Battle Log

London Team

Friday, 11 December, 2009

Posted by Posted 15 December 2009, 10:45 PM by Rob Hughes. Permalink

Preaching in LondonTonight was a great evening. We began by meeting for a time of fellowship and devotions at Cafe Nero. It was wonderful to have a good turn out and everyone was excited to be out to share the Gospel.

We arrived in the Square and I began to get things organised for the night. Andrew was not with us, which meant that the preaching fell to me only. Our ministry is now quite facetted and along with the open-air preaching we also have the sign-boards that we use, along with the many gospel tracts that we hand out. Below and to the left is a picture of Lesley using one of the sign-boards, with the question: “Ask me the meaning of life.”

The boards work really well and the result has been that many conversations have been initiated by them. Our aim is for people to hear the Gospel, whether it be through an open-air preach or through one-to-one conversations. Of course, open-air preaching leads into one-to-one conversations and it’s wonderful when the two work together like that.

Street evangelism is very dynamic and each Friday night is always different. Often it’s a case of waiting to see how the evening plays out. That said, I do believe it important to have a structure to the evening. To this end I have decided that the open-air preaching ought to take place first. This is because it is a team exercise. When the preacher stands up to preach it makes a huge difference for him to have a “mock crowd” in front of him. People draw people and it is the aim of every open-air to draw in a crowd. In addition to this, the Christians in the crowd have the responsibility of observing those who take an interest in the preaching so that they can engage them in one-to-one conversation. This was the plan for Friday night, although events transpired in such a way that we had to abandon the plan. This is not a bad thing and it cannot be prevented, the key point is that we do have a plan for the evening so that we are focused and directed in what we are doing. 

Lesley holding a sign-boardAs I was getting ready to preach a man approached me and asked if I had preached yet. I was a bit surprised and so I asked him how he knew that I would be preaching. He said that he had seen me preach five times previously and that he had taken photos each time (the camera he had used was in his hand). I told him that I was almost ready to preach but had a few more things to do. He seemed pleased and asked if I could give him something to read as he waited, as he could see that we had various tracts and booklets, etc. Just before I stood up to preach he came to ask me about something he had read in the booklet I had given him. I had given him a Gospel of John and in the front of the booklet it says the following: “The Bible is the greatest work of literature, the most accurate record of ancient history, and the most profound book ever written.” He took issue with this and argued that the Bible could not be completely accurate and trustworthy, since it had been written by sinful man. I realised that the preaching would have to wait and that I needed to address his objection. I looked around and was pleased to see that my team had begun to engage people in conversation. The man I was talking to introduced himself as Patrick and as we continued to talk I recognised him from having spoken to Susi the week before. He seemed to believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life and that they had played a role in human history. As we were talking another man came up to us and pushed his way into the conversation. This can be a tricky thing to deal with and it does mean that you have to take control of what is happening, to the best of your ability.

The man who had joined our conversation asked concerning Andrew and I realised that they had spoken before. He had in his hand what appeared a Muslim booklet/tract that quoted various verses from the Bible, which called in to question the Deity of Christ, etc. He was becoming very difficult to deal with and I repeatedly had to ask him to be fair and allow me to respond to what he was saying. Patrick noticed too that he was not being fair and asked him the same. It did not help and eventually I had to say to him that I would no longer be talking to him, since he had no desire to be fair but instead wanted to dominate the conversation. I found it interesting when he said to me that he was not a Muslim and in fact did not hold to any religion, yet he seemed intent on showing Christianity to be full of supposed errors. My biggest concern was Patrick. I had given him my best attention and hoped that he appreciated this and also that he understood my decision to walk away from the conversation. I could no longer continue my conversation with Patrick without the man’s interference. Perhaps I could have tried something different and should I meet with him again I will certainly do my best to take greater control.

By now it was getting quite late but I still felt I had sufficient time to preach. Leicester Square has recently been transformed into an amusement park and so it’s a lot nosier with far more distractions. It makes open-air preaching certainly more of a challenge. I decided to still give it a go. Some other Christians had come to join us and I asked one of them if he wouldn’t mind standing by me as I preached. After a little while some people began to stop and listen. A young lad by the name of Francis saw it as an opportunity to have some fun at my expense but I played off of that and managed to turn it around a little bit. He didn’t quite like the fact that I caught him out with regards to his sin but he stayed to listen and I was pleased that he did. A little later another young man stopped to listen and he asked some genuine questions concerning the claims of Christianity, as well as the credibility of the Bible. I attempted to answer his questions as best I could and when he moved on he came and shook my hand and thanked me for my efforts. I had hoped that he would have stuck around but sometimes a person only wants to have their questions answered before they move on. It could be the beginning of the Lord drawing this man to Himself (John 6:44) and I do pray that the Lord would do just that. Unfortunately I did not get his name but please do pray that the Lord would continue to work in his life.

