Brisbane Team (Night) (QLD)
Meets every Saturday night in King George Square 7-10pm.
Brisbane Team (Day) (QLD)
Meets Wednesday afternoons 1-5pm in King George Square (near Adelaide St crossing).
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
For the first outreach of the year the team headed back into Brisbane city for an afternoon of conversations. It was actually a harder afternoon than usual as many people were still exhausted or hungover from the previous night, rejecting chatting because of their physical state. But after a number of attempts to engage in conversations, Fran was willing to chat.
Fran at first said that she thought she was a Christian and hoped she would go to Heaven but was unsure because currently she was living in sin. The first point of call was to make sure Fran was clear that our right standing before God is entirely on the basis of faith in the person and work of Jesus. Once Fran came to grasp that it was important to clarify what the life of a Christian will look like and how it will change. It was pointed out to her that although she knew the infomation about Christ, she didn't seem to be trusting in Him.
There was this moment late in the conversation were she visibly was moved as she had something to share and she started sharing her story about life decisions and current circumstances and the wrong things she was doing and why she was still living that way but she then finished her little story by saying, "Over the past few weeks I have really been feeling uneasy about my Christianity and a couple of days ago I prayed and asked God to send someone to talk to me about this!" The best part is that Fran doesn't even live in Brisbane, she had just come up for a visit for a few days!
God had answered her prayer and she left with clarity on the gospel, the realisation that upon beliving that Jesus had paid for her sin things in her life will change very significantly and took a gospel of John and was encouraged to start reading. Please be praying for Fran, that God would radically change her life, beginning from today, 1st Jan 2020.
This was followed by a converastion with Phillip an African man who was quite convinced that salvation was on the basis of faith and works. He rejected that salvation is a gift despite many simple displays and then was asked to read Romans 4:1-8. He read it and didn't argue again. It was amazing, this man respected the Bible as the word of God and instantly upon reading and understanding that righteousness is apart from works, he believed that. He then came to grasp the role works play in the life of a believer and said that it all made sense. He said he was very thankful for the conversation and was quite sure that eternity would be different because of this chat.
Praise God for such a wonderful beginning to 2020! There were a range of other conversations that took place but what a joy it is to see God answering prayer and working in people's lives through simple conversations had in a public square in Brisbane. Why not consider finding a team near you, coming on out and letting God glorify His name through you?
Thank you for praying for our Christmas outreaches in Brisbane city over the past 2 weeks. It was a great success with over 40,000 gospel tracts going into people's hands and plenty of gospel conversations had.
We rejoice that God even raised up new labourers to join us for a number of the nights. It was exciting to see these new labourers step out of their comfort zones to hand out tracts for possibly the first time and even start conversations with the lost, asking them, "What do you think happens after you die?"
Please now pray that those who heard or read the message would come to salvation. To God be all the glory!
If you have been considering coming along to an outreach but haven't yet, why not come along to an outreach near you: https://www.operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams/
On Wednesday in Brisbane city the team of six had many conversations and were able to enable a range of people to come to comprehend the simple and beautiful offer of forgiveness for sinners.
A conversation early in the afternoon was started with Bryce and Brian. Bryce had a partially catholic background but had ended up leaving early on. He came to understand the gospel, had some simple objections answered and was challenged with what he would do with the important message of hope.
Brian on the other had had grown up in an evangelical Church but in his teen years had rejected the gospel. Surprisingly he still mostly grasped it but wasn't trusting in Christ because the pleasures of this world had too much hold on him. He too had questions answered and was strongly challenged about his rejection of the way to Heaven. He was living as a practical atheist whilst knowing that God will hold him accountable for his every action. At the end he said he was very thankful for the chat and he would have to think about it.
An exciting conversation came from Monday night. Arthur and Yehaw had heard the gospel on Monday night and had understood it and said that they would trust in Christ this day. They are from Finland and are only in Australia for a week so it was encouraging that they had the opportunity to comprehend such an important message whilst they were here. Today on the accidental check in, Yehaw said that he was still firmly trusting in Christ but Arthur said that he was doubting.
