As the outreach started on Monday at Capalaba, an older lady was engaged. She started talking about things that the JW's believe and it became clear that is what she believed. Whilst the conversation was going on with her there was another lady sitting near by who didn't want to have to listen to the discussion. She made some comments under hear breath to try and gain some attention but then after almost fifteen minutes she got up, walked over and yelled, declaring, "Stop talking to this lady, she doesn't want to know what you have to say".
The rude interrupter, was simply asked if she knew if God would send her to Heaven or to Hell after she died. To which she responded that God didn't exist but at this she walk a few metres away and then remained silent.
Sadly through the discussion, even opening up the scriptures with the JW lady, she was unwilling to acknowledge what God had said. She read some passages and yet would simply say, "It can't mean that". Saying basically, "The text doesn't mean what it actually says. This was a very sad moment, she was so committed to her pre-conceived ideas that she was not interested in what God actually had said.
The afternoon was filled with a mixture of other conversations. Jean said she didn't know what happens after we die but thought she was good. She tried to use her, "I don't know" as an avoidance at first to talking futher but then was happy to talk and heard the Gospel.
Puneema and Rista, two young indian ladies were being silly in and attempt to not be serious about God. The heard the law and the Gospel and left with tracts.
Daniel, loved his sin and his primary attempt to defend his sin was to claim that Jesus wasn't really God. He took a tract but didn't hear the Gospel.
The afternoon finished with some more exciting conversations,
A young man Lachy, had no arguments, he seemed to be affected by the law and the Gospel and was very interested in talking. He left with a Gospel of John.
Also a lady named Samantha, after hearing the condemnation of the law struggled to understand the Gospel. Using the pictures on the back of the tract she seemed to understand but only time will tell.
Please be praying that God would continue to work in the lives of these men and women. God has graciously provided them all with an opportunity to hear His offer of salvation, please pray that He would also change their hearts, that they may know Him.
By God's grace, this is now going onto my 3rd year in doing street evangelism, I was reminded today in my time of prayer before this outreach, a request that I've heard my Pastor make before the throne of grace, ..."that they would not faint, or go weary in their labor for the Lord"...
I became aware of this as I had pleaded this request myself while sitting in the car park about to head out....all my literature was in the back, back pack packed, flip chart, stool everything was there, but I wasn't feeling right, I became afraid, as people were walking through the carpark walking past my door holding their single use plastic bags, the fear of man began to creep in as it has many a times before an outreach.
How did I come right? Here are 4 Chapters in Holy Scripture that the Lord used to encourage me, I read these chapters in order, they were: Luke 2, Mark 15, Matthew 28, and Romans 5, the Apostle Paul, says in his letter to Timothy describing the gospel as the glorious gospel of the blessed God, what privilege and responsibility every Christian has to be entrusted with this soul saving message.
I was teamed up with Pastor Alfie an our brother Stewart, we split up and stood on opposite sides of our usual fishing spot at the walkway, with myself I had many conversations, many of our Op513 tracts were handed out, as soon as I had set up the flip chart I got to go through it almost immediately with a couple of men who stopped and were interested, there were a few others who stopped by to talk to me about spiritual things also with another Christian brother who stopped to encourage me, his name was Will. Two conversations stood out to me today, the first one was with Terry, now Terry I had spoken with twice before, both times we had lengthy conversations about the gospel ending with me pleading with him to repent & trust in Jesus.
Terry both times was open to the things of God, had genuine questions which by God’s grace was able to answer, but this third time was different, Terry looked different, he physically did not look well, I barely recognized him, as he had lost so much weight, he came over to me while I was standing at the flipchart.
I said to him “Terry, you don’t look well, are you sick?” he said “Yeah….I’ve got brain cancer” he told me that he’s planning to travel back to the UK to try and visit family, and again by God’s grace I was able to share with Terry the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I reminded him that whether he dies tomorrow or in 100 years time that either way he would still stand before God to give an account for his life, and that the only way he could have his sins forgiven is to trust in the work of the Lord Jesus on the cross when He died for sinners.
Terry look on his face became more serious when I explained to him that the very cancer of the soul is his sin and only Christ is the cure. Before Terry left he said that he understands that he needs to trust in Jesus alone and that Jesus is his only hope, Terry was happy for me to pray for him before he left. Please continue to pray for Terry.
The next conversation was with Hugh, Hugh came over to do the flipchart, again he had a lot of good and genuine questions about the Gospel and the Bible – Hugh grew up believing in the Maori gods and myths, his view on Christianity was that it was used to colonize New Zealand and that it was a in his words “white man’s religion”.
It was only until he was in prison that he finally became aware of some of the teachings of the Bible and became curious, this made it easy in a sense to talk about God’s judgment and “our day in court before the Judge of the Earth” I believe the Lord blessed our time together as we spoke for almost an hour. Here you see pictured is me with Hugh. Please continue to pray for the work here may the Lord be glorified.
Here are a few of the treats that our gracious Lord gave to us today.
Lee-Anne had a long chat with Shaun and his teenaged children. He had been 'to church' so now he has an understanding of how Jesus is our righteousness and has paid the price for His sheeps' too-many-to-count sins - all perfectly 'paid in full' as is evidenced in His resurrection. Shaun received a Bible for one of his children. May the Lord grant them the joy of living in the grace of this wonderful salvation.
Aldis, a newly arrived Swedish carpentry student was taken through a flip chart summary of the gospel to which he responded that he was a Christian. He struggled with a diagnostic question but he is still 'learning English. He went with an English Bible and a recommendation to a city church at a busy multi intersection. Pray he attends and is blessed.
There were 4 J.W.s who engaged in the "Good Person" test. 2 left when they found out it was religious. The other 2 finished but had no understanding. While they freely admitted some sins, they were adamant that they had never lusted. They reckoned they would say "Sorry" on Judgment Day. Very sad. Such a careless attitude to their sins probably because they have been conditioned to believe that their membership in the Watchtower Society is their guarantee of glory. It is a Unitarian version of the heresy that the Church saves.
When the last of God's elect is 'home', then will be too late to evangelize. Join us???
We thank God for the above and other encounters He arranged for us and we give Him the glory. He alone is worthy!
It was picture perfect weather today in Redcliffe; the sun was shining, the skies were clear, and the beaches were full of people celebrating Australia Day. For this afternoon’s outreach we moved down to Sutton’s Beach as the local council had put on a special event that attracted thousands of people to come out in order to celebrate the founding of our nation.
On 26 January 1788, the First Fleet arrived from Britain; with them came the gospel. While many people may debate over our history, I think the arrival of the gospel on our shores is something to be celebrated, and what better way to celebrate than by telling Australian’s about the Good News!
At 2pm the Operation 513 team arrived and commenced the outreach; immediately tracts began to be handed out with people gladly receiving them. Over the course of three hours,
we distributed about 1500 “Good Aussie” tracts. Before too long numerous conversations were underway. One of our team members, Col, later remarked that he had personally spoken to about 20 people in three hours.
The first couple I spoke to were “Religiously Christian,” with the male being of Greek Orthodox background and the female of Roman Catholic beliefs. I asked them, “If you were to die tonight, and God asked you, ‘Why should I let you into my Heaven?’ What would you say?” The man replied, “I am a reformed sinner, I try my hardest.” The lady said, “He’d let me in because I am a nice person.” We then chatted about God’s holiness and how He cannot allow sin into Heaven. As we spoke about these things both of them realised that they were not holy and that they deserved Hell. It was a joy to be able to tell the good news of Jesus. They listened intently as I explained the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. At the end of our conversation they both shook my hand and thanked me for the conversation.
It was at this point that Vesa called me over to the flip-chart. A father and his two young daughters had stopped as they wanted to take the “Good Person Test.” It is always hard to have a conversation with children present, but the Lord gave me the right words.
The most startling and heartbreaking thing for me, was to hear the youngest girl, who would have been about 6 years old say several times, “I don’t believe in God.” She was adamant that God did not exist, but still I persisted in sharing the gospel with her. As we spoke the father made sure that his daughters understood, and encouraged them to listen. The man wasn’t a Believer, but he was really supportive of his girls learning about Jesus. At the end of the conversation the father told me he had a hard time understanding repentance and faith, especially since that means child molesters can say ‘sorry’ then go to Heaven. I shared with him about true repentance, and also the Lord Jesus’ words from Matthew 18:6 about God’s view on those who harm children. The man was content to know that God would judge wicked men and do what is right.
As that family left, it really grieved me to see such a young girl being committed to atheism at 6 years old. This young lady would never go to church, nor would she have ever heard the truth if we hadn’t gone out on the streets to witness. The lost aren’t coming to Church, so we need to go to them!
Many other conversations throughout the day with cult-members, religious people, atheists, and those who were indifferent. It seemed like every member of the team had numerous conversations over the course of the afternoon,
Please pray that the gospel seed would fall upon good soil and that many would be saved.
At Wellington Point, we enjoyed the Lord's cooling breeze as we conversed with those whom He brought to our notice.
- pray that our Lord may deal with a lady who has recently 'lost' her son. Fynn was enabled to present the good news to her in a manner that she appreciated.
- Lee-Anne had a thorough conversation with 2 young ladies, Nikita and Monica. They had devised a 'small' god whom they were comfortable with. They are now aware of the God of the Bible; why they can rely on the Bible as God's revelation and the good news that God commands us to 'preach to every one'. May He cause them to remember with thankfulness what they heard and discussed.
- Mark joined us following a challenge from the occasional preacher (Ryan) at the Ormiston C.R.C. morning service. On his first use of the flip chart, he was able to take a young couple partway through the message. They would not accept the fact that they were answerable to the Creator for their lives, (every thought word and deed)!
- There were some even more closed, e.g. the lass who was not interested because she was a scientist. The priests of modern religion wear a white lab gown?
- There was Coco and Katherine, ex Myanmar and our Natalie who was on the last short-term mission to Myanmar. They have heard. Ask God to reveal the exclusive nature of the Saviour.
We thank God for the way He enabled us and Mark was welcome and seemed to be 'right at home'. Think of the harmony in glory when we are GLORIFIED.
Let us covenant to keep the team leaving for overseas mission work in our prayers. petitions and praise! Amen.
You can be encouraged from the conversations the team had on Saturday night. Hear Lee-Anne share about a lengthy conversation she had with two Muslims and how they came to hear and understand the Gospel for the first time!
Hear Fynn share about a conversation he had with a Catholic who came to understand that the Bible talks about being made right before God, entirely on the basis of faith in what Jesus did for us.
Hear Matt share about a reminder of the importance to focus on the Gospel in a conversation and to be wary not to be sidetracked with intellectual arguments at the expense of someone missing out on hearing the Gospel.
A nice Sunday afternoon to get out and chat with people about eternity and the gospel, after enjoying worship and fellowship with our local churches. A team of 3 today from 2 local churches.
We decided to go to our old fishing spot just outside Ballantynes - a spot we have only recently been able to start using again now that the construction next door is complete giving the foot path its good flow of foot traffic again. We also set up a flip chart on the opposite side of the mall.
The Christchurch (NZ) team are loving the use of the Eternity tract. It's a great conversation starter: "Hi, we are talking to people about eternity today. What do you think happens in Eternity?" (while handing them the tract), and if people aren't keen for a chat, they will often keep the tract which explains the good news.
Today, a young lady walked past my flip chart and took a tract, but didn't stop to chat. Soon after, an older Catholic gentlemen stopped for a chat. Then I noticed the young lady was back, and patiently waiting for the conversation to end - she obviously had something to say. My assumption was that she was going to give me a piece of her mind over offense at the gospel message on the tract. The gentlemen moved on and my attention was with the young lady again. But to my pleasant surprise, she didn't want to give me a piece of her mind, but she had many good and genuine questions about God, and Christianity - and the gospel was shared. She had read the tract and it had motivated her to follow up - praise God for tracts!
It just goes to show that we can often think the worst might happen, when in fact it's often the opposite. And this often stops us doing what we should. I know evangelism often invokes a great fear, which holds us back, e.g.: "I'll be asked a question I can't answer" or "they'll get angry at me". And yes, that might happen from time to time. But more often than not a wonderful conversation will occur with people walking away with an understanding of the good news of Jesus - which is "the power of God for salvation" (Romans 1:16). And with training and experience, we will get better at dealing with those few times where we get asked hard questions, or people are upset. There are many teams of Christians out sharing the love of God that you can join to get that training and experience. I want to encourage you to step past your fears and take the first step by getting in touch!
Another wonderful conversation started with the "Eternity" approach. But the man wasn't interested, and wouldn't take the tract. But I noticed he was wearing a cap advertising a technology I was familiar with (my background is in IT). I was genuinely interested in why he was wearing the cap, and a conversation occurred naturally. It turns out that a conference was starting the following day, at the university, and he had flown in from Australia to attend. We talked about IT for a while, when he asked: "So what do you do now?". This opened up an opportunity to come back to the Eternity tract. He clearly said he didn't want to talk about religion -- and I respected that. But he did say he would take the tract and read it. He popped it into his shirt pocket, and the conversation drifted back to IT. Soon after we parted ways with a hand shake. But a silent missionary was sitting in his shirt pocket. God willing, it will come out and witness the gospel to him at exactly the right time.
On Saturday, January 19th, the Essex team met at Meridian Square outside of the Stratford tube station in East London for evangelism and outreach. It was a chilly 5C, but there were many good conversations. Jacob and Andy both handed out the Op513 Million Pound Question tract with success. Some of the people taking the Million pound note were quite taken with the novelty of the tract. I was handing out the Xpand Christianity tract asking which of six major religions was true, which was appropriate for this multi-culturallly diverse area of East London.
City wardens were quick to stop amplified preaching on Saturday. They shut down a woman named Mary, but she had a booming voice and went around the square shouting things like "Repent", or "The time will soon be over. Elohim" or quoting John 14:6 for most of the time we were there. (I don't know if anyone knew what she was trying to say. I told her that she should explain to people what she is talking about.) A portable generator and traffic noise made it difficult to be heard above the din, so we stuck with handing out tracts. We interacted with some teenagers raising money for a youth program.
I gave tracts and spoke to Tausin and Maame. Elijah, a young man ona skateboard told me that he left a strict Catholic background and now was free. I encouraged him to read the tract when he was at home. Rashid, a Moslem, told me that good works to our fellow man was very important because we can't know God. He added that he was an advocate. I told him that Jesus was my advocate before the Father. Sheila said that she was a Christian and was encouraged to see a Christian presence in Stratford.
I chatted with Samir as he prepared to hand out his Moslem literature again. He said that he read to BIble extensively, but it clearly wasn't with faith, but only to construct arguments against Christianity. I also chatted with Chinelle, a homeless woman who looked more like a 12 year old boy, and I spoke a word of encouragement. (Some victims of physical abuse stop growing, literally.) My homeless friend Salvatore was also out. He showed me that he still had the New Testaments that I gave him in December.
Please pray for the people which I have named that God may be gracious to them and grant them the grace to repent and the faith to believe.
Day 10 of 10: Christchurch (NZ) Summer Mission + Friday Night Outreach
Today we had a solid team of 9 out sharing, including 3 children. So wonderful to have people of all ages (including a retired pastor), abilities, experience levels and walks of life unified on the need to get the gospel of Jesus to the lost. I want to encourage ALL Christians to get involved. The gospel message is not complicated, and if you have the ability to smile, and simply hand out tracts to people walking past - then you can do this! And outreach teams are being established that you, and your church, can join to get training and grow in confidence and experience.
The photos only show a sampling of the many gospel interactions that occurred.
Thank you so much to those that have been praying for the Christchurch team while we were on our yearly mission to our own city. And the encouragement and support has been so appreciated. God bless! :)
Tonight hear Matthew share that he has struggled to evangelise the longer he has been away from the team on the street. You can join in praising God that he was able to make it out tonight to practice and was also able to have some good conversations!
Hear Ryan share about an encouraging conversation he had with a Muslim couple, explaining to them why there must be a Saviour, for God to remain Just and Merciful.
Hear Craig sharing an encouragement about the many conversations he had and you can hear him even challenge you, to consider coming out for the name of God to be glorified!