The Ellesmere A&P (agricultural and pastoral) Show is the first special outreach of the summer for the Christchurch (NZ) team. We hire a trade site from which we share the gospel via flip charting and tracts. The weather was great and we had many people going past our site. And it was very encouraging having a big team of Christians involved with this outreach: if I counted correctly, there were nine of us in total (from various local churches, and different levels of experience) spread out over the day, sharing the load, and encouraging each other.
There were many conversations happening. And to be honest the day was a bit of a busy blurr for me. But that’s a good thing! For next year, we might hire two sites side by side, I’m sure we could have had more conversations during the busy lunch time rush if we had more space!
I’ll probably let the photos do most of the talking, but here are two contrasting highlight conversations that come to mind:
I had an older Catholic guy stop to talk, who was a really sincere guy, but who was trusting in his goodness to get him to save him from hell. It was a good conversation where I focused on getting him to understand justification by faith alone. He seemed genuinely challenged.
But in contrast, I had another wonderful conversation with a young man who wanted to challenge me on this “God thing”, but ended up saying he couldn’t fault the logic. I laboured with this guy to get him to understand justification by faith alone, while at the same time understanding the cost of following Jesus. I was confident he understood, but as he was walking away, he made an interesting comment. He said, “I’ll trust in Jesus' sacrifice for my sins, and then I’ll go and booze up with my mates!” I pulled him back to re-explain that with faith in Christ comes a changed heart and repentance that leads to obedience. I challenged him to repent and believe today - as he had no guarantee of having another.
This log entry covers Thursday, Friday and Sunday. I’ll do a separate entry for the Ellesmere A&P Show outreach on Saturday.
On Thursday Andy & I were at the bus stops outside Eastgate and Northlands - as usual.
A week or so ago, I mentioned a difficult conversation I had with a guy who was drunk at Northlands. Well, today, Andy had a wonderful follow up opportunity with him (pictured) - but this time at Eastgate, and he was sober. It turns out he had been involved with a church for a number of years, but sadly had never actually been converted! He has now had two fresh opportunities to hear the gospel. God willing, we will continue to have opportunities to minister to him.
For me, two gospel conversations stand out, both at Eastgate. They were also follow up opportunities.
The first was with a young man who said he had discussed what I’d shared with him last time with his partner, which was encouraging! But sadly, when I asked him if he could remember the way to heaven, he responded with: stop doing bad things. Wrong answer. I did my best to correct his understanding, but he had to leave, so I didn’t really have the time. I gave him some different tracts to read. And he was interested in coming to church, so I also gave him a card with contact details and directions. I hope to see him again.
The second is with a lady who I have talked to multiple times ever since I’ve started coming to this spot for outreach. She was keen to stop and discuss the important questions of life deeply. As always, I continued to point her to the gospel. I was encouraged.
Friday saw heavy rain for most of the day. Andy and I made it through most of the gospel + abortion outreach in the morning (which I posted about on the Project 139 page on Facebook), before we needed to warm up. In the late afternoon / early evening I letterbox dropped.
Sunday was nice and warm. In the afternoon, I set up my flip chart on Cashel Mall outside Ballantynes. It was a difficult day of outreach. There were plenty of people about, but for some reason I only had two conversations (although I did manage to hand out some tracts).
The first one was with a lady from Russia. I made it through the law with her, but she became very resistant. She stormed off. I called after her and said I had good news to share - but she wasn’t interested.
The second was with a high school exchange student from Vietnam. It was a very long, slow conversation, where I had to work really hard to understand what he was meaning behind the things he was saying. I eventually realised that he was viewing everything through the filter of his happiness - everything was about him. For him, coming to Jesus would be about improving his life - which is a wrong motivation. I worked hard to help him understand the big picture. But he seemed blind to it. Yet I must remember the word of God is powerful. I eventually wound the conversation down; I leave him in God’s hands.
Since my last log entry, there have been outreaches on: Saturday in Cathedral Square, Sunday in Cashel Mall, Tuesday in Riccarton, and today, Wednesday, at various spots in the city.
The Tuesday outreach was another busy affair. So busy, in fact, that it was pretty much constant conversations for the team of two, and there was even a time where we were both in conversations and I was watching a couple of students flipping through my flip chart across the road and no one was available to share the gospel with them! So please pray for labourers, and if you can, please consider being the answer to those prayers by joining the team! :)
So the students are now back at school, and we had many gospel conversations with high school students passing through in the late afternoon.
But the highlight conversation for me was the first one I had (soon after I had set up my flip chart). Sadly, the young couple were struggling with suicide. Right from the start, they didn’t deny the existence of God or the requirement for justice. They admitted they had sinned, and that they deserve hell. But it didn’t concern them at all. I worked through a few analogies to get them to understand that it should concern them, and that’s when the conversation turned to suicide. I spent my time listening, and explaining the basis for hope: for eternal life and for real change in this life too: Jesus. I was able to draw from my own testimony in this regard. The young couple lingered, and so I continued to challenge and encourage them with the gospel. They left with various tracts, and the contact details of my local church.
On Wednesday morning, I was back in Cashel Mall, but the level of people was back to more normal levels with the school holidays being over and the initial interest in the Riverside Market tapering off.
The most interesting conversation was with a guy who was wearing headphones as he passed receiving a tract. He came back, taking his headphones off and wanting to know what it was all about. He had obviously been thinking about the important questions of life, as I was very encouraged by this guys earnest interest in understanding Christianity. He said he had never heard it explained in this way before. I challenged him that it’s not just intellectual information that I was giving him - but there was an urgency to respond with a repentant faith - the gift with a cost.
After lunch I ditched the flip chart and headed for Ara via High Street. I had many walk up gospel opportunities as I went. I spoke with three high school students, then with two stubborn professing atheists, before moving into a long conversation with an Ara student from Brazil. By the time I made it to Ara, I decided to turn around and walk back continuing my walk up strategy. Many more wonderful opportunities to talk to people about the gospel presented themselves - all the way back to my car.
Battle Log : Toowong Oct 15 Tuesday 1330 -1500
Walk with Christ to Walk with Clients of Gospel
God has never stopped amazing us by His Wondrous works ever since we started the street evangelism at Toowong. Apart from praying for more opportunities to share gospel to people of all nation (people group), we have also been praying for more Street Evangelist workers.
Winnie is one of the exemplary example, taking only one week of learning and observation than joining force to have the spiritual boldness to start sharing to people on the street as guided by the Spirit. So for three consecutive weeks, she has got increasing chances of sharing full gospel.
Today she shared to three persons namely Craig a non-believer from India, Reuben, possibly a back slashed Islander Christian or from Africa, then Rose an Aussie old lady of Catholic background. They all responded positively showing willingness to pursue salvation or getting back to Church to rebuild relationship with God. The empowerment for Winnie to share Gospel does not limit on Tuesday at Toowong but during the week in many shopping malls in the Gold Coast. Praise God for the quick transformation of Winnie from a lay Christian to a street evangelism warrior.
Then comes Gladys. God moved and called her through our Battle Log sharing and she first indicated to me last Sunday at Ruth Ordination service she has interest to join but did not commit when. Then Monday last night, God let us meet again unexpectedly at Carindale where I took free veges. I appealed her to come today but again she appeared indecisive. So today, I did not expect her to turn up. Therfore, when the four of us, Winnie and husband Vincent, Johnny all arrived a bit ahead of time, we prayed together then supposedly Johnny , Winnie, and I were ready to go to the street, but Johnny was moved to stay behind to share Gospel with Vincent possibly because I told him he has not yet officially received Christ but his heart is readily soften as such he felt obliged to come all the way from the Gold Coast every time to support Winnie.
Because of this delay, Gladys who arrived just on time did not miss us all but met Johnny so she would not have missed her first attempt to come out by faith. Johnny was classmate with Gladys in the Bible College, so he briefed Gladys the way to share on the street then led her to have practice together. See, this were all the works of God to keep calling Gladys to come out from her comfort zone. Pray that Gladys will be moved to come from now on, on a more regular basis.
As for me, I got 10 opportunities, of which many were grasped by walking with the gospel targets, either to the bus stop, to their work place and in the last instance to their place of living near by.
1) Jonathan an UQ student from Thailand. He is a non-believers, but responded positively to the Gospel. I referred him to join Power to Change if she chooses to accept Jesus as his personal Savior.
2) Mary. a Local Aussie lady who heard only half of my gospel sharing but had to go for an appointment.
3) Santos , an UQ student from Sri Lanka who claimed to be a Buddhist, but he still appeared responsive and receptive to the Gospel message.
4) Melissa an office worker who was born here but of Romania descendant. I walked her to her work place to buy time for sharing the full Gospel.
5) Noor an Australian born Indian UQ student of self righteousness but still willing to listen to the gospel while I walked him to the bus stop. It was cut short by the bus
6) A local Aussie Mum took the tract and heard the topic but had to rush for her medical appointment near by.
7) Helena , an UQ student from Bangladesh who heard the Gospel for the first time and appeared receptive to the teaching.
8) Rubia and Shane are UQ year 1 female students from Shandong. They first accepted the tract from Winnie but did not stop to listen. I anyway asked for permission to walk them home near by and had just enough time to finish sharing the full Gospel. They appeared receptive and promised to read and respond to the tract.
9) Osten an Aussie of Sweden origin. He also appeared very receptive to the Gospel.
10) MacAlister, an UQ student of Irish Catholic background, he initially did not have assurance of salvation, but after sharing he was grateful for my clarification and explanation getting a full understanding of God's three folds deliverance.
It was pretty quiet first week of school holidays but we got to hand out a few tracts and plant some seeds of truth.
The second week there were a little more people about. One great conversation was with a man whom we have had short conversations with on numerous occasions. He shows to be more comfortable than when we first talked with him. He is someone I know not real well but he is someone that the Lord has given a leading to just do little bits at a time. We always speak of the urgency of the message and he does take tracts. This week he come up and he always says how ya goin? I said yeah pretty good and led into showing him the tract I had been handing out. It was the Eternity tract. I asked him if he had ever heard of the guy that wrote this word on the footpaths down Sydney?
Then we discussed how the word Eternity was written in lights on the Sydney harbour bridge at the turn of the century. I googled Mr Eternity on my phone and showed it to him and read the brief information. He was interested in this bit of history he didn't know about. Arthur Stace is his name and he has a wonderful testimony. Then I was able to point to the message of salvation how it is so very important for him. After this he had to go, as the person he was waiting for was now waiting for him.
But he took a Eternity tract with him, hopefully he got to show it to his friend also. He has taken a comic book and other tracts in the past. God is in control of everything and his salvation. It's really good to see he can approach us and we can keep planting seeds and pointing to Jesus for his and every persons greatest need ever.
Amazingly around 10 minutes after he left Rick was in conversation with a lady who had a tract with Eternity written on it (the tract was not from our ministry) she was saying how she as a child had often seen the man writing Eternity on the paths. She said she was saved years later and told us her testimony. Wow I told her about the man and we all know that there is no coincidence with God it's God - incidence!!!
She is from the Sunshine Coast and was so excited about the ministry, she said she is always handing out tracts wherever she goes. We were encouraged and shared information about the ministry in that it is for the saints too, to encourage and to also equip believers for the work of evangelism in spreading the glorious Gospel.
She left and then the man came walking past and I was able to tell him about the lady who we had talked with that she had actually seen the man Mr Eternity who we were talking about earlier. I told him again this message is really important and he must have needed to hear it and please read the tract.
I handed out the tract 'everything happens for a reason' one of my favourite tracts, a lady took it, stopped, and agreed with what it said, she asked what it was all about which lead into a good chat about the gospel. She said a few times during our talk that she thought she was a good person and after a while Glenda joined with me with the gospel of John booklet and the bridge diagram. These booklets are very good for a visual look at our separation between us and God, plus part of the bible for them to take home and read! of course with a few gospel tracts in there as well.
This lady kept saying that we sounded like her grandmother especially when Glenda said she needed to give her life to christ.This lady was open but needed to realise the depth of her sin. We used the flip chart to give her another visual of the seriousness of our offense against a Holy God. Please pray for C, that God would reveal this gospel truth and draw her to salvation.
We are very thankful to our Lord for all the work He is doing in the hearts of people.
Praise His Holy Name.
On Saturday 5th November, four of us met for Men's breakfast at Torpoint before praying and heading out onto the streets in pairs to try and hand out some tracts and start some conversations with some shoppers and dog walkers. John and I headed one way, and Archie and Ian the other.
John and I met a man called Jeff who was at the bus stop waiting to cross over the ferry into Plymouth. Jeff seemed quite a simple gentleman in his 60s and we had a conversation for about 15 minutes about his opinions of the afterlife and what happens when someone dies. He said he actually was looking forward to dying one day so he would go to heaven. We asked why God should let him in and he said he had different beliefs about Christianity but also some beliefs in meditation, and that other religions offered some spiritual guidance and had their own prophets who taught us different things about God.
Jeff was a really nice guy, and we talked about the 10 commandments, Jesus being the only way to Heaven etc, as well as why the other supposed prophets of God did not actually know how to have their sins forgiven like Mohammed and Gandhi, but that only Jesus through the cross could give us complete forgiveness and assurance and peace that we were right with God through him. He took some tracts to read on the bus on the way over and we prayed they would make sense to him and that God would open his eyes and reveal the true gospel to him.
Later in town I met up with Simon and we prayed for the rain to hold off and for divine encounters with people. While setting up 2 lads from launceston who had come up to do some shopping managed to go through the intelligence test, and we had a great conversation about spiritual things, with 2 more of their friends joining later on. They seemed very intrigued and listened and seemingly had not thought much about spiritual matters before, and gladly took some tracts and information to read.
A man had been listening in to our conversation, and I found out he was called Steve, who I believe was in his 50s, a skeptic but very nice and polite and congenial.He had received a Roman Catholic upbringing and was stuck on why other 'good' people from pother religions would not go to heaven, and how the bible is interpreted and misinterpreted. This led to quite a lengthily conversation about how we know the Bible wae have today has not been changed and is reliable and trustworthy, why the Christian gospel is the only way anyone can be saved as our righteousness before God is like filthy rags, and how we we need a perfect righteousness only Jesus can give to us.
In his lifetime he had worked for some voluntary organisations and had actually met Mother Theresa, and he used her example of being good and so kindhearted as to why she would be in heaven. He was very shocked at the exclusivity of Jesus' demands in Matthew 7 and the narrow way etc, but was very lighthearted and jovial in the conversation which ended with him disagreeing but able to leave taking some tracts to read.Whilst this was going on, Simon managed to speak to various teenagers that had been walking past and looking at the intelligence test board, some of which attended he school where I work which. Simon gave them comic book good person tracts which led onto more conversations with them the following week which was good.
Simon and myself had quite a lengthily chat with two young lads who were in the Navy who said they were not religious, and had never really thought about God and the afterlife before. Tey stopped to talk when I offered them a million pound note and listened at length to our sharing the gospel with them, but kept saying they were not religious and so seemingly thought this would have no relevance to them just because they didn't believe it.
They too took some tracts and the final words they heard were that their beliefs don't matter, but what is true, and so if the Christian message is true, it would apply to them whether they believed it or not, and so needed to heed the gospel call to repent and believe before it was too late.
Simon had a lengthily conversation with a well dressed young woman called Emma who said she was a Jehovah's Witness. Simon spoke to her about the divinity of Christ, the need to understand the Holy Spirit's person and wok in the scriptures, not as taught by the New World Translation, and why and how she needed to be born again. It lasted for around 20 minutes and she took some tracts from us to think about.
3 teenagers saw the sign about abortion and why a child in the womb should be protected and loved, not killed for convenience sak, and they were particularly shocked as to what abortion actually was and said they would definitely think about what they read. Ed came along after 2.30pm and we decided it was time to preach before the rain came.
I read on the news that morning that a double decker bus had overturned and crashed near Paington, leaving several people hurt and a major response from the emergency services needed, which made national news. I spoke of how the people on that bus could have been talking about what they were going to buy, where they were going , the weather ror sport, and could have been fit and healthy and attended the gym and had no knowledge of what was going to happen, but then suddenly in an instant their life changed, and how important it was for people to hear and respond to the gospel message before their life could be tragically cut short unexpectedly.
A few people started to gather around to respond, one man shouting and swearing, another man and his friend stopping to tell me that many other ancient writings were older than the Bible and that he was doing a better job of drawing a crowd than me, which inadvertently drew a crowd without me trying which was great as he was quite vocal and loud.
A man called Boran who was a Muslim (as seen in pic) asked some great questions about Jesus and Mohammed being the final prophet and why he followed what he taught, but I tried to show him from scripture why even Mohammed didn't know where he was going when he died, and that according to Islam Allah was not just a he would supposedly let people nto heaven who had done more good than bad, but would have to overlook their sin as their was no payment for it. I showed Boran that only the God of the Bible was just and merciful, and didn't let guilty people go unpunished, but took out His punishment on God the Son on the cross, so being just and merciful- 2 Corinthians 5 v 21. Boran shook hands and said he understood and took some tracts which was good.
Some more people took offense at the scripture board 1 Corinthians 6 v 9-11, a young man who said he was gay and ginger guy were asking me questions on what I thought about homosexuality and was it wrong. I believed they were trying to test me and get me to say something they could use against me, and as the crowd increased felt quite under pressure and worried the Police may appear.
Thankfully God gave me the right words and right tone of voice to explain that their sexuality was not the main issue, and that God was angry at all sn, whether someone was straight or gay, and that even if they had just lied or stolen or blasphemed etc they would still be guilty, but that God set the standard of what was right for mankind with one man and woman for life. The young man took tracts but ripped them up, but I encouraged him to go to gotquestions.org and fullyfreefilms.com to read and watch some more information that may answer his questions.
Simon and Ed spoke to a lady called Sophia who as passing that ha just finished work in the shopping mall, who said that one persons truth may not be someone else's truth, but that both could be right. I asked her if she believed in absolute truth etc which led to her acknowledging there was such a thing and it is not wrong to say someone is wrong and still be polite and civil. She too took some tracts to read and think about. In total we were there for over four hours, and even when packing up to go home a group of teens kept asking questions and shouting out about who made God etc, but some took some tracts to read and cycled off.
It as an amazing day that totally blew us away with at one point around 25-30 people of different ages and backgrounds coming into listen to the different dialogue, including young primary school kids asking who made God, and a Christian lad asking where was the garden of Eden now which was very deep for someone only aged 13.
God really blessed us all and we were so encouraged and have a notebook to write down peoples names for us to pray for them so the gospel seed is not taken away but remains to grow and bear fruit.
Our next outreach will hopefully be in Exeter in 2 weeks time on 26th October 12-4pm.
Arriving at our prayer spot, we noticed UQ, marine science tents in the lifeguard area. Following prayer the ladies headed there and were:
- encouraged as they met 2 South African men, C. & P., who were 'on the Lord's side'. They were invited to and may attend a local reformed congregation which is only 10 minutes from where they are living.
- moved to compassion by G., an Indian man who was quite content to let them have Jesus but He is not for G. G. said that he had asked God, if he was there, to do some magic to prove it, so he thinks he is okay. G. was pointed to his need to 'test the spirits' to ensure he was not deceived. God does not do magic. Then he heard that we are all sinful and how Christ alone provides an atonement that satisfies God's righteous requirements so that the one trusting Christ alone can be reconciled to God.. Although G. had never read the Bible, when he heard Jn. 14:6, he said that Jesus never said that. Please ask God to deal with him through the "Which one is right' tract or whatever He wills.
Meanwhile, the 3 men at the jetty had various chats with:
- 2 Iraqi Muslims who were cousins with the same name, R. But they were chatted to individually as we 3 engaged them.
One R. said that he would not trust Mohammed if all the previous prophets had told different messages. Pray he does distrust Mohammed and receives Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. (He had expressed unwillingness to 'let' someone else pay his sin debt, but changed his attitude after he had been challenged him twice, by different team members, on that point.)
The other R replied to the opening question by saying that he would go to hell as he had done many bad things. He listened to the gospel but was not that clear in answering the checking questions. They have both been encouraged to attend a Bible church near where they live. Pray they will go and hear the voice of God speak to them individually.
There is always more happening than can be told, so thank you for praying. Please keep doing so. For our part, we will keep going out as He enables us and to Him alone be glory and praise. He also enables us to go home rejoicing. How beautiful He is and unchangeably so.
Thursday and Friday. Six outreaches: Northlands (bus stops; team of two), Eastgate (bus stops; team of two), Hospital (abortion outreach; team of five), Cathedral Square (open air preaching + conversations; team of four), Cashel Mall (flip charting + tracts; team of five), City (evening outreach; team of four). Another very busy two days with many gospel conversations - praise God.
I have to admit to not feeling 100% for the bus stop outreaches on Thursday afternoon - I think I was still recovering from the busy Wednesday. The highlight conversation was at Northlands where I had a young Christian stop to talk. He is a fine arts student at the university. Early in the conversation he articulated a reasonable grasp of the gospel, but when I asked him what his friends would say was the most important thing in his life, Jesus came in as # 3, after his art (#1) and family (#2). So the conversation continued in a pastoral but evangelistic fashion - me not knowing his standing before God. It was quite a long chat, where I was doing most of the talking. But I checked in often to see what he was thinking. He was very engaged, but was content listening, and asking questions. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to speak into the lives of people like this and I pray God would continue to give me wisdom for the right words to use.
After the abortion outreach, Friday morning, I was walking with Marty (OAC) to Cathedral Square. I haven’t open air preached for a while, probably feeling a bit discouraged about whether it is effective. But Marty encouraged me to preach, so I did. Thankfully, the musician was set up away from speakers corner, and I was able to preach without that distraction. There were quite a few people around enjoying the market and food stalls - hopefully some listened. Afterwards, the team became engaged in one-on-one conversations. It was wonderful to watch.
We then moved to Cashel Mall for the afternoon. Like Wednesday, there were many people walking through. Before I had even finished setting up my flip chart, a guy noticed it and wanted to give it a go!
After he had moved on, I noticed a guy rolling a cigarette - so I walked over to say g'day and ended up having a wonderful gospel conversation with him. He wasn’t sure if God existed, so I explained, simply, how we know God must exist - and it seemed like a zen moment for him and he was extremely open to going through the law and the gospel. I used various courtroom analogies in the conversation, and they were very applicable, as this guy was actually taking a break from being in court (nearby)! At the end, he flicked through the tract I’d given him, and he said he wanted to share the information I had given with others. He also wanted to go look at a web site with more details (I pointed him to the web site on the tract). But I cautioned him that today was the day of salvation - before he did any of those things, he needed to trust that Christ had paid the fine for his sin.
My next conversation took up pretty much the rest of my time of the outreach. It was a follow up with a guy that I’ve been talking with, on and off, since last summer. It was an animated conversation, with some good heat from time to time. Sadly, he seems blind to the gospel - but something keeps causing him to want to talk to me about the things of God. I was very encouraged to hear that I am the only one in his sphere of life who causes him to think about the things of God; according to him, if I wasn’t out on the streets, he wouldn’t be thinking about it. We are almost at the point where we could call each other friends - we even connected on Facebook - even though we are polls apart when it comes to religion. He is adamant that I’m wasting my time praying for him - but I will continue. ;)
I was pretty exhausted by the time the evening outreach started. We prayed together, and I asked that we would be clicking our heels heading home in two hours time. God certainly answered that prayer! I had some wonderful gospel conversations. Firstly, with 2 couples from India at an intersection - they were flying home that night. Then with a guy at the bridge of remembrance.
But the highlight conversation was when I stopped a young couple on Hereford street. They became very engaged in the conversation, and seemed to clearly see the logic of the gospel and seemed very open to it, even after considering the cost. I felt like I was on cloud nine after that conversation, any tiredness I was feeling was gone!
To finish off the evening, I had an opportunity to interact with some under nineteen cricket players from Bangladesh and briefly share the gospel with them. They left with tracts.
You must remember that I can only share the conversations I’m having - I’m not the only one on these outreaches, and the other Christians are all having other opportunities to share the love of Christ. I’m grateful for the opportunities God is providing. Consider joining an outreach team near you and experience the joy of working in the harvest. All glory to God.
Operation 513 was in Stratford today. Jacob Moswa and I joined three members of the Sports Fan Outreach International in the rain. The SFOI guys took a break after four hours in the rain and I continued to preach and Jacob spoke to a number of people. Jacob and I both engaged with Samir, the Muslim outreach man. We didn't get very far with Samir, unfortunately, as he always badgers us to show where Jesus said that He is God. I mentioned John 8:24 and the 'ego eimi' statement of Jesus, but Samir wasn't accepting that. He asked Allah to make note that I was a liar, but we didn't get any further. Jacob showed Samir John 20:28 where Thomas says, "Ho Kyrious mou kai ho Theus mou", but that didn't impress him either.
Thursday afternoon, a 15 year old student was stabbed to death within meters of where we were ministering. I wasn't confident to address the issue directly, but I stressed the Gospel repeatedly. I went back to a sign left by SFOI near me declaring that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Jacob spoke with Marius from Roumania, whose father passed away recently and Alicia, a young woman who was very depressed. I wound up giving out all my tracts this time to James from Barking, Mary from London and Steve, They are all involved in outreach in London. I started preaching for a marathon +90 minutes. I felt lead to emphasize Christ's humility in His birth, His life and His death. False religion always exalts itself, but true religion is a call to humility, repentance, self-denial and faith. Curiously, some Black Hebrew Israelites sat down near me and a loud conversation ensued with Aaron, a Christian who argued with them for ages.
A very busy and encouraging Tuesday and Wednesday of outreach for the Christchurch (NZ) team. So busy, in fact, that I barely have the energy to write this log! I don’t know if I’m going to be able to capture the excitement I’m feeling about these days or come close to covering the interesting gospel conversations - I’ll do my best.
Roger and I were at the corner of Rotherham and Riccarton Tuesday afternoon. It had been two weeks since I was last here where road works prevented me from using my usual spot and I ended up going for two hours without a gospel conversation! But this outreach was a stark contrast - the road works were complete leaving two improved outreach spots - one on either side of Rotherham Street, and we had a busy time of ministry with many conversations. Praise God.
The highlight for Roger was having the privilege of sharing the gospel with a Muslim lady who had tragically lost her husband in the Mosque shootings back in March.
For me I had two occasions where I had multiple people wanting to talk to me, but there weren’t enough of me to go round!
On The first occasion I was talking to a lady away slightly from my flip chart, when four teens walked past and start interacting with the flip chart on their own! The lady took a tract and moved on, and I was able to call the teens back and take them through the chart (pictured). One of them had done it before (in Cathedral Square), and they all had a good understanding of the gospel having come from Christian families. But one of those guys still seemed impacted and thoughtful. They all received tracts.
The second occasion started with a discussion with a very intellectually switched on guy who fired questions so fast I couldn’t answer one before he would be asking another. Soon after starting my discussion with him, I had two other sets of people stop and want to talk to me too: five people in total. And they were all firing questions at me - oh for more labourers! I wasn’t able to hold the attention of all of them, and so the conversation whittled down to the original guy and I.
The way I dealt with the question machine gun he was firing was to switch to presuppositional apologetics: what is our basis for truth?, how can we know things to be true? And it worked a treat - it wasn’t an angle he had considered before, and it caused him to slow down a little and contemplate more. As soon as I had achieved that, I tried to switch back to the law and then the gospel - but he was resistant and undercut me by cutting to the chase and articulating a definition of the gospel and calling it God’s loophole! I didn’t let that go, and did my best to explain that Jesus - the creator of the universe; the King of kings - dying on a cross for unworthy rebels was an unfathomably great cost (how dare he call it a “loophole”!!!). It was a long tiring conversation! At one point we even exchanged testimonies. It was a conversation that could have gone longer - much longer, but he had to go, and I don’t think we were making much progress having covered a lot of ground already. He left with a “How we know God exists and why it matters” tract. I leave him in God’s hands.
Wednesday I was in the city. Cashel Mall was the busiest I ever remember it being. People were everywhere! During lunch time I was having constant gospel conversations that rolled one into the other. I would be finishing up one chat, when another person would step up and take my attention. I normally take lunch at 1pm, but it wasn’t till 2pm that I got a break from sharing the gospel! Praise God.
And those conversations were unique and special - each one! But I’m not going to be able to write about them all. Here are some highlights:
I had a guy walk past who said he had talked to me eighteen months ago and he hadn’t forgotten it. I ended up being able to talk to him and his very bright young son, who listened very intently to what I was saying and interjected very insightfully from time to time. But sadly, the guy had not remembered the gospel! I did my best to carefully explain it again, and challenged him to respond - he may not get another opportunity.
I had an amazing gospel conversation with a young couple. The girl openly let tears run down her face as she heard the gospel! (I think of Romans 1:16 here which I was reading in the morning before heading out.) But the guy became resistant. There was a real spiritual battle going on.
A lady came down the mall that I recognised. It turns out we were at a Christian youth camp together when we were teens! We had a long gospel conversation.
And as I was finishing up with the lady, a guy walked up to the flip chart. I thought they knew each other - but they didn’t. It turns out he had down the flip chart before, and had received tracts and wanted to discuss.
I moved to Cathedral Square to finish off the outreach there, and ended up having some great conversations. But this is now the longest battle log I think I’ve ever written. I thank God for the encouragement of these two days of outreach (I really needed it).
People may ask, “but are you seeing fruit?” Well, yes I am. I have successfully shared the gospel with all the above people and more over these two days. That is our task: share the gospel (out of our weakness). We leave the saving to Him. Thank you for your prayer and support. I mean it - thank you! There was one moment this morning where I was thinking: “someone is praying!”