South Island (NZ) Team
Meets for special outreaches in Timaru and Christchurch.
Contact Willem Pretorius for more information.
We were a team of four from Covenant Grace Baptist Church in Timaru who went to our neighboring town of Temuka to help evangelise there. We met & prayed together at Temuka Baptist, before heading into the main street.
My friend and I talked to several people. The first was a young Asian woman, and despite a slight language barrier, my friend seemed to be able to communicate a clear gospel message to her.
Next we spoke to a young American tourist (Evan) for almost an hour. We tag teamed our way through the conversation and Evan was open to discuss and think about what we talked about. He admitted that despite a Christian influence in the past (family), that he has not and seemed not ready to submit and commit himself to Christ yet. He did seem moved by the conversation and thanked us for talking with him. He also left with a couple of tracts. Please pray for Evan.
Our last conversation was with an older gentleman who identified himself as a Catholic and no matter how I tried to keep the conversation Gospel centred, he just jumped all over the place in terms of topics, with little to no logical connection. He refused any tracts.
The rest of our team also had thought provoking conversations.
We aim to do evangelism in Temuka every Saturday for the next few months. Thus continued prayers are appreciated. Thanks.
Our very first evangelism outreach at a show 🙃 Waimate A&P show. We started the day with just one little camping table & a handful of literature. Still a great deal to learn & improve on e.g Operation 513 Timaru signs, display boards etc, but at least we were there! 😁We had a really good conversation with a guy who admitted he made up hi no s own belief system and had a real problem with God of the Bible allowing suffering of various kinds. He was very polite; frustrating in the sense that he "agreed" with almost everything we said, saying he also believed in "God", even though it was clear that we did not mean the same "God", as we argued from the Bible.
The last interaction at the Waimate A&P show was unfortunately with a group of hostile & mocking teenagers who made a big show of ripping up a Gospel tract :( The weather was drizzling rain from start to finish. Overall it was a good outing & God willing aim to be back next year! 😀
It was good to get out again... there's still a lot I need to learn. I need to spend more time in prayer, reading the Bible and other helpful resources such as 'The Christian in Complete Armour - William Gurnall.
Took the flip chart out to Caroline Bay (Timaru) to meet up with a few other like minded Christians. The others already had a few conversations with a few different people by the time I arrived. After the flip chart was setup I had a conversation with a 'Christian' who said it was a lousy method (flip chart); who did not agree with the direct approach of the good person test (Law and Gospel) and who seemed to deny original sin. I pointed to Psalm 51 'In sin did my mother conceive me'; he also tried to say that its not really breaking the law if no one sees you. He did seem to change his mind slightly when I gave a very basic illustration that if I stole my mother's purse and no one saw me, that it is still theft, whether anyone saw me or not. He was unable to tell me how or why to get saved if I were an unbeliever and favoured a more 'friendship-God-is-love' approach.
I had a few minutes with a group of German tourists, who although pressed for time, did stay a while to chat, but when the conversation started to become serious (Law and Gospel and the consequences of breaking the one and neglecting the other) they excused themselves. Attached is a photo of a member from my church who had a good conversation with two girls, who also left with tracts.
It was a brief, but thought provoking outreach. Please pray for all who were spoken to. Psalm 67
I had intended to just hand out a few tracts, while joining up with the Operation 513 Christchurch team, especially since it has been some time since I last went out. God had other plans. I ended up having various good 1-on-1 conversations. It was good to have the support of like minded Christians.
At least two of the conversations were with professing Christians, wherein I asked them to witness to me as if I was not a Christian, asking clarifying questions as the conversation continued. I also tried to make sure I presented to them the Law & Gospel. One conversation that stood out, was with Logan (white hoody) and his friend. Logan professed to be a Christian, while his friend was still searching for answers, and willing to listen. It was clear throughout our conversation and afterwards, that Logan's friend was thinking over what was said. This conversation started with another team member who handed them a tract, but who had to move on.
Another conversation was with the local atheist who admitted that it was his mission to target Christians. Not exactly the most enjoyable experience, but it kept him busy from disrupting the Evangelism conversations of the rest of the team??. It's frustratingly sad to see someone so committed to being so hateful towards God (who he obviously doesn’t believe in). In addition, it is helping me to realize how grateful I should be for God's Grace and how ashamed I should be for neglecting that same Grace at times.
I am busy reading "The Christian in Complete Armour - William Gurnall" and have found it to be a valuable tool and much needed encouragement, conviction and challenging. I can highly recommend it for your personal reading, including for evangelism.
