West Country (UK) Team
Meets almost every fortnight on Saturday for outreaches on the streets of Plymouth, Exeter or Truro.
Every 2 to 3 weeks, the team meets also on Friday nights at the Plymouth University.
On Saturday 4th May, there were just two in our team available to go out, was still a really blessed time and God was so good to bring many different people across our path that day.
While I was setting up, a man who had been begging came up to me with a coffee he had been given that he didn't need as had two. He asked me what I was doing and I explained we were a Christian ministry about to speak to people about Jesus and the afterlife and hand out tracts to people.
The man said he was named Phil, and that he was a spiritualist/medium who says he has/can see demons! He took some tracts to read which was good, and I believed what he had said!
Three young people of Primary school age came to look at the intelligence test while I was finishing setting up the gear, and they were eager to try and get them right, and with their Mum and Nan were able to go through the good person flip chart. I was aware I would have to simplify/ explain some of the pictures and what I was there for as the boys were age 8-10, but they listened very well and took some comic book tracts and said they understood the gospel message that wa shared.
Laurie and I managed to pray before we properly started as usually as soon as we put up the intelligence test questions people start to walk by and stop to read. Teenagers from the school I work at walked past again which Laurie managed to witness to and give tracts and answer questions, as well as a member of staff who brought her 23 year old son to listen after a conversation with her at work about what we did. He listened intently, and his Mum was visibly a bit taken aback at all we spoke of but managed to stay and he took some tracts to read and said he had a Bible to read.
Just before I started preaching I managed to get two University students to stop to talk. As I was witnessing to them, another man walked past, stopped and interrupted us asking what I was talking about. He was visibly on drink/drugs but was coherent and listened intently as I shared the gospel ith the two guys, and when they left he stayed to talk. He was called Dean and said he had been to prison over 30 times before for different reasons.
I managed to share the analogy of his fine being paid in relation to prison and the judge, and he was happy to take tracts and a Bible to read. (I shared this encounter at Church the next day and we all prayed for him as I really felt a strong conviction for his soul and difficulty his life was in.)
I later managed to preach linking Thanos in the latest Avengers firm and his special glove with the infinity stones in and peoples choice of what they would do if they had those powers? Some people had said they would bring back all the people in the world that had ever died, or getting rid of bad people, so I asked if the public would therefore still be around? I mentioned a woman who had recently been in the news filmed secretly on CCTV stealing money from woman in her care with Alzheimer's, and what we do in secret and in the dark is seen by God as if its light, meaning we all needed a Saviour!
It led to some people stopping to listen and more tracts and conversations with people, Laurie notably speaking to another man that stopped that looked like he had been in a bad way with the law, and with the beautiful weather and God's grace we had a blessed day with lots of people having the chance to read a tract or listen to the gospel being preached.
On Saturday it was a beautiful Easter weekend with many people out to enjoy the sun up on the Hoe and many beaches around Plymouth. The City Centre was very busy, and Simon, Laurie and I had many good conversations, particularly with a Romanian lady and he friend called Luminata and Dan. She was very insightful and asked some really good questions while going through the flip chart good person test with her, and she took a Bible and some tracts and said she would think about what we talked about and what good Friday and Easter Sunday truly meant.
Laurie spoke with a man that said he had come out of the Mormon church a while ago, but was sort of in limbo as to what to do now or what Church to attend as was weary of everything that had happened to him. Laurie managed to share the truth of Christianity with him and the gospel that assures our salvation rather than the false message Joseph Smith taught, and he gladly took a Bible and some tracts and we pointed him towards some good churches he could attend.
I spoke with two two young builders that walked past that were seemingly quite shocked as God and their eternity were the last things on their mind on such a sunny Saturday, but they understood and took tracts and had a firm handshake afterwards which was good. A friendly young man called Casper stopped to look at the intelligence test, and he said he had done really well at Math's when at school and had gotten all A's, but was quite embarrassed when he got a few of the questions wrong!
I preached about the magician and escape artist Harry Houdini and his death defying stunts and his interest in the afterlife and trying to communicate with his wife after death, and I explained how Jesus was the ultimate proof there was life after death due to his literal death and resurrection with no other explanations or excuses people could make apart from the fact that he was fully man and fully God and took the punishment of sin upon himself and verified his message by raising himself from the dead.
