Gold Coast Team (QLD)
Meets 7:15-10pm every Friday night at Surfers Paradise on Cavill Avenue.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
It is the time of year when thousands of people from the Middle East travel to the Gold Coast for a holiday. That is why last night for the first time, alongside our normal free Bibles table, we also set up a table for giving out Bibles in Arabic. It was great to see many Muslims coming up and taking a Bible in their own language.
Last night, the team took turns either reading the Bible out loud or preaching. I also preached using the sketchboard and God saw fit to bring in a crowd to listen for quite a long time. There were a few people heckling and asking questions, such as: "Is every other religion false?", "Why is Jesus true?", "What about those who have never heard?", "What about homosexuality?"
It was great being able to address their questions, knowing that I was not just speaking to the questioner, but also to everyone else who was listening. That meant I kept going back to the message of the gospel many times. During this time, the team was busy in conversations and handing out gospel tracts.
Please pray for all those who heard the gospel.
Glory to God!
Thank-you to all those who were praying for our outreach in Surfers Paradise tonight.
Over the past few weeks we have face opposition from the Gold Coast City Council in relation to our ministry. Even though we have permits to preach, some elements within the council has been seeking to silence the Gospel.
Tonight, we weren't sure what would happen so we had many people praying. By God's grace nothing happened. Council didn't come near us, and God blessed us with large crowds which gathered to listen to the preaching.
Throughout the night many Bibles, and tracts were distributed. Also, many one to one conversations were had. Please pray that the Lord would transform the lives of all those who shared with.
On Friday night at the Gold Coast, we spoke to an Indian lady who over the past year or two has been working at McDonald's nearby where we preach.
Each Friday and Saturday night she would make sure to clean the outside dining tables as often as she could so that she could hear the preaching of the gospel.
She told us that God used that to save her and she is now part of a local church. Glory to God!
This provided a great opportunity for evangelism. We used the sketchboard to preach a couple messages explaining what Easter is all about, and handed out lots of our 'Happy Easter' gospel tract.
We also had a 77 year old man join us for the outreach and he loved it and is keen to return. So for those of you who may be thinking, 'I am too old to evangelise', you're not. I hope this is an encouragement to you to make the most of the time that you have left on this Earth.
After I finished preaching a message on 'The Way to Heaven' - how being good, simply stopping sin, or saying sorry won't save us, and how instead it is only by Jesus taking the punishment for our sin on our behalf that we can be saved - I had a conversation with two young people, Matt & Britney. They were just walking by and didn't hear my preaching, so I asked them whether they would go to Heaven.
They responded by saying "Yes, because we are good people". So I went through some of the commandments and they began to realise their sin, but said, "We will stop doing our sin." I explained how that wouldn't get rid of any of the history of their sin.
They said, "Ok, but I will say sorry to God." I explained how in a court of law, if a criminal said sorry, we would still be guilty. Similarly, it doesn't matter how many times we say sorry to God, he wouldn't be able to simply overlook our sin.
It was really interesting to me that their ideas of how to get to Heaven were the very things I had just preached about not being the way. I find that those three things are what most people think will save them.
That is why these days before I explain the news of the cross, I will spend some time trying to dispel any false ideas out of their mind regarding the way to Heaven, so that once they've come to the point of, "Well there is nothing I can do then!" then I find they come to grasp the gospel better. For there really is nothing we can do to earn our way to Heaven, it is instead completely the work of Christ on the cross that saves us, which is received by repentance and faith.
Matt and Britney came to understand the gospel and said they were going to count the cost. They were happy to receive a gospel of John. Please pray for them.
Please also pray for Partarna who belongs to a Buddhist family. He heard the gospel and took a gospel of John.
There were many other conversations had as well on Friday. To God alone be the glory!
It was a busy night at the Gold Coast on 20th March 2015. We used the sketchboard to present the gospel a couple of times, open air preached and handed out gospel tracts.
Here is a short video from the night:
Comic book gospel tracts are available here: https://www.operation513.com/comics
Glory to God!
As I was driving to the Gold Coast on Friday evening, I noticed dark rain clouds over the area. I suspected that it may be another rainy night. But I prayed that God would not allow it to rain until the outreach was over.
It was fine weather when I arrived and continued that way for the entire outreach! And as soon as 10pm rolled around (we had already packed up), then the rain started.
Praise be to God for answering that prayer. For the fine weather meant that there were lots of people around to witness to.
We used the sketchboards and good size crowds gathered to listen and observe as we preached while illustrating the message with paint.
While this was happening, the rest of the team were having conversations with people or handing out tracts. A few of the conversations that were had were with Muslims (such as the one on this photo).
Most of the Muslims we talk to are tourists from Middle Eastern countries where it would be very hard for us to go and preach there (it would be illegal), but the good news is that they all come to us, in a country where we can preach to them. They then can take the message and tracts back to the countries where they come from. It is great how God works.
Please pray for all who heard the gospel. To God be the glory for a wonderful night!
I had an hour long conversation with three young people - Jeffrey & Lulela & Emma. Jeffrey initially said that all logic shows that God doesn't exist. So I was expecting to hear some arguments against God. I asked him give me one. He said that he doesn't have any and instead asked me for arguments for God's existence, saying that he doesn't know whether God exists or not. I pointed out to him that he really is simply an agnostic. He conceded the point.
After giving them the builder building analogy for God's existence two of them came to acknowledge God's existence. When we talked about sin, they kept trying to justify their sin, saying that God needs to get up with the times.
