Battle Log


Christchurch

Christchurch (NZ) Team

Weekly outreaches:
Tue 3:30pm - 5:30pm - Riccarton (corner of Riccarton Rd and Rotherham St)
Fri 1:30pm - 3:30pm - City (Bridge of Remembrance)
Sat 11am - 1pm - Riccarton (corner of Riccarton Rd and Rotherham St)
Sun 1:30pm - 3:30pm - City (corner of Colombo St and Cashel St).

Contact Glen Richards or Andy Barlow for more information.


Sunday 18 February 2024

Posted by Posted 21 February 2024, 5:52 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

A delayed report.  I was supposed to write this on Sunday afternoon (18th Feb), but I’m travelling at the moment.  We are currently down in Dunedin - having a wonderful time working with the church down here to reach people with the good news of Christ.  I’ll write about this in my next report.  But this report is going to cover the week 13th Feb till the 18th of Feb.

 

So, in that week, we had 2 street outreaches: Tuesday afternoon in Riccarton, and Friday afternoon in the city.

 

Roger was with me on Tuesday afternoon.  I know I “had a wonderful couple of hours on the streets having gospel conversations with a wide range of people.  What a joy!  I'm constantly amazed at the interesting opportunities God gives us.”  – because I copied that from a Facebook post I wrote the day after.  But I really can’t remember the details now - except I remember talking to a group of school kids.  They were being a bit silly, and yet they heard the gospel anyway.  They wanted to take a selfie with me after.

 

Roger, Andy and John were with me for Friday afternoon’s outreach.  I remember it was hot, and so I moved down Cashel Mall to get into the shade of the buildings.  The only conversation I really remember is the one I had with 2 girls down by Colombo Street.  One was Christian, the other was all over the place with her worldview.  I remember spending my time on various check questions for the Christian, and trying to get the other girl to articulate the gospel reliably.

 

Roger, John, and Andy all seemed to be having very interesting chats, I was able to snap some great shots of them - attached.

 

On Saturday morning, I did some online work, including training a young lad from Israel.  He had come to grasp the gospel last November, via the needGod.net content.  And he said it had taken away all his fear of death, in light of the conflict going on around him.  He wants to share this good news with others!  We did some role play, before getting him set up with the protection tools, and getting him to have his first online chat for himself.  It was fascinating watching who he was connected with, considering he comes from Israel - a whole different demographic from me in NZ.  He was able to have a 13 minute chat with 2 young Israleis.  They were very resistant to the idea of God being real, and the young lad wrestled with them on that for a bit, but I told him to ask, “so, are you a good person”.  It worked - he was able to get them through the law, and offer the good news, when they snapped away from their conscience and started suppressing what they know about God again.  Tough crowd.  But so encouraged by this young man willing to proclaim anyway.  God’s mercy is great.

 

In the afternoon, Roger, Andy and I drove down to Dunedin for a week of outreach with Cornerstone International Bible Church.  On Sunday afternoon, I conducted some evangelism training.  There were about 8 people involved.

 

Well, a bit of a messy report.  But hopefully, the pictures fill in the lack of details.  I really like the photo taken of Andy trying to push a Moeraki Boulder.  It reminds me of an evangelist trying to encourage the church in evangelism (maybe the broken bit of rock at the front represents the elders?  – that’s a joke, so please don’t take it seriously, I love the church, and I love the elders of the church!).  Yet, it really does feel like that sometimes: impossible.  Yet, Jesus said about salvation: what’s impossible for man, is possible for God.  I’m praying that would be true about evangelism too.  The harvest is ripe, and the labourers are few, pray to the God of the harvest for more labourers, and then endeavour to be part of the answer to that prayer! May God bless you in your feeble efforts, as he blesses our feeble efforts.  All glory to him alone!

 


Sunday 11 February 2024

Posted by Posted 11 February 2024, 1:42 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

It’s the end of another week of outreach!  I haven’t been sleeping so well this week, and so I'm feeling tired.  Because of this I ended up only making it to 1 of the 4 usual street outreaches this week and doing more online outreach instead.

Speaking of online outreach, check on the encouraging screen shot.  That was taken from an Instagram direct message.

And speaking of images.  I really like the one I’ve included from the single street outreach I was involved with: on Friday at the Bridge of remembrance.  Can you spot the gospel conversation?  And in the other picture, can you spot the orange cone?  Christchurch was famous for these, being everywhere during the big Earthquakes (well over a decade ago now, wow, time sure goes fast).

