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.
Ok, a weekend of evangelism. I’m so grateful God gave us two more days to reach people with his amazing grace. May his patience continue, but it won’t last forever.
Susan and I were in the city on Sunday afternoon - no flip chart, and we paired up to approach people. There were lots of people out. Warm weather, but cloud cover to protect from the sun.
Before Susan arrived, I was handing out tracts on Cashel Mall when suddenly three teens came up to me and started peppering me with questions - so fast, that I couldn’t keep up and they started to stack up in my head. It turns out I had talked to at least two of them before. The third one was the one with the most questions. Eventually one of them asked if we could sit down - so we found a bench and the conversation continued. The first two are professing faith, and so I was encouraging them in the reality of a changed life that will result. A change of direction, not perfection. The third, said that those were the clearest answers she had ever heard (glory to God alone). They all accepted “Who Made It?” tracts and contact cards for my church.
By this stage Susan was with me, so we prayed together and then headed off. Our first approach was with a young man who said: “I don’t believe in God because I’m a homosexual”. I think he thought it would scare me off - it didn’t. I was able to briefly share the law and the gospel with him, without focusing on his homosexuality, but making it clear that it was a sin. But he didn’t really want to chat, and he received a phone call that rescued him!
In Cathedral Square, I had an opportunity to share the law and gospel with a guy who seemed to be homeless (but I’ve not seen him before).
My last chat of the day was with a guy on the High Street end of Cashel Mall. He didn’t think about what happens after life, but he was happy to chat. So I sat down to explain the gospel to him. I noticed near the end of the chat that I was talking a lot and wondered if I was monologuing. I asked him a final checking question, and he got it completely wrong. He then admitted that he hadn’t been listening! I was monologuing! My bad. So, tip of the day: try to communicate via questions to involve the person you are talking to, to aid in understanding. Want to learn how it’s done? Check out the daily Operation 513 live streams of gospel conversations on Facebook!
Of course, I was sharing the gospel online over Saturday and Sunday too. Many gospel chats!
If God wills, may we continue to have many opportunities to share his gospel with people. Be encouraged to join an outreach team! And thank you so much for your support - esp. in prayer.
Thursday afternoon I was at the Eastgate bus stops with Andy. We had a great time telling many about Christ.
By the end of the outreach, I got into a roll. It started with a chat with three girls (pictured). They were all in different places with their thinking, but I managed to keep the conversation on track explaining the logic and reality of the true God, God’s law we know by conscience, the logic of justice, and the hope of forgiveness only found in Jesus. By the end, the one in the middle was asking really good questions! It was a great chat.
Their bus came just at the right time - the conversation was coming to a natural end anyway, and as they left, I turned and a guy was walking past. My initial questions pricked his curiosity and he ended up coming back to engage in conversation.
He was Agnostic / Atheist. He heard the logic for the reality of God, and he initially agreed it made sense, but then he backed up and started arguing the point. I patiently sparred with him and did my best to gently point out his inconsistencies. I even stepped into presuppositional apologetics for a minute. I wasn’t making any progress, so I changed tack. I simply changed the subject and asked if he was a good person - had he ever lied? (Moving away from the intellect to the conscience.) I was able to take him through the law and then the gospel. He had a question about the reliability of the Bible - “great question, can I come back to it?” I finished sharing the gospel, and then swung back to his question. In the end, the guy really appreciated the conversation, he thanked me for what I’m doing on the streets. He left with a follow up tract.
I was pretty tired by this stage, and I was sitting sipping a coke for a minute when a couple walked past - I recognised the guy from a previous gospel conversation, I even remembered his name. I turned to the girl with him, and then I recognised her too - her hair was a different colour. I’ve talked to them both multiple times before. We fell into another gospel conversation - a long one. They were both very resistant, but I could see cracks in the guys defence. He said he would believe when he turned 80 - I told him he wasn’t guaranteed the next 5 minutes, and I gave an example of how death can come quickly. I had a deep felt compassion for this couple, I pleaded with them to not play games and to trust in Christ today. The conversation ended well, and they left with tracts (ones they hadn’t seen before).