When asked why, it was revealed that he had been living in sin these past days and quite obviously was suppressing the truth in His unrighteousness. He acknowledged this and at the end of the reminder of the way to Heaven, they both were thankful for the chat and then Arthur said, "The way this was explained is so different to those I have spoken to before. Most people I have spoken to just tell me I am going to Hell and offer nothing more but this conversation was logical, it made sense and it is the simplest explanation of Christianity I have ever heard."
What a joy it is to be able to check in and remind people of the gospel and to get encouraging feed back as well!
Please be praying for Bryce that he would heed the call of the gospel to change his mind about sin and God and to trust in Christ to pay for his sin! Please be praying for Brian that God would give him a hatred for sin and a love for Christ! Please be praying that Yehaw would grow in his professed faith and that as he lands back in Finland on the weekend would be keen to find a local Church and start getting into his Bible! Please be praying that Arthur would see the folly of his sin and that he too would trust in Christ alone for his salvation!
Why not find some time in the next week to join the team? You will be glad you did!
For the Ekka Holiday a team of twelve headed into Brisbane City on Wednesday afternoon to share the simple but powerful message of the gospel. The afternoon was filled with conversations and many people willing to chat!
An early conversation came out of nowhere as two young guys on scooters raced into the square. The pulled up and asked, "Have you seen any police around, we were being chased by some back in Southbank?" This was unexpected but the were told that none had been spotted but then they were asked a more important question, about the authority they cannot outrun, "Where will you spend eternity, Heaven or Hell?"
These two young men, Harry and Daniel came to see that they were in far more trouble than being told off for scooting in the wrong place, rather they had committed cosmic treason against the God of this universe and they won't be escaping His wrath on their own terms. They came to see that they were headed for Hell and were asked what the solution was. As usual they suggested some good deeds and maybe some asking for forgiveness but were shown that just as that wouldn't pay for a speeding fine, it won't fix their Hell punishment.
They were then shown the good news about what Christ has done and when they were able to explain back the way to Heaven they headed off with tracts in their hand and were encouraged to strongly consider it! A little later they headed on past and one of the guys stopped to thank the team for the conversation!
A following conversation was with a man who struggled with assurance of salvation but not because he wasn't trying hard enough, rather because he was trusting in how hard he tried to get him into Heaven. He was shown that Jesus pays for our sin, past, present and future if we trust in Him alone to pay for our sin! After a brief conversation he saw the beauty of this and was able to explain at the end of the chat the way to Heaven and was sure that he would be going there because Jesus paid for all of his sin (not just what he had done in the past).
The day ended with a surprising conversation with Abdulla. He was an Afghani who had a Muslim background but was basically living however he saw fit. He believed in God but basically lived his own way. He saw through the flip chart that he is in very serious trouble and if he dies as he is currently he is heading for eternity in Hell. He then was shown the simple message of the cross and how he can receive it by faith and was able to explain it back in his own words when asked. It was exciting to see that he came to understand it so quickly (which is very unusual for those with Muslim heritage).
At the end he was shown why Christianity alone is to be trusted, in that all other religions leave you guilty without anyone else to pay the penalty sin deserves. He was given a gospel of John, took a tract and was encouraged this day to trust in Christ alone for his salvation!
Please be praying for all those who heard today of what God has done and that they would come to trust in Christ alone for their forgiveness! Why not consider coming out next time there is a public holiday, to join with us in declaring the glories of our God and King!
On Monday in the surrounding areas of Brisbane it was the show holiday, meaning that businesses that would usually be open, were closed. People normally at work were off and as a result the team decided to head into the city, instead of to the usual location at Capalaba.
This also meant that instead of the usual team of three, there was a team of ten that were out over the course of the nine hours to share the glorious gospel!
There were many exciting conversations that took place. Hear Kane, Matt and Grace share short recounts of conversations they had in the afternoon and be encouraged to hear how God used them to share with people the way to Heaven!
What an exciting day of outreach! Why not come along on Wednesday, if you have the day off?
Sunday night was in the theme of the previous two nights. It again was brutally cold with the wind and yet people were willing to stop and chat and new team members came out to share!
