Battle Log


Christchurch (NZ) Team

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

Contact Glen Richards or Andy Barlow for more information.

Sunday 18 August 2019

Posted by Posted 18 August 2019, 6:11 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Saturday saw rain, just like last Saturday.  So I decided to letterbox drop instead of the usual city outreach.  And I’m so glad I did as God gave me a wonderful follow up opportunity.  I was walking past a bus stop, and a young man was there who recognised me.  Earlier in the year I had shared the Gospel with him via the flip chart outside the hospital.  He had accepted a Bible from me then, and he said he had been reading it!  (Although it was clear he has not repented yet.)  At that moment, another guy arrived at the bus stop, so I had an opportunity to share the law and Gospel with them both before their bus arrived.  (They are both pictured getting onto their bus.)

Sunday saw a team of four head to the city in nice weather.  There were a lot of people around.  We hadn’t even finished setting up a flip chart, when two young men came up keen to give it a try! (pictured).

While that was happening, I had a follow up opportunity with a man who one of the team had talked to on Friday night.  He is currently doing a Christianity Explored course.  After sharing the law and the Gospel with him again, he confirmed that he understood it, but needed proof that it was true.  I explained that he actually already knew God exists, and showed him how he knew it (as per Romans 1).  I followed this up by giving him the tract: “How we know God exists and why it matters”.  It turns out he has read Mark, Matthew, and John in the Bible, and that he is about to start Romans!  Perfect timing.

Another flip chart conversation got started with two guys, but one of them wasn’t interested and walked on a bit to wait.  So I decided to go over and engage him.  I told him I was a Christian and what I was doing, but it was clear he wasn’t interested.  I respected that, so moved the discussion to other things (where he was from, etc).  To my surprise, he then switched the conversation back to spiritual things - he wanted to hear what I had to say!  So I had the privilege to share the law and the Gospel with him after all.

A fairly busy outreach continued from there.  At one point, three girls went through - one being pushed in a shopping cart!  Not something you see every day.  So I approached them and asked if they were keen to try the good person test - they were!  (pictured).  The heard the law and the Gospel, but sadly, they clearly rejected it.

We finished the outreach with open air preaching in Cathedral Square.  As I was preaching, two guys holding hands walked over.  They sat down a slight distance away.  When I asked if anyone had told a lie, one of them responded with “yes”.  I continued going through the law, with the guy engaging.  But then they got cold feet and started to walk away.  So I stopped preaching to go and talk to them (pictured).  They said they were homosexuals right off the bat.  I had an opportunity to continue talking to them about the Gospel (as I would with anyone else).  They were very resistant but they took tracts before leaving… a few minutes later they came back, and I offered them a booklet called: God and Sexuality, by Ray Comfort.  They accepted it.  I was able to finish sharing the Gospel in the open air as well.

A very busy and encouraging outreach.  Thank you for your prayers and support! :)

Friday 16 August 2019

Posted by Posted 17 August 2019, 8:27 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

A team of three were at the Northlands bus stops and a team of two then moved to the Eastgate bus stops on Thursday afternoon.

I’m often struck at how the most unlikely people will be open to a Gospel conversation.  One example of this was when I was crossing the road at Eastgate.  I had just come to the island in the middle of the road and was waiting for cars to pass before crossing again.  I noticed a young man who was on the other side of the road, and was waiting to cross towards me.  He looked to be in a hurry, and I didn’t think the middle of the road was going to be the best place to initiate a conversation.  But then he crossed to the island and I figured it couldn’t hurt to offer him a tract as he passed - so I simply said, “excuse me, do you ever think about the afterlife?”.  He looked at me, took the tract and, to my surprise, said, “yeah, I do actually”.  I ended up turning around and crossing back with him, and once safely on the footpath, I ended up having a wonderful opportunity to share the law and the Gospel.  Be encouraged to reach out anyway - sure, many people won’t be interested - just wish them a nice day, and move on.  But there are many who are interested and are waiting for someone to go to them.  God is with us!

Friday saw three outreaches: a team of six for the Gospel + abortion outreach in the morning.  A team of four (+ two from OAC) in the afternoon.  And a team of five for an evening outreach.

