Brisbane Team (Night) (QLD)
Meets Fridays (7-10pm) & Saturdays (6-9pm) & Sundays (7:30-9:30pm) in King George Square.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
WHAT A BUSY night in Brisbane! Praise be to God that 2,000 tracts were able to go into people’s hands and some good gospel conversations were had.
One stand-out conversation was with a Muslim guy named Ally who didn’t respond with the usual “I want to keep relying on my good deeds”, instead he came to agree that good deeds could never pay for his sins.
And as we shared the gospel with him he saw that Jesus dying for him is the only way he could get to heaven, and he said he is now going to seriously consider this, realizing the cost it could have on his life in leaving Islam. Please pray for him that God saves him.
To God be all the glory!
Wow, what an AMAZING 2 weeks! Over these past 2 weeks, God has allowed the team to get out 31,000 gospel tracts into people’s hands in Brisbane city. Thank you for praying!
We were encouraged to see people reading the tracts and some even came back thanking us for what we were doing.
Ultimately, the results are in God’s hands, so we would appreciate it if you could be praying for those who received the gospel and that God would bring them to trust in Christ.
To God be all the glory!
On the weekend, it was another exciting outreach in Brisbane city.
One chat that stood out was with an atheist named Peter. In the chat, he was firm on saying there was no God.
But when it was pointed out to him that everything that begins to exist relies on something before it to make it exist (which he agreed), and therefore that shows the universe itself would need something before it to make it exist, he surprisingly had no response.
Then as the conversation progressed, we got to talk about how it makes sense that this Creator would have a set of rules for his universe and that sadly we have broken many of them already. He then got to hear that through the sacrifice of Jesus he could have his sins forgiven if he came to trust in Christ.
But when he was challenged on when he would come to trust that Christ paid for his sins, he said, “Never! Because I am a realist!” Seemingly reverting back to his atheistic position.
I responded, “But I don’t think you’re a realist. A realist is someone who would acknowledge how this universe requires a Creator, would acknowledge their sin, and would seek to find peace with God while there is time.”
So I asked, “What is actually stopping you?”
His body actually started shaking after I called out his bluff of being a realist, and he surprisingly replied with, “What’s stopping me is my own stubbornness.”
I thanked him for his honesty in that answer, and now that he saw that, he said he was going to seriously consider what he has heard in the conversation. We leave him in God’s hands. Please keep Peter in your prayers.
To God be the glory!
On Saturday, the team got to share the gospel in Brisbane city, encountering all kinds of different people.
One stand out conversation was with two young guys - Zane who was Mormon and Darcy who was Catholic.
Zane started off by telling me about the Mormon idea of 3 levels of heaven. I avoided that topic and instead showed them through God's law that we have sinned and deserve hell. But Zane the Mormon was adamant that good works paid for bad works.
So I asked if a criminal did 5 crimes and then did 10 good things, would the police ignore their crimes? The Catholic guy was getting it, but the Mormon didn't want to budge. Even when going through the gospel, Darcy the Catholic was like, "I will believe in what Christ has done for me!" while Zane the Mormon dug his heels in saying, "I will never change my beliefs."
So I said, "Think of Islam, Buddhism, and every other religion besides Christianity, they teach doing good fixes bad actions, but we've seen how that doesn't work. So if a religion teaches that, they are wrong."
Both Darcy the Catholic and Zane the Mormon (surprisingly) agreed. And Zane said, "But Mormonism is Christianity."
I then said, "They are many churches around, but if a church teaches that good works paid for bad works, they are really aligning themselves with Islam and every false religion, rather than Christianity."
At that, the penny seemed to drop for Zane the Mormon, and he realized that if his church is teaching what every false religion teaches, it can't be right. We chatting further and in the end, both actually came to profess to trust in Christ alone for their salvation.
All glory to God!! Please pray for them both. We meet each Saturday and Sunday nights in King George Square for evangelism, join if you can.
On Sunday night the team headed into the city as usual and although there was a bit of rain around, there were still plenty of people to chat with.
The Sunday night outreach is a "team training" outreach in which the team pairs up and has alternating chats, enabling feed back and encouragement to be given.
One pair started chatting with a "strong" Roman Catholic, Tristan and his friend. The friend had been drawn to catholicsm but in the conversation took a back seat role listening and making an occasional comment.
When asked whether they would be heading to Heaven or Hell, Tristan shared that he thought he deserved Hell. This seemed to be an encouraging start but something seemed off.
It turned out that Tristan thought that he was a good guy who had done some bad things and so the solution to his problem was that he would improve Himself, pay off what he had done wrong (in purgatory) and then be accepted by God because of his great character and improvement.