Simon spoke with lots of people too and preached, and at the end Laurie engaged with a Muslim couple that walked past. This was very interesting and we all spoke with them for around 20 minutes, the wife seemingly very interested in what we had to say and eagerly reading the tracts we had given her, while the husband was quite liberal in saying the Koran does not teach violence against Christians and Jews and we were to have peace together because we all worshipped the same God. This led to some dialogue as to the trinity and how as a Muslim he had assurance he was going to heaven when he died. The man appeared to think he had forgiveness from Allah and knew he would go to Heaven- he had memorized the Koran and just thought Allah would forgive people who repent, but we all told him that without a sacrifice to pay for them he was still in his sins, and why Christianity offered the only way of salvation for everyone. He said he would come and speak to us again which was good, but we pray his wife particularly searches the scriptures in what she read and we can meet with them again to chat and share the gospel with them.
On Saturday 7th April our Church hosted its monthly men's breakfast, and afterwards three of us went out into Torpoint high street to try and engage with some passers by. Torpoint is a small town in Cornwall and over the years has been very hard to reach out to people as is quite middle class and often people don't see their need for a Saviour or don't want to speak to people. There are also Jehovah's witness that go out there and so often we can be mistaken for them which makes things harder. Simon was with us but unfortunately was called into work.
Our Pastor Archie managed to engage in conversation with an older teenager and John and I managed to hand out a few tracts, but was very hard going!
I went into the City Centre and although there would now only be 2 of us. Laurie and I set up the good person flip chart that I had managed to alter slightly thanks to being able to print A3 in the school I work at. Almost immediately a man approached us that was by providence was Christian and he was a Christian! He was interested in what we were doing and had a good conversation about evangelism, church and unbelievers. By Gods grace and prayer I have been able to have lots of great conversations with students at the school I work at, with students age 14-16 asking me questions about Noah's Ark, who made God, evolution and design and why the Bible is true. I have been able to discuss some things, however told students to come and speak with me in ton where I would have more freedom to discuss things in more depth.
Two students called, Z and J came with questions they had spoken to their Dad about, and we had a lengthily chat about their questions and managed to go through some of the flip chart pictures to discuss things. I spoke to them about the complexity and design of life, like our finger prints, human cells and DNA. It was really profitable and the girls took a gospel each and some tracts and I pray we can speak more after the Easter holidays. Laurie gave them and lost of other people leaflets about her Church Easter services next week and encouraged them to attend to find out more.
7 teenagers from a local secondary school walked past and I managed to stop them and take them through the intelligence test before going though the flip chart. They stayed and listened for around 20 minutes and was brilliant to hear their questions and listen to what the Bible had to say and they all took tracts and agreed to a photo (shown).
Some people stopped to read the 180 Movie poster about links between the Holocaust and Abortion and a man was quite angry as he was pro choice and didn't see why both things would be on the sme poster. I shared that over 50 million abortions had happened since Roe v Wade and so this was much worse in numbers, but he did not want to listen and stormed off.
Another couple of ladies walked past called Shannon and Becky who were very interested in the flip chart and questions and listened intently as Laurie and I spoke with them. I prayed with them afterwards that what was shared would make sense and that they would come before God in repentance and trust in Jesus to forgive them. They took a New Testament each and some tracts. Two young boys called Isaac and Dan age 12/13 also came to listen and I shared about how a 13 year old boy had died in Plymouth last week after being knocked off his scooter by a car which made us all upset.
Carol was an older lady that stopped to go through flip chart with her daughter called Kim, and she shared she had started going to Church about a year ago but was still unsure if she was saved and her understanding of the gospel was blurred. We spoke and prayed with them both and her daughter Kim shared how she had gone through a lot of drug problems in the past but that what we shared had made sense, and they too took some tracts and a gospel each.
Laurie had a great conversation with a young lad called Jack, who at first was reluctant to speak as was with his friends about to go into McDonalds, but actually stopped and listened and spoke for quite a while, and Laurie said she felt he was understanding what was shared and was mature in not just gong off with his friends.