We have been bringing the gospel to the issue of abortion, weekly, outside Christchurch hospital for two years now. You can read more about that here. We were there again on Friday.
After this, a team was in the city. Andy and I had a wonderful conversation with a young man who has been caught up in the cult: World Mission Society Church of God. We were able to minister to him from the scriptures. Lord, please convert this young man.
Over the two days, I also spent six hours reaching people with the gospel online.
Thank you for your prayer and support!
There was a team of four at Riccarton on Tuesday. I had a couple of highlight conversations.
The first was a follow up (although I don’t remember talking to her the first time). She remembered the way to heaven with a gentle reminder - it being clear that she has not responded to the gospel with a repentant faith yet. We fell into a law / gospel conversation where I answered her questions and reasoned with her. No outward sign of contrition, so I leave her in God’s hands.
The second occured right at the end of the outreach. A guy skated past and I asked if he wanted to try the good person test flip chart. He was keen! He hopped off his skateboard and was instantly engaging. It became apparent early on that he considered himself a very good person - better than everyone else on the front page of the flip chart! So as we were going through the law, I decided to turn the screws so he would really feel it. He admitted he had lied. So I asked him, “what do you call someone who tells a lie?” His answer: “a liar”. So then I asked, “so what does that make you?” He thought for a bit, and he said: “I’m a liar”. The tactic worked, because his eyes were subtly shooting daggers at me. In this way, I slowly took him through the law, letting him feel the weight of his sin. I was able to then turn to the gospel, and the true hope of forgiveness of our sin found only in Jesus’ sacrifice. But he was still wrestling with the law - he still considered himself good.
Suddenly he recognised someone he knew and he decided to go. He took a tract before he dashed off. To my surprise, he was back five minutes later - he wanted to talk further. The outreach ended up going fifteen minutes longer than usual so we could do so. I worked to continue bringing the conversation back to the serious nature of sin - as this was currently his biggest roadblock. But he really liked to talk, and would constantly talk over me to ask questions. It was a bit of a tussle, but a good one. He seemed challenged and impressed. He knows how to get in touch.
The rest of my outreach time on Tuesday and Wednesday was spent with the team online. A total of 27 gospel conversations that went for two minutes or more. The longest of those chats went for 25 minutes. Here are some of the highlights.
My first chat was with a couple of Muslim guys from Tunisia (North Africa). Normally the Muslims I talk to will argue. But these guys seemed stunned into silence in understanding of the gospel - praise God! At the end, I asked if they had any questions. One said, “not right now, but I will be in touch”.
I interestingly had two separate conversations where the person I was talking to insisted they were perfect people. That doesn’t happen very often!
A lady started by saying Satan is better than God! I was able to take her through the law and the gospel and explain why that can’t be so. Her response was to change suddenly and say: “I think I’d rather stay gay, that’s better”, and she disconnected.
Another lady hears the way to heaven is faith and not her good deeds and is really confused. I labour with her for a while and she slowly starts to grasp the good news of Jesus! Sadly, she accidentally disconnected, but not before I could point her to the scriptures to verify what I said. She is in the hands of the Lord.
I had a very interesting chat with a Christian guy sitting at a set of drums. I asked him what he had to do to go to heaven, and he clearly pointed at keeping the ten commandments as the reason. We then had a good long conversation where I was able to gently challenge him on this and explain what the Bible teaches: that we are saved by the grace of Jesus, through faith that will lead to good works. He had grown up in an environment where the emphasis had been on just being good. I hope he was challenged enough to search the scriptures on this and examine himself to see what he really is trusting in to be saved. To finish, he played the song “to hell with the devil” by Stryper for me - him playing the drum part. It was so good! I hope he gets in touch so we can discuss further.
The final chat I’ll mention was one with a Mormon in Utah (first time I’ve connected with someone from there). They seemed to be very knowledgeable, which I found intimidating. But I went back to the basics, and took them through the law and the gospel, trying to be clear on where and why Mormons differ (based on what I know). To my surprise, they didn’t argue, they seemed to be challenged, so I became bold and told them to flee Mormonism and the Book of Mormon. It was a good chat.
