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 23 October 2019

Posted by Posted 23 October 2019, 2:24 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

The spring weather in Christchurch (NZ) has been very variable.  On Tuesday I started the Riccarton outreach early to avoid rain.  And on Wednesday, I had to deal with all four sessions: heat, cold, wind and rain!

The Riccarton outreach wasn’t as busy as the previous two outreaches there, but the Lord did bring people to hear His gospel.

The highlight conversation was with two teen guys.  I was surprised to see them out of school so early, but they said something about exams.  Anyway, they were very open to the logic of the law and the gospel.  One in particular seemed deeply impacted when discussing the serious nature of sin.  It was encouraging to see them concerned about this, and it was a pleasure to share the antidote: Jesus!

Two other conversations involved an Indian couple who didn’t seem to be very interested, and a Maori couple.  The girl became very resistant when I started by talking about how we know God exists.  Sadly, they left before I could even take them through the law, let alone the gospel.

On Wednesday, as I made it to Cathedral Square, the temperature was warm, but I noticed that the sky was very dark (pictured).  Sure enough, a minute later, it started to pour with rain, and even some hail!  This matched my mood, and it was really tempting to just give up and go home.  But I couldn’t even do that, as I would get soaked walking to my car.  So I did my best to shelter under a tree.  I wasn’t the only one trying to get shelter and amazingly, an easy conversation got started with a young man on holiday from Thailand.  I didn’t get to talk to him for long, and was only able to share the gospel via a tract, which he gladly received and said he would read.  But this “random” encounter encouraged me.

Within no time, the rain had passed, and the sun was out.  So I set up my flip chart and started handing out tracts to the few passers by.  Not too long later, a man approached me and wanted to know what the flip chart was about.  So I was upfront and said I was a Christian wanting to share good news.  He was instantly engaged and a wonderful gospel conversation got underway.  Oddly, he wanted to take photos of us together - which was fine with me.  Then he wanted to take photos of the flip chart.  And then he asked permission to video me.  Again, fine by me - I have nothing to hide!  So he recorded me for a while as I explained how we know God exists, how we know His standard, and then proceeded to get him to examine himself by that standard - all this in response to his key question: how do we know which religion is right?  He videoed me right up to the point where we were talking about anger being murder of the heart.  But I was still able to take him through the gospel and then talk about his original question before he said he had to go.  It turns out this man was a Muslim from Bangladesh.  He wanted me to pray for a personal issue he was struggling with, but I instead prayed for his most serious issue: his need to know God as his father, and to accept the gift of Christ’s sacrifice for his sins.  He left with the tracts: “Which One is Right?”, and “How we Know God Exists”.  I was again encouraged!

I then had a follow up with a young man who remembered the way to heaven correctly!  I challenged him on the urgency of response.  I had a number of other opportunities to talk with people before the end of the outreach and heading off to have lunch.  The second photo shows the contrast in weather from the start of the outreach!

The weather stayed sunny for the afternoon outreach, where I focused on walk up conversations on my way to Ara.  God blessed me with a long conversation outside Ara with a young man who was open and curious.  He understood the logic of the gospel, but his biggest hang up was in knowing that God created the universe.  Evolutionary thinking was so ingrained in him.  So we spent some time talking about this.  He left with a leaflet from CMI that provided some challenging questions with links to more information, as well as gospel tracts and a challenge on the urgency to respond to the gospel.

On the way back from Ara, I had a follow up opportunity with a young man who I’ve talked to many times over the last year.  We are becoming quite friendly.  He was also challenged on the urgency to respond to the gospel.

What about you?  Are you trusting that the sacrifice of Christ has paid for your sins?
 


Sunday 20 October 2019

Posted by Posted 21 October 2019, 6:27 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

This log entry covers Thursday, Friday and Sunday.  I’ll do a separate entry for the Ellesmere A&P Show outreach on Saturday.

On Thursday Andy & I were at the bus stops outside Eastgate and Northlands - as usual.

A week or so ago, I mentioned a difficult conversation I had with a guy who was drunk at Northlands.  Well, today, Andy had a wonderful follow up opportunity with him (pictured) - but this time at Eastgate, and he was sober.  It turns out he had been involved with a church for a number of years, but sadly had never actually been converted!  He has now had two fresh opportunities to hear the gospel.  God willing, we will continue to have opportunities to minister to him.

