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.


Wednesday 2 June 2021

Posted by Posted 2 June 2021, 7:05 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

On Tuesday, late afternoon / early evening, I was in Riccarton with Roger for a couple of hours of street outreach.  We were both flat out in conversations for the first hour and a half - praise God.

My first chat was with a guy who was interested in my question: “What happens after you die?”, but said he hadn’t come to a conclusion yet.  He said he had looked into Bahai and Christianity.  I asked him what he thought a Christian had to do to get to heaven.  Answer: “be as good as you can be”.  Going from there, I explained the gospel.  He seemed intrigued.  He opened up a bit, and seemed to appreciate the chat.  He left with a tract.

During the outreach, I interacted with three “regulars”.  One of them couldn’t believe one of the others was still living on the street, in spite of all the recent rain.  We had a long chat, where I played that thinking back on him in not understanding why he was willingly rejecting the gospel.  He made it clear he would rather go to hell, than turn from his sin (he understood that salvation was a gift, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to stay in his sin, which he loves).

An old workmate passed by!  We had a good catch up.  I was able to swing the conversation to the “Ontological argument” - as he put it.  Which we discussed for a few minutes, but by this point he had to go.  He accepted a tract.

To finish off, I had an epic chat with a young man who said, “I think about it all the time” - when I asked him what he thinks happens after he dies.  I could tell he couldn’t stay long, so I quickly took him though the law and the gospel.  He seemed impressed, and wanted to stay to chat, but couldn’t.  He left with a tract, and one for the person who was waiting for him.

Roger was having a wonderful time too, at one stage he had a long chat with a large group of kids - pictured.

Wonderful opportunities.  Glory to God alone.

I was online, with the team,  for four hours each day: Tuesday and Wednesday for a total of twenty four conversations.

Two highlight chats from Tuesday.  The first was an apologetics battle, which was enjoyable for me - within that discussion, the gospel was heard, although the guy seemed closed to it.

The second was a long chat (43 mins) with a guy from South Dakota (first time I’ve reached someone in that state).  The guy was talking about levels of heaven, and my initial thought was that he was Mormon.  When I asked he responded by saying he was Lutheran.  But he didn’t know the gospel, and clearly stated that his good deeds would get him to heaven.  I laboured on the law & the gospel and showing him that his only hope was Jesus, and not his own righteousness.  I’m confident that he came to understand this.  But there was zero spark to the wonder of God’s grace.  Finally he asked me about Freemasonry.  It turns out his Dad is high up in that hierarchy.  Please pray for Jordan.

From Wednesday, the highlight was a thirty minute conversation with a young man from India.  The idea of someone else taking his hell punishment for him was so foreign to his understanding of good deeds for salvation, it took a lot of labouring, and patient explaining before understanding of the gospel finally started to take hold.  Yet once it did, it seemed to have a deep impact: (in an Indian accent) “Sir, you have totally changed my mind”.  And yet, it was clear from the checking questions that he was still struggling to grasp this new concept of grace, trying to mix it with works.  I continued to labour until his video froze up.  We were still able to communicate via text, and, apart from the Bible and a local church, I pointed him to an easy way to get in touch and continue the conversation if he wanted to.  Praise God.

The final conversation of the day was relatively short (11 mins) the kid grew a smile as understanding of the gospel sunk in, at the end of the conversation he said, “thanks, I really needed this”.


 


Friday 28 May 2021

Posted by Posted 29 May 2021, 7:09 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Having had a break, my legs were really sore today after doing five hours of street outreach.  Hopefully I’ll get used to it again quickly! :)

The day started with the gospel + abortion outreach outside the hospital.  I was first there, and didn’t have any signs.  So I pulled out some “Life is Precious” tracts and started to give them away to passers by.  Before long I had three ladies stop and engage.  Two of them seemed to have Christian backgrounds, but the third was younger and wasn’t sure if there was a God or not.  Going from there, I was able to share the law and the gospel with her.  The other two listened intently too.  The young lady seemed impressed, “that makes sense - thank you”.  I left them all with “Life is Precious” tracts, and I fished out copies of “Who Made It?” for them all too.  By the end of the conversation, Andy had arrived, and one of the ladies recognised him!  He had already spoken to her at the Eastgate bus stops.

There ended up being a team of five for the gospel + abortion outreach.  It was a calm outreach, with mostly a lot of support and encouragement for what we are doing.

Part way through, a young man walked past, I offered him a “Life is Precious” tract, but he smiled, tapped his pockets and said they were full!  I laughed to myself as he headed away.

Well, in God’s providence, later in the day, as I was just arriving at the spot where I was going to set up in Cashel Mall, I looked up and saw the very same young man walking towards me.  As he went past I said, “Your pockets may be full, but can I ask you a question?  What do you think happens after life?”  To my amazement, he stopped and said he thinks about it.  He was full of questions.  Starting from there I was able to explain how we know God exists, how we know we have sinned against God, and the hope of forgiveness only found in the sacrifice of Jesus.  He seemed a bit overwhelmed, I could tell he needed time to process what he was learning.  He took a “Who Made It?” tract (his pockets weren't too full now!), and I pointed him to needGod.net on TikTok, where many questions are answered in 1 minute videos, that he can process in his own time.  What a wonderful follow up opportunity!  All glory to God.  I leave him in His hands - who is the only one who can save him, through the gospel message he heard.

