Battle Log


Auckland

Christchurch (NZ) Team

Heads out on to the streets of Christchurch usually 6 days a week to various locations.

Including Fridays in Cathedral Square from 12:30pm and in Cashel Mall after that till 3:30pm. Also Sundays in Cashel Mall 1:30pm till 3:30pm.

Contact Glen Richards or Andy Barlow for more information.


Saturday 24 September 2022

Posted by Posted 25 September 2022, 10:52 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Three street outreaches this week: Tuesday (Riccarton), Friday (City) and Saturday (Riccarton).  I ended up not using the flip chart on the first 2 outreaches, and so I decided to make it a no flip chart week!  Nice spring weather, it was just me in Riccarton both days (more fish for me!).  And Andy and I had a marvellous time together on Friday - climate change protests always lead to wonderful gospel conversations! :D

But on Tuesday, I rocked up to my usual spot, bowed my head in prayer, and then looked up wondering what the outreach would be like.  It was one of the busiest outreaches I’ve ever had!  Glory to God.

I walked down Riccarton Road and a small group was approaching me, so I offered tracts which were completely by them all, except one.  He stopped and turned to accept it.  I quickly took the opportunity to engage him in conversation, and to my amazement he stopped and fully engaged in spite of the fact that his friends kept walking.  I was able to share the law, the gospel, and a couple of checks before he started to think about his friends again and had to go.  I was really encouraged.

As he walked off, another guy was passing.  He looked vaguely familiar.  He accepted a tract and kept walking.  I followed at a distance and watched his friend approach him and start discussing the tract I had given.  So I caught up with them and the three of us ended up having a long chat on the street corner.  The first guy knew all the answers, and was really supportive - one of the team must have talked to him before.  And so my focus was on his friend.  The first guy is going to a Roman Catholic church, but doesn't have a bible.  So I gave him a contact card for my church and them both a New Testament.  Another great chat.

I crossed the road to buy some mints and then came out and approached a couple waiting for a bus.  Another great chat that started with one of them saying, “I hate Christianity, it ruined my life”!  The conversation was amicable, and progress was being made, but their bus arrived before I could share the gospel.  They left with tracts.

I instantly turned and engaged another couple.  He was a Satanist, and she (or was it a he?) wasn’t, and yet they heard the law and the gospel before their bus came.

That’s how the outreach went, from one conversation, straight into another, with a little bit of walking down Riccarton Road in between.

Next up was a chat with 3 guys (early 20’s).  2 Believed in God, 1 didn’t.  Initially they had little engagement in the chat, and yet the 2 believers quickly became really engaged when the flaws in their existing philosophies were exposed.  Sadly they were resistant.  Yet, they all heard the law and the Gospel.

A chat with a young guy who turned out to have a Jehovah Witness background.

And finally a chat with a young man called Sam who went from thinking his being good would get him to heaven to understanding the gospel.  I left him with a bible too.

By this stage there was only 10 minutes left in the outreach!  I was excited by, and praising God for, all the wonderful opportunities. But I was feeling tired, so I used that last 10 minutes to pump out some tracts.

Thank you to all those that are praying for this ministry.  Our efforts are weak, and yet the simple gospel message, backed by the prayers of the saints, is the power of God for salvation!

Nice and sunny on Friday, and yet a cool wind.  There was an event happening down at the bridge of remembrance, and so Andy I spent our time in ministry down at the Colombo / Cashel Corner.

I was excited to hear a protest coming.  And I wasn’t surprised to see it was about climate change.

I started the outreach by pumping tracts out to the noisy protesters filing past.  Many were curious and took them, which was great.

For the rest of the afternoon, small pockets of people who had been involved in the protest would pass through where we were and we had a busy time sharing the gospel!

It’s so easy to switch a conversation about climate change into a discussion of deeper things.  Because we have the same goal: ultimately saving lives.  And yet, as worthy as wise stewardship of our environment is, we are all still going to die anyway.  Is there a life B?  Yes!

My first chat was with a group of 7 guys from a local high school.  I was fascinated to see that only 1 of them was really passionate about the issue of the climate - the others just seemed to be there for the experience.  The one guy became very engaged in the conversation, where the others not so much, in fact, one of them peeled off and started walking away, and sadly the others joined him.  But they all took tracts, and that one guy seemed challenged.

But soon after, I had a young couple from the same high school come past.  They became very engaged in the conversation and seemed humbled by the law and captured by the gospel - which they grasped quickly.  They both took New Testaments.

Andy was busy in conversations too.  And we even had opportunities to get into conversations together.  But once the conversation was rolling, I stepped back and let Andy continue.  I might as well see if I can catch a different fish!  After all, you can catch more fish with 2 nets in the water than just 1!  Hey, do you live in Christchurch?  Why don’t you join us?  Get in touch  :)  Come be a Manerman with us!

My final chat of the day was long, and hard.  It was with a guy, who heard the law and the gospel, and yet ultimately rejected it because of Idolatry.  How exactly?  He hated God for decreeing a world of suffering and evil.  By the end of the chat he openly said he would rather go to hell than have anything to do with a God like that.  I wasn’t phased, but just kept him faithful to logic and scripture as he kept trying to twist it to say something it’s not (if you go too far one side, you are in major error, and too far the other side: major error; and the balance point is very fine).  I realise that this is an issue of emotion more than logic, and I kept that in mind through the conversation.  But my attempts to convince him, of course, failed.  I’m trusting that, although there was no outward indication, his worldview was deeply challenged by logic and scripture.  The law convicts of sin, and the gospel is the power of salvation, for all those that believe!

The outreach went overtime, but it was well worth it.  It was good to be able to have a good catch up with Andy over hot chocolate afterwards.

Saturday’s outreach wasn’t as busy as Tuesday, but was still off the charts good all the same.

I’ll just highlight one conversation, as this report is way too long!  I was handing out tracts to people hopping off a bus.  A young couple went past and politely refused.  So I crossed the road and headed back down Riccarton Road.  A few minutes later, a large ‘school’ of people went past, low and behold, that some young couple was among them.  They again refused the tract, but the fact that we crossed paths again so soon caused a conversation to start.  And what a great chat!  He had a Christian background and was currently rejecting Christ, and she was encouragingly humble throughout the whole chat.  He hit me with all the hard questions, which I did my best to answer and proceeded to share the law and the gospel with both of them.  I was really encouraged by this chat :)  They moved on, but about 15 minutes later we crossed paths again!  She said, “wow, God is really on my case”.  He is.  He is seeking and saving the lost.  And we have the privilege to be involved in what God is doing, for his glory!

Pray for labourers for the harvest, and consider being the answer to your own prayer!  Need training?  We have some coming up.


Sunday 18 September 2022

Posted by Posted 18 September 2022, 4:01 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

So good to be at the end of another week of street outreach in Christchurch, NZ.  Praying that Jesus will return, but if he decides to hold his patience, that I will have another week to proclaim his mercy.

Roger is away in Australia, so this week I’ve been alone in my 2 outreaches to Riccarton (Tuesday and Saturday).  It was great to have Andy and John with me on Friday in the city.  And Susan was with me on Sunday.

