Gold Coast Team (QLD)
Meets 7:15-10pm every Friday night at Surfers Paradise on Cavill Avenue.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
The team at first were worried that there wouldn't be enough people to speak with for the outreach but thankfully that was not the case, in fact there were plenty of conversations for the six team members over the course of the evening!
You can hear Matt share about a conversation he had with two young men who intellectually understood the Gospel very quickly and were challenged to count the cost of following Christ that very night.
You can also hear Trevor share about a conversation he had with a young man which ended similarly. He also turns it on you, encouraging you to consider coming out with the team when you have a spare evening.
The evening at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast started as normal, team prayer and then splitting up to seek out people who were willing to hear the Gospel. For some of the team the night went smoothly with conversation after conversation getting to tell many people about who the Christ is and what He has done! But for others it was hard going with many moments of rejection.
This was the case for eight conversations in a row last night. There was a man, Chris, who was taking drugs as the conversation progressed and after a few minutes he couldn't even really respond or comprehend to continue the discussion. Next two guys were approached and they first said that they didn't care what would happen after they died. They were then joined by two friends who actually seemed interested in talking. Sadly the original two "levered" them away from the conversation and the group were left to consider the absolute seriousness of eternity.
Next was an older gentleman who said his body would be taken by the worms and when challenged about his soul said he would probably go to Hell and said that would be okay because it wasn't going to happen for a while.
Then two couples in a row brushed off the questions saying they were in too much of a hurry to talk. They were both challenged with the seriousness that eternity is the most important topic to consider. When one leaves this world, they don't take their family, friends, house, care, job, savings or pets with them, they leave alone. So the most important question to answer is, "Where will God be sending you, Heaven or Hell?"
The next three all answered the question, "Will God send you to Heaven or Hell after you die?" with the answer, "I don't believe in that" and kept walking.
But then after a long time of short conversations Catlan was asked the same question and began by saying, "Heaven because I look out for other people". Catlan was actually ditched by his girlfriend who walked on but remained for a while to chat. On the basis of his profession of "worthiness" and "goodness" he was shown God's law and was absolutely gobsmacked but he was honest. He said, "I never realised that was God's standard" and honestly answered each different part of the law acknowledging his guilt.
This hit home he said I have misunderstood God all this time, "I just thought it was about trying to live a good life". He saw the desperate position his was in and seemed moved. Sadly as the Gospel was about to be presented his girlfriend called him and he said he would have to head off now. He was grateful for the conversation, took a tract and said he was keen to know more. Please be praying that Catlan's girlfriend will not be able to stop him from hearing the Gospel and that God may do whatever it takes to lead him to a saving knowledge of the truth.
Another conversation was with Michael. He and two others were stopped and the others were Christians. Michael did most of the talking and originally was relatively hostile. Then as he heard the law and the Gospel something just clicked. A drastic change occurred where he wasn't against the message but actively was interested to the point that he requested a Bible! Praise God for his gracious work in the hearts of men!
The final conversation of the evening was with Theo and Natalie. Theo did most of the talking and he was filled with questions. Over the course of a thirty minute discussion he came to understand a large portion of Christianity and how it was the polar opposite to the rest of the religions in this world when it comes to how one gets right before God and the goal of our lives. Theo said he had never heard anything like this before and came to understand the Gospel.
He was actually quite surprised at the beauty of Christianity and was encouraged to study more and actually start reading a Bible for himself!
Praise God that despite some hard hearts he draws people unto Himself in His timing! Please be praying for those spoken to, those who responded positively or negatively that God would use these conversations, questions or tracts to draw His sheep unto Himself!
As the team headed to the Gold Coast last night rain was threatening but thankfully there were only a few short showers throughout the night. The team of six were able to engage in over thirty Gospel conversations throughout the night!
You can hear Ben explain how the night went and share a short encouragement for you to consider coming out with the team!
You can hear David share specifically about a chat he had with a group of late teens and how they heard the law and the Gospel.
You can also hear Fynn, give a summary and encouragement from the conversations he had.
Please be praying for those who heard the Gospel and ask God to give you boldness and time to be able to share His Gospel!
This Friday night at the Gold Coast was a wonderful evening of convesations. Many people stopped by and heard the Gospel from the mouths of the team.
Firstly you can hear Harry share about a young man that spoke to the team during schoolies week and has since trust in Christ alone for his salvation!
Next you can a surprising response Michael had in a conversation. As he spoke with some tourists, over the course of the conversation their hearts softened and at the end the pair asked for a Bible to read.
Lastly you can hear Matt share about a lengthy conversation with a man named Ken, who struggled to understand the Gospel. Plesse be praying for Ken that he would heed the warnings given and the Gospel that was preached and find forgiveness and life in Christ!
