Gold Coast Team (QLD)
Meets 7:15-10pm every Friday night at Surfers Paradise on Cavill Avenue.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
Ryan picked me up from Church and we drove to the Gold Coast, picking up Josh Williamson on the way. It was great to relax and chat with each other as we drove together.
As we approached our destination, storm clouds began to dominate the sky. We soon arrived at our usual place for bible reading and prayer and were joined by Tim and the guys from Helensvale Baptist church. The lifeguard on his megaphone sounded-out a warning for everyone swimming to get out of the water as dangerous weather conditions were imminent. As we finished our time of fellowship, we walked over to our usual preaching site in the hope of preaching for as long as the weather would hold off, but it started raining. I put my camera away and we walked over to the mall together undercover. I was personally disappointed, as I really enjoy watching the Word of God being preached out loud to a crowd of lost people.
Anyway, Josh directed us to take cover from the rain in the mall where we handed out gospel tracts and engaged in one-to-one gospel conversations.
I talked with some young people from Switzerland. While sharing the gospel with them, two of them (a guy and a girl) laughed/giggled. For some reason the gospel seemed embarrassing to them. I kept on sharing the gospel with them and stressed that the gospel is the most important message in the world (all we can do is be faithful and leave the results to God). Another young lady who was listening said that she was a protestant.
I talked with two young men on holidays from Ireland who had a Roman Catholic background (in general, one of my first questions upfront is asking if a person has any religious background at all). While sharing the gospel with them, I initially stressed the judgment of God and ironically at that exact point in time a lightning bolt seemed to hit pretty much right near us. We had a bit of a laugh for a while, but then I said something to the effect that being struck by lightning is nothing compared with facing a just and holy God in judgment.
I talked with an older-middle aged man from China who said that he has some sort of Buddhism background. He seemed to be giving careful attention to the gospel as I shared it with him. I spent quite a while with him as he really seemed interested, and I got to share really thoroughly with him.
I also shared the gospel fairly thoroughly with an older-middle aged guy who said he went to a church which was part of some sort of orthodox tradition. He told me that he didn’t think it was right that we were telling people of other religions that they need to become Christians. I said that if we are to be faithful in following Jesus then we must follow his example in doing so (John 14:6). Those who are without Christ are without hope and so it is love that compels us to point people to the one who is our only hope, so that we might be truly saved.
After some time, we regrouped, and after Ryan had purchased some pizza we headed back to our car. As we drove back home along the highway rain conditions were heavy and there were a number of accidents on the road.
Sunday, 9 November 2008
It was cloudy and overcast, it appeared that the rain from last night was still hanging around, but never-the-less, we headed down to the Gold Coast for a day of outreach.
Today was my first day back on the job as Gold Coast team leader, this is due to Josh Mitchell resigning from the position to spend time with family. Again, we wish to thank Josh Mitchell for his hard work and faithful service, we love you brother, and look forward to working with you again in the fields that are white for harvest.
We had a four man team today, which was made up of Andre, Kyosti, Peter and myself.
After arriving and finding a park, we spent some time in prayer and bible reading, then at 2pm we began to witness for the Lord. Andre was the first preacher up for the afternoon, he preached on how we can trust the Bible, and how Jesus was prophesied many years before His coming to earth. Due to the weather only a few people stopped, which was good considering that not many people were on the Gold Coast.
Andre preached for about thirty minutes, and during this time he did a good presentation of the gospel, and then he pleaded with people to come unto repentance.
Upon finishing his message, we spent some time just handing out tracts and talking to people, it was also during this time that a Christian approached and stated that the preaching was too scary and it made people fear God. Which, personally I thought was good, as the Bible tells us time and time again to Fear God.
After, about thirty minutes of tract work, and one to one I got up and began to preach about how God has put all of creation in place and it obeys, yet as humans we constantly rebel against Him. I also spoke about how many people actually die at the beaches due to drowning, and cautioned the swimmers to be careful unless they do die and meet their Creator.
A handful of people stopped and listened, but there were no hecklers, which was extremely odd for the Gold Coast, we just blamed it on the weather and continued to preach the gospel.