After I finished preaching we all continued to talk with as many people as we could. It was a very cold night but praise be to God that we were able to talk with a good number of people. After a little while we gathered together to talk about the night. Rowina seemed very excited and came to share some news with us. It turns out that during the open-air preaching two men who had stopped to listen are in fact father and son but had not seen each other in 17 years! The father had been arrested and sent to prison and so they had completely lost contact. Now, 17 years later they had been reconciled after stopping to listen to the Gospel being preached on a cold winter’s night right in the middle of London in Leicester Square! We also learned that the father became a Christian while in prison. How good is God?! I was speechless as I listened to Rowina. We serve a great God.

Tonight truly was a great evening. We praise the Lord for His faithfulness.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Brisbane (QLD) Team

Saturday, 5 December, 2009

Posted by Posted 12 December 2009, 3:16 PM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

Saturday, 5th December 2009

The air was dripping with the sounds of Christmas, everywhere you turned you could see decorations, trees and festive lights. Playing throughout the Queen Street mall, were Christmas songs of every description. It was plain to all those present that the holidays were here. As Louise and I walked towards King George Square we happened to pass under a seasonal walkway with the words “Love, Peace, Hope” written upon on its steal structure. But, how was it, that this city could associate such words with Christmas, yet forget that we cannot know real love, peace or hope apart from the babe that was born some 2000 years ago in a little manager in the little town of Bethlehem. As we neared the square we saw the Brisbane Christmas tree, and all around it were many people taking photos or having their photos taken. The celebration was on, yet many of those who celebrate the birth of Jesus do not realise that the Christ of the cradle is also the Christ of the cross.

The city had changed in the two weeks since I had last been here, in fact I myself found my life had changed for the better. As today was the one week celebration of being joined with the most beautiful lady in the world. Just the week prior I had said my vows and exchanged rings with Louise. Tonight was my first night on the streets witnessing as a married man, and I counted it an honour to have my lovely wife with me. This coming together in marriage had put my weekly routine out, so I must apologise to our readers for not being able to get all the normal weekly reports done. It was said by the atheists that the reason we have not been writing reports is because we have been beaten in recent weeks by them. Let me assure them and also those reading that this is not the case, in no way have we been beaten back by those holding to atheism, in fact by them coming out and debating us, we have found that our faith has deepened, and that we are now more assured of the truth of Christianity when it is compared to the foolishness of the atheistic worldview.

As the outreach began for the night, we found ourselves meeting in our normal location in King George Square. There we spent some time in fellowship, prayer and reading the Bible. It was during this time that we saw our main heckler for the night, for strolling across the square was one with whom we have debated many times before. He walked across the square in his black leather jacket and as he strode with an air of arrogance we knew he was in town for a debate. Upon seeing him I called out “G’day Alex!” This greeting was met by Alex holding up two fingers showing his disdain for us.

It was nearing nine o’clock when we made our way to Queen Street for the evening of preaching. By now the weather had changed slightly and instead of it being dry, we found that a few drops of rain had began to fall. This played havoc with our Bible table, for it is impossible to have a display table with tracts, apologetic booklets and Bibles out if the weather turns bad. Then to top it all off a strong wind began to blow down the mall. This in course blew the literature off our table and into the street. Eventually the rain stopped and we came up with ways of limiting our material from being swept away with the breeze.

Around this time Ryan came up to me and told me that Alex the atheist was in town to debate me. This is something I did not want to do. I did not want to give Alex the attention he so eagerly craved. My mission for the night was to preach the gospel and that is what I intended to do. But of course, we knew that any preacher would have to deal with Alex first. With this in mind I decided that it would be best for Ryan to go first and then Dave. The logic in this was that by putting up our two strongest apologists when it comes to atheism we would hopefully wear Alex down to the point where the gospel would go out all the more freely.