Once I had my flip chart up, I flipped it to the “What happens after life?” page.  Most people are put off by this page - it’s the last thing they want to think about.  But I had a lady come over, take a tract, and hesitate - she wanted to talk about it.  I asked her what she thought and we went from there.  She said she was a Christian, but didn’t go to church.  I was able to clarify with her exactly what gets us to heaven, and then I encouraged her to find a good local church to be a part of.  It was a short gospel opportunity, but a very important one as well.

There ended up being a team of five in Cashel Mall as well, including another newbie, Daniel, someone Roger or John had encouraged to come along.  I ended up pairing up with him.  We ended up having a “Christian” guy come and sit next to us for most of the outreach (pictured).  He denied justification by faith alone.  And I ended up being pretty direct with him in conversation.  I gave up, and John ended up continuing the conversation.

To end the day, I spent a couple of hours online.

Glory to God for the day of gospel outreach we were able to engage in!
 


Wednesday 26 May 2021

Posted by Posted 26 May 2021, 6:14 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

March was a very busy month of ministry, and so in May, I’ve finally had a chance to get away and have a family holiday - which was great.

This week is my first week back.  On Tuesday I was online with the team, before heading to Riccarton.

My very first chat back was wonderful.  It was with a guy from Romania.  He seemed deeply impacted as I took him through the law.  But then (or maybe because of this) he grasped the gospel very quickly.  It turned into a long chat, over thirty minutes.  So good to be back into it!

I ended up having nine decent chats online on Tuesday.  The last one was also a stand out, because it went really deep.  It was with a teen guy in Texas, who ended up opening up.  He asked many wonderful questions.  Interestingly, his focus was on happiness, but it was clear he struggled with depression and even had suicidal thoughts at times.  But sadly, all his questions meant I didn’t really have a chance to get to the gospel, and then he had to go suddenly.  I was barely able to mention needGod.net before he disconnected.  Yet, I feel like we covered good ground with questions answered and assumptions challenged.  As always, I leave him in the hands of God, may he have another opportunity to really hear and understand the gospel - maybe from you?

It was also great to be back on the streets of Christchurch.  We are now heading into winter here, and so it’s getting dark a lot earlier.  So the Riccarton outreach ended up turning into an evening outreach!

It was a busy outreach.  I started with a few brief chats - one of which was a follow up.

But then I got into a wonderful long chat with three teen guys.  It was a fun conversation, with a very serious edge.  I hope they were challenged!

The highlight conversation was the last one.  It was with a lady who seemed to be searching.  She talked a lot, which is fine with me.  I soon learned that someone had invited her to a church, but it was very strange to learn that she had to pay to attend?!  My first thought was the cult: World Mission Society Church of God.  Sadly, my guess was correct!  Andy and I are encountering more and more people with connections to this group.  (To find out more, check this out.)

Anyway, I was able to slowly explain the gospel of God’s grace found in [the true] Jesus.  She took two tracts, one for herself, and one for the girl trying to get her involved with the WMSCoG.  She was pointed to the Bible, and was given contact details from the local church I’m a part of - which so happens to be in her area.  God willing, I will see her again.

On Wednesday I was online with the team again.  Again, my first chat was amazing.  The guy came to the brink of saying he now believed that Jesus had died on the cross for his sins, and yet I was forcing him to consider the cost of such a decision.  The chat went for nearly thirty minutes.  What a great start to the day.  I took a five minute breather, before getting into my second chat of the day.  Next thing I hear is “Whoa, we meet again”.  I pulled down the shield and was stunned to see that I had connected to the guy I was last talking to!  He said, “it’s God’s will”.  Out of 45,000 people, I reconnected with the same guy.  Reconnects happen very rarely - this one gave me goosebumps.  Very, very providential, it reminded me of the book of Acts.  I instantly challenged him on where he stood with God.  I warned him that he may not have another chance to respond to the gospel!  We chatted for another five minutes before we parted ways for the final time.

Of the ten chats I had, the other I’ll mention is one I was having with two girls.  Near the end, the mother came into their room.  One of the girls turned to her and said, “he is teaching us about God”.  She came up and looked at me, then she smiled and gave me a thumbs up (pictured), then left the room!  The gospel conversation with the girls kept rolling like nothing happened.  Praise God!


 


Sunday 9 May 2021

Posted by Posted 9 May 2021, 3:42 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

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.
 


Friday 7 May 2021

Posted by Posted 8 May 2021, 7:10 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

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!
 


Wednesday 5 May 2021

Posted by Posted 5 May 2021, 6:33 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

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 2 May 2021

Posted by Posted 2 May 2021, 3:55 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

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!
 


Friday 30 April 2021

Posted by Posted 1 May 2021, 7:39 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

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.
 


Wednesday 28 April 2021

Posted by Posted 28 April 2021, 5:48 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

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.
 


Sunday 25 April 2021

Posted by Posted 25 April 2021, 6:54 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

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.
 


« Prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ... 35 | 36 | Next »