At about 3:30pm I finished preaching, and then we once again began to witness one to one and hand out tracts. While handing out tracts I was able to get into a good conversation with a man who was brought up in a Christian home, but now rejected it all, because his brother who is an Anglican bishop has a wife and a couple of girlfriends. It was hard to connect with him as he was just solid in attacking Christianity, then he said these words “I grew up in the Boys Brigade and was a Brigade officer, and many of those people in church are hypocrites.” I had my opening as I also was involved with the Boys Brigade, so the conversation changed to a couple of former Brigade members talking to each other. This then led to an opportunity in which I was able to present the gospel.
While the day was slow on the Gold Coast it was a good time of witnessing.
Soon after the sermon at my church came to a close at around midday, Mickey, Yu and I got into Josh Mitchell's car and were on our way. Mickey and Yu are from South Korea and Japan and I invited them along to join us. We met up with Ryan at Beenleigh and got into his slightly more spacious car and traveled down to Surfer's Paradise together.
Today the Indy (car racing) was on again so there were quite a few more people around than normal. Josh, Ryan and I had been to the Indy for evangelism outreach on Friday night as well. Ryan found a park a fair hike away, but it saved us looking for a park. As we walked to our preaching spot, we handed out gospel tracts. We handed out a lot of them walking down Caville ave (the main mall at Surfers). When we arrived at our spot (at the Caville ave beachfront), the racing cars were fairly loud so we had to delay preaching for a while. This gave us time to hand out more gospel tracts and talk with those around us.
When the car racing had stopped, I set up my Camera and tripod and Ryan began to preach.
He preached about death, how we all will die, and that the bible says after death comes judgment. God will judge everyone for all the good and bad things they have done in their life. God has standards which he has given us in the ten commandments. We have failed to keep them. God is just and must punish our sin. Even though God is just, God desires to show mercy. Jesus died on the cross for our sin. We must do two things: (1) trust in Jesus (we're not going to get to heaven because we go to church or do good things or because we are a good person) (2) Repent of our sin (turn from our lifestyle of sinning).
This was the basic pattern which Ryan preached on for about the next half an hour of his preaching. This half hour or so was full of interesting events...
First some funny guys with beer came over and took on their (newly self-appointed) roles as commentators, making commentary out loud as Ryan preached. As Ryan did the good person test with them, they were doing their best to turn it all into a comedy. As Ryan warned them of the wrath to come, they were shouting out ‘ossie ossie ossie!'.
Some guys began throwing money at Ryan. Despite Ryan repeatedly saying ‘I do not want you're money', coins kept flying through the air.
These guys reached a crescendo of shouts, including: ‘Where is God?', ‘We're all going to die!' and ‘Go Kevin Rudd !'
Ryan kept warning them of judgment saying ‘There's nothing more important than eternal salvation'.
One guy ‘stole' Ryan's bag from behind him but Josh Mitchell soon went over and got it back off him.
As Ryan preached on hard about the things of God, they mocked. Ryan warned them that there will be a day when God will not be mocked anymore.
Some other guys started asking a whole heap of questions. One guy was asking if there was fornication in hell.
A little later, two guys armed with beer cans, stood in front of Ryan and began to mimic his preaching.
At one staged a whole bunch of guys and gals rushed over to Ryan and it looked like he was about to be ambushed. But they were simply posing for a Group photograph. Ryan kept preaching.
Some guys attempted to cross-tie Ryan's shoe laces together. Ryan did well to move about swiftly and avoid their attempts which soon ended as Josh M sat in front of Ryan while he kept preaching.
Shortly after, a man came and asked Ryan why he was up preaching. Ryan responded by saying ‘I am here to warn you of the judgment to come'.
Ryan finally stepped down and we handed out a heap of gospel tracts and shared the gospel with people around us.
As we returned to the car, we handed out more gospel tracts.
When we returned to the car Josh Mitchell treated us to some chicken sandwiches and bun loaf.
We pray that God's word will take root in good soil as it was sown today. May those who heard the gospel receive it and bear fruit. (Mark 4).
Shortly after church finished at around midday in the city, Josh Mitchell rolled up in his car, and shortly after hopping in the drivers' seat we were on our way to Surfers Paradise once again. We picked up Josh Williamson on the way. My driving was a tad rusty as I hadn't driven for a while, but God kept us safe (and everyone alert!)
It seemed to be very busy at Surfers Paradise and parking was quite a challenge. After a few unsuccessful trips around the block near where we preach, we dropped Josh W off and eventually found a park (it was a fair hike from our car to the preaching spot - the Caville Ave beach entrance). When I arrived, a Christian couple were talking to JoshW. They were keen to come and help out - I think the lady has even worked for Creation Ministries.
