Gold Coast Team (QLD)
Meets 7:15-10pm every Friday night at Surfers Paradise on Cavill Avenue.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
On Friday evening together under the banner of Operation 513 members from local churches hit the Surfers Paradise Mall in the heart of Gold Coast. As usual the mall was fairly busy, there was a decent sized team out and the public had the opportunity to hear the Gospel.
A few sketches were done which drew quite a crowd, which was exciting to see but as the evening progressed and temperatures dropped less people gathered around to see the preaching. Despite the dwindling numbers there were some absolute highlights in Gospel conversations during the night and a great one coming right at the end with a man named Michael.
Michael professed to start with of being a Catholic. He went to a catholic school, his family christened him catholic and similar ideas. Though that was a while in the past Michael said that he was fairly sure he'd get to Heaven because he was a decent guy. After seeing the core of his belief it was time to pose some questions, see where he really placed his trust and what he believed about God.
He acknowledged that God is good and loving and said that meant overall everyone should be able to get into Heaven. When challenged on whether or not a good God must judge, whether justice must be served Michael conceeded the point and said that God must have a standard. When taken a little further things started to get a little worrying for Michael. At first being quite sure that he was going to Heaven but after 15 minutes of conversation there was no assurance based on his works.
Michael admitted he was a lying, theif a blasphemer and adulterer at heart and on that judgement by God He said there was no way he was going to Heaven. As a late-twenty year old Michael started to get emotional and asked, "Does that mean I have no hope?"
When asked if he had any way of fixing it Michael was lost for answers and basically gave up defeated, not having an answer and being quite worried about it. Then asked, "Why are you hear then? Surely you have an answer?"
It was a great pleasure to be able to share the Good News of Salvation that despite our spiritual bankruptcy and despite our inability to save ourselves, God displayed His love, His mercy and grace in that whilst we were sinners, Christ died for us. Michael couldn't listen more intently and said he was interested and excited and took a bible. He said he would have to take a read and consider trust in Jesus Christ!
Please be keeping the teams in prayer as they head out, in their personal lives as well as on organised times. Please pray for Michael and many others who were faced with the Gospel and challenged by the call to surrender to Jesus Christ! Please thank God for bringing along people to hear His Gospel!
Soli Deo Gloria!
We had very productive evening of outreach on Friday night at the Gold Coast. At this time of year the culture of Cavill Avenue changes as many Muslims from the Middle-East come here for holidays. As such, we spend much time engaged in Islamic apologetics and also distributing material in Arabic.
The night began off with an 'interesting' conversation. Upon arrival, we noticed that two of the team members were already engaged in discussion with two Australians. Eventually, I found myself in the midst of the dialogue dealing with a man who was very much into the Hebrew Names Cult. This cult believes that we must call Jesus, Yeshua, as they believe the name Jesus comes from Zeus. We spoke about this for sometime, it was clear that the man we were speaking to had no idea about history, theology or the Bible.
He also believed in a flat-earth, denied the Trinity, believed that Christianity was only invented 400 years ago, and that I was a Mason who is enslaved to science. We tried our best to answer his objections to present the gospel to him, however, both he and his wife were beyond irrational. It is times like this that I am very thankful that the salvation of human souls does not depend on me, as nothing I said seemed to penetrate the deception they willingly embraced. However, I take hope that the seed of truth was sown, and I pray the Holy Spirit waters that seed and brings this couple to true freedom in Jesus.
During this time, Ryan was preaching using the sketchboard and a good size crowd had gathered. There seemed to be a general interest in the preaching tonight with all preachers having crowds stop the listen.
After Ryan finished preaching I set up my sketch, and prepared the chemical cross for my presentation. Tonight, I tried a new sketch which focused on the purpose of life and the futility of life without God. A crowd gathered, and the gospel was proclaimed. The chemical cross was used at the end of the message to illustrate the work of Jesus, and people seemed to be attentive to that object lesson.
Towards the end of the night, we were engaged in discussion by a Muslim man, and a couple of his mates. This Muslim man lives and works on the Gold Coast. He was friendly, but very passionate about Islam. He hated the Jews, but didn't seem to mind Christians. He claimed to be an expert in the Bible, but he didn't understand it. He thought the Bible only had 37 books in it, and that the Bible teaches there are three gods. We tried our best to answer him, but he was very hardened towards the gospel. Yet, he did take a tract which is aimed at Muslims. Please pray the Lord would soften this mans heart and bring him to Christ.
Friday night really marked the beginning of our main Islamic outreach for the year. Please pray for us over the coming weeks as we seek the reach the Muslim world while they are holidaying on the Gold Coast.
It was another exciting outreach last night at the Gold Coast. Exciting in that many people were open to discussing the things of God. Just to mention a few:
Two on the team spoke to a young lady named Crystal for about an hour. She said she has just recently joined the Jehovah's Witnesses. We emphasised how salvation is by grace through faith alone, and not by good deeds or baptism. As we discussed many topics, it was wonderful to see she was really open and she said she would go home and investigate what we were saying. Please pray for her.
