It was so good to be in the Philippines to share the gospel with the church there, but it’s also so good to be home. This week I was on the streets in Riccarton on Tuesday afternoon, and in the City on Friday afternoon. I wasn’t able to make it out on Saturday (wedding: congrats Toby and Mel!) or Sunday (family get together: Rach is home!), so this will hopefully be a briefer report than usual.
It was a wonderful outreach on Tuesday. My first conversation was with 3 senior high school guys. 2 of the guys believed in God, but the other didn’t, so I started with explaining who God is. They were open and the conversation went smoothly. The 2 guys made professions - so I got them to consider the cost. Where the ‘atheist’ seemed genuinely appreciative of the conversation: “I’ve never heard that before”. Very encouraging. As I was talking to them, another group of about 5 or so guys from the same high school went past (they were juniors apparently). One of them in particular was ‘hostile’, but as I was already in a conversation I couldn’t engage.
My next conversation was with an older gentleman. He seemed to be homeless, and yet as we got talking, he seemed to be very educated. We had a long conversation, sitting on the seats next to where I had set up my flipchart. He had just come from hospital, discharged post some heart issues. Afterlife was a pertinent conversation topic! He acknowledged there was a God, a heaven and a hell. He acknowledged he was a sinner. But he thought he would be good enough for heaven. I actually spent quite a while labouring with him in the bad news because of this, before explaining the good news of Jesus. I know it was 4:50pm when the conversation ended, because he needed to find accommodation - it turns out he was homeless :( I sent him off to the place he needed to be before it closed at 5pm.
During that chat, those 5 high school guys (including the hostile one) came back - they were interested in my flipchart, but I didn’t want to break the original chat to engage them. But all but the hostile one took tracts. I remember being busy for the last 30 minutes of the outreach, but the details have escaped me.
Friday’s outreach came with a sense of futility, which is strange for me. I tend to be good at acknowledging the sovereignty of God and just putting my hand and my mind to the task, leaving the results to God. I did this anyway, even though the feeling lingered - I left it in God’s hands through prayer.
I ended up having a couple of separate conversations with Christians, both in Christchurch from out of town. I received some encouragement from them - which was nice.
But the highlight chat of the day was with a young man who had a goal of joining the navy one day. He had a Christian background, but had recently converted to Nordic mythology! We talked for a long time, and I was able to work through the whole flipchart with him. He left with a tract and a gospel of John.
It was good to be able to have a hot chocolate with Roger after the outreach, and debrief a bit with him.
God willing, I’ll be completely back to normal schedule next week, although I have 3 special outreaches coming up, that I’d appreciate prayer for: next Saturday is the Malvern A&P Show (25th March), then the following Saturday is the Oxford A&P Show (1st April), and then the weekend after that will be the Easter hot cross bun outreaches (8th & 10th April 11am till 1pm in Cashel Mall)!
Christchurch (NZ) Team
Tue 3:30pm - 5:30pm - Riccarton (corner of Riccarton Rd and Rotherham St)
Fri 1:30pm - 3:30pm - City (Bridge of Remembrance)
Sat 11am - 1pm - Riccarton (corner of Riccarton Rd and Rotherham St)
Sun 1:30pm - 3:30pm - City (corner of Colombo St and Cashel St).