Josh M and Josh W took turns preaching. Josh M was the first preacher. He started, as he often does, by exploring the inconsistencies and irrationality of evolution, urging people not to believe in something that does not make sense. He then presented the way in which the Bible teaches that God created the universe. One middle/older aged man in the crowd became very emotional. He started yelling all kinds of abuse at Josh M, pointing his finger at Josh and shouting that out that Josh was lying to everyone and yelling out that the Bible is absolute nonsense. Some people in the crowd started to cheer the man on. Josh was very patient as the man continued to yell. Soon there was a very large crowd. Josh was able to preach the Gospel to the crowd.
Two Police came and they took Josh M and the man away from the crowd to talk with them - the crowd went wild. Josh W then started preaching the Gospel to the large crowd as they looked on. Many heard the Gospel and we pray that God would save some.
We then handed out some gospel tracts and engaged in one-on-one conversations with those who were around. I talked with a ‘Christian' Indian guy who claimed to be a Christian but did not believe that Jesus is the only way a person can be saved. He said that it shouldn't be a person's fault for being born as an Indian into a Hindu family. I tried to explain to him how God created the world with different races and that racial diversity indeed is a beautiful thing. But he was looking very frustrated and started telling me that younger people like me have a lot to learn. I urged him to consider the fact that he doesn't believe the Bible since it clearly teaches that Jesus is the only way (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).
I interacted with a few other people, but it felt like I was not communicating very well. Usually I really do enjoy sharing the gospel and asking what people think and answering any questions that they have ... but it seemed like I was failing to do this very well and I felt mainly sorry for those who I were talking with. I do believe though that God is Sovereign and that it is not up to us to save people, but that our job is simply just to be faithful and do our best to share the gospel with people and pray earnestly to God to make them born again (John 3:3).
Josh M and Josh W preached again for a while. Josh M interacted for quite a while with a young man in the crowd whose name was Darius, after sharing the Gospel with him, Darius came and shook Josh's hand and took a Gospel tract. Please pray that God would save Darius for His Glory ... and that God would be pleased to save many of those who heard the Gospel go forth today.
1 Peter 3:18
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,
We have the best news in the world to share. The Gospel is good news!
Report by David Strachan
We arrived at Gold Coast about 2:30 pm, and it was busy. A man came asking for a light, and seeing a Bible, asked if we were doorknockers. A beautiful day, and plenty of lost souls. As we prayed for the Lord to help us, a fight started, and people gathered to watch.
I spoke to a man from Brisbane who was enjoying his day. He claimed goodness, but upon being challenged, said God would forgive. After sharing the Gospel, he said that Christians he knew thought that they had a licence to sin, and didn't understand the need for repentance.
As he left two young men took his seat, and I offered them tracts. They said they were good, but one refused to take the good person test. His mate tried to talk him into it, but then took it himself. He was found guilty, and without hope, and seemed unaware of the good news
I spoke with a new born Christian lady, who said about the importance of the manifestations of the Spirit. When I challenged the lack of total healing by the power of God, she said that the people healed lacked faith or stopped believing, and were thus left in their state of illness or injury. When our Lord healed, He made people whole. When challenged about evangelizing in the street, she said it wasn't her thing. This attitude has led to the famine in our land, not for bread or water, but hearing the word of the Lord. If we appreciate our salvation, we must surely want to tell others of the grace of God.
I spoke with two catholic men who fled their country in fear for their lives. Claimed repentance, and faith in Christ. They were happy to see us preaching, and have been disappointed by the general apathy of people in our country towards God.
Report by Dave Strachan, Photos / Edited by Josh Mitchell
Josh Mitchell, Snowy and I had the pleasure of driving from Brisbane down to Surfers Paradise together. We picked up Snowy on the way. This helps save on fuel...and having more company is a bonus as well. We arrived at Surfers in a little over an hour. Parking was rather difficult today, as the beach seemed to be the place where everyone wanted to be. It's starting to get really warm now that summer is fast approaching. As we walked along the boardwalk, looking out along the beach we could see people everywhere.
