Battle Log

Sunday 14 January 2024

Posted by Posted 14 January 2024, 1:49 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Happy New Year!  The writer took a week off over new year for a camping holiday.  But this week it was back to the normal outreach schedule (finally)!  So, outreaches on Tuesday afternoon (Riccarton), Friday afternoon (city), Saturday morning (Riccarton), and Sunday afternoon (city, with Mike and Binu).  Tuesday’s outreach was very busy (good, but exhausting), Friday’s outreach was a bit slow, Sunday was good, but Saturday’s outreach stands out in my mind the most so I’ll start there.

I had my flip chart, and as soon as I set it up and prayed, 3 people passed, one of them obviously interested in what the ‘good person test’ was all about.  All I needed to do was say, “would you like to give it a try?” and the conversation was going.  It was a short chat, but the law and the gospel was explained.  They had a Greek Orthodox background.  They left with literature.

But what made the outreach interesting was the next chat.  An older lady passed and I offered her a tract.  She looked interested and took it wanting to know what it was about.  From there we fell into a very deep conversation.  There is something about being able to open up with a stranger where you might not otherwise do so.  Anyway, this lady had knowledge about Christian things, but didn’t understand what Christianity was at its core.  She knew about hell, and (rightly) feared it.  But she only knew about God’s justice, not also his mercy.  Sadly, she was actually very hardened to the gospel message.  I explicitly shared the core of the gospel 4 times through the chat, before it started to scratch that hardness.  She really wanted to talk, and process things she struggled with in her life (which is fine, I was happy to listen), but she needed to slow down a bit and process the answers too.  I had to interrupt a few times and work at swinging the conversation as gently as I could.

Sadly, in the middle of this conversation, and completely out of the blue, a man (or was it a woman?) stopped and spewed some really hateful things toward me and God, who I was representing.  It was especially jarring because of the fact that I was in the middle of the conversation with the lady.  He was using angry and filthy language, and right in front of the two little children who were with him – who seemed completely oblivious to the way he was acting.

I said I would be happy to talk to him, but that at the moment I was in a conversation, would he mind waiting.  He just continued with his hatred.  The lady I was talking with wasn’t leaving.  Again, I asked him to wait, and he said, “this is a public place, I can say what I want!”.  I simply responded with, “yes, but we should treat people without hate but with respect”.  I think it shamed him a bit, because it was obvious what his agenda was, and it was clear how hypocritical he was being.  So he decided to move on, but not without firing a few more shots.

I was shaken by the suddenness & intensity of the attack, but I quickly recovered, the lady was still there, and we went right back to our conversation.  Afterwards, I actually felt encouraged, although I do my best to be gentle, respectful, and loving - people don’t like the truth, and I don’t want to compromise that truth just to please people!

Going to Friday’s outreach, it was slow.  I didn’t have my flip chart, and it was hot.  I wasn’t really getting any decent chats going.  I decided to wait for a few minutes, and if nothing got started, I would head home early.  As I was leaving, I was putting a rubber band back on my tracts when a guy passed in the other direction. I asked if he wanted one, and lo and behold, I fell into a great gospel chat with him!  He was extremely open, and so the ‘presentation’ went quickly, as he grasped the concepts so well.  He made a profession.  I told him to start reading the Bible from John,  and  asked where he lived: Chievot (up north).  I didn’t know any churches up there, so I gave him some tips on how to find one.  I left him in the hands of God, but he knows how to get in touch if he wants to.

I can’t really remember any specific conversation from Tuesday’s outreach, but I was very encouraged by how busy it had been.  A great way to start the year off!

It was great to have Mike and Binu join me this afternoon in the city.  Both Mike and I had our flip charts up.  I had many opportunities to engage people with the gospel.  Mike was in a chat as I left, he sent me this: “That last chat was really good, they were both into works based salvation, and the gospel was good news to them both”.

So great to be back to my normal schedule.  Feeling tired, and so looking forward to a day off tomorrow, before getting back into the harvest next week.  Please continue to pray for the Op 513 team here in Christchurch.  May the church grow in gospel activity to the glory of God alone!

View previous Christchurch (NZ) report (30 December 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.