PS - I did end up handing out a few tracts ;-)
While visiting my brother in Christchurch, I teamed up with Glen Richards (Operation 513 Christchurch) for a New Year’s Outreach. On a lighter note- I left a braai(bbq) to join the Outreach and anyone who knows South Africans knows that’s a big deal ;)
We met up with another Christchurch local (Philip) and then proceeded to a New Year’s family event in Christchurch cbd. Philip and Glen setup their flip charts in different places and I went back and forth between them, handing out tracts. Philip has two really good conversations, before he joined up with us. While Glen was engaged in a conversation, I took over his Flipchart and got into good, long and sad conversation with two young agnostics (Fergus & Callum). Fergus was really enthusiastic, but sadly it seems to argue for argument’s sake, while his friend just quietly and patiently listened.
In the end Glen, Philip and I all talked, reasoned and pleaded with them; presenting the Law & Gospel to them as best as we could. At one stage an elderly man and his wife joined the group conversation and presented some “interesting Christian” views; we politely listened and then brought the conversation back to main points of the message.
Right up to the end Fergus, still wanted to continue with “Yes, but...”,’and I lovingly and firmly reminded him that it’s either ‘Yes’ or sadly ‘No’. In the end we all shook hands, said happy New Year to each other and the elderly couple, Fergus & Callum all left with tracts. Glen also had other positive conversations (please see his report- Operation 513 Christchurch).
Timaru - Christmas
If it’s about numbers... hundreds, even thousands of tracts ... then it was not a success, at least humanly speaking. It was very quiet, with no one out on the streets of Timaru at 09:00. I tried the day before, but the weather blew & rained all away. By 10:00 today, I tried again and by God’s grace was able to hand out about 20 tracts. One elderly gentleman actually turned back to ask for a tract! :) The low level of foot traffic, which was very strange for this time of year, helped me focus on why I was there handing out tracts to the few people out and about... Jesus said to go out in the world and preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15). He didn’t say only go when you can preach/ witness to multitudes. Gospel seed was sown... God was glorified, may He use what was sown to gain a fruitful harvest. Please continue to pray for fellow Christians to come alongside to help. Even if the foot traffic remains low, we could have edifying fellowship as we engage in Evangelism. Thank you. Psalm 67!
Tell Me Christchurch conference Outreach & Leeston A&P Show Outreach
On 6 October I was able to join the Tell Me Evangelism group in Christchurch for an hour. Two of the Tell Me members started with open air preaching and as I was getting to ready to open air as well, the local atheist heckler arrived & started his barrage of questions, never settling for an answer before asking his next question. Since I’ve never encountered him before I opted to observe the situation first, to see how the local Evangelism team dealt with him.
I continued to hand out tracts & got into a long frustratingly sad conversation with ‘Lilly’, who professed being a ‘Christian’, kept insisting that a loving ‘god’ wouldn’t send anyone to an everlasting hell... her friend (an elderly lady) agreed with me it seems. In the end she thanked me for the chat, even though she still had the same thoughts as before.
Today, 13 October, I again teamed up with the Tell Me Evangelism team at the Leeston A&P Show. I arrived at 10:00 and left just before 16:00. During this time I got to use the Flipchart donated by Operation 513, for the first time! It proved a wonderful, practical tool to engage people.
I had quite a few conversations with mostly groups of young people. One such group ended up almost being a mini crowd. One of the youths in this particular group, tried to make fun of almost every aspect of the Flipchart and message. This ended up being part of the reason for the little group growing in numbers. They also asked provocative red herring questions, but by God’s Grace, was able to stress the point that His Law applies to all people, and stay on track. In the end the Law & Gospel was used to convey the message of salvation. It seemed that despite the distractions, that some in the group were seriously listening; a few of them even got talking to other Evangelism Outreach members.
Nearing the end of the day, I spotted a man with a Jesus cap, and offered him a tract. He was a fellow South African, and we had good conversation in Afrikaans :) He listens to Ray Comfort, and told me he is now a full time missionary. Upon some deeper follow up questions, he stated that he is not part of a specific church and prefers to spend time alone with God. I tried to stress the importance of the fellowship of believers. Again, by God’s Grace, was able to use Law & Gospel in the conversation. We shook hands and he left with a few tracts.
It was a very long and productive day, with all the members of the Outreach giving 110%; one girl in particular was a real trooper, tirelessly handing out tracts and directing people to the space set up for the Flipcharts. It was Blessed & edifying time of fellowship. God graciously provided safe travels from Timaru, where I live, to Leeston and back.
Attached are a few photos of today ‘s Outreach :)
The evangelism outreach in Timaru, New Zealand served a dual purpose. One was to engage in evangelism & the other was to explore where a gospel literature table & flip chart could be set up.
One person from my home church turned up, but unfortunately couldn’t stay long. The encouragement, though brief was nonetheless most welcome. A few more church members promised to come out in future; please pray they will be able to.
Tracting was a bit knit-one-skip one ito people taking tracts :) I’m used to big city (Auckland) foot traffic & still getting used to rural nature of Timaru ‘s foot traffic. Unfortunately no conversations, but it was good to get out :)
Looking to set up a flip chart & gospel literature table near the flower boxes & to the right of the park sign. Prayers appreciated for that as well - Thanks.