We soon arrived at the Cavill Avenue beachfront. We met Tim and some of his friends from Helensvale Baptist there and we prayed with them. I put on heaps of sunscreen - I do prefer coming home coloured white rather than red. I then set up my camera and tripod. Josh was first to get up and preach. He then tagged Snowy up to preach and swapped with me to man the Camera himself so that I could preach when Snowy tagged me up. This was my third time ever preaching. Once again I read Romans 1:16-5:21. I think that the three of us had two turns each to preach.
It appeared that Snowy had two big fans when he was preaching. Two young ladies were interacting with him for quite a while. Snowy went through some of the ten commandments with them, but they did not appear to show any shame over their sin, but rather, they gloried in it. They thanked us and left, saying how they were going to go and "lust some guys".
Given that Josh wasn't feeling very well, it was a gracious gift from God that Josh was given the ability to preach his heart out really well for a long time to finish off. Josh went through the ten commandments with two or three very young women. They appeared to have gotten really embarrassed when Josh asked them if they had kept the commandment not to commit adultery and then told them how Jesus raised the bar of sexual purity such that to look at a person with lust makes you as guilty in God's eyes as having had sex with someone who is not your spouse (Matthew 5:28). They giggled together for a bit and then left rather quickly.
For the last 10 minutes or so that Josh was preaching, some professing Muslims started making quite a scene. They were laughing, yelling out, and making fun of Josh seemingly every way they could. While, over and over, they kept demanding that Josh show them respect, ironically they showed extreme disrespect to Josh. Some of the Australians watching on in the crowd were utterly appalled at their behavior. Josh's patience and love in trying to engage them with the truth was amazing. He also got to preach the Gospel to quite a number of people who had come to watch what was going on. After Josh had finished preaching we handed out Gospel tracts to everyone who was there. Josh talked some more with the Muslims who became increasingly hostile. When one of them struck Josh's book out of his hand, he called Snowy and myself saying that it was time to leave - so we left together.
Later that night I was hanging out with some of my housemates and we reflected briefly on the topic of death. Lachlan mentioned that when a Christian who we know dies we often mourn - but also rest in the fact that they have a certain hope through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was then very sobering, especially for myself, to consider those who die and are not Christians, those who do not believe in Jesus and follow Him and live for His cause. According to God's Word, they will perish (John 3:16) in eternal hell forever.
John Piper Writes...
'The Dreadful, Terrifying Portrait of Hell in Scripture
It is a profound and dreadful reality. To speak of it lightly, or not to speak of it at all, or to speak of it in a way that changes suffering into feeling nothing, simply proves that we do not grasp its horror. I know of no one who has overstated the terrors of hell. We can scarcely surpass the horrid images Jesus used. "Weeping and gnashing of teeth,"4 "their worm shall not die" (Mark 9:48); "unquenchable fire" (Matthew 3:12; Mark 9:43); "eternal fire" (Matthew 25:41); "the hell of fire" (Matthew 18:9); "eternal punishment" (Matthew 25:46); "anguish in the flame" (Luke 16:24). The point of all these is that we are meant to shudder. We are meant to tremble and feel dread. We are meant to recoil from the reality. Not by denying it but by fleeing from it into the arms of Jesus, who died to save us from it.
Revelation 14:11 is probably the most graphic New Testament statement of the eternal suffering of the unrepentant. "The smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day or night." Torment forever and ever. The endless suffering of unrepentant sinners is a reality taught in Scripture'
One of the main reasons that I go out each week is to Glorify God by faithfully echoing Jesus' own warnings about hell, and urging people to put their trust and hope in Jesus and cry out to Him alone for mercy, that they may escape God's wrath and gain eternal life both with and through our great Savior, Jesus Christ, who was raised mightily from the dead (Acts 2:24), who ascended into heaven (Luke 24:51-53) and whose 'throne... is forever and ever'(Hebrews 1:8).
Having spent time in prayer, Snowy, Hemelaar and myself headed over to begin preaching. It was a beautiful afternoon to be granted the opportunity to share God's offer of salvation to perishing men and women.
I have been quite sick with a bronchitis type cough of late, so I was quite pleased to have Ryan and Snowy with me, to preach in my place.
It was a bit windy today, however Ryan did a really good job of preaching anyway. Quite a few people stopped to listen. As Ryan was debating a young British fellow, his friend tried to distract him, so I offered him a comic gospel tract, "This was your life". He began asking questions, about what we were doing, and so I told him. Justin has had a religious background, but didn't seem to understand the gospel very well. I did my best to explain it to him, and he was very appreciative. He left church at a young age, but was quite open to what we spoke about. He let me take a photo of him, so please pray for this young man, that God uses what he has heard and seen to the end he might come to Christ for God's glory.
