Woodridge Team (QLD)
Meets 2-5pm every Tuesday afternoon at the Woodridge train-bus interchange on Station Rd.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
On Tuesday at Woodridge a team of nine made it out and were able to spread all around the area finding people to share the simple message of Christ's death on the cross to save sinners with anyone willing to listen.
The first conversation was a lengthy one with two Mormon girls, Jacinta and Evonne. They were funny and engaged and the chat went a long way as they compared the text of scripture with what they had been taught about God. It was interesting as they read the words on the page, understood what it said and came to see how it is very different from what they have been taught. After a conversation at length they both took a copy of the New Testament and said they would do some more reading and consider what was said.
They also were able to explain in simple terms how someone can get right before God and what someone who is forgiven by God wants to obey Him. They understood it and saw how different it was from what they were saying originally and were challenged to count the cost of trusting in Jesus to pay for their sin and the persecution it will bring them as a result. Please be praying for these two girls that they would strongly consider what they have heard this day and that God would work in their hearts, making them alive in Him!
Later in the afternoon Regen a Burmese guy was spoken with. He had some simple understanding of Christianity but was unclear on the way to Heaven and therefore all his information was in vain as he was still heading to Hell. He saw his guilt, that he deserves Hell and therefore that there must be something that is done for him to be right before God and then he heard and came to understand the simple message of the gospel that simply by trusting that Jesus has paid for their sin on the cross a sinner can be made right before God!
He came to understand that this trust in Christ will cause him to want to live for God and serve God, in thankfulness for what he has received. He said that today he would consider trusting in Christ! Please be praying that Regen does take this seriously and will start reading his Bible as encouraged and that God will change him from the inside out!
There were also conversations with Julie, Vienna, Jonathan and Innocent who all were open and came to understand the simple message of the gospel and were left this day with the lingering decision to be made, whether to trust in Christ or to reject Him.
Praise God for such a wonderful day of outreach! May He glorify Himself however He sees fit through the conversations that were had today!
On Tuesday afternoon in Woodridge the team again was made up people who just recently had started coming out and were keen to be out sharing the gospel with the time God had given them. That is the beauty of some professions, there is simply time off between jobs! If you work in a profession like that, why not head on out sometime?
The first conversation of the afternoon was with Wakka a young man who was stopped by simply asking the question, "What do you think happens after we die?" Over the course of a conversation he came to see the desperate position that he is in, before God he is guilty and deserves Hell. He then saw what Christ has done to save Hell-deserving sinners and was able to explain it back when asked. In the end he took a gospel tract and a gospel of John. It was an exciting beginning to the afternoon and encouraging to see.
A worrying conversation was with a lady named Lucinda. She had some ideas about God and had some Christian language down but seemed to have little to no comprehension of how someone actually is made right before God. What was more worrying was that her daughter had even less understanding. The reason for this it seemed was that they had stopped attending Church months ago and had just not bothered to look for a new one. This lady ended up being quite dismissive because she said she already knows she is going to Heaven because she deserves it.
There was also conversations with Mike, Lian, Alyse, Eto and Joan all of whom over the course of a conversation were able to grasp the simplicity of the gospel message and were correctly able to answer the questions, "How does someone who deserves Hell get to Heaven? and Why does someone who has trusted in Jesus to pay for their sin obey God?" It was encouraging to see so many people over the course of the afternoon come to grasp the simple gospel.
What was sad in some instances but exciting in others was the response when these people were asked, "When will you starting trusting only in what Jesus has done to make you right before God?" Some responded about how this very day they wanted to trust in Christ or that they will think about it and have a read of John's gospel but others even after receiving the information were unfazed by it and said they just wanted to keep living their own way. In the end it is God who saves so please keep these men and women in your prayers, requesting that God would draw them unto Himself!
The final conversation of the afternoon was with Lloyd. He was stopped quickly before he headed to his train and was shown the simple gospel message. What was so exciting was as he came to understand it and was able to explain it back he said, "I am so glad that I stopped and chatted to you today, I have been wondering for ages how it works!" What a wonderful testimony from a man who now understands the simple message of salvation.
May God continue to work in the hearts and lives of those who heard today and they may be drawn unto Him!
On Tuesday afternoon in Woodridge there was a team of five that made it out to spread the seed of the good news that sinners can be made right before God. Over the course of the afternoon many conversations were had and as a result there were many people who went home for the first time in their life understanding what Jesus has done to save sinners and how simply by trusting in Him they can be forgiven!
The afternoon started off with an exciting chat. A young lady who spoke with the team over the course of almost an hour came to understand the simple message of salvation. She had a Mormon background and struggled to understand primarily how someone is made right before God. She had the right words but was defining them and using them in a way that was saying that there are things sinners are required to do as prerequisites to receiving God's forgiveness. She mentioned baptism, stopping sinning, asking for forgiveness and a few other things.
Over the course of the conversation she came to understand that these actions of obedience are done out of gratefulness for salvation, rather than selfishness to try and earn it. When she got it she exclaimed, "That makes so much sense!". She then had others issues that will have to be addressed in the future, regarding the triune nature of God, the deity of Christ and the person-hood of the Holy Spirit. Please be praying with Miraculous, that God would do just that and cause her to trust in Christ alone for her salvation!
There is a specific man who was spoken to back in early January, named Zem. He is an almost 62 yr old Albanian man who has tried to commit suicide four times and yet God has kept him alive. He says he has no reason to live and is planning on trying again and yet despite having nothing to live for and knowing that he is headed for Hell, he does not even want to hear what Jesus has done to save him! This is an awfully sad situation to be faced with as he says it won't be long before he tries again.
Please desperately be praying for this man that God will use whatever it takes to get his attention and to enable him an opportunity to hear the message of how a sinner can be forgiven!
One late conversation in the afternoon took place with Jane. She had spoken to the team at Sunnybank around a month back and at that stage was struggling with assurance of salvation because she believed that there are things that she must do in order to get to Heaven. In that conversation she came to understand that trusting that Jesus paid for her sin on the cross was the one condition to receive salvation.
In this conversation she stated that she thought God was trying to get her attention. She hadn't read her Bible in a few weeks and that was where the conversation was directed. She was reminded of what the Bible is, why it is important to spend time in it and some simple tips to help her get into the habit of reading it each day. Jane was very thankful for the follow up conversation and said she looks forward to the next time she gets to speak with the team!
Praise God for such a wonderful afternoon of outreach, please keep the team and those they spoke to in your prayers!
On Tuesday in Woodridge the afternoon as always was exciting. There are two young men that over the past few weeks and months the team have had the privilege of working with. The first named Mckay has been on a journey from a cultish Church to the truth, the other named Joe who has recently been humbled by his own actions.
Mckay when he first spoke to the team believed that one must be baptised in order to get into Heaven. He was shown the scriptures on this issue and a few weeks later came back acknowledging that baptism is something a Christian will want to do but it isn't a requirement for forgiveness. Over the following weeks he will stop by and chat with the team and spend quite a while there. This past week upon encouragement to no longer attend a Church that was preaching a false gospel he took the risk, chatted to his parents and has started attending a Christian Church near his house!
Then at outreach this week for the first time, he joined the team in sharing the gospel! It has been a joy over the past months to see this slow transformation take place as he comes to read and study God's word more and come to grow in his love for Christ.
On the other hand, Joe spoke with the team first a month ago and had a decent chat. The following week he spoke to another team member and came to understand the gospel and was challenged. As you could read in the report a few weeks back his response was, "Wow, that's fantastic". Just last week he was checked on his understanding of the gospel and he still knew it and was given a gospel of John to start reading and was encouraged to attend a local Church. Due to his current circumstances he is unable to drive at the moment and lives in an awkward area so he struggles to get to a Church.
Thankfully this week a local Church contact was made and hopefully on Sunday morning Joe will be able to make it along to Church. Please be praying that this goes ahead and that Joe will get plugged into a local body! He has professed a faith in Christ and it will be exciting to see where this leads!
It isn't often that the team gets to see the fruit of their labour but it is a great privilege when we do!
The afternoon was filled with many other conversations including five people who heard and understood the gospel! One stand out was with Zac.
Zac said he wasn't religious and that he has rarely thought about death. He was shown why we know God exists and how this impacts our lives. He came to understand that because God is good and we are not we each deserve Hell. Zac understood and said it made sense. When asked the way to Heaven he didn't have any idea and thought we all just were going to end up in Hell. This was the perfect opportunity, with the realisation of how desperately we fail to show Zac the beauty of God's goodness and kindness.
At the beginning of the conversation Zac said he wasn't religious, at the end he was able to share back the simple message of the gospel and how it will change a persons life and said he would have to consider it. He took a tract and said he would take a read.
What an exciting afternoon. Praise God for His incredible kindness, love and patience that He would give those who were once His enemies the immense privilege of calling others into His family by the simple message of the gospel!
On Tuesday the team headed to Woodridge and had an exciting afternoon of outreach seeing people come to understand the simple message of the gospel!
Any early conversation took place with Junior who has previously chatted to the team. Over the last conversation he seemed to be slowly grasping the gospel but it didn't really stick. Again this week he just seemed to be stuck thinking about his own goodness as the means of forgiveness. Therefore he was struggling to see how someone could get right before God. It was telling in two ways, he knew that the way he was living was sinful and wasn't willing to give it up and mentioned that but on the opposite end he struggled with knowing how any could be sure they'd go to Heaven.
Junior sadly couldn't understand the sinners are forgiven on the basis of faith in Christ alone, not as a result of obedience or stopping sinning but even if he had understood that simple truth he knew that a result of trust in Christ is obedience and he didn't want to obey. Not even God's love for Him in Christ was a good enough motivator for that, he just wanted to keep living how he thought best.
A following conversation took place with Aleada a young man who understood the good news and was challenged by it very quickly. He jumped off the train to have a smoke and was only waiting until the next one arrived to jump back on. He said, "Whilst I'm here I have a few minutes let's chat". He explained his few theories about the after life and then was shown how we know God exists, the standard God sets up for us to obey, the seriousness of failing the standard and the punishment we deserve and therefore that the only hope for forgiveness is to trust in what Jesus has done to pay for sin.
When this part was being checked and confirmed Aleada was right on top of it. Then briefly the chat was about how then should we live and he said he was serious about trusting in Christ and therefore living differently. He has a Bible he said he would start reading and actually asked where to begin and he was recommended to a Church local to his area. Aleada was so thankful for the chat and had to run off to his train.
There were two other conversations with people who had been spoken to recently who were checked on their understanding of the gospel and both understood it still but then were challenged as to when they would trust in Christ. Both were defiant against God, not wanting to acknowledge Him as God and were rejecting the offer of forgiveness in an attempt to squeeze some personal happiness. This was sad to see that they are continuing in their rebellion and shows that even though it is faith alone that justifies until someone realises the desperate wickedness of their sin and has a hatred for it their will never see that value in or have a desire to trust in Christ.
The last conversation of the afternoon was with Joseph a Muslim who was trying to live a life that would be good enough for God to consider ignoring all the wrong he'd done so that he can get into Heaven. Joseph was shown that by God's law no amount of good deeds can make someone worthy of "forgiveness" (as he called it) because wrong actions deserve punishment. Joseph didn't really want to dwell on the fact that he was desperately in trouble before God but decided that he had to leave at this point. He even said that he was in a rush to head somewhere. Sadly, he ended up just crossing the road and standing there for a while without doing much.
It was sad to see that he would prefer to lie than to acknowledge that God hates liars and must punish them. In doing so he missed out on the opportunity to see God's love as it was displayed in the cross.
Please keep those in prayer that have heard the good news that they wouldn't continue to rebel against God but would turn to Him and His kindness in the offer of forgiveness. Please keep those who responded with a profession of a desire to trust in Christ in prayer that they may not just say the words but really believe it! Please also pray that God may continue to raise up more labourers as the team has lost a labourer this past week as she has started a new job.
On Tuesday afternoon at Woodridge there were again seven out on the team meaning conversations galore! So many people stopped to chat and because of the area the team were able to spread around.
An early conversation took place with Val who had a Christian background but was lost because she still was mixing Jesus' sacrifice with her own goodness. She seemed to understand the gospel being able to repeat it back as well as answer questions about it showing comprehension but she didn't seem overly moved by it. She then raised that her son has pneumonia and has now been found HIV positive. She wasn't doing this in argumentation toward God but then she raised that even worse he is heading for Hell.
This was used to point out the seriousness of her and her son's predicament. She can't offer him or encourage him with God's terms of peace if she isn't at peace with God herself. I encouraged her this day to count the cost of following Christ and to give up her rebellion, trusting in Christ alone for her salvation and to point her son to the God who saves sinners.
As the conversations from Tuesday are being reflected on to share some testimonies, it is exciting to see so many conversations took place! What a joy it is to serve the Lord!
There was Dava who with a bit of prompting was able to articulate the gospel and said that he is trusting in Christ and said he didn't read his Bible much but was encouraged this week to start reading the gospel of Mark so that the team can ask him about it next week!
Javan also professed to be a Christian but was in part relying on his obedience to help him get to Heaven. With some checking questions he came to understand the gospel and he understood the difference from what he was saying to what Jesus has said. He was encouraged to trust in Christ this very day and said he would. He was asked to have a read of Romans 3-5 to clarify the gospel.
There was another chat with Kyeisha who didn't want God to be a being, just a force. She wanted freedom to live her own way and so she rejected God's person-hood. She didn't have any reasons to believe that God isn't God but was adamant on it. Sadly the conversation didn't last long as she had to run to her bus.
The following chat with John took a similar turn, he too didn't want God to be a being, just a force. Instead of trying to show him that is foolish, the law was used to reveal sin. He acknowledged his guilt straight away and came to realise that he was headed to Hell. He was pointed to the Saviour and given a tract as he had to run for his train.
An exciting conversation to round out the afternoon was with Joe. At first he was being silly suggesting that humanity will live another life on Jupiter or something like that but then was just taken through God's law. He saw his guilt straight away and his mouth was stopped. Then he came to understand the seriousness of sin that it is rebellion against God and God says that sin deserves Hell. When he comprehended this he realised that if he died tonight and God gave him justice he'd be sent to Hell.
When asked what the solution was Joe was unsure. He had a few guesses but mostly didn't know. He was shown the glorious gospel and for the first time in his life after understanding that it is a free gift he said in his Kiwi accent, "Wow that's fantastic!" He had tears in his eyes and said he wanted to read his Bible tonight and asked for a place to read. He then asked if there was a Church he could attend locally and was recommended one!
The joy on his face as he understood the gospel was one of the most precious moments that a Christian could witness. As someone for the first time understands the gospel and by the looks trusted in Jesus alone for their forgiveness! Praise the kind and merciful God who is slow to anger and abounding in faithful love!
The afternoon at Woodridge started with an encouragement from a Fijian lady who is a Christian and knows the gospel. She was encouraged by our presence and shared about some of the recent outreach opportunities she has had. She was encouraged to see if she can share the gospel on the bus home and then she headed off.
The next was a lady named Mama, who believed that God exists and then saw the law showing her the predicament that she is in. She saw that Hell awaited her at this stage but then was shown the good news that there is one who has dealt with the punishment sinners deserve, so that all who trust in Him to pay for their sin will be with God in Heaven eternally.
Mama seemed to understand, with a few checking questions she seemed to understand and was encouraged this day to trust in Christ alone for her salvation, forsaking her sin and living for Christ!
A following conversation was with Junior. He was shown the law and his guilt, the penalty he deserves and then was shown the gospel. He just couldn't grasp it. He was so set in thinking that it is earnt or that we have to do something to keep ourselves saved that even despite four different examples and explanations he could not seem to get the simplicity of the gospel. He ended up having to run for his train and took a tract.
Another conversation was with Ariel. She was waiting for a lift and was shown the seriousness of her predicament. She knew that she was guilty but was thinking it would be better to avoid guilt by raising enough "doubt" in her mind to not believe in God. She was shown how we know God exists and then was pointed to that fact that someone must pay. She was shown her current eternity but then heard of the kindness and love of God that He offered forgiveness to her on the basis of his own sacrifice. Ariel sadly had to run without getting to flesh it out a bit more but she took a tract.
This was followed by a chat with a young man who said that he once believed but now does not because he doesn't have any evidence. He was shown how we know God exists and said it made sense but remained hesitant to acknowledge that there is a God or a day of judgement and this was shown to be on the basis of a desire to live his own way.
At the end of the day, these four non-Christians came to hear God's law and some came to understand the good news for sinners but all the results are in God's hands. Only He can change a human heart and only He can cause someone to believe.
Please be praying that God would be gracious to these people and do what only He can do, so that when He does it only He gets the glory!
On Tuesday at Woodridge there was a team of seven out! Praise God for raising up labourers! It was exciting to see how many people were around and even greater, there were many non-Christians who as a result heard the gospel of Jesus Christ!
An early conversation was with an elderly gentleman named Chip who had grown up in the church his whole life and knew quite a lot about Christianity but was so assured that it was his personal goodness that would gain him everlasting life! He saw God's law and his guilt, he saw the penalty sin deserved and said that it was a risk he was willing to take. He then was shown the gospel and surprisingly understood it straight away! Yet, he remained adamant that he did not want it. He was shown the reality of judgement and the reality of death but Chip remained defiant.
There was a lady who had been spoken to weeks earlier about the gospel, dropped past last week and remember the way to Heaven and this week when asked she said that she is trusting in Jesus! She was given a gospel and John and said we should have questions to ask her about it every time we see her. She said she'll read John one, this week!
Another guy named Matthew, who had previously spoken to the team remembered most of the previous conversation but struggled a little bit with remembering how one receives forgiveness. He thought it was by asking (which for the record is super common, second only to "be a good person"). But with a few well aimed questions and some quick reminders of the analogies Matthew seemed to get it. He too was encouraged to read his Bible and hopefully next time he won't just know the gospel but will know God as well!
There were two weird conversations in a row, the first guy said he was willing to listen but didn't want to talk back. So being as simple and careful as possible the whole gospel was explained and usual and simple questions were answered along the way. The man was thankful took a tract and that was the end.
Next a guy was approached who at first seemed interested and then just went quiet. He too was challenged by being told that, "Whilst you may be able to ignore another human being, you won't be able to ignore God forever, one day you will stand in his presence and on that day anyone trusting in themselves will be found guilty and sentenced to eternity in Hell".
There were a scattering of other conversations. A man who goes to a local church but has no idea about the way to Heaven. A guy who played the harmonic (pretty poorly) during his answers and the questions. A Muslim who did not want to hear but just kept saying what she had been told, even despite careful attempts to show her that the intention wasn't just to "share ideas", all she did to the issues raised with her own system were pretend that they weren't a problem.
There was a final encouraging conversation with Richard and Jamika who saw why we know God exists, realised they were guilty when shown God's law and came to understand the serious penalty sin deserves. They were then briefly shown the solution and were handed tracts as their bus arrived. They seemed interested and were encouraged to try and think about it and read the tract before next time.
Please be praying for those today who heard the message of salvation that they would not just understand it but trust in Christ! Praise God for the opportunity to come on out and share His name and please be praying that God would raise up more labourers to go out into the fields that are white for harvest!
On Tuesday afternoon at Woodridge there was a team of four out but that was enough to cover the area well but as they say, there is always room for more. The afternoon was then filled with many conversations, proclaiming Christ to the lost people of this world.
The first conversation was a good reminder that the gospel is central. There was a Muslim and Aboriginal who engaged and were shown their guilt through God's law. They were both shown God's existence with the building builder analogy but they tried over and over to try and change the topic every time the question was raised, So how can you be made right before God?
These guys tried to attack the reliability of the Bible. They tried to attack the actions of Christians in the past. They tried to attack Jesus' resurrection. They were constantly bought back to the real question at hand, how can a sinner be forgiven but all they had to offer was, "try and be better and hope that's enough". Sadly they were too proud and too unwilling to listen to hear what God has done to save sinners and as a result they walked away condemned without any hope of forgiveness.
Tina was approached a little while later. She had was from New Zealand and had some simple understanding but hadn't understood the gospel. She was taken through the law and the gospel and came to understand who Jesus was, why He had to die and how she can be forgiven. She was encouraged to read the gospel of John to know more about the Christ and to trust in Him.
A sad conversation following this was with a lady who at first said there was no God, then saw that there was one. Then was shown that she was guilty via God's law and tried to argue that she wasn't that bad and then when pointed to Christ as the only hope declared that she didn't need Jesus because she would save herself.
There were also two conversations with people who attend local churches and yet had no idea of the way to Heaven. One man walked past and he was asked, "What will happen to you after you die?" To which he responded that he was going to Heaven. When asked what was going to get him there he said, "My Church". He was challenged on that, "Churches don't get people into Heaven. What are you trusting in to pay for your sin so that you can go to Heaven?" He again responded, "My Church". He was challenged a third time but instead of answering he attacked the team, "I know who you guys are and what you preach is wrong". Sadly he didn't get to stop and chat to come and understand that the gospel is Jesus oriented, not church based.
This was followed by a lady who when asked the same question said, "Don't worry, I'm good, I go to ... Church". This was followed by asking, "So what are you trusting in to get you to Heaven?" to which she responded, "I'm not really sure". In the space of a few minutes, two church goers, both in their mid forties, who had been in the church for a while had no ability to share what they are trusting in to get them to Heaven.
It was a sad reminder that even in the churches we attend there are surely people who have attended for years who do not know how a sinner can be forgiven. Maybe make that your goal, not just to look out for new people when they arrive at your Church but start asking people some simple questions like, "Why do you think God should let you into Heaven?" or "How did you become a Christian?" and find out what they are trusting in to save them and maybe even help them understand the gospel for the first time!
Please also be praying for those who heard the gospel on Tuesday that God would be at work in their hearts that they would not forget the simple message of hope but rather trust in Christ, the savior of sinners!
Tuesday afternoon at Woodridge, was filled with many conversations. There were five team members out and a surprisingly hot sun and God was at work in the midst of it all.
The first conversation of the afternoon took place with Cheryl and her elderly mother and it was beautiful to see God's providence on display. Cheryl was interested to listen and was seeking to engage in the gospel conversation but her mother on the other hand was a lapsed JW who still believed their falsehoods. It was a struggle to get through the law and to the gospel as the mother kept trying to interrupt with different JW arguments about things. These were mostly palmed off and the tract to explaining the good news was taken. But it was getting harder and harder, then God in His providence sent the mother a phone call which took her attention for the next few minutes.
This enabled the daughter to hear in simplicity the desperate state humanity is in that each one of us deserve and eternity in Hell for our sin and therefore that the only thing that can solve this is if God Himself does something in order to save sinners. As she was hearing about what God had done her mother got off the phone and started interrupting again but it wasn't even thirty seconds before another phone call came in taking her away again.
In this moments that followed for the first time in her life Cheryl understood what repentance is, that it isn't "cleaning up your life", "stopping sinning" or "asking for forgiveness" but rather a simple change of mind about who God is and what sin is. It was pointed out that this repentance will always result in a changed life of actions but those actions aren't what saves us and nor is repentance. Rather, one is saved on the basis of accepting God's gift of salvation, through trusting that Jesus paid for their sin on the cross. Cheryl was speechless, she almost couldn't believe how simple and beautiful it was.
There wasn't any time for checking questions to give her a deeper understanding of the gospel but it was amazing that God had opened her eyes to the truth despite many years of confusion from the contradictory and works based ideas she'd grown up in.
There were a range of other exciting conversations where people came to comprehend the gospel for the first time but one that was wonderful was with a lady named Moana. She had some Christianity in her background but had basically just lived as though she was in charge. She saw that God exists via the building's need a builder analogy. She saw that she was in trouble via God's law and Holy standard and therefore was taken through a simple explanation of why Christ alone and His sacrifice can save a sinner.
She was then shown that this gift of forgiveness, purchased by Christ is on offer and to those who trust in Him they will receive forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life. In the next few minutes Moana came to comprehend that it was nothing to do with ones good works that saves a sinner but rather simply by trusting in Christ. She even came to understand that it isn't trusting in Jesus, then living a good life that makes someone right before God, rather that it is simply trusting in what Jesus did.
She then was able to understand that the changed life of good works that a Christian lives is a result of the salvation provided by Christ, not a requirement to receive it. At the moment Moana seemed to comprehend it all, her bus arrived. God had enabled her to come to a simple understanding of the essential truth of how someone is made right before God and what role our works play in that.
Please raise Cheryl and Moana up before God that they would not just comprehend the offer of forgiveness but that they would in whole-hearted surrender, trust in Christ for their forgiveness and be forever changed, wanting to know God, to be known by God and to make Him known!