Thursday I joined the Aussie online team for a couple of hours in the morning, before joining Andy at the Eastgate and Northlands bus stops in the afternoon.
There was a lot of opportunity to share the gospel at the bus stops. There were a few highlights, but the one I’ll mention was the very last conversation of the day. I was heading towards my car and I decided to offer a tract to a guy waiting for his bus. To my surprise, he was eager to talk. I think he may have been listening to my previous conversation with a guy who had just got out of jail. He drank in the gospel like someone who was really thirsty. What a privilege to be able to talk with him about Jesus!
Friday started with the gospel + abortion outreach outside the hospital. I was the first one there, and one of our main counter protesters was there waiting for us. I smiled and said good morning - I was ignored.
I got out one of our signs and took my place. The counter protester stood right in front of me. Andy joined me soon after, and we prayed together.
There ended up being about four counter protesters. And six of us.
A lady stopped to actually engage us in a discussion. Andy did a wonderful job at calmly reasoning with her. But all I could hear her say is, “I think...”, “I think...”, “I think...”. She was blind to to the fact that, without God, she wouldn’t even have a brain to think with, let alone the breath to voice her opinions. I was thankful to God for his common grace, and his patience in holding off his justice so people (who don’t deserve it) can hear of his amazing mercy!
The support for the counter protesters well outweighed any support for us. Every time a car tooted support for them, they gleefully cheered.
I started to feel burdened and grieved. Grieved because they are cheering for the murder of children. Burdened because, apart from the grace of God - that is me. One day soon, very soon, we will be facing the God we all know exists and be judged by the law written on our hearts. His justice will be perfect. And that is terrifying.
I wept. And I prayed for the mercy of God for these counter protesters. Apart from the grace of God - that is me!
I may not be charismatic, but that does not mean I’m not passionate, and it doesn’t mean I don’t have emotions. And that passion and emotion burst out of me in Cathedral Square in the speaker's corner. Marty had done a wonderful job preaching before me, and one of the hecklers was using his God given breath to mock God. I was overwhelmed and wept as I preached, pleading with the lost within earshot to accept the mercy of God before it’s too late. I wept for the hecklers, whom I love. Oh, if only my passion and emotions could save people! But it can’t. Only God can do that, only through the gospel. We have to trust him.
Andy did a wonderful job preaching after me.
We then moved to Cashel Mall where Roger joined us. I was feeling pretty exhausted by this stage, so I set up my flip chart, sat down, and just started handing out tracts with a smile and politeness. To my surprise, I ended up having a busy couple of hours talking with various people.
It really was a day of tears. The first person to stop was a young lady. Strangely, she thought Donald Trump was the best person on the chart, and Bill Gates was the worst! Turns out she was into some conspiracy theories. Going from there, I was able to gently steer the conversation to the most important question of life: death.
I was able to explain the gospel to her. I could tell it was familiar to her, but it was like I was saying something she hadn’t heard before. I moved on to checking questions, and the penny seemed to drop with the “man crossing the road” analogy. She finally understood the grace of God. I could tell - because tears came to her eyes. She forced them back, but later in the conversation, they came again. Eventually she stopped trying to hide it, and she cried in understanding of the wonder of the gospel. I cried too as I basked in the wonder of the fact that, apart from the grace of God - that is me! Yet her tears are no guarantee that she is saved. But with everything in me, I pray that God would save her, by his grace, and that she would start getting discipled in a good local church.
I finished the day of outreach with a couple of hours online. I barely survived. I had to work hard to be patient with people who were fighting against God and the gospel. Lord have mercy. Thank you for having mercy on me. I love you Lord, with every fiber of my being. Give us strength to continue ministering your gospel to person after person, after person. Be glorified in bringing your justice and mercy.
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.