Schoolies is a week long time of celebration for thousands of school leavers who have just finished grade 12. The vast majority of them converge on Surfers Paradise where the government funds nightly dance parties on the beach.
Even though many want to come to schoolies in order to sin, schoolies provides a great opportunity for us to share the gospel with the school leavers, as they are at a crossroads in their life.
Here are some updates from the week:
The first night of Schoolies Outreach at the Gold Coast went well. It is such a great opportunity to talk to these teenagers about eternal matters.
A number of the schoolies came to understand the gospel, and so we encouraged them to count the cost first, but at the same time, to not delay in getting right with God.
Day 2 & 3
The third night of Schoolies outreach has just finished.
As the week rolls on, some of the Schoolies are becoming more and more dissatisfied with the partying and are very willing to stop and chat.
We have seen again tonight many who love their sin and want to keep going in it, but also some who are really considering the message of the gospel.
Please pray God will draw these Schoolies to Himself. Pray also for energy and strength for the team to continue faithfully making Christ known.
Day 4 of Schoolies outreach is complete.
We have been talking to heaps of different Schoolies each day, but it has been great talking to a number of the same schoolies each day, expanding on the message with them, answering their questions, and pleading with them to repent and believe.
We got to hand out a few gospel of John's tonight for those who were really interested. A couple people were even welling up with tears.
This afternoon, we happened to meet Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis who was walking through Surfers Paradise with his family.
It has been a very worthwhile outreach. But one of the saddest things we have been seeing is not the fact that many schoolies are drunk or taking drugs, but that there are a bunch of professing Christians that have been standing nearby us teaching the schoolies a man-centred love-only false gospel.
They would sometimes even interrupt our conversations with the schoolies to say that what we are saying is wrong. One of the them could not control his anger that he threatened to punch one of the team. The police quickly dealt with him, fining him for being a public nuisance and moved him on.
Thankfully, God is sovereign and His word never returns void. So for the hundreds of schoolies we spoke to today, they will never be the same - they have heard the gospel, and are accountable for what they do with it. Please pray that God would save many of them.
Day 5 & 6
This afternoon's outreach at Surfers Paradise was productive with a number of the schoolies being concerned where they are going when they die and are counting the cost of coming to trust in Christ for their salvation.
One sad thing to hear today was from one of the schoolies that we talked to last night who very open to the message and even took a gospel of John from us, after our conversation she was told by another "Christian" group to not listen to anything she heard from us and to not read the gospel of John because it is wrong.
But it was good seeing her today and being able to encourage her again to start reading God's word.
Last night the rain came down very heavily just before midnight, which meant most of the schoolies headed back to their apartments for cover.
Despite the rain, we still had many fruitful conversations. We leave the results in God's hands.
Schoolies outreach 2014 has come to a close. Thanks for your prayers.
10,000 gospel tracts were handed out this week. Praise God! We won't know their full effect until Heaven. We sow the seed but God gives the growth.
These school leavers have been eternally impacted. Whether they come to faith or not, they have been told the message and so they will be even more accountable on Judgement day.
Please pray for the thousands of people we spoke to and handed out tracts to, that God may draw them to Himself.
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.