Tuesday afternoon's outreach in Riccarton was really slow for the first half hour - only one short engagement, but then I was busy with epic chats for the rest of the outreach.  2 chats in particular come to mind.  (I had to really think, but I’ve finally remembered!)

The first with a young guy.  He was very open to chat, so we talked for a long time, but I had to labour with him towards understanding the gospel (check questions to the rescue).  By the end of it, he was professing faith even after counting the cost, and he was keen to start reading the Bible.  So I gave him a copy of the New Testament (tract marking John) and told him to get in touch in regards to finding a church.  I haven’t heard anything as of yet, so I leave him in God’s hands.

The second one was also with a young guy (maybe a bit older).  It was a short chat, because he followed the logic of the law / gospel presentation flawlessly.  He was making comments like, “that makes complete sense”, and “I’ve never had anyone explain it like that before”.  He too left with a copy of the New Testament.

On Friday, it was great to see Andy and John busy in chats (pictured).

I started out with a difficult chat with a guy who was sadly drunk (he even pulled a bottle of beer out of his bag part way through the conversation).  What was also sad was that he was also completely closed to reason.  I couldn’t really make any progress in the conversation, because he kept cutting me off and taking the discussion off on tangents.  I didn’t try to control the conversation, because he just wasn’t open to hearing the gospel.  So I instead laboured the law, when I could, and even looked for opportunities to end the conversation (and spend the time talking to someone else).  I was eventually able to do that, and we parted ways on good terms.  He stayed in the vicinity, and I noticed him watching me from time to time as I handed out tracts and engaged people in conversation.

The highlight chat of the day was a difficult one.  It was with two young ladies (there was a guy hanging around too, but he was on a phone call and so was never involved in the conversation).  There was much resistance from both of them, and yet, I held much hope that they would open up.  I managed to keep them engaged as I worked through the logic of how we know God is real and cares about justice.  One of them, in particular, said “I really hope there is a hell, I really really do”.  That was a sign that she had been deeply hurt.  Yet, she really really hated Christianity.  I was amazed that these girls had hung into this conversation as long as they did!  I was able to explain the gospel, which was a joy, and even start working on check questions.  The 2nd girl was rejecting it because, “I don’t like the rules” (in other words, I want to be god of my own life and live my life my own way).  But, the first girl trusted me enough to share the tragic hurt in her life - and she had associated this hurt to Christianity negatively because her father prayed to God and yet condoned this terrible injustice.  I pleaded with her to not make the mistake of misappropriation: to associate true Christianity with a misrepresentation of it.  There was still much resistance, and yet she thanked me for being patient with her (seriously, my thoughts were the opposite, I thanked HER for being patient with me).  I pray that she would be able to work through this pain, and find forgiveness for those that hurt her, and mercy from Jesus for the wrong she has done.

The highlight chat from Saturday was with a young couple.  We talked for a long time where they seemed to come to an understanding of the gospel.  They both left with: a challenge to accept the gospel, bibles and tracts.  Later they came back and shared about the fact that they were to have a baby!  What a blessing!

Speaking of babies.  I grieve over the 13,000+ babies that are murdered every year in New Zealand through abortion.  And yet, there is hope for forgiveness of this terrible sin because of Jesus!  It was an honour to be able to take part in the March for Life in Christchurch on Saturday afternoon.  Thank you to all those that were involved.  May we continue to be a voice for the voiceless, and bring the hope of mercy in the gospel.  The root of change is the gospel.  God have mercy!  Raise up labourers for the harvest, for your glory.

There were many short opportunities for gospel ministry on Sunday afternoon.  I shared the gospel with a couple of teens who were interested, but seemed a bit distant.  I shared the gospel with another couple of guys - one of whom was openly resistant.  I was able to catch up with a regular (actually one of the owners of the SoYo I minister outside of on Tuesdays and Saturdays).

But the last chat of the day was interesting.  I had my “What happens after life?” flip chart up.  A group of late teens / young adults went past, and one of the kids was really interested in the question.  I was able to get him engaged in conversation even though all his friends kept walking.  He said he had been Buddhist for 2 years, having converted from Christianity (Catholic background).  The conversation was warming up when his friends came back to pull him away, yet, they ended up becoming engaged in the conversation as well.  Sadly, one of the guys kept pulling it off onto rabbit trails.  I did my best to bring it back, but then the conversation was railroaded when a streetie walked into the middle of it ruining the flow that was there.  Sadly, the kids walked off at that point, but Susan made sure they all had tracts.

God willing, those kids will have other opportunities to hear the gospel.  Maybe from you?  Are you ready and willing to share the gospel in your everyday life?  Maybe you’d be interested in some training?
 


Saturday 10 September 2022

Posted by Posted 10 September 2022, 2:18 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Three street outreaches to report on this week (I’m taking tomorrow off! :) ).  The usual schedule.  This week it was just me in Riccarton on Tuesday and Saturday, and there was a team of 5 in the City on Friday (although there were heaps of other Christians out sharing the gospel with other groups - praise God).  So, that was 1, 5, 1.  All odd numbers.  I guess I like patterns ;)

As Roger was away on Tuesday, I took his usual spot on the other side of the street.  And it’s a great little fishing hole!  I had a busy time with all the fish to myself ;)  I literally had people queueing up to talk to me!

I know I talked to plenty of people, but the only two conversations that come to mind at the moment are the ones I had with groups of school kids.  It was two groups of four kids each.

In the first group, one kid stands out the most in my mind.  I remember him being very impacted by the bad news of the law.  I even remember his eyes bulging at one moment.  It was such a pleasure to finally share the good news with him.  All four of those guys were in different places, but they were all very engaged, and it was a wonderful conversation.  At one point, one of them asked about abortion.  So I simply said, “Think of it like this, if you had a 2 year old toddler would you kill them?”  He thought for a second and just responded with “that makes complete sense” and the conversation moved on.  After I had shared the gospel,, one of the other guys asked about “gays”.  So I simply said, “who gets to make the rules?”  His answer: “God, oh so therefore it’s sinful, but, Jesus died on the cross for their sin, but that means you won’t want to keep doing it”.  I was amazed, by God’s grace, they were joining the dots so quickly.  I was super encouraged by that chat.

The conversation with the second group of guys (one of whom was the brother of one of the guys in the first group) didn’t go so smoothly.  One of the guys dug his heels in hard and refused to acknowledge that God is real.  I gently reasoned with him while continuing to move the whole conversation through the law and the gospel.  But he wasn’t having any of it, and it was interesting seeing the impact on the other guys (one in particular started agreeing with his friend).  Who knows, maybe he is under conviction and close to the kingdom?

Friday was a busy and exciting outreach.  Nice sunny weather, I even put sunscreen on for the first time of the Summer! Yay :)

I was straight into a chat with a tourist from Ireland!  Double Yay - more people from overseas coming to NZ to hear the gospel.  The chat went amazingly well.  A smooth, short and sharp gospel conversation.

I then went seeking around the area politely approaching people and fell into another amazing chat with a young lady who I’m pretty sure I’ve talked to before.  Again, it was another smooth, short and sharp gospel conversation.  I asked if she had any questions at the end and she said, “no, you explained that really well, it makes sense”.

