Many things that happened on this outreach will not be included in these reports, apologies beforehand if I forget names or details. I believe that Josh Williamson and Kevin Williams have also got reports going up soon.
On Saturday morning we arrived in south London after a long trip down from Sheffield. We spent some time catching up with Robert, Peter and Josh at Robert's house (he was kind enough to allow us to stay at his house over the weekend). From there we all headed back into London to do some site seeing and witnessing. On the tube to Wesley's chapel Josh preached to the people riding the tube, it had to be short because of the distance between stops. Afterwards almost everyone took tracts and we had to scoot out of the train as it was our station.
We found much to our disappointment that the chapel and house of John Wesley were closed for the afternoon and also the graveyard bunhills field was also closed. What is a greater disappointment to us is the fact that the Methodist church, that Wesley and other Godly men began, is currently ordaining homosexual men and women to preach. This goes directly against what Wesley believed and more importantly against what the bible teaches us.
Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?
(1 Timothy 3:2-5)
We left this sad scene of decay and went to Tower Hill, the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. At the top of Tower Hill Robert preached, people stopped to chat and again the people present took tracts gladly (and politely!). As Josh took photos of the tower and the bridge we stopped beside the entrance to the tower and I began to preach on the traitors of mankind in their duty to mankind. I was interrupted by one of the beefeater guards who informed me that I was preaching on private land and must stop. I wrapped up quickly and stepped down as we didn't know if we were on private land or not. After a little more tracting we headed home for dinner and rest.
Sunday morning came around bright and mild (surprising to say the least in winter!), Josh and Peter went to the Metropolitan Tabernacle and with Rob's younger brother James we headed to Trinity Road Chapel. The Chapel is in Tooting and had offered us the privilege of staying at their church hall for the week's outreach, a very generous offer we gladly accepted. At the church we met the pastor Doug McMasters and many others and were very warmly welcomed into the church. During the service I made a small presentation of what we were doing during the week and thanking the church for their support. I also asked for their prayers and support, something we always have need of (please take note if you're reading this!!!).
After an excellent sermon we had a fellowship lunch with the church family, meeting many friendly faces. From this time another member was added to the team for part of the week. Joe approached me after the service and asked to join us for the start of each day and I gladly agreed.
We traveled from here to speakers corner in Hyde park to have a look at the preachers that gather their each week to give the Gospel. When we arrived there were many preachers, some giving the gospel of Christ, a couple of muslim apologists, others atheistic speaches, and others just having a rant. We just mingled with the crowd for a while but pretty soon Rob, James and I were all drawn into debates with muslims. I debated far too long and too loud against the assertion (with only the qu'ran and man's faulty logic to back it) that Jesus could not be God and that the incarnation is a lie. Yet it is written:
Day One Tuesday 22nd
Tuesday began with everyone full of enthusiasm and ready to witness so after devotions and breakfast we trooped off to the local tube station and headed to Leister square. On the way many of the team where able to witness to people on the train and going to the train many tracts were given to the locals, this became the standard approach for the team for the entire outreach.
There were relatively few people in the square when we arrived, so we began tracting the people passing through. During this time one-to-ones began to start as people wanted to know about the tracts. Anna began a discussion with one of the local law officers who didn't want us to stop but rather wanted to discuss his eternal destination. Rob H, Barnabas, and myself also had good conversations with people and the gospel was proclaimed in written and verbal form as the team worked down through the square.
At the ticket booth for discount tickets there was a line of people waiting and so Rob H and Josh both preached to the staff and their customers. As often is the case one of the listeners didn't like the conviction of their sinfulness, and so a member of staff yelled abuse while the preachers out of love told of Christ's work to save him if he would turn from his sin and have faith.
We walked the short distance into Trafalgar square, intending to witness to the crowds in the square. While the team was tracting all of the passing people and many one-to-ones where going on, Josh and I set up a preaching post at the base of the wall for the National gallery. Josh preached and while no-one stopped for long a camera crew working the area heard God's righteous demands and of their sinfulness and of the risen saviour Jesus Christ. As Josh finished the team continued to tract the area and offered them to the film crew also.
After a break in the warmth of the gallery we moved the preaching post to facing the gallery hoping to preach to those going there. Rob began to preach and was doing excellently until his voice showed the strain of his recent flu and he was forced to stop, another preacher down and out for the day! Josh tagged into the preaching and engaged a young American Jew named Simon. He went through the law with Simon revealing his sin before God, and gave him the glorious gospel showing God's great mercy and grace.