Anyway, let me report on Friday’s outreach.  Andy, John and I were out for 2 hours in the afternoon.

I decided I was going to be bolder than usual in who I approached.  Because, we can so easily fall into the trap of approaching the people who are more likely to have a chat, where in fact we have no idea who will be interested and willing.  I need the reminder to not fear man, but to fear and honour Jesus.  He deserves the reward of his suffering.

I initially paired up with Andy.  I had a couple of short chats to start.  The first was with a Christian gentleman, who didn’t do so well in the initial check question.  He was nice, but sadly didn’t have the time to stay and talk.  He left with a tract.  The next was with a young man who had just picked up 2 handfuls of hired suits for a wedding.  He obviously had places to be, and so I knew this chat would be very short.  And glory to God, that short time wasn’t wasted.  He was familiar with the truths of Jesus, but needed essential clarity.  A couple of well placed check questions were revealing and challenging to him.  I wanted to take the suits and chuck them, so we could sit down and have a good chat, but instead, we gave him 2 types of tracts, and told him to get in touch if he wanted to discuss further.  We left him in God’s hands.

My 3rd opportunity was difficult, the lady was resistant from the get go due to her entrenched worldview.  I gently tried to point out inconsistencies, but due to her closedness, this only irritated her.  Andy ended up taking over, and the chat ended soon after.

John was with us by this stage.  Andy got into a chat with a couple from Japan / France (speaking of France, we had at least 3 interactions with people who spoke French - if only we had more French speakers with us! ;) ).  Due to language issues, that chat was a bit slow, so I ended up peeling off to get into other chats.

I had a great chat with a young couple.  It was great, because of their openness, I was able to take them through the whole suite of check questions.

John and I then had a chat with another young couple.  This time they were closed, taking an atheistic standpoint.  He talked, she listened.  I sparred with him for a while, before John took over and took the conversation to the law and gospel.

To finish the day, I had a great chat with a young lady.  She had grown up in various cultures, having been adopted, and so wasn’t clear on what religion was right.  She came to hear the law and the gospel, and even accepted a gospel of John at the end.

Even though I didn’t go out on Sunday afternoon, Mike did, he said he had a really good convo during the hour he was out.  Glory to God!  Well done Mike, thank you for your service and labour.

Edit: Here is what Mike said: About 20 minutes in a lady came over to talk about Gus [Mike's dog].. she owned a schnauzer, and turns out she was a believer and had been praying for God to show her someone to minister too. Shortly after that, a guy named John came up to the chart and wanted to talk. He had many doubts and didn't understand the gospel at all. He had been to some large churches and heard many conflicting things, but not a proper gospel. So this lady (Rachel) and myself went through the flip chart checking questions with him for 45 minutes and had a deep conversation, talking about justification and sanctification and the role of the Holy Spirit. It was a very timely conversation for him. Please pray for him as he starts to explore the gospels for himself!

And thank you for your prayer and support; thanks for reading to this point, and putting up with the fact that I never proofread what I write!  Haha.  Go serve your king!
 


Sunday 4 February 2024

Posted by Posted 4 February 2024, 1:45 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Glory to God for another week of his patience, in holding back his wrath and justice so we could plead with people about his mercy.  Here is the weekly recap of the gospel street outreaches for the Christchurch team.  We were in the City on Friday (Roger, Andy and I) and Sunday (myself), and in Riccarton on Tuesday (Roger and I).

My most prominent memory from Tuesday’s outreach was a chat with a couple of guys who went to a Fijian Methodist Church.  Sadly, they didn’t understand the gospel, instead pointing to ‘reading the Bible’, ‘going to church’, and ‘prayer’ as the reasons they would go to heaven.  It was a pleasure to be able to labour with them about the gospel.  I had to labour, because it was confusing for them to realise it’s not their works that save them, but the gift of Jesus.

On Friday, I had 3 main conversations, all three with people originally from different parts of the world, and not Christchurch.  One was from the Philippines, another for Slovakia, and the last from England.

The guy from the Phillipines didn’t want a tract, but he was willing to engage in conversation, as long as I walked with him (no problem).  It was a short chat, because we went our separate ways at the lights, but it was enough time for me to touch on the law and the gospel.  He thanked me for what I was doing, and how I was doing it.  He still didn’t want a tract.