I preached about Easter and how much the UK is predicted to spend on Easter presents and chocolates this year- £900 million! But what the true reason of Easter is about and the significance of good Friday next week.
When Laurie and I packed up and were heading to the car to drop the stuff off, two women with a baby got into the lift with us and called Shelly and Emily that saw the intelligence test and asked what it was about and the flip chart. Again we managed to share inside the lift and they stopped to speak when we got out. They said they were both in recovery at the moment living in a home to support them, but were very interested in coming to the Easter services we mentioned.
It was a fantastic day of outreach with many great conversations and tracts handed out, and to top it off I bumped into an old friend from another Church who had seen us in town earlier and said he could print the good person test in A2 for only £1 a sheet at his Church, which is a real answer to pray, as had been quoted around £200 by another place so hopefully this will be done in the next couple of weeks to use again on the streets. SDG!
On Saturday 30th March, three of our team met up in Plymouth city Centre again which was a gloriously sunny day with masses of people doing their shopping and enjoying the weather.
My Auntie joined us for a while handing out tracts to passers by and encouraging them to read them, while the rest of us handed out tracts and tried to engage people in conversation. I had made a new good person flip chart to use when doing conversations with people and also when preaching, and the new resource seemed to attract peoples attention as they walked past and stopped to see what it was about. A family with a 10 year old boy stopped to do the intelligence test and they were the first people to try out the flip chart with, that seemed to go well. They already said they they went to a Church in Plymouth but that the flip chart made sense of piecing all of the bits of the message together so it could be easier understood.
I had read that morning that a car had been caught driving at 104mph in the city and had failed to stop when Police car was driving behind with lights on. This was a good link about Gods law in Romans 3, and while I preached Ed spoke with a man called Wesley who had several tattoos and some interesting questions such as how we know the Bible is true if just written by man? Ed spoke to him more and said he was a pleasant, open-minded agnostic who had listened to Muslims, JWs etc before and wanted to know why Christianity was the right religion to believe in. Ed gave him some tracts to read pointed him towards some Christianity explored groups that his church as doing in the future,
As I finished preaching, a group of teenagers came to do the intelligence test and see the flip chart. A couple of them said they were transgender and were called Teg and Elizabeth. After a bit of a conversation about transgender and homosexuality and sin, I said that their sexuality was not the main issue, but that they had sinned in lots of other ways too and so were still guilty before God because of lying/ stealing etc, but that any sin could be forgiven because of who Jesus was and what he had accomplished for us on the cross. After the group left, Teg came back and said thank you for the chat and that 'she' had been doing Philosophy in sixth form and was very interested in the topic and the Christian point of view.
Laurie had a long conversation with a man called Nick who was a young professing atheist, and Ed with an older man called Bill who had been listening.
Again it was a lovely day with many people to talk to, and hopefully next weekend we will be out again with Simon, Della, George and Harry back which will be great.
On Saturday 23rd March, George, Harry and myself met up in Plymouth city Centre for outreach, before Laurie joined us later. Simon and Ed were both working so unable to join us, but I prayed for our group, specifically that God would bring people to hear Gods word being preached and for Christians to be encouraged if passing by, and we were blown away by just how good God is in answering our prayers!
George preached first and talked about the instability of Brexit and how politicians and people were worried about the future, but that our stability had to be in Christ who never changed and promised he would never leave us and forsake us, no matter how life went. A man in his early twenties stopped to listen, and as he went forward to the basket to get a free Bible, and I spoke to him and he was called George too. He said he was in the Navy, and had previously had no belief in God or spirituality and had been quite against it, but a while ago had gone to Church with his Mum and had some sort of spiritual experience which made him reconsider his views.
He was very open to talking and gladly took a new testament, some tracts and a card for our church and said he would think about what we spoke about. While Harry and I continued to hand out tracts to people walking by while George preached, a man walked over called David who had been listening to what George was saying. He was Polish and said he was a 7th day Adventist and asked if I knew of any Churches of that denomination in Plymouth. (I know some Seventh day Adventist churches have sound doctrine but others maybe not so sure in regards to not keeping the Sabbath on a Sunday but a Saturday and that those that didn't too were not saved.)