For me, two gospel conversations stand out, both at Eastgate.  They were also follow up opportunities.

The first was with a young man who said he had discussed what I’d shared with him last time with his partner, which was encouraging!  But sadly, when I asked him if he could remember the way to heaven, he responded with: stop doing bad things.  Wrong answer.  I did my best to correct his understanding, but he had to leave, so I didn’t really have the time.  I gave him some different tracts to read.  And he was interested in coming to church, so I also gave him a card with contact details and directions.  I hope to see him again.

The second is with a lady who I have talked to multiple times ever since I’ve started coming to this spot for outreach.  She was keen to stop and discuss the important questions of life deeply.  As always, I continued to point her to the gospel.  I was encouraged.

Friday saw heavy rain for most of the day.  Andy and I made it through most of the gospel + abortion outreach in the morning (which I posted about on the Project 139 page on Facebook), before we needed to warm up.  In the late afternoon / early evening I letterbox dropped.

Sunday was nice and warm.  In the afternoon, I set up my flip chart on Cashel Mall outside Ballantynes.  It was a difficult day of outreach.  There were plenty of people about, but for some reason I only had two conversations (although I did manage to hand out some tracts).

The first one was with a lady from Russia.  I made it through the law with her, but she became very resistant.  She stormed off.  I called after her and said I had good news to share - but she wasn’t interested.

The second was with a high school exchange student from Vietnam.  It was a very long, slow conversation, where I had to work really hard to understand what he was meaning behind the things he was saying.  I eventually realised that he was viewing everything through the filter of his happiness - everything was about him.  For him, coming to Jesus would be about improving his life - which is a wrong motivation.  I worked hard to help him understand the big picture.  But he seemed blind to it.  Yet I must remember the word of God is powerful.  I eventually wound the conversation down; I leave him in God’s hands.
 


Saturday 19 October 2019

Posted by Posted 21 October 2019, 7:08 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

The Ellesmere A&P (agricultural and pastoral) Show is the first special outreach of the summer for the Christchurch (NZ) team.  We hire a trade site from which we share the gospel via flip charting and tracts.  The weather was great and we had many people going past our site.  And it was very encouraging having a big team of Christians involved with this outreach: if I counted correctly, there were nine of us in total (from various local churches, and different levels of experience) spread out over the day, sharing the load, and encouraging each other.

There were many conversations happening.  And to be honest the day was a bit of a busy blurr for me.  But that’s a good thing!  For next year, we might hire two sites side by side, I’m sure we could have had more conversations during the busy lunch time rush if we had more space!

I’ll probably let the photos do most of the talking, but here are two contrasting highlight conversations that come to mind:

I had an older Catholic guy stop to talk, who was a really sincere guy, but who was trusting in his goodness to get him to save him from hell.  It was a good conversation where I focused on getting him to understand justification by faith alone.  He seemed genuinely challenged.

But in contrast, I had another wonderful conversation with a young man who wanted to challenge me on this “God thing”, but ended up saying he couldn’t fault the logic.  I laboured with this guy to get him to understand justification by faith alone, while at the same time understanding the cost of following Jesus.  I was confident he understood, but as he was walking away, he made an interesting comment.  He said, “I’ll trust in Jesus' sacrifice for my sins, and then I’ll go and booze up with my mates!”  I pulled him back to re-explain that with faith in Christ comes a changed heart and repentance that leads to obedience.  I challenged him to repent and believe today - as he had no guarantee of having another.
 


Wednesday 16 October 2019

Posted by Posted 16 October 2019, 2:52 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Since my last log entry, there have been outreaches on: Saturday in Cathedral Square, Sunday in Cashel Mall, Tuesday in Riccarton, and today, Wednesday, at various spots in the city.

The Tuesday outreach was another busy affair.  So busy, in fact, that it was pretty much constant conversations for the team of two, and there was even a time where we were both in conversations and I was watching a couple of students flipping through my flip chart across the road and no one was available to share the gospel with them!  So please pray for labourers, and if you can, please consider being the answer to those prayers by joining the team! :)

So the students are now back at school, and we had many gospel conversations with high school students passing through in the late afternoon.