On Friday evening on the Gold Coast it was a very quiet night to begin with. The usual family foot traffic seemed to be taking a week off. But as God is sovereign, there were just enough people around for the team to have consistent conversations.
The evening began with a conversation with a Muslim man, who originally tried to argue that both Christians and Muslims worship the same god. This idea was challenged by asking, "How are your sins being paid for?" When he heard this, he didn't want to talk any longer.
Following this conversation, there was a discussion started with two young men. Sam and his friend. What was surprising was that Sam was willing to stay and chat, even despite his friend wanting to leave. What was interesting was that in the discussion Sam struggled to understand the Gospel. He was so familiar with the idea of being good to get to God, that it had never crossed his mind that it wasn't the way.
The Gospel was explained a number of different ways, with different analogies and after each time a checking question was asked to see if Sam had comprehended the Gospel but it didn't seem clear for Sam even by the end. Sam was glad for the conversation and was encouraged to read the tract. Please be praying for Sam that the Gospel did make sense and that he would come to trust in Jesus alone for salvation.
A positive conversation was with Isaac and Jin, they had never heard the Gospel before but came to understand it and were thankful for the chat.
A funny comment from another conversation was with two girls who mentioned that they had gotten the "finger print", Good Person tracts during Schoolies and that they didn't work. It was surprising to think that they were so sure of their goodness that they were certain that the tract was broken, rather than thinking the point may have been to point out that no one is good. These girls heard the law and the Gospel but weren't to interested in doing anything with it.
A short conversation was had with two young Greek orthodox men. They heard the law, saw their sin and were floundering about how to made right before God, when they called their uncle and father over. The uncle was a priest and these two men, blinded by their pride were unable to hear what God had said in His word about justification by faith alone. These men talked, with very little intention to listen. They were challenged on many points in scripture, to which they didn't have answers.
Sadly this ruined the opportunity that was had with their sons. The scariest part was that one of the men used Jesus' name as a curse word and it was at that moment the conversation came to a halt. It was pointed out that they had just blasphemed God and that they should open up the Bible and read Romans 3-5, before the night was out.
Briefly another conversation was had with Shaun who also couldn't comprehend the Gospel. Unlike Sam, this was because Shaun didn't want it. He liked morality and what Jordan Peterson has to say but on that basis was sure he was a good guy and therefore didn't want the Saviour. He went on to declare the he wanted to live life his own way and that was why he didn't believe. It was clearly and carefully pointed out to Shaun that he is on a path headed toward Hell and his only hope is to humble himself and trust in Christ.
Please be praying for those who heard the Gospel this week and for those who took tracts, that God may use this simple message to change people's lives, by the power of His Spirit.
Tonight hear Matthew share that he has struggled to evangelise the longer he has been away from the team on the street. You can join in praising God that he was able to make it out tonight to practice and was also able to have some good conversations!
Hear Ryan share about an encouraging conversation he had with a Muslim couple, explaining to them why there must be a Saviour, for God to remain Just and Merciful.
Hear Craig sharing an encouragement about the many conversations he had and you can hear him even challenge you, to consider coming out for the name of God to be glorified!
As the team seeks to use 2019 for God's glory and the proclamation of His name, the outreaches have continued. In some locations there are much larger crowds than usual and in others it is quieter. Gold Coast is the former. There are hundreds of people in the mall during the earlier parts of the outreach, as many families are around on holiday.
This past Friday, the team took the busyness as an opportunity to preach. Some serious messages were preached, with the warning that God has not promised to anyone that they would survive this year. But it wasn't death that should be feared, but the God who all will stand before in judgement after death.
The crowd then heard why this judge is to be feared, how guilty each one of us are and that the only solution to not spending eternity in Hell, is to find forgiveness purchased for sinners by Christ.
During the preaching, around ten New Testaments were taken off the table as people walked up and picked them up. Some came up despite the protests of their friends or family and others came up in small groups. It was unexpected but exciting to see people taking a copy of God's Word.
As usual a time of outreach is filled with a range of different people. Early on a Jewish man, who had rejected Judaism and had subscribed to spiritualism spoke with the team. Next an "atheist" who loved sin, hated God and had no arguments just assertions spoke with the team and an older man, who said, "I don't want to think about death or talk about religion" was left with the serious question, "Will God send you to Heaven or Hell when you die?"
Two encouraging conversations were had with Marcella and Emma.
Marcella is a native Spanish speaker and had a decent amount of understanding about God. Sadly though she had never heard the Gospel before. So, 2019 became the year when she first heard the Gospel and came to understand what God has done to save sinners.
Marcella, saw through the law, how short she fell of God's standard and then came to understand how Jesus' death can atone for the guilt and how we should respond to Jesus. Please be praying that Marcella would read the Bible she has at home and that God would use this conversation and His word to bring her to salvation!
The conversation with Emma was a little different. She at first said she didn't think the team would want to speak with her because she is an atheist. It turns out that she had very little reason for being atheistic, she just decided that is what she wanted. She also had experience in a Pentecostal church youth group, in which her criticism was, "it is just blind following". She recounted how they just would sing songs and jump up and down and it was all about emotional feelings and fitting in with the crowd. Sadly, in her years at youth group, she never came to understand the Gospel, nor did she hear much about Jesus.
Thankfully, God had bought her to Cavill Mall, at the right time, so she could hear the Gospel. Emma as she heard the simple apologetic for God's existence said it made sense. Then Emma saw herself in the mirror of God's law. She came to understand that she was desperately guilty.
When asked what the solution was, Emma didn't know and as usual said, "try to be good". Instead Emma got to hear what God has done to save those who are not good and who cannot be good. Emma heard the good news and in a final serious challenge it was explained that no one knows the time of their death. "We aren't promised tomorrow, let alone another year".
At this Emma broke down in tears, she recently had someone close to her die. Thankfully, Liam her boyfriend had just arrived and was able to comfort her but they were left with the seriousness of eternity and the only solution to judgement.
Please be praying for Emma and Liam, that they would heed God's command to repent and believe and would find freedom from sin, forgiveness of sin and a love for God!
On Friday evening in Cavill Mall the team engaged with many people, despite the wet weather. Due to the rain the team moved around a bit for shelter, at the same rejoicing that they had found shelter in Christ, from the storm of God's wrath.
An early conversation in the evening was had with an almost unbelievably proud man. When you read of the Pharisees in the Bible you can often think they only lived in the time of the Jesus but there are people like that today. Whilst a conversation was going on with another person, this man standing nearby seemed to be trying to gain some attention his way. When the previous conversation finished he was offered a tract and it came with the question, "Will God let you into Heaven when you die?"
This man, absolutely dripping with pride asked, "Do you know who I am?" The answer was given, "Nope, no idea". He responded and said, "I am a deacon, do you know what that is?" The response was given, "Yes, supposedly a humble servant of God". It was at this moment it was explicitly clear that this was a self-righteous man. He was asked the question, "Why should God let you into Heaven on judgement day?"
Without even a moments hesitation he strongly, yet utterly foolishly declared, "My good works". With all the sincerity and sadness this man was told, "Then you have utterly no hope as you currently stand of entering Heaven, God requires perfection and you are a proud man. God will oppose the proud and give grace to the humble, your only hope is to come to the humble God who punished Himself to save wicked men like yourself".
This man sought to try and justify himself but was left no opportunity as he was left with those words ringing in his ears. Please raise him up in prayer that God would strike this mans pride, cut him to the hear, show him how incredibly foolish he is to hope in Himself and to lead him to Christ, the saviour of once proud sinners.
A number of rather encouraging conversations also occurred. One with Latrel and Jaiah and another with Conrad and a final with Jamie.
The first with Latrel and Jaiah was interesting. Latrel the young man was very disinterested. He was playing on his phone with no real desire to listen.
It was sad and despite being really challenged on this a number of times in the conversation Latrel paid very little attention and tried to drag Jaiah away, ultimately succeeding.
Jaiah on the other hand listened. She heard the law, saw her sin and came to understand that sinners deserve Hell. She then asked, "How can I be forgiven?". It was a privilege to share and Gospel and she was encouraged, as John 3:16 stated, to believe and Jaiah said she wanted to, tonight. It was at this moment Latrel tried to pull her away and succeeded.
It was a sad moment but the team member then prayed that God would use someone to share the call to repent, the seriousness of counting the cost and how her life would change. That prayer was answered moments later when another team member further up the sidewalk stopped the pair again and was able to explain all of those things. Even more encouraging was the fact that when asked, "If you were to stand before God and He was to ask, 'Why should I let you into Heaven?' what would you say?" and Jaiah responded, "Because I have trusted in Jesus".
Jaiah heard the other half of the Gospel's call on her life and was seriously left to count the cost! Praise God for answered prayer!
Next conversation was had with Conrad. He took had friends that tried to drag him away and they ultimately left in frustration. During this time, Conrad remained resistant to their calls to leave and stayed for a lengthy conversation. He had Catholic background and through the conversation was able to grasp and Gospel and this Christmas was encouraged to read the Gospel of John and to seriously consider what Christ came to do, to save sinners.
Conrad said he would.
Lastly was a conversation with a lady named Jamie. She walked past early in the night and was challenged with the question, "Will God let you into Heaven when you die?". Later in the evening, she was standing around the team and was engaged in conversation. At first she expressed that she didn't think that was a great question. In response it was posed again and she engaged with it this time.
As a result she heard the bad news of sin, that she deserved Hell and the good news that God can take that penalty so that she can be right with Him. Jamie didn't seem anywhere near as upset by the end and actually responded with gratitude for the discussion.
Please be praying for the many who heard the Gospel, were challenged by its truth and were encouraged this Christmas to give up thinking it is all about them but to come and bow before this Saviour in a manger.
It has been a while since the team has gotten a video encouragement up but in this video you can hear some testimonies from an outreach in early December last year.
Daniel, gives the encouragement that there are many people to share the Gospel with and specfically shares about a conversation that he had, where it seemed as if God had been preparing this young man to hear.
Over the course of eight minutes, Daniel was able to share the Gospel clearly to this man.
Next Tim, who was just travelling through, decided to stop for a few hours before continuing on home and as a result God used him to share the Gospel with a range of people, specfically you can hear about a conversation he had with a man named Hero.
Please be praying for these two conversations as well the team as they endeavour to share God's glorious Gospel with the lost day after day.
And consider Daniel's final encouragement, to join us in this Mission, to be ambassador's for Christ, to this lost and perishing world.
On Friday at the Gold Coast the team was able to head out and engage in conversation with the last of the NSW Schoolies as they weren't quite finished their week. This enabled for lots of conversations as the teenagers are usually more open to talk, often because they love their own opinions more. Thankfully, as is clearly the case for all the Christians on the globe, God can overcome the most proud of sinners. He can change the hardest heart and make it new.
An older man early on stopped to talk about the way to Heaven. He first declared he was a really good guy and that God would let him in. Then when Jesus was quoted, regarding the perfection God requires he said, "I am gay, so it doesn't matter how good I am". It was quickly explained that his biggest problem was not his homosexuality, rather, his entire life, just as everyone else's has been an exercise in sinful self-indulgence against God.
Our biggest problem is that God must punish sin, all sin and rebels will not escape the judgement. It was also explained that God has made a way for sinners to be saved, so that all who trust in Him can be forgiven on the basis of His sacrifice for sin.
Sadly this man, heard all this and said he wasn't interested in talking anymore. It was almost as if, he wasn't interested in the Gospel, he just wanted a "fight" and when he didn't get one, he left.
Soon after this a couple Jerry and Elise walked past, when asked, "Will God let you into Heaven when you die?" they said, "We were just discussing this today and concluded that there is nothing after death".
Thankfully this opened a discussion about God the Creator who showed His existence by making a world and then by doing things in it, that only God can do. After a few simple apologetics, the Gospel was explained. Starting with the bad news of sin and finishing with the command from Jesus to repent or perish.
This couple, was left with an understanding of the Gospel and were challenged to count the cost and to turn and trust in Christ alone for salvation.
One lengthy and sanctifying conversation was had with three young men Jayden, Denver and Reese. What made it hard was that Jasper, a drunk guy, was constantly interrupting, not listening and being quite rude with his talk. But despite this, over the course of forty minutes, Jayden, Denver and Reese listened. At first Reese didn't believe in God and the other two thought their goodness would get them to Heaven.
The conversation was lead from Creation, through the fall, the failure of humanity, the judgement of God and yet God's ultimate prophesy and promise that He would come to save sinners. These young men heard what God had done to save sinners, were given the tightrope analogy and were left with the very serious question, "When will you trust in Christ?", knowing full well that they have no idea how much longer their lives in this world will last.
These boys were thankful for the conversation and they headed off, each taking a tract.
Please be praying that God would use this moment, the final night of their schoolies week, to be a transforming day. That they no longer would be considering themselves as "good people" but by the blood of Christ, "God's people".
Lastly and quite humourously a conversation was had with a man named Nati. He spoke with the team quickly as his friends were talking to another team member. He shared about how he thought all religions were the same and therefore you could choose any.
Some simple explanations were given about the differences, primarily stressing the difference in the way to Heaven. All other religions leave its adherents with a law to follow, that can only ultimately condemn. Where as Christianity is about God saving sinners from the curse of the law. At this point, Nati's friends were leaving so he had to head off.
The team member went to give him a tract and realised there were none left in his pocket. So he said to Nati, I shall walk with you quickly, I am sure there is a tract on the ground in good condition for you here somewhere. Sure enough, less than ten steps later, sitting on the ground, under a seat was the, "Which one is right?" tract. The tract specifically designed to explain why only in Christ can a sinner be saved. It was a precious display of God's providential sovereignty.
Please be praying for those spoken to this Friday, that they would heed to Gospel's call on their life. Please pray that God will soften hard hearts and make enemies into friends.