On Friday, we had rain in the morning. So Andy (pictured) & I did some online evangelism.
The weather improved, so at lunch time we headed into Cathedral Square to preach the gospel in the open air. It was a fascinating time.
I had just sat down when a guy, I’ll call him “Bob” came and sat next to me. I recognised him as someone Andy & I had interacted with a long time ago - he was very resistant to the gospel. But I smiled and said hello. Instantly he started talking about his depression and thoughts of suicide! I had immediate empathy, and wanted to share hope. I said that the root of change is in Jesus.
He exploded in rage.
I listened for a while, but he just got worse, I had to move away.
He started loudly proclaiming his hatred of “evangelists”, and how we are not loving (a very false assertion). The irony was lost on him.
Ari (the younger “wizard”) turned up and managed to get the guy to calm down. Ari was sitting next to me, and Bob came and sat next to Ari. Bob was talking to Ari (relatively camly) - but he was really firing barbs at me, which I just ignored.
Andy took the lull in activity as an opportunity to start preaching the gospel and It was going well.
Then one of our newer hecklers turned up and sat down to listen. I decided to go over and say hello.
Bob exploded in rage again - even worse than last time.
I assume Bob had interpreted my movement as me withering from his “logic” and he went into attack mode against me again! Very loud and verbal attacks. Andy had to stop preaching. And I just had to walk away - it was bizarre. Amazingly, Bob started verbally abusing the heckler I went to talk to! Other people had to get the guy to calm down. Thankfully he did, and Ari managed to hold his attention for the rest of the time. I stayed away and, thankfully, there were no more outbursts.
All I said was: the root of change is in Jesus (in the context of empathy)!
Andy was able to finish preaching in relative peace, and Marty was able to preach as well.
It was interesting, as one of the “punks” that I’ve had many gospel conversations with, made a comment about the exchange - he understood the irrational reaction was because we are speaking truth - and people don’t like the truth. Lord, save the punk! He knows it's true!
I had a great gospel chat with a guy on Colombo street, as I was walking back to my car. God is good!
And I had some wonderful gospel chats online later in the day too. God is so good!
Thursday - the weather didn't look good, so I decided to reach out online instead. Although, the weather did improve and Andy ended up spending his time at the Eastgate bus stops reaching out there.
My prominent memory from Thursday was having difficult gospel conversations with people who were resistant. But even the difficult gospel conversations are good conversations. People are hearing truth, in love, and God can use His word powerfully in people’s lives - even when we don’t see it outwardly. The gospel is the power of God for salvation!
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.