The guy from Slovakia had been in NZ for 11 months, his English was okay, but he wasn’t used to using the words you normally use in a deep and meaningful chat.  He ended up pulling out his phone to translate words, and I ended up doing the same.  But it became too difficult, he was entrenched in an eastern worldview, and wasn’t willing to be reasoned with.  Yet, we parted on good terms, and he did take a tract.

The chat with the guy from England was fantastic.  He eventually moved to the issue of evil and suffering.  I warned him the answer is easy, but it can take time to process.  As I was explaining, I was able to reference something from my recent personal / family devotional bible reading: 

     “What profit is there in my death, 
      if I go down to the pit? 
                  Will the dust praise you? 
      Will it tell of your faithfulness? 

Psalm 30:9

So, part of the reason there is evil and suffering, is because it’s part of God’s plan to demonstrate his justice and his mercy, for his glory.  Will dust praise him?  No.  But we can praise God.  We will praise him for his justice and his mercy upon us.  (Will the dust praise a person who just won the 100 metre dash in the Olympics?  No, but people will.)

He seemed to be profoundly struck by this, and other tensions in the gospel.  A simple message, and yet will give us a lifetime to ponder and praise God over.  He was willing to accept a copy of the gospel of John.

On Saturday there was a lot of rain, so I decided to continue working online instead.

On Sunday, I set up my flip chart, I pretty much instantly had a conversation started.  The girl was partially engaged, and so I worked to change that.  What made it hard was her friend standing at a distance and staring.  Eventually she said, “sorry, I zoned out, I’m not interested”.  She gave back the tract and moved on with her friend.

My next conversation was with a couple on a cruise from Sydney.  It was a good one, I was able to share the gospel, but eventually their stomachs became more important.  They left with a tract.  While this chat was occurring, I had two girls come and stand in a queue behind them.  They eventually sat down to wait.  But my chat was going too long for them.  They moved on before I could get to them.

My last chat was a bit of a set up.  But I don’t think they got what they were expecting.  He had to admit that what I was saying made sense.  But by the end of the chat, he said, “you haven’t convinced me”.  It would be great if he got in touch, I’d love to keep reasoning with him.

Thank you so much for your continued prayer for our feeble gospel efforts.  Be encouraged to step out and share about Christ with someone this week!
 


Sunday 28 January 2024

Posted by Posted 28 January 2024, 1:54 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Another fantastic week of street outreach in Christchurch, New Zealand.  Glory to God.

There was rain on Tuesday, and so Roger and I decided not to head out.  I spent my time in online outreach instead.

But the weekend outreaches went ahead.  Friday and Sunday afternoons in the city - the Buskers Festival is on, and on Sunday people from a cruise ship were out and about as well.  So, lots of people, and gospel opportunities.  On Saturday lunch time, I was in Riccarton.  This week involved long chats for me, with: Cameron, Colin (Friday), Nathan (Saturday) & Alex (Sunday).

On Friday, it was great to have Andy back from summer leave.  Roger was with us.  I helped Roger set up the flip chart, but before we could even pray together, I noticed someone looking at the chart inquisitively.  I took the initiative and my first long street chat of the week was away.  It went on for over an hour.

Early in the chat he informed me he had had a psychotic episode that had caused him to jump off a cliff!  He is recovering from the resulting back injury.  Later in the chat he revealed that he was involved with alcohol and drugs - including psychedelics.  And so, that answered that question.  The Bible is clear that we should stay sober minded.  And Psychedelics are so deceiving: this guy was talking about the good it had brought into his life, specifically helping him realise how bad alcohol is.  Yet, not surprisingly, he still drinks to excess today.

Also unsurprising is his drift to new age religion.  He had started reading the Bhagavad Gita.

Anyway, through the chat I was able to labour with him in regard to the law and the gospel.   Yet, he wasn’t open to the gospel, because he wasn't appreciating the import of the law, and the serious nature of sin.  He did express an interest in reading the Bible, and he even accepted a gospel of John.  Praying this young man would come under conviction and be converted.  Yet, I leave him in God’s hands - God will be glorified through his justice if he rejects God’s mercy.

It had been a tiring conversation, so I spent some time handing out tracts.  In spite of all the people due to the Busking Festival, there wasn’t much interest.  I ended up over in Cathedral Square, where I tried to engage a young lad in conversation.  He wasn’t coherent, so I left him with a tract.