Ryan having done a wonderful job doing the initial ground breaking work in preaching, handed over to Snowy who was backup preacher today. Snowy began to preach, a little quietly and less confidently at first, but then as people began to engage him, his speech began to flow really well. It was actually quite interesting watching how the Holy Spirit was using Snowy to share the gospel and answer questions with so many people.
Almost as soon as Snowy started, someone wanted to talk to him, but after a short period of time, all the friends of this heckler tried to get him to leave. He left, but Snowy asked the passersby if anyone professed personal goodness. One more popped up and Snow was off again. He was quite gentle in the way he shared with people, which is important for sharing the gospel in a family environment, but he didn't hold back on the truth, which most Aussies appreciate!
In almost no time, the young people gathered to listen began to ask lots of foolish questions. Snow did a fairly good job of defending the biblical worldview.
One guy even jumped up behind Snow, to try to make a fool of him, but it only gave a reason for more people to stop and listen to the dialogues being had!
Ryan jumped up and continued to answer the questions. Big crowds started to build up as answers were given, and people were drawn by God to listen. Thankfully we didn't need to stop for safety reasons, as those gathered sensibly left a large passage for other pedestrians to get from one side of the beach entrance to the other.
Ryan did a good job presenting the biblical worldview, refuting dodgy claims against the gospel. Like Snowy, he kept returning the conversations back to the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which made me really proud of them.
At one point, the some of the young hecklers from Snowy's crowd who remained to hear Ryan, asked for a bible to look up a passage. I gave them mine, however a man told me to take it back from them, since they kept mocking God, and were not being serious about Jesus. I did take it back, but you can see them hear on the left reading it. May God use what their optical senses saw, to help them come before His presence tonight.
After a while we stepped down and handed out gospel tracts one 2 one, and the fella's began witnessing. I came across two chaps called John and Caesar. Caesar the fellow on the right believed in heaven and hell, but his friend was quite opposed to the idea. However he tried to argue that Gandhi would be in heaven, because he accepted Jesus as a great teacher, and did good works like attempting to lift social oppression against people.
Clearly it was an argument for self-righteous access to heaven, so we looked at Gandhi as a sinner, and the lads as sinners, and that no sinner can get to heaven by their merits, deserving justice. The lads were really nice in their dialogue with me, though John kept defending his good works until finally conceding all men deserve hell. Please pray for John and Caesar, that God would grant them repentance and faith as he sees fit.
Lots of tracts went out, and it was a great opportunity for the gospel. You must come and help us when you can, we would love to have your help!
For Jesus name,
PS. Thanks to God for Ryan and Snow, that promoted God's name today!
The Strachan Report (Edited):
Josh got up and preached hard and long. Early on, I think it was, His voice started to squeak a few times and looked as though it wouldn't hold out. But God enabled him to keep preaching for quite a while. The squeaking added to the enjoyment of the crowd, some were counting the number of squeaks - even Josh was counting and found it rather amusing himself.
I also preached for a while. This was my first time preaching at the Gold Coast. I read Romans 1:16-5:21 and then Acts 17:22-32 and (at Josh's request) Revelation 20 and also did some impromptu and call-outs.
I never realized before how much of a challenge it is for those doing open-air preaching to speak loud enough to get a decent volume level so that everyone can hear you. You really have to use a lot of effort to shout it out.
It was a good day, lots of people got to hear the Gospel preached.
While we were packing up, a middle aged guy, with a tattoo and wearing a black bandanna on his head (whom I had called out to while preaching), stood up himself to 'preach'. He recited one of the Psalms, apparently quite well. It was almost touching to see ... it made me wonder if he has some sort of Christian background ... maybe he even has a Christian relative or friend who has been praying for him. May God have mercy on him and save him for 'His name's sake' (Psalm 106:8)....so many lost people like him are without Christ and without hope...what a sad thing it is to reflect upon. May God give us such a love for people that we are genuinely concerned for people's soul's ... that with a real sense of urgency we share the gospel, which is the 'power of God for salvation to everyone who believes' (Romans 1:16).