Please also pray for two young men from Saudi Arabia who are Muslims, both named Ahmed. We first of all witnessed to one of the men earlier in the night, and he was happy to even take a New Testament in Arabic. Later in the night, he returned with a friend and we also got to witness to him.
His friend said that if he does his prayers five times a day, and the fact that he has already made a pilgrimage to Mecca, he's hoping it's enough to get him to heaven. For he said, "God is most merciful". I said, "Let's imagine we have a murderer standing before a judge on this earth and the judge says, 'I am a really merciful guy, and so, murderer, I am just going to let you walk free." Would that be a good thing for him to do?" Ahmed agreed that would be wrong, as the judge is being unjust. I continued, "So in the same way, if God shows mercy at the expense of justice, He is no longer a just judge."
This segued into explaining how the only way God can remain just and yet show mercy to us is if a perfect person takes our hell punishment for us. And that is exactly what Jesus has done. So I encouraged Ahmed to trust only in Jesus' death on the cross for his forgiveness, not his good deeds. I also explained that Jesus is God, which came as a surprise to him. He said he was going to have to really think about what he has heard and said he wants to start reading the Arabic New Testament his friend received.
To God be the glory!
On Friday evening the team headed into the Cavill Avenue Mall at Surfers Paradise (Gold Coast) and as 7pm rolled around, the weather was cool and there were only two team members (due to traffic and car troubles). An opening prayer was made, acknowledging that God was in control and that if it be His will, the team could press on with only 2. But thankfully over the next hour another 7 members joined and a regular sized team was able together to share the Gospel!
Starting with some preaching, a few people stopped and engaged and this brought about quite a range of conversations.
A man named AJ approached us and said each of his children had a question, the first child asked, "When was God created?" and the second asked, "How did God become man?"
We explained to AJ that God doesn't have a beginning because He isn't bound by time. In fact, God created time. Secondly, it was explained that God became a man to save the human race from sin and its penalty.
It turns out that AJ is a Hindu and has been evangelised to by some Jehovah's witnesses in India. He was keen to know more and as the conversation progressed it became clear to AJ that a works based religion seemed unable to make a sinner worthy before a Holy God.
The questions were posed in this order:
"Do you believe God is good?"
"Of course He is," AJ replied
"Does a good God punish wickedness?"
"I don't think so, because He's pretty loving," AJ reasoned.
"When you see someone beating up another person, is it your desire for good or wickedness that causes you to want to stop it and punish them?"
"Well goodness for sure! I see what you're saying because God is good He wants to punish wrong." AJ answered.
"Exactly, have you lived up to God's standard?"
"No, no one can! I have definitely failed," AJ seemed a little taken back.
"So do you deserve God's love and mercy or His justice and wrath?"
"He justice I suppose," at this point AJ was starting to understand what the preaching was about.
"What will fix this problem? Will you be able to fix it?"
"AJ started listing off the amount of good works he had done and how he was trusting in himself to fix it."
A little dialogue was had around the extreme weight and penalty of breaking God's law and AJ nodded in agreement. He said the more he thought about it the less a works based idea made sense. AJ said his children had been enrolled in Religious Education in schools and that he hoped they would understand this. He went on to explain that some JW's had talked with him in India and that they said Hinduism and JWism is compatible. Thankfully AJ saw that they weren't, he understood that the JW's don't teach what the Bible teaches about God and salvation.
He acknowledged he would have to give it more thought and when offered a Bible, he gladly accepted!
Please pray for AJ who heard the Gospel, the saving message of Jesus Christ! Please pray for Bo, and an atheist named Matt who was a young man quite obviously on some substances. Also please pray for Kahn, a Muslim man who asked a range of questions to the preacher.
Please bring before our Lord those who heard the words of the Living God being proclaimed and intercede for them, crying out to the Lord for their salvation! And may you be encouraged to share your faith, even to join the team!
Another noteworthy man to pray for we sadly don't know his name. But on Friday night due to a large audience there was some preaching and crowd engagement for over an hour. During this time a young bearded man sat on a bench and seemed to solemnly listen the whole time. Please pray that he will have understood the Gospel and will trust in Jesus Christ!
Soli Deo Gloria!
On Friday evening, despite the pouring rain the team headed to their usual location on the Gold Coast at Cavill Avenue Mall. Due to the weather there was no preaching or sketch boarding and only one table was set up. There were also very few people in the mall but God provided conversations!
A highlight was a conversation with three young men, Levi, Liam and Corey. These young men stopped and answered the question, 'Do you three think you're good people?' with a resounding yes. This was clarified with the comment, "Well, I do bad things but I think I am a good guy." from Levi. When asked to rate themselves on a scale of 0-100 all three rated themselves between 85 and 95!
We went straight into a discussion about the law of God and how we compare to it. Very quickly all three acknowledged they had broken God's law and were, lieing, thieving, murderous adulterers at heart. They understood that this disobedience towards God's law must deserve a punishment and Levi said he knew what it was, that it was Hell. Corey understood the implications, "If that is the standard then no one deserves to go to Heaven!". Levi added, "Why are you even out here? Do you believe there are any people in Heaven?" These men understood the bad news, there was no way anyone by their own methods could deserve anything but God's justice.