Ryan was the first preacher up and as expected within seconds Alex came in yelling his one word objection. It seems that if Alex yells out his disbelief long enough that must make it fact, since it is rare to see Alex engage with the arguments presented by the preachers. Ryan did a splendid job of countering Alex and refuting his objections. By now a second heckler had arisen, it was our old friend and regular heckler Wayne the agnostic. Wayne is in many ways different to Alex, he is much more reasonable and much nicer when it comes to talking to us. While Alex is of the militant camp, Wayne is more open to discussion and reason.

Sadly I didn’t get to listen to all of Ryan’s apologetics and preaching of the gospel, for I saw that over near the camera was a man who had taken an interest in Louise. So I wandered over to him and I heard that he was voicing his objections to our preaching. It was not so much the content that he disapproved of, but rather it was the manner in which we did it. He believed that we should not be doing street ministry for this kind of outreach causes wars and murder. While that may sound strange, in his country religion had caused war and murder. The man was Irish and his fear was that at any moment the Roman Catholics and the Protestants would start a fight. I assured him that while such things may happen in Ireland, we are yet to see that occur in Australia. But the man couldn’t understand this, his worldview was one of if religion is preached then it will cause violence. I assured him that it was people that caused problems, sinful, unregenerate people who hated God and if those same people killed in the name of religion then they did not know the Christ of Scripture. The Irish man wouldn’t budge, he changed his argument to say that it may not happen in Australia, but since we are preaching not far from two Irish pubs we had better except a war. My reply was one that shocked him and I am afraid may of offended him. I said, “If any Irishman comes to Australia and starts any sort of religious war, then he should get on an aeroplane and go back to where he came from!” The Irishman didn’t like that too much, but my position still held.

By now Wayne had walked over and was kind of listening to the going on. As the Irishman argued  that there would be a religious war kicking off soon, Wayne interjected and stated that he believed that if I was pushed far enough I would support the killing of people of different religious opinions be it Roman Catholic or otherwise. I argued that under no circumstances would I ever support the killing of someone who disagreed with me in regards to God. While they may be wrong, as Christian I am told to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute us, under no circumstances am I commanded to kill them. Wayne’s reply was, “It was normal, reasonable human beings that built the gas chambers in World War Two, they killed people.” To which I replied, “You’re right, they were normal sinful, totally depraved sinners who made such things, that is why humans need to come to Christ and become a new creation, then those things would not happen!” Wayne just shook his head and walked away, it was at this stage that the Irishman had lost interest and wandered away.

By now the preachers had changed and David was up engaging Alex and answering objections from the crowd. A good size crowd gathered around to listen as he shared the message of the Gospel. Alex intensified his objections as Dave explained that even though we have sinned against God, in love He sent Christ to die in the place of His elect, so that if we would repent and trust that by Jesus dying, and rising again we could have all our sins forgiven. The hatred for God and the gospel flowed from the mouth of Alex. He objects and tries to make out that as an intellectual the belief in God is not plausible, but in reality it is him suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. Alex hates the fact that God exists, that He is ruler and Sovereign over all. He especially hates the cross, for it is at the cross that God bled and died for the sins of His people, and three days later He arose again defeating sin and death. The sinful man hates such things and will object to it, for it shows that he is a sinful human in need of a merciful Saviour.

During Dave’s preaching a drunk man entered the crowd and began to head butt people. It didn’t matter who they were he would just walk up and ram them in the back. They could be atheist, Christian or just a onlooker, they were all targets to this intoxicated man. I stepped in and encouraged him to walk away. This resulted in him head butting my shoulder and then letting out a groan. Somewhere around this time the police were called in to deal with him, and it was then that his friends intervened and took him away before he could be arrested.

Dave finished preaching around 11:30pm, and it was then decided that I should up and preach. Both Alex and Wayne were waiting to heckle. So I stood and began to preach about Christmas, and how we should remember that Christ came to save His people from their sins. By this point Alex had opened up and began to heckle. His arguments were basic at best. He claimed that somewhere along the lines nothing made something and here we are today. I found the best apologetic for this was to simply quote a Julie Andrews song from the Sound of Music, “Nothing came fro

m nothing and nothing ever will!” As Alex tried to prove the unprovable I was more convinced of the stupidity that is atheism. It is true when the Scripture says “professing themselves to be wise they became fools.” No amount of evidence or countering would prove Alex, for his mind is made up and he has hardened his heart. However, God is still Sovereign, He is in control and salvation is all of His sovereign grace. Please continue to pray for Alex, pray that God would grant him the gifts of repentance and faith. But, also pray for Wayne and his son, who quite regularly heckle. Pray that Christ will reveal Himself to them, and that they would repent and trust in Him.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Gold Coast (QLD) Team