Afterwards a catholic man came wanting to discuss the preaching with Rob and Josh, so while this was happening Kevin got up and preached further to the crowds. He did an excellent job and the team were giving out tracts at a rate of knots. The team continued to tract and one-to-one in the square until lunch, during this time I was able to engage a group of four youth and share with them the good news, please pray for Sam, Kim, Jack and Joe and the many other people who heard the word s of eternal life.
After lunch at marble arch we all headed for Paddington, but due to many delays and a stop to get supplies we were at the tube station exactly when Josh was due to do phone fishing for Way of the Master Radio. We split the team and some headed to Tower hill and some staying for phone fishing.
During the interviews for the radio show a man begged David for some cash as he was on the street, responding to his greater need David began to witness to him. When the conversation was over the man was in tears repenting of his sin!! Praise God that He works in the hearts of men and brings new life to those dead in sin! Pray that he will continue on in the faith and find a good church where he will be built up and taught well.
Meanwhile the other part of the team arrived at tower hill at exactly the right time to have Peter preach to the “Jack the Ripper” tour group before they left for their tour. After the preaching almost every team member had a cluster of people around them asking questions as they again proclaimed the gospel. Praise God that many took tracts and a couple even took bibles. Pray that God will use these and the preaching of His word to convict of sin and call the lost to the saviour.
Day Two Wednesday 23rd
Today’s focus was on the Tooting area and we planned to preach at Robert’s local preaching point and do door to door witnessing around the church.
First stop of the day was Tooting Broadway tube station where we proclaimed the word to those passing and Peter preached the gospel clearly to the crowds as they went to work. During this time the team ensured that many tracts were given out and I saw some one-to-ones happening and the gospel going out to the many who are on the broad way to distruction.
We packed up after the morning rush and headed back to Trinity road to knock on doors around the church. We had with us packs holding literature and bibles supplied generously by the Trinitarian Bible Society, information about the church and of course a gospel tract. Most people welcomed these packs and by the time we had done only a couple of streets around the church we had almost exausted our supply. During this time Anna had quite a few good conversations, she was able to speak with a lady who's husband goes to the church cafe. David had someone invite him back to chat some more the following day. Kevin also talked for quite some time with a muslim man in the drycleaners across from the church and he wants to speak further with people from the church.
After lunch we headed back down to Tooting Broadway where Robert preached (praise God his voice appeared to be improving!) to the passing crowds. Josh again had Way of the Master Radio phone fishing and I heard that there were some great interviews done.
For the rest of the evening the team handed out tracts and talking with the locals. As always I never see all the encounters that happen and there are more one-to-ones than I think, but I saw Josh reasoning with some Jehovah’s witnesses, David discussing eternity with some teens, and Anna bravely giving the gospel of hope to Deeno, a Muslim man who left convicted but clinging to the justification of Islam. I had the privileged of speaking with Rafique a French Muslim who unfortunately believes that he will be justified before God because of his good deeds and moral stance. I struggled to show him his danger before almighty God who will not be corrupt and ignore sin but rather will punish wickedness wherever He finds it.
The end of the evening was possibly the most encouraging of the day. We had one of the local police officers come up and say that they (the local police) need us to preach the gospel in the streets of Tooting more! Officer Hurley also asked us to pray for the police department of Tooting, that they would have more resources for their work. This coming from a non-Christian was encouraging to say the least; pray that the message she heard preached would convict and renew her heart by the Holy Spirit’s sovereign work.
Day Three Thursday 24th
This morning we headed to Tower Hill and planned to have the morning spent preaching to the tourists that gather to see the Tower and the nearby bridge. Unfortunately as soon as we arrived and began to witness to people the local manager of the area came and told us that we were not welcome and as it is private land we had to leave. So in accordance with Romans 13 we left and began witnessing at Tower Hill for the next hour.
From here we travelled over to Buckingham Palace to witness to the many people that gather there to take photographs. In front of the palace we had some excellent one-to-one conversations, amusingly Josh and Anna (both Aussies) both kept bumping into Australians. Josh began one conversation with a couple only to find that they were Christian religious education teachers from Perth! David had the rare opportunity of witnessing to a friend that had been a soldier in Iraq and was now open to hear the gospel after having seen so much death. I spoke with a young Swedish couple for half an hour showing them their sin under the microscope of God’s law that reveals all our sin. God be praised by the end of the conversation their mouths were stopped and they heard the glorious good news of the work of Jesus to save sinners. They took tracts and a bible as they left for their plane home. Pray for these young people, that God would sovereignly change and save them. Anna also spoke to an asian man named Minh who heard the whole gospel and left with a bible.
