Due to rain on Friday and Saturday, I decided to do my 2nd favourite thing: share the gospel online! But, on Tuesday afternoon I was in Riccarton, and on Sunday afternoon I was in the city with Susan. So, this report will only cover those 2 outreaches.
I’ll start with Sunday’s outreach. It was a cold winter wind, but the sun was hot. I was layered up and so for the first part of the outreach, I was too hot! I was also feeling tired, and so I decided I was just going to focus on tract distribution - if a chat got started, great! But I wasn’t going to push myself. The start of the outreach was slow. Tracts were going out, but no chats.
Then I saw Mary. I hadn’t seen her for a long time. I had long chats with her partner, Michael, many times on the streets. Sadly, he was very resistant to the gospel, and yet, he seemed to enjoy engaging with me in regards to the gospel. The first thing I asked Mary was, “how is Michael?”. She said, “Oh, he passed away 2 years ago - liver failure, he was refusing treatment, because he didn’t want them to put holes in him, he was trying alternative treatments”. I felt devastated. That is the 4th person I’ve ministered the gospel to on the streets who has since passed away (that I know of). And thinking of all 4 of them, from what I could tell, they were rejecting the gospel. So sad, when God’s mercy is free. It really makes me reflect on how important it is to continue sharing the gospel, as we can. Life is so short, everyone is going to die, and they need the gospel. And yet, God is in control, and it’s not my responsibility to save anyone. I rest content, that either way, God will be glorified, either through his mercy or through his justice. God, we pray for mercy!
Anyway, eventually, after a few false starts, I was able to get into a gospel chat with 2 young ladies. As this chat was happening, Susan arrived and listened in. Immediately after this chat, I was able to get a chat rolling with 6 young lads. 3 of them instantly disengaged, but 3 of them stayed. The first was atheist. But his 2 friends were agnostic. It was such a good chat, because the building / builder analogy clicked for all 3 of them, and then I challenged the atheist to the good person test - he was keen! When I asked if he had lied, he said, “no”. And his friend instantly looked at him, “yes, you have, it’s a lie to say you’ve never lied!”. By this stage, the other 3 guys were back. This time I asked if he had ever disobeyed his parents: “Nope”. And then one of those 3 said, “yes you have!”. Haha, my point was being made clear to all! Sadly, this is where the chat broke up, the 3 guys pulled the atheist away, but the other 2 guys were keen to stay. I was able to share the good news of Jesus with them. One of them in particular seemed very interested.
Finally Susan and I were able to have a time of prayer, when immediately I was approached by a Christian man I haven’t seen in a few years, I was able to have a catch up with him, and then another Christian guy came to catch up - I broke that chat off, because I want to talk to unbelievers on the street!
To finish, I want to point out the picture in this report. Note what was written on the back of his top: “Dream Big. Live Larger.”, but, underneath it says in small writing: “Pursuit of Happiness”. There is nothing wrong with being happy! But, this is the god of the age: self. It is so meaningless. I wish more people would read Ecclesiasties. God, again, I pray for mercy, have mercy upon Christchurch, New Zealand, and beyond.
Now Reflecting on Tuesday’s outreach in Riccarton. I turned up and set up my flip chart when soon after a homeless person turned up with their shopping cart and parked it directly behind me (pictured). It’s the first time I’ve ever seen them. I said hello, but they didn’t want to talk. Anyway, they stayed there behind me for the whole outreach. God willing they listened into the gospel chats I was having!
During the outreach, someone in a car was stopped, waiting for traffic, right next to where I have my flip chat. He wound down his window and started talking to me like I knew him. He told me he was moving to Melbourne. As I reflect on that now, I think I know who it is. His name escapes me at the moment, but it was a unique name. I’m pretty sure I had a few long gospel chats with him over time. From memory, at one time he was very open, but then later he became resistant as he counted the cost - if I’m remembering right. Oh well, it was nice of him to say goodbye. May he forget me, but I pray he doesn’t forget that his sin is serious and that Jesus came to save sinners! I wished him all the best as he drove off, there wasn’t time to say anything more than that.
I simply can’t remember any of the details of the other chats I had for that outreach, except I remember that it was cold! Glad I had my jacket - I even had to put my beanie on. And at the very end of the outreach, as it was getting dark, a lady came to talk to me. She is a Christian and trying to help a local homeless person. She was asking me for advice on what services are available to help. We discussed the gospel being the greatest need!
Anyway, I’ll leave my report at that. Again, I thank you for supporting this ministry through prayer!
View previous Christchurch (NZ) report (14 May 2023)
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).
Contact Glen Richards or Andy Barlow for more information.