But the highlight conversation for me was the first one I had (soon after I had set up my flip chart).  Sadly, the young couple were struggling with suicide.  Right from the start, they didn’t deny the existence of God or the requirement for justice.  They admitted they had sinned, and that they deserve hell.  But it didn’t concern them at all.  I worked through a few analogies to get them to understand that it should concern them, and that’s when the conversation turned to suicide.  I spent my time listening, and explaining the basis for hope: for eternal life and for real change in this life too: Jesus.  I was able to draw from my own testimony in this regard.  The young couple lingered, and so I continued to challenge and encourage them with the gospel.  They left with various tracts, and the contact details of my local church.

On Wednesday morning, I was back in Cashel Mall, but the level of people was back to more normal levels with the school holidays being over and the initial interest in the Riverside Market tapering off.

The most interesting conversation was with a guy who was wearing headphones as he passed receiving a tract.  He came back, taking his headphones off and wanting to know what it was all about.  He had obviously been thinking about the important questions of life, as I was very encouraged by this guys earnest interest in understanding Christianity.  He said he had never heard it explained in this way before.  I challenged him that it’s not just intellectual information that I was giving him - but there was an urgency to respond with a repentant faith - the gift with a cost.

After lunch I ditched the flip chart and headed for Ara via High Street.  I had many walk up gospel opportunities as I went.  I spoke with three high school students, then with two stubborn professing atheists, before moving into a long conversation with an Ara student from Brazil.  By the time I made it to Ara, I decided to turn around and walk back continuing my walk up strategy.  Many more wonderful opportunities to talk to people about the gospel presented themselves - all the way back to my car.


Friday 11 October 2019

Posted by Posted 13 October 2019, 6:52 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Thursday and Friday.  Six outreaches: Northlands (bus stops; team of two), Eastgate (bus stops; team of two), Hospital (abortion outreach; team of five), Cathedral Square (open air preaching + conversations; team of four), Cashel Mall (flip charting + tracts; team of five), City (evening outreach; team of four).  Another very busy two days with many gospel conversations - praise God.

I have to admit to not feeling 100% for the bus stop outreaches on Thursday afternoon - I think I was still recovering from the busy Wednesday.  The highlight conversation was at Northlands where I had a young Christian stop to talk.  He is a fine arts student at the university.  Early in the conversation he articulated a reasonable grasp of the gospel, but when I asked him what his friends would say was the most important thing in his life, Jesus came in as # 3, after his art (#1) and family (#2).  So the conversation continued in a pastoral but evangelistic fashion - me not knowing his standing before God.  It was quite a long chat, where I was doing most of the talking.  But I checked in often to see what he was thinking.  He was very engaged, but was content listening, and asking questions.  I feel privileged to have the opportunity to speak into the lives of people like this and I pray God would continue to give me wisdom for the right words to use.

After the abortion outreach, Friday morning, I was walking with Marty (OAC) to Cathedral Square.  I haven’t open air preached for a while, probably feeling a bit discouraged about whether it is effective.  But Marty encouraged me to preach, so I did.  Thankfully, the musician was set up away from speakers corner, and I was able to preach without that distraction.  There were quite a few people around enjoying the market and food stalls - hopefully some listened.  Afterwards, the team became engaged in one-on-one conversations.  It was wonderful to watch.

We then moved to Cashel Mall for the afternoon.  Like Wednesday, there were many people walking through.  Before I had even finished setting up my flip chart, a guy noticed it and wanted to give it a go!

After he had moved on, I noticed a guy rolling a cigarette - so I walked over to say g'day and ended up having a wonderful gospel conversation with him.  He wasn’t sure if God existed, so I explained, simply, how we know God must exist - and it seemed like a zen moment for him and he was extremely open to going through the law and the gospel.  I used various courtroom analogies in the conversation, and they were very applicable, as this guy was actually taking a break from being in court (nearby)!  At the end, he flicked through the tract I’d given him, and he said he wanted to share the information I had given with others.  He also wanted to go look at a web site with more details (I pointed him to the web site on the tract).  But I cautioned him that today was the day of salvation - before he did any of those things, he needed to trust that Christ had paid the fine for his sin.

