This report will cover the last 3 days of the outreach to the Wellington region, with Craig Godfrey and the team at Calvary Wellington Church.
On Wednesday we spent the morning in Porirua City and then the afternoon in Lower Hutt. On Thursday, we spent the whole day in Lower Hutt. And then finally on Friday, we were in Central Wellington: in the morning we were around the Cuba Street Mall, and then in the afternoon we were down on the waterfront and then finished the outreach on Lambton Quay.
What a blast! It’s so good to do street outreach in new locations - new fishing holes, with new and interesting fish to talk with!
It wasn’t too busy in Porirua on Wednesday morning, but there were still plenty of people to talk to. My first chat of the day was special, it was with a young man who looked pretty down and out. He knew about Christian things, but I don’t think he had really considered the implications, I could tell, because as we slowed down and really processed the bad news, and the good news of Jesus, you could see his joy as he came to truly understand.
As the morning progressed, we had Lou Johns, Parking & Bylaws Officer for the Porirua City Council come and tell us that we were not allowed to approach people for conversations in their city! I was shocked! It’s been a long while since my false fears of authority had been tested. I decided to play it as a ‘good cop’ - not being intimidated, but at the same time standing for our legal right to talk to people! The conversation ended well, and I’m in email contact with her. If I had the time, I’d like to challenge the Council further on their restrictions.
Anyway, we moved down to the train station, and in accordance with Lou’s instructions I didn’t approach anyone for conversations. Instead, I stood on the wide part of the foot path (as instructed) and with a smile handed out tracts. When you have a friendly smile, it encourages smiles in return. It worked really well! Some people would smile back, and then approach me to take a tract. In this way, I was able to start conversations. I had 2 really good conversations (although short ones) this way.
As Craig and I were scoping out the area for future outreaches, we also went to the skate park. There I had a conversation with 4 young guys who looked quite intimidating! Yet, when they could see we were friendly, the conversation went well. The law and the gospel was heard, and tracts received.
After lunch, we headed back over the hills to Lower Hutt. We found a great place for outreach at the corner of Queens Drive, Margaret & Bunny Streets. As people would cross the street, many tracts were handed out and conversations were started. June had joined us by this stage, and by 3 o’clock, things were really busy as school kids started going past. We were supposed to finish at 4 pm, but it was so busy that we ended up continuing till 4:30pm. We couldn’t just walk away from a fishing hole teaming with fish! We even had one situation where someone who had heard their friends talking about the gospel, she came down to talk to us to find out for herself!
So, the next day, and in anticipation of some bad weather, we headed back to this same spot for the day. I had some really special conversations in the morning esp. One young lady stayed for a while and came to grasp the good news of Jesus. I had an older lady stop: she had a Christian background, even went to a church every week, but she thought she had to ‘try’ to get to heaven. By the end of the conversation she was understanding the difference between ‘trying’ and ‘trusting’, and the appropriate place of each in regards to justification and sanctification. I could tell she was deeply impacted. She said, “you are a good man”, and I responded with, “no, I’m a bad man, saved by Jesus who is good” - just as I said that, a man rushing past turned and looked at me. Later, after I had finished talking to the lady, he rushed past again, going the other direction - I offered him a tract, but he refused. But, a minute later, he came back. He said he would take one. He said he had a Christian background, but his faith wasn’t right: “maybe this is a sign from God”. He couldn’t stay and talk, but I just love how God has people at the right place at the right time! God is reaching the lost!
I was excited to finally get to Wellington Central on the last day of the week of outreach. The weather was good! Mara and Daniel joined Craig and I. I was shocked at some graffiti, right across from a busy bus stop, that said, “Life Sucks Give Up”. Oh, how people need the hope of Jesus! My first major chat was special, with a young lady who claimed to be Christian, but gave human philosophy in regards to ‘self’ as her answer to why we go to heaven. She heard the simple message of Jesus. After that, many of the chats I had met people who were quite resistant. But it was wonderful to labour the truth of Jesus with them.
It was great to pump out tracts to people on the waterfront and on Lambton Quay in the afternoon. Many chats were also had, including a follow up! We get around!
During the day, I also had multiple chats with people from Christchurch!
I was feeling quite exhausted while waiting for my return flight on Friday evening. Yet, very grateful. Grateful for the opportunity to come up to Wellington. A shout out to Craig, who gave up a week of work to organise this week and to labour so tirelessly beside me for the whole week. Also special thanks to Craig and Jan for hosting me for the week. Your hospitality couldn’t have been better! Thanks to Jarryd Alcorn and the crew at Calvary Wellington for allowing me to minister the gospel in connection with your church. I hope you were encouraged and equipped in some way for the irksome task of evangelism! The great commission. Thank you to all those that were praying for us during this week. All glory to God alone!
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).