Saturday, 5 December, 2009

Posted by Posted 11 December 2009, 11:32 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

Rick, Glenda, Chris, and I were all part of the Gold Coast team today, and after arriving we firstly spent some time in prayer. Then we began handing out gospel tracts. There didn't seem to be that many people about. However, there were definitely remnants of schoolies who were still there. But it seemed the schoolies had made all the locals and other tourists leave. So that is why I didn't preach straight away.

I had few good conversations, one was with three Catholics who were from Europe. One of them had chatted to a Christian just recently who pointed out the vast differences there are between the Roman Catholic Church and Christianity. These guys had further questions on that. After explaining the difference on how one is saved, whether it is completely by grace through faith alone (as the Bible teaches), or whether it's by grace initially then a person must work to attain eternal life (as the Roman Catholic Church teaches), these guys sided with that latter option. I pointed to various passages in the Bible, such as Eph 2:8-9, and these guys said that the Bible has been changed. I was not expecting to hear that from a Catholic, usually Muslims say that but not Catholics. However, they couldn't provide any proof to support such a claim. So I clearly explained the gospel and pleaded with the guys to trust in it alone for their forgiveness. The conversation lasted about 25 minutes.

Just before we were going to have lunch, I got into a conversation with a man named Abbey. He was from Sydney and when I asked him whether he thought he was going to Heaven, he responded: "Yes". His reason for thinking that he said was that he though he was good enough and had done enough good. He said that he grew up in the Church, but recently had stopped going. So I simply showed him that none of us are good in the sight of God, for we all sin. And since God is just, He cannot overlook sin and so therefore the sin that we commit makes us deserving of Hell. He understood that, so then I shared the news about Christ's death on the cross to pay for our sins. He said it made sense. To check whether a person I am talking to actually does understand the gospel, I like to ask: "If God was to ask you, 'Why should I let you into Heaven?' What would you say?" So I asked the man that question. He responded that it was because of his own goodness. So I re-explained the gospel and after that second time he understood that it's own by Christ's death all his sins are forgiven. He said he would go home and repent and trust in Christ. Praise God!

As the afternoon progressed, it did get busier. And so after lunch I got up to preach and proclaimed the gospel for the remaining twenty minutes that we had.

Rick, Glenda and Chris all faithfully handed out heaps of gospel tracts. They also had some really good conversations.

Today was the first time we were using the new Operation 513 Million dollar notes with a gospel message on the back, and they worked wonderful. There were a couple of Japanese tour groups that walked by and we made sure they all got a tract. I have found, people from a certain Asian countries generally do not take tracts, but with something out of the ordinary like the Million dollar note and the Big $100 note tracts, it overcomes this barrier and so they take the tracts.

To God be the glory!

Gold Coast (QLD) Team

Saturday, 21 November, 2009

Posted by Posted 1 December 2009, 7:14 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

Today marked the first day of Schoolies for 2009, and we knew there would be lots of young people about at the Gold Coast. The Schoolies celebration is where about 35,000 year twelvers who have just graduated, spend about a week at the coast partying and hanging out with friends. Unfortunately, many of them spend their time getting drunk and doing all sorts of sinful activity. And since they are at a pivotal point of time in their life and often don't have much to do at Schoolies, we knew that this was a perfect opportunity to share the gospel with them.

So Blake, Lucy, Peter, and I arrived at the coast at 12pm and firstly had a time of prayer. We then got stuck into handing out gospel tracts. For the schoolies event, they had set up a lot of fences surrounding the Schoolies-only party area and there was a fence blocking the concrete block we usually preach from. But there was still an elevated concrete platform to the right of that spot that they had not fenced off. So we decided that that is where we would do some open air preaching that day. I brought a soap box and set it up at that location.

I then stood up to preach, speaking about how undoubtedly many school leavers at the Gold Coast have planned what they are going to do next year, and even what they are going to do this next week. But I pointed out that even though we have all these plans, we are never guaranteed that we'll be able to carry them out, as we could die at any moment. I then recounted the parable of the rich man building bigger barns to store his grain, which lead onto talking about eternity. I then spoke about the Day of Judgment to come, the fact that we've all sinned, and thus need the Saviour's forgiveness by His death on the cross.