They had many questions about the Bible and stated very confidently that the Bible has contradictions. I asked them to name one, but they said they've never actually read the Bible before.
After explaining the gospel and answering more of their questions, Jeffrey and Lulela were clearly thinking about the message and they were willing to take gospels of John.
Emma on the other hand, said after hearing everything, "I will never believe in God no matter what, because I want to live my life my way and not God's way. I just want to enjoy this life and make a difference."
I pointed that if there is no afterlife, she couldn't actually make any sort of eternal difference, but if she comes to saving faith she can actually do things of eternal value. I gave an analogy: Imagine if you are on a conveyor belt that is heading towards a furnace, you first jump off the conveyor belt and then you tell everyone else who is still on the conveyor belt to jump off as well. So that is the situation you are in, heading towards Hell, that is why you need to trust in Christ to be saved and then you'll want to tell others how to be saved as well. By doing that, you'll be making an eternal difference. Lulela said "That makes perfect sense."
Please also pray for:
• Xavier - the Chinese man Rick and Glenda was speaking with in the photo. Talked for over an hour, he was a Mormon. He didn't like the God of the Bible and said he would rather be in Hell than spend forever with Him.
By the end, he came to realise it was his pride that was making him hold on to Mormonism and his self-righteousness. We encouraged him to read the book of Romans. He said he would go home and do that.
• Eugene - he thought he was a bad person, had religious background, willing to listen.
• Imagin & Emma - receptive, gave them gospels of John.
All glory to God!
So we decided to find an uncover spot where we could move to and set up the sketchboard there. During this time, gospel tracts were still being handed out by the team.
Once we found an uncover spot, I used the sketchboard to preach a message on 'The Way to Heaven'. A small crowd gathered to listen. In particular there were three young ladies on holidays from overseas who listened to the whole message.
So I began interacting with them, asking whether they thought they would go to Heaven. They said, "Yes, because we are good people." By this time, I had already put on the board a few common false ideas of things people trust in to get themselves to Heaven, and trying to be good was one of them. I explained that in reality we are just not good enough.
I then pointed the ladies to the big red cross I had painted on the board and what word the cross was resting on. It seemed to click in their mind. They said that they need to trust in Jesus for their forgiveness. So I made sure they understood grace with the use of a few analogies to explain it, I then told them about repentance, and pleaded with them to come to Christ.
We left the sketchboard up with the message on it for the rest of the night so that people walking past could read it. The team had a few good conversations with people, proclaiming Christ and Him crucified.
Whenever the gospel goes out, it is always a success! To God be the glory!
Photo: Loren is sharing the gospel with three young guys who were headed to some clubs.
The gospel was proclaimed last night at the Gold Coast. We used the sketchboards as we preached, and crowds gathered to listen to the message. Even a police officer came up and said that we are doing a great job and that we should keep it up.
• Glenda was able to have a good chat with a Muslim lady from the University of Sydney named Amin. She met her last year at the Gold Coast, and they have been emailing back and forth about Bible and the Quran since then.
Amin was explaining five different works that a person has to do to get the chance of going to paradise. Glenda was able to show how Christianity is completely different. In Christianity someone has to come to the end of themselves, and recognise that there is nothing they can do in and of themselves to be saved. It is only by trusting in the work of Jesus on the cross that we can be saved.
Glenda really challenged Amin to humble herself, and come to trust in Christ alone.
• Rick spoke to a young man named Brian and his friends. They attend Hillsong. Brian seemed to come to understood the Gospel, but he had to go to catch up with his family.
• Near the end of the night after the last sketchboard presentation, a group of young people came right up to the board and were trying to figure out the message. Rick and Glenda went and engaged them in conversation and shared the Gospel using the visuals on the board.
We encouraged them to trust in Jesus, just like one would trust in a parachute while jumping out of a plane, so we must trust that Jesus is the only one who can save us from the judgement to come. All three were very interested. Their names are Matt, Yarra & Aynita.
Matt even took a photo of the sketchboard (the one that said "Only 1 answer") so that he could remember the message.
Thanks so much for your prayers for these people. God bless and to God be the Glory!
It was raining the whole time we were out at Surfers Paradise last night. But even though it was much quieter than usual, some good one2ones could be had.
Initially quite a number of the conversations we were having were with people who were not at all concerned about where they would spend eternity and just wanted to keep living in their sin.
But then I had a conversation with a young man named Julius. He said he had been searching for the past hour for a homeless man he met the day before to give him some clothes to wear.
Julius said he believed in God, but didn't like church, and he thought that by doing the good deed to the homeless man, it would get him a bit closer to Heaven.
So I told him that since the standard of getting into Heaven is perfection, no amount of good deeds he could do could ever save him. God would never be able to overlook the history of his sin.
When he heard the message of the cross and that complete forgiveness of sins was only by trusting in what Jesus had done on the cross, he thought that he had always been trusting in that. But I explained that although he may have been believing the intellectual fact that Jesus died on the cross, that is very different to relying only on His death on the cross to save him.
He then appeared to come to understand the gospel, with the use of a few analogies, and so I encouraged him to count the cost of trusting in Christ. I warned him that the Bible says he will be persecuted, and that he will want to put Jesus first in his life.
He said he would seriously think about what was said. He was on holidays from Germany, he had been here for 4 months and was returning in a week and a half's time. It is great that came to Australia for a holiday, but while he was here he came to understand the best news one could ever hear. Please pray he will repent and place his faith in Christ.
Please also pray for Leo and Laneta who heard the gospel. I could tell Leo was really thinking about it.
To God be the glory!