Back in Cashel Mall, I was still handing out tracts when an older gentleman stopped to engage.  It was a wonderful opportunity.  He had been wrestling with the issue of evolution vs creation - his resolution?  There must be God.  He was familiar with Christian teaching, but sadly he considered himself a very good person.  He was resistant to the law, and yet he was open for me to labour with him about it.  He also heard the gospel.

He said something very interesting that I will use in illustrations in the future.  He has had both prostate and bowel cancer, and has recovered from both.  Now, when he uses the bathroom in the morning, he praises God.  So, even horrible things like cancer can be good, in this case teaching us gratitude, and appreciation for the things we have - even the ability to go to the toilet!

This gentleman was also lonely, having recently lost his wife, and moving to Christchurch.  He needs salvation, and he needs the church!  He had an old and expensive KJV Bible, which he had never fully read.  So, I gave him a Gideon’s ESV Bible, and a church contact card with my number on it.  I also pray that he will come under conviction and be converted.  God have mercy!  Yet, I leave him in God’s hands.

On Saturday, the outreach started out quite slow (as did Sunday), but I ended up having a long chat with a young man who had had a rough life.  His sister had recently died, in prison.  As I shared the law and the gospel with him, he would stare into nothing, pondering deeply.  When I asked what he was thinking, he would explain things that had happened in his past.  One example was a bad car accident.  It led him to the question of: “why am I alive?”  He left with a tract, and I’m also praying for him.

After a slow start on Sunday, I ended up having a long chat with a young man.  He had also had trauma in his life, having been rejected by his Father.  He had philosophical tendencies (I.e., he was avoiding the truth).  I touched a nerve when I described the serious nature of sin when talking about pornography, but he quickly masked it.

During this chat, I had a young man break into the conversation.  I didn’t remember him, but he remembered me.  Apparently I first talked to him 2 years ago at the Canterbury A&P Show, and he had talked to me on the streets multiple times since then.  It was fascinating to see that the law and the gospel had had an effect on him.  Yet, he was still in suppression.  He explained how he was trying to hold the ball of truth under the water, I simply pointed out the flaw in his reasoning, and the ball burst up and hit him on the nose!  His Mum was with him, and calling him from down the street, but he wanted to engage.  As a compromise, I told him to go with his Mum, but to get in touch with me via socials!  I hope he does.

I finished the chat with the original young man, but all the interaction had gathered other people.  A pity I didn’t have more believers with me.  I was able to follow up with four people from Sydney who were on the cruise.  I was able to touch on the law and the gospel.  Three of the four of them took tracts as they moved on.

And then the original young man came back!  He had another question, which I answered, before I checked if he was understanding the gospel.  He got my question right!  God have mercy!

Please continue to pray for us, and even join us!  All glory to God alone.
 


Sunday 21 January 2024

Posted by Posted 21 January 2024, 1:59 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Glory to God, all the regular street outreaches went ahead this week - although shorter than usual.

Last week, Tuesday's outreach was super busy.  But this week it was incredibly slow.  I think I went for half an hour before getting into my first chat.  It made me think of my last half decade of full time street ministry.  I think in that whole time, there have only been 2 outreaches where I didn’t talk to anyone, and both of those were in my first year.  When you think about that, it’s amazing that there is so much opportunity to share the gospel.  It’s limitless.  And, more often than not, the conversations I get to have are really special.  And yet, even when they are not, the gospel is still amazing and the power of God for salvation.  I wonder how many of those ‘regular’ chats I’ve had, that have led to salvation.  God knows.  And even if no one is saved, it’s still worth it, to make known the great God of the universe, of his justice and his mercy.  What a privilege!

So, I was standing there, looking like a dork – a crazy old man, next to a brightly coloured flip chart.  People on the buses going past would stare.  When a couple of young guys went past.  I tried to engage them.  One of them turned his head and stared at the flip chart and made a comment.  But they didn’t stop.  But about ten minutes later they came back, going the other direction.  His mate blasted past, but his curiosity got the better of him, he wanted to do it - to his friends surprise.  And it was a really good chat.  He followed along with the logic of what I was explaining, and it seemed to really make sense to him, but there was a problem.  They were Muslim, and he knew what I was explaining was Christian.  Yet, he was open to reason and so I was able to labour with him about the gift of Jesus in spite of the cost of accepting him.  He got to a point where he had enough to chew on for the moment, and they decided to move on.  He gladly took a tract.