I love it when unexpected chats occur.  Certain demographics tend to never stop, e.g., older people.  But today, an older Asian lady stopped to engage!  I could tell she wasn’t going to stay long, so I just did my best to labour the law, and point her to the grace of Jesus.  She left with a tract.

The outreach ended up going long - 30 minutes over, but it was so good.  A couple of years ago I had to call the police on a guy.  Well, today he was back spewing his anger on members of the team.  I simply went over and told them to ignore him.  I then moved away and started taking some pictures of him (attached).  He pointed to me: “Are you taking pictures of me!! How dare you?”  He came over to me then, as he approached I simply said, “If you touch me, I will call the police”.  He came right into my face and started spewing his hate, but he didn’t once touch me.  And I wasn’t phased at all.  All bark, no bite (little yelps actually, it was so sad to watch).  I ignored him and he got sick of me, so he went over to abuse the other guys again.  Roger finally got rid of him.  In the meantime, I continued the gospel conversation that Roger had started with a young autistic guy.

The outreach finished with prayer, but it was interrupted with chats with 2 regulars, the last one was Simon the Atheist.  Unlike last week, we actually engaged in spiritual conversation, with a focus on how we know God is real via logic.  Simon doesn’t have the same ‘bite’ he used to, is he softening?  God, please have mercy on him!

Saturday was busy and amazing.  A flat earther and his girlfriend heard the gospel.  A young couple with Biblical foundation and yet still trusting in works came to grasp the gospel and left challenged and encouraged.

And to finish off, one of my regulars that I haven’t seen for a long time came past.  It was so good to catch up!  I was shocked to hear that he was considering suicide earlier today, and had even pre attempted but bailed on it (thank God).  He seems to have remembered nothing of what I’ve shared before, so I went hard on the law with him today.  Great chat.  We shaked hands multiple times before he left.  Oh God, please answer my prayer, have mercy on him, for your glory alone.
 


Sunday 4 September 2022

Posted by Posted 4 September 2022, 3:26 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

I’m feeling a bit tired as I come to write this on Sunday afternoon, I’m looking forward to a day of rest tomorrow.  It ended up being a good street outreach today, but I’ll get to that soon.

Reviewing the week, there was a team of 2 on Tuesday in Riccarton, 4 on Friday in the city, just myself on Saturday in Riccarton (anyone want to join me?  It’s a day off for you, right?), and then, to my joy, a team of 4 today in the city.  2, 4, 1, 4 - they are all a power of 2 – that fills me with joy too! ;)

The weather is warming up!  Spring has arrived :)  On Saturday I was thinking I need to get the sunscreen out.  And just now I have put my sunscreen in my outreach bag for the next outreach (God willing)! :)

On Tuesday Roger was with me. I’ve just taken a minute to think all the way back to Tuesday to remember what happened, I knew something cool happened… and now I remember…  2 things actually.

The outreach was a bit slow initially, and so I went for a wander down Riccarton Road to seek the lost.  On my way back down the other side of the street, as I was going past the bus stops, I saw 3 young ladies and simply asked them, “Excuse me, may I ask you a question?  It’s a deep one, do you ever think about what happens after you die?”.  To my pleasant surprise, they were all keen to stop and talk.  One of them responded with, “yeah, I think about that all the time”.  It was a straightforward conversation.  One of the girls knew a fair amount of Christian lingo, one was quet, but they all listened.  It was so awesome seeing them get it.  The simple message of the gospel is truly powerful.  At the end of the chat I asked if they had any questions, and the first girl asked if I had any recommendations for churches in Christchurch.  I certainly did!  They all left with tracts.

The other cool thing that happened was similar.  At the end of the outreach, a security guard went past, he took a tract and stopped when I said: “it comes with a question if you have a moment”.  Again, it was a fairly straightforward conversation.  The penny really seemed to drop when I was asking him the ‘sin again’ check question: “if someone trusts that Jesus died for them today, but then tomorrow do 10 more sins and then die, is it heaven or hell?”  His initial response was hell, but when I explained that Jesus even pays for our future sin, the doctrine of justification by faith alone really seemed to strike him: “ahhhhh, I get it now”.  I followed up with a for more checks, he was getting them perfectly right now.  He made a profession, so I got him to consider the cost of the gift - it didn't put him off.  He accepted a bible with a tract bookmarked at John, and he was considering checking out the church I’m part of.  He didn’t turn up this Sunday, yet he is in God’s hands.

Friday and Saturday’s outreaches were busy.

On Friday I set up my flip chart near the bridge of remembrance, but I never used it the whole time, instead I just approached people.  First there were a couple of buskers taking a lunch break, then a chat with a kid from the UK whose dad was a soldier.

Next, a chat with a guy who was struggling with how meaningless life is - he was depressed and we discussed suicide a bit (these things are all very familiar to me, I’m so grateful for the book of Ecclesiasties!)  I laboured with him in regards to the law and the gospel, but he wasn’t really soaking it in at all.  I decided not to push it, but give him some time to ponder.  He had 2 tracts (1 from me, and John had also talked to him prior and given him a tract).

I approached 3 girls who were discussing one of our tracts, one of the girls in particular didn’t want to have another chat about it!  But they did accept a different kind of tract from me.  I turned and immediately 4 guys were walking past, and I got straight into a conversation with them.  It was a difficult chat, because they were in different places and it was hard to get a flow going with all of them at the same time, they all kept interjecting different questions (good ones), I did my best to answer the questions without getting distracted from my goal of sharing the gospel, when I feel like I made a mistake (or did I?)  The MP for central Christchurch, Duncan Webb went past, I’ve talked to him a couple of times before (briefly, he won’t stay to engage).  As soon as I saw him, I said, “Oh, Duncan, I want to talk to you”.  I wasn’t expecting him to stop, but he did.  The mistake was that I should have kept my focus on the four guys I was talking to.  Those guys instantly lost interest and split without hearing the gospel - I feel bad about that!  Yet, I’m pretty sure I gave them all tracts at the start.  I have to leave them in God’s hands.

Anyway, now I was into a discussion with the MP.  And, I feel like I fluffed that opportunity too.  I really wanted to challenge him on some social political issues, and so my questioning turned philosophical.  What I should have done is stick to the script from the word of God, I should have gone with Romans 1:19 and asked him, “Hey Duncan, if I told you that building made itself, would you believe me?” and then took him through the law and the gospel.  He didn’t have much time, and lost interest in the conversation and bailed on me.

So, I was now doubly disappointed with myself!  And yet, who knows?  God can use even our most feeble mistakes to show his power.  I’m praying I get further opportunities to talk with Duncan, as I want the best for him and want him to truly understand the grace of Christ (I know he had a Christian background).  Lord, raise up labourers who will faithfully share the gospel with the leaders of this nation!  Change our culture through the power of the gospel.

I think that was the end of that outreach (I can’t remember having any more chats).  I left that outreach with Andy in deep conversation with one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses there.  Oh, and earlier the Hare Kristna’s went through, I’ve read their pamphlet, and I have a million questions, God willing I’ll find some time to write some of those questions down to give to them next Friday (also, God willing).  Oh, and I was able to have a brief catch up with Simon the Atheist at the start of the outreach - that was nice.