Kevin then preached on the steps of the monument in front of the palace and loudly proclaimed the sovereignty of God over all of us, exulting the great name of God the king over all kings. During the preaching the many tourists in the area sat or stood watching and listening to the message of hope, we praise God that he made it possible for them to hear and pray they would receive the preached word and flee to the saviour.
After Kevin finished preaching the team gave tracts to the gathered people and again many one-to-ones started. At this point the police arrived to ask what we were preaching in front of the palace, on hearing the message they said there was no problem with us preaching there and then gave us permission to preach in Westminster if we wished. The only request the officers made was that we give them notice the next time we intend to preach and that we stop for today, which was fine as we were about to head home anyway.
After a long break in the afternoon the team headed to Leister square to preach to the crowds that gather for a night of west-end entertainment. Joining us for the evening was Allan and a friend from his church, it is always an encouragement to have others with us and we were grateful for them coming. Rob was first up preaching and while he proclaimed the law of God and the gospel a crowd gathered to hear him. Engaging one of the listeners Rob went through the good person test with them giving a solid defence for the gospel against the objections and again his voice held as he preached (praise be to God!). After the preaching many one-to-ones began and one interaction that was interesting was between Rob and a member of a well-known heavy metal band. Though not a Christian, this guy was happy to hear the gospel preached and encouraged Rob to continue preaching in Leister.
After the one-to-ones finished Josh preached, beginning with the stalker that we all have – death. While speaking of our uncertain position in this world and the judgement to follow, a man named Dave heckled Josh. This began a long series of hecklers and a crowd gathered around for most of the preaching many taking tracts as they left, may God use what they all heard of the gospel even if in part only. The objections raised were mostly the standard ones: ‘there is no God’, ‘science and evolution disproves the bible’, ‘what about suffering and other religions?’ etc.
The rest of the team was busy working through the crowd to give out as many tracts as possible and talk with those on the fringes. I had three interesting encounters, one encouraging and two not so encouraging. The discouraging encounters were with ‘Christians’, one deneighs the bible and God even though studying theology at Eaton. His knowledge had puffed him up with pride and the gospel was not welcome in his life and sadly he left scoffing. The other was the sadder encounter was with a young man who openly admitted to drunkenness, promiscuity, drug abuse and blasphemed God’s Holy name as we spoke. Despite this he claimed to be a Christian because he had been taught this from the pulpit and by the people of a well known charismatic church. In an attempt to show him that he was deceived I reasoned with him from the bible taking him to:
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
All of this he laughed off or jeered at and le ft as he informed me that the team and I were not Christians. I could not help but think of the responsibility of those who had taught this young man to embrace sin and formalism, surely he will curse his pastors for not giving him the truth if his end is eternal punishment.....
Encouragingly I also saw a homosexual couple standing near me as the preaching was happening, one partner was trying to pull the other away but he would not leave wanting to stay and hear the gospel. As they left I gave the man wanting to stay a tract and the look on his face was of deep conviction, he immediately began to read. God is sovereign and will call who He will!
Anna spoke to one of the local sign holders who was nearby, I think that he must have gotten the gospel from almost every member of the team! During the preaching she also spoke with two young muslim men Esam and Ash, both of them were under heavy conviction of sin after hearing the gospel. Anna had offered them both bibles and though at first they did not want them, after about half an hour these same young men came back wanting the Word of God! Not only that but they took the details of Trinity Road Chapel. Pray that they would come to trust in the true saviour.
Two police officers also were walking throughout the crowd and listening during the preaching, I later found out that they were chasing pickpocket’s (God be praised for the authorities He has given us for our protection!). When Josh stepped down the officers approached him, and again I heard a street preacher commended by the law for his preaching. Not only this one of the officers wanted to know what he must do in order to be saved, Josh joyfully gave him the gospel again. As he left the officers was saying he would think on the matter and get right with God!
There were many other interactions that went on throughout the night but space does not permit them all. Needless to say the team went home rejoicing to have seen the Lord moving in Leister Square that night!