Friday’s outreach involved one of those special chats.  It was hot!  But bearable in the shade.  Roger was with me.  The busking festival has started now, so there were a lot of people out.  Our usual spot at the Bridge of Remembrance was taken by buskers, so we moved down to the corner of Cashel and Colombo.

Roger set up his flip chart (I didn’t bring mine).  But I was quickly into my first chat using Rogers chart.  A young couple passed - I asked if they wanted to do it.  She said, no and moved on, but he said, “yeah, actually”, and came over (to her shock).  She joined him, and we had a good gospel chat.  Glory to God, I had even gained engagement from the girl, because considering their time, I gave them an out expecting them to take it, but she said they had another ten minutes!  After the chat, they left with tracts.

I decided to let Roger use his own chat, and to get off his ‘patch’.  Everytime I glanced his way, he seemed to be busy in a chat.  And I had other opportunities too.  But, then I fell into my ‘special’ chat.  I crossed over to the shade on the other side of Colombo to hand out some tracts.  There was an older gentleman sitting in the shade.  I could tell he was watching me, and so I offered him one.  “Is that religious?”, he says.  “Yes, it’s about Jesus”.  “What a load of rubbish, it’s not logical!”, he says.  He had a loud bark, but I could tell he wouldn’t bite, and so I sat and engaged him.  I think he was very surprised by this!  I had to spend a fair amount of time listening, and I wasn’t able to deal with everything he was saying, but I was able to interject at times and challenge him.  I had to be patient, and work to keep him calm, but to my joy I was able to touch on the law and the gospel with him.  We were even able to talk about personal things - in spite of his very broken worldview (which centred on self happiness) he was really nice!  We talked for maybe 30 minutes before I think he’d had enough.  We shook hands before he moved on, refusing a tract.  He is 85 and has a bad heart.  He knows he is going to die soon, so during the chat, not only was I reasoning with him, but pleading with him on the urgency of accepting God’s mercy.  Please join me in praying for God to have mercy on Barry!

Saturday’s outreach (Riccarton) involved a long chat with two young girls.  They were waiting for the SoYo to open.

And then on Sunday I spent 30 minutes in the city again.  I had a couple of shorter chats, before bumping into one of my regulars that I’m praying for.  It was great to catch up with him.  I tried to swing the conversation to deeper things.  “Yes, I’ve been thinking about it, but I don’t want to talk now - maybe we could catch up sometime and have a long chat”.  No problem with me!  He remembered which church I went to, but I gave him my personal email.  The ball is in his court.

Thank you for your continued prayer for Operation 513.  May we continue to be faithful in preaching the gospel on the streets and online, and always open to correction.  Glory to God alone!
 


Sunday 14 January 2024

Posted by Posted 14 January 2024, 1:49 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Happy New Year!  The writer took a week off over new year for a camping holiday.  But this week it was back to the normal outreach schedule (finally)!  So, outreaches on Tuesday afternoon (Riccarton), Friday afternoon (city), Saturday morning (Riccarton), and Sunday afternoon (city, with Mike and Binu).  Tuesday’s outreach was very busy (good, but exhausting), Friday’s outreach was a bit slow, Sunday was good, but Saturday’s outreach stands out in my mind the most so I’ll start there.

I had my flip chart, and as soon as I set it up and prayed, 3 people passed, one of them obviously interested in what the ‘good person test’ was all about.  All I needed to do was say, “would you like to give it a try?” and the conversation was going.  It was a short chat, but the law and the gospel was explained.  They had a Greek Orthodox background.  They left with literature.

But what made the outreach interesting was the next chat.  An older lady passed and I offered her a tract.  She looked interested and took it wanting to know what it was about.  From there we fell into a very deep conversation.  There is something about being able to open up with a stranger where you might not otherwise do so.  Anyway, this lady had knowledge about Christian things, but didn’t understand what Christianity was at its core.  She knew about hell, and (rightly) feared it.  But she only knew about God’s justice, not also his mercy.  Sadly, she was actually very hardened to the gospel message.  I explicitly shared the core of the gospel 4 times through the chat, before it started to scratch that hardness.  She really wanted to talk, and process things she struggled with in her life (which is fine, I was happy to listen), but she needed to slow down a bit and process the answers too.  I had to interrupt a few times and work at swinging the conversation as gently as I could.