Saturday I was on my own, and it was really busy.  I turned up to my usual spot, and there was a guy there who was sitting looking at his phone.  I ended up having a long chat with him.  He wasn’t grasping the gospel well.  With the check questions he kept slipping back to “because I’m good” as the reason he would get to heaven.  I continued to gently labour with him as best I could.  The chat was interrupted as an old workmate stopped to talk.  I was stuck, I wanted to share the gospel with both, but I couldn’t do that.  I let my work mate go - he left with a tract.  Lord, raise up more Saturday labourers!

Later, I was sharing the gospel with a couple of kids, when two people joined the conversation and kinda killed it.  The two kids left.  And then the conversation for the new couple didn’t last long.  It was subtle, but she wanted to justify being her own god, and so denied clear logic. She wasn’t willing to back down and so the conversation died.   Apparently I talked to the guy before?
I had a long chat with a guy who knew some of the right language, but didn’t understand the gospel.  He seemed truly blown away when he did come to understand it.  He said he needed time to process it.

The outreach ended late with a chat with a young lady and her partner.  She knew the Christian lingo really well.  She was talking about Jesus, and quoting John 3:16, she said abortion is murder, don’t be unequally yoked, etc, etc.  But as we talked it became clear she wasn’t saved.  “I think I’ll go to heaven because I sin less”.  By the end of the chat she agreed that she would be currently going to hell.  She now understands the gospel.  She made a comment: “now I know why God got me to come over here today”.  She was happy to take a tract, “I’ve got heaps of these, there is even one on my fridge” (did she ever read them?).  I was grateful for the opportunity to labour in the gospel with them.

I left with a feeling of frustration: the harvest is ripe!  I will pray for labourers.

Wow, this report is too long.  Well done if you are reading this - maybe you are the answer to my prayer? ;)

Sunday’s outreach I was tired.  And the outreach was slow to start.  Susan joined me, then Binu, and finally Mike!  Binu was handing out tracts, and when Mike arrived, I left him to man the flip chart with Susan while I went to roam a bit.

I approached a young man and it turned into a great chat!  He gave me a strong handshake at the end.

I then found out that Binu had started a chat with a tall, open hearted basketball player.  Binu brought him over to Mike and Susan who shared the gospel with him (a real team effort).  I was really encouraged.

And then Mike got into another flip chart chat with some kids, while I followed up with a guy who was watching the chat from a distance.

I ended up leaving the outreach with Mike in yet another gospel conversation with a guy I’ve semi-talked to many times before over the years.  May Mike make progress where I failed!

Well, that wraps the week.  Heaps happening online too!  God is so good.

(I’m starting to feel a slight sunburn on my face.)
 


Sunday 28 August 2022

Posted by Posted 28 August 2022, 4:30 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

The street work this week felt a bit slower than usual.  I often found myself praying in those moments - and that was a real blessing.  Just reflecting on how impossible it is for me to save anyone.  Just praying that God would be glorified.  And knowing that he will, people will come to know more about God, he will demonstrate either his justice or mercy, that his kingdom will come.  I’m so grateful that we get to be involved in all of this. He condescends to use us, in our weakness, to proclaim who he is, and allow his strength and power to be displayed in spite of us.

On Tuesday (in Riccarton) it was so slow that twice I went for wander down Riccarton Road in search of people to talk to.  I looked down a side street (which has an entrance to the mall) and I noticed a large group of kids.  I was up for the challenge, so I headed towards them.  It turns out there were about 20 of them!  Oh well, they need to hear the gospel too.  So I dove in.  I tried to get a conversation going with as many of them as I could, and I passed out a few tracts.  Suddenly a large part of them took off, and then the rest of them ran off as well.  A guy in a tie ran past me chasing them.  Then another guy came past and told me that a car had been broken into :(  Putting it all together, I guess the kids were involved?  I told them I was trying to tell them about Jesus.  He smiled, knowing that’s exactly what they need!  He accepted a tract from me as well.  Anyway, there wasn’t much I could do, so I headed back to our normal outreach stop via the bus stops.  Low and behold, the group of kids were coming past from the other direction (they had done a loop).  I was able to offer more tracts as they piled on to a bus, I don’t think any of them accepted one, and sadly, as I continued to walk, I found discarded tracts that I was able to pick up.  God willing, I (or other Christians) will have opportunities to engage with them in the future.

I can’t remember anything from the rest of the outreach, I’m confident I had other chats - I just can’t think of them right now.  I know Roger did, I took a photo of one of them (attached).

On Friday (in the city), the Hare Krishna’s went through, and this time they remembered to bring a pamphlet for me! :)  I exchanged it for a gospel chat.  They didn’t want to stop to chat.  But I’ve started reading it and it is interesting getting some more background about what they are all about.  I’m hoping I’ll have more opportunities to engage them.

But the conversation that stands out the most for me from Friday was the last one.  A young lady came over and accepted a tract from me.  She started out by saying she used to be involved with Christian ministry, but is no longer, because she is queer.  We fell into a long conversation starting from there.  I think she was challenging me with her introduction, so I decided to not give her the answer she expected, but instead ignored it for the moment.  It was one of those conversations where I couldn’t take the standard direct approach, I just had to be patient.  Her worldview involved no absolutes, and yet her conversation was full of absolutes.  From time to time I would gently point this out, but she wasn’t open.  Through the conversation, I was able to talk about the law, and even explain why homosexuality is sinful.  And I was even able to explain about Jesus - as closed as she was.  We could have talked for a very long time, yet I don’t think we would have made much progress, and so I wrapped up the conversation.  She left with a tract and an offer to continue the conversation via electronic means.  But I won’t be surprised if I don’t hear from her.  What overwhelmed me in the conversation is how selfish relativism is.  Basically what it’s about is ‘me’.  What ‘I’ want.  It’s idolatry.  And it grieves me.  Oh God have mercy.

This theme rolled into Saturday’s outreach in Riccarton.  Again, a slow start, and prayer.  Finally a couple of guys stopped (and a girl who kept her distance).  They were very pleasant and respectful.  One of them really seemed to respect what I was doing.  I took them through the script and was working through the law, when the demeanour of the main guy suddenly changed.  “Are you telling me I’m going to hell?”.  “Yes”, I said, “God is angry at us for our sin, but I’m here to talk to you about God’s mercy”.  That didn’t help, he suddenly declared that he is Mormon, and then his friend parroted what he said, “yeah, I’m Mormon”.  The main guy ripped up the tract and threw it and stormed off.  His friend went with him, and the girl laughed as she joined them.

I grieved, and yet I rejoiced at the obvious conviction that came upon him.  God, please have mercy upon them.