As Sunday nights have started to build there have been more and more people interested in coming out to learn how to share the simple message of the gospel. This Sunday was no different. Except on Sunday night, sixteen people came out! Three of whom were first timers and another few in their first five times. The team then paired up and spread out around the square to see who would stop, despite the temperature to engage in a conversation to hear about what Christ has done to save sinners.
What an exciting evening it was as many team members were thrilled to be able to explain to non-Christians what Jesus has to say about the way to Heaven.
Two exciting conversations took place back to back. The first with a man who was pleasant and at first was talking about spirituality, no judgement, no standards to live by, just personal preference and yet at one moment professed to be a Christian. Over the next twenty minutes he came to see that God must exist, that sin must be punished, that we are each individually sinful and he even came to see that if he faced God in judgement this day, he would be punished for how he's lived and end up in Hell eternity.
Off the back of that he came to understand God's immense display of love, that He came into this world, took on flesh, lived the perfect life and then suffered the full fury and wrath of God that sinners deserve, offering all those who will believe in Him a full and free pardon from sin and the right to become children of God! After the conversation, he too was able to explain the simple gospel message back to us and had understood the beauty of it.
The conversation would have gone a little further but he had to run off to catch his bus home. The following conversation with Alec, who before this point had never thought about it was also an exciting one.
Alec noted at one pointed during the conversation, "I have many friends who have said they are Christian but never have I met people who actually believe it". It was a very similar conversation to the previous one as he was encouraged to seriously consider what was said. At the end of the conversation he had a simple understanding and ability to explain the gospel message and the implication on a Christian's life and had some serious challenges to look into the claims that Jesus had made for himself.
He noted that it was a good conversation and it was all finished where it began. At first when asked Alec almost walked on with the simple answer, "Nothing happens after we die". He was challenged on how he knew that and to stress the seriousness of considering it. He was asked, "When are you going to die?" To which he acknowledged he didn't know and it could be at any time. At the end of it all to stress the seriousness of the discussion and the importance of considering it he was reminded once more that death is inevitable and it could take place at any time!
Please be praying for both of these men that God would draw them unto Himself! Please also pray for the new and growing team members that God would be equipping them, building them up and using them to proclaim His glorious gospel! And why not see if there is a time, this Ekka week to come on out with the team to share the gospel by which you were saved!
On Saturday night the chilling breeze from Friday continued and meant there were less people around than usual. That being said, it was extremely exciting to see twelve team members out, many of whom are relatively new, still wanting to declare the gospel of our God and King! It was a night filled with team work in gospel proclamation and many wonderful conversations.
On a more sober note, the first two conversations were with three men. They were Buddhist and spiritual and desperately didn't want to believe that God existed nor that He would hold humanity accountable for their actions. The reason turned out to very simple, exactly as Paul described almost two millennia ago in Romans 1:20-23. These men wanted to live their own way and in their rebellion against God, to avoid feeling guilty and to justify their actions had rejected what they knew about God, in place of their love of sin.
Sadly these men remained adamant that there was no real problem and therefore they never had the chance to hear the solution.
This was followed by an absolutely wonderful conversation with Noah. Noah excitedly ran across the road and said, "I am starting high school at a Church school next year and I need a Bible". His father, not too far behind affirmed that this is true. Noah was then asked if he knew if he would go to Heaven or Hell after he died. He said, "I am pretty sure Heaven, I am a pretty good guy". Although he had the pride of assuming he was good, in great contrast to the foolishness of the adults he then very humbly listened and engaged in a very simple gospel presentation.
He was shown God's law that our lies, theft, anger and disobedience to our parents mean that we deserve Hell. At this information Noah was moved and visibly upset but then was asked what he could do to solve this. He as usual suggested his goodness would help but was shown that would not work and said it made sense. Then he was shown the simple and beautiful message of God's totally undeserved love for sinners and with a few questions Noah was able to understand and explain the simple message of Christianity.
With his young age came the humility to listen. With this also came the acknowledgement that he was guilty, without any need to pretend that he wasn't but it also came with curiosity and Noah was able to explain, after less than five minutes of conversation that the one condition to be forgiven is to trust that Jesus has paid for our sin and the reason a Christian desires to honour God with their live is out of thankfulness to Him for what He has done.
