International travel is back on! Five Kiwi’s have flown over to the Gold Coast to join five Aussies for a week-long outreach to Schoolies 2022.
As I write, we are into our 3rd day of outreach, but this report will cover the first 2 evenings of outreach.
I flew over from Christchurch with Andy. The flight was smooth. We come out of the airport just in time to catch the next bus into the city. We had to make a transfer to a tram, and manage to purchase our tickets just in time to catch the next tram out. Kane & Harry were there to pick us up from the stop and we made it to the apartment that the team would be based at for the week. It was a wonderful reunion, catching up with people we hadn’t seen physically for a while! They had saved some dinner for us, and we had enough time to eat that before heading out for the first outreach! No mucking around.
Some of the Kiwis were pretty tired, esp. Phil and Emma who were up at 4am to catch a flight and then coping with a 3 hour time zone change. But we have a mission that is worth the sacrifice. We prayed together and then got into the flow to start up gospel chats.
The first evening's outreach went REALLY fast. It was non stop conversations which made the 2.5 hours fly by. My first chat was a long one, with a guy called Hayden. He could see the logic of the reality of God, but then he fought hard to reject it. He insisted he was innocent of any sin, but the standard for judgement was himself, not the true God of the universe that made him - and his idolatry was the source of his rejection in spite of logic. I decided not to give up on him, and laboured with him, even sharing the gospel even though I knew he wouldn’t appreciate it right now. Who knows, this chat may be a seed of future conviction. The rest of my chats for the evening were difficult. Many of the people I talked to had no Christian background, and so were impressed by the building builder analogy, but the love of sin suppressed this knowledge. Most of my conversations would be interrupted as friends would come past and they would completely forget me in light of the moment they wanted to ‘enjoy’. But many of them would accept a tract before they walked off.
My sleep that night was full of repetitive active dreaming as my brain tried to process the routine change of the day, and all the new experiences. It didn’t feel restful. Luckily, the next day was Sunday and the team headed off to a local church in the morning - a wonderful time of fellowship and teaching, and a rest from the intensity of gospel conversations.
After the formal part of the meeting, Paul got into a chat with a lady who was keen to join us for the evening outreach - which she did! So encouraging.
In the afternoon we did the usual online outreach, and then some relaxation (swimming and tennis) before dinner and heading out on the streets again - this time for 3 hours.
It was again tough out on the streets. Resistance to the gospel and tiredness. But the gospel is the power for salvation, so I persisted in faith. We started with prayer.
But at the end of the evening I had a breakthrough! I got into a tuff chat with a group of Muslim lads. It was quite intense, the main talker was in my face. I had to work to focus on what he was saying and responding with calmness. I hit a ‘zone’, and it was fascinating watching the young man's world being deeply challenged, and seeing him so flustered that he could see the faults in his own analogies before he finished them. We parted on good terms, but sadly none of them would accept a tract. I pray this chat will open them up for the gospel in the future.
The next chat after that was also epic. Three young men, all in different places. 1 silent, and the other 2 resistant in different ways. Yet, with the help of the Spirit (being in the zone), I was able to address all their objections and share the law and the gospel. They were open to tracts at the end, and thanked me for the way I explained it. I was so encouraged and excited. I was really tired, but my mind was clear. I knew I was going to have a good sleep that night. And I did!
Thank you so much to all who are praying! Please continue holding us up in prayer. The Schoolies desperately need to hear the gospel. Pray for conviction and conversion. And pray that the team would be sustained in this gospel labour. Thank you so much!
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.