Later in the outreach, a young lady stopped.  She had deep questions and was open to chat.  She had a Russian Orthodox background, but considered herself to be agnostic.  Due to the nature of the questions, I responded with deep answers.  The key question was over why God allows suffering and evil.  So I addressed that, as well as explaining how we know God is real, the law and the gospel.  In hindsight, I think I needed to labour the law more.  None of what I was saying was making sense.  I checked in to see if she could remember what was getting her to heaven, and her answer was, “keep the ten commandments”.  Totally wrong answer.  So I went back to explain, but I think she had checked out.  She was esp. offended when I explained that even murderers and rapists can be forgiven (touching on a question she had earlier) - she just wasn’t understanding the mercy of God and that’s because she wasn’t understanding the justice of God, or how they work together in Jesus.  We parted on pleasant terms, but there was a real look of disgusted in her eyes as she left.  I think that’s partly my fault for not explaining well - I’m reflecting on that a lot and want to improve.  But also, I had an overwhelming sense of how much she hated the idea of God telling her how life was to be lived.  She wanted to make her own rules and be her own god.  Again, it so grieves me.  God, have mercy on us all.

Sunday was interesting.  I received a text in the morning from the Russian guy I had talked to a couple of Tuesday’s ago in Riccarton.  He was interested in coming along to church.  I gave him the address and he came.  It was perfect timing, because we are working through Romans at the moment, and today’s preaching was on Romans 3:9-20 - this is exactly what my Russian friend needed to hear (Jerome preached this passage really well) and it had the desired effect.  After the meeting, Andy and I were able to continue the gospel conversation.  I ended up leaving Andy in that conversation as I headed for the streets.  (It’s now evening and I’ve now got some fresh texts from him. I'll be responding with an invite to come to church next Sunday where we will be studying from Romans 3:21 - the good news!)

Sunday’s outreach in the city was again a bit slow, but the time went really fast.  I had one solid gospel conversation with a couple of guys - it was a really good one where they seemed to grasp the whole message well.  I challenged them to count the cost and respond.

James the glue sniffer turned up later in the outreach.  He wasn’t in a good state at all. :(  I came over and sat next to him to see how he was.  His speech was very slurred and his eyes were glazed.  But he was keen to talk about religion, and I was surprised at how well he was understanding (by the questions I was asking and the answers I was getting I could tell he was actually processing what I was saying).  As I was taking him through the law, he took the two tracts I had given him and found a pocket to put them in.  Maybe when he has a clear head he will read them?  But suddenly he said he wanted to die, and then got up and walked off.  I went back to my usual spot away from my flip chart.  A minute later, he comes back and goes over to my flip chart and steals my outreach bag!  I was close enough to stop him.  I told him all it had were tracts and Bibles.  Realising there was nothing of value (but ironically the greatest value), he gave it back.  And then we wanted to talk about religion again.  2 minutes later he suddenly got up, went and got his glue bag he had left and walked off.  Interesting.  Apart from the grace of God - that’s me.  God have mercy!


Sunday 21 August 2022

Posted by Posted 21 August 2022, 3:33 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

I posted last week's report on my personal Facebook wall, and I was really encouraged to see some friends commenting about their own gospel sharing endeavours!  Good stuff!  Keep it up.  If these reports are encouraging you to get out and share Jesus, then the effort is worth it! :)

You see, I’m no one special when it comes to evangelism - really.  I think the difference is that I’ve just persisted in it, and out of much practice at sharing the same message over and over I could possibly give an illusion that I’m somehow gifted - I’m not.  All it is is: study of the Bible, practice and discipline.  Yes, it’s scary when you first do it.  It’s counter cultural, etc, etc, I can list all the excuses, I know them all, because I’ve said them all.  But, what does the Bible say?  Go.  Go and tell others about Jesus.  Let’s change culture, one person at a time.  Join me.  If you look past all your fears and excuses, you know you really want to.  Jesus is amazing!  He took ALL our sin, there is no better message to share! :)  Step out, be bold, be polite, be faithful, share the gospel.

Live in Christchurch, and want some equipping and encouragement?  Consider joining some training we have planned.  Check out the details here.

Anyway, this week I was on the streets Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.  I didn’t go out today (Sunday) because instead my daughters were baptised!  It was wonderful listening to their testimonies (and the testimonies of others being baptised).  Glory to God alone.

Tuesday I was in Riccarton with Roger.  I turned up a little early and was straight into a chat with a couple of Indian fellas (who refused to hear the gospel and walked off).  Roger and I were so busy that we didn’t even have a chance to greet each other till the outreach was over!  My very next chat was a long one.  A Russian guy, where I laboured over the law and the gospel multiple times.  He seemed to be impacted a little, but he was really completely blind to what I was trying to share.  Eventually the chat came to a natural end (there is only so many times you can go over something before needing a break!) and he moved on.  But, then he came back and offered to buy me a coffee.  The outreach was practically over, and so I agreed.  When Roger finished his last chat, he came and joined us too.

The gospel conversation naturally continued.  At this point, I even had my Bible out correcting what he thought it said.  But it was getting late, and I needed to get home.  I sent him a text with some verses to check out (I helped him download a Bible on his phone).  He walked with me till I got to my car, and we finally parted ways.  He was lovely and I really enjoyed spending time with him.

Well, the next morning, I was surprised to see him texting me asking questions about what he was reading in the book of John in the Bible!  And then Saturday (yesterday) he was texting me again, where I was able to bring him back to the gospel (still completely blind to the truth, sadly).  But I’m glad he is staying in touch.  Please pray that I will continue to have the opportunity to witness to him and that he will encounter other Christians that will continue to witness to him.  That the blindness would be removed so he can see the seriousness of his sin (and smell its stench), and then the amazing mercy of Jesus and trust in him.  But, ultimately that God would be glorified through his life.

Friday was also busy, in the city, there was a team of 4: Roger, Andy, John and myself.  It was great to see Simon the Atheist out!  I’ve been praying for him, and I haven’t seen him for a long time.  He was out earning gold stars from the cosmos by telling the Jehovah Witnesses how wrong they are.  Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to catch up with him myself - this time.

I spoke with a man with a Mormon background.  The Hara Kristina’s went through, but they had forgotten to bring the book they said they would bring for me.  God willing next Friday!  And maybe I’ll be able to start deepening the conversation with them?  Please pray.  God’s mercy is not beyond anyone.  I spoke with another couple (he was resistant, she was open).  I spoke with a young man who used to play cricket.

To end the outreach, I stopped two young ladies who were walking around playing loud music.  Sadly, one of the first things one of them said was that she was suicidal :(  As our conversation progressed, the volume on the music dropped and was eventually switched off.  They heard the law and the gospel, and then I circled back to plead with your not to commit suicide - there is hope!

It was great to have John join me on Saturday (a different John from Friday’s outreach).  We were in Riccarton on what was a warm sunny day.  Spring is nearly here! :D  It was also a fairly busy outreach too.  John and I took turns at running the flip chart.

We shared the gospel with three girls, then John was sharing with a guy when a lady broke into the conversation!  I distracted the lady off to the side and left John with the guy.  I only had about 5 minutes with her, but those 5 minutes seemed significant.  She was a 7th day adventist.  She seemed stunned when I asked why she could go to heaven.  She thought for a bit, and then said, “keep the 10 commandments”.  So, we started looking at the 10 commandments.  Had she lied?  She looked like she had just been caught!  Had she stolen?  “Well, when I was 13”, she responded.  So I asked her what you call someone who steals things when they are 13.  But then she said that God is forgiving.  If you ask for forgiveness, you’ll be okay.  And I was able to explain why that wouldn’t help.  But then I switched to the good news, and explained about Jesus.  She processed this for a bit, but then she just wanted to talk about the Sabbath.  I pleaded with her that that was the least of her concerns at the moment.  But, I think that was all she could cope with for now.  She had to go.  But she did accept a tract before she went.

