Battle Log

Sunday 3 September 2023

Posted by Posted 3 September 2023, 3:10 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

What a wonderful week.  There is limitless gospel opportunity on the streets of Christchurch.  And if you live in a city, I’m sure it’s the same for you!  Can I encourage you to join me, or, if you don’t live in Christchurch, start a street outreach where you are.  Just pick a street corner that has a flow of people.  It doesn’t have to be super busy.  Smile, and ask people as they go past: “Hey, I’ve got a question for you, it’s a deep one.  What do you think happens after you die?”.  Sure, it’s direct, and some people might be a bit shocked.  If they don’t want to talk about it.  All good, just wish them a good day and let them move on.  But, you’ll be amazed at how many people actually do want to talk about this important question.  Here is how my week went.

So, all four usual street outreaches went ahead.  Julia (my daughter) and Roger were with me in Riccarton on Tuesday afternoon.  Andy, Dom, and a newbie Mark joined me on Friday in the city.  I was in Riccarton again on Saturday lunchtime.  And finally, I’ve just come from the city where Susan joined me.

I’ll start with Tuesday.  Julia is going to join me on an evangelism trip to the Philippines in a couple of weeks, and to get back up to speed she joined me for this outreach.  We got there early, and the outreach was so busy we ended up leaving late!  At the end, I was packing away the flip chart, when yet another person wanted to engage, and so I put the flip chart back up again!  It was worth it.

After the outreach, Roger sent me this comment: “Was so good today.  So much fun it should be illegal!”.  That’s right, evangelism is fun!  We can’t let Christians have fun now, can we?  NOT!  Let’s get out there and enjoy sharing the wonderful good news of the gospel!

Anyway, Julia was paired up with me, and I ended up needing to control the conversations, and I didn’t want to drop her in the deep end, so I fielded the first few chats.  But eventually Julia got into her own chat (pictured).  She was doing well, but ended up pulling me in.  The guy had atheistic parents, but there was a hunger in his eyes for truth.  The building / builder analogy made sense to him, and opened him up to hear the law and the gospel.  He made a profession of faith, and so I gave him a gospel of John, which he gladly received, and a contact card for my church with my contact details on it.  Sadly, he didn’t get in touch, and yet seeds have been sown!

Friday was hot!  The first day of spring, and there was enough intensity in the sun that I didn’t need my jacket or jersey on, and I even applied sunscreen!  Andy was paired with Mark initially, and then he was paired with Dom later.  I ran a flipchart.

The stand out conversation of the day was with a couple of Chinese girls.  One had okay English, the other not as good.  But they both became engaged.  So much so that the one started translating for the other.  Eventually they pulled out phones and started using Google Translate.  I did the same.  The first question was: ‘there must be aliens’ (or something like that).  I responded with: ‘where did the aliens come from?’  Answer: ‘planets’.  Question: ‘where did the planets come from’?  Answer: ‘big bang’.  Question: ‘where did the materials for the big bang come from?’  And that made them pause, it made sense, there must be a universe maker.  I then transitioned to take them through a few simple law questions.  And at this point we moved back to speaking instead of Google Translate.  They agreed they would be guilty, and so at this point I pulled out my gospel of John with the fireball pictures front and back.  Using these pictures, and a couple of easy questions, I was able to communicate the gospel.  Suddenly one of the girls had a visible penny drop moment.  She said, “Ahh”, as the message hit home.  And do you know what her response was?  “I live in Auckland, is there a group I can join?”  I was amazed, she was articulating a desire to join the church!  I got her to message needgod.net7 on Instagram “Church in Auckland”.  And then on Saturday morning I was able to respond by pointing her to a church in Auckland that’s close to her (central Auckland).  Attached is a picture showing her response.

I will continue the conversation with her via Instagram DM, re-checking her gospel understanding and working through the checks.  But I really hope she reaches out to the church!  Evangelism apart from the church makes no sense.  You 2 things go together (the church reaches out to make disciples).

What a joy!  It’s so much fun getting to bring the message of life!

I had a number of other chats: including with another couple of Chinese girls - these were tourists.

Saturday’s outreach was good, again good weather.  I had a young man remember me from the recent Malvern A&P Show outreach.  I was able to have a follow up gospel conversation with him.  And that reminds me, one of the chats on Tuesday was with William.  I first talked to him at the Ellesmere A&P Show.  It’s so good being able to follow up with people!

Saturday’s outreach ended up finishing with a discussion with a Christian couple.  I was able to encourage them in regards to assurance.  It’s possible there wasn’t 100% clarity on the gospel, and so I was able to share it, and many check questions by talking in the third person.  I encouraged them to join the evangelism training I’ll be running in October.

Sunday was cold, and yet there was no lack of gospel opportunity.  Once Susan joined me, we did some walk up.  One conversation in particular was very special.  I noticed a lady sitting eating a pie.  She obviously worked in the city and was on a break.  For that reason I didn’t think she’d want to talk.  But it doesn’t hurt to ask.  Well, to my surprise she did want to talk.  She completely forgot her pie (looked like she had only had one bite so far) as she became engrossed in the conversation.  Her question was around the issue of ‘evil and suffering’.  I could tell the question wasn’t intellectual, and so I didn’t give an intellectual answer.  Instead, I let her talk as she processed some hard things in her life.  By God’s grace, I was able to communicate the law and the gospel (that there will be justice for evil, and yet a sure hope of mercy).  She asked for a pamphlet, and so I could tell the conversation held a lot of meaning for her (she opened up about some difficult stuff).  I even gave her a church contact card, with my contact details.  I’m hopeful that she will get in touch, and even if she doesn’t, some powerful seeds were planted.  Pray that it has found good soil!  She had to go back to work.  But after she left, Susan and I prayed for her.  I was so touched by that chat.  What an honour!  What an honour to be able to minister hope to her and others.  I’m in awe of our great God that involves us in what he is doing!  Join me.  The harvest field is limitless.

I’m totally out of time.  But the only work is amazing as ever.  We have up to 1800 unread messages on Instagram.  And we have well over half a million followers on TikTok.  We are hearing wonderful testimonies of what God is doing through the power of the gospel.  All glory to God.  May we stay humble and dependant on him, open to correction, and faithful to continue the ministry.  Please pray for us!

View previous Christchurch (NZ) report (27 August 2023)


Christchurch (NZ) Team

Weekly outreaches:
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.