OPERATION 513 SUMMER OUTREACH
(14th July – 18th July 2009)
Our summer outreach has come and gone and looking back what an amazing time we had. It began on the Monday with the team arriving at our base of operations, Trinity Road Chapel. We all got settled in and spent a bit of time getting to know one another. Some of us of course already knew one another but others we were meeting for the first time. Rebecca had come all the way from Italy and Liz and her daughter Chloe had driven up from Hampshire. Matt had joined us from Plymouth and Andrew, Ben and Susi had come down from Essex. Our friend Robert from Africa joined us as he did last year and of course Dave and Anna Gee were with us from Sheffield. We also had people join us off and on during the week, those who could not commit to coming out each day.
Below are some photos from the first day preparations…
Each morning we would have a time of prayer and devotions and after breakfast we would head out, armed with Bibles, tracts, DVD’s, etc. It was such a blessing to have so much literature at our disposal. During the day we would head to places like Piccadilly Circus, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Covent Garden. Some open-air preach was done during this time but the majority of our preaching we reserved for the evenings. Each night was spent in Leicester Square as it is really is one of the best places for open-air and street evangelism.
On one of the nights David had a very long conversation with four Muslim girls. They listened, were interested, but disagreed and wanted to talk more. They came back on the Wednesday and brought their Father, Mother and most of their extended family. Dave was able to share the gospel with all of them, and even though it was not enthusiastically received, they heard the claims of Christ and the evidence that supports His exclusive claims and the contrast of the Bible with the Qu'ran. We pray that they will trust in the Saviour and not their good works and come to repentance and faith in Christ.
During one of the days at Covent Garden I was engaged with a young man named Lucas during an open-air preach. He had quite a few objections to Christianity and took an atheistic/evolutionary view to life. As we were talking a very angry heckler came my way and interrupted me a great deal and demanded that I talk with him. When I respectfully informed him that I was already talking with Lucas he dismissed that and when I said, "Sir, I am already talking with someone," his response was simply to become angrier and ask that I not call him "Sir," since he had never been knighted. It was obvious to me that anything I was going to say was going to fuel his anger. So I decided to refrain from talking altogether. Lucas stayed waiting, as did the rest of the crowd. In the past when I have been in similar situations and I have taken this approach the person has moved on. However this was not the case with our very angry heckler. So I decided to stop and come down from preaching. It was disappointing and my immediate concern was Lucas. However when I looked over I saw that he was still there. I went over to talk with him and we ended up having a one-to-one conversation for over an hour.
During the course of our conversation he came to understand why Jesus made the claims He did: that He is the only way to the Father and that there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved. He understood why Christianity presents itself as the only truth, through understanding man's great need, and that Jesus is only viable solution to man's dilemma. While I not excepting the command to repent and believe he did come to understand the Gospel and why Christianity is able to make such exclusive claims regarding man's salvation. It was quite amazing to see the change in him during out conversation and how he became more open as we talked. I am so grateful to the Lord that he can now make an informed decision regarding his eternal salvation. Do pray the Holy Spirit would draw him to the Son. He left with a gospel tract and said that he had enjoyed the conversation. I was very grateful to the Lord.
The outreach saw some open-air preaching for the first time from both Ben and Steve (from the London team). This was so awesome to see. Both Ben and Steve have been coming down from Essex each Friday night for over six months and have been throwing themselves into sharing the gospel with people on the street. Both have shared enthusiastically how much they have learnt during this time and how passionate and excited they are to reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have seen how much they have both grown and when it comes to this kind of evangelism it has to be said that it simply cannot be learnt in a classroom or from a book. You simply have to step out and learn through doing.
On the Thursday evening I had the great privilege of seeing two young lads make a profession of faith in Christ. With the rain pouring down the three of us stood under an umbrella and talked about the gospel. They listened and were certainly responsive and were clearly thankful for being helped to understand something they have never quite understood before. They are both young teenagers but they grasped the seriousness of the message and at the end were desirous of knowing the Lord. They both prayed by themselves for forgiveness and committed their lives to Christ. I have been in touch with them since then and have been greatly encouraged to hear that they have been reading their Bibles and a little booklet I gave them, called “Save Yourself Some Pain,” written by Ray Comfort. The booklet contains principles for new and growing Christians. I have not been able to meet up with them again since our time at Leicester Square but hopefully we will meet again soon.
That same night the heavens opened on us and the rain poured down. We all had to run for cover and do our best to see out the rain. It was quite an adventure trying to keep all the literature we had dry. Still, it was great fun and made for some great memories. It also gave us the opportunity to witness with those around us who had also run for cover.
“On one of the days at Covent Garden We had one 'interesting' meeting with a guy who claimed to work for the council and Police, who assured us we were not allowed to set up our bible table in a certain area as all the spots had already been taken. Dave and I got out the relevant Christian Institute documents (the law relating to Street Evangelism) and refuted his remarks, though he continued saying we were not allowed and if we didn’t move he would phone someone to move us on. However, 2 Police Community Support Officers came to our rescue. We explained the situation to them, and then they spoke with the man. It turned out he was just a magician doing a show, and was trying to move us out the way of his act in case we diverted attention away from them. The Police also said we could make a complaint against him for falsely impersonating a council worker. It was quite funny in the end, as he was wearing his bright red bowler hat, waistcoat and three quarter length trousers, with no ID, and so we should have guessed!” – Written by Matt Rolfe.
It had certainly been a great week. We praise God for His great favour we had. My home church was so good to us and the ladies who did the catering were such a blessing. We pray that all those who heard the gospel that week would never forget the great message of the gospel and that they would look to the Saviour and be saved!
Soli Deo Gloria!
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.