On Wednesday in Brisbane city, there was a team of eight out! What is most exciting is that three local city workers came down during their lunch break to spend some time sharing the Gospel before heading back to work! Praise God that he is raising up labourers and giving the boldness to enable His glorious gospel to go forth!
Many on the team were rejoicing in conversation that they'd had throughout the afternoon!
One exciting moment of God's providence was early in the afternoon. There were a man and woman sitting on a bench separate from each other. The man had his headphones in and the woman didn't. When considering who to speak with, the decision was made, the man was approached but the prayer was made, "Lord if it be your will, keep that lady around if she needs to hear".
Sure enough after a twenty minute conversation with Sam, which consistent of him being shown how we know God exists, what it matters and what the solution is, he headed off. It wasn't even seconds after he had left that Breanna from the other side said, "Hey, I saw the back of your shirt (which says, "Heaven will be filled with sinners saved by Jesus") and I was interested in a bit of context, what does the front say?
Then she read it out, "Hell will be filled with "good" people". The opportunity was taken, "Which of the two are you? A person who thinks they're good, or a sinner trusting in Jesus?" And the conversation opened up. It was a wonderful conversation, Breanna had many questions, she said that she had been thinking about this a lot over the last two days and was wondering where she would be going.
All the while as the questions was being answered, praise was going to God, who had bought Breanna there at the right time, who had kept Breanna there to speak, who had prepared Breanna with her recent thoughts and considerations and enabled her to be open to hearing what God had done to save sinners!
Breanna walked away with answers, said she would consider it and also took a Gospel of John to have a read. Please raise her up in your prayers this week, that she may come face to face with the God who made her and come to know Him!
A quick side note is that during the conversation Breanna shared some very personal and private information about struggles she had. This also wasn't the only conversation of the afternoon in which this occurred. What is surprising is that people on the street are so often willing to share some of their deepest, darkest secrets with the team because even though they don't know the team very well. These people feel comfortable that the team actually cares about them and are willing to chat about the hard topics of life that most people just shy away from. These people even are willing to talk more after hearing some really hard truths about the seriousness of sin!
In light of this, may you consider people in your life, that you care about, those who you know are struggling, may you display your love for them, not just in kind words or actions but ask God for the courage to speak up, to engage with them about these issues and help them wrestle with the reality of evil, suffering death so that you may point them to the one who has overcome death and evil by suffering in our place!
There were many others who heard the Gospel including some very exciting conversations with some Catholics but for today, may you pray for Breanna and consider how you can reach out to those, who may not know that well, so that you can show them the God who loves sinners!
On Tuesday at Woodridge, there were a team of six out during the afternoon's outreach. Praise God for raising up labourers and allowing more people to hear the Gospel! The afternoon was filled with some exciting conversations!
An early one was with a young man named Matthew, who knew of Christianity but didn't know the Gospel. He said he hoped he was going to Heaven because of all the good things he has done and because he has tried not to do the wrong things. He was shown that this couldn't be the case, firstly because he had done many wrong things and secondly because good deeds don't remove the history of sin. He understood this and realised the trouble he is in. Then he heard the Gospel and understood it! He said he will have to consider it and took a tract as he hopped on his bus!
Next a conversation with a Muslim lady took place. She was very humble and listened. She would share what she was taught and engage with the challenges placed before her. As the conversation continued she agreed with the criticisms of the proposed method of salvation in Islam.
She saw that it was without justice, that is painted God as a liar and made the promise of Heaven one of selfish gain and full of sin. Instead she was shown that through the Gospel, God is just, sin is punished as God promised and yet the guilty can be pardoned at the expense of Christ. Therefore, Heaven isn't a "reward" for the righteous, allowing them to indulge all their desires but it is a gift for the guilty, with the ultimate gift being with God Himself.
The conversation covered much more but Helua was challenged by what she heard, took a tract and she too said she would consider what was said.
Thirdly there was a conversation with Jay. He at first was hesitant to talk and said, "Are you just trying to get me to come to your Church?" to which the answer was given, "Unless you live in the same suburb, I will probably recommend you to another one. This seemed to appease his fear and what followed was a forty five minute conversation which focused on the Gospel and how a sinner can be made right before God all the while addressing different side questions that were raised.
It was a glorious conversation where God took someone who at first seemed hard and had turned down conversations in previous weeks and instead open his eyes to the truth and beauty of the Gospel!