The final chat of the day was with a young man who had been involved with churches in the past, but was now suppressing the truth of the reality of God.

I love my job.  It’s so easy.  The message is the same, and you just repeat it.  And there is a small set of questions that are always asked that the Bible has the answer for.  Practice and discipline is all you need to add (as well as a huge dollop of love for the people you are talking to).  It is so rewarding.  And then, you rest: physically, and in the sovereignty of the one and only triune God of the universe.  All glory to him alone.
 


Sunday 14 August 2022

Posted by Posted 14 August 2022, 3:50 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

It was great to be back on the streets on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (today).  Really nice sunny weather!

It was great to have Jermaine join Roger and I at the Bridge of Remembrance on Friday afternoon.  There were a lot of people around.  Actually, a lot of rugby players.  The local team was out drumming up support for the new season about to start.

I was able to start a chat with one of them, and he pulled one of his mates into the conversation.  The mate was resistant, but the original guy seemed impacted as they both heard the gospel.

I saw Roger having a conversation with one of the rugby players too.

Later, a couple of Hare Krishna’s went past chanting.  I’ve tried to engage them in the past, but they wouldn’t stop.  They didn’t stop this time either, but a minute later they paused and called me over!  I wanted to know what they believed, “why should I become a Hare Krishna.  Their brief answers weren’t answers at all, and then they wanted to move on.  I asked if they at least had a pamphlet explaining, one of them said they would bring a free book next Friday - so I’m looking forward to seeing them again.

But the highlight conversation of the day was with a young man walking down the middle of the mall.  He was willing to stop and take off his headphones, but when he realised I wanted to talk about “afterlife”, he rolled his eyes and said he was too high for that at the moment.  Not to be put off, and suggested that now may be a better time than ever, and lo and behold we had a great long chat.  It turns out he grew up in a local evangelical church, and even went to the Christian High School where my church meets each Sunday.  But he had rejected Christianity.  It turns out he is bisexual.  I was able to labour through the law and the gospel with him, and he really seemed to appreciate the chat.  Glory to God alone.

On Saturday, I wasn’t going to head out, as my legs were a bit sore.  But I decided to go anyway.  I set up my flip chart, and it was a bit of a slow start.  I felt like an idiot standing on the corner of Rotherham Street and Riccarton Road, with all the cars going past and not talking to anyone.

I prayed, and just said, “here I am God, use me”.

I went and sat down for a moment, and then looked up, 2 guys were walking past, I said, “hey guys, I have a question for you”, and they stopped, it was a wonderful chat!  One of them was familiar with the church, but wasn’t currently going - he received a wake up call.  But the other guy seemed genuinely impacted and appreciative for hearing the good news.

Soon after they left, an Asian guy called Erik went past, he was curious about the flip chart, and we fell into a gospel conversation.  Before I even get to the gospel, he says, “you're going to say Jesus”.  “Yeah, that’s right”, I say.  I explain why Jesus' sacrifice is our only hope.  And then he stops me and says, with a slightly red face, “Just yesterday I told my friends I don’t believe in Jesus.  And this morning, some things have happened, and now I walk into you”.  His look was one of shock at how perfect the timing was.  He had questions, “Why is God letting these things happen to me?”.  I answered his questions, and then I warned him, and I pleaded with him about the gospel.  I was so encouraged that God, in his perfect timing, would bring Eric to me.  I was so honoured that he would answer my prayer as he did.

Christian, may this encourage you too, as you step out in sharing the gospel!  God uses our feeble efforts for his glory.

I went on and ended up having 6 solid gospel chats over the 2 hours of the outreach.  It was so busy that twice I had people (3 in total) stop to want to talk, but I couldn’t because I was already deep in conversation.

Now, please, don’t join me in this work.  The harvest isn’t ripe, and there are plenty of labourers.  So don’t pray for more.

I mean, there is treasure in heaven to be gained, why should I share my marvellous treasure with you?  I can’t wait to lay my treasure at the feet of Jesus.

Sunday (today) was really interesting.  I turn up at my usual spot at the corner of Colombo and Cashel, and there is a guy there, James, sniffing a bag of glue.  It was a sad sight.  At that very moment, a lady (Tina) walks past smiling at me, but she turns to pour scorn on James.  So, I decided to go and sit beside James and get involved with this conversation.  It was weird watching them gently verbally abuse each other.  She was a druggie, but she doesn’t do glue like James!  So bizarre!  Weirdly, she goes to the local convenience store and buys James a pie and a drink (her good deed for the day I guess).  Anyway, they both take tracts, and I’m able to start discussing the gospel with both of them - but mainly with Tina because she was more sober.  She was very resistant, but I could see I was making some progress.

A crowd draws a crowd, and so a skater, Carl, joins the conversations.  By this stage, Tina is ready to move on, so my focus turns to Carl.  Turns out he used to sniff glue, like James - but he “matured”.  He is a good person now, and, sadly, he fought for his self righteousness.  I was able to labour with him in regards to the law until a distraction occurred and he took the opportunity to skate off.  He ignored my calls - I wanted to give him a tract.

Well, by this stage, Susan had joined me.  I looked up and I saw a Greek Orthodox priest and his friend walking down the mall!  This is an opportunity I couldn’t refuse, so I approached them and we fell into a conversation.  The priest was maybe caught off guard, because he didn’t have any answer as I seeked to find out what he believed.  But his friend interjected and started explaining a story about how the Russian Czar chose the religion for his country!

But then, there was shouting coming from behind me.  I turned to see James the glue sniffer getting into a fight with someone!?  It killed my conversation with the Orthodox guys, but luckily Susan gave the priest a tract.  I went over to try to calm the situation as a crowd started to gather.  The situation calmed down (security turned up), and I was able to start engaging a couple of kids with the gospel, while Susan gave a tract to the guy that was in the scuffle with James.

Whew, such a busy outreach!  Susan and I were now in the shade, and so we decided to head down to the other end of the mall (bridge of remembrance) to the sun.  We handed out a heap of tracts (a crowd had gathered to watch a local busker) and I was able to have a few more short / half gospel conversations.  We finished up with prayer.

I give glory to God for another weekend of gospel opportunity on the streets of Christchurch.  As I write this, I’m reflecting on the parable of the sower that Jesus explained.  Our job is to scatter the seed, I leave all the results in his care.  May there be an increase for God’s glory alone.
 


Sunday 31 July 2022

Posted by Posted 31 July 2022, 2:39 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Last week I wrote about how I was determined to go out in spite of the rain (and I’m glad I did).  Well, this Tuesday, I decided to stay home!  There was a river outside my house, and I just thought the opportunities online would be better.  I’m glad I did, because I managed to get into a chat with a lady who had been involved with The World Mission Society Church of God - a nasty cult that even has a branch in Christchurch.  Andy and I have had many encounters with people involved with this cult on the streets.  And even a member of my church was able to engage them when they knocked on their door!