I praise God for the support enabling me to get out there and concentrate on talking to so many about the most important questions of life, and the answers to them: Jesus. Thank you so much. Please keep praying - so vital - and if you are in Christchurch, join me as you can! :)
Sunday was freezing cold in the morning, but turned into a lovely sunny, warm, autumn day in Christchurch. A team of five were on the streets in the afternoon. It was a bit slow in Cashel Mall in spite of all the people out and about. Andy and Toby had a long chat with a guy (pictured), but he really struggled to grasp the gospel for some reason.
We decided to move to Cathedral Square, and I’m glad we did. I decided to preach in the open air. I haven’t done that for a long time, and so at the very least I would be getting practice - even though there weren't many people around. But it turned out that many people did flow past, and hear parts of the law and the gospel. I preached with a passion.
After that we split up for ‘walk up’ and to give out tracts. I got into a conversation with four teens - two guys and two girls. It was fiery! One of the guys went on an intense apologetics attack. I calmly addressed his questions, and worked to get him to calm down - it worked. It was a great exchange. Multiple times I was able to touch on the gospel. Three of the four of them took tracts.
I was buzzing after the preaching and that conversation. Oh Lord, I love you!
I made it home in time to join the team for the last hour of the online outreach. The last conversation was great and funny. The kid thought he had to be good to get to heaven, heard the law and the gospel, and very quickly learned that the only reason we get to heaven is because Jesus died on the cross for his sins. We talked about faith being the only thing we have to do to accept that gift, and we discussed biblical repentance. I challenged him on what was stopping him from responding to the gospel - nothing. So I pointed him to a church and the Bible. It turns out he is already part of a church, and his Dad makes him read the Bible every day. I suggested that he ask his Dad what he has to do to go to heaven and see if he gets the right answer. To my surprise he shouted: “Dad! Dad! What do you have to do to go to heaven?” He listened for a bit, and then told me: “he says you have to be nice”. Then he turns and shouts: “you are wrong!” Then he turned to me and said: “I’ll tell him”. Haha, it was so funny. I told him how he and his Dad could get in touch with us if they want to follow up with questions.
At the very end of the stream, I got to listen into the end of one of Grace’s conversations. I listened to him respond to the fireman analogy - it was so powerful, and then Grace swung back to make sure he was still grasping the gospel, and his answer was so clear and just couldn’t help rejoicing! The gospel is so amazing, and so wonderful. God you are so good!
I was also online on Saturday. The highlight conversation was a long one with a guy from Norway. As soon as he realised what I was doing, he said that he had been to Bible college - but he had rejected the Bible. I spent thirty minutes reasoning with him - but it was like he was blind, I just couldn’t get through (as far as I could tell) - so sad. But he heard the gospel, and I left him in God’s hands.
Thank you for your prayer support of the Operation 513 ministry - it’s so vital, we can’t do this in our own strength!
A fascinating series of gospel chats on Thursday morning:
The gospel + abortion outreach went well. A team of three. Again, no counter protesters, and this gave us many opportunities to engage other people with abortion apologetics and the gospel. The stand out conversation was with a kid who agreed with our stand. He seemed to have a good grasp of the gospel, and so I asked him which church he went to. It turns out he had recently stopped going to church and was now in a Bible study. Sadly with the JW’s! I was able to warn him away. I gave him multiple tracts, and a card for my church.
Back online, the highlight chat was with a guy sitting in a Chick-fil-A drive through! He hears the gospel between placing and receiving his order. The great thing was that his wife (sitting next to him, but I couldn’t see her) became engaged, and started helping him with the checking questions I was giving him. He had heard the gospel by the time he started driving out of the drive through. I told him not to use his phone while he was driving and disconnected.
On Friday morning I was online, before heading into the city. The online chats were difficult, lots of resistance. It took me thirty minutes, and lots of false starts before I was able to share the gospel with my first person - and that person wasn’t interested. I also had a fascinating chat with a Muslim who said he lied when he said he believed in God!