Noah was encouraged to begin reading the gospel of John he was given and to consider trusting in Christ this day!
There were other exciting conversation in the evening, both Amir and Jack also came to understand the simple message of salvation and were challenged this day to count the cost of following Christ. Please be praying for all those who heard the God would use these conversations to draw His people unto Himself!
On Wednesday afternoon in Brisbane city, it was a team of four over the course of the afternoon. This was okay though as the showers of rain meant conversations were limited to areas under cover.
The first conversation was with a man named Hayden who was recovering from a recent surgery. He was asked if he thought he'd go to Heaven or Hell and at first said Heaven. He was shown God's law and justice and realised that was not the case. After this he was asked what the solution is and simply said, "I don't know, you tell me!" He then came to understand the simple message of hope and was encouraged this day to trust in Christ. He said he had a Bible at home and was encouraged to have a read of it.
Funnily enough the next two guys spoken to were named Hayden and Damo. At first they were putting forward ideas about aliens and other sources for this universe, which was simply dismissed by pointing out that aliens could not have created this universe because they are inside it. Even if there were aliens, they too would have to be created. They were then pointed to God and His creative power and were shown that God is the one who sets the rules for this universe.
Damo was very honest but adamant, that He doesn't want anyone else to tell him how to live, he would prefer to take his chances in rebellion against God, than to obey God. The pair were shown the depths of their sinfulness and the punishment that was coming. They were warned at how serious it is but they were defiant. It was pointed out a few times that this defiance is foolish when put in perspective who they are rebelling against but in the end they received the phone call they were waiting for and had to head off, without getting chance to hear the offer of hope for sinners.
Another conversation was with Sam, who has chatted to the team a number of times and now has a decent grasp on the gospel. The issue, Sam likes sin more than he loves God. He would prefer to enjoy the freedom of rebellion and the punishment it brings, than to trust in God and as a result obey Him. It was sad that he continues to hold onto the fleeting pleasures of sin at the expense of his eternity.
In more exciting news, there is a man named Stephan who the team has spoken to continuously over the past years. Usually he has run into the team at Capalaba but recently he has been seeing us in Brisbane City. For years and years he has been unable to understand the gospel but around a month ago he came to grasp it for the first time! On Wednesday his comprehension was checked to see if he could remember and he still could understand that one must believe that Jesus has paid for their sin if they are to enter Heaven. On the sadder side, Stephan still hasn't trusted in Christ yet.
He has been encouraged to, week after week over the past month as the team has seen him but as of yet he is still trying to be good enough for God. Praise God that he now knows the way of salvation but please be praying that God would draw Stephan to Himself. That he would come to hate sin and love Christ!
There were more conversations over the course of the afternoon but sadly with people who couldn't grasp the simple message of the gospel. They continually tried to complicate what God had made plain. Please be praying for those who heard that God would use this conversation to draw them to Himself!
It is not often the reports are put up for the evening outreaches but Monday night was so joyfully filled with conversations that it is hard not to share.
The first conversation was with Eddie. He had a Christian-ish background and as a result had a warped understanding of justification. He kept thinking that people are made right before God on the basis of their goodness. Meaning entrance into Heaven is entirely dependent upon how one has lived. He came to see that if that was the standard no one would enter Heaven and in fact every single one of us deserves Hell and after a thirty minute discussion Eddie for the first time in his entire life was able to comprehend and articulate that the one condition to be right before God is the trust that Jesus paid for his sin on the cross and the reason that those who have trusted in Jesus will want to obey Him is out of thankfulness to God for what He has done.
Eddie was left to consider his response to this message, knowing that seriousness of either decision.
Next Gerald was chatted with. Last night some of the team had tried to chat but ended up leaving very quickly because of the language barrier. Tonight, over the course of around forty-five minutes, with the help of Gerald friend and translator Thomas, after nine cycles through the gospel, Gerald finally got it! Gerald and Thomas are from France, so their only real exposure to the Bible and what it says is found in the Catholic church and its traditions. This meant that they had to unlearn before they could learn.
But with some patience, despite a number of times considering giving up, after the conversation at length Gerald with a big smile on his face came to realise the difference between what he had believe and what Christ proclaims. He was asked, "At the beginning what were you saying the way to Heaven is?" to which he responded, "Stop doing the wrong thing, repent (by which he meant ask for forgiveness and regret what you've done), pray and ... many other things".
Then he was asked, "After this conversation, what is the way to Heaven, "Believe that Jesus paid for my sin on the cross". It was a long slog but at the end it was totally worth it. He too took a gospel of John and was encouraged to start reading it.
Then came Felipe, a Colombian man who similarly had Catholic heritage. Over a twenty minute conversation, despite a slight language barrier Felipe got it. He was quicker to understand than the other two and was so thankful for the conversation. He said at the end of it, he was going to have to consider it tonight!
The last conversation of the evening was Steve. He is an early sixties Australian man who was on his way home from the Casino. This was a most unusual conversation because most older gentlemen want nothing to do with any discussion about death but there seemed something on Steve's mind and it looked as if he actually wanted to talk about it. Steve had a few unusual struggles, he saw God's law and his guilt and actually thought that he was too bad to be saved. Thankfully he was dissuaded of that with a look at the awesomeness of Christ.
But then Steve got caught up on the fact that he wasn't sure he was able to stop doing all these wrong things in order to become a Christian. It took the majority of the conversation for him to understand that the changed life is a product of salvation not a prerequisite for it and it was exciting to see, when after being asked almost ten checking questions, to which he was unable to give the correct answer as to how someone is saved he finally, after another analogy, said, when asked, "How do you get to Heaven?", "Oh it's easy like you said, just trust that Jesus has paid for your sin on the cross".
From there the work was able to be done to show how his life will change and why it will change and to answer some of his other worries. Steve was left with the gospel in his head, the encouragement to dig out his Bible and read John's gospel and the serious decision before him, to trust in Christ alone for his salvation or to continue to reject Him.
Please be praying for those four, firstly thanking God for such a wonderful evening of outreach but secondly that these four men would remember the gospel and trust in Christ alone!
On Saturday night in Brisbane City, once again the team assembled to share with those who would listen what God has done to save sinners.
The evening started with a conversation with a man who thought that he was already trusting in Jesus. Yet sadly he seemed blind to the fact that every time he was asked the way to Heaven he referred to himself and his own goodness. He ended up leaving quite quickly without comprehending that he was in desperate trouble.
This backed onto a conversation with a Muslim who was so blind to the truth. He was proclaiming things about Jesus that were factually and historically inaccurate and declared that in his life he had NEVER done anything willfully sinful. He was called out on his lies and shown the desperate position that he is in before God. He was told the story of the chief who as a man of his word took the punishment his son deserved and was shown how God acted in a similar way, except instead of taking the place of His son, He took the place of His enemies.
This man wanted nothing to do with Jesus and was self-assured in his own righteousness. It was a sad conversation as a blind man sprinted toward Hell, thinking he would be welcomed into Heaven.
Along came two PNG men, Gilbert and Fred who thought that they too were headed to Heaven. Except when asked what the way is they declared, "Trust in Jesus and obey Him". Over the next fifteen minutes, for the first time in their life they came to understand that the way to Heaven is simply to trust in Christ's death on the cross to pay for their sin and the obedience will result from gratefulness to God for what He has done.
They were both moved as they came to understand it and were so thankful for the conversation. After they had responded back, sharing the correct answer of how to get to Heaven, they were asked when they would starting trusting only in Jesus to pay for their sin and with smiles on their faces said, "today". They were encouraged to read Romans 3-5 to cement their new understanding. What a joy it is to see people come to know the good news for the first time!
A later conversation was with a man named Rafael who was Italian and saw the wickedness and hypocrisy of the Catholic church but sadly had used this as his excuse to reject God. He was shown that it was unwise to reject God and His offer of forgiveness on the basis of people who claim to represent Him. He came to see his sin and that he is heading for Hell but Rafael didn't want the gospel.
He preferred to saying, "I can't know if it is true", rather than dealing with himself as a sinner and coming to God on His terms.
Please be praying for those who heard the good news tonight, that God would be working in their hearts to draw them to Himself.