After stepping down and tagging Blake in to preach after preaching a while, a Schoolies event security guy came up to us saying that we cannot preach here or hand out tracts. We asked why, he thought it was some council law, but we let him know that there isn't any council law against doing this. He then suggested for us to just go to the event security headquarters to ask them why they instructed him to tell us that weren't allowed to do this.

After finding the place where they were, they basically said that they have no authority to stop us doing what we're doing and so they said that we can keep doing it.

So after returning to the preaching area, I stood up to preach again, and within minutes two event security came up to me saying that I can't preach here. So I explained to them that we went to the event security HQ and that they themselves said they cannot stop us. I also then explained that we are here every single week. At that point, one of the security said, "No you're not, I've never seen you here". As he was saying that, a council cleaner was walking by, so I said, "Go ask him, he sees us every week." Then they responded, "But people don't want to hear you...Fine, do what you want." As they were walking away, a schoolie walking past called out, "Hey, you're the guys that preach here every week!"

So I resumed preaching and another schoolie shouted out, "Oh I saw these guys here last year!" (even though they didn't know about the conversation I had with the event security). At that point a very vocal schoolie began asking all sorts of questions which attracted a large crowd, and said that he loved having the discussion taking place. After answering his questions, I pointed him to the cross and exhorted him to repent and trust in the Saviour's death for forgiveness. During this, one of the event security guys returned and listened to the preaching for about 15 minutes before walking away.

After this, Blake did some further preaching as well. By this time it was 3:15pm, and we had run out of gospel tracts. This week was the first week we had the 3 new business-card size gospel tracts, and this week I gave the 'Good Aussie' card a test run and it worked great. I would ask people, "Did you get your good Aussie card?" and almost everyone was like, "Aussie? I'm an Aussie, I want one!" And even those who were not Aussie took one because they thought it was an Australian souvenir card. This tract is highly recommended.

At 3:30pm, Luke, Rhoi, Doug, and Greg arrived at the coast with lots of gospel tracts. While fellowshipping and handing out tracts, two police constables came up to us saying that we're not allowed to tout. I agreed, but then pointed out that we are not touting (that is selling products), instead that we're simply handing out Christian literature free of charge. They said that we're not even allowed to do that. I then pointed out that council has no problem with us doing what we're doing. As the conversation progressed, it turned from one where they were telling us to stop, to warning us that other police might tell us to stop and that they thought schoolies might not want to receive one. As the police were walking away, a Gold Coast City Council local law officer came up to us wondering what the police said, and he told us that it's perfectly fine to hand out gospel tracts. He just encouraged us to pick up any tracts that people might have dropped on the ground.

Soon after this, Blake and I left the four new arrivals to continue handing out tracts while we headed back to Brisbane for the team that was on that night in the city.

It was so evident today that God is truly sovereign. Whenever we ran into problems with authority trying to stop us proclaiming the gospel, God provided a way for it to continue.

God alone belongs all the glory!

Blake preaching at Schoolies

Blake preaching at Schoolies

Gold Coast (QLD) Team

Saturday, 7 November, 2009

Posted by Posted 20 November 2009, 10:41 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

Glenda handing out tractsRick, Glenda, Chris and Blake joined me today at the Gold Coast and it was a beautiful sunny day. After praying together, we started our outreach. We noticed that there was a crowd already gathered near the area where we usually preach and so I thought it was a great idea to start preaching straight away.

After preaching for about half an hour, I stepped down and had a conversation with two guys on holidays from a nation in the pacific. They obviously had some sort of Catholic upbringing, for they mentioned that they plan on having their sins forgiven by a priest absolving them of it. So I explained the message of God's justice, that God cannot forgive them simply by going to a priest because God is good. Then I explained the message of God's grace, that Christ can take the wrath of God that they deserve on their behalf by dying for them if they repent and trust in the Saviour's death as the only reason they are saved. At that point, it seemed to 'click' in their mind, and thanked me very much for telling about it. They said they would think seriously about this and start reading the Bible.

Blake witnessingBlake then did some preaching too and he faithfully proclaimed loud and clear the message of the gospel. After he got down from the preaching spot, he got into a discussion with a guy from Sydney. While at the same time I chatted to his mate. They both had some sort of Roman Catholic background, but the guy I spoke to was very keen on the idea of sin. He loved it and was unwilling to turn from it even though he knew the consequences of it.

