Sunnybank Team (QLD)
Meets 2-5pm every Thursday afternoon at the Sunnybank bus stop on Mains Road.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
On Thursday at our Sunnybank outreach, we had 4 of us on the team. Throughout the afternoon, it was great to see that God brought along people who were open to chat with us about the things of God.
In particular there was one young man named Josh. He said he used to go to church until about a year ago when three of his family members died in a car accident. Since then he has been living life his own way and rebelling against God.
I asked him whether during the time he was going to church, did he have certainty that he would go to heaven. He said he didn't, because he said we can't know. It appears that even while going to church, he thought his entry into heaven was based on his performance in some way.
So we spent some time talking about what the Bible says is the way that we can have our sins forgiven, how it is nothing about our goodness or church going or prayers, but instead through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and by faith alone in Him. He came to grasp the message and said, "I have been saying that I will one day come back to God. But I really see this as a sign that I need to do this today."
I encouraged him to definitely count the cost, but also to read Psalm 51 and make that his prayer. To God be the glory that He uses unworthy vessels such as us in His Great Commission!
We encourage you to come along to an outreach sometime, see times and locations here: https://www.operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams
It was a fruitful day of evangelism today in Sunnybank with gospel tracts going out and some great gospel conversations had. There were four of us on the team, which meant we were able to cover both sides of the road.
One person we spoke to was named Shika. He said he was a Hindu and thought God would let him into heaven based on his goodness. So we named a few commandments and he admitted to breaking them, just as we all have. He said that he had been taught that doing more good deeds than bad would solve the problem though.
We said, "Imagine if an earthly judge did that. 'Murderer I am going to let you walk free without any punishment because you've done more good things in life compared to how many murders you've done.'"
At this point, it began to click for him. So we went on to explain how if God is just, he cannot compromise justice by ignoring our sin. So instead we need someone perfect who can take our punishment for us. For if that person pays the penalty for our sin, that satisfies God's justice so that God can show us mercy and let us into Heaven. And that perfect person is Jesus.
This Hindu man then said, "I get it now. I have always been wondering how God's justice can be satisfied." He came to realise that he needed a substitute and that Hinduism doesn't provide one.
We went on to explain that he can't just add Jesus on to his existing religion, but that he needs to leave Hinduism and trust in Christ. He was seriously going to consider this and he was happy to take a Bible.
To God be the glory!
The weather was a bit barmy yesterday afternoon. One moment it would be raining and cold, the next moment the sun would be out and hot. This was a pattern that would be repeated throughout the outreach.
Despite the weather, the outreach the afternoon went really well. One of the highlights of ministering in Sunnybank is that you can touch the nations without leaving Australia. We have found it extremely important to have material in Chinese to reach a large segment of the community.
Yet, not all our work in Sunnybank is evangelistic, sometimes we minister to fellow Christians and help them grow in Christ. For instance, yesterday a man stopped to talk because initially he disagreed with our method of evangelism. He had tried open-air work in the past, but believed it didn't work today.
We chatted for awhile about different tactics in witnessing, and then we spoke about some theological and apologetic struggles he was having. At the end of our conversation this brother shook our hands and thanked us for being out in the streets. It was wonderful to be able to encourage him in Jesus.
Please continue to pray for this outreach. May the Lord be pleased to save many. SDG!
The gospel went out to many today in Sunnybank, which is in Queensland, Australia. The beauty about this area is that it is predominantly Chinese people, many who are studying in Australia for a short number of years. So even though it may be hard to go to China and openly evangelise to these people there, it's wonderful that they come to us here and they can hear the gospel.
We found that most of the Chinese people that we talked to today said that they didn't believe in God. For in China they are taught Atheism. But for each of the people that we spoke to, we simply showed how this universe must have had a creator, and it wasn't long before each of the people had changed their mind about God's existence.
It really goes to show that what Paul wrote in Romans 1 is spot on, that: "What can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)
Once that foundation had been laid, we were able to say, "Since God exists, it matters therefore what you do on this earth, in that God will judge you based on how you've lived. So do you think you're a good person?"
And just like everyone else, they thought they would be good enough for heaven. So we took them through some of God's commandments to see if they had kept them, and they too hadn't. This then lead on to explaining that we need a perfect person to take our punishment for us, and that is Jesus.
After explaining that they need to repent and trust in Christ, we encouraged each of them to carefully consider the message. One such person we spoke today was named Kelvin, and we were also able to give him a gospel of John to start reading. Please pray for him and all the others who heard the gospel today.
In the photo: This man on the bike takes a gospel tract as he rides by.
Glory to God that His gospel is going out!
It was a wonderful afternoon of outreach at Sunnybank. The weather was perfect, so there were quite a number of people walking around.
As I was handing out tracts, an elderly man with Parkinson's disease stopped. He said he was given a tract last week, and that he'd like to talk about it. He told me he attends a local church (which is known for being extremely liberal), and he trusts that he'll go to Heaven because God is all-loving.
I asked the man to imagine a scenario, I said, "Imagine that locally there is a good judge who is known as being loving. When a criminal comes before the court, do you think that the judge's love would cause him to let the criminal go, or would it force him to give justice?"
The man said, "Well, if he is loving, he would have to see that justice is done." I agreed, and pointed out that God is a just judge, and that because He is loving, He won't allow sin to go unpunished. The penny dropped for this elderly gentleman. He understood that the love of God was the guarantee that justice would occur. He then said to me, "But, isn't there something about a cross forgiving us?" With that opening I was able to share the message of Jesus with him. The man, even though he was well advanced in years, seemed to be shocked at this message. He told me that he would start reading his Bible so that he could know more about God.
Please pray for that man, and also for the many other people we spoke today.
It was a quieter afternoon on Thursday in Sunnybank, yet despite the slower day we were able to have some wonderful gospel conversations. For those who don't know, this area is a very multi-cultural region, and as such we have many different languages spoken.
One of the challenges we face is being able to share with people from so many backgrounds; however, with modern technology we can use an iPad when necessary to present the gospel in people's native tongue.
One lady that I offered a tract to, in broken English, told me she could only speak Italian. Upon hearing this I was able to show her a short video of the gospel in her own language. She seemed amazed that on the streets of Brisbane, she would hear the good news in her own tongue.
Later on the day I spoke to a lady from the Philippines who only spoke Tagalog. Once again the iPad came out and I was able to share the gospel with her.
It is truly amazing that the Lord has given us such technology to advance His gospel. Truly, the fulfilling of the Great Commission is easier today than it has ever been before.
Thank you for praying for today's outreach. We started off with a conversation with two Mormon missionaries who frequent the area. Often the Mormons do not speak to us much because they have been told to avoid us, but today these two were happy to talk.
We shared with them about how the Bible says we justified by faith in Christ alone and not by baptism or any other work. They responded, "But we think faith is important too". For them, it's not faith alone. It's faith and works.
They were listening before they had an "appointment" to go to. A minute later another pair of Mormon missionaries came by and one gave me a handwritten letter that he had written expressing his thoughts to me.
I have been witnessing to this missionary for the past month or two. Last week he said that as a Mormon, he believes that he is co-eternal and co-existent with God! That is such a high view of self and such a low view of God. Please pray that he and the rest of these Mormons come to humble themselves, and repent and believe in Christ alone.
We also had some great conversations with other people, even some that went on for a long time (including the one shown in the photo).
Praise be to God the gospel has gone out!
It was a rather good afternoon of ministry in Sunnybank today. There were five of us out witnessing, so we were able to talk to quite a number of people.
One great conversation we had was with a man named Szymon. He use to be an atheist, but he has become more spiritual. Through the study of Buddhism he has come to believe in God, and now he is exploring Christianity. We chatted for some time about the differences between Buddha and Jesus. We also got to cover the topic of the gospel and the nature of how to understand the Bible.
He told me that he is now reading the Bible, and his goal is to finish it all. However, he thinks that Buddha and Jesus teach much of the same things.
We recommended the book, "The Lotus and the Cross" by Ravi Zacharias (this book examines the teachings of Jesus and Buddha). I have since been able to get a copy of the book, and will be posting it to Szymon tomorrow. Please pray the Lord would use this to bring him to faith.
I also had a great conversation with a young Maori man. This man had grown up in a church going home, but he was trusting in his works to save him. I was able to use the G7 app from Train To Proclaim to show him that salvation is not something we can earn, but rather it is a free gift from God.
Praise God for a productive afternoon of ministry. May the Lord bring many to Himself.
Thank-you to those who prayed for the outreach this afternoon in Sunnybank. The weather played a little bit of havoc with rain coming and going. However, despite that, we were able to share the gospel.
I was able to have a good conversation with a young man who subscribes to the Baha'i religion. This is a belief that I have very little knowledge of so it was great to have him explain it to me. As we chatted we examined the issue of all religions being true (a Baha'i belief). We talked about the Scripture and how Jesus doesn't leave the 'all roads to God' option open to us, but rather He makes an exclusive truth claim that He alone is the way to the Father (John 14:6).
Our conversation also centred around the nature of God; the way of salvation and how we can know God. At the end of our talk the young man took a Gospel of John and also an Ultimate Questions booklet. Please pray the Lord would save him.
Praise God that His gospel went out in Sunnybank today.
Being school holidays there were less students about, but there were still plenty of gospel conversations had.
A few names to pray for:
Sarah - thought good enough, very open, gave gospel of John, in 20s, with her Muslim mother.
Jesse - Chinese, didn't believe in God initially, quite open, going to think about it, received gospel of John in Chinese, has a Christian roommate.
Matthew - receptive, happy to take gospel of John, grasped gospel.
To God be the glory!