Thank you for your prayers for the team, week after week! Please keep Matthew, Helua and Jay in your prayers and raise up the team for the next outreach, that God would bring along prepared hearts for them to speak with!
Yesterday, the focus of gospel ministry was in Riccarton. Riccarton is quite close to the mosque where many tragically died last Friday. :( I had the honor of talking to two people who were close enough to hear the gun shots. For one of them, it was the first time they had ventured out. I was able to explain about the justice of God, but also of the bad news of why we deserve justice as well. And then share about the hope of forgiveness only found in trusting Christ who took our justice upon the cross, and defeated death by rising again!
I also had a long conversation with a young man who was Eastern Orthodox. I don't get to talk to many people who are Eastern Orthodox, and he was very engaged in the conversation, so I asked him to explain why he would be going to heaven. This led to him explaining the basic tenants of what he believed. In return, I then shared the law and the gospel with him. And we then spent a long time discussing the differences.
The discussion ended up focusing on the contrast between faith and works. I talked about Ephesians 2, the whole beginning of this chapter is wonderful, but I'll quote from verse 8:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus alone. We are not saved by our works; instead it is a gift. But once we are saved we will do the good works that God prepared us to do.
When the conversation finally ended, this guy gave me a hug. He obviously enjoyed the conversation. May he come to understand this amazing grace, and trust alone in Christ for his salvation.
Earlier in the day, I was letterbox dropping in the area, and I walked past two police officers. I had an opportunity to thank them for their service, esp. considering the tragedy of Friday. One of them took an Eternity tract from me.
Today I started with some letterbox dropping in a neighborhood close to where I live. But God gave me an opportunity to share the gospel one to one with a man outside his house. He said my meeting was timely, as he had just had his car stolen, had to move out of his house at short notice, and on top of that was struggling with processing the shootings on Friday. He seemed to understand and appreciate the brief gospel presentation I gave him and said he would read the tracts I had given him. I pleaded with him to think seriously about his sin, and then to repent and trust, alone, in Christ.
I then headed into the city for some flip charting. I ended up getting into some long gospel conversations there (the outreach went over by an hour). I spent a long time with one person in particular, who was very intelligent and who had a lot to say. I'm confident they understood the simple message of the gospel, yet they politely fought against it.
The Lord provided some wonderful opportunities for gospel conversation during a short one hour outreach outside the hospital. One man, after receiving an Eternity tract, came back to give it back. And I could see he was ready for a fight. I made it clear at the beginning that I wasn't there to spread hate, but hope. I then took the time to listen and resist the temptation to verbalise my disagreement with what he was saying, as I could see he was ready to go at any moment. To my surprise he stayed and I was able to continue listening to what he had to say. Slowly he warmed up, and allowed me some space to add my thoughts into the conversation. To my surprise, I ended up having the opportunity to briefly cover the main points of the gospel with him. He even ended up accepting back the tract he had returned to me. We parted ways with a hand shake! I thank God for allowing that conversation to turn around.
What a privilege and great responsibility my new job is! Please pray that I'll be able to continue being a faithful ambassador of Christ.
Thanks be our our God our loving heavenly Father for sending us some much needed rain. It sure has been pretty dry out here in Warwick and surrounding areas, to receive some was such a blessing. When we lived back in Brisbane we didn’t think much about rain and drought but out here in the country it is essential to keep the livestock fed and for the crops to grow. It has been a learning curve for us to sympathise with the locals who earn their bread and butter from the land. It was a bit cooler as we started the day handing out some Gospel tracts.
R has been coming to the bible table fairly regularly over the last few months and each time we try to encourage and challenge him to get right with the Lord. We are not exactly sure where he is but the signs are encouraging for he say’s he want’s to get to know Jesus and desires to get a device which has an audible bible on it. We have looked into this and will help to get this for him. Please pray that the Lord will continue to draw R unto salvation.
An older gentleman stopped when offered a tract and asked what it was about, we said it was the message about Eternity and what happens when we die, he said he didn’t know what happens. After sharing with him that we either go to heaven or hell, he said he wants to go to heaven. Trying to draw out from him if he had any understanding of Jesus he was asked if he knew what the Christmas and Easter message was all about, but still didn’t know, but after explaining to him he remembered a few things from his childhood. He knew some of the commandments and admitted to breaking them. It was explained to him God’s Holiness and the only way to heaven is through what Jesus has done on the cross to rescue us from breaking God’s law. The Gospel was shared and K has a “What is more important than water” and “Are You a good person” tracts. Please pray our Lord reveals his need for a savior.