I later spoke with a group of 3 tall school kids age 13/14 who seemed a lot older. We had a good conversation and they took some tracts with some things to think about. There were several students from the school I work at in town that day and was good to be able to give them some tracts and were very shocked at what I was doing compared to being in school covering lessons, which will hopefully lead to some good conversations next week. I also saw 3 staff from the school and gave them tracts too, which could lead to an interesting week ahead!
I later preached about a gas explosion in an elderly woman's house that ahd happened that morning that caused massive devastation to her house and neighbors, and fortunately she survived with injuries. I tried to show how gas naturally does not have a smell, but the smell was put in there by gas companies so we knew if we were in danger, if not could be lethal, and how sin in peoples lives had devastating effects that could be seen in society. I also spoke on Luke 5 where Jesus healed the paralytic lowered through the roof. Jesus clearly showed us from this passage that he was God, he could rad peoples minds, and that peoples biggest problem is not their physical ailments or need to see a miracle before they would believe in God, but for their sins to be forgiven.
Around seven school girls aged 13 came up to me while I was preaching and started asking lots of questions about God, the Bible, why we were there, but also some disruption and ripped a new testament. We spoke to them which led to most leaving, but a couple stayed behind to ask serious questions about God and about how easy it was to get in trouble ins school and hand around with friends that led to mischief, and how they could stay out of it. They all took tracts and caused several passers by to stop and listen to what was going on.
Laurie came a bit later and was handing out several tracts and had a great conversation with a lady (pictured) who said she was a Christian but had trouble with alcohol abuse. Laura was able to minister to her and share about how her Church does a recovery course which she would be more than welcome to attend
While Harry preached later on, a man with a cross bike drove up and got off and started listening and heckling while Harry preached. This also caused a few other people to stop and listen to what was being said. Harry used the mans bike as proof of a designer , and the man agreed his bike must have an intelligent designer, but denied God was the Creator of everything, and even said o me later he didn't believe his brain was intelligently designed! The man started filming me on his phone and asking lots of questions about where people came fo and who made God, and almost interviewed me for his Facebook, asking me various questions. He said he had been brought up in the church and baptized as a child but didn't believe now, but I shared a bit of my testimony with him and the gospel and what had happened to me when 16 and 24, and he opened up a lot more had eventually gladly took a New Testament and some tracts and a living waters DVD 'Why Christianity' which he said he would watch.
A man and woman that knew him stopped while I was speaking to him, and the man claimed that he was the devil and had done too many bad things wrong in life to be forgiven, but I said there was no sin that could not be forgiven because Jesus was God and suffered for our sins on the cross. The man asked if I would forgive him if he held a gun to my head and said he would shoot me, and I said yes I would forgive him, but only because I now have the Holy Spirit in me, and if all of my many sins had been forgiven because of Jesus, then I now could forgive others as I had been forgiven an even greater debt. He was a bit shocked at this, but his partner took a tract from me as they left.
A family from Scotland came to chat while Harry finished preaching that had moved down here while their Son was having physio. He was in his early twenties and said he had been in the army and an mine had blown up near him and led to damage to his pelvis and leg. They were evangelical too and knew well of Ray Comfort and the evangelism we were doing and were very encouraging and had started attending a church near me. They took some information about our church and some tracts and we hope to hear from them again.
There were lots of tracts handed out that day, with people stopping to read the intelligence test, others stood in shop doors listening while their wives shopped and lots of young people passing through going to the MacDonald's behind us.
When we packed up around three hours later we went for food and fellowship and were all blown away by just how good a day it had been and was so encouraging, especially that God had answered our prayers and we pray that people would repent and trust the saviour and see God's goodness and mercy to them in Christ. We hope to meet again next Saturday in Plymouth city and Centre and hopefully my Auntie who is 76, disabled and uses a walking frame and attends another church wants to come out and hand out tracts with us, as she takes tracts from me and posts them through letter boxes in surrounding streets, which shows you are never too old to be used by God for His work and so there is no excuse! SDG
On Saturday 9th March, Simon and I went to Exeter for outreach which is the next biggest city to Plymouth, a population of around 150,000 and always seems to have a good response when we go there to preach and witness.
