A regular, yet wonderful week of street outreach this week. Roger was with me in Riccarton on Tuesday; Andy, Roger & Elena were with me in the City on Friday; I was in Riccarton on Saturday, and Tanush and Susan were with me in the City on Sunday afternoon.
I’m going to go in reverse order - hopefully that will get my memory going!
No flipcharts on Sunday. The focus was on walk-up, which seems to be Tanush’s preference. She emboldened me! We started with a chat with a young filipino - he said he only thinks about the after life sometimes, late at night. He wasn’t really engaged in the conversation. So it was good when his parents joined the conversation. His dad was more open. Turns out they come from Oamaru, which is where I grew up! Sadly I didn’t get to talk to the parents for long - they had to go, but both the Father and the son accepted tracts.
Tanush led the next chat, it was with 2 chats, 1 of them was very resistant. She passed the convo to me, but it didn’t last long. We parted on good terms, and the non-resistant 1 took a tract.
Tanush tried again, and this time I left her to it and got into my own chats. Tanush ended up in a long chat with a guy. And I was able to have a follow up chat from last week - they had 3 others with them this time, and 1 of them seemed impacted by the law and the gospel. He accepted a copy of the gospel of John.
Susan was with us by now, and we decided to head to the sunshine nearer the bridge of remembrance (it was a nice late autumn day). I saw Tanush and Susan have 2 more conversations, and I was able to have 2 more too. My last one was great. It was with 5 young lads. They were joking around a bit, but I could tell I was getting through to them, because they were asking really good questions.
Saturday’s outreach was great. In 2 hours I had 2 conversations (plus change) for about 45 minutes each.
The first was with a man with an accent. It turns out he had German descent. He is a medical doctor working at the Hospital and for the medical school. Most of the conversation was focused on how we know God exists. I challenged his assumption that we can’t be sure - because that is clearly what he needed. He was obviously very familiar with Christian concepts, but he’s been hoodwinked away from it. I didn’t forget to make sure I shared the law and the gospel. As the law brings the knowledge of sin, and the gospel is the power of God for salvation - apologetics can’t save. He was very engaged, because part way through the conversation, he got a phone call. This often kills chats, but not this one. He took the call, and then we got straight back to our conversation!
The second was with a young man with Russian descent. He has only just arrived in the Country. He is going to study communications at UC (University of Canterbury). Previously he had been at a Catholic High School in Brisbane. But it seems like he grew up in Russia. He believed in the Nordic gods (philosophically, not literally). For him, religions were like a candy shop, he takes what pleases him. Sadly, that is idolatry. Part way through the chat, he started reacting negatively (emotionally) when I had been engaging him purely on a logical level. I could tell what I was saying was making sense to him, and he didn’t like it (he doesn’t get to make god, instead, God made him). I decided to disengage at that point, I shook his hand thinking he would move on. But to my surprise, he wanted to keep chatting, and stayed for a lot longer. I was able to finish sharing the law, share the gospel and move into check questions. We ended up shaking hands quite a few times at the end of that chat - I’m not sure why! God willing he will have many more opportunities to engage with the gospel at UC.
Friday was great! Martin from up north joined me for some outreaches during the Christmas period, and his friend, Elena, was in Christchurch - so she joined us for outreach. It was great to have her with us.
There was a climate change protest happening. I always love that, it attracts passionate young people to engage with the gospel! Elena and I ended up having a great chat with a very thoughtful young man called Luc (french descent; he wasn’t actually involved with the protest). Andy had a long chat with a young high school age girl who had been involved with the climate change protest. Roger was busy as well.
I found it interesting that when the protest actually went past, how few people seemed to be in it, compared to previous times.
And that leaves me with Tuesday’s outreach. Now, I’m sure I had some interesting chats - but I just can’t remember them. But, I do remember Roger having a conversation with 12 (I counted them) high school students at one point. They were all at different places. Some of them even came across the street to talk with me. One girl seemed genuinely stoked to have heard the gospel: she told it to me unprompted! But there was resistance in the others. Some of them were Muslim: one of them said he had talked to me before in the city - in hindsight, I remember the chat.
Anyway, they are the highlights of the week. All glory to God alone. Thank you for continuing to pray for us!
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).