A lady came up to the bible table and asked if she could have a bible for her granddaughter and through our conversation she told us that she was excommunicated from the Jehovah Witnesses and was treated very badly and God used this to bring her to the true gospel. She spent quite a time with us and we were able to be a listening ear and encourage her in her faith in Jesus. Please pray for L as she has her granddaughter coming to stay and that she can pass on the good news of the gospel to her.
We give thanks to our Lord for answering prayers in preparing peoples hearts to receive the good news of the gospel. Please keep all the teams in prayer as our Lord builds His church.
What God has purposed before the foundation of the world, He continues today and every day until the last of Jesus sheep are safely home - Jn. 10, 17 + Eph. 1
The Lord kept the rain away until we had finished His work there for this day. At home, a few kms. away, it had been precipitating most of the time we were at Wello Pt. Here are a few reasons why we think God did so.
Railee had a 'closing' chat with Cynthia, a Buddhist. Cynthia came to see the difference (1 truth tract). Going through God's standard for mankinds' morality, she concluded, "I am lost" with tears in her eyes. Please pray that she does prayerfully read John's gospel and the Good Shepherd speaks to her.
Lee-Anne had another 'science' guy, Will. He considered Jesus to be merely a good guy - May God be merciful to him and removes the veil from his eyes and enlightens his understanding as he takes up the challenge and searches the Bible.
While Lee-Anne was trying to interest 2 ladies, I was able to take a man, sitting on a bench with a young child, through the gospel. He said it made sense. We were able to conclude the chat well. As I left, the 2 ladies came to take him away. We had not realized that they were together. Another interesting providential event courtesy of He who has unlimited knowledge, wisdom and power.
Among the other chats, Ryan was able to take 4 lads through the whole message, with their Mum standing back listening carefully. They wanted to continue the chat and Mum joined in. She has expressed an interest in worshipping locally. Please pray that she does, and the lads as well as she has some Mormon teachings in her background.
Finn had the pick of the 'unreasonable ones' today. The man ranted, "You read a book and you think you know all about the universe". He did not stay to hear the good news.
Meanwhile, Natalie and Grace had another 'good' walk to King Island; low tide again!
May God be pleased to use our imperfect efforts, as presented to Him through our Mediator to glorify His holy name.
"You can't be serious Vicki", said Helen to her elderly friend that after hearing the building's have a builder analogy. It was true, Vicki was defiantly holding out on acknowledging what she knew, despite great evidence. Sadly before the conversation could go further their bus arrived and they headed off with tracts.
The was a team of three at Capalaba on Monday and despite the rain, thanks to the covering over the bus stop conversations were still easy to have.
One conversation that has slowly been taking place over the past few weeks is with Rachel. She is interested in talking but only has 10 minutes between work and when he bus arrives so the conversation is picked up from and continued each week. This week Rachel heard of sin and how desperately guilty we are and was shown the penalty we deserve but just as she was asked, "How can our guilt be dealt with" her bus arrived. Please be praying that Rachel considers this question for next week.
There was also a conversation with a young man named Darcy who saw that he knew God exists, saw God's law and his guilt and was pointed to the Saviour. He comprehended the Gospel and was able to repeat it back but when asked when he would trust in Jesus he was hesitant and said it was because his family were no Christians and they probably wouldn't agree with him. He was challenged to count the cost of following Christ and to make his choice because to not choose, is to choose to reject Him.
A final conversation of that afternoon was with Zoe, a young lady who had a Catholic past and had some misconceptions as a result. The conversation allowed for some engagement to address these issues as well as presenting the Gospel as to why we need salvation and how only Jesus can provide it.
Overall the afternoon was exciting, with many conversations, a range of positive responses and the three team members being able to engage at length with around thirty people over three hours!
Please keep those who heard in prayer and consider joining the team yourself some time. Set aside a day in advance to come on out! Maybe even Easter Monday, which will be at Redlands Family Easter Festival!
On Saturday night in Brisbane City, the rain began halfway through the outreach. The first part of the night was in the open then it was mostly confined to the covered areas.
You can hear two very good reasons to join the team, the first comes by way of implication. Ryan, Fynn and Harry share about people who responded positively to the Gospel. That is reason number one, God uses the Gospel to save people!