After discussing briefly a few apologetic reasons as to why one can trust the Bible, Corey asks, "Tell me, what is the solution?". The solution was explained, that it is only in having a perfect sacrifice for sin, someone eternal, sinless and perfect to take our place. Jesus Christ and His work on the cross is the only way! After going a little more in depth the boys acknowledged it made sense and they would have to consider it. They asked a few more questions but they were headed somewhere and had to leave.
Please pray for Corey, Levi and Liam. Commit their hearts and lives to God! Plead with the Lord that He would bring them unto salvation and a true faith in Christ! Commit them to God, for we know it is God alone who can save!
Soli Deo Gloria!
It was a quieter night last night at the Gold Coast, yet the gospel still went out to many. The team had a number of great evangelistic conversations.
After the outreach, as we were walking back to the car, a man asked us what we were up to, as he saw our Scripture sign. He professed to be a Christian and at least intellectually understood the gospel. We then asked him what he was up to. He said it was his mission to hug girls in night clubs and thus "show them Jesus' love".
We expressed to him how that doesn't seem to be appropriate behavior for a Christian. He said, "I was told that I should come to Jesus just as I am, because he is just love." We said, "You come as you are, but you don't stay as you are." If a person comes to Christ, his or her desire is to flee from sin, not to indulge in it.
We talked extensively with him, and he was listening to everything we were saying. It appears he had never been told about how God desires us to be holy. Please pray for this man that he will come to genuine repentance and that he starts reading his Bible.
To God be the glory!
We had a good size team for our outreach at the Gold Coast last night. Be encouraged as you watch the following 3 minute video from the night.
At Surfers paradise in the mall, there were crowds of people to enjoy to musical entertainment and despite the noise and the intensity many Gospel conversations were had.
The first 'sketch' done on the board mentioned abortion and as a product a young couple came up and were quite upset that anyone would call it wrong. When posed with the question to finish the statement, "It is okay to murder a baby in the womb when..." the answer was given, it isn't a baby until birth.
The discussion went along for a little while, with the couple saying it is okay to say all other things are wrong but when it comes to abortion there is no room for commenting. An explanation was given that we must call sin, sin otherwise we are removing the need for salvation in Jesus Christ. The discussion didn't get much further as Dom and Sam were adamant that it was okay.
Surprisingly another pair, this time two ladies came up and had a similar discussion over the painting that was still on the board. They were very quick to defend their position saying simply, that their life and ability to live how they wanted shouldn't be impeded by a child's birth and so abortions aren't wrong.
Again the conversation was taken towards the Gospel in that, the team isn't out to proclaim personal Holiness or goodness but rather to proclaim the guilt of all and the salvation available in Jesus Christ.
Both of these conversations were immensely saddening and it is hard to know how better to address such scenarios. For sin is something we must talk about for the Cross of Jesus to make any sense.
Please pray for the conversations had tonight regarding abortion and the many others had regarding Jesus Christ and His power to save.
Please keep the team in prayer as they seek to find more loving, careful and sensitive ways to share the hard truth of the Gospel with the lost people of this world.
It would be a blessing to have you along to declare the goodness and mercy of God!
You may have seen some of the witnessing clips, some of the different times of people sharing the Gospel and you may compare yourself to 'the team'. You may consider yourself to bad at speaking or not good enough at thinking on your feet. Let me reassure you, we as the team are not some super talkers, we are no world class intelligence.
We are full of normal humans, who are nothing special, we are unworthy servants, willing to be used by a Holy God!
May you take the opportunity to join us on an outreach to proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified!
On Friday evening, the team headed into the Surfers Paradise Mall and as always began to share the Gospel, the team committed the evening to the Lord and then spread out and made it their goal to share the Gospel with anyone who would listen.
A sad but important conversation was with a man named Simon, he had spoken with the team almost a year ago (there is actually a video of the conversation on our page) and had heard the Gospel, he had acknowledged the way of salvation but his heart wasn't changed. I spoke with Him again tonight and we had a brief conversation but as we started to talk about sin, he got angry and said that we were all self-righteous and needed to lighten up.
Before I could explain he had marched off, please pray for Simon, a man who needs God's mercy just as desperately as the rest of us but just as I was; so lost that I didn't know I was lost.
Thank you for the prayer support for the team as they head out, please continue to keep the team members in prayer and continue to pray for those who hear the news of the salvation of Jesus Christ, that they may heed the message and turn to trust in Christ!
Soli Deo Gloria!
We had a great night of evangelism last night at the Gold Coast.
While one of team was preaching, it was wonderful seeing a young girl who had taken a gospel of John from the free Bibles table, go over to her dad, take his hand and then pull him towards where we were, saying, "You've got to listen to this dad!"
Also last night we had a large size team, which is a great answer to prayer, as the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few. The team had some good conversations with atheists, agnostics, Jews and Muslims. In fact, our free Bibles in Arabic table (we have one in English too) had large groups of people from the Middle East around it for most of the night, with many people asking questions about the Bible and being happy to take one home.
Glory to God!