Sadly, in the middle of this conversation, and completely out of the blue, a man (or was it a woman?) stopped and spewed some really hateful things toward me and God, who I was representing.  It was especially jarring because of the fact that I was in the middle of the conversation with the lady.  He was using angry and filthy language, and right in front of the two little children who were with him – who seemed completely oblivious to the way he was acting.

I said I would be happy to talk to him, but that at the moment I was in a conversation, would he mind waiting.  He just continued with his hatred.  The lady I was talking with wasn’t leaving.  Again, I asked him to wait, and he said, “this is a public place, I can say what I want!”.  I simply responded with, “yes, but we should treat people without hate but with respect”.  I think it shamed him a bit, because it was obvious what his agenda was, and it was clear how hypocritical he was being.  So he decided to move on, but not without firing a few more shots.

I was shaken by the suddenness & intensity of the attack, but I quickly recovered, the lady was still there, and we went right back to our conversation.  Afterwards, I actually felt encouraged, although I do my best to be gentle, respectful, and loving - people don’t like the truth, and I don’t want to compromise that truth just to please people!

Going to Friday’s outreach, it was slow.  I didn’t have my flip chart, and it was hot.  I wasn’t really getting any decent chats going.  I decided to wait for a few minutes, and if nothing got started, I would head home early.  As I was leaving, I was putting a rubber band back on my tracts when a guy passed in the other direction. I asked if he wanted one, and lo and behold, I fell into a great gospel chat with him!  He was extremely open, and so the ‘presentation’ went quickly, as he grasped the concepts so well.  He made a profession.  I told him to start reading the Bible from John,  and  asked where he lived: Chievot (up north).  I didn’t know any churches up there, so I gave him some tips on how to find one.  I left him in the hands of God, but he knows how to get in touch if he wants to.

I can’t really remember any specific conversation from Tuesday’s outreach, but I was very encouraged by how busy it had been.  A great way to start the year off!

It was great to have Mike and Binu join me this afternoon in the city.  Both Mike and I had our flip charts up.  I had many opportunities to engage people with the gospel.  Mike was in a chat as I left, he sent me this: “That last chat was really good, they were both into works based salvation, and the gospel was good news to them both”.

So great to be back to my normal schedule.  Feeling tired, and so looking forward to a day off tomorrow, before getting back into the harvest next week.  Please continue to pray for the Op 513 team here in Christchurch.  May the church grow in gospel activity to the glory of God alone!
 


Saturday 30 December 2023

Posted by Posted 30 December 2023, 11:05 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  2 major street outreaches this week: Boxing Day tract outreach, and then the usual Friday afternoon outreach in the city.

Boxing day is a great day to give out tracts, as there are HEAPS of people out shopping for bargains.  Sophie, 2 of Sophie’s younger siblings, and Martin joined me in Riccarton in the morning.  And then Mike and Martin were with me in the afternoon in the city.

Over both outreaches, we gave away well over 500 tracts, including the last of the Christmas tracts.

I wasn’t focusing on conversations, and yet, many conversations naturally occurred.  I encountered a guy who was in the same year as me at high school.  And I was able to have a brief conversation with a guy I worked with 20 years ago.  I had an Indian guy stop and talk about how people are missing the meaning of Christmas: Jesus.  We connected via Instagram.  There was an older guy who wasn’t interested in a tract, but he felt compelled to talk to me about how he couldn’t fathom how a universe so complicated could come from nothing (like this was a fresh revelation for him), I was able to touch on the law and the gospel with him, yet he was more interested in my testimony, which I shared.  He again refused a tract as we parted ways - he is in God’s hands.

The boxing day outreach is such a joy.  Even if many tracts went in the bin, many more are silently speaking (or waiting to speak).  This outreach will be a regular on the schedule from now on.

I was feeling tired for the Friday afternoon outreach in the city.  Roger, and later John joined me.

I focused on handing out tracts.  This led to one interesting conversation with 2 guys.  1 talked, the other only listened.  It was a short conversation, but a special one.  They guy had obviously been thinking on spiritual issues.  I was able to succinctly share the good news of the gospel.  They had to go.  Interestingly the silent guy was now also interested in a tract.

