Battle Log

Sunday 23 June 2024

Posted by Posted 23 June 2024, 12:23 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Some of my report for this week is going to be 2nd hand information: from Andy.  He had a very encouraging day on Friday.


But as I write this, I would normally be on the streets, but it’s pouring with rain, so I’m taking the option of working online this afternoon, where it’s dry!  Yes, I’ve had many wonderful conversations - even out in the wet and cold, and yet, I can have wonderful conversations in the warm and dry as well!


So, only 2 street outreaches this week.  In the city on Friday afternoon with Andy, and in Riccarton on Saturday morning.


But before I go further, I just want to mention that we have just confirmed a 2nd evangelism trip to the Philippines that I want to let you know about.  The team is going in September 2024 - Andy and I can’t make that one.  But, we are now also going in early March 2025.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to come out of your normal environment and focus on sharing the gospel with the lost in another cultural context.  We get to work alongside an awesome local church, Rock of Refuge in Manila, plus other churches as well in a shared mission to reach the lost with the gospel.  These trips are for a week and a half each.  If you’d like to learn more, and apply, check out the details here.


Okay, so now back to the usual report.


Andy had an amazing chat online on Friday morning.  It was with a young man who had already been considering the claims of Christ; a friend of his went through a very difficult time in his life, and as a result he came to Christ and so he had been witnessing to this guy, yet he wasn’t yet ready to commit.  Andy had the privilege of coming in and ‘closing the deal’ (I hate that term, because we are not selling anything, and yet, it conveys what happened).  Sometimes it helps to hear it from a different avenue I guess, but Andy was able to clarify concepts, answer questions and challenge him to respond.  He realised he had no reason not to do so.  What a joy!


Then on the street, he had a string of wonderful chats.  First with a group of 3 Americans (pictured).  After a few minutes, they warmed up to the conversation and engaged, asking good questions and hearing the good news of Jesus.


We then headed down towards Ara, attempting to strike up chats on the way.  Once at Ara, Andy had an amazing chat with a young Catholic high school student (also pictured).  The kid even had a Bible with him, and so Andy was able to use it to clarify concepts with him (from Romans).


While this was happening, I had a great chat with a young man called Nat.  Nat grew up within a Christian context and yet he was unsure about it all.  I had a wonderful opportunity to minister: clarifying the gospel and how we can know these things to be true.  I was also able to answer questions.  Eventually we walked down the street and found a good spot where we could sit and finish the conversation comfortably (there was a lot of traffic noise).  He thanked me at the end, as he moved on with a gospel tract.


Once that chat had finished, I noticed a large group of students - some of them I’ve talked to on previous outreaches.  I said hello, but none of them seemed interested in a chat.  By this stage Andy was with me, when a guy walked past and so I prompted him with: “Hey, can I ask you a question, it’s a deep one, what do you think happens after life?”  He engaged, and Andy and I ended up having a long conversation with him.  He was an atheist.  He understood that you can have infinite regresses; and yet he was stuck on the problem of “Who made God?”.  The answer is, because we can’t have infinite regresses, God must have had no beginning (and so needs no maker) because the universe did have a beginning (and so does need a maker).  When you think about it, the answer is clear, but he just couldn’t (or didn’t want to) see it.  I laboured with him for a few cycles before cutting to the law, and then the gospel.  We discussed evil and suffering.  But, sadly, it all seemed a bit wasted on him, he just didn’t see it.  Yet, the gospel is the power of God for salvation, in time it may bear fruit?  And at the very least, Andy and I got to bask in the wonder of the gospel for ourselves.  That Joseph understood that his brothers sold him into slavery so God could save his brothers just blows my brain!  God truly uses all things for the good of those who love him, and ultimately for his glory.


When I checked the time, the outreach was well past over.  So, we walked with this guy to his destination (the bus exchange) before heading off for a hot chocolate for ourselves.


I spent an hour in Riccarton on Saturday morning.  I had 2 special encounters.


The first was right at the beginning, the first person to walk past accepted a gospel tract.  She was a Muslim lady - she was interested in the front page of the flip chart.  It was a short chat, yet a powerful one.  She was trusting in her works, and the law seemed to pull the rug out from under her, before I was able to explain the good news of Jesus.  She accepted a tract.


Then I had a young man approach me, he knew me, but I didn’t remember me.  Once he gave me his name, a vague recollection came back.  He used to be a Christchurch Boys’ High student.  But he now works for a furniture removal company.  Sadly, he didn’t remember the gospel.  And so I was able to point him to it again.


Well, that’s the week.  I’ve got a few more hours of labour online before having a day off tomorrow.


God bless you as you take and even make opportunities to share the gospel with those around you this coming week.  Thank you for your prayer and support.


View previous Christchurch (NZ) report (16 June 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.