After packing up, Josh and I handed out Gospel tracts and got to share the gospel with some who were still around. I shared the Gospel very thoroughly with an Asian guy who hadn't had a Christian background .. in the past he had a Seventh Day Adventist ex-girlfriend, and had some questions about a few things. After spending a decent amount of time interacting with him and sharing the gospel, I challenged him personally, urging him to repent and put his trust and hope in Jesus Christ. He looked really challenged, even stunned by the message. May God have mercy on him and change his heart so that he will live to worship his creator and give God all the glory in his life.
The Mitchell Report:
After I stepped down from preaching, and swapped with Dave Strachan on the camera, a Hindu lady stopped next to me. She had been present while I was preaching, to a crowd of young people, and apparently had gotten very agitated.
She even attempted to fool me. "You've got no right to say, other religions are false".
Excuse me? What your really saying is, when I find out something is a false, I must bow down before you, and deceitfully call it true? How dumb do you think Australian's are? Imagine you employ a plumber to come to your house, to make sure your plumbing is in good order. He discovers that your piping is about to explode and cause massive water damage. He comes up to you, and says, "Mate, I want my 120 bucks, your house is sweet as. There isn't a single problem with it!". Gleefully you hand over the money, relieved that you won't have to fork out eight thousand dollars to maintain the house. How will you feel next week, when the plumbing bursts, wrecks the house, and the plumber is unwilling to accept accountibility? Betrayed, angry..
We have hundreds of secular and religious people running all over the country, making truth claims about where we came from, how to live, and where we are going when we die. That might not be so bad, except that what they teach is illogical, irrational and sometimes just plain stupid. But hey, we could put up with that, so long as people are happy for now.. right?
Wrong! People are dying everyday in thier sins, (lying, stealing, blaspheming to name a few), and meeting the God of reality, who is bound by his just nature to send them to everlasting fire (penalty). The consequence of doing wrong deeds, and excusing guilty using secular thoughts, and religious teachings is terrifying. The bible says, ".. all liars shall have thier part in the lake that burns with fire and brimestone." Paul said, "knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men".
Christian's who know that God's word is true, have a responsibility to show people the truth. God's word commands them to do so (Matt 28:18-20). Worse still, if Christians were not do so, they are literally hating thier friends and neighbours, who do not know Jesus Christ!
If you knew that your mate, was going to recieve third degree burns all over his body, if he kept playing around with some explosive equipment, would you lovingly refuse to warn him/her? Of course not, that would be a horribly apathetic, even hateful way to live. You would be more like an enemy.
So to my hecklers, please, do not invest yourself with tyranical powers, and demand that people are not allowed to test all things, and hold fast to that which is true!
Afterwards, I spoke to a nice man, called Waddas (chinese/thailand), who works locally. We examined the Budhist philosophy against the Christian one together, and showed some critical differences. Please pray for Waddas, that God might grant him repentance, and faith in Jesus.
As Dave Strachan and I walked back the vehicle, we were able to hand out a lot of gospel comic tracts, to people who could read English, Chinese, or Arabic. May God get all the glory from the lives of those who read His word!
Please pray that God's word will go forth profitably in the Gold Coast Please also pray that God will increase our ability to engage, debate and preach, to the end we might have excellent conversations with people for God's glory. May God send more labourer's into His harvest!
At midday in the city, I walked out after Church and soon spotted Josh Mitchell's car and found him stretched out in the passenger seat asleep. He had been up until 2AM last night sharing the Gospel with the Brisbane team since it was Riverfire. I drove his car along the pacific highway and we listened to some sermons as we went. Andre joined us when we picked him up on the way down. Three of us listened to sermons for the rest of the way down (I was really glad that Josh could sleep a bit and recover in the back seet).
Soon familiar territory came into view as we approached Surfers Paradise. I think my driving is improving, although there was one occasion when, after waiting at the lights, the light turned green and instead of moving forward we started off backwards. I think Josh said shortly after that he almost missed a heartbeat. At any rate, we were all pretty awake and ready to go when we arrived.
The three of us walked together to Cavill Ave, stopping for a short pit stop (we pretty much drink water all day to keep hydrated) and we prayed for the Lord's blessing at the beachfront and Snowy joined us. I hadn't even quite set up my camera when Andre jumped up to preach first.