Meanwhile, the guy Blake was talking to had a hard time understanding grace. Firstly, he thought he was saved by his works and that he was a very good guy. After showing him the extent of his sin, Blake explained the gospel. The conversation went for over an hour as Blake explained in many different ways the atonement that is only by grace through faith alone. By the end, he did seem to understand it.

After that, we had lunch together and had some good fellowship. It was Chris' second time out on the streets with us and she did a wonderful job again handing out tracts. Rick and Glenda have been very good guiding and teaching her how to evangelise. Rick and Glenda also handed out many tracts and had some good witnessing encounters today.

To God be the glory!

PS: If you are ever in the Gold Coast area, feel free to be part of the Gold Coast team, for as Jesus said, the workers are few but the harvest is plentiful. Please contact me for more information to be part of the team.

Gold Coast (QLD) Team

Saturday, 31 October, 2009

Posted by Posted 20 November 2009, 5:18 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

Blake preachingToday on the team we had Blake, Yarran, Dan, Ori and myself. It was warm day with the sun brightly shining. Just before Yarran, Dan and Ori arrived, Blake and I had a conversation with two middle-aged guys. One of the guys was rather strange, yelling at random times and changing topics constantly. He was arguing that the dead sea scrolls were discovered 400 years before Isaiah, yet he didn't present any evidence to support it, much less present a reason for arguing that.

He then went on to speak about how he thinks Genesis references aboringines in relation to the serpent being cursed. Like most things he said, I did not understand what he was trying to say. But I kept the conversation going, for while this was happening, Blake managed to have a conversation with the other fellow who seemed much more reasonable. I kept trying to bring back the conversation to sin, judgment, gospel, etc but the man just kept avoiding the topic. Blake told me afterwards that he had a conversation with the guy he chatted to where he was able to present the great news of Christ atoning death on the cross.

I was the preacher first up, and started off by talking about a day that is coming, and that is judgment day. After talking about sin, I preached about the great news of the salvation we have in Jesus. A few people heckled me for a bit, and afterwards I chatted to them further.

Blake then got up to preach, and a one point an older gentleman started yelling at Blake. He was saying, "Where is your badge? You cannot preach without a bradge identifying your religion! Show me your badge!" This grew a rather large crowd, and a number of the people listening defended Blake and responded to the man saying that we have freedom of speech in this country and people do not need badges in this country. They then pointed to Blake's Bible that he was holding and said that that is like his badge if you want him to have one. The man responded, "In my country, you need badge!! Where is your badge!" The man eventually left, but a crowd had gathered and so Blake was able to preach the gospel to them all.

The other three members of the team also faithfully handed out many gospel tracts and got into various conversations. Please pray that God will grow the seeds of the gospel that were planted in people's hearts today.

To God be the glory!

Brisbane (QLD) Team

Saturday, 14 November, 2009

Posted by Posted 20 November 2009, 4:18 PM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

Tonight as I prepared for the city I was concerned. Concerned because of the fact that it was party night due to university being finished, and concerned because we had a smaller team. But, our trust is in the Sovereign God, not in how many troops we can field.

Once again, it was good to be joined by our Australian brother who lives in Texas, USA. Andrew Peck came out for the second week in the row, and it was a major blessing to have him on team. He is a great guy who is passionate about the Gospel and the God of the Gospel.

The first preacher up for the night was Andre, he did a marvellous job of expounding the gospel and bring the knowledge of sin. In the time I have known Andre he has developed into a great Josh preachingopen air preacher. While he has a long way to go (as we all do) he is turning into a good open air communicator.

After Andre preached it was my turn to take the box. I started off by talking about death and how early in the night a man became angry when hearing about the reality of death. Before long I had a couple of hecklers. One of them was a young man from the UK, who argued that atheism is the way to go, so I engaged him in apologetics and showed that the belief in God is rational and logical. This in turn created more hecklers. I then proceeded to engage them in open air discussion. But the whole time I kept swinging back to the gospel. The arguments were the same old arguments “Who made God?” “What about evolution?” I was able to answer these, but then two men stepped up who both claimed to have theology degrees. One claimed to have studied in Oxford, UK (I think he was breaking the 9th commandment). They wanted to argue Church History and how they believed the Bible to be wrong. I dealt with their non-theological objections, and found out there ‘theology’ came from the Da Vinci Code (Hope that isn’t a course at Oxford).