This started a long journey demonstrating through God's word just how wrong this view of himself was. It was shown that his rebellion against God is wilful and continual, that each action he has done is in some way sinful, even if it is morally good on the outside and therefore no one is good, not even one. The friend agreed with this, Tristan on the other hand couldn't accept it, he wanted to think he had some good within himself, to give himself hope of eternal life.
For the sake of the friend, the conversation was turned to the solution, it was pointed out that our inability to honour God on own is an essential part to comprehending salvation as a gift. Tristan argued with this but was bought to a halt with the question, "If you have to work for something is it a gift?". Tristan said, "That would not be a gift!". Then came the killer question, "Do you believe that salvation and eternal life are gifts from God?". Tristan agreed with the logic but didn't agree with the point and was stumped.
His friend took this moment to point out, "I have never seen you unable to respond to a question before". It was a beautiful confirmation of the simplicity and logic, that salvation cannot be through merit or work and still be a gift.
A further point was made that it would be to steal glory from God to think that one's actions contribute to their salvation. Tristan flatly denied this saying that God gets the glory because He gave us the tools, even though we do the good works. He was given an analogy to demonstrate the contradiction of this position, "Imagine someone gave you a spade and bucket and took you too the beach, if you were then to make a sandcastle, who would get the credit for the castle that was made?"
Tristan acknowledged that it would be the builder not the provider of the tools but was still firmly holding onto the position of self-righteous reliance upon his own abilities. His friend was challenged and thanked us for the conversation saying it gave him a lot to think about but Tristan doubled down declaring the Roman Catholic Church as the only true interpreters of God's word, despite having been shown three contradictions his church had with God's word.
Please be praying for these guys, praying that God would allow them to see the depth of their sinful state and therefore enable them to come to understand why they could never save themselves and instead to trust in Christ alone as the only one who can save them and enable them to live as God has designed them to live, in submission to Him!
On Sunday night, the cooler change meant there were less people just floating around but despite this the team of seventeen had no issues getting into continuous conversations with the passers-by. It was encouraging to see that more and more people are taking the opportunity to get some practical training, week after week in Brisbane City! If you’re in Brisbane we’d love to have you join us when you can! If you’re not in Brisbane, we do online training as well!
One of the standout conversations was with Nick, who was blown away by the gospel! He had grown up in the Church, was a professing Christian but was hoping that he would get into Heaven based on his obedience. The conversation started and around halfway through he still wasn’t sure that he deserved Hell. But his inability to do anything that please God was demonstrated by asking him two questions, “When you lie, why do you lie?” and then, “When you tell the truth why do you tell the truth?”. The point, he lies when he thinks it benefits him and he tells the truth when he thinks it benefits him. His actions of “obedience” and disobedience are done with the same motive, selfishness.
Upon realising this and seeing it emphasised then that he hasn’t really done anything good if he has simply sought to serve his own desires, he saw that he was in grave danger of Hell. This enabled him to then see that being better in the future cannot fix it because even that is selfish and asking for forgiveness cannot satisfy the justice deserved because it also would be selfishness driven but also wouldn’t take away the punishment deserved. In light of this he was shocked asking, “Does that means everyone is going to Hell?”
When he then heard the good news in light of this, he was blown away and was just over the moon. He exclaimed, “I have to thank you so much, you’ve made me understand this totally differently and I am so thankful that we had this conversation today!” He went away filled with joy, understanding that obedience is the result of justification rather than it being the other way around!
Another conversation was with a young couple, Jacob and Ellie, who were quite certain that their was no God. There were no real reasons given other than, “I’m not convinced” and yet they were determining that they were sure that there was no God. It was demonstrated that they lived their own way, they wanted to live however they saw fit and this meant that they had to convince themselves there was no God because God’s existence would disrupt their ability to live how they pleased without consequences.
They were challenged but really wanted nothing of truth, just anything they could think of to convince themselves that they don’t need to consider it any further.
Please be praying for these two opposite responses to the demonstration of the sinfulness of humanity and pray that Nick’s profession was true and that Jacob and Ellie would not die in this state of rebellion rather would come to see the folly of rebellion against God and instead trust in Christ alone for their salvation!
Due to the daily online evangelism the team in Brisbane only hits the streets on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. But these are some of the most exciting times for the week. The reason being, there is great joy in having conversations with people in real life that you can’t experience online! An added bonus is that each Sunday night from 7:30-9:30pm the team actually pairs up for training. The team goes out taking turns having conversations and seeking to make the gospel known but also to encourage one another in how to make it clearer when they share the gospel!