I decided to head over to Cathedral Square.  The usual flock of sheep (Christians) and goats (Hecklers) was there.  Steve the Atheist was there - but he doesn’t like me, so I went to talk with Nick.  Yet, Steve couldn’t help himself from giving me a piece of his mind.  Nasty stuff, I said nothing in return.  As I was talking to Nick, a kerfuffle occurred, I looked up to see Steve flip backwards in his wheelchair, he landed on his head!  It was an accident, but he was livid.  He spewed abuse at the perpetrator: “and you can’t come to my house any more”.  It was like listening to an upset kid in the playground.  So sad to see such bitterness.  Thankfully he was okay.  I still pray for him.  And I know other Christians are too.  Apart from the grace of God, that is me.

Roger and John had good chats (we discussed in debrief over drinks at the cafe).  Roger had 2 very special chats.  The first was a long chat with a doctor who works at the hospital - Roger is hopeful to be able to follow up on the chat.  But the 2nd was with two young ladies.  At the end of the chat, one of them told Roger this: “This morning, I was reading the gospel of John in the Bible, and I asked God if he would provide someone today to explain more about what she was reading”.  Roger was the answer to that prayer!  Wow, was that encouraging!  We head out each week, praying that God would use our feeble efforts.  God answers prayer!  We get to be involved in the wonderful work that God does!  Soli Deo Gloria!!
 


Sunday 24 December 2023

Posted by Posted 24 December 2023, 11:39 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

I made it to 3 out of 4 street outreaches this week!  Although the 3rd one was a bit different from usual.

So, Roger was with me in Riccarton Tuesday afternoon, and in the city on Friday afternoon.  Then, on Saturday afternoon, I was invited by Toby, of Student Life to join his church in a door knock outreach with his church.

For the Tuesday afternoon outreach, I decided to ditch the flip chart and focus on handing out tracts (mostly Christmas ones).  I walked up and down the streets doing just that!  Roger stuck to his usual routine and had some marvellous chats.  Pictured is one he had with two young guys from a local Catholic High School.  Roger was rejoicing at their openness.  God is good.

Again, on Friday, I focused on giving out Christmas tracts.  But I was also able to have many interesting conversations.  I gave away 100 tracts through the 2 hour outreach.

Now, the door knock outreach.  I was very encouraged by how this worked out.  I was encouraged by the emotion of the local pastor encouraging the team, of mainly youth, in what they were about to do.  I was encouraged by Toby’s organisation of the outreach.  I was encouraged by the local churches willingness to reach out to their neighbours, in spite of nerves.

We paired up and prayed up, and then hit the streets.  We were each allotted houses to knock at.  At the door, we introduced ourselves, handed out a little Christmas gift pack, on behalf of the church, and then asked if we could do a short survey.  The main goal wasn’t an instant gospel conversation, but to open the door for future gospel conversations.  They were invited to a Christmas Carol service in the evening, and the opportunity to join a Christianity Explored program run by the church.

My partner and I covered about 25 houses.  It was fascinating getting a feel for those in the local community.  Some were a bit lonely, mourning the fact that people in the neighbourhood didn’t know each other.  Some were busy (on the phone).  Some were simply not interested.  Yet, many were willing to chat, and do the survey.

I was encouraged.  And I hope the others involved were too!  I wasn’t able to stay for the debrief.  The more we do this, the easier it gets for the next time.  May the evangelistic heart of the local church rise up and reach out with the good news of Christ!

The rest of my week has been spent in online ministry.  I had a number of great face to face chats on the needGod.net live stream - esp. on Thursday.  And I’m still ploughing through the never ending harvest field of TikTok direct messages.

Thank you for your prayers.  Merry Christmas!
 


Sunday 17 December 2023

Posted by Posted 17 December 2023, 1:30 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

It’s going to be another shorter report for this week.  I was fully intending to do a full week on the streets (4 outreaches), but I only ended up doing 1!  Tuesday’s outreach was cancelled due to rain.  And then on Saturday and Sunday I just didn’t have the energy.  I’m recovering from a cough.

And so, Friday afternoon’s outreach to the city was the only outreach for the week.  A good one!  We had a team of 4: Andy, Roger, Greg and myself.  Roger had his ‘patch’, which is his flip chart on the corner.  Andy did walk up (he basically spent the whole outreach talking to the guy pictured).

There were lots of people out and about.  I think a cruise ship was in port.  Greg and I paired up.  We had 2 great chats.

