The writer of these posts took a week off after the trip to Wellington (with Craig and Calvary Wellington Church).
And this week was a ‘normal’ week of street outreach: Tuesday afternoon in Riccarton with Roger; Friday afternoon in the city with Andy, Greg, and Roger; Saturday morning in Riccarton, and then Sunday afternoon in the city with Susan.
So, this report will cover this week of street outreach, but before I get into it, if you are reading this, can I just ask you to pray for the next 2 weeks of special outreaches. Next week we’ll be at the Canterbury A&P Show (Wed 15th Nov, till Friday 17th of Nov). We have hired a site at the show where we will be sharing the gospel with hundreds of people via the ‘good person test’ flip chart. The hours will be from 8am till 5:30pm. And on Thursday we go till 7:30pm. So big days of gospel outreach. We have a team of 6 for Wednesday, 8 for Thursday, and 12 for Friday, which is a public holiday and very busy!
Please pray for stamina, favour with authority, that Christians would be encouraged in sharing the gospel, and that many lost would hear the gospel. And that ultimately God would be glorified through our obedience to proclaim and through people coming to understand his justice and his mercy.
Secondly, on Saturday the 18th, I’m flying to the Gold Coast to join the team for the Schoolies outreach. This outreach is basically an ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’. Schoolies is billed as “the best week of your life”, which sadly means a week of drunkenness and sexual immorality for kids that have just finished high school. After the first night, we have many long chats with some of these kids who are processing what life is all about. We get to share the hope of the gospel. So, for the week, starting on the 18th, that’s what we will be doing everyday. The prayer request is the same as for the Canterbury A&P Show ^. Thanks!
Okay, now to the report for this week!
So, Tuesday in Riccarton. The highlight was a really encouraging chat with a young man going past. He started the chat saying he wasn’t very sure about what happens after life. But near the end of the chat he said, “you’ve changed my mind”! At the very least he was grasping the gospel. I pointed him to ‘John’ in the Bible, and also a local church. Roger also had some encouraging chats.
On Friday I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and lacking in energy. In those moments, I default to finding a spot and handing out tracts with a smile. And yet, I was quickly into a chat. Sadly, the guy was subtly resistant. I think he was hearing and understanding the simple concepts I was explaining, but he didn’t like the implications, and so would interrupt and change the subject. There wasn’t much point in forcing it, so we soon parted ways with a handshake.
By this stage, Andy had arrived, and soon after Roger. I was in a chat with a regular, when Greg came past to join as well. Andy and Greg teamed up. Roger had his flip, and with the way I was feeling, I decided to go for a wander.
I ended up going to spots I don’t normally go to, and I ended up having a great chat with a young man from the UK, down by the Avon River. He initially rejected a tract, but I was able to ask him what he thinks happens after life. He was intrigued, and we were into it. His background was Catholic, and he defaulted to good deeds for heaven. The law and gospel were shared.
Later, I was back near Roger (who seemed to have the fish jumping into his boat). He had a guy approach him, and fell into a chat that seemed to be going well. I noticed a friend cut into the conversation, and so I went over to handle him, so Roger wouldn’t lose his chat. It worked out, and I ended up having a good chat with the guy. From Ireland, he was in NZ on a working holiday, ‘making the most of life, because there is nothing after’. Well, he came to hear the good news - but it certainly wasn’t good news to him. For him, making the most of life seemed to involve sin, something he was not willing to let go of.
A shorter than usual outreach in Riccarton on Saturday, I had one of my regulars stop for a chat early on. I was able to reiterate the law and the gospel non-directly (i.e., using the flow of the conversation to insert it appropriately). He was resistant, but we parted on good terms.
Later I had a quick law and gospel chat with 3 (or 4?) guys. In response to my question: ‘what happens after life?’, they gave 3 different responses: 1) reincarnation, 2) nothing, 3) heaven and hell. Those are the standard responses! They were all in different places, but they all heard the law and the gospel. 1 in particular seemed focused on what I was saying. Yet, who knows what the result will be? Keep faithfully scattering the seed!
Sunday was warm. In the city, and I really became aware of the angst around the whole Israel / Hamas war. There are competing posters and stickers plastered everywhere! The only solution is the gospel.
To my amazement, as I was walking down the mall, I passed a guy with his phone sitting next to him, and he had a pro Palestine sticker. I stopped to engage him, and he was very happy to talk about it. Using Israel / Hamas as a starting point, I wanted to know what his ultimate goal was, he eventually said, “a single state, where everyone gets along”. How are we going to achieve that? It led to a discussion on how we know God is real, justice, hell, and how do we get mercy? I was able to touch on the gospel, but in his resistance he wasn’t really ready for it. Yet, as I gently and calmly persisted, he was willing to admit that there was logic to what I was saying. He had to go to work, and, to my surprise, accepted a tract, as I wanted him to contact me so I could address the important questions he was raising. He said he might do that!
By this stage, Susan was with me. We continued down the mall seeking walk up chats, when we bumped into a group that supports Israel! Susan and I were able to get into a chat with one of them. Interestingly, her points were similar to my previous chat: hatred at injustice. The only solution is Messiah! People who understand his justice AND mercy are changed. And hate is turned to love. I was able to touch on the law, and then the gospel, but she then shut the conversation down - yet she also took a tract.
Other chats were had, but I’m out of time. (Nic, I saw Max again, just as the outreach was ending! God is on his case!)
So, please keep us in prayer for next week, at the Canterbury A&P Show ^. 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).