Saturday, 11th April 2009 - Brisbane
The Easter weekend was here, it is that time of the year when the churches all fill up on the Friday and Sunday, but then remain empty until Christmas. It is that special season when people all serve God with their lips, but in reality their hearts are far from Him. Yet, into this religious season we find ourselves being the busiest in comparison to any other season.
It has been drizzling rain all day so I expected a slower night in the city. For a city that is still officially in drought it is amazing how much rain we have been getting over the past few days and weeks. While some ministries refuse to work during the rain we have found that we get some of our best conversations happen when people are all taking shelter from the water.
The mall was near on deserted when we arrived at 9pm, and I must admit it was a bit discouraging, but as I looked up and down the mall I noticed a man dressed in a black leather jacket walking towards us. This man is familiar to us, he was no other than the “famed” Brisbane Atheist Alex. Once he was on the scene we knew it would be a night of ridiculous arguments from the atheist camp, but it would also serve to bring in the crowds to hear the gospel.
It was good to have my evangelist mentor from the “Young Evangelist Mentoring Group” to come out on the streets tonight. As I was setting up I noticed Graham Sercombe standing undercover talking to a young man about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Andre was the first preacher up for the night, his preaching has improved dramatically. His messages drip with theology and he presents it in a way that the common man can grasp and understand. He is also getting louder as a preacher which is really good. While Andre was preaching a group of Samoans surrounded him and began to speak really loud, to top it off Alex was walking back and forth screaming obscenities. Since Andre was being drowned out I moved in next to the Samoans and engaged them in a one to one conversation. Slowly I moved them out of the face of the preacher and began to reason with them. Like most Samoans they were religious but they hadn’t any idea when it came to knowing Christ personally. So I began to explain to them the gospel. One of the boys became distracted and walked off, but the other remained and listened. He was really open to the Good News about Jesus. It was then that I noticed that Graham had come alongside the other guy and was now engaging him in conversation. The group all took in-depth gospel tracts and a Gospel of John each. It was really encouraging to see these young men grasp the truth of the Scripture. Graham even got to pray for one of them.
By now Ryan was up preaching and Alex was still in there heckling. He stood before Ryan with his iPod on yelling abuse. This continued for some time. Alex would put an argument up but before Ryan could answer he would put his ear piece back in. The back and forth continued for some time. Finally two members from the Queensland Police Service who were walking past tapped Alex on the shoulder and told him to be quiet or move on. This stopped Alex in his tracks, he didn’t yell anything more for the rest of the night. Ryan continued to preach a good size crowd gathered around to hear the Gospel.
By now the night was getting on, and since I had been sick all week with a head cold I thought it would be wise to only preach a short 10 - 20 minute message. God however had other plans. As I began to preach a few people stopped including one man who was a Roman Catholic. He engaged me about how God is all forgiving, I showed him from the Bible that God is not all forgiving, but He will forgive on the basis of what Christ has done.
For forty five minutes I reasoned with this man and preached the Gospel of Christ. Afterwards there were many conversations about the gospel. May people get saved for His Glory!
Brisbane Team (Night) (QLD)
Meets every Saturday night in King George Square 7-10pm.
Brisbane Team (Day) (QLD)
Meets Wednesday afternoons 1-5pm in King George Square (near Adelaide St crossing).
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.