He proclaimed the gospel clearly, and he challenged those people around our area to think about death, their standing before God, and the certain Judgment day to come. He interacted with lots of people. Early on, a middle aged Roman Catholic man was very offended by the Gospel, particularly, that we would dare to say that we can have certainty as to knowing how we will fare when standing before God in Judgment, as per scripture (e.g. Hebrews 9:27-28 and 1 Thessalonians 5:9). He said that there was no way of knowing what will happen until we meet God. He left very unhappy (and cursing I think), while Andre urged him to repent and trust in Christ.
Josh Mitchell also preached, with boldness and clarity, interacting with a number of people. After a while, a fairly large crowd had gathered listening to Josh, some bikers stopped near where we were preaching and revved up their Harley's. Josh said later that he was wondering if they were planning to come and beat him up. He kept preaching hard. Then, I had a tap on the shoulder, and a policeman told me to turn off my camera. He then went over to Josh, accompanied by another Police officer, and told Josh to get down and talked with him for a while. This livened up the crowd, and many stayed around (I think some were cheering and saying silly things like 'take on the police Josh'). Gospel tracts were being handed out to them. After asking a couple next to me what they thought of the preaching, they were impressed and said they were Assyrian Orthodox and were on holiday from Sydney. They were both very disappointed by the police interruption. I also had a good conversation with a Muslim and we explored the clear differences between Islam and Christianity with a focus on Jesus and the Gospel. When he had to leave, I urged him to consider the Gospel, he said thanks and shook my hand as he left.
After the preaching we packed up and handed out more Gospel tracts. Snowy had a long chat with a guy who held to a primarily symbolic interpretation of the bible, saying that there was no literal Jesus but that it all has symbolic meaning. I listened to some of his way of understanding things but we had to finish-up for the day. Soon we were on the road, driving home into the sunset.
Hebrews 11:6 (ESV) "without faith it is impossible to please [God], for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."
Special note from Josh Mitchell: We would like to thank the police of Southport and Surfers Paradise, who keep criminals away from our public spaces, and let us enjoy our civil freedom's in peace.
I also would like to thank Snow, Dave and Andre, who joined themselves to our work here on the Gold Coast. God bless you guys for blessing God with what he has given you!
JM: Special report by Dave Strachan, precious assistant in the Lord
Another Sunday afternoon had already arrived. Soon Josh Mitchell and myself were cruising down the gold coast highway. We picked up Josh Williamson who joined us for the afternoon. I really love hanging out with both Josh's - their passion for God's glory and the way they boldly declare the truth whatever the cost is a real testimony of God's grace working in their lives - and a challenge to me!
As we approached the beach front at Surfers Paradise (Cavill ave) we knew that we were up for another very windy day. We decided to bring the bible table - but later discovered that the bibles and gospel tracts would have probably flew everywhere (likely never to be seen again).
It was great to see Tim, and some of the guys and gals from Helensvale Baptist church. We prayed together at the tables nearby and then quickly set-up (I got to test out my new camera-tripod - it proved very handy). Josh Mitchell got up to preach first. He did well to preach audibly and clearly in such windy conditions ... he also did a fantastic job of interacting with a number of people watching on. It was clear that quite a number of people were interested as they came over to hear the message that Josh was preaching.
Josh Williamson got up to preach as well and had no trouble preaching over the wind. He had a lengthy debate with some guys who seemed to be trying to push their point that Science is incompatible with religion, but they seemed rather confused and often when Josh handled an objection that they put forth, they would quickly change the question. Josh was fantastic in reasoning well, patiently and in an engaging manner with them - quite a crowd accumulated. Josh ended strong with a clear gospel presentation urging people to repent and put their hope and trust in Jesus alone.
After we had finished I asked a few guys who were still hanging around what they thought. One guy said that he thought Josh Williamson was using too much sarcasm. The others had questions as well which I attempted to clarify for them. I assured them that the main thing in all of what we do is the Gospel - not a watered down gospel which pleases people - but the true gospel revealed in God's word.I also thought it would be helpful to let them know why we don't just preach 'the nice guy' approach. Basically I shared with them how important and urgent the message of the gospel is - and that nobody listens to the 'nice guy' who is always polite and seeks above all to not offend anybody - they are usually just incredibly boring, and nobody pays any attention.
Ultimately, we want as many people to know the truth because God uses the truth to set people free (John 8:32).
2 Cor. 4:2 (ESV) But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every one's conscience in the sight of God.