Anyway, this particular lady had apparently left the cult back in March, but she hadn’t come to know the true Jesus.  I was able to labour with her for over 40 minutes, working against the false teaching and explaining about God’s grace.  Sadly, although she was able to give the right answers, I didn’t see any spark of true understanding.  But who knows?  The gospel is the power of God for salvation.  Perhaps God will bring other Christians into her life to continue the chat?  Maybe someone like you?  We may not all be able to do street / online ministry, but we are all certainly able to share the gospel with those around us. :)  Be encouraged to step out!

The sun was out by Friday, and Roger and I hit the streets.  2 significant chats stand out for me.

The first was with a couple from France!  I write that with such joy, because it means foreigners are starting to come back to NZ after the long period of border lockdown due to Covid.  It’s so good that people travel so far to hear the gospel of Jesus!  Long may this continue :)

The chat went well, but the lady didn’t speak English well, and the guy was nice but resistant.  Yet, he heard the gospel, and they left with tracts.

The 2nd chat was with a couple of ladies that were very new age.  Early on in the chat, one of them said, “there is no ‘the’ truth, only many ‘a’ truths”.  I subtly kept referring back to this all through the chat so they could see how inconsistent they were being to that statement.  It was a longish chat, where I was able to share the law and gospel in between learning more about their worldview.  As I really nailed home how Christianity is about a gift (and not earning it) at the end of the chat, one of the ladies started to lose her cool ever so slightly.  It amazes me the people hate such good news!  What is that?  Pride?

Roger was having good chats too, a couple of them are pictured.  As I reflect on those pictures, it amazes me at how easy it is to spark up conversations (with a little bit of training, and pushing yourself through the initial nerves).  People really do want to talk about what happens afterlife, and it brings God much glory, even if they reject what we share.  I can’t recommend this work highly enough!  Speaking of training, we have some coming up in October.  To find out more about it, check this out.

Sadly, Saturday morning I came down with what is likely Covid (2 of my daughters tested positive, and the rest of us have symptoms).  That’s put an end to my ability to go to the streets for the next week, and yet I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share Christ online.  Bad things, like Covid, have a silver lining.  God uses all things for good!

I managed to do some gospel chats on both Saturday, and today (and they were really good ones).  But at the moment I’m mainly focusing on rest and recovery.  Please continue to keep the Christchurch Operation 513 team in prayer, it’s so needed and appreciated. :)
 

 


Sunday 24 July 2022

Posted by Posted 24 July 2022, 3:13 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

I checked the weather forecast at the start of the week, and it didn’t look good.  Rain, rain and more rain.  And yet, I determined that I wasn’t going to let it stop me.  Sure, in the wet and cold, online outreach is wonderful to do - and I often take the opportunity to go online when it’s wet.  But I thought about Joshua in Yangon, Myanmar.  He doesn’t have the online option.  Yet, he goes out in the heat and the rain anyway.  If Joshua can do it, so can I! :)

It was spitting as I headed to Riccarton on Tuesday afternoon, so I didn’t bother with my flip chart - in wet weather, it’s often better without it.  In the providence of God, the rain held off, and I was able to complete the whole 2 hour outreach without problem.  And I had some great opportunities to share the gospel.  3 chats specifically come to mind.

I was walking down Riccarton Road trying to get chats started, when a person I didn’t expect stopped at my question and wanted to engage.  I was able to take him through the law, gospel, and checks in a very efficient chat (it was cold, we both wanted to talk, but we both wanted to get moving again!)  I love it when you have those “unexpected” chats, it just reminds me that we can’t judge from what we see externally.  We don’t know what God is doing on the inside.  The gospel is to be proclaimed to everyone.

The next chat that comes to mind was one with an older teenage girl with a Muslim background.  She was very keen to receive a tract and eagerly engaged in conversation.  She too came to hear the gospel.

Finally, I approached a largish group of teens.  These chats are often tiring, but I had the energy, and with God’s help we can do it!  I ended up being able to hold the attention of most of them in a back and forth conversation.

The exact details of these chats are a bit dim as I write.  But it fills me with such joy knowing that the attributes of God are being explained, and the gospel proclaimed - for the glory of God alone.

It was dark and threatening rain on Friday morning, but by the time the afternoon outreach started, it was sunny!  Very glad for the sun, as it was bitterly cold.  Roger, Andy, John and myself were all busy in conversations.  My first was on Cashel Mall, before I did a wander over to Cathedral Square where I was able to spark up a conversation with a young Catholic guy who was on his break.  It was so interesting to listen to what he was saying, because he was making things up on the spot.  I eventually called him out on his Idolatry (making a god to suit himself).  In spite of his profession of innocence and guitlessness, later in the conversation he admitted to his sexual immorailty (pornograph), and, multiple times, I was able to reason with him on the gospel.  He stayed a long time to chat, but eventually had to get back to work.  He seemed to appreciate the chat.

I made it back to the bridge of remembrance via Worcester Blvd.  As I walked, I handed a tract to a young guy walking briskly in the other direction.  Who knows, maybe he will read it and be saved?  The simple gospel message is the power of God for salvation.

Back at the bridge, I was really encouraged to see Roger, Andy, and John all in conversations (see pic).  John ended up pulling me into his, and I was able to work through all the check questions with the guy.  He left counting the cost of the gift.

Saturday I was back in Riccarton.  I’ve just sat here trying to remember what happened on that outreach.  It was only yesterday!  But I remember now.  It started with a chat with three teen girls.  One was keen, but the other 2 were a bit standoffish.  Yet, I went through the law and the gospel.  I could tell that they didn’t really like what I was saying, and yet they couldn’t really argue with it either.

Soon after I had 6 teen guys go past.  I was able to get them to stop because of the flip chart, and they quickly engaged.  A couple of them were giving all the answers, and they were answering really well.  It turns out they all went to a good local church, and I could tell they were receiving good bible teaching.  I took them through the flip chart anyway.  And the check questions came to the fore.  When I got to the “100%” question, I turned to the guys that were only listening and challenged them all to give their own answer.  3 were “50%” sure, one was about 70% sure, and only 2 were 100% sure.  I asked the ones that were less than 100%, why they were unsure.  One of them responded with, “because I’ve done bad things”.  I was then able to demonstrate how that shows they actually should be 0% sure they are going to heaven, and the only reason why we can be 100% sure - not because we are arrogant, or know it all, but because our salvation is a gift, and doesn’t depend on us being good enough, but on Jesus sacrifice alone!  All 6 kids left with 2 kinds of tract each, and a challenge to get in touch and join me in the harvest!

I’ve just finished the Sunday afternoon outreach at the Cashel / Colombo corner.  It was raining on the way in, but I was going anyway!  To my joy the rain stopped as I arrived.  I was able to set up my flipchart and complete the 2 hour outreach without any rain!