Simon preached first which was for around 40 minutes while I handed out tracts to people that walked past, while a few other people stopped to listen.
Something unusual happened whn Simon was preached- a lady gave him a hand written note, and we read it together afterwards which is attached. It seemed to show she had been brought up in a legalistic Church and had obviously affected her in a negative way and led to her renouncing the Church which is most unfortunate, but she left quickly without us having a chance to talk to her about it.
I spoke to three lads in their early twenties who were in the Navy who had taken an interest in the million pound note tracts. When speaking about life and death and if anything had ever happened to them- one said that he had a heart condition and had collapsed in the street with the other friend having to help him and call the ambulance. This made the other two think more about eternity, and one of the lads smiled when I was talking and when I asked why he said he had looked at a woman walk past in the street after I had talked about the seventh commandment. This made us all share about why men can find it difficult not to do that and why we need a Saviour!
A woman with quite bright new age clothing and her hair in braids stopped to read the intelligence test questions and asked what we were doing and was very happy to ask some questions and take tracts.
I preached again about the carving of a woman in the high street that showed us all we knew that God existed as it needed a designer, and why we all knew God existed but just loved being in charge of our own lives rather than acknowledge Gods existence. I shared again about CSI and how DNA meant we were all fearfully and wonderfully made, but that also we could not commit a crime with evidence being left, and that God who made the eye and the ear could see and hear and why we needed saving because we had all done wrong, with a conscience and knowledge of it.
A lady listened as I preached and afterwards said her name was Bernice. She said she was formerly an atheist but had become a Christian 16 years ago after hearing an open air preacher here in Exeter and was born again. She was really encouraging and spoke at length to Simon.
Two university students stopped to read the intelligence test and led to a great conversation afterwards, and Simon spoke to a man who was next to us with others with dragon boats- he was a Jew and said he was still waiting for the Messiah, and Simon managed to speak to him about Isaiah 53 and the many reasons why we know Jesus is the Messiah!
A lady that came up at the end as we were packing up was asking questions about homosexuality, how we know the Bible is true, how we discipline our children- she had spoken to us when we went and they had the gay pride march a few months ago, and although was quite argumentative did listen to our answers and took some tracts.
When we finished and were walking back to the car we stopped in McDonald's that had loads of teenagers in on a Saturday afternoon. They were reading the intelligence test board and led to lots of chats and tracts being handed out, and a McDonald's staff member read the board and said he was a Christian and went to Brethren Church here in Exeter.
It was a fantastic day with lots of great encouragement from some Christians that walked past and many tracts handed out and fruitful conversations. God really blessed us with good weather and an open square with not much going on which allowed room for people to stop and think about the message we were preaching and we were praising and thanking God on the way home for such a good day! SDG
On Saturday 2nd March we had arranged to meet again for outreach in Plymouth City Centre, and as I was a bit early had a coffee and bacon bap at Gregg's. A Christian lady I knew walked past and asked me a question about the book of Job which we discussed, but a man sat next to me heard the conversation, and so when finished chatting to the lady I managed to have a conversation with this man called John.
He said he was a Christian and had been to Church before etc, but didn't like religion and people trying to force their views on others. He said he watched some Christians on TBN (not best examples) and said that he had quite a past in the forces, working in clubs as a doorman etc, and with his big beard and tattoos said he had quite a few fights before he was a Christian, but now openly told people about his faith. He said that as long as someone believed in Jesus they didn't need to get into religion etc, and so we managed to have a great chat for around 15 minutes about which Jesus people believed in, wrong views of who Jesus was (JW's and Mormon's etc) and what the Bible said were the consequences of us believing another gospel (Galatians 1 v 8-9)
It was a great conversation and was able to give him some tracts to read and think about, and seemed thankful we had spoken which I believe was a great 'God-incidence' being there at that time.