Some weeks there is a large team out and this week was one of them! A team of eighteen made it out and this was exciting! The first conversation of the evening was with a lady named Sandy who had had a bit to do with the Jehovah’s Witnesses but thankfully was no longer with them but sadly had decided that she was going to fashion a god that suited her own ideas. It was a careful conversation seeking to gently talk through the law and the gospel that she would have the chance to understand why Christ came but sadly she got stuck on the idea that God would dispense justice, any at all! She was left with a tract and was encouraged to read the gospel of John.
Another chat was with a young man named Merica, yes really! He had no push back. He’d had some Christian background and initially hoped that he would be good enough to enter heaven. He listened intently to the law and saw that he was guilty and on his way to Hell and on that basis came to hear of the only hope being found in Christ, who lived perfectly and took the punishment sin deserves on the cross! He heard of this but struggled to believe that it was really a gift, he wanted to do something to contribute to his entry into Heaven. It was stressed that this couldn’t be the case, not only because without Christ all one can do it sin and secondly to think you can contribute to Christ is to not be trusting in Him at all! He took a tract and said he would check it out!
Lastly was a chat with a couple who also were professing Christians but were a bit confused on the gospel and actually by professing were living together despite not being married. They were shown the seriousness of God’s authority and the reality of those who live in defiance against Him but were trying to fall back onto their request for forgiveness. It was shown that salvation was a free gift received by faith and it was pointed out that all those who are saved will be drastically changed and will seek to honour God in all that they do. This was a challenge that left them quite uncomfortable but they said they were thankful for the conversation and were also challenged to read John’s gospel for themselves.
Please be praying for these four that they would see that God is good and must punish evil, that the gospel is good news and that God will come in and save them and transform their lives that they may bear witness to Him!
Also, if you’re interested in learning to engage others in the gospel, why not plan to come out one Sunday night, the team would love to have you!
On Saturday night in Brisbane City, a team of eight, gathered to proclaim the excellencies of their God and King and despite there being less people out than usual for a Saturday, many gospel conversations were had and God was glorified!
Early on in the night were some funny conversations, there was a chat with a Spanish man who had little english who saw that God must exist but had to run, this was then followed by a man who said, "Hey, I think you've asked me this at Capalaba". This is an outreach the team hasn't done since Feb 2020, so the man must have a good memory but he didn't want to talk further and headed off.
Then came three conversations in a row that were very similar, all around 45minutes in length. The first was with Tom, a man who instantly when asked, "What do you think happens after we die?", responded declaring that he was a man of science, so there's nothing and his mind won't be changed. Over the next 45minutes he saw that it is not only logical to believe that God exists but it is actually the only possibility for the universe to exist, the way that it does, meaning it would be illogical to reject it.
He then was shown that His rejection of God isn't on the basis of what he can and can't know and was actually because he didn't want to know. Because if he was to acknowledge that there was a God, that would mean he isn't God and would be accountable to his Creator. Tom came to understand the gospel message as well and was able to explain it back in his own words but was adamant that it was just a nice opinion and he would keep living his own way. He was challenged with the seriousness of this as he didn't know the day that he would die and currently he was beliving something that is opposed to the evidence before him. He was thankful for the chat and headed on his way.
A very simiar conversation happened with Cameron who was even more explicit, he made it clear that although it was great news, the impact it would have on his life was something he wasn't interested in because he loved the pleasure of being able to live however he sees fit. He too was warned of the seriousness of eternity, especially in light of the fact that he was now very clear on the way to Heaven, meaning punishment would be more severe because He was also disobeying the direct command to respond in faith to the gospel.
Lastly was a conversation with four teenagers, two of them were very similar to Tom and Cameron but there were so very funny moments throughout, as Monale, the main antagonist against God's existence would make and argument, a resposne was given and he couldn't give defense to the response, so he would either change the goalposts or simply say, "that doesn't make sense" to which one of his friends kept pulling him up on saying, "You're just doing that because he showed you that you were wrong".
It was funny to see the others friends willingness to point out that his argument had been defeated, meaning he couldn't get away with simply ignoring what was said. Over the course of close to an hour these boys saw that God's existence is required, the our sin is wicked and deserving of Hell and the only hope of salvation is found in the God against whom they have rebelled. Three of them were able to explain the gospel in their own simple terms and saw that to trust in Christ as Saviour would impact their life and to reject Him was to choose Hell. They took tracts, were pointed to the Instagram and tiktok and were encouraged to consider seriously their eternity, because even though they are young they don't know the day that they will die.
