The social distancing of this time has some difficulties in reaching out but also some amazing benefits that come with it. Here in Hobart we are all keeping each other at arm’s length and trying to keep out of public as much as possible. We work from home and do outreach online where possible.
Each day people are encouraged to get an hour’s exercise and with this in mind I have each Tuesday and Friday been walking through Hobart praying for the city. During this time, I have encountered many people I know or who know me from the outreach in the Mall. This has been a blessing and lead to many gospel conversations.
One of the recent conversations was with a young man who walked past me and yelled “Homophobe”. I called out that he should come back and speak to me if he really believed that was true, that he should show some courage. Praise God this young man had just that. After about 15 minutes he came back. We talked for quite some time and discussed what the bible says to homosexuals like his friends and to heterosexuals like he and I. It was good to be able to show him respect in hearing what he had to say, but at the same time to defend God’s good ways and wisdom.
Real marriage is between one man and one woman for life, faithful before and during, until death parts us. All the fake simulacrums that this heart sick society throws up for us are destructive parodies that ultimately lead us away from God and true joy that can only be found in Him. While we did not agree by the end of our discussion, we both agreed it would be good to talk more, so I encouraged him to come and see me at speakers, corner sometime when the restrictions are lifted.
Another of the discussions I had was with a frequent visitor to the mall, a troubled lady that often is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. She said that things were difficult, confusing even, at the moment and it was hard to know where to look. I smiled and looked to the heavens saying "I look to Him, I look to Jesus". She smiled and agreed, "That's where we should be looking isn't it? I do believe in Him." I encouraged her to follow him closely and with that she left. I pray that she will repent of all sin and look to Jesus every day.
There have also been a large number of Christians that have stopped to share a moment of fellowship in passing. These precious folks have repeatedly lifted my spirits and reminded me of the love of our Father in heaven. It is wonderful to see the joy on the faces of my brothers and sisters. They are such a witness in these times. There are so many people who are fearful and heavy laden, yet they are confident in the King of all kings!
They are delighting in the joyful reality that nothing of these current trials will be remembered in the life to come. Their treasure, safe in heaven, cannot be threatened by disease any more than any of the other slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. And oh, the ways that they are speaking of their Lord and Saviour! The gospel is going out and the people of Australia have been humbled such that they are listening as never before.
May God graciously raise up a great throng of saved souls through these times. Glory to Him alone!
Hobart Team (TAS)
Elizabeth Street Mall.
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