Day Four Friday 25th
The last day of the outreach is often the hardest with little energy left in anyone, but this day we again saw the Lord move to display His strength in our weakness.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
First stop for the day was Westminster abbey where we met Rian, Dolph and Dolph’s two friends. In the area of the abbey we handed out tracts and discussed the gospel with all who passed. Dolph got into a conversation so in depth that he ended up walking several blocks with the people involved. Many tracts were given and I also saw Rian and David in conversations proclaiming the gospel. May God use the tracts and burn the message of sin, righteousness, and judgement onto the hearts of those who received tracts or who we spoke with.
The team travelled from Westminster to Covent Gardens, there a gain to speak the gospel and watch God gloriously work in the hearts of men and women. Halfway to the gardens Josh, Peter and my self were stopped by people wanting to know what the tracks were about. The man who stopped me had picked up one I didn’t even know I’d dropped! Michael asserted that there was no God and that the bible was outmoded when we began, by the end though it became clear through the law of God that he didn’t want to believe the evidence before him because he loved his sin. I gave him the gospel though he did not want to hear it, I hope and pray that God the Spirit will hound him until he submits to the Almighty One.
The rest of the team had gone onto the gardens and when we arrived they were already busy engaging in one-to-ones and handing out tracts. Anna was speaking with a young man from a charity organisation about the million pound question, would he go to heaven? Their conversation lasted some time and Anna contended for the faith and gave him the truth about himself and pointed him to the only saviour of sinners Jesus Christ. While this was happening a lady and her son who wanted to know more about the tracts stopped me. They were Christians and so I encouraged them to witness wherever they are and look for opportunities. The young man took a handful of tracts to give to his schoolmates, may God use him to witness in his school mightily!
Further into the gardens we set up a preaching point and Rob was up to preach first and as always gave a solid declaration of God’s word to this lost and darkened world. After Rob finished and the crowd dispersed I got up to preach for the first time in the outreach, I felt like Paul bringing no clever arguments and being nothing exciting as a speaker. I began to preach on evolution and how it makes a monkey of all who will swallow this fairy story masquerading as scientific fact. From this I began to speak on the law on our hearts and God’s just demands, enter Felix and his friends. Catching his gaze I called to Felix ‘YOU sir, are you right and good in the eyes of God?’, from here I poured out my heart to this young man. I spoke of the law, showing him his sinfulness and great danger before the Holy Judge, of his danger in death and of his uncertainty when that would be. He listened carefully as I spoke of the risen saviour that he must flee to for cleansing and forgiveness. He took the tracts I offered him and his friends and he left with a serious look on his face and a promise that he would seek God in prayer and in the bible. Exulting that God should use one as unworthy as me I closed and stepped down.
Josh got up to preach next and he spoke to the people Covent Garden of the stalker of death and the certainty of God’s just judgement of our every word, deed and idle word. A couple of people gathered around to hear the preaching and Josh challenged one man to give his perspective on the preaching. The man was a Muslim and so deneighed the deity of Jesus and accused Josh of preaching from a corrupted book. Josh pointed him to a greater problem he had, the book he sees as holy – the Qu’ran contradicts history. This is seen in Sura 4:157 where it is claimed that Jesus Christ was not crucified. This is a blatant contradiction of history, even the non-Christian historians Tacitus, Pliney, and Josephus agree with the claims of the bible that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and rose from the dead three days later. Josh then questioned him, which would he believe a book written at the time of a major world event or one written 600yrs later? The man agreed that common sense demands you trust the eyewitness account and not the later account. Lastly Josh confronted him with the comparison between Jesus and Muhammad; Jesus walked on water Muhammad road a camel, Jesus said love your enemies Muhammad said kill the infidel (Sura 9:5), Jesus made blind men see Muhammad made seeing men blind, Jesus made lame men walk Muhammad made sound men lame, Jesus said bless the little children Muhammad slept with a nine year old (Eyisha whom he married when she was six and took sexually at nine according to the Ahadith).
At this point the preaching was interrupted by security guards who were concerned that the man gladly shaking the preacher’s hand was getting offended. So in accordance with Romans 13 Josh stopped preaching further but we made sure that the crowd all got tracts and spoke further with those who would.
We finished the outreach at this point, encouraged and exulting in what God had done but tired we made our way back to Trinity Road for one last night of fellowship before we all went our seperate ways home. Truly it has been written:
Special Outreaches (QLD, Australia)
Australia Day (26 January)
ANZAC Day (25 April)
Christmas Outreaches (December)
New Years Eve (31 December)
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.