The Gospel + abortion outreach ended with two very challenging but encouraging conversations.  The first started when a nurse aide from the hospital approached us.  She had a question that a friend wanted to ask, and she pulled out a piece of paper.  The question was: if I was in a burning building and only had the time to rescue a baby or a thousand embryos.  Which would you save?  Going from this rather loaded hypothetical question we ended up having a good conversation that touched on some very difficult personal situations in which I was able to talk about the serious nature of sin (abortion is murder), and the forgiveness found in Christ for those willing to admit their sin, rather than justify it.

While this was happening, Andy got into a deep conversation with two seperate people: one pro life, and one pro choice.  Andy was challenged by the pro choice person to show sympathy for women in difficult situations.  But we can’t have sympathy for those who murder, no matter how difficult the situation!  Yet, there is hope of forgiveness for murderers, through the sacrifice of Christ.  To his surprise, the pro choice person didn’t respond with anger, but rather became thoughtful.

We thank God for our ability to be a witness for Him and to stand up for those that can’t stand for themselves.  May there be salvation!

The afternoon and evening outreaches had two contrasting conversations for me.

In the afternoon, I had a flip chart conversation with a young couple.  The guy was curious and so became engaged, but even though I was talking about the wonderful hope of eternal life, the body language of the girl was one of boredom and a desire for the conversation to finish so she could move on with important stuff (shopping)!  And sadly, the guy’s curiosity seemed to remain just that.  There was no conviction of sin.  In my mind I was processing this, and started to wonder what I was doing wrong, what I could do to convince them, to get them to understand.  And, yes, I should be doing my best to explain the Gospel.  But I realised where my thinking could lead: compromise.  If I soften or change the message, then maybe I could sway them?  NO.  The Gospel is the power of God to salvation!  God is the one who saves.  I have to trust Him in that.

In the evening, at the end of the outreach, a Gospel conversation got started with another young couple.  There was some initial sparring, but then a sombreness came upon the conversation as I was explaining the serious nature of sin through the law.  To my encouragement (and I hope yours), the young man became very thoughtful as I explained the Gospel, and the young lady’s eyes widened in understanding!  Praise God.  At this very moment, our main heckler came past and had a go at me: “don’t you have a wife to go home to Glenis, still out here telling people stories”.  Thankfully, this didn’t stop the wonderful conversation that was happening.  I challenged them to accept the gift of Christ, at the same time explaining the cost of following Him.  They are in God’s hands.

Wednesday 14 August 2019

Posted by Posted 14 August 2019, 6:51 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Tuesday gave a real hint that a change of season is on the way.  It was a warm day for outreach in Riccarton for a team of two.  After prayer, we set up on either side of Rotherham Street along Riccarton Road.  After the outreach, Roger commented about how many positive Gospel conversations he had.  At one point, he even came across the street asking if I had a Bible to give away (which I did).

For me the outreach started immediately after setting up my flip chart, with a young couple: one who claimed to be a satanist, and the other who believed God was an energy.  After a longish initial conversation, where I established how we all know God exists and some of his attributes, and why there must be an afterlife with heaven and hell - I then asked them if they wanted to try the good person test - they did.  After that, they started asking really good questions, which I did my best to answer.  They both appreciated the conversation and left with tracts.

I then had a short conversation with four young men from Christchurch Boys High School - they all heard the law and the Gospel - before moving into a conversation with some Americans.

The Americans were resistant to the logic of the existence of God.  One of them tried to turn to the problem of suffering to deny the existence of God.  Things started to get heated, and they all wanted to disengage, which they did.  But one of them was willing to take a tract.  We parted ways with a handshake.

I then had a Russian come past wanting to know what the flip chart was all about.  Sadly, he too was resistant, but was happy to go through the law before disengaging.  Sadly, he handed back the tract I had given him.

Wednesday had the sun, but a cold wind was blowing for outreach in Cathedral Square and Cashel Mall (I didn’t end up making it down to Ara today).

My first conversation was with a man who agreed with me in many ways, and yet flatly denied we were saved by grace through faith in Jesus.  He insisted that works were required for salvation!  It got worse from there, when it turns out that he didn’t attend a local church and denied that Jesus was God.  So I decided to do what I always do (especially since he considers that his works are required for salvation) - I showed him his sin by getting him to look at his reflection in the law of God.  And it seemed to do the job I wanted: to show that it’s impossible to be saved by our works; that we need a saviour: Jesus!

I was then encouraged to have my new Christian friend, that I meet on Sunday, join me.  He had just been to the local Christian book shop and bought some Living Waters Gospel tracts, and a poster with the ten commandments on it.  He dutifully unwrapped a pack of tracts and started to hand them out!  So wonderful to see.

We finished the morning outreach with open air preaching - I preached, while my new friend handed out tracts.  And it went really well.  I had an early heckler (that had listened to me preach on Friday).  I was able to show him respect and love in the face of his hostility.  This drew some more people to come and listen, two of whom started to engage me.  The preaching ended up turning into a time of them asking me questions and me responding, all the while I managed to stay on track in working through the law and the Gospel.  It was a very encouraging time of ministry!

After lunch, we headed to Cashel Mall.  On the way, I had a great follow up conversation with a young man.  He had a friend with him, and I was able to briefly go through the law and the Gospel with her.  I was encouraged to see that she seemed genuinely impacted!  She gladly received a tract.

The highlight conversation for me in Cashel Mall was with a Christian lady who became interested in the ministry.  While she was watching, I had two Gospel interactions with strangers, so she was able to see first hand how it works.  It would be great if her church was to decide to get involved!  We parted ways with a hug.

So a wonderful couple of days of Gospel ministry.  Thank you for your prayer and other support of the Christchurch (NZ) team!  Continue to pray for labourers! :)

Sunday 11 August 2019

Posted by Posted 11 August 2019, 6:27 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

As forecast, Saturday saw constant and heavy rain in Christchurch (NZ), so I decided to letterbox drop tracts instead of heading into Cathedral Square.

I ended up placing a tract into a letterbox (pictured) that used to belong to a friend, Russell Crawly.  Sadly, he passed away three years ago - after a sudden and short fight with cancer.  I had shared the Gospel with him a number of times - one of those times was just after I had learned about using the law before the Gospel.  I distinctly remember it having an impact on him.  But, as far as I know, he went to the grave rejecting the Gospel.  I attempted to share the Gospel with him a final time, on his deathbed, and his response was to roll his eyes.  How horrible and devastating is death!  How surely it will come.  How suddenly it can come!  And how wonderful is the good news of the Gospel: hope & grace - for those that place their trust in Jesus.

I’ve got no control over who responds to the Gospel.  But people can only respond to a message they have heard.  This is motivation for me to continue sharing it (and I’m so grateful to those that are supporting me to do that).  Maybe the new owner of the house will read the tract and respond with a repentant faith in Christ - accepting the gift of God?  Please be encouraged to keep sharing the Gospel with those that you can!  Death is sure; there is only hope in the Gospel of Jesus!

Sunday was overcast, but there was no rain.  To my surprise, there were no market stalls in Cathedral Square, so I could set up my flip chart right in front of the Cathedral.  Instantly I had a young couple interested, and I was able to share the law and Gospel with them both.  I then went straight into a conversation with a man who had received a tract from me before.  It turns out we agreed on a lot, he even had a fairly good definition of what repentance was!  But he still believed that works were required for salvation.  Sadly, he was now listening to Hare Krishna teachings and was resistant to listening to me.  I decided not to fight, and spent the rest of the conversation listening to him until he left.

I ended the outreach by open air preaching to the people walking past.  A few would stop to listen for a few moments, before drifting off.  There was a man sitting in the distance on the other side of the Square, he soon came over and leaned against the statue in front of speakers corner.  It turns out he is a Christian who had recently been watching Ray Comfort on YouTube and had plucked up enough courage to come to the Square a number of times.  He was very encouraged to meet me, and asked for some tracts to hand out while I finished preaching.  It was just at this time that Mr. Angry came past (I haven’t seen him for weeks).  And my new friend offered him a tract… and got an earful from him.  A nice way to get started!  :)  But he survived.