I later met with George and Harry from Faith Mission, and George preached while Harry and I were the 'rent a crowd' and trying to hand tracts to people as they walked past. I ahd an interesting chat with a man from Arizona called John who had come to the UK with friends but had come to the Southwest to explore but in doing so had lost his passport, and was killing time until meeting friends at coach station tomorrow. He had to call the American embassy etc and fortunately had a copy of his passport and hoped things would improve tomorrow when he met back up with people. He was desperate to try and find an American pastor down her to speak to, but as I was unaware of any in the churches here, managed to give him some tracts to read which he was again thankful for and said would be great to remember his journey and travels here.
I later open air preached from 1 Corinthians v 8-9 which I prayed about as is quite a contentious verse among unbelievers-
'Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
I tried to show that all of us can be deceived in different ways, through used car salesman, dodgy scams online or being short changed, but the worst thing would be to be deceived about where we were spending our eternity and that living in constant, unrepentant sin would show that we were actually not saved, but that many of us try to be religious while continually living in our sin. Christians are sinners that have been saved by grace and have also formally lived in sin and now as believers can still struggle with sin, but know that is no longer their lifestyle or desire in life. God however can wash us from the inside, forgive us, cleanse us, give us a new heart with new desires and a brand new start, IF people would admit their sins and humbly come to Jesus in repentant faith to be forgiven.
I was worried a passerby may try to pick up on the verse about homosexuality, but was fine and a few people had stopped to listen who we tried to give tracts to and speak with afterwards, one older man in particular whose brother had formerally been a street preacher but who himself did not believe in a God due to all the wars etc around us.
Ed and Laura came later after I had left and had another interesting and fruitful outreach, with Harry enduring a little bit of heckling when he preached, with I believe the same guy I had spoken with earlier interrupting with the familiar "what has caused all the wars throughout history?" question before walking away not being interested in the answer.
Laura, Ed, George and Harry spoke with many different people, but in particular ask for prayers please for Hannah, a philosophy/ psychology student (can't remember which), Muriel (ex Catholic) whom we've seen before and Finn, young guy who listened for a good while while his friends hung around.
The weather was kind to us and many tracts were handed out to passers by, with us hopefully planning to go to Plympton and Exeter next week for outreach which will hopefully be good, as well as Simon and I making some new A2 posters for people to read and a 'good person test' flip chart.
Last week in England was Half term for most schools which fortunately gave me a week off, and while having a coffee and bacon bap in the city centre saw two Mormons sitting down for a break after speaking to people in the town. I prayed and managed to start up a conversation asking if the wanted a coffee! but then managed to engage for around 20 minutes about their doctrines and beliefs in what Joseph Smith taught, as supposed to what Gods word actually says, particularly about the deity of Jesus, the after life and judgment to come, our good works and their place in salvation and their belief in people having another chance to believe and respond to the good news after death!
I praised them for their hard work and dedication to their cause, but as per Galatians 1 v 8-9 made it clear to them that if they believed another gospel and had the wrong view of who Jesus was, then they would not be saved, and that our good works come after our salvation, and are not added to what Jesus had accomplished for believers on the cross when He said 'It is finished'.
They listened and took tracts and had a pleasant conversation, and later that day I saw a group of 11 teenagers from St.Austell in Cornwall that had come up shopping for the day. We another great conversations and were intrigued with the intelligence test questions to break the ice. We managed to talk about the afterlife, Heaven, Hell, the age someone may die and if any sin was worth holding onto for this short life, rather than repenting of to be given eternal life.They all took tracts and had some firm hand shakes so I pray some seeds were sown.
On Saturday 23rd, Harry, George and I met up in the city centre for outreach on a beautiful sunny day with no wind and lots of people around shopping to talk to.
George preached about the former ISIS fighter girl wanting to come back to England and related this to our eternities and how we need to be transferred to Gods kingdom from this current one by grace through faith in Jesus alone, and led to chats with people after who were listening intently.
I later preached on gambling and betting and the odds people play against in the hope of winning, and the odds people gamble with their life in trying to believe God does not exist, particularly as the Scientific odds of a protein coming about by chance were 1 in 10 with 164 zeros behind it, and a single ell evolving by chance are 1 in 10 with 360 million zeros behind it! I said that everyone knew God existed, or else where do we get our morality from? Judges talks about when there was no King in Israel in those days, and everyone doing what was right in their own eyes, and therefore when people try to believe God does not exist to allow them to dabble with sin and be the ruler of their own lives, yet people borrow from the Christian world view to KNOW anything is absolutely right or wrong, or else Hitler and the Holocaust and Abortion could be justified if there was no morality for society to live by.
