Battle Log

Sunday 28 January 2024

Posted by Posted 28 January 2024, 1:54 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Another fantastic week of street outreach in Christchurch, New Zealand.  Glory to God.

There was rain on Tuesday, and so Roger and I decided not to head out.  I spent my time in online outreach instead.

But the weekend outreaches went ahead.  Friday and Sunday afternoons in the city - the Buskers Festival is on, and on Sunday people from a cruise ship were out and about as well.  So, lots of people, and gospel opportunities.  On Saturday lunch time, I was in Riccarton.  This week involved long chats for me, with: Cameron, Colin (Friday), Nathan (Saturday) & Alex (Sunday).

On Friday, it was great to have Andy back from summer leave.  Roger was with us.  I helped Roger set up the flip chart, but before we could even pray together, I noticed someone looking at the chart inquisitively.  I took the initiative and my first long street chat of the week was away.  It went on for over an hour.

Early in the chat he informed me he had had a psychotic episode that had caused him to jump off a cliff!  He is recovering from the resulting back injury.  Later in the chat he revealed that he was involved with alcohol and drugs - including psychedelics.  And so, that answered that question.  The Bible is clear that we should stay sober minded.  And Psychedelics are so deceiving: this guy was talking about the good it had brought into his life, specifically helping him realise how bad alcohol is.  Yet, not surprisingly, he still drinks to excess today.

Also unsurprising is his drift to new age religion.  He had started reading the Bhagavad Gita.

Anyway, through the chat I was able to labour with him in regard to the law and the gospel.   Yet, he wasn’t open to the gospel, because he wasn't appreciating the import of the law, and the serious nature of sin.  He did express an interest in reading the Bible, and he even accepted a gospel of John.  Praying this young man would come under conviction and be converted.  Yet, I leave him in God’s hands - God will be glorified through his justice if he rejects God’s mercy.

It had been a tiring conversation, so I spent some time handing out tracts.  In spite of all the people due to the Busking Festival, there wasn’t much interest.  I ended up over in Cathedral Square, where I tried to engage a young lad in conversation.  He wasn’t coherent, so I left him with a tract.

Back in Cashel Mall, I was still handing out tracts when an older gentleman stopped to engage.  It was a wonderful opportunity.  He had been wrestling with the issue of evolution vs creation - his resolution?  There must be God.  He was familiar with Christian teaching, but sadly he considered himself a very good person.  He was resistant to the law, and yet he was open for me to labour with him about it.  He also heard the gospel.

He said something very interesting that I will use in illustrations in the future.  He has had both prostate and bowel cancer, and has recovered from both.  Now, when he uses the bathroom in the morning, he praises God.  So, even horrible things like cancer can be good, in this case teaching us gratitude, and appreciation for the things we have - even the ability to go to the toilet!

This gentleman was also lonely, having recently lost his wife, and moving to Christchurch.  He needs salvation, and he needs the church!  He had an old and expensive KJV Bible, which he had never fully read.  So, I gave him a Gideon’s ESV Bible, and a church contact card with my number on it.  I also pray that he will come under conviction and be converted.  God have mercy!  Yet, I leave him in God’s hands.

On Saturday, the outreach started out quite slow (as did Sunday), but I ended up having a long chat with a young man who had had a rough life.  His sister had recently died, in prison.  As I shared the law and the gospel with him, he would stare into nothing, pondering deeply.  When I asked what he was thinking, he would explain things that had happened in his past.  One example was a bad car accident.  It led him to the question of: “why am I alive?”  He left with a tract, and I’m also praying for him.

After a slow start on Sunday, I ended up having a long chat with a young man.  He had also had trauma in his life, having been rejected by his Father.  He had philosophical tendencies (I.e., he was avoiding the truth).  I touched a nerve when I described the serious nature of sin when talking about pornography, but he quickly masked it.

During this chat, I had a young man break into the conversation.  I didn’t remember him, but he remembered me.  Apparently I first talked to him 2 years ago at the Canterbury A&P Show, and he had talked to me on the streets multiple times since then.  It was fascinating to see that the law and the gospel had had an effect on him.  Yet, he was still in suppression.  He explained how he was trying to hold the ball of truth under the water, I simply pointed out the flaw in his reasoning, and the ball burst up and hit him on the nose!  His Mum was with him, and calling him from down the street, but he wanted to engage.  As a compromise, I told him to go with his Mum, but to get in touch with me via socials!  I hope he does.

I finished the chat with the original young man, but all the interaction had gathered other people.  A pity I didn’t have more believers with me.  I was able to follow up with four people from Sydney who were on the cruise.  I was able to touch on the law and the gospel.  Three of the four of them took tracts as they moved on.

And then the original young man came back!  He had another question, which I answered, before I checked if he was understanding the gospel.  He got my question right!  God have mercy!

Please continue to pray for us, and even join us!  All glory to God alone.

View previous Christchurch (NZ) report (21 January 2024)


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.