Operation 513 Battle Log for Toowong on Tuesday March 16, 2021 from 1330 to 1500.
Praise and thanks God that JMF was called by God to join Johnny and Hung today in place of Winnie who needs one more week of rest after her cataract operation. She obviously has the gift and skill of street evangelism gained from her past full time ministry with Power to Point. The Spirit teamed up the three of us to have non -stop gospel sharing opportunities within that 1.5 hours period. Only a handful rejected to listen to the gospel message with majority willing hearts to let us share and some even were moved to make a ready commitment to receive Jesus. There were as usual many nominal Christians who have no assurance of salvation and full understanding of the gospel message. Pray that our sharing have helped them to get the concept right reinforcing their faith in Christ and Christ alone. I had comparatively less chance to engage into gospel sharing conversation as I needed to have an eye on JMF at the initial period. Once I found that she was serving in full force under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then I picked up from there and had 5 conversations with one particularly long one as recap below: -
1) Andrew of Christian back ground. But he is not clear about the meaning of salvation and without assurance. All I could do is to give him a nutshell of the gospel before the bus arrived and clarify why he should have full 100% assurance of salvation simply because of what Jesus Christ has done for us all taking our place to receive the punishment of sin originally due to be exacted on us.
2) My second approach today was with an Indian woman Aashi who surprisingly appeared to be very receptive and listen with interest to the full gospel. Pray for God's further action to move and lead her to Christ.
3) Olivia an UQ post-graduate Master degree student from New Zealand. She did her undergraduate in USA , going back to NZ for a short while then has come to UQ for a Master degree of business management. Because of her extensive traveling experience living at different countries and cultures, she appears very open mind for new idea and challenges. Although she has no personal faith but she admits there is a supreme being which we call God. Yet she so far has not yet find the need to have life connection with any of such God. She was also receptive to the gospel message and found no way to dismiss it as illogical. I then shared my personal testimony which I thought is very alike with her that the rational mind and smooth life experience in the early part of my life had blinded my eyes for the need of salvation by Jesus. I just prayed and encouraged her to ponder with deep reflection to realize the need for every one including herself to accept Jesus better earlier than late as we have no control on the destiny of our life that can end at any unexpected moment. I anyway introduced her to join Power to Change if she really wants to pursue God in a serious manner.
4) James, a drunken man who claimed himself a Christian. He was ignored by Johnny as he smelled him drinking a lot. JMF was the next to approach James receiving a very enthusiastic response from him as a brother in Christ. JMF was about to find out that his faith and understanding of God's grace and salvation was incomplete, inclining to rely on good deeds. But she was interrupted by a by stander Chinese lady waring her out of good intention to avoid all those foreigner. I then took up to continue with the unfinished conversation to test the assurance of salvation of James. He struggled to give the correct answer but then the bus came. Pray that we will meet him some time in the future to follow up on him, if God willing.
5) Abigail is a local Aussie Christian but without assurance of Salvation. I had barely enough time to clarify the incomplete and incorrect understanding of salvation before the bus came.
Battle Log of Johnny :
Thank God leading and blessing us, Today at Toowong many people heard the gospel, there were two UQ students Weeley & Jacob, they wanted to trust Jesus Christ became their savior, please pray for them.
New Zealand Mission - Week Three - Dunedin - Day Two
Dunedin is cold! It was mostly sunny today, but there was a very cold wind. I’ll be better prepared for the rest of the week.
We started the day's outreach in the Octagon - the center of Dunedin. There weren’t as many people out as I was expecting (compared to Jan last year), so we would often have to venture out to find fish. But still, many good conversations were had.
Damien is a Christian who joined us yesterday for lunch, and today he was able to make it for the first half hour or so of the outreach - he was keen to go through the flip chart. As I was showing it to him, a fish swam past. I cast my line by asking if he had a minute for a question - a deep one. He was keen, and so I invited him to try the good person test - a great opportunity for Damien to see it in action! And it sure was. The young man was a student from Syria and a Muslim. We went through the law and the gospel. He understood it very quickly, but then started gently resisting it. I had already worked through all the ways people think they can be forgiven, but won’t actually work: good outweighing bad, saying sorry, prayer. So in his resistance, he tried to raise these reasons and quickly realised he was backed into a corner with the only escape being Jesus. He softened and said he is currently researching these things. So I pointed him to the Bible and to Cornerstone International Bible Church (which Damien is a part of) - he seemed very keen. It was a great chat.
Later I had chats with: a couple of Seventh Day Adventist who had stopped attending fellowship, a couple of electricians on a break, and a young atheist who was starting work soon.
After lunch we moved back to the Uni - outside the Otago Museum. I LOVE this spot. Such a flow of people, many who are willing to stop for a chat. And the chats are so good, people grasp the gospel so quickly and are honest in their response to it. For example, I had a young lady keen to chat and quickly grasp the gospel. At the end of the conversation, I checked in to make sure she was still understanding by asking what she would say if God asked her why He should let her into heaven. She pondered and agreed that she couldn’t point to her goodness anymore, but then she said she knew she wasn’t trusting that Jesus died for her sins. She was in a pondering phase! This is great - yet I challenged her to get answers to her questions (she said she had none, but a million at the same time) & pointed her to the Bible and the Church while at the same time showing why there is an urgency to respond.
Another conversation started with me asking if a couple had ever thought about Eternity. To my surprise the guy asked: “what do you think?”. From there I explained the law and the gospel - he grasped it very quickly. And then he started plying me with very good questions - what a joy!
I had an interesting experience approaching a medical student having some relax time - very early I gave him an ‘out’, by asking if he wanted to talk about the deep question I had raised. He thought about it, and decided he didn’t - but he said something very interesting: “thanks for asking that - most people don’t and I really appreciate you doing it.” He was happy to receive a tract. Hopefully he reads it, and the next time a Christian raises a deep question hopefully he will be more willing to engage.
The outreach ended with a wonderful chat with Joe - a philosophy student. He was very pleasant to talk to, but he started contradicting himself. The first time he did it, a look of “I’ve been caught” flashed across his face. But he doubled down and started digging a deeper hole for himself when he continued to contradict himself, time and again. He even admitted he was being absurd because he loved his sin! At one point I said, “I wish I was recording this” - it was amazing seeing the lengths he was going to to deny the obvious. It was hard work, but I was able to get him out of the stratosphere and back to earth so he could hear the law and the gospel.
I know the rest of the team were having great chats too. Andy had a very very long chat with a Muslim (pictured).
Please keep us in prayer!!!
New Zealand Mission - Week Three - Dunedin - Day One
After attending the Sunday morning church meeting with our own local fellowship, Andy and I did a roadie in the afternoon from Christchurch to Dunedin. We made it in time to pick up some groceries and then head to our hosts place (for the first two nights): Jeff and Averil Coleman. There was a small gathering of evangelists and friends for BBQ, some discussion / planning time and prayer. It was wonderful to be reunited with many we met last year.
In the morning (after a stellar sun rise - glory to God!), we gathered outside Otago Museum and the University (Dunedin is known for its university and student life). We spent the whole day there. Conversation after conversation. As soon as one gospel chat finished, you’d turn and soon be into another! I love this place!
Multiple times I would get a conversation started with someone that had to go to a lecture, but later in the day, they would go past again and be keen to talk.
One of those talks was with a Christian guy who came back just before lunch and joined in on a flip chart conversation - a look of concern on his face. He stayed around afterwards and we had a long chat. His concern seemed to be around who we were and whether we were doing the right thing. It turns out he has become confused by the culture around him, and what the truth really is. We talked a lot about abortion, and homosexuality. I was able to introduce him to Jeff - I really hope he gets in touch to follow up and clear his confusion.
The last two hours of the outreach saw rain, but we managed to keep going under the shelter of trees.
Please continue to pray for the mission, esp. for good sleeps, and energy to make it through each day.
New Zealand Mission - Week Two - Christchurch - Day Five
Well, we are two thirds of the way through the NZ Mission. Again we focused on the city again today.
I had a great morning. It started by talking to three sets of Christians in a row. The second guy pointed at his good deeds as the reason he would be going to heaven. I indicated that if that is true, I wouldn’t be going to heaven! And we fell into a good chat from there. I worked to explain my reasoning, taking him through the law and the gospel. And yet, strangely, he kept insisting his good deeds would get him to heaven! I laboured on the serious nature of sin, why it’s impossible to be good (perfect) and scriptures that teach justification by faith alone. But nothing would convince him outwardly, but I think he was challenged, he took tracts and a church contact card.
We moved to the bus exchange, and I was able to hand out quite a few tracts before falling into a great conversation with an Indian guy who looked familiar, yet I couldn’t place him. The concept of grace was very unfamiliar to him, and so I really had to labour to get him to understand the gospel. Checking questions helped greatly. Even after considering the cost, he seemed like there was nothing stopping him from trusting Christ’s sacrifice. He downloaded a Bible and I set it to John and I invited him to a church meeting. He has my mobile # and asked him to text me - nothing so far :( I leave him in God’s hands.
We had lunch at the Square (pictured) where John joined us - he is new to us and joined for some training (pictured with Andy in gospel conversations). We didn’t open air preach today, instead moving back to Cashel Mall for the afternoon of outreach. Roger and Graeme joined us, and so did Keith for a while. The afternoon was a bit slower and harder than the morning. I had a period where I experience a fair amount of drive by hate from those walking past. Yet there were many gospel opportunities!
So, that’s the Christchurch leg complete - next up Dunedin! Please pray for:
Safe travels for those coming from Nelson and Christchurch to join with the church down south.
Unity among the team that will form for the week.
That many would hear the gospel!
That the church would be encouraged in evangelism.
That God would be glorified!
New Zealand Mission - Week Two - Christchurch - Day Four
Today we started with gospel + abortion outreach outside the hospital. A team of eight. It started out peacefully, but then four counter protesters arrived, and then more, and the more. I lost count how many there were - 13? They were pretty well behaved, and so things proceeded peacefully. They would try to bait us into long distance exchange, but we wouldn’t - if they come up to talk reasonably, we are more than happy.
And we really want to talk! So Andy did something brilliant, he moved across from the main line, just down from where the protesters were. They couldn’t resist, and so a group of them moved down to talk to him. Sonya then went and engaged the other group. Two sets of conversations were away - praise God!
Later, one of our original counter protesters turned up - a bit of a ring leader. They put on some music with filthy language and paraded and danced in front of us. Then a song came on talking about hatred and how wrong it is, and then the song started talking about how they hated those that hated them! How ironic! And the amazing thing is - we don’t hate them, we don’t hate anyone, even our enemies. Very sad indeed.
We wrapped up the outreach and gathered to pray, they played the music right behind me while this was happening. We prayed for them! We want the best for them.
The team split up, a few of us headed into the city. Andy stayed behind because he fell into a wonderful gospel conversation with an Asian couple who came to grasp the gospel and want to start coming to church!
In the city, Marty open air preached the gospel using the NZ national anthem. Later, a large group of school kids turned up just before Andy was due to preach - perfect timing. Many of the students started listening, and even engaging with questions and responses. Not surprisingly, the teachers gathered up the students and moved on, but not before Andy was able to touch on the gospel. He continued to preach - one of our regular hecklers arrived to interact.
After lunch, a team of three continued with one to one gospel conversation on High Street and Cashel Mall. Many wonderful conversations.
The highlight for me was the last conversation I had. I was handing out Eternity tracts. A guy refused the tract, but he heard me ask: “What do you think happens in Eternity?” To my surprise, a minute later, the guy came back and engaged me in conversation. Just then, a busker came down to join the conversation - and yet she ended up killing it. The situation was out of my hands. I just prayed I would be able to get back to the original conversation. The guy wasn’t going anywhere, and the girl wasn’t going anywhere, so there was a bit of a stalemate. Eventually the girl gave up and moved on, and then the guy said: “I’ve been going to a Bible study.” Later he said that my question had caused him to come back. We sat down and had a long chat. Turns out he had nearly died a year ago, and since then he had turned back to Jesus. He really wanted to talk, and so I let him, trying to respond appropriately. My initial checking question revealed an understanding of the gospel. The guy had to go, but he wanted my contact details before he left. He said he would be in touch - I’m more hopeful than usual that he will!
Team - again, thanks for your prayers. Prayer for energy and strength, and that God would be glorified in what we do.
Operation 513 Battle Log for Sunny Bank on Wednesday March 10, 2021 from 1300 to 1500
Johnny could not come to day, so I had to team up with Martin and Andrew to serve on the West Side for mutual support. Andrew could also come at normal time of 1300 hour as his BST Evangelism class had a week off for BST student to do study for exam. Martin impressed me by his Apostolic Passion to insist coming to serve despite he suffered a serious fall last night at home. He would rather rest for his own church meeting than skipping the street evangelism which he considered more worthwhile to do as a team work to serve the Lord. We were all too busy in our own gospel chat as such we could not spare time to take photo for all the gospel conversation opportunities we got.
Andrew came early at normal time also had a purpose of meeting up with one of his BST Evangelism class student to mentor her for doing the 20 hour of practicum. It was a pity the lady did not turn up because of ad hoc personal matter. During my 1.5 hour stay, I only got 6 major conversation much less than the 10 I got yesterday. But a few of them were of rare long chat as recap below: -
1) I had a long chat over half and hour with Madam Chang from Guangzhou , China. 張廣卅原北京She could not speak Cantonese as she was born in Beijing with native country at Liao Ning 遼寧，the North East County. She worked in Government school before migrating to first New Zealand then to Australia, as such she did not need to speak Cantonese. After chatting a while, she disclosed she is a Christian receiving Jesus in Guangzhou. She lived in Sydney for 10 years before coming up to Brisbane also for a long long time. She is affiliated with International Christian Church but has stopped attending a long time because of Covid-19. Through our conversation, she is typically a nominal Christian without much growth in grace and in truth as such she failed all the diagnosis questions. I sort of gave her a brief revision on the major doctrine of Christianity and the way to differentiate Heresy like JW and Mormon. Lastly ,just found out she was once the Choir member of Aroma. I encourage her to join the BCCMA choir when we resume our choir practice at the new SIC church compound.
2) Sunny a Korean girl and Christian by birth. She has no understanding of the gospel at all. I was glad I made her understand her salivation was simply on credit of Jesus' atoning death on the cross to die and go to hell taking our place to receive punishment of our sins.
3) A Smart but skeptical Chinese young lady asked me up front what is my purpose of sharing this gospel tract to her. She suspected if I do this to recruit church member. After clarifying my purpose is simply conveying her this important but grossly ignored gospel message, she turn comparatively receptive to listen. But it was abruptly cut short possibly by a friend crossing the bridge to meet with her.
4) Rebecca is a lovely Aussie young Christian lady, but again she has no idea about salvation at all. It was good I led her to understand why she should have 100 % assurance of salvation simply because of what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross to redeem us from the bondage of sin.
5) Tony Yeung a Cantonese speaking Hong Konger who left Hkg early in 1969 and lived in New Zealand for 40 years before migrating to Brisbane Australia. It was a pity I was a bit carried away to share with him our common Hong Kong Memory that I did not have time to share the gospel though he seemed to be a sort of Christian and willingly took my Chinese tract to read at home.
6) Micky is Japanese wife coming to Brisbane with her Husband on business/ work. Initially, she did not show any interest at all to accept my gospel tract. I nevertheless kept sharing with her my story and testimony mingling with gospel message. The Spirit moved me to ask for her nationality which is Japanese. It gave me the chance to show off my standard Japanese greetings to gain her identification as friend of Japan. I was then able to give her not just the English tract but the few Japanese tract I have in my pocket. She was delighted to accept it as she could show off to her husband that she met a Japanese street evangelist in Australia. I only learnt she is pregnant after Martin took our photo and passed it to me. Pray that this divine encounter will serve the purpose of God in Micky's life.
Quoted below is the Battle Log of Andrew and Martin of OAC Ministry that is the long time Gospel partner of Street Evangelism
As is often the case at a bus stop, very often Sunnybank results in lots of partial conversations. On Wednesday, this was certainly the case, though there was one young man who stopped and talked for a long time, even skipping a couple of busses to keep talking.
Chris has no religious background but suspects that there may be a God. I shared in a simple way how we know that God exists and then explained what the Bible says about our afterlife. He then asked a few really good questions about the Christian faith and was willing to take both a tract and a gospel of John to read.
Martin has now officially joined OAC as a regular volunteer and so now from time to time, you will see some stories from him as well!
Martin chatted to James who initially said that he didn’t believe in God. Martin used an analogy from design to show that just as a car driving past had to have a maker, in the same way the complexity of our DNA or the human eye show that we too have a maker. Martin then swung to the conscience and took James through “the good person test” by using the moral law to show that we have sinned. James agreed that he would be found guilty by a holy and just God. Martin asked what God had done 2000 years ago so that we would not have to go to hell, and James correctly responded that God sent Jesus. He then took the time to share what Jesus had done for us on the cross and how we can be saved from God’s judgement by believing in Jesus and what he did for us. He then gave James a gospel tract and a book of John to read and reminded him of how important it is to figure out our eternal destiny since we don’t know when we will die. With perfect timing, just as they finished, James’ bus came!
Please pray for those who heard the gospel and please welcome Martin to the team! Please pray for him as well as he regularly joins me on the street each week for 3-4 outreaches.
New Zealand Mission - Week Two - Christchurch - Day Three
Today we focused on outreach in the city. With a team of three there were more than enough people around to keep us busy in one to one gospel conversations.
We started in the Square, moved to Cashel via Colombo, and then down Cashel to the Bridge of Remembrance. Having conversations as we went.
After some time at the Bridge, we followed the same track backwards to the Square. One conversation that really stood out for me was one Craig and I had with an older guy from Ashburton. He was happy to talk and it turned out he was a Christian. We chatted for a bit, and then I said, “please don’t be offended, but because I don’t know you, I want to check - why can God let us into heaven?” (I wanted to know what he thought it meant to be a Christian.) Well, he got offended! “I’m not answering that, I’m a Christian, I’m not interested in debates.” We chatted some more, and I tried again - but he shut me down. Bemused, we parted ways soon after that.
We had lunch in the Square, and then decided to head towards Ara. We spent the first hour in conversations with people on the way before Andy insisted we move on - he wanted to get to the students!
The rain came, but it didn’t stop the team from having many chats down by Ara. Craig had some great chats. Andy got into a long chat with a Jewish guy - deeply religious, and they had the Bible out in deep discussion. And I had great chats too.
Two days of mission to go in Christchurch - please keep us in prayer! Thank you so much.
Operation 513 Battle Log for Toowong on Tuesday March 9, 2021 from 1330 to 1500
It was yet another ordinary day dedicated to serve the Lord. Only Johnny and Hung were available with Winnie taking a medical surgery sick leave for two weeks. In this connection, it kept both of us more busy to have non- stop chats. There were many occasions both of us were bound in chatting without taking any photo for each other. Recap below is my battle log for 10 conversations.
1) Felt , a local Aussie who tendered me initial rejection. But I switched to pure chat mode to gain friendship and was successful to share full gospel with him.
2) Sandy an UQ student also a fair dinkum Christian who is friend of Yasmin of Power To Change. He is aware of OPN 513 and basically has got full and clear understanding of salvation with 100% assurance.
3) Bridget an Aussie girl who was reluctant to chat initially. Again the new tactic of making friend worked to keep the conversation carry on with Gospel also eventually been shared.
4) Will was willing to chat though we only talked for a short while and nut shell of the Gospel was shared in time before the bus arrives.
5) An arrogant half HongKonger originally from Mainland China was not sure if he wanted to hear the Gospel but I still managed to keep the chat going on basing on the HongKonger identity. Yet he has a stone heart to keep resisting to hear the gospel after I persisted to share for a short while. Anyhow, I still felt that God is determined to break him up one day to submit himself to Christ.
6) Joyce an old Christian lady who is not clear about the gospel but sure about her salvation. It was a pity I did not have more time to help her to get the more comprehensive understanding of gospel.
7) A tall guy Henk Li from Liao Ning of Mainland China is of Buddhist background by family tradition.李漢遼寧，家佛，He is very polite and friendly to listen to the Gospel with great interest.態度友好. Pray that the seed of Gospel will sprout in His time to bear fruit.
8) An local Aussie in red grid shirt showed politeness to chat with me but showing no interest though he still took the tract to read. So pray for God's follow up work
9) A Catholic Christian yet without assurance of salvation. He was humble to chat but it was a pity the bus came a bit too quick before I had time to elaborate.
10) Abby an local Aussie UQ student who appeared very receptive to the Gospel and listened with great interest. Pray for God's follow up work.
New Zealand Mission - Week Two - Christchurch - Day Two
Today a team of four were at Northlands in the morning and then in New Brighton in the afternoon.
The bus stops weren’t busy - four evangelists was a bit much saturation! So a couple of us stayed at the bus stops, while the other two went searching down Papanui Road.
One encounter was quite interesting. Andy was talking to someone about the gospel while an elderly lady was listening from a distance. After his chat, he approached the lady - she didn’t want to talk, but accepted a tract and said she would read it when she got home - fair enough.
Well, soon after I was talking to Andy and we noticed some new people gathering near the elderly lady. I went over to engage them, but was told by Andy he had already approached her. One of the guys took a tract, the other was willing to engage for a short time before his bus arrived and he had to go. But I was using different tracts to Andy and the elderly lady noticed. She asked if she could have a copy of my one too! She still didn’t want to talk, but was happy to take tracts. I gave her two kinds, so she had three in total. People are interested!
But by eleven o’clock, we decided it would be more fruitful at New Brighton, so we made the move early.
Before lunch we had some great chats. I offered a tract to a guy at the car park - who accepted it. Soon after, Sophie came across him again on the Pier and she had a wonderful gospel chat with him!
After lunch I had a VERY long chat with two people who were drinking alcohol. It wasn’t your usual gospel chat, I had to be patient, and listen as there was real openness and yet real resistance. It was like a spiritual battle. We talked about many things, but multiple times I was able to go over the law and the gospel. I could see understanding in one of them, but hopelessness at the same time. It was like it was impossible for them - and it is, but not for God! There was a moment when I said, “It’s not try, but trust…” something clicked and one pulled out their notebook and wrote it down! I hope they don’t misunderstand. I used checking questions at the end. When I finally moved on, we had some deep hugs. I could tell they were impacted. Oh God, I can’t save them, only you can. Only you can change our hearts, and break these evil addictions. I leave these precious people in your hands!
After this the team focused on the mall area - there weren’t many people, but enough to keep us busy. Many heard the gospel - including a pirate! Glory to God alone. Give us strength to continue in this mission Lord.
New Zealand Mission - Week Two - Christchurch - Day One
It was a lot cooler this morning in Christchurch than what I’m used to up in Whangarei! Autumn is arriving! We started this leg of the mission in Riccarton, and then moved to Eastgate in the afternoon. A team of three today. Craig has joined Andy & I for the week from windy Wellington.
A bit of a slow start in Riccarton (for me) - I manned a flip chart, while Andy & Craig paired up and approached people. But then I started to have a great run of conversations.
There was a Muslim guy who was clearly looking at his good deeds to save him. He heard the law and gospel. At one point he looked at his watch - usually a que to say “I need to go”. So I gave him the option of leaving - to my surprise he said, “no, I have some time - it’s okay”. Encouraging that he wanted to stay.
I had an elderly guy go past me a few times, the first time he refused a tract and an offer for a chat, so I didn’t bother him the second time. But on the third time, he approached me! He said, “I think I’ll take one of those things” - accepting a tract! We started chatting, and he said he didn’t believe in that Bible stuff, scientists have proved x, y, z. I think he was expecting me to fight - but I decided not to. I was just overjoyed that he felt safe enough to approach this “crazy” Christian guy. But oh how I wanted to engage him - but I could just tell he wasn’t ready or willing for it. We chatted politely for a few minutes before he moved on.
The last interesting engagement of the morning was when I was paired with Craig. I offered a tract to a guy who used to be a pastor for twenty years, but who was now apostate. I so desperately wanted to talk with him, but he was a closed book that refused to open. He even handed the tract back.
We had lunch together before making our way to Eastgate for the afternoon. The highlight chat was with two guys waiting for their bus. They followed the logic of the gospel presentation flawlessly, I was so encouraged at how fast they got it, and with no resistance. I could tell one of them was counting the cost of the gift as I walked away.
Thank you for your continued prayer for the three week NZ Mission!