When I left, Della, Laura and Robbie came and Della spoke to girl called Misha who seemed to make a profession of faith, and Laura spoke to a New Ager called Ralph, a Satanist called Terry and Carol an ex Catholic who took the Bible. Harry also preached when I left and as the pictures show was a beautiful day with lots of tracts handed out and conversations had.
In a couple of weeks we are hoping to plan a trip to Exeter again God willing, and pray Gods word was preached faithfully and He would be pleased to save those that were listening that would respond to the gospel that was proclaimed!
On a cold and very windy Saturday 2nd February, George and Della met in Plymouth city Centre for outreach before others could come. They set up George's Faith mission board with scriptures and tracts and free Bibles and started handing out tracts and some conversations with people before Della had to leave and Ed and myself came later.
While setting up the Intelligence test board, two teenagers came along and started asking some questions. They were both 16 years old and said they had a - C of E background after attending Primary school and some church attendance, but said they did not really have a strong belief. I was able to share with them some evidences for Gods existence, and using Gods law showed them from their conscience how we all know God exists but because of our sin choose to make excuses about God or make a God in our own image that is ok with our sin. I tried to show them the connection between Christmas and Easter and why Jesus had to die on the cross, even though he was perfect and didn't do anything wrong, but fulfilled Gods law and a righteousness for us so we could stand before God justified as if we had never sinned, even though we had. They took some tracts and said they had a Bible at home each and had something to think about.
After last weeks ruling in New York about Abortion now being allowed up to the third trimester/ 40 weeks, I had a strong desire to want to preach about this absolutely sickening bill that allowed the murder of the unborn, and so brought a poster I had made a while ago but never really used. I read from Psalm 139 and preached for around 20 minutes that life started from conception and that therefore abortion was murder and that over 96% of abortions were for social reasons rather than rape or medical risk to the mother, and so abortions was being used as a means of contraception rather than the baby being given for adoption, and that only God could forgive murder and the gospel was the only way for peoples sins to be washed away, what ever they were, even if people walking past had an abortion in the past they could be forgiven because of what Jesus had done for sinners. I said that any guilt and shame that people tried to cover up through drink or drugs or wrong relationships could not wash away a guilty conscience but only the blood of Jesus could restore their relationship with God.
An angry big issue seller walked past a couple of times and shouted at me saying I had no right to tell women what they should do and that it was their right. He said his friend had an abortion before, but he didn't like the statistic that abortion was mostly for social convenience. He shouted that it was Christians in the crusades who had murdered people, but I corrected him that was Roman Catholics responding to the Muslim invasion and actually it wasn't Christians who murdered people today but Muslims in the name of Islam. This made him even more irate and his swearing at me made quite a lot of people stop to listen. I continued to preach as he walked off.
This led to a couple in mid twenties walking past and stopping to read the intelligence test and a long chat for around 15 minutes as to why Christianity as supposed to other religions, the age of the earth, and life after death according to what the Bible said.
He started off a bit argumentative but eventually we had a good conversation and allowed me to share the gospel with both of them that now worked in Plymouth after coming down from Berkshire. They were both very amicable and took some tracts and understood why we were out that day- not to condemn people but because we cared about peoples eternity and had been forgiven for doing the same sins as others had.
Ed was very good at handing out tracts to people and listened to the preaching to help draw others in. George also preached and had three conversations that were quite good- David who claimed to be a 'confirmed' Christian in the C of E but didn't have a grasp of the Gospel. The Gospel was explained and he was given literature to read. Two young men called Tyler and George had a conversation with Della and George about the purpose of life and the significance of Christ and were given tracts. They also spoke with a young woman called Chloe who was brought up in a Christian home, knew parts of the Bible but had no grasp of the gospel, she had rejected Christianity but yet seemed open because she stopped to ask for a free bible and was spoken to for a while.