My next conversation took up pretty much the rest of my time of the outreach.  It was a follow up with a guy that I’ve been talking with, on and off, since last summer.  It was an animated conversation, with some good heat from time to time.  Sadly, he seems blind to the gospel - but something keeps causing him to want to talk to me about the things of God.  I was very encouraged to hear that I am the only one in his sphere of life who causes him to think about the things of God; according to him, if I wasn’t out on the streets, he wouldn’t be thinking about it.  We are almost at the point where we could call each other friends - we even connected on Facebook - even though we are polls apart when it comes to religion.  He is adamant that I’m wasting my time praying for him - but I will continue. ;)

I was pretty exhausted by the time the evening outreach started.  We prayed together, and I asked that we would be clicking our heels heading home in two hours time.  God certainly answered that prayer!  I had some wonderful gospel conversations.  Firstly, with 2 couples from India at an intersection - they were flying home that night.  Then with a guy at the bridge of remembrance.

But the highlight conversation was when I stopped a young couple on Hereford street.  They became very engaged in the conversation, and seemed to clearly see the logic of the gospel and seemed very open to it, even after considering the cost.  I felt like I was on cloud nine after that conversation, any tiredness I was feeling was gone!

To finish off the evening, I had an opportunity to interact with some under nineteen cricket players from Bangladesh and briefly share the gospel with them.  They left with tracts.

You must remember that I can only share the conversations I’m having - I’m not the only one on these outreaches, and the other Christians are all having other opportunities to share the love of Christ.  I’m grateful for the opportunities God is providing.  Consider joining an outreach team near you and experience the joy of working in the harvest.  All glory to God.


Wednesday 9 October 2019

Posted by Posted 9 October 2019, 5:51 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

A very busy and encouraging Tuesday and Wednesday of outreach for the Christchurch (NZ) team.  So busy, in fact, that I barely have the energy to write this log!  I don’t know if I’m going to be able to capture the excitement I’m feeling about these days or come close to covering the interesting gospel conversations - I’ll do my best.

Roger and I were at the corner of Rotherham and Riccarton Tuesday afternoon.  It had been two weeks since I was last here where road works prevented me from using my usual spot and I ended up going for two hours without a gospel conversation!  But this outreach was a stark contrast - the road works were complete leaving two improved outreach spots - one on either side of Rotherham Street, and we had a busy time of ministry with many conversations.  Praise God.

The highlight for Roger was having the privilege of sharing the gospel with a Muslim lady who had tragically lost her husband in the Mosque shootings back in March.

For me I had two occasions where I had multiple people wanting to talk to me, but there weren’t enough of me to go round!

On The first occasion I was talking to a lady away slightly from my flip chart, when four teens walked past and start interacting with the flip chart on their own!  The lady took a tract and moved on, and I was able to call the teens back and take them through the chart (pictured).  One of them had done it before (in Cathedral Square), and they all had a good understanding of the gospel having come from Christian families.  But one of those guys still seemed impacted and thoughtful.  They all received tracts.

The second occasion started with a discussion with a very intellectually switched on guy who fired questions so fast I couldn’t answer one before he would be asking another.  Soon after starting my discussion with him, I had two other sets of people stop and want to talk to me too: five people in total.  And they were all firing questions at me - oh for more labourers!  I wasn’t able to hold the attention of all of them, and so the conversation whittled down to the original guy and I.

The way I dealt with the question machine gun he was firing was to switch to presuppositional apologetics: what is our basis for truth?, how can we know things to be true?  And it worked a treat - it wasn’t an angle he had considered before, and it caused him to slow down a little and contemplate more.  As soon as I had achieved that, I tried to switch back to the law and then the gospel - but he was resistant and undercut me by cutting to the chase and articulating a definition of the gospel and calling it God’s loophole!  I didn’t let that go, and did my best to explain that Jesus - the creator of the universe; the King of kings - dying on a cross for unworthy rebels was an unfathomably great cost (how dare he call it a “loophole”!!!).  It was a long tiring conversation!  At one point we even exchanged testimonies.  It was a conversation that could have gone longer - much longer, but he had to go, and I don’t think we were making much progress having covered a lot of ground already.  He left with a “How we know God exists and why it matters” tract.  I leave him in God’s hands.

Wednesday I was in the city.  Cashel Mall was the busiest I ever remember it being.  People were everywhere!  During lunch time I was having constant gospel conversations that rolled one into the other.  I would be finishing up one chat, when another person would step up and take my attention.  I normally take lunch at 1pm, but it wasn’t till 2pm that I got a break from sharing the gospel!  Praise God.

And those conversations were unique and special - each one!  But I’m not going to be able to write about them all.  Here are some highlights:

I had a guy walk past who said he had talked to me eighteen months ago and he hadn’t forgotten it.  I ended up being able to talk to him and his very bright young son, who listened very intently to what I was saying and interjected very insightfully from time to time.  But sadly, the guy had not remembered the gospel!  I did my best to carefully explain it again, and challenged him to respond - he may not get another opportunity.

I had an amazing gospel conversation with a young couple.  The girl openly let tears run down her face as she heard the gospel!  (I think of Romans 1:16 here which I was reading in the morning before heading out.)  But the guy became resistant.  There was a real spiritual battle going on.

A lady came down the mall that I recognised.  It turns out we were at a Christian youth camp together when we were teens!  We had a long gospel conversation.

And as I was finishing up with the lady, a guy walked up to the flip chart.  I thought they knew each other - but they didn’t.  It turns out he had down the flip chart before, and had received tracts and wanted to discuss.

I moved to Cathedral Square to finish off the outreach there, and ended up having some great conversations.  But this is now the longest battle log I think I’ve ever written.  I thank God for the encouragement of these two days of outreach (I really needed it).

People may ask, “but are you seeing fruit?”  Well, yes I am.  I have successfully shared the gospel with all the above people and more over these two days.  That is our task: share the gospel (out of our weakness).  We leave the saving to Him.  Thank you for your prayer and support.  I mean it - thank you!  There was one moment this morning where I was thinking: “someone is praying!”
 


Sunday 6 October 2019

Posted by Posted 7 October 2019, 6:21 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

There were lots of people in Cashel Mall on Sunday.  Probably due to one or more of: nice weather, school holidays, and the new Riverside market.  Unfortunately, most of the people were not the type that would be willing to stop for a Gospel chat.  But it was an eventful outreach anyway.  It was great to have six people out sharing.

The lady and gentleman pictured walked right past Tim and I, but for whatever reason, they stopped to talk to Greg!  The lady took great delight in letting me know this.  It didn’t bother me at all. :)

Earlier, my first conversation was a long one with a tourist from the Netherlands.  He was telling me about some of the hiking he had been doing in the USA, which I took a genuine interest in, before gently swinging the conversation to the important questions of life.  Sadly, he suppressed the truth, and denied the obvious - he didn’t even want to hear the Gospel and refused the tracts I offered him.  We shook hands as we parted ways.

I then noticed a guy (an ex-streetie) that I’ve been witnessing to, on and off, for about a year.  I pray for him regularly, and hadn’t seen him for a long time - so it was good to be able to catch up.  We were able to talk about spiritual matters, and at the end of the outreach I prayed for him.  I don’t think he has trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of his sins yet - but I’ll continue to be a witness to him and pray for him.

At one point prior to that, I was talking to him about another streetie who I had been witnessing to.  The last time I saw him was the previous Saturday, and sadly, he had been in a bad state then.  But amazingly, as I was talking - the streetie turned up!  I was able to have a long catch up with him as well.  And prior to that, Tim was able to talk to him.  He wanted a Bible, and one was given to him.  Time was spent going over the Gospel with him again.  I was very relieved to see him in a better state.  I’m praying that gift of repentance and faith would be granted to him!
 


Friday 4 October 2019

Posted by Posted 4 October 2019, 7:08 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Thursday afternoon was a very busy time of Gospel ministry: first at the Eastgate bus stops, and then at the Northlands bus stops.  We are the bus stop chaplins!

