and is in some of the photo’s sharing the gospel via the big flip chart. We were having a harder conversation and the big flip chart had the “Jesus fireball” page open. A young lady stopped and her eyes turned to saucers! Estelle didn’t hesitate to take the opportunity and cut across to talk to her while I continued on the big flip chart. I quickly pulled out my mini flip chart and passed it to her and she was away on her own! Well done! She had two gospel conversations with the mini flip chart while I had two on the big one before we teamed up again.
Some cruise ships were in port today, and so there were lots of people around. A funny conversation that occured started when a man from a cruise ship came and stood right next to the flip chart while I was talking with someone else. It was going to be too hard for me to interrupt the current conversation, so I passed him a gospel tract. He took it, but wasn’t satisfied. He then interrupted to ask the way to Larnach Castle. It was then that I realised he thought I was a tourist information stand! 🤣 I couldn’t point him to Larnach Castle, but I could point him to the way to heaven: Jesus! I hope he read the tract.
The evening outreach again started with plenty of people around, but the numbers soon dwindled. But, same as the previous evening, there were enough people to keep us busy.
My first conversation was with an Asian family: Dad, Mum, and a young daughter - maybe seven years old. The thing that stood out in this conversation was some absurd arguments the Dad was making. Three times in the conversation, I addressed the daughter to get her thoughts and she gave the logical and obvious answer - showing up her Dad! Eventually, the parents stopped to listen. Tonight all three heard the gospel and took follow up tracts - they all seemed to appreciate the discussion.
In search for people to talk to, I ended up on the University campus and encountered an Atheist. We had a lovely conversation about the gospel, which he thanked me for - but he wouldn’t take a tract. But he did see the “Jesus fireball” page of the tract, and he said he had seen it before. He asked if we were in the Octagon earlier! He had seen the big flip chart there! We are reaching people - be encouraged.
On my way back to the Museum, I noticed a bird that had lost all the feathers on its head. I was looking at it, it was looking at me, when a lady walked past. So I asked her about the bird, and from there we got into a conversation. She had a Catholic upbringing, but had rejected it when she read the new testament. But now she seemed in a bit of a limbo: believing in God, but denying hell (as an example). So today she heard the gospel, along with a good discussion about what hell was and why it logically must exist.
The last gospel conversation I’ll write about was the best one I’ve had in a long time. It was with a young couple that were extremely postmodern in world view. It’s hard to pinpoint why it was so good, but I seemed to have the right response at the right time to the objections they raised. And I became quite passionate. And yet, as I think back on that conversation, I realised that it wasn’t a technically ideal gospel conversation: e.g., I didn’t ask checking questions. I guess it’s a good reminder that even what we think is our best is nothing compared to God and what He can do in our weakness. This work is not dependent on my ability, but God. Our job is to share this gospel message, no matter how weakly, and God can use that mightly. So be encouraged to step out. You can do this. Be encouraged. Join us.
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.