After I had finished preaching, I spent some time getting to know this guy.  He is keen to buy some tracts, and to start joining in with outreach.  Maybe next Saturday?

Very grateful to God for this encouragement, may more labourers be raised up!  Keep praying! :)

Friday 9 August 2019

Posted by Posted 10 August 2019, 7:40 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Thursday and Friday were busy days for the Christchurch (NZ) team.  And I have to admit that I hit a brick wall on the Friday.

Andy & I held our regular Thursday afternoon outreaches to the Eastgate & Northlands bus stops.  A highlight conversation was with a young high school student who became interested in a conversation when I asked him, as he walked past, if he ever thought about the afterlife.  At one point he asked, “what about all the children that are suffering in the world”.  It was a wonderful opportunity to explain about the patience of God in relation to justice - so that we who don’t deserve it can receive mercy!  It also gave me an opportunity to touch on the subject of abortion - something in the forefront of people’s minds with legislation being considered in parliament, in regard to this, at the moment.  I asked him what he was going to do about the children suffering from abortion.  The arrow struck home, and I could see understanding in his eyes.  I quickly moved back to explaining the Gospel.  I could tell he was powerfully impacted.  He said that he appreciated the simplicity of the message.  He walked off reading the After Life tract I gave him (pictured).

On Friday morning, I watched some of the speeches given in parliament from the day before.  I was grieved to the point of tears.  I made it to the Gospel + abortion outreach, outside Christchurch Hospital, early.  I was standing alone, holding a sign, that grief still with me.  Security came to talk to me briefly before leaving me alone.  Others in the team started to arrive, and we had a time of prayer, and I just couldn’t control my emotions and tears.  Our prayers were deeply heartfelt.  There was a team of seven.  Andy spent most of the outreach having Gospel conversations with people.  One guy came to tears in understanding of his sin and the grace of Jesus.  Oh that hearts would be changed by the Gospel!  And that this would lead to the ending of the horror of abortion (murder) in our nation.  God have mercy!

The feeling of grief stayed with me through the afternoon of outreach in the City.  I had that feeling of holding back tears constantly with me.

Andy and I preached in Cathedral Square (pictured) in spite of distractions (recorded Cathedral bells, loud music, a heckler).

We then moved to Cashel Mall where Binu and Roger joined us.  But I had hit a brick wall, and had to really fight for the energy to try to engage people and get Gospel conversations started.  Both Binu and Roger had a much better time than I did (see pictures).  And Andy headed off to have walk up conversations.  I did have one conversation, but I could barely articulate the Gospel.

In the late afternoon, I headed for the letterboxes to get some mental down time - and it helped!  I went back into the city for an evening of outreach.  Ravi joined me.

All glory to God, I ended up having two epic (long and wonderful) Gospel conversations!  The first was with a lady and her son.  Both with a Christian background, but she was self righteous, and he was agnostic.  I was able to clearly explain the Gospel.  She was challenged, he was inspired (his word).  I pleaded with them to repent and trust Christ.  The second was a very long conversation with a deep thinking young man - also with a Christian background.  I spent a lot of time with him explaining how he knows God exists, and why there must be an afterlife (heaven or hell).  I was then able to downshift from intellect to conscience and show him his sin via the law.  And finally I was able to share the hope found only in Jesus.  At the end, I also ended up sharing my testimony, as there was a connection between that and where he was at the moment.  I suspect he had parents and grandparents praying for him - and I felt honoured to be able to be a third party bringing the Gospel to him!

Wednesday 7 August 2019

Posted by Posted 7 August 2019, 7:40 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Tuesday (in Riccarton) and Wednesday (in the City / outside Ara) saw lovely weather for Gospel outreach.  I’m in such a routine, and am regularly visiting these outreach spots, that I feel like people must be sick of me by now, and no one is going to stop to talk.  But God continues to be faithful in bringing many people to receive tracts and to stop and hear the Gospel - it’s so good that I don’t have much down time.  And the spots where I set up, don’t always have much foot traffic.  Be encouraged to get out there and find a “fishing spot” in your area, plant your self and start casting your line, baited with: tracts, a cheerful greeting, and prayer!

Two highlights from Riccarton this week included a very encouraging conversation with an older saint (pictured walking away).  She received a tract, and was attracted to the flip chart.  When she learned that I was a minister, she started testing me on various doctrinal positions.  We agreed on everything except pacificism!  And it turns out she had been a missionary herself (to Africa as a doctor).  The encouragement from meeting a like minded soul was mutual!

The second highlight came from a young man intentionally walking up to the flip chart ready for a deep Gospel conversation.  He thought very deeply on the important questions of life, but had concluded that there was no evidence for God.  Starting from there, I challenged him with the simplicity of the Gospel.

On Wednesday, in the morning, I set up at the southern entrance to Cathedral Square.  My first conversation of the day was with a man who had heard me preach a month or so earlier, and whom I’ve seen a few times since then.  He is claiming that he is placed his faith in Christ, and is connecting himself to a local church of someone who often joins us in street outreach - so this is good to know.  So today’s discussion was an opportunity to cover the basic principles of Christian life, and to encourage.  I had an opportunity to pray with him at the end of the conversation.

Another conversation was with a man who I didn’t think was going to give me the time of day, and so I was surprised when he accepted my offered tract and he warmed to a discussion about the after life.  We had a long discussion, where I was able to carefully explain the Gospel, and then work on answering his questions.  (His sticking point was connected to why there is suffering.)  Over the course of the conversation, he seemed to become very sober about the serious nature of sin.  In the end he said he would read the tract I had given him (After Life), and he accepted a tract about suffering.  To my surprise, he wanted to give me some money!  But I wouldn’t accept it, I made it clear that there were Christians who wanted people like him to understand the good news of Jesus, and their support meant the resources I gave him were free.  I pleaded with him to accept the gift of forgiveness of sin, found only in Christ.

After lunch, I open air preached for half an hour.  It’s been many weeks since I’ve done this, and so it took a few minutes for me to find my voice, as I wrestled mainly with the social awkwardness of public speaking.  I know it’s not easy - but I want to encourage you to do it anyway!  I preached the same message as I always do: the Gospel.  I tried to hand out tracts to the few that had been listening afterwards - but no one took one.

I then headed to Ara (again having a conversation outside the Vodafone building on High Street on the way).  The highlight there was my third conversation with a group of hospitality students.  It’s so wonderful hearing about how they had been thinking about what we talked about last time, and being able to address the questions they had.  This time the young Catholic guy wanted to continue talking about salvation by faith alone (rather than by faith AND works).  He really seems to be understanding the important distinction between doing works to be saved (incorrect) and works being an evidence of salvation, which is the gift of God, found through faith in Jesus sacrifice, and repentance (an inward change of heart that leads to an outward change).  I challenged him to put his faith in Christ alone!

As I was leaving Ara, I crossed the road, and a guy was approaching me, so I handed him a tract which he accepted, and then to my complete surprise, he gave me a coffee (pictured after I had finished it) and said, “this is for you”.  I responded with, “for me???”.  He left before I even had a chance to say thank you - I was so surprised… and so strangely encouraged.  I guess he has been watching me talking to people outside Ara, week after week and decided I needed a coffee?  Sir, thank you!  It is so much nicer than being called trash and having a can thrown at you! :)

Sunday 4 August 2019

Posted by Posted 4 August 2019, 7:31 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Saturday morning dawned with clear skies after overnight rain.  It was pleasant witnessing for Christ in Cathedral Square in the winter sun.

A number of good flip chart conversations were had.  The highlight was with an older man, who had been in Christian circles, but with whom it wasn’t clear if he really understood the Gospel.  I became quite passionate as I reasoned with him about the reality of God, the serious nature of sin, and the amazing grace of Christ.

I also had a conversation with a mayoral candidate who was out campaigning.  I made it clear that my number one policy for the local council (other than wise fiscal management) was the protection of our rights to share the Gospel in public places.  Sadly, an opportunity to share the Gospel wasn’t given.  But he accepted a tract.

There was a team of seven for outreach on the corner of Cashel and Colombo after church on Sunday afternoon under overcast skies.  The outreach was a bit slow initially, so two of the team decided to head off looking for walk up opportunities.

But the outreach ended really well, and was extended as some wonderful Gospel conversations went long.

While Chris was finishing a conversation (pictured), I had a walk up opportunity with three Indian guys.  One of them had already accepted a tract earlier in the outreach, and so I tried the direct approach to get a conversation going by saying: “Excuse me, may I ask you a question?  Do you think you’ll go to heaven when you die?”.  It worked well enough for them to grant me 30 seconds to explain how we know God exists and why it matters.  Well, this really got their attention, and I ended up getting about two and a half minutes of their attention - in which I also summarised the law and the Gospel.  One of them really seemed to appreciate the conversation (the one that took the tract initially), but the other two seemed confronted.

They moved on, and I joined Chris whose conversation on the flip chart had completed.  We then had three teens come past, who were willing to give the good person test a go (pictured).  It was a long conversation, where they asked many good questions and it took some time to completely explain the bad and good news.  We then tracked back to tackle the questions.  Eventually, one of them asked about wearing clothing made of more than one fabric.  I knew where this was going!  So I decided to take the up front approach (as usual), I explained that I loved homosexuals, but that homosexuality was a sin.  Instantly the conversation changed.  One of the girls had a look of revulsion come over her face, and she said, “Why is it wrong?”.  My answer was to point back to the beginning of the conversation where I had explained how we know anything to be right or wrong: because God has said so.  The guy then said, I think it’s best this conversation ends now.  And, sadly, that was that.

But while this conversation was happening, the three Indian guys had walked right up to Andy and Tim on another flip chart and had ended up getting into a long Gospel discussion with them (also pictured).  That 30 seconds had turned into 20 minutes!  That conversation ended with smiles, and hand shakes all round (a bit like at the end of a game of cricket!).

Who knows if any of those that heard the Gospel today will come to repentance and faith?  Those feeling revulsion may come under conviction?  Those with smiles may never think about it again till they die.  We leave it in God’s hands knowing the Gospel is the power of God to salvation (Romans 1:16).

Friday 2 August 2019

Posted by Posted 2 August 2019, 6:59 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

As per schedule, on Thursday, I was at the bus stops outside Northlands & Eastgate malls.

Two conversations outside Northlands stand out for mention - they were both follow ups.

After an initial burst of conversations, I had approached everyone that I could see, so I was waiting for buses to arrive bringing new people to talk to.  As I was waiting and praying, a girl walked past - so I offered her a tract.  She looked up, and to my surprise, she recognised me and knew my name!  It turns out that I had had a long Gospel conversation with her in the central city earlier in the year.  And she had obviously been thinking about it, as she was keen to talk about it more now - and she remembered key concepts that I had obviously shared the first time.  She had grown up in a Christian home, but as a first year bio-chem student at Uni, she was questioning everything she had been taught.  So we talked about evolution and creation for a while.  Her bus arrived, cutting our conversation short - but she left with an After Life tract.

The second conversation was with an exchange high school student (from Germany).  The last time we talked, he had expressed a postmodern worldview and wasn’t interested in God.  This time he walked past and remembered me, but stopped keen to continue the conversation.  He pretended to walk away when I moved the conversation to the subject of God claiming that he wanted to talk about anything else.  But he stayed around long enough to miss two buses (as he revealed later) to talk about this very subject!  Again, the conversation focused on evolution and creation and, to my surprise, he accepted a leaflet on this subject produced by Creation Ministries International.  At the end of the conversation, he asked me if I would be here every Thursday, he is keen to keep talking.  He knows how to get in touch with me!

Friday started with the Gospel + abortion outreach.  It was very encouraging to have seven Christians turn up to stand for life, and share the Gospel - including a newbie for this outreach.  The team had some opposition, yet much support (as usual).  And as per the pictures, some good dialogue was had with various members of the public.  No major “incidents” this time!  We are thankful to God for that.  We pray that God would continue to use this effort for His glory.