Andy preached in the city, there was a homeless guy on a bike who stopped to listen for a long time. I was able to talk to him briefly, and later Andy must've handed him a tract, because at the very end of the outreach (hours later) we walked past him lying on the pavement reading the tract (pictured).
A team of five were in Cashel Mall - Bridge of Remembrance end. Many good opportunities to engage people with the gospel. But much resistance, sadly.
To end the day, I had a couple more chats online. The first one was hard, and I gave up on it - I was tired. But then, my last gospel chat of the day was one of the best I’ve had in a very, very long time. It was a real divine appointment with a lady in a call center in the Philippines. She came to tears as she slowly realised there was hope for forgiveness for a sinner like her. The conversation went for 30 minutes as I was able to encourage her, answer her questions, point her to the Bible and a church. What an honour to be able to bring such good news! Thank you Jesus - you are amazing - all glory to you alone.
Abbas (pictured) is now calling the western corner of Riccarton Road and Rotherham Street: Speakers Corner. It’s right outside his shop: SoYo - a great frozen yogurt place (my family & I went recently)!
If you read this Abbas, we love interacting with you! We are praying that you will come to know Christ as your Lord and Saviour. :)
On Tuesday, Roger, Roger’s friend John, and I were there to share the gospel for a couple of hours.
We have spoken with Abbas, a Muslim, about the gospel many times, he claims to have about ten of our gospel tracts at home. Today the conversation continued. I sat with him for a good long while, going over the gospel with him, listening to his objections, and doing my best to answer them. I did a fair amount of listening, learning about the particular kind of Islam he follows, and a bit of his background on how he became more interested in Islam. At times our conversation became quite animated, and it attracted others to come and listen as well - in particular, a couple of guys - one of whom I interacted with recently. He is an atheist, and deeply dislikes religion. It became an interesting three way exchange for a short while! :)
Eventually I left Abbas with Roger where they continued talking.
Later, two girls went past and I was able to fall into a gospel conversation with them. Next thing I know, Abbas is next to me listening to the conversation (pictured)!
It was a wonderful, busy outreach. Praise God. May God continue to grant us favour at this corner!
The rest of my Tuesday and Wednesday was spent online with the team.
On Tuesday I was also in an email conversation with a guy I first started sharing the gospel with during the gospel + abortion outreach a few weeks ago. He has left a cult, and is leaning towards becoming Greek Orthodox. I’ve been labouring with him to help him understand the gospel, and answer his very good questions that touch on deep theology. The emails on Tuesday ironed out his objections to the idea of limited atonement (believe it or not) - this was inhibiting him from understanding and accepting the gospel. I had to carefully navigate some tensions in the Bible - too far one side and you fall down a cliff, too far the other and you fall down a crevasse! It feels like I was successfully able to explain the narrow path between, and I was able to finish up by pleading with him to trust alone in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of his sins.
One of my online conversations that really stood out today was one with a Muslim guy. He came to hear and understand the gospel, but he rejected it. He liked to talk, so I let him. When he stopped, I would gently ask him a question, like: “how can God be both just and merciful in Islam?” He would then go on about how God is not like man, he is not a judge, he can just forgive - but you could see him hearing himself in light of the gospel message he’s heard and how it didn’t make sense. Once he stopped talking, I simply asked, “are you saying God is not just?” And then let him go again. The power of letting them hear their own arguments next to the logic of the gospel.
Today it was good to get back on the streets: Cashel Mall. Team of five. Andy was doing “walk up”, Binu handed out tracts, and I ran a flip chart with the other two (relative newbies).
I had three main conversations. One on my own, the second with the first newbie, and the third with the second newbie.
The one on my own was hard. A girl stopped and came back to take a tract, but then she started grilling me on whether I or my church actually help people. The insinuation really hurt me. I took it for a while, but I couldn’t help getting defensive. So once she’d finished telling me off for not being a good person, I asked her what happens after life. Her answer was “nothing”. So I challenged her on why we should help people. I have a basis for that: God who is merciful. What was her basis? I held her to it. She got angry, gave the tract back to me and stormed off. I’ve reflected on that conversation. Next time, I’m going to say, “you are right - I don’t help people enough, I’m a bad person”. I know I fail, I can admit that. But then I’ll say, “by the way, I know of some good news for bad people. Are you a good person?”
The second chat was with a couple that had a dog. It was a great chat where I was able to work all the way through the flip chart - it was a great opportunity for the newbie to watch it in action.
The third chat was with another couple. I was surprised they stopped at all, and the conversation needed to warm up gently. But they stayed to hear the law and the gospel - she was very resistant to the idea of someone else taking her punishment, and I was able to demonstrate a # of analogies: someone else paying her speeding fine, the ambulance analogy, the cure analogy - demonstrating the offence of rejecting a gift. I even talked about the consequence of rejecting the gift of a king. There was something deeper going on in her life that she wasn’t ready to discuss. The conversation ended well, and they left with a tract.
I made it home for the last hour of the online outreach. I had one great chat, with a kid who didn’t believe in God. After hearing the gospel, he said he believed that Jesus died on the cross for him. I asked him when he started believing that. He looked at his clock and said, “about fifteen minutes ago”. I challenged him on the cost (a change in this life) of the gift (eternal life). His answers suggested that he wasn’t repentant, but he did say that he has talked about this subject with friends and they have never been able to give satisfactory answers, he said that this was the first time he had those questions answered. We ended up connecting on Discord. I leave him in the Lord’s hands.
On Saturday I was online once again. I had some very encouraging chats.
My first one was a fail, but I didn’t let that discourage me and got straight back to it. And my second chat was outstanding. It was with a guy in India who was sitting at a Keyboard (pictured). The longer the conversation went, the more engaged he became to the point where he adjusted his camera so I could see him face to face. He was Catholic, and came to understand the gospel, he then had questions he wanted answered. I also asked him questions to make sure he was understanding the gospel.
I had a bit of a crazy chat with three people from the UK. They would resist, I would respond with reason. They would try to shock me, I didn’t leave. One of them even farted! I laughed with them, and then went straight back to talking about the important question of life. After nine minutes of this, they bailed.
An American kid with a big Trump banner on his back wall was next. It was a great eleven minute chat where he came to understand the gospel, and professed faith even after counting the cost. I pointed him to a Bible and a local church.
I connected with a guy from Iraq again - very curious. I tried to engage with him, but it was difficult due to language, and him simply not responding to my questions often.
The highlight of the day was a chat with a Hindu guy in India. It went for fifteen minutes. I had to listen to myself via feedback through the whole conversation which made it very difficult, but I’m so glad I persisted, because this guy came to grasp the gospel, seemed blown away by it, and then professed faith, even after me extensively working with him to consider the cost of doing so. I pointed him to the Bible and a local church also. This one really warmed my heart. Praise God.
Ironically, my very next chat was with another Hindu guy from India, but who was deeply resistant! Some accept, some reject - that is out of my hands.
An Irish guy who’s mind was “blown” (in a good way) at hearing the gospel.
The last chat I’ll mention was a half hour one with a guy from the Netherlands. A “Christian”, but full of doubt and troubles. It was 5:30AM for him, and he was very tired and not taking it all in, but I laboured with him on his questions. This guy touched my heart, and I pleaded with him to read through needGod.net once he had slept and to reach out with questions - this is so important. I said I would be praying for him. And I will.
Still recovering from my cold, so I wasn’t able to join Andy & the team on the streets for Thursday or Friday. But I was able to be online (germs can’t be transmitted through the Internet)!
I’m not saying this to boast. I have to write a report, and these are the facts. Over the two days I had 38 conversations (2 minutes or more) with people all over the world, including with people in Kuwait and Iraq (don’t often connect with people in those countries). The gospel is being proclaimed, one person at a time. And it stacks up. Apparently, in the last 30 days, I’ve spoken to 246 people for 2 minutes or more. That’s just me, let alone all the others that are doing the same. It brings me much joy knowing my king: Jesus is receiving glory through people learning more about him and hearing of his great justice and incredible mercy. As a team, since we started recording, we have reached people in 99 countries (pictured). I’m just sad that I can’t reach China, North Korea, or the Amazon Jungle in this way. May God continue to raise up labourers to continue to reach people with the gospel (no matter the mode, method, or cost). May Jesus be declared to the ends of the earth!
Of course, you get a range of reactions. Open, closed, listeners, talkers, hostile, calm. Here are a few of the highlights from the last 2 days:
From time to time, when people hear the gospel, they will say something like: “my mind is blown”, or “oh, I get it now”, or “wow”. These are my thoughts on the gospel too. I never get bored of sharing this wonderful news with people! And thank you for partnering with us in this gospel work! We value your prayer so much.
Well, I came down with a cold end of Friday, so I took Saturday and Sunday off (as well as my usual Monday) to recover. It was nice to have some rest post all the recent special outreaches. Not fully recovered yet, but I’m back to work (online only at this stage). This report covers Tuesday and Wednesday.
Tuesday's Riccarton outreach went ahead with out me, led by Roger - he had a newbie with him, praise the Lord!
Pictured is a summary of my online chats. Interestingly I had exactly 2 hours 21 mins in “decent” chats for each day. (A decent chat is one that went for longer than 2 minutes.)
The first chat, with a guy from Scotland, was great. His mind was blown when he first started grasping the gospel (his words)! But I had to labour with him to get his understanding to stick (checking questions to the rescue).
A guy goes from thinking his good deeds will save him to Jesus will save him. He then started talking about an addiction he was struggling with. Honestly, I don’t think this guy was impacted at all - sadly.
A guy from India heard the gospel, but just wasn’t interested, he had to go after a fifteen minute chat.
The chat with the guy in New York was fascinating. Jewish, he thought he would be going to heaven simply because he was Jewish. He was deeply resistant, but using the examples of Abraham’s faith and Passover I was able to explain the gospel. Sadly he bailed - not interested.
A girl in Texas who just didn’t care. I was able to show how I knew she did care, and interestingly she didn’t bail from the conversation. She heard the gospel. Her key question was about LGBTQ+ which I addressed.
The second to last chat was with a guy from Morocco - he was lovely. He had good English, and was keen to chat. I think he understood what I was sharing, but he was resistant to it.
A Brazilian guy didn’t have good English, but came to hear the gospel via Google Translate.
By the way, I know I say “resistant” a lot - this is not necessarily a bad thing! The gospel is the power of God for salvation. The gospel can cut through resistance. Salvation is from the Lord, in his timing!
On Wednesday, the Lord connected me with a lot of younger kids. Sad, there are much much better places for them to be than talking to strangers online. But, at least they get to engage with the gospel.
The first kid, from Canada, seemed to have a Catholic background (I later learned). So he was familiar with some of the lingo, but obviously looking to his “goodness” to save him. He really struggled to grasp the gospel, but he was willing to talk (by typing) so I laboured with him. I lost motivation, because he just didn’t seem interested - bored even - I wondered what was keeping him in the chat. After pointing him to needGod.net, I eventually moved on.
The chat with the next kid went faster - she seemed to grasp the gospel quickly. But there was no penny drop and she suddenly disconnected.
My third kid in a row had a Christian background, and felt “caught out” when I pointed out what he thought would get him to heaven at the start of the chat, and compared it to what he now knew.
Next up was a DJ! A Catholic background, deeply resistant to the gospel. He kept cutting me off before I could finish a sentence. He insisted that he would be going to heaven. I slowly broke down that wall with the law. But then he insisted he could never let anyone else take his punishment. I gave up and left him to deal with his punishment himself. I dropped a link to needGod.net a second before he bailed on me - I wonder if he saw it?
The chat with the guy in Brazil was frustrating, he would respond very slowly (via text) and insisted he was perfect. I left him with the gospel, via text, before moving on.
Another kid! This one: quite self righteous, but lovely to talk with. He clearly went from thinking his good deeds would save him to clearly articulating that only Jesus death on the cross would save him. He professed faith. I pointed him to a Bible, and a good local church. In the end he said, “I gotta go; have a good day and stay positive; I will remember this talk forever; bless you”.
The guy in Georgia, I had a delayed connection with, which made it difficult, but I slowly worked through the gospel with him.
The last chat was good. Whoever it was was very intellectual (text only). They came to hear the gospel, but they really enjoyed the conversation and started asking many questions. Eventually I decided that they understood the gospel and it was time to move on. I pointed them to the Insta DM if they wanted to continue the conversation.
So, a great couple of days of online gospel proclamation. Glory to God alone for any fruit!
On Thursday I was sharing the gospel online before joining Andy at Northlands for bus stop outreach. Then on Friday I was online before heading into the city for outreach with Andy & Roger and then the gospel + abortion outreach outside the hospital with a team of six. To finish the day I was online for a couple more hours.
At Northlands, the highlight was a great conversation that led from a rejection. I was talking to a student when an old lady went past and gave me a bit of a dirty look. The conversation with the student wrapped up and so I approached the lady and asked if she would like a tract. She asked what it was, and I said, “It’s a gospel tract, I’m a Christian, I’m here today to share the hope of Jesus”. She didn’t want anything to do with religion and refused the tract.
But another student close by had been listening, and she was intrigued by my open declaration as a Christian. I know this because I offered her a tract next, she took it and said, “I’m a Christian too”. “That’s great”, I said, “what do you have to do to get to heaven?”. “Be a good person”. And so from there I was able to share the gospel with her. She was very thoughtful. I challenged her to respond to the gospel, not by trusting in her good works, but by trusting that Jesus died for her sins - that would lead to good works.
This then rolled into another conversation with two other students, one who left early on, but the other came to hear the gospel for the first time.
We were in Cashel Mall & Cathedral Square Friday morning. Roger had his flip chart out. Andy preached in the open air. I had a wonderful gospel conversation with a young lady who was making the most of life and not thinking of the afterlife - as she didn’t think there were any answers. She heard the law and the gospel and was challenged to respond. But the pleasures of this life seemed to sway her away - she was counting the cost of the change that faith in Jesus' sacrifice would bring in her life.
I fetched the abortion signs from my car and Andy and I headed to the hospital for the gospel + abortion outreach. A team of six, which was great! Another relatively calm outreach. Kath and I had a lovely gospel chat with a lady. She was familiar with Christianity, but not clear on the gospel, and not part of a church. A long chat, she became emotional (in a good way, I think) which ended the conversation.
The online work was very rewarding, as always. I had a long chat with a guy in Nicaragua who was familiar with the gospel, could even say the right words (‘repent’, ‘Jesus died for my sins’), but with some gentle probing it was clear he was subtly looking at his works to *get* him to heaven (‘we just have to try not to sin’, ‘obey God and his commandments’). It seems he was getting his Internet connection from free WiFi outside a shop, he started to walk down the street and lost his connection - bringing the conversation to an end.
Amazingly my very next chat was with a guy with the same hang up. Right from the start he had a flawless articulation of why he would be going to heaven: “believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins”. I checked if he thought good deeds would get him to heaven. He thought for a second and responded with “no”. So I asked how sure he would be of getting to heaven: “60%”! Why? “Because I cuss and don’t go to church like I should”. Going from there I was able to share the law and the gospel. By the end he seemed to be understanding and was very appreciative of the chat. You can watch a short video of the end of this chat here.
A chat with a girl flirting with Satanism who came to understand the gospel and have many of her questions answered (including many on the issue of homosexuality). A guy from Egypt who had seemed to reject Islam in all but name. He heard the gospel, said it “made sense”, but is not currently willing to repent because “I’ll become faithless”.
Those were just the highlights from Thursday, out of time to summarise Friday’s online chats. But many good ones, including with a guy from Spain with poor English, claiming to be Christian yet very confused on the gospel. A frustrating chat, but I think he started to grasp the proper place of faith and works in regards to salvation.