At Northlands I had a long conversation with a man who was drunk.  It was a difficult conversation in many ways, not the least that his breath was really bad!  In lots of ways, it would have been easier to disengage and find someone easier to talk to.  But I persisted - Jesus can save the worst through the Gospel… He saved me, so why not him?

I had to be patient as I worked through the law with this guy for was constantly changing the subject.  I kept saying, “I have good news for you, but you won’t understand it until you understand the bad news - there is hope!”  I was aware of a lady who was hanging around.  She soon joined the conversation, and eventually said, “I want to hear the good news!”  But the drunk guy kept making it difficult for me to share with the lady.  But I persisted, and managed to share the bad news and good news with her, just before her bus came!  She took a tract, and said she was struggling with stuff in her life and that she understood what I was saying brought hope.

I managed to get through the bad news and the good news with the drunk guy too.  May true hope for eternal life, through Jesus alone, become clear to them both.

Later I had a great encouragement.  Two girls sitting in the back seat of a bus across the road start waving at me and smiling. I was trying to work out what they were trying to say to me - but it's impossible to communicate in this way, so I cross the road and hop on the bus to find out what's up. And the first thing they say is: "don't you remember us?". I apologise, and say that I talk to so many people that I don't remember them all. And then they say, “you talked to us in the city. We are Christian's now, and are going to church!” They took tracts and I asked them to touch base. I couldn’t stay, as I had to get back off the bus before it moved off.

The Abortion outreach on Friday morning was as difficult as ever.  But it felt like the new banner (pictured) led to more conversations.

The Wizard has started public speaking regularly in Cathedral Square.  Speakers corner is starting to become quite vibrant.  I was able to have some great Gospel conversations, with people just passing through, and also with regulars.  The Wizard allowed Andy to preach from his ladder - and there were many listeners.

We then moved to the new Riverside market near the Bridge of Remembrance.  Many people were about, due to the new market, nice weather, and the school holidays.  The team had many opportunities to share the Gospel - both with flip charts, and walk up.  Check out the photo of Roger using the illusion tract to engage a couple of tourists - they loved it!

As always, thank you for your prayers and support of the Christchurch (NZ) team!  All glory to God.
 


Wednesday 2 October 2019

Posted by Posted 2 October 2019, 7:24 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Tuesday and Wednesday outreaches were hampered by periods of heavy spring rain in Christchurch (NZ).

On Tuesday, Roger informed me that the new Riverside Market (off Cashel Mall) was open and suggested we shift our usual Riccarton outreach there to try it out.  I was keen!  After scoping it out, I decided to set up at one of the entrances (pictured), and Roger set up at the corner (nearest the Bridge of Remembrance).

There were a lot of people there, also due to the school holidays.  I ended up having a couple of Gospel conversations.  In those conversations, a good portion of time was spent in working with people to realise the simplicity of the logic of a creator for the universe (as opposed to Myanmar, where it’s labouring with people so they understand the way to heaven is a gift).

Roger had a number of Gospel conversations too - including with a suit (which is rare).  Part way through that conversation, our resident heckler: Steve the Atheist came along on his bike and tried to disrupt.  Thankfully, the suit told Steve to go away!  That solved the problem.

On Wednesday, I started the day in bright sunshine with some letterboxing, but a front moved across the sun and started dumping the heaviest rain I’ve experienced while letterboxing!  I was cold and drenched in short order - and my shoes filled with water.  I had to head home to change and put thermals on (I was hoping I wouldn’t need them again till next winter!).

Eventually there was a break in the weather, and I was able to head into the city for outreach.  But the day continued with the constant contrasts of bright sunshine and heavy rain.  I managed to have a number of Gospel conversations to the glory of God.

I finished the day with letterboxing and managed to get home before a hail shower hit!