A muslim guy that Andy and I have talked to a lot (mainly back when we were bringing the gospel to the issue of abortion outside the hospital a year or so ago – he really agreed with our stand against abortion) stoped to catch up.  We had a long chat focused on how we can get to heaven.  He seemed really challenged, in spite of his resistance.  It was great catching up with him - God willing I will see him again soon.

I had other chats.  2 that stand out was one with a young couple.  She baulked at my question of how we know what is right and wrong: “if you have to ask - there is something wrong”.  Well, I turned that on her: “spot on!  If you have to explain that God is real to someone, there is something wrong - it’s so obvious”.  There was much resistance, but it was an amicable chat where the gospel was explained.  The 2nd was with a young family very interested in the flipchart, but not so keen to talk about religion.  The father ended up asking about theodicy (why is there suffering and evil), and heard the gospel before shaking my hand and leaving with a tract.

During the outreach, I also handed out a lot of tracts.  At one moment, a group of about 8 teen boys went past (kinda interrupting a conversation I was already having).  They all took tracts, but I warned them not to litter!  If they were just going to throw them, don’t take them.  They all took one.  As I was walking home, sadly, I wasn’t surprised to see 3 discarded tracts.  One had been ripped up.  And yet, maybe 5 of them kept theirs?  Maybe one of them will read it, at a future time?  The silent missionaries are ever working.

I’ve also had some epic chats online this week.  One in particular on Omegle.  I’ll leave the photo to do the talking, but in that 14 minute chat, I explained the gospel 3 times, and answered 2 questions: how do you know God is real, and how do you know hell is real.  I re-watched that chat once, and I was shocked at all the mistakes I made, and yet, the gospel is the power of God for salvation.  I’m grateful that God uses us in our weakness to show his strength.  The other chat has been an ongoing Tik Tok dm conversation.  The message (I’ve included as a picture) brought me to tears.  Oh God I leave them in your hands!  Soli Deo Gloria!!!

Sorry for spelling and grammar issues, I’m way over on time for this, I hope it makes sense!  I wanna get back to the harvest!  Come join me!!!
 


Sunday 17 July 2022

Posted by Posted 17 July 2022, 3:06 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

I’ve been very encouraged to hear that people are reading these reports and are finding them encouraging.  Glory to God alone.  May you be encouraged for the evangelism opportunities that come up day to day, may you take those opportunities to swing a conversation to the deeper questions of life and share the gospel.  Maybe you would be able to join me on the streets some time?  I’d love to have you with me :)  Or maybe you don’t live in Christchurch and, like me, are desperate to see God glorified in your community and beyond.  Be encouraged to, with the support of your church, go to a busy local street corner and start handing out tracts (you can get them for free here, here, or here), and start conversations.  God will honour our obedience.  You might think you can’t do that.  Well, I used to think that too, but then I discovered I could do it, and you can too!  Be encouraged as you read about how my week, doing exactly that, went :)

The rain was really heavy on Tuesday, so I made the decision to stay home and work online instead.  But although it’s been cold, the outreaches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday went ahead.

John, Roger, Andy and I were in our usual spot at the bridge of remembrance on Friday.  I was first there, and I noticed some JWs there with their stands - I haven’t seen them out for a long time!  I went over to say g'day.  During the brief chat I let them know I was a Christian out to share the gospel - but I wasn’t going to try to engage them in debate.  I let them know we’d have our own stand up soon (Roger).  After a cheery farewell, I headed to the other corner and proceeded to actually attempt to engage people, and within a minute, I was into a gospel conversation with a young couple.  They heard the gospel, and took tracts, but they had to move on.  Romans 1:16 - I leave them in God’s capable hands.

By this stage Andy and Roger had arrived.  Roger set up his chart, and then I decided to go for a wander to see who I could talk with.  I had barely moved down Cashel Mall when two young ladies stopped to chat.  Apparently they had been at some protest in Cathedral Square.  Ignoring that, I swung the conversation to the most important issue: what happens after life.  One of them had studied religious philosophy and uni - so I asked her what Christians have to do to get to heaven.  I wasn’t surprised when she said, “be good” – wrong answer!  So, I corrected her, and then moved into the building / builder analogy.  She was impressed by that.  But, sadly, she wasn’t interested in continuing the chat and needed to go.  Both girls accepted tracts as they moved on.

I made it down to Colombo street, but the fish weren’t really biting down there.  I saw the two girls again, and they said the protest was over - so I decided to go in that direction.  I spied some people sitting on the seats on High Street, so I bee-lined over, the first guy didn’t want to chat, but the two guys further on were keen.  I had a long chat with both of them (I’d say they were high school aged on school holidays, and so had the time).  They both came to grasp the gospel, and even made professions - so I got them to consider the cost of the gift.  And pointed them to the Bible and a good local church.  I left them with tracts which gives them a way to get in touch.

The Square was fairly empty, so I made my way back to the bridge of remembrance, handing out tracts as I went.  I was pleased to hear that Roger had been busy in conversations.  And Andy and John were talking to a small group.  So good!  I was able to have a couple more conversations before the outreach ended in a time of prayer.

Saturday’s outreach was amazing!  The sun was out and melted the frost.  It was so good having Mitzi join me again in Riccarton.  I had the “good person test” flipchart up, and it attracted a lot of attention.

But first up, I had a guy come over and say, “Hi Glen!”  I didn’t recognise him, but he explained that I had talked to him and another lady a few weeks ago - I remembered.  They were keen to go to a church after that chat, but he said they hadn’t followed it up.  I was able to check his gospel understanding (he got it right!) and then I gave him a card for my church (he lives close) with my contact details on it.

After that it was busy.  My prayer was that Mitzi would have some good opportunities to see the whole flipchart used - and God answered that prayer multiple times :)

The outreach ended with 3 different guys standing around the flipchart in gospel conversation.  The first guy is a regular heckler, who has mellowed out a lot lately.  He is asking really good questions, which is a really encouraging sign that the Lord is working on his heart.  And, he wasn’t interrupting the gospel conversation I was having with the guy next to him - instead just listening and soaking it in.  The guy next to him was claiming to be Christian, who had been an Atheist a year ago.  As he left, he paid me a huge compliment.  He said he had learnt more in our 15 minute conversation, than 5 years of religious education at high school!  Glory to God alone - the gospel really is simple, and the Bible answers all the questions that need to be answered.  The third guy in the mix joined the conversation part way through.  He was happy to just listen.  He actually left first!  But not after telling me he was from the USA and currently at the uni in Christchurch and looking for a church – he also left with a contact card for my church.

Sunday was cold.  So good to be at my church gathering in the morning (sadly none of the people I talked to on Saturday turned up - but that’s okay, they are in God’s hands), and a shared lunch after, before heading back to the city for outreach in the afternoon.

It was a bit slow in the city initially.  When Susan arrived, we decided to move down the mall a bit to set up the flip chart.  I had an awesome follow up opportunity from the week before, and an epic chat with a trio of girls – one in particular was very engaged and followed the logic of the gospel perfectly.  She was stoked!  I had some other chats as well.  Glory to God alone for any eventual fruit from the ploughing, sowing and watering.

Oh, nearly forgot to mention, you can now purchase the large, 6 page flipchart here! :)


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