Kyosti witnessingDuring this time another man came up to me and began to yell “THIS IS NOT THE GOSPEL OF PEACE!” I replied and asked him, “Is not preaching Christ died for sinners a peaceful thing? For it by that action we can have peace with God!” The man ran off, only to return a few minutes later. This time he came back angry and began to scream at me “OPEN THE BIBLE!” Which I found interesting since my Bible was open in my hand. He then demanded I read John 1, I complied since reading the Bible is always a good thing. As I read the first few verses he yelled “THERE! SEE WE ARE GODS!” I asked him how he got that out of those verses, since they are talking about Christ. At this stage he yelled and ran away again. Only to return a few minutes later. This time I went after him for being a wolf, and for trying to deceive people with his demonic doctrines. The man went ballistic and ran off for the third and final time.

After preaching for about 55 minutes, I tagged Ryan in, who continued the discussion. He did a great job in countering their objections and presenting Christ to them. Whenever we went near the topic of Jesus Christ, people would respond in anger. People have a natural hatred for God and they want nothing to do with His plan of salvation.

The night finished with many hearing the gospel and receiving tracts. Praise God for His kindness in allowing us to share such a good message.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Brisbane (QLD) Team

Saturday, 7 November, 2009

Posted by Posted 20 November 2009, 12:39 PM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

As I walked into the city I noticed that many of the walkways were free from pedestrians, and it seemed that there was a hush over Brisbane. There wasn’t many people out partying, nor were there many people out in the restaurants. At first I couldn’t think why this would be, but it soon became clear when I was told that University exams were being held that week.

As we set up for the night, people began to gather around a conversation soon developed. I was approached by two men of middle eastern appearance who started to throw questions at me in regards to “How do I know Christianity is right out of all the religions?” I did a quick apologetic, but they weren’t interested in answers. But, I did however, manage to present the gospel of Christ to them. One of them claimed to be Roman Catholic, so that assured him of favour with God. I replied that no man made religion can get anyone favour with God. He then asked me, “How do I find favour with God?” It was then I was able to talk about how Christ satisfied the wrath of God, and by repentance and faith we can enter into relationship with our Creator. At this stage he had to leave, but did promise to come back later. He took a tract and then left.

By now all the Bible table stuff had been set up, so I stood to preach. I began by talking about how in life, everything is captured in some way, be it CCTV or personal records, but then I swung and spoke about how God captures everything we do, and how He calls us to account. A few young people stopped to heckle, one of them was drunk and drugged out of his skull and one young female was talking in obscene language about sex. I engaged them and presented Christ to them. The beauty of their heckling was that it drew a crowd to hear the gospel.

My preaching lasted for about 40 minutes. After that Blake got up to preach. He did a good job, and then it came time for David Gee to preach. He went for about 30 minutes but then his voice gave way. But not a drama as we had Ryan to finish the night off.

Throughout the night we were able to have many great conversations and hand out many tracts. Also, it was great to see so many people getting witnessed to then have them walk away with a Bible. Please pray that God would grant repentance and faith to all those who heard the good news tonight.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Brisbane (QLD) Team

Saturday, 24 October, 2009

Posted by Posted 5 November 2009, 2:10 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

The team fellowshiping and setting up the Bible tableThis week Josh was back from his 8 week long outreach in the USA and was happy to be part of the Brisbane outreach again. We met in the newly opened King George Square in the elevated part to read the Bible, to pray and to have fellowship. At 9pm, we walked to Queen St Mall and started setting up the Bible table.

Blake preachingBlake preached first up, and he had a few hecklers ask him questions and he was able to provide responses to them. He faithfully preached the gospel for about half an hour before stepping down.

Then Josh got up to preach. Wayne was delighted to be able to heckle Josh, something he had been missing for the past two months. Josh argued that evolution does lead to racism and Nazism. But Wayne disagreed and said Darwin never talked about different races. So I brought up a picture of the cover of Darwin's Origin of Species on my phone and showed it to Josh. For the book's full title is: "The Origin of Species by means of natural selection on the Preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life". Wayne was completely unaware of the full title.

Josh preaching and some drunk person in the gardenWayne then asked Josh, "Do you celebrate Christmas?" Josh said, "Yes". Wayne then pointed out that some other pagan deity as well has their birthday being on the 25th December, and so Wayne concluded that Christians copied from this other religion. So Josh responded by saying that no where in the Bible does it say that Jesus was born on the 25th of December, that day was chosen as a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus because it was a day set aside in the Roman world to celebrate a pagan deity. Since Christians did not worship this other god, they instead celebrated the birth of Jesus on that day. Wayne kept trying to insist that it's part of Christian doctrine that Jesus was born on the 25th of December, and tried pointing to the Catholic Catechism. So Josh reminded him that evangelicals do not subscribe to the Catholic Catechism, only the Bible.

David Strachan witnessingAfter Josh finished preaching, I discussed with Wayne for a little bit and asked him whether he thought that just because there may be similarities between Christianity and another religion, does that make Christianity wrong? He said it did because it means it was copied. So I pointed out that firstly, having similarities with something does not necessarily imply that it was copied. And secondly, that argumentation actually commits the genetic fallacy - which is, dismissing a belief as being wrong because of the origins of that belief. Even if Christianity did have its origins by copying from other religions, it does not mean that the beliefs of Christianity are wrong. He didn't seem to understand that at first and so I gave him a few examples - such as if someone said today: "America will never be at peace, for look at who founded it", then that person would be committing the genetic fallacy. As who founded the nation is irrelevant as to whether America can be at peace at some stage in the future. After giving a few examples, he seemed to understand it.

People liking the comic book they received Kyosti witnessing

To God be the glory!

Gold Coast (QLD) Team

Saturday, 24 October, 2009

Posted by Posted 5 November 2009, 11:52 AM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

This weekend, the SuperGP cars were supposed to race on the streets of Surfers Paradise. They didn't end up coming and so only the V8 Supercars raced. However, there were still lots of people about and so Blake and I expected a busy day. After reading John 15 and praying together, we began our outreach. There were not many people around the area where we usually preach, so we decided to walk closer to the where the race was taking place to see if there were any places to preach there. There wasn't really, as the car noises would drown the preaching out. So we just made a circuit back to the esplanade, handing out tracts on the way.

By this time, more people were around the area where we usually preach, but unfortunately there was a guy sitting on the concrete block that we usually preach from. So we decided to continue handing out tracts while we wait for the man to move along. He didn't, even after waiting half an hour. So Blake and I then prayed that God would free up the preaching spot, and then read again some of the verses in John 15 regarding God answering prayer. And within 10 seconds of us doing this, the man moved off the preaching spot! Praise be to God!

I then began preaching and within minutes a large crowd had gathered. When I mentioned that getting drunk is a sin, a lot of the people were outraged at that thought. I also mentioned that Jesus said lust is adultery at the heart. And a lot of the males listening called out that that is the reason why they come to the Gold Coast, to do exactly that. I warned everyone that our sin makes us deserving of Hell, but that is why Jesus came to die on the cross to pay for that sin. But a person must repent and trust in Christ's death on the cross as the only reason that they'll be going to Heaven, in order to be saved.

Throughout the course of the preaching I did there that day: Twice an angry fellow ripped the Bible I was holding out of my hands and was going to run away with it until his friends stopped him. Another fellow at one point pushed me off the preaching block I was standing on. But the crowd was on my side, saying that I have the right to do this. And another guy that was sitting next to preaching spot drinking alcohol who tied my shoelaces together while I was preaching. But all these things did was to attract a larger and larger crowd. A crowd of about 100 was listening for about the two hours I preached for, with many of them asking all sorts of questions. And by the end, there were still lots of people listening wanting to hear more, but I got down from the preaching spot (as it was now approaching 5pm (2 hours longer than normal) and we had to make our way to Brisbane city for the outreach there that night) and so we simply handed out tracts to them all.

I had a chat with one fellow afterwards that had been listening and he thought he was going to Heaven, but on the basis of his works. So I explained the gospel to him, and asked him, "If God was to ask you the question: Why should I let you into Heaven, what would you say?" His response showed he still did not understand grace. So I explained it again to him and asked him the same question. This time he understood the gospel and said, "It's only because of Jesus' death on the cross I will go to Heaven!" The man was overjoyed that he now understood the gospel and started believing it. Please keep him in prayer, his name is Fred.

Even though there were just two of us today, God saw fit to allow the gospel to go out. Please pray that God will raise up more laborers to enter His harvest, for the harvest is truly plentiful. If you live nearby and are keen to get involved in this outreach, please do contact me.

To God be the glory!

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