It was a very blustery day and the rain just about held off but lots of tracts were handed out and some good conversations with people. We pray some seeds were sown in fertile ground and that God would continue to work on their hearts so they would repent and respond to Gods grace in Christ.
On Saturday 12th January, George, Harry and myself met at 11.30am in the top of the city Centre for outreach. This was the first one we had done collectively in the New Year, and I believe all of us have had different conversations individually with unbelievers in our day to day work before Christmas. I am quite prone to buying things on Facebook Marketplace and never like buying anything new if I can buy it cheaper on there first, and this has led to many chats with people, particularly when after exchanging 'real' money for the item, and then asking if people have any change for a million pound note tract. This has been a great way to share the gospel with people and give them a card for our church with some good solid Bible websites on, (of course one being the 'operation513.com' site) with the gospel message on the back.
Today George was preaching at the top of the main high street who, along with his twin brother, are full time evangelists with Faith Mission, and they had updated some new signs for their board to show people just how far the gap is between unbelievers with their sin against a Holy God. Their pictures are nice and big, bold and visual to get peoples attention, and a great way for people to focus on what he is saying. Three lads walked past, probably in their late teens/ early twenties, and having been offered a tract by Harry while George preached, they declined it and carried on walking. However I tried to catch them as they walked off by asking if they had any change for a million pound note, and having got one of their attention managed to have a good conversation with all three of them.
I tried to focus on why at present God was probably the last thing on their mind as they thought they had no need of him, as if there was a God they probably thought there were many more people worse than them. One was 'religious', and hoped his good works and saying sorry would help him out. However I managed to show him that none of our good works can help us bribe a judge, but we needed payment on our behalf. They said they had recently celebrated Christmas, so I tried to refresh their minds about what that and Easter was all about.
They all seemed quite young and healthy, so after asking if anything bad had ever happened to them like an accident or illness, one lad in particular said he had been in hospital before with a life threatening condition, and so I managed to show the scars on my leg and again show how short our life is, and that even healthy fit people like them can die young. I asked them if their was any sin that they presently enjoyed that they thought was worth holding onto for this short life, rather than giving up and repenting of to gain eternal life. They were quite silent and hopefully pondered the thought, and I managed to give them some tracts to read and to point them in the direction of 'www.fullyfreefilms.com' for some good short Christian films on the subjects we had discussed. I thanked them all for stopping to chat for a while and I hope the firm handshakes I received back were a sign they had something to think about.
I later preached for a while and started by sharing my love of Reptiles and exotic animals and feeding my tarantulas and Chameleons and how the cricket run away and try and hide when the lid is taken off, relating this to the scripture where Jesus said 'men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil..' I tried to convey to passers by that they were not ignorant of Gods existence as they couldn't be due to the creation around them and their conscience telling them right and wrong, like Jimeny Cricket from Pinocchio, but that people avoided thoughts of God due to their love of sin, which by nature we all had.
A group of students seemed to have stopped to listen, and a conversation occurred afterwards- one was a young white Muslim man that was very pleasant and congenial, who didn't believe in the Hadith's, but respected and honoured Jesus etc. We talked for a while about why Jesus would have to be God the Son to take away our sin, the trinity and how to have assurance of eternal life now, rather than living his whole life hoping his good deeds outweighed his bad, We left on friendly terms, again with all taking some tracts to think about.
I left at 1pm for a Wheelchair Basketball game, and Simon, Laura and Ed came to join George and Harry from 1.30- 3pm, with Della and Robbie both unfortunately unwell. The weather had started to deteriorate when I left and so was quite wet and cold, but George managed to preach again but unfortunately ws stopped by questions from a man called Rusty? Apparently he was speaking to the group for about an hour with many varied questions, but kept trying to change the subject when important matters were brought up.The group said they all spoke to him and others and continued to hand out tracts, but we all said was was speaking to Rusty beneficial- was he just trying to waste time to stop the preaching or were his questions genuine?
Maybe he was genuine and God was working in him and convicted him through the preaching and tracts, but to discern whether he was genuine maybe only God knows! God willing we are meeting again in the next coupe of weeks, but all of us will share on our Facebook evangelism group of any interesting or memorable encounters and conversations we have before then in the week.