Secondly, you can hear Ryan and Harry share about how the team can help. You may be scared, new or tired and there will be other team members willing to encourage you and assist you in proclaiming the Gospel.
So why not come and join us next week, you will be glad you did!
On Saturday morning, the day after the tragic shooting in Christchurch (NZ), I headed back into the central city.
There were not many people about, and there was a helicopter circling above. There was also an armed police presence so the mood was somber. I set up my flip chart in Cathedral Square, and got my Eternity tracts ready. Of the few people that walked past, I seemed to be received well - which was a relief. Tracts were accepted, and I had brief opportunities to talk to people about justice and the hope of forgiveness and eternal life found only in Jesus.
More people were out on Sunday afternoon, in spite of the overcast weather. A team of 4 were involved in the regular outreach. All in the team were involved in gospel conversations. Andy had almost constant conversations for 2 hours - he was very encouraged after the low of the events on Friday.
Sunday was also Saint Patrick's Day - so our yearly pub outreach ran in the evening. We visit 4 Irish pubs in 2 hours to share the gospel via tracts and conversations. But due to the tragedy of Friday, not many people were out. Yet we still had plenty of opportunity to talk to people about the gospel, and give people hope in the light of the tragedy.
Please continue to pray for those that have lost loved ones in Christchurch. And please pray that people would be open to the gospel!
The team at first were worried that there wouldn't be enough people to speak with for the outreach but thankfully that was not the case, in fact there were plenty of conversations for the six team members over the course of the evening!
You can hear Matt share about a conversation he had with two young men who intellectually understood the Gospel very quickly and were challenged to count the cost of following Christ that very night.
You can also hear Trevor share about a conversation he had with a young man which ended similarly. He also turns it on you, encouraging you to consider coming out with the team when you have a spare evening.
How desperately does the world need the gospel. The message of hope for eternal life found in Jesus Christ.
Today, 49 lives (count at time of writing) were tragically lost to eternity at the hands of a hateful killer in Christchurch (NZ). For many, this tragedy will bring the stark reality of death to focus. They need the gospel. They need true hope!
The day started with heavy rain, but the outreach team headed into the central city anyway. Even in the rain, the Lord provided opportunities for gospel conversations.
Eventually, the rain eased and we headed to Cathedral Square. To our surprise, another protest was setting up. This was going to draw many people and provide wonderful opportunities to share the hope of Jesus. And so it did. We stayed clear of the main protest gathering, but set up a flip chart and had many conversations, often with large groups of people.
But soon, word spread about a shooting, and then the protest disbanded. We didn't think too much about it initially, and so one of the team decided to open air preach with the few that had remained behind. Some robust discussion was had. But all of a sudden, it turned nasty.
A young man became very agitated, seemingly about religion in general. He approached the preacher, and got too close for comfort, before a friend pulled him away. But a few minutes later, he turned back and grabbed the preacher by the throat and pushed him backwards.
The young man let go, but was still very angry. We finished the preaching at this point, the preacher leaving the scene, and the rest of the team worked to calm the situation down. But sadly, the tension seemed to spread, with various people engaging in verbal and physical confrontation. It was a very sad scene. Eventually, the tension dissipated.
This brought the outreach to a close, but I then noticed my phone - I had many messages from people asking if we were okay. Checking media sources, it became apparent how bad the shooting situation really was.
We made it home safely, and the initial reaction is to stay where it's safe.
But the world needs Jesus. The team intend to head out to the central city again tomorrow to, God willing, talk to people who need hope in this time of suffering: the hope of Jesus.
Please keep Christchurch in your prayers at this time of tragedy!
There were also 2 outreaches on Thursday: City & Eastgate.
The Eastgate outreach was again a wonderful and fruitful time of gospel ministry.
A highlight conversation for me was with an elderly lady. Most elderly people I attempt to start conversations with are not interested. But to my surprise, this lady was keen to talk. It turns out she had grown up a Catholic, and then been a Mormon for 35 years. In light of her history, the focus of the conversation was to try to get her to understand grace, through faith in Jesus. But she kept coming back to "but what do I have to do"! She left accepting a new Bible, and plenty of gospel literature. My prayer is that she will see the serious nature of her sin, but also the amazing grace of Jesus dying to pay for her sins and raising again to give hope. I leave her in God's hands.