The Killarney Show is known to have rain most years and this year it was a wet one again but was much needed after some very dry months, so the show went ahead as usual. Wood chopping, horse jumping, all the fun of a country fair, there was also a reptile show teaching what to do if you encounter a snake in the bush, and a First Aid display which was good for us all to see.
There were two of us that set out for the day to share the wonderful news of Jesus.
Most people took tracts and were thankful.
Our first conversation was with an elderly gentleman who was struggling with his umbrella, after helping we gave him a comic book tract. What a privilege it was to talk with Graham. He shared some of his life story with us and the testimony of his grandparents bringing him up in strong Biblical teaching. He had some pretty rough trials as a teenager that tested his faith in Jesus.
We went through a few things as he was wanting to know about Mormon religion, which we went on to explain that they believe it is by grace you are saved after all you can do in this life to get their place in heaven. In contrast to the truth of "it is by grace we are saved through faith in Jesus and not any of our works so no man will boast." Ephesians 2:8-9. Our Salvation is in Jesus alone. We talked about sin, righteousness and judgement and he agreed and was thankful that Jesus has done all the work that is needed to save sinners through His life death and resurrection.
We chatted to Peter who was selling ice-cream, he was not open to the grace of God. We left a comic tract with him which he said that he would read, but shortly after walking away we offered a tract to a clown holding an ice-cream, who said he had just got one from Peter. So, we left him another tract on the mat of his ice cream van with a personal message written to please read.
We also met a Christian couple who had a stall at the show. They moved out of Warwick to Allora and haven’t been attending Church, we were the third lot of Christians from our Church at Allora to speak with them that week!! Pray they will come and join us in good teaching and fellowship soon.
As we were leaving we were so happy we got opportunities to get some Gospel tracts into the hands of some of these country folk. We pray for each one to be stirred in their heart to want to know more about Jesus and we pray they may be saved and ready for Eternity with our Glorious God.
All Glory be to our Lord Jesus
In our very seasonal state this is the time when most of us are most active and most people are willing to talk and discuss on a warm and sunny afternoon. Today was a great day all toll with many opportunities to present the gospel and many people from Hobart and abroad hearing it. The cruise ships continue to come into port and many people are keen to explore the city. This continues to be a great opportunity for outreach. Please pray that we will take advantage of the opportunity while it is here.
Also, the Elizabeth Street Mall is currently a somewhat more peaceful place to have evangelistic conversations, as Mr S. our regular heckler is currently not coming to disrupt our work. Whatever the secondary reasons we thank God for His kindness in allowing us freedom to outreach without Mr S.’s slanders and disruptions.
As in all things there is seasons of interest in some things and not others. This last couple of months there have been many wonderful conversations and interest in the preaching but not many taking tracts and bibles. Praise God that the word continues to go out!
Today whilst I preached at the end of the day there was a wonderful interaction during the preaching. A group of young people had gathered, some are Christians and non-Christians I know, and others were new faces. Among the new faces was a trio who were listening quite closely to the preaching as I expounded on God’s overflowing love to all kinds of people. I moved from God’s welcome to all people to the way that we are called to approach God. I spoke of the respect and “good manners” we should have when approaching the King of all kings. One of the young guys called out that "God is awesome" when I paused to find the right word to describe the … awesomeness of God. It was just the right word and began a conversation that lasted about 30 minutes!
We discussed the goodness of God and our sin which creates a real problem for us to come to God when He calls us. We are not good and God’s hatred for sin is powerful and we would perish if we came as we are. The justice of God is a good thing and we all hope that the wrongs of this world will one day be righted but it is still a fearful thing for us as sinners to fall in to the hands of God. We need mercy, not justice, don’t we? I asked the young guy. He nodded, that’s right!
With joy in my heart I shared with him and all the others listening the great news of Jesus’s saving work in life and in death. I spoke of the almighty one coming to bear the awful load of sin, the sin of all who will ever trust in Him. I spoke of the great love that is offered to them and offered for free, God paid the price for all who will come in faith in Jesus.
Afterwards there were many good conversations that followed, encouraging Christians and urging non-Christians to trust in Jesus. Praise God for His kindness in giving days like today!
It was an unusual day but as always an interesting time witnessing as one trusts our Lord, our ever-present Helper. I met a string of people who were agnostic and not seeking for the reason why we are here. However, we trust our Lord that He perhaps planted a seed of faith from the brief encounters and/or the tracts that were received. The first young lass I met seemed astounded that anyone would think about God. Still she listened politely and she may meet other Christians to challenge her. There was a young man who listened to the builder/building analogy embellished with some data on the finely-tuned universe that scientists have discovered. Another young man was not interested but engaged in a short conversation after I mentioned Carl Sagan who did not want to think about the possibility that God started creation. We did not get far before his bus arrived. He persisted with his assumption that 'one should do his best to improve himself' but thanked me for the chat. The middle-aged man I gave a '150 year' tract to simply chuckled and said he never bothered with thinking about things like that. Then his phone rang.
May the Lord be pleased to awaken complacent deluded people who are content to drift through life. May we keep on thanking God for the privilege of serving Him and trying to tell others of His good news. Praise His holy name.
On Wednesday during our weekly outreach in Brisbane city, one of the King George Square underground bus station entrances was closed for repair, but it was interesting to see the number of people who were walking towards the entrance (in the quick city manner) and then come to an abrupt stop just centimeters away from the closed door. They remain there for a few seconds in shock that the door is closed for them, before realising they have to go in the other entrance 50 metres away.
So one person on the team used this as an opportunity to say to a number of them, "Heaven's door will be shut one day too, are you ready?" And it got many people thinking about eternal matters.
It reminded me of the Scripture - "When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’" (Luke 13:25)
People think that they have plenty of time; there is no urgency to get right with God yet. But to the contrary, "today is the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:2). And shouldn't this motivate us to want to get out there and share our faith?
The outreach at Woodridge today was fruitful with plenty of good conversations with people about eternal matters. We got to speak with some that thought they would go to heaven based on their own goodness, others who thought death was the end of them, but at the end of each conversation, the person was appreciative for the chat and was going to now think about what was said.
One chat the team had was with a young man named Zaleek who listened as the gospel was explained to him. But he said that he is not prepared yet to trust in Christ and make Him his number 1 in life.
I said this, "Imagine if you found out today that you had a very serious disease and only have one month left to live on this earth. You hear that there is a cure of it but it costs a million dollars to buy it and you don't have that kind of money. But then, one of your friends decides to sell everything he has - his car, his house,his clothes, everything - and buys the cure for you and gives it to you as a free gift. That would be amazing right?" Zaleek agreed.
"But let's say you grab the cure in your hand and you tell your friend, ' Well I'm not ready to take it yet. I'm just going to put it on my shelf at home, it might even make a nice decoration.' Well it wouldn't be long before you'd be breathing your last and your friend would realise what he did was a waste because you didn't use it."
"So in the same way, we have a serious disease called sin that we have done and it is sending us to Hell. We can't fix it. But Jesus has not just given up everything he owns, He has given up His own life to die for our sins, and He offers forgiveness to you today, and you're like 'I know Jesus you went through all that to provide forgiveness for me, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to take it yet. Maybe later on in life.' Yet not realising that tonight could be your very last night. You'd basically be spitting in the face of Jesus despite what he has already done for you."
Zaleek began to see the urgency of what we were talking about and the foolishness of rejecting what Jesus has done on the cross for all those who believe. Please pray that he comes to believe it for himself and counts the cost of following Christ.
To God be all the glory!
"The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few…” (Matt 9:37)
The first country outreach mission for 2018, into the local country town of Warwick, saw God’s deep desire to reach the lost in our sunburnt outback.
God had already gone before us and prepared the way for His glory. As 5 of us began sharing the gospel, it was encouraging to see many hearts were open to hear the Gospel and there was, by God’s grace, much fruit. However, for so long it seems people have been living in darkness. As dry and as hard is the ground, so it is with many of the hearts of the people. There is such a great need for labourers to work in the fields; for prayer, for evangelism, for a fresh flow of the rivers of living waters in the country towns of Australia.
Farmers breakup the fallow ground to sow the seeds for their crops but the church has not broken up the fallow ground of the hearts of the people through prayer (Hosea 10:12). Sowers sow seeds to reap at the end of the season, yet the seeds of God’s word has been withheld and there are few to go and reap the harvest (Matt 13:1-23)
“…behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (John 4:35)
Prayer requests from the outreach:
- Pray for Wyatt, who is 13, heard the Gospel clearly and understood God’s Justice and was challenged to forsake his sin and trust in Christ. He joyfully took a New Testament Bible after hearing the Gospel.
- Pray for Ian and Bev, who were very open to the Gospel and “Not far from the kingdom of God” (Matt 12:24). They took a New Testament bible gladly and said they will read it. They were open, they understood and were thankful for the Gospel. This was one of the most encouraging testimonies of the Day.
- Please pray for Mr James Lister, LNP Member of Parliament for Southern Downs, who gladly heard the Gospel message and been challenged to trust in Christ for his salvation. This was a God ordained meeting for the local politician to hear the Gospel. (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
- Pray for Banjo and his sister who were visiting from Gold Coast. They were confronted with God's law and and how only through Christ can they have victory over sin and death and enter heaven. They were deeply challenged by God's Word and Banjo was moved to tears. They were encouraged to come to Faith church on the Gold Coast.
- Pray for Lawson, a young guy who believed in God but had not truly repented and trusted in Christ to save him. He was open to the Gospel message and said he will read his Bible. Pray that he is truly born again.
We thank all of those who have been praying and made this trip possible. PLEASE continue to pray for God to work in the hearts of the people who heard the gospel message and are yet to hear as there is still much work to be done in many more of these country towns.
To God be all the Glory!
A day when the teenagers were relatively receptive compared to their parents. e.g. Tom and Presley heard it all and when they met up with their Dad, they said look at te tracts that we got, sounding well-pleased. Dad, in the meantime also had received a tract but he said that he believes in Jesus and ignores the Bible. He said that since man was made in the image of God, he looks within himself to find some aspect of divine nature . Ryan was able to bring some Scriptures into the chat but only God knows if that Dad heard. He said he was willing to risk being wrong. So much for subjective conjecture when the objective Truth is laid out in th Holy Bible.
A young R.C. couple, Dan and Danielle were eager to hear.
God does His saving work through His servants who are so grateful for the privilege of serving the all-glorious One true and living God.
To Him be the glory!
After praying, we headed to our initial contacts. There were some encouraging chats although quite short due to bus arrivals. e.g. Meghal works door-to-door and finds it hard. However she related her view that all religions teach the same basics. We agreed that God is perfect and so must heaven be; we are all imperfect. I had time to point out the uniqueness of salvation by trusting in the perfectly righteous Lord Jesus Christ whose death perfectly met God's demand for the offenses of his people. She agreed that most religions teach that we must do something to earn God's favour. She was most appreciative and will check it out some more. We pray that she sees that all religions are not the same and Christianity is unique and true so that she may seek the Lord while He may be found.
One particularly difficult middle-aged lady, A., had severely distorted God's revelation of Himself so that she claims to love God but to hate Jesus??? Thankfully a visit to the necessarium left Lee-Anne free to move on to a young man who said that we are born into sin and he wasn't too bad. Going through the law and gospel, he was encouraged to lean on Jesus alone.
Renee, an engaging young Buddhist, chatted freely. She asked for my testimony in which I stressed the Personality of God. I challenged her to seek the Truth that will set her free, cf. Jn. 8:32, and she said that she would check out the authority of the Bible.
God is at work and we give Him for helping us and using us: to Him alone be glory and praise!
Yangon, Myanmar (30 January - 8 February 2018)
The team has arrived safely in Myanmar and spent this afternoon getting to know the local translators that are helping us. We even had an hour to spare to head out onto the streets and hand out some tracts.
It is surprising how interested the local people are in taking Gospel tracts and talking about God. Unlike a normal afternoon in Australia where it is hard work to hand out tracts or speak with people, here in Myanmar people will line up for tracts and will happily engage! They aren't even phased by the language barrier or translator!
One man to pray for was one of the taxi drivers from this morning who is a Buddhist. After some talk about God he mentioned that for the last 30 years his brother in-law and sister have been sharing with him about Jesus!
Please be praying for the energy levels of the team as the week has just begun and we are already quite tired.
Please also pray that God will continue to bring along people specifically to hear the Gospel - people He has been preparing beforehand.
Check out this short video update from the team in Myanmar about yesterday's outreach.
As the team continues in Myanmar there are more and more encouraging stories!
It has been really a priviledge to be a part of even the last three days. There are testimonies of people wanting to surrender to Jesus as Lord and plenty of seeds sown. We praise the Lord that another 30,000 to 40,000 gospel tracts were able to be handed out yesterday.
We are comforted to know that it is God who converts a person, and as the seeds get scattered, we know that God will make them land where He wants them to. The local pastors we have been working with have been receiving lots of calls from people wanting to find out more information about Christianity as a result of the tracts too.
Please keep praying for the team as they head out. Please pray that we are reminded of God's love for us in the Gospel and strengthened by the Holy Spirit!
One short testimony is of a conversation with a young local girl. She hasn't been educated past preschool but after a thirty minute discussion begun to understand the depths of the Gospel. Please be praying that she shall trust in Jesus, with the simple knowledge of the Gospel that she has!
Hear some testimonies of God's providence and use of the team in Myanmar on their third day.
After an encouraging weekend visiting some orphanages and local Churches, the team once again headed out to the streets of Yangon City, Myanmar.
Today was spent in a different area which is densely populated with Muslims. As a result many of the conversations that were had today happened with Muslims.
It is a great encouragement to see the translators that are with the team getting more confident to share about Christ on their own. It is a priviledge to see other Christians improve their skills in evangelism and to see their desire grow!
One interesting conversation today was with a Buddhist man named Hartool, who was certain that he was good enough to get to Heaven. We had a lengthy conversation with him, and gave him a Bible and asked him to read it. Please pray that God would change his heart, by the power of the Holy Spirit through the reading of the Word.
It was encouraging to see 35,000 people take gospel tracts from us today.
Please keep the team in prayer, that we will continue to be encouraged by the Gospel we are preaching and be motivated by God's love toward us.
Hear two team members in Myanmar share about some of their recent encouragements! Hear some prayer requests and enjoy seeing some locals hearing or reading the Gospel.
As the ten days in Myanmar draws to a close, the team has handed out over two hundred thousand gospel tracts! That is, over 200,000 people in this country who now have a clear presentation of the gospel in their possession. Praise be to God!
God has been gracious in sustaining the team and there is only one final outreach left tomorrow. In our outreaches, we have met a number of local Christians which we were able to encourage to press on for the sake of the Gospel!
As a result of the tract distribution many people have been contacting the number on back of the tract asking for more information about Jesus. Please pray that all those who have called will understand the Gospel clearly, turn in repentance to Jesus and will become a part of a local Church.
It's encouraging to see that most of the days we have had people who have come to make professions of faith in Christ, leaving Buddhism behind.
Please keep all those who have received tracts in your prayers, that they will be read, cherished and will by the power of God lead many to salvation.
It was another interesting day in our Lord's service. There was a young Lebanese woman who was most appreciative of our chat.
There was a young J.W. man who was a bit apprehensive at first but we ended with a respectful challenge to one another. I asked him to ponder Mt. 28:20 and how Jesus could keep His promise to be "...with you always...'' since He left and ascended into heaven. He gave me Ps. 83:18 which I rejoice to submit to in the light of progressive revelation!
Thanks for praying and remember the other outreaches and the team in Myanmar.
To God be the glory for He alone is worthy.