A full week of street outreach this week, based on my normal schedule. I was on my own in Riccarton on Tuesday and Saturday. Andy, Roger and John were with me on Friday in the city. And Tanush joined me on Sunday in the city. Plus, plenty of wonderful gospel opportunities online.
So, let's start with Tuesday’s outreach. 2 significant conversations from that outreach stand out in my mind.
The first was a chat with a young man with Russian ancestry. It was a shorter chat. He seemed to come to a limit with the information I was giving him, and I decided it was good to stop and leave him to process it. He heard the law and the gospel.
The second chat was with a man from South America. He did say which country, but I have now forgotten that detail. He had just arrived in NZ and was going to spend some time improving his English before moving into a job in the dairy industry. But his English was actually very good. He was very engaged, and eventually he invited me to sit on the seats behind my flip chart so we could discuss in leisure! We had a long chat, where he admitted he was convinced that God was real, but when he faced the reality that God therefore gets to make the rules he all of a sudden didn’t want God to be real! I pointed this out to him, and he could see my point. He came away clearly understanding the gospel, and yet he understood the cost (his life would come into submission of God).
As I turned up to Friday’s outreach, I noticed Andy was already there and he was in a deep conversation (pictured).
Roger arrived and we set up his flip chart - instantly it attracted 2 people. Roger engaged one of them, while I engaged the other with the flip chart. We were busy for the rest of the outreach.
I moved further down the mall and started handing out tracts. I had a guy stop (he actually seemed to beeline over to me) and we fell into a chat. He was German and into the new age. He explicitly rejected rationality and the mind, over emotion and the heart. And yet, reality trumps his worldview, and I reasoned with him anyway. I was making slow progress, in spite of his resistance, when a couple of my regulars came over to break up the conversation. Adam came over and hugged me (as he usually does). Adam speaks German and started talking to the guy I had been talking to, and then the guy decided to leave - refusing a tract. Adam was gleeful that he had ruined my opportunity to share the gospel: “he didn’t want to talk to you anyway Glen, I could tell”. He was right, he was resisting what I was saying. I wasn’t disturbed, God is sovereign. Our labour is never in vain, and God’s purposes will never be stopped.
Adam noticed Andy in the distance (still in his original conversation) and decided to go and break that up too. Yet, I was glad to hear afterwards, Adam’s attempt totally failed. The lady Andy was talking to was very engaged in the conversation and wasn’t going to be put off!
On Saturday I had a number of interesting chats. One was with an older gentleman. “What is it?”, he says, “religious stuff?”. I responded in the affirmative: “it’s a Christian gospel tract”. “Ahhh, that’s a load of rubbish”, he says. I didn’t back down, and so we sparred on the street! He was fighting hard, and I didn’t flinch, responding quickly and striking back. Of course, there was mutual respect as this was happening - nothing nasty: just worldviews clashing. After a while we parted ways with a handshake. Only God knows what effect the law and the gospel had with him.
Another chat started when a lady with two of her children approached me. Her daughter wanted to do the good person test. I was up front with what it was about, and although her worldview was completely different, she seemed to want her daughter to hear the gospel. It was a bit uncomfortable, but I wasn’t going to turn up an opportunity to share good news, and I did exactly that.
Finally, I fell into a long chat with a guy who ended up wanting to judge God as evil for allowing evil. When I challenged him on his basis for judging God, he pointed to himself. Ridiculous. He came away hearing the law and the gospel.
Sunday was rainy, but not enough to stop any outreach. I had two great, separate, conversations with guys from India. The 2nd guy was keen to get in touch, and left with a gospel of John, a tract, and a contact card for my church with my contact details on it.
Later, Tanush was with me, and we had a great walk up chat with 4 girls. They went to a Christian school, but didn’t know the gospel. There were times in the conversation where you could see they were challenged in spite of resistance. They heard the law and the gospel. I was also able to have another follow up chat with one of my regulars. We ended up discussing homosexuality and why it’s sinful: because God says so.
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).