Please be praying for these men, that God would kindly soften their hearts, draw them to Himself and give them the gift of faith that they my find their hope in Him alone!
Friday night in Brisbane City was surprisingly quiet but that is beneficial, it is easier to get into conversations when people aren't rushing around everywhere.
An early conversation was with two girls who stated that they were Christians but when asked why God would let them into Heaven shared that they thought their goodness would be enough. Over a short converastion they came to hear the good news of the gospel and surprised that no one had explained it before. They took tracts and said they would have to read them!
The following conversation was with a young guy who came to grasp the gospel and just as he was being asked, "So when are you going to start trusting that..." his friends came in an dragged him away. Thankfully he had heard the good news already.
Another conversation was with two African ex-Muslims. In wanting to live their own way they had rejected Islam but they still were pretty sure they would be good enough for Heaven finally at one point one of the guys said, "By what you're saying no one gets into Heaven". To which it was affirmed that no one deserves to go, which is why God is the only one that could get someone there. They then came to grasp the gospel but stated that they didn't want it and it came down to their knowledge that it would change their lives and they weren't keen on that.
Next was a conversation with two Spanish men who had decent english but struggled to understand the gospel they just kept thinking it was their works. Then one of the men said they had to go and they might see me again. They left with tracts but not comprehending the good news.
Next was an exciting chat with Malik who was so interested in hearing the good news that at one stage when his friends were making a lot of noise he actually told them to quieten down so that he could hear. He came to grasp the gospel and was so thankful! He said he was keen to find out more and mentioned that he should read the Bible that he has. He was blown away by the good news and it seemed to really hit deeply!
Two Indian men then also came to grasp the gospel but they seemed less impacted but they did comprehend the simlicity of salvation. Then as the conversation ended, the two Spanish men were spotted walking by! They were approached and one guy said that they weren't really in the mood to chat, it was pointed out that this might be their last opportunity to ever think about it and they were asked if they knew the way to Heaven to which the said they didn't but were hoping for the best. A time limit of two minutes was given and after five or so attempts to help them grasp it in the last conversation, one final attempt was tried and in less than a minute they got it.
They were so thankful, surprised at the good news and said they were glad they had stopped. They were encouraged to read John's gospel and to check out the tracts they had in their pockets.
Praise God that He bought them back to hear and grasp it! Please be praying for all those who heard tonight, this small snippet are just some highlights from one team member, there were nine others out who had many exciting conversations! Praise God for the work He is doing through those who are His! Why not consider joining sometime, you'll be glad you did!
Friday night in Brisbane City was greatly encouraging! It always is, you should join us sometime!
The first conversation of the evening was with Pravish. He'd chatted to the team a week earlier and not only was he able to explain the way to Heaven and how a Christian would live in light of that he also said he was trusting in Jesus! He had a Bible and said he'd had a little look at reading but was pointed specifically to John's gospel and was encouraged to check out a local church! What an exciting start to the evening!
The following conversation was with Josh. Who right off the bat shared he was very interested to talk and shared about his Christian upbringing and shared that he has aspergers syndrome which caused him to reason a certain way. After an almost one hour conversation he came to clearly grasp the gospel and was able to articulate it back and was mind blown at a God who really is God! He had always heard of God as puny, reactionary and limited by our "free will" and said it made sense that God really would be all powerful and incontrol! He was really excited, was so thankful for the chat and said he would read the gospel of John on his plane flight the following morning!
There is a very sad and continuing to unfold story with one of the other "evangelists" who comes out on Friday night. May you uphold this lady in your prayer! She once lived a life doing whatever she wanted, in total rebellion against God and His rules but upon her "conversion" a little while ago she has now jumped to thinking that cleaning up her own life, asking for forgiveness for all her sins, stopping sinning entirely and other scatterings of good works are the reason that God will accept her into Heaven. She thinks she earns Jesus' sacrifice by all these works. The problem, not only is she in grave danger of judgement, she is telling other people of this as well. Please be praying that God would change her heart. That He would not allow her to continue to spread lies, in His name but instead would cause her to become a great witness for Him!
Last conversation was with three drunk young adults. They were a little all over the place to begin with but by God's kindness they actually came to see that God exists, they are guilty and deserving of Hell and therefore that Jesus taking the punishment for their sin is the only way for them to end up in Heaven. They were challenged by this and said they'd never heard it before and said they really would have to think about it. One was more interested than the other two but they each took tracts and popped them in their pockets.
It was a wonderful time out with many other conversations. May you be encouraged by this report and it is our prayer that it would spur you on to want to come and join us yourself! Why not this weekend?