It has been a while since the team has gotten a video encouragement up but in this video you can hear some testimonies from an outreach in early December last year.
Daniel, gives the encouragement that there are many people to share the Gospel with and specfically shares about a conversation that he had, where it seemed as if God had been preparing this young man to hear.
Over the course of eight minutes, Daniel was able to share the Gospel clearly to this man.
Next Tim, who was just travelling through, decided to stop for a few hours before continuing on home and as a result God used him to share the Gospel with a range of people, specfically you can hear about a conversation he had with a man named Hero.
Please be praying for these two conversations as well the team as they endeavour to share God's glorious Gospel with the lost day after day.
And consider Daniel's final encouragement, to join us in this Mission, to be ambassador's for Christ, to this lost and perishing world.
After the earlier day outreach, we ran our 2nd Friday night outreach in central Christchurch.
In the first spot we set up (corner of Cashel Mall / Oxford Terrace), there was less foot traffic than expected, so we had to approach people to start conversations. This led to an amazing conversation with a man on holiday from Nelson, who had spiritual encounters in the past and wanted to talk about them to make sense of them. He also heard a clear presentation of the law and the gospel, with a call to repent - flee - from sin to God. At the end of the conversation, the man said, "thank you, I appreciate it" - so very encouraging knowing people are interested in the gospel and are happy to be approached for a conversation!
We ended up moving to Cathedral Square, where the market and food stalls were still happening - and a band was setting up to provide entertainment. There were plenty of people around which lead to many more gospel conversations.
At the end of the night, a very sad conversation occurred with a young lady who when asked: "have you ever murdered anyone?" said "yes, I had an abortion". She seemed completely at ease about this, in spite of the fact that she had acknowledged (maybe without realising it) that she was a murderer. It revealed how easy people can justify sin and sear their conscience. The focus of the conversation remained on the reality of God and his justice, the standard of his law (we can pretend to live in our own bubble of "reality" - but we will all have to face the truth on judgment day), and also on the fact that forgiveness is available through repentance and faith in Jesus. She was resistant, but happy to chat. I had a fresh realisation of the incredible love of Jesus, that even when we were His enemies, He died for us! May this young lady come to know this great love and forgiveness!
Praise be to God, central Christchurch is being saturated with the gospel of Jesus - by just a few, humble, weak followers of Christ - heading out daily. More and more, we are encountering people who have already been through the flip chart presentation of the gospel - including today, with a young man. Interestingly, he was open to going through it again - with his friend who had not been through it before. May this young man, and his friend, keep encountering Christians sharing the gospel till they finally surrender in understanding, repentance, and faith. Are you ready to continue the conversation?
Yet, the most encouraging gospel interaction of the day was with a young man waiting for his girlfriend outside a shop. A tract was offered with the question, "Will you go to heaven when you die?". There was not an opportunity to explain the whole gospel - but he took the tract (which does), and as we were parting ways he said, "Thank you so much, I appreciate it". The next time you fear starting that gospel conversation, remember - there are many who will appreciate it! Yes, many will not be interested - but what's the worst that can happen? Just say, "have a nice day", and move on. :)
To finish the day, the team went through Cathedral Square having walk up gospel conversations. And as we were not able to preach at our usual time due to other Christians out reading the scriptures in the open air, we finished with preaching instead. Our most vocal heckler was there; but we decided to preach anyway. The law and the gospel was proclaimed, and on que the heckling started. Yet, a small gathering of people were listening, with people accepting tracts afterwards. May those that heard the gospel be saved, for God's glory alone, through the "foolishness" of the preaching today.
New Year's Eve Outreach - Clendon
During the early hours of the afternoon my sister Eliza and I also with my 3 year old son Elihu - Went out and distributed some of our Church calendars door to door, it is a ministry of our church where we give these out door to door to the residents that are in close proximity of our church building. It was a good reminder of how much in need for the gospel this area has but what an opportunity the Lord gave us, as many were willingly able to take a calendar, the calendars themselves have a text of scripture in each month followed by a gospel tract in the end page, our hope is that the people will see that each and every day belongs to the Lord and that their days are numbered. May the Lord take the text of Holy Scripture off the walls from the calendars and allow for His word to inwardly digest into the hearts of the people of Clendon.
Later in the afternoon when we had finished our run - I dropped Eliza and Elihu home and met with my Pastor at the Clendon Shopping Centre, it's been difficult trying to do evangelism here as the town center has come under new management, am thankful that by the end of our time here we were given leads to the right people to talk to, so please pray that we can have more of a presence here in the year to come. I was able to go through 2 presentations with the flipchart here 1 was with a young man along with his sister, in the beginning I got to establish good rapport with them both but as we got into the flipshart their mother started yelling out for them to get in the car, this started to become somewhat awkward, at first the sister turned around and left to go but the young man in his mid to late teens wanted to stay, you see we had got through the law in the chart and he saw that if God were to judge him according to standard of His perfect law he would be guilty and sent to hell. By God's grace I was able to get to the last page and continue to encourage him to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved from eternal judgment. He seemed happy to hear of how God saves from judgment and took a tract, please pray for that young man his sister and their mother.
The following photo is of Andrew, this was my last conversation and one that I would never forget, he wanted to go through the chart so we did, he became really interested in the gospel, he had been through so much in his life he needed to understand how is it that God as the judge is able to judge anyone, this gave a good opportunity to talk about God's attributes, the Goodness of God, the Holiness of God, and how man is sinful and a good God who is all powerful does not look upon sin lightly and must bring judgment, and by God's grace he seemed to come away understanding what Christ had done on the cross and how to be saved, a personal highlight for me was at the end I had given him some tracts and one of our church calendars, moments later as I drove home I saw him walking on the footpath reading the literature I gave him. Also, during this conversation a man who I do not remember what he looked like put insisted I take the $20 he slipped into my hand for a drink along with other Christians from other local churches who the Lord had sent to encourage us.
What a glorious gospel! What a glorious Savior! May the Lord of the harvest send more labourers in 2019 because worthy is the Lamb who sits on the throne!
Otara Markets - Christmas Outreach
Every year on the Saturday before Christmas day thousands of people around Auckland flock to the Otara markets, as early as 6.30am parking was difficult with people in a mad rush to secure their spot, it is the busiest time of the year for this market and in the past 3 years now the Lord has allowed us to be here for this particular Saturday.
Many of our soldiers who would of loved to come were unable to today, and so, terrified as I was, the Lord gave me courage to setup the flipchart and almost immediately I got into a conversation with a couple who were interested in going through it. By God's grace I was able to go through the entire chart and even at the end they continued to stay and want to talk more about the gospel.
Almost all of my flipchart conversations were like this where people were willing to stay for lengthy conversations where all ending with an encouragement to the hearer that they turn away from their sin and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ as He is the only One who can save them from the wrath to come.
I wasn't expecting to speak to so many and that the flipchart would draw the amount of people that it did as there were times where I was having to raise my voice for certain flipchart presentations as there would be a crowd of people who would stop to listen and by the end of the day I felt as though I had lost my voice from all the conversations. Praise the Lord!
In between these encounters I handed out a great amount of our Op513 Christmas tracts and later on my sister Eliza also joined and helped with the distribution, she was able to capture some photos of my last conversation with this couple who were wanting to go through the chart.
I found them both to be active listeners that seemed to be amazed at how God would forgive sinners, I was able to tell them that this was what Christmas is about, that God would send His Son to die for sinners and also that Christ would willingly lay down His life for them. We rejoiced at the work that was done on this day.
Soli Deo Gloria, Gloria in Excelsis Deo!
There was much opposition to the gospel on a hot summers day. And yet, much time was spent in fruitful conversations - all glory to God. Cathedral Square ended up being the place to be, after a slow start in Cashel Mall.
Kelvin, the Square's resident busker, was in full swing, so I decided to do some walk up conversations while waiting for him to take a break before preaching.
My first conversation was with a young man on holiday from South Africa who turned out to be a PK (pastor's kid), but wasn't sure if he would go to heaven. After discussion, it turned out he thought salvation hinged on works. And so after explaining the law, a careful explanation of salvation by grace alone was given, with a clarification that works is an evidence of our faith, not required to be saved. This man had 2 friends with him, and 1 in particular thanked me for taking the time to speak to them (after initially not being interested in the conversation).
But it was when I started preaching that the opposition came, I noticed hecklers gathering, and then as I was finishing up, our main - and most vocal - heckler turned up and stared getting stuck in. This was wonderful, because it drew a small crowd of people keen to have a laugh at the foolish Christian. But the gospel was preached to them, with a call to repentance and faith in Christ. And the fruit was the 3 follow up conversations that occurred after, and because of, the preaching! Although our heckler tried to interrupt 2 of those private conversations - it only added weight to the importance of what was being talked about.
By this stage, another outreach team member had arrived, and we decided to go back to Cashel to get a break from the heckling. 1 great conversation was had there, but then a man with some mental health issues took exception to us and was mumbling threatening and bad language at us. There was no reasoning with this man, so we backed away and moved back to Cathedral Square, by this time our heckler had departed and we again had some fruitful conversations, including with a very open hearted young lady who was ready for a new start in life and took a Bible and gospel booklet.
Praise God that He allows opposition, and yet seems to use that for His own purposes and the benefit of the gospel! Always be humble and gracious, but don't let opposition stop you from sharing the vital message of the gospel!
While visiting my brother in Christchurch, I teamed up with Glen Richards (Operation 513 Christchurch) for a New Year’s Outreach. On a lighter note- I left a braai(bbq) to join the Outreach and anyone who knows South Africans knows that’s a big deal ;)
We met up with another Christchurch local (Philip) and then proceeded to a New Year’s family event in Christchurch cbd. Philip and Glen setup their flip charts in different places and I went back and forth between them, handing out tracts. Philip has two really good conversations, before he joined up with us. While Glen was engaged in a conversation, I took over his Flipchart and got into good, long and sad conversation with two young agnostics (Fergus & Callum). Fergus was really enthusiastic, but sadly it seems to argue for argument’s sake, while his friend just quietly and patiently listened.
In the end Glen, Philip and I all talked, reasoned and pleaded with them; presenting the Law & Gospel to them as best as we could. At one stage an elderly man and his wife joined the group conversation and presented some “interesting Christian” views; we politely listened and then brought the conversation back to main points of the message.
Right up to the end Fergus, still wanted to continue with “Yes, but...”,’and I lovingly and firmly reminded him that it’s either ‘Yes’ or sadly ‘No’. In the end we all shook hands, said happy New Year to each other and the elderly couple, Fergus & Callum all left with tracts. Glen also had other positive conversations (please see his report- Operation 513 Christchurch).
The ministry of Operation 513 sharing the Gospel in the streets is truly being blessed by God's Sovereign Hand in all locations He has given. And we know each week the people we meet here at Warwick have already been prepared by God to hear from His Word. This is His work and we are privileged to be able to serve and trust Jesus to do what is needed in the hearts of the people. His Word by His Spirit is always true and all we need. He is with us!!
It is always a good day to be sharing the Gospel and we have handed out all the Christmas tracts we had in stock and started on what other ones we had. Even though the ice breaker in the tracts may start differently the message is the same as it leads into the bad news that we all have broken God's laws we are sinners then the good news of the solution to our greatest need to be made right with our Holy God found only in Jesus our saviour. So every tract really is the Christmas and Easter message which is the Glorious Gospel. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. The message of Easter being of victory over sin and death, Jesus is alive! such good news Jesus calls us to believe and receive and share with others.
We chatted with a man that said he couldn't read - he didn't want to engage much but said his wife helps him with the Bible.
We encouraged him that he could look into audio Bible. He has a tract for his wife so pray for P that his wife will read the message to him and he remember what we have spoken from God's Word.
One long conversation we had was with a young man B. He openly admitted to sin as we took him through the good person test. He was not wanting to get close to us and blocking the path for others. He eventually came a bit closer it seemed
he was convicted of sin but not seeing the seriousness of the consequences which are Eternal, we see conviction as a good thing not bad because that is God at work in a heart.
We explained the need for Eternal righteousness and warned of the hell punishment for all who reject the kind offer of Jesus to save us and that we need to turn to Jesus in thankfulness for all He has done, as we won't want to give up sin until we have a changed heart, born again to new life in Christ. There is nothing more important than our Eternal need in Jesus.
We went through the flip chart and again the wrath punishment we all deserve, Jesus willingly bore in our place and the message that we need to put our faith in what He has done for us and know the Christmas message points to the Easter message of the cross and Jesus defeating sin and death by rising to life 3 days later. B has been given tracts and resources and we hope and pray he and others that have heard the call to be saved will respond with grateful hearts.
To bring in the New Year the team did back to back evangelism. First in the afternoon starting in Capalaba and later in the evening in Brisbane City. The afternoon was filled with conversations, some very encouraging! And the evening resulted in 12,500 tracts being handed out and a range of other conversations! And as the clock struck twelve the team were celebrating God's gracious gift of another year in the midst of telling others about Him.
The stand out conversation from Capalaba was with five people at first, Joel and Johnny, were engaging but being quite silly. These young men were trying to avoid the seriousness of the uncomfortable topic of God's judgement against our sin by being silly. Thankfully after a few minutes they left, leaving Connor, Presley and Ivy. The conversation with these three then took the next hour as they listened intently and happily engaged. Following as the Gospel was explained and then asking question after question about Christianity, God and the implications the Gospel has on our lives.
It was a rare conversation but one that was an immense privilege to be there for. Connor at first was against the idea of God. Ivy was as well but Presley wanted to simply believe in a higher power (distant enough to not care how we live). The conversation went on to reveal the reasons they desired God to be like this and the answer was shown clearly, they love living how they want and they don't want there to be any eternal consequences.
Each in their own way was challenged seriously about the choice they would make, to reject Christ or surrender to Him. Please be praying that as the team runs into these guys in the future that God will be working in their hearts, bringing them to a saving knowledge of the truth!
Later in the evening in Brisbane City, there were a number of conversations. One guy, Jarier who had listened in to a conversation on Saturday night dropped past. Sadly he was playing a very silly game, know as, "that's your truth, I have mine". To avoid any sense of accountability or judgement he would just pretend that it wasn't true because he didn't believe it.
Jarier was left with a very strong warning, that pretending someone doesn't exist, doesn't actually get you out of trouble. The only solution to sin and guilt is to find the one who can deal with it, rather than pretending it doesn't exist.
Around 11pm, some of the team had a quick food break at McDonalds. Due to the immense crowds, the waiting time was long and this allowed for a number of conversations to be had.
First was with Harry. He heard of God and how we know He exists, then he was lead through God's law, revealing sin. It was at this stage Harry got squirmish. He saw that he was guilty and if he was to die tonight, would end up in Hell. But when he was asked what the solution was he didn't want to think about it any longer.
During this conversation, a young couple standing in front were awkwardly trying not to listen, to the point that they walked away to avoid having to hear the conversation.
Next was Diaz, who likewise thought he was a good person and would be fine on judgement day. His wife, didn't want to listen but he happily stayed and talked until his food was ready. Diaz heard the Bad News but he had to go and collect his food before the Good News could be fully explained. He did take a tract though.
Lastly in McDonalds was a couple, Izzy and Alistair. Alistair said he hadn't thought about it much but Izzy had lots of questions. It was a good conversation and the pair left with a tract and the challenge to open up a Bible and read the Gospel of John this year.
Please be praying for those who heard the Gospel in the queue for food, that each of them would seriously think about their own eternity this coming year and heed the advice, to read the Word.
As you finish reading this encouragement from the final day of 2018, consider how you can seek to engage the people around you, with the time God has given you with the Gospel, in 2019.
The first New Year's Eve outreach for the Christchurch team, so we didn't know what to expect. A free event, with entertainment, was being held at North Hagley Park, so we figured that would be the place to be to share the gospel with any willing to listen. We set up flip charts outside to catch the flow of people coming and going. And the evening of outreach was a success with many quality conversations occurring.
Before even arriving at the event, 3 sets of gospel conversations were had by 1 of the team in Cashel Mall - there weren't many people there, but those that were were open to a chat. The "Can You Name Ten Beers?" tract was used to get conversations rolling - with much success. An example of that was when 4 young men walked passed and were asked that question. They enthusiastically worked together to get 10 (and wouldn't stop till they had!). They were very engaged. The question was then posed: "Can You Name the Ten Commandments?". The first one they came up with was lying - so it was asked: "have you lied?". The next one they said was stealing... The script was writing itself! And these 4 young men, became sober as an understanding of the serious nature of sin dawned on them. They went to a Catholic school and they started saying: "but God forgives, right?". It was then a privilege to explain how God can forgive, through Jesus taking the justice we deserve on the cross, and rising again to give us hope! And then carefully explaining that we are saved by God's grace, alone, through faith, alone, in Jesus, alone. May they heed the call to repent and believe the gospel! Many other conversations were had, including 1 long discussion with 2 young men (pictured).
Thanks to the Timaru team for the help with this outreach! Looking forward to doing it again next year, God willing.