As I finish this log entry, I want to mention something I’ve been thinking about today.  And that is the fact that our outreach teams (except for the abortion outreach) seem to be getting smaller since I’ve moved into full time outreach.  If I’m an evangelist, I feel like I’m failing at my job - which is to encourage others to share the good news! :) The very last thing I want people thinking is: “Evangelism, oh Glen is covering that” - NO!  All Christians are called to the great commission.  You can reach people that I can’t.  We all need to be sharing this amazing good news.  So I want to encourage you to get involved!  I can’t do this on my own - the more people doing it, the more people we reach!  But it’s scary.  Tell me about it!  So I want to do you a deal.  I’m out on the streets, six days a week, if you can commit to joining me - once a fortnight, for two hours, I promise I won’t throw you in the deep end.  You can be paired up with me, or someone else with experience and get a feel for sharing the Gospel through observation (i.e., no pressure to share, but just learn).  What do you say?  Believe it or not, out on the streets, with strangers is the best place to practice for when you have that opportunity to share in your home, work place, or school.  What do you think?  If people are going to hell, how important is it to share the good news of Jesus?  Be encouraged!  Join us :)
 


Sunday 29 September 2019

Posted by Posted 30 September 2019, 7:04 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Sunday was a very hot day in Christchurch (NZ).  From now on, I’ll be putting sunscreen on every morning before I head out on the streets! :)  There were three people out sharing the Gospel at the corner of Cashel & Colombo in the afternoon.  I had two interesting Gospel conversations.

The second conversation was with two young Muslim girls, originally from Afghanistan, but now Kiwis.  As they walked past, I asked if they would like to try the good person test - and they were keen.  Very early on, we agreed that the ten commandments were the standard of good to measure against, and with that common ground, I proceeded to adjust the mirror of the commandments so they could clearly see their own reflection in it.  They agreed that, with God being just, then they would deserve hell.  But they appealed to the mercy of God.  And this is always the hinge point of all my discussions with Muslims: how can God be both just and merciful?  If He is merciful, then that would mean He isn't being just.  And so I explained how God can be both through the cross: Jesus being both perfect and willing, was able to take our justice and give us his righteousness through our faith in Him.  While I was explaining that Jesus rose again, I respectfully mentioned that Budha, Kirshna, and Mohummed were not perfect and had not risen - but only Jesus had, and so He was our only hope.  And it was at this point that I was challenged - as I had, understandably, hit a nerve.  But out of my love for them, I wanted to challenge them on this.  We parted on good terms.  They had known people who had died in the Mosque attacks earlier in the year, and for what it was worth, I expressed my sympathy.

The first conversation was fascinating.  I had five young teen guys walk past, and I had the energy to engage them.  I boldly challenged them to try the good person test, and they all stopped to see what I was talking about.  I had them on the line, and I had to use all my energy to engage them enough to get them to try it.  Three of them turned to walk away - I had two left.  So again I challenged them to try the good person test.  One of them then turned to his mates who were walking away and said, “Hey guys, I want to try this, come back”.  And they did, praise God!  But I had to fight for their attention.  Then five of their friends turned up and their attention was completely gone.  I now had the work of gaining the attention of all ten of them!  All glory to God, I succeeded at this, and I managed to get all ten of these guys to realise the importance of what I was talking about.  While I was taking them through the law, a lady joined the group.  I think she was attracted by my animation in working to keep these kids engaged.  I glanced at her, not knowing her motives and hoping she wouldn’t derail things.  Luckily she didn’t, she eventually peeled off and left - it was a pity there weren’t more Christians with me to be able to engage her separately.  But it wasn’t over yet.  I managed to get through the law, and most of the way through the Gospel, when yet another lady suddenly entered the fray!  She started saying things like: “you need to listen to this guy”, but it wasn’t helpful - it was just distracting the flow of the conversation.  I managed to hold their attention long enough to share the Gospel with them, when the lady decided to take over the conversation!  I decided not to stop her, knowing that it wouldn’t look good to these guys.  I left her to it for a few moments while I handed each of the guys a tract, and took the attached photo.  Before coming back to take back control of the conversation.  I found the right moment to say to the guys that I really appreciated their time, and if they had any questions they were more than welcome to ask.  I intended to have a chat with the lady, but as soon as the guys had left, she left too.  What a battle!  But it was worth it.  I know some of those guys were resistant to what I was saying, some seemed to be thinking deeply, but all heard the Gospel!

I was also in Cathedral Square on Saturday where God provided opportunity to plow and sow.  All glory to God for any increase that comes from our feeble effort.
 


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