Later, two gathered for preaching in Cathedral Square.  Marty preached in spite of some distracting live music in the background, and a new tactic from our main heckler.  He had brought out a chalk board and had written some out of context Bible verses on it.  The preaching led to a follow up conversation with a Christian couple who stopped to listen and support.  And the chalk board led to a wonderful opportunity to share the Gospel with another couple that was confused by it!  We are very grateful to God for the hecklers that he sends our way.  :)

The afternoon saw a team of three on the corner of Cashel and Colombo, handing out tracts and having Gospel conversations via the flip chart.  Roger has a wonderful ability to get people to stop for a chat, that wouldn’t give me the time of day!  He had many fish on his line today, including one guy who seemed deeply impacted by the message - very encouraging.

Sadly, the evening outreach was cut short by a forecasted change in the weather - rain and wind.  But before it came, one solid Gospel conversation was had, and tracts were handed out.

I thank God for the many opportunities we have to share of his love in the Gospel!

Wednesday 31 July 2019

Posted by Posted 31 July 2019, 7:10 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Tuesday I normally spend four hours on the streets, and Wednesday seven hours.  But forecast rain for Wednesday led me to switch the outreaches for those two days.  And I’m glad I did, as the forecast was accurate!

Tuesday ended up being a warm day for outreach in the city, including time in Cathedral Square and outside Ara.

But before setting up my flip chart, I felt to do a bit of a wander first.  I was going to go and talk to Sunny - the hat stall vendor on Cashel Mall, but he wasn’t there for some reason.  So I decided to head for the Bridge of Remembrance, and I considered setting up my flip chart there - but decided against it.  So I started heading back to Cathedral Square via Oxford Terrace - attempting to hand out tracts as I went.  But then I noticed a guy sitting alone across the other side of the river (pictured).  I wrestled with the idea of going across to chat with him, eventually deciding to give it a try - and I’m so glad I did.

The young man was from Italy and had a Catholic background.  He was on a working holiday, currently relaxing in holiday mode and so was very happy to chat.  The conversation soon moved to spiritual things, which he was open to, and we ended up having a long discussion, where I had the opportunity to clearly explain the Gospel.  I was able to ask a checking question afterwards to confirm if he had understood, and it’s clear he hadn’t - as he instantly said that his good would outweigh his bad on judgement day.  I guess some things are deeply ingrained and take time to unlearn.  So I explained the Gospel again, and checked again to see if he now understood.  It was dawning on him: we are not saved by our good works, but by our repentant faith in Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross.  It’s exhilarating watching people process new information and start to understand it.  But it’s one thing to understand, it’s another to actually follow through.  I had no choice but to leave that in God’s hands.

After lunch, I headed down High Street to Ara.  On the way, there was a group of girls sitting on the seats outside the Vodafone building.  I was able to start a conversation with them and they were very open to the Gospel, and seemed to be impacted.  They all took tracts and thanked me.

Outside Ara, the highlight conversation was a follow up with some students I’d talked to a week or so before.  But this time they had more friends with them who I had not shared the Gospel with before, but were very open to hear it and discuss it.  Again I used checking questions to confirm if they had understood, and again the default response was that good works would save them on judgement day (one of them was a Catholic, so I see a recurring theme here!).  So after going through the Gospel a second time, I could see some light dawning on their minds.  It was so wonderful to see them understanding the good news of Jesus and justification by faith alone!

I was also able to follow up with the guys I’d talked to previously.  One who had seemed very open, and had even accepted a Bible, had quickly become “closed” and given the Bible away to one of his friends.  But as I talked to him again today, he quickly opened back up (a bit), and started asking good questions.  At one point, he revealed his frustration at God for not letting him live his life his own way!  This is at the heart of all men - rebellion against God.  I’m really encouraged by this conversation with this young man.  I hope to see him again.

Wednesday saw the forecast rain come with a vengeance, and it included wind (see picture) and bitter cold.  But in spite of this, I was still able to have Gospel conversations in Riccarton.  Two of them were stellar:

The first was with two young ladies - one of whom was not interested, as she had already done the flip chart at the Canterbury A&P Show.  But the other was a deep thinker, and really wanted to try the good person test.  I used the building analogy to show how we know God exists.  But they politely fought against it.  I stuck to my guns - as it’s logical, and I knew they knew it was too.  I chimed in with some gentle presuppositional apologetics too.  Showing them that without God, we can’t prove anything (He gives us a basis for logