The outreach at Woodridge today was fruitful with plenty of good conversations with people about eternal matters. We got to speak with some that thought they would go to heaven based on their own goodness, others who thought death was the end of them, but at the end of each conversation, the person was appreciative for the chat and was going to now think about what was said.
One chat the team had was with a young man named Zaleek who listened as the gospel was explained to him. But he said that he is not prepared yet to trust in Christ and make Him his number 1 in life.
I said this, "Imagine if you found out today that you had a very serious disease and only have one month left to live on this earth. You hear that there is a cure of it but it costs a million dollars to buy it and you don't have that kind of money. But then, one of your friends decides to sell everything he has - his car, his house,his clothes, everything - and buys the cure for you and gives it to you as a free gift. That would be amazing right?" Zaleek agreed.
"But let's say you grab the cure in your hand and you tell your friend, ' Well I'm not ready to take it yet. I'm just going to put it on my shelf at home, it might even make a nice decoration.' Well it wouldn't be long before you'd be breathing your last and your friend would realise what he did was a waste because you didn't use it."
"So in the same way, we have a serious disease called sin that we have done and it is sending us to Hell. We can't fix it. But Jesus has not just given up everything he owns, He has given up His own life to die for our sins, and He offers forgiveness to you today, and you're like 'I know Jesus you went through all that to provide forgiveness for me, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to take it yet. Maybe later on in life.' Yet not realising that tonight could be your very last night. You'd basically be spitting in the face of Jesus despite what he has already done for you."
Zaleek began to see the urgency of what we were talking about and the foolishness of rejecting what Jesus has done on the cross for all those who believe. Please pray that he comes to believe it for himself and counts the cost of following Christ.
To God be all the glory!
"The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few…” (Matt 9:37)
The first country outreach mission for 2018, into the local country town of Warwick, saw God’s deep desire to reach the lost in our sunburnt outback.
God had already gone before us and prepared the way for His glory. As 5 of us began sharing the gospel, it was encouraging to see many hearts were open to hear the Gospel and there was, by God’s grace, much fruit. However, for so long it seems people have been living in darkness. As dry and as hard is the ground, so it is with many of the hearts of the people. There is such a great need for labourers to work in the fields; for prayer, for evangelism, for a fresh flow of the rivers of living waters in the country towns of Australia.
Farmers breakup the fallow ground to sow the seeds for their crops but the church has not broken up the fallow ground of the hearts of the people through prayer (Hosea 10:12). Sowers sow seeds to reap at the end of the season, yet the seeds of God’s word has been withheld and there are few to go and reap the harvest (Matt 13:1-23)
“…behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (John 4:35)
Prayer requests from the outreach:
- Pray for Wyatt, who is 13, heard the Gospel clearly and understood God’s Justice and was challenged to forsake his sin and trust in Christ. He joyfully took a New Testament Bible after hearing the Gospel.
- Pray for Ian and Bev, who were very open to the Gospel and “Not far from the kingdom of God” (Matt 12:24). They took a New Testament bible gladly and said they will read it. They were open, they understood and were thankful for the Gospel. This was one of the most encouraging testimonies of the Day.
- Please pray for Mr James Lister, LNP Member of Parliament for Southern Downs, who gladly heard the Gospel message and been challenged to trust in Christ for his salvation. This was a God ordained meeting for the local politician to hear the Gospel. (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
- Pray for Banjo and his sister who were visiting from Gold Coast. They were confronted with God's law and and how only through Christ can they have victory over sin and death and enter heaven. They were deeply challenged by God's Word and Banjo was moved to tears. They were encouraged to come to Faith church on the Gold Coast.
- Pray for Lawson, a young guy who believed in God but had not truly repented and trusted in Christ to save him. He was open to the Gospel message and said he will read his Bible. Pray that he is truly born again.
We thank all of those who have been praying and made this trip possible. PLEASE continue to pray for God to work in the hearts of the people who heard the gospel message and are yet to hear as there is still much work to be done in many more of these country towns.
To God be all the Glory!
A day when the teenagers were relatively receptive compared to their parents. e.g. Tom and Presley heard it all and when they met up with their Dad, they said look at te tracts that we got, sounding well-pleased. Dad, in the meantime also had received a tract but he said that he believes in Jesus and ignores the Bible. He said that since man was made in the image of God, he looks within himself to find some aspect of divine nature . Ryan was able to bring some Scriptures into the chat but only God knows if that Dad heard. He said he was willing to risk being wrong. So much for subjective conjecture when the objective Truth is laid out in th Holy Bible.
A young R.C. couple, Dan and Danielle were eager to hear.
God does His saving work through His servants who are so grateful for the privilege of serving the all-glorious One true and living God.
To Him be the glory!
After praying, we headed to our initial contacts. There were some encouraging chats although quite short due to bus arrivals. e.g. Meghal works door-to-door and finds it hard. However she related her view that all religions teach the same basics. We agreed that God is perfect and so must heaven be; we are all imperfect. I had time to point out the uniqueness of salvation by trusting in the perfectly righteous Lord Jesus Christ whose death perfectly met God's demand for the offenses of his people. She agreed that most religions teach that we must do something to earn God's favour. She was most appreciative and will check it out some more. We pray that she sees that all religions are not the same and Christianity is unique and true so that she may seek the Lord while He may be found.
One particularly difficult middle-aged lady, A., had severely distorted God's revelation of Himself so that she claims to love God but to hate Jesus??? Thankfully a visit to the necessarium left Lee-Anne free to move on to a young man who said that we are born into sin and he wasn't too bad. Going through the law and gospel, he was encouraged to lean on Jesus alone.
Renee, an engaging young Buddhist, chatted freely. She asked for my testimony in which I stressed the Personality of God. I challenged her to seek the Truth that will set her free, cf. Jn. 8:32, and she said that she would check out the authority of the Bible.
God is at work and we give Him for helping us and using us: to Him alone be glory and praise!
Yangon, Myanmar (30 January - 8 February 2018)
The team has arrived safely in Myanmar and spent this afternoon getting to know the local translators that are helping us. We even had an hour to spare to head out onto the streets and hand out some tracts.
It is surprising how interested the local people are in taking Gospel tracts and talking about God. Unlike a normal afternoon in Australia where it is hard work to hand out tracts or speak with people, here in Myanmar people will line up for tracts and will happily engage! They aren't even phased by the language barrier or translator!
One man to pray for was one of the taxi drivers from this morning who is a Buddhist. After some talk about God he mentioned that for the last 30 years his brother in-law and sister have been sharing with him about Jesus!
Please be praying for the energy levels of the team as the week has just begun and we are already quite tired.
Please also pray that God will continue to bring along people specifically to hear the Gospel - people He has been preparing beforehand.
Check out this short video update from the team in Myanmar about yesterday's outreach.
As the team continues in Myanmar there are more and more encouraging stories!
It has been really a priviledge to be a part of even the last three days. There are testimonies of people wanting to surrender to Jesus as Lord and plenty of seeds sown. We praise the Lord that another 30,000 to 40,000 gospel tracts were able to be handed out yesterday.
We are comforted to know that it is God who converts a person, and as the seeds get scattered, we know that God will make them land where He wants them to. The local pastors we have been working with have been receiving lots of calls from people wanting to find out more information about Christianity as a result of the tracts too.
Please keep praying for the team as they head out. Please pray that we are reminded of God's love for us in the Gospel and strengthened by the Holy Spirit!
One short testimony is of a conversation with a young local girl. She hasn't been educated past preschool but after a thirty minute discussion begun to understand the depths of the Gospel. Please be praying that she shall trust in Jesus, with the simple knowledge of the Gospel that she has!
Hear some testimonies of God's providence and use of the team in Myanmar on their third day.
After an encouraging weekend visiting some orphanages and local Churches, the team once again headed out to the streets of Yangon City, Myanmar.
Today was spent in a different area which is densely populated with Muslims. As a result many of the conversations that were had today happened with Muslims.
It is a great encouragement to see the translators that are with the team getting more confident to share about Christ on their own. It is a priviledge to see other Christians improve their skills in evangelism and to see their desire grow!
One interesting conversation today was with a Buddhist man named Hartool, who was certain that he was good enough to get to Heaven. We had a lengthy conversation with him, and gave him a Bible and asked him to read it. Please pray that God would change his heart, by the power of the Holy Spirit through the reading of the Word.
It was encouraging to see 35,000 people take gospel tracts from us today.
Please keep the team in prayer, that we will continue to be encouraged by the Gospel we are preaching and be motivated by God's love toward us.
Hear two team members in Myanmar share about some of their recent encouragements! Hear some prayer requests and enjoy seeing some locals hearing or reading the Gospel.
As the ten days in Myanmar draws to a close, the team has handed out over two hundred thousand gospel tracts! That is, over 200,000 people in this country who now have a clear presentation of the gospel in their possession. Praise be to God!
God has been gracious in sustaining the team and there is only one final outreach left tomorrow. In our outreaches, we have met a number of local Christians which we were able to encourage to press on for the sake of the Gospel!
As a result of the tract distribution many people have been contacting the number on back of the tract asking for more information about Jesus. Please pray that all those who have called will understand the Gospel clearly, turn in repentance to Jesus and will become a part of a local Church.
It's encouraging to see that most of the days we have had people who have come to make professions of faith in Christ, leaving Buddhism behind.
Please keep all those who have received tracts in your prayers, that they will be read, cherished and will by the power of God lead many to salvation.
It was another interesting day in our Lord's service. There was a young Lebanese woman who was most appreciative of our chat.
There was a young J.W. man who was a bit apprehensive at first but we ended with a respectful challenge to one another. I asked him to ponder Mt. 28:20 and how Jesus could keep His promise to be "...with you always...'' since He left and ascended into heaven. He gave me Ps. 83:18 which I rejoice to submit to in the light of progressive revelation!
Thanks for praying and remember the other outreaches and the team in Myanmar.
To God be the glory for He alone is worthy.
Merciful Lord and Heavenly Father,
Thank you that you hear our prayers and answer from heaven. Praise your glorious and holy name! You are good and worthy of our praise, may we always come with hearts full of gratitude and joy to your throne.
Thank you for our city of Hobart. Thank you that you allow us to live in peace and bear witness here day by day. Thank you for the government that you have put in place and will hold accountable for the way they govern. Thank you for the many thousands who have heard the gospel through our work, and through the work of others like FOCUS, UFC and Helen Devenish. Thank you for the great natural blessings that you shower on our sinful and heedless state, please use those blessings to awaken people to awe and worship of you.
Praise your name Father that you are gathering a people for yourself from Hobart. Thank you that we hear from all sides stories of salvation and quickening of spiritual life in Jesus. Thank you for saving us, thank you for saving them! You are great and mighty to save, and nothing will ever stop your mission to redeem people from our time and our land. We rejoice to walk in your footsteps Lord Jesus, lead us to those you have destined for salvation. Help us to clearly share the gospel and never hold back anything you have revealed in your word. We walk in a great valley of bones. Oh Lord, give Hobart life eternal that they may arise a mighty army, ready to do your will.
Bless us we pray and forgive us our sins, we are not as we should be. We sin and do what you loathe, we groan to think of all the ways we have wronged you our great God and saviour! We know that death and hell is the just consequence of sin. Jesus is our only hope and our only plea as we stand guilty before you. Forgive us for Jesus’ sake and cleanse us from all wrong doing. We trust that you will do this, you have promised us that you will.
Please have mercy Lord on those that persecute us, lie about us, and revile us as evil. Please look on our suffering at their hands and forgive them Lord almighty. We hope and pray that you will break their hard hearts and bring them to repentance and faith. Through your Holy Spirit Lord, give life to the slanders, to those who have assaulted us, to the opponents, and to the grumblers. Banish from our city the demons that empower and inspire opposition to you and your word. Free people from the power of Satan and from slavery to sin. Help us we pray, to put aside our desires for personal justice while we at the same time seek to restrain evil wherever we encounter it. We trust you Father to do what is right with our enemies, help us to lean on you and joyfully follow Jesus wherever He leads us.
To you and you alone Lord is the glory, the kingdom, the majesty, the dominion, the power, the honour, and the praise; both now and forever more.
On Friday night at the Gold Coast, God brought along both a large size team (over 20 people) and large crowds who were listening as the gospel was being presented.
During the preaching, we had few hecklers that were Muslim who started debating about Christianity and this drew large number of people to listen. As the preacher was answering their questions and responding with Bible verses to give a clear understanding of the gospel, we found the crowd attentively listening to the gospel message being preached. We praise God for a general openness towards the gospel.
The team also had many fruitful one to one conversations. One such was with a young girl about 12 named Ann, who asked for a gospel tract for her younger sister. When one of the team asked her if she has heard about Jesus, she replied with, "yes, from school". Upon being asked what she remembers about Jesus, she said, "he is so big and made everything". We then started to talk about sin and how every person must stand before God and that, sin separates us from God.
With simplicity, we also began to share how God has sent his Son Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sin. She said she has heard about how Jesus paid for our sin. We told her about receiving salvation through faith, that she must trust in Christ completely for salvation, surrendering her life to him to be saved. We encouraged her to read the gospel tract at home and pray to God for salvation. She joyfully received the gospel before running off to her parents.
Please pray for this young girl so that she will put her trust on Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.
Please also pray for the team and for the gospel to go forth until every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Philippians 2:10,11). Amen.
It was 36'C with high humidity as we made our way to Redcliffe for today's outreach. Upon arrival we set up the Free Bible and Literature table, and before we could finish setting it up properly a man stopped to take a Bible and DVD.
Shortly after the outreach began we had three young men come up to the table to ask for resources. They went to a local church, but they had no understanding of the gospel. I was able to share with them, and they said it made sense.
Towards the end of the day I also got to speak to two Baha'i members (seems to be a week for them!) This couple had been members of the Baha'i religion for thirty-six years. They told me that all religions are true, and that it all comes from one God. They then told me that they were former Baptists. When I heard this I said, "So you left the Christian faith to become Baha'i?"
Upon hearing this the lady flared up and said, "No, we took Christianity with us. Baha'i completed the teaching." I pointed out that Jesus didn't allow that option as He is God and He alone is the way, and the truth (John 14:6). At the words of Jesus the man then became angry. Through clenched teeth he started to seethe about how he wouldn't speak to me and that he has peace. I though the whole thing to be inconsistent; if you truly believe that all religions are true, then you really shouldn't get angry at the words of Jesus. Their anger simply revealed the hatred these apostates had for Christ. Please pray for them.
How wonderful to be entrusted with telling forth God's good news. How good is God to keep equipping us and using our frail efforts to glorify Himself. Today was another day of great and varying responses to the gospel:
- a young man Andrew said that his Dad was a Christian but he was not. As I took him through an overview of the Bible's content, he kept supplying facts such as our first parents' names, Adam and Eve. He seemed to understand how God's justice and mercy are perfectly satisfied in Christ's life & death. Pray he is thinking deeply about what he has heard because his bus arrived before he could be challenged to forsake all for the sake of knowing Jesus as his Lord and Saviour - forever.
On the other hand, there was Lyn: After getting her agreement to certain facts, she started to disagree with Lee-Anne. She has heard the truth that can set her free.. Pray that she will be tormented by the thought of having to pay the price for her own sins - forever - and flee from the wrath to come!
Another young lass didn't want a tract but when asked, replied that she was a Christian. On being asked if she worshiped the Lord Jesus Christ, she said "Occasionally". Then she indicated that she did not want to talk anymore. Pray that if she is converted, she will fall deeply in love with the Lord and commit fully to following Him.
The spiritual battle rages. The Prince of Peace is Victor. Let us serve Him with thanksgiving and keep on giving the glory to our great triune God through the one Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ.