Sunnybank Team (QLD)
Meets 2-5pm every Thursday afternoon at the Sunnybank bus stop on Mains Road.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
This afternoon in the team was 6 members strong. This was a real blessing as we were able to cover two areas nearby each other and reach more people. The team also had two native mandarin speakers who were able to engage with some who had little or no English ability.
One stand out conversation was with a young man named Will. He has had some exposure to Christianity evidenced by his answers but for the most part was simply living as a pagan. He had a Chinese-Buddhist background but even that was more cultural than binding.
Will came to understand that God designed us to bring Him glory by obedience to Him but that we had instead chosen to worship ourselves by living how we want. Will seemed to struggle with the idea that God would punish "decent" people. It was emphasised that we're not good people who make mistakes, rather we are rebels who wilfully defy God.
This made sense and he came to understand God's judgement and anger toward sinners. Will was left to ponder the question, "Will I choose sin and God's wrath or will I surrender to Jesus and find life and love?"
Please be praying for Will and all those who took tracts, engaged in conversations or were asked a simple question as they walked past. Please be praying that God would use these encounters to bring about their salvation.
As you read the posts over the coming weeks, would you also consider joining the team if they have a team in your area: https://www.operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams/
At Sunnybank yesterday, God raised up a team of 8 of us for the outreach, which meant we were able to reach both sides of the road very well, handing out gospel tracts and starting conversations.
Two standout conversations - one person who was quite hard hearted and the other person who was very receptive.
The hard hearted man was a man in his 50s or so who said he is a Mormon all the way from when he was young. He was very familiar with all the teachings of the Mormon church, saying that God the Father has multiple wives and lives near the planet Colob. He said that Jesus and Satan are brothers, and that humans were never created but have always existed.
There were so many false beliefs to deal with, so we decided to focus on a main topic - salvation. He said that God would judge everyone one day on their works, and so therefore he interpreted from that that God will weigh a person's good deeds verses their bad deeds. We made the point that the Bible says even all liars will have their place in the lake of fire (Rev 21:8), that means even one lie is enough condemn us forever. And it would not be the just thing for a judge to let a criminal go free based on doing more good actions than crimes, neither can the good God of the universe do that.
We then brought up Ephesians 2:8-9 which describes how we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus and not by works, and he said that belief is from the devil. He then jumped topics on to the trinity saying that there can't be one God who exists in three persons, instead there must be multiple gods. What this man was saying really shows how different Mormonism is to Christianity and the Bible. And he wasn't misrepresenting Mormonism at all, this is what they actually believe.
He didn't want to believe what the Bible said about all these subjects and instead wanted to rely on the modern prophets of his church. So the conversation ended some time after that.
But not too long later, we had a good chat with a Chinese man named Roy who hasn't even heard of the name Jesus before or what He has done. We got to talk about how we have all sinned, deserve God's judgement, but that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin if we would come to believe. The evidence that we believe is that we will then start living a different way.
He asked a bunch of clarifying questions, even asking, "Why would Jesus do that for me?" We also gave him a gospel of John to start reading.
To God be all the glory!
At Sunnybank (QLD) yesterday, a team of 5 of us met to share the good news of the gospel with whoever came by. And across the afternoon, a few hundred gospel tracts went out and God brought along some a bunch of people who were open to talking about eternal things.
This included some high school students, some of whom did not believe in God, but quickly changed their mind when given the building/builder analogy. Please pray for Nathan who was very receptive and took a gospel of John to start reading.
Please also pray for Maverick who, after hearing the bad news about how our sin makes us deserving of hell but how Jesus volunteered to take our punishment for us if we come to trust in him, he said, "Today I will do that. This is a great talk."
He saw the importance of what we were talking about, and so he was encouraged to carefully consider what it means to trust in Christ (as Christ doesn't want half-hearted followers). He didn't have a Bible, so we gave him a gospel of John which he gratefully received.
To God be the glory!
PS: If you can, consider joining one of our evangelism teams: www.Operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams
"One sows, another waters, but God gives the growth" was evident during our outreach on Thursday at Sunnybank.
We talked with a man named Lee from China who was taught in school that there is no God by the teachers. And so he had never given any thought about God until he visited Hong Kong just before he came to Australia to study a masters at university.
In Hong Kong he encountered a man who shared with him about God and the story of Jesus, but he didn't become a Christian. Lee himself described that it was like that man planted a seed.
So when we met Lee on Thursday, he already knew there was a God and knew about what happened to Jesus (that ground work had already been laid), but he still didn't quite understand the gospel. So as we explained what Jesus' death on the cross achieved, he said, "Wow I have never thought of the story of Jesus that way before" in regards to Jesus paying our fine for us, satisfying the justice of God so that we can be saved.
He was extremely thankful and said that he would have to carefully consider trusting in Jesus for his forgiveness, for he knew it would change his life. Lee said he was returning to China in 3 days time since he has finished his study here. What amazing timing. We gave him a gospel of John to start reading, which he gratefully accepted.
Whenever we share God's truth with people, God will use it for His glory, and can send someone else who can further witness to that person to water the seed that has been sown. We are nothing, but to God alone be the glory!
God reminded the people in Sunnybank this afternoon of His promise to not completely flood the earth again by showcasing a massive rainbow. This was while the team was chatting to people about the only way of salvation, reminding them of the judgement day that is to come.
And God in His providence, allowed hundreds of gospel tracts to go out and some great in-depth gospel conversations were had. Including with a man named Ricky who said that he was Buddhist. The message of sin and grace was explained to him, but he said that he has to remain a Buddhist because that would be the way to respect his grandfather's wishes.
I said, "But it really matters that what we believe is true. If a person is told that it's fine to just run out on the road with your eyes closed, you'd hope that person would consider for himself whether that is wise to do so, because ultimately his life is at stake. In the same way, even though your grandfather's wishes may be for you to remain in Buddhism, if Christianity is true and by the time you die you've not trusted in Jesus for your forgiveness, the consequences will be hell forever - because God will have to give you justice for the sins you've committed."
He saw that, and came to realise that just trying to do better would not undo his past. He was happy to take a gospel of John to start reading to find out more about Jesus, having never read it before.
Please pray for him and all the others who heard the gospel today. To God be the glory!
The outreach at Sunnybank today went from one extreme to another. At one end of the spectrum there was polite conversation, then at the other end we had a group of drunks decide to start smashing the Free Bible table.
The afternoon began quietly enough with us handing out tracts and trying to engage people in conversation. One elderly couple walked past a person on the team and were rather hostile. Upon being offered a tract, the elderly man took it, and then threw it back saying, “I have a living faith in the Lord Jesus, which I doubt you have!”
I asked the man where he went to church and he identified a local Anglican church. I then asked, “Sir, I’m a Baptist Minister, why do you believe I don’t have faith in the Lord Jesus?” He seemed stunned and replied, “OH! I thought you were a cult!” The man and his wife then apologised, and informed me that they also attend a Bible study at a local Baptist church.
Then he said something that was truly sad. He said in 70 years, he has only ever been approached by Christians three times in public in order to talk about the gospel, but the cults had approached him many times. We all agreed that this shouldn’t be the case, and that more Christians need to take Christ into the public arena.
Shortly after this I was able to get into a good conversation with a Muslim gentleman from Sudan. He was extremely friendly, and was dissatisfied with those who follow Islam in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East. We chatted about the Lord Jesus, and then he brought up about the Bible being corrupted. In my pack I had a booklet that dealt with that topic, so I gave it to him and encouraged him to read it. He said he would, and we parted with a handshake.
During this time we had a group of white drunken yobbos come by. They were walking in the traffic and generally making a nuisance of themselves. When they saw the Chinese Free Bible table they began to overturn it and start smashing things up. I quickly stopped this, called the Police and then began to clean everything up. As they left the scene, a fellow Christian was able to give them tracts. Please pray the Lord saves them.
It was a productive afternoon with many tracts being handed out and conversations had. It was also encouraging to see that six people took copies of the Gospel of John in Chinese. May the Lord Jesus rescue many.
"I would love to have a Bible."
Today God's providence was on full display (again) during our outreach in Sunnybank. We had a team of 3 of us. Here is what happened. At one point, I was chatting to a school student sharing the gospel with him and gave him a New Testament at the end of the conversation.
Not long later, I chatted with three different school students and they were very receptive. I asked if they had a Bible at home, and I heard that one of them didn't, but I wasn't sure what the other two said. So I gave my last NT that I had in my pocket to the student that said he didn't have a Bible. At that exact moment, the student who I had given the NT in the earlier conversation came up to me and said that he didn't want the NT anymore and handed it back to me.
One of the three students then said that they all had to go as their parents were waiting, but one stayed behind and got my attention again and said, "Can I have one? I would love to have a Bible." Praise God I now had a NT in my hand again that I could give him. He grateful took it and then ran to catch up with his friends who were already quite a distance away.
The team found that a lot of people took gospel tracts today, and there were plenty of people happy to have a gospel conversation. God is always amazingly faithful, so we give Him all the glory!
In the Great Commission, Jesus says "Make disciples of every nation" and yesterday it appeared all the nations came to Sunnybank for our weekly outreach there. We had four on the team.
We had a good chat with a man from India named Rigit. He said he just went to his Hindu temple and received a dot on his forehead. He says he hopes doing these rituals will make life go well for him, even though he's not sure if any god exists or if his religion is true or not. I guess you'd say he's trying to cover all his bases.
We spent quite a bit of time showing why Christianity is true because Jesus rose from the dead which we know because of eye-witness historical accounts. For it matters whether that event happened or not, and the Bible says that if it didn't happen, there is no point believing in Christianity. We explained the gospel to him and Rigit was happy to take a gospel of John to find out more.
Another person we had a long conversation with was named Joe. He was from China and has been in Australia for a year now. He had a lot of questions. From "How do we know God exists?" to "How old is the earth?" to "What about the Crusades?". He majored in biology in universe and after being surprised that I said that evolution is not scientific because we have no observations of it taking place, neither can we do any repeatable experiments to show it happened, he conceded that it is a hypothesis and cannot be tested.
Please pray that God would draw Joe to Himself, as he had the gospel thoroughly explained to him, and he is now considering whether he is prepared to turn from sin and trust in Jesus.
We had another great afternoon of evangelism at Sunnybank yesterday. The Lord brought along 3 of us on the team which meant we were able to cover both sides of the road.
We praise God that about 500 gospel tracts went out and we got to speak with a variety of people, including Thomas. He is from Cambodia and has never heard anything about Christianity. He was very receptive and afterwards was happy to take a gospel of John.
Also spoke with a man named Colin. His mother attends a Catholic church and he says he goes along sometimes. He said he's been slowly drifting away from God. We talked about sin, the coming Judgement, and how forgiveness is only available through faith in Christ alone. He came to grasp the gospel, and he admitted that he has never actually been a Christian before, since he now realised he never has believed the gospel before.
He was encouraged to make sure he counts the cost of coming to faith in Christ, for Jesus doesn't want half-hearted followers. But at the same time, he was encouraged not to delay, since none of us know how long we have left on this earth. He has a Bible and said he is going to start reading it. He was also encouraged to find a good Bible believing church in the area he lives.
To God alone be the glory!
We had a great outreach at Sunnybank yesterday, we had 4 of us on the team and praise the Lord, plenty of gospel tracts went out (in English and Chinese).
Three highlight conversations:
1. We spoke with a typical Aussie lady named Taylor who says she has never thought about God or eternal things before, but by the end of the conversation she had a lot to think about. She was happy to take a gospel of John to start reading. Please pray for her.
2. A young couple who I happened to speak to the guy a few months ago in Capalaba. He remembered me, and he said he was much more open this time. He kept bringing up "there is no evidence" even after I discussed some with him. But later he admitted that he doesn't believe in God not because of a lack in evidence, but because he wants to live in sin. But the couple soon agreed that living sin doesn't really satisfy at all.
As the conversation progressed and they heard the gospel, the couple said, "We have never heard it explained like that before. That makes perfect sense!" They each took a gospel of John to start reading. Please pray for them.
3. A Chinese man named Joe who said that his parents are Christian but he doesn't believe in God. After pointing to the fact that the universe had a beginning, he soon realised that God exists. We went through the law of God and the gospel and he said, "I am going to have to really think about this. I am going to talk to my sister about it too because she is a Christian."
To God be the glory!