The first was with a lady who I didn’t think would stop, but to my surprise she did.  I sensed that I wouldn’t be able to follow my usual script, and so I ended up going a little softer than usual.  I started out by asking her what was important about Christmas for her, and I let a conversation develop from there, swinging it as I could.  Her husband joined the conversation, and I thought that would end it, but it didn’t, he even became involved.  To my joy I was able to backtrack on to the ‘script’ and take them through the law, and then touch on the true wonder of Christmas, that God would incarnate (I didn’t use that word) to save wretched souls like us.

It turns out they were from Brisbane, and so I was able to talk about the Schoolies outreach I had been involved with recently.  We parted on good terms, and they left with tracts.  Great chat!

The next chat was with a young man going past.  I used the same tactic of starting with Christmas (we were standing right beside a Christmas tree).  I could sense I wasn’t going to be able to have a long chat with this guy, he was eating a pie – he looked like he was on a break from work.  He thought there would be nothing after we die, and so going from there, I was able to present the logic of an afterlife, the law, and then the gospel.  Another great chat.

Greg decided to go to the Square to see what evangelism was happening there, and so I spent the rest of the outreach on my own.  One significant chat was with a young couple.  She was very resistant.  She said her parents were Scientists and Atheists, and she was an Atheist too.  I gently reasoned with her, but she dug her heels in.  For someone scientific and logical, she became very emotional in her arguments.  I didn’t push and in the end I decided to move on as she wasn’t open at this stage.  Her boyfriend had been pretty quiet through the chat, and he had received a tract at the start, and had been reading it.  We parted ways with a handshake.

The rest of my week has been spent in online evangelism.  It feels really good catching up on TikTok DM conversations from over a month ago.  Looking forward to eventually being able to start on the growing pile of new requests.

I’ve also been enjoying training a young man to join the online team.  He is smart, and passionate, and it’s so refreshing seeing him face his fears to proclaim Christ!

God is so good in allowing us to have so many opportunities to represent him!  Please continue to pray for the team in NZ, Australia, and Worldwide.
 


Sunday 10 December 2023

Posted by Posted 10 December 2023, 1:32 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Okay, this is a place gap report between the Schoolies outreach and my first full week back in NZ.  My family joined me in Aussie after Schoolies and we had a holiday.  I got back Wednesday morning, and I’ve done 1 street outreach since then: Friday in the city.  But, before I left Aussie, I joined Ryan, Paul, and the team for the Sunday evening outreach in King George Square (pictured).

My whole family took part in the outreach.  And I paired up with my beautiful wife: Ruth.  We had a number of false starts (although no chat is in vain!) before getting into a good chat with a young man from the Philippines.  This young man didn’t seem to have any concept of sin, he talked about sin like it was normal, and then wondered why things were going wrong in his life.  So, through the chat, I had to labour on the law to try to resuscitate his conscience.  By the end of the chat, I think he was understanding the gospel.  And he seemed to really appreciate it.  So much so that he was willing to take a copy of the gospel of John and start reading it.  He also left with a tract.

It was so good to be with the Aussie team!  But, it was very good to be home again.  I got straight back to work on Wednesday, and my focus for the week was trying to catch up on TikTok direct messages.  There are way too many messages for me to be able to get to them all.  At this stage I’m ignoring new requests.  Instead, what I’m trying to do is focus on completing on going gospel chats.  Some of which have had no response, probably since the Philippines trip or even before.

But I’ve also been having Ome and Monkey chats online.  1 very special one was with a young man in the Solomon Islands, it was even on live stream.  He had a click moment during the chat, and said “my mind is blown” as he grasped the gospel.  This was part way through the check questions.

It was great to be back on the streets with the usual crew on Friday at the Bridge of Remembrance.  Andy, Roger, Greg, and John were all with me.

I was paired up with Greg initially.  We had a chat with 2 young ladies.  They went to a Christian school, but articulated works for salvation.  I went through the law and the gospel with them.  It wasn’t a long chat.  But about 15 minutes later they came back and wanted to ask about “LGBT”.  And so we discussed that with them.

We had a number of other chats before wrapping up the outreach.  Roger and I had a good catch up over coffee / hot choc afterwards.

Christmas is in the air, and I'm looking forward to distributing Christmas tracts over the next few weeks!  Thank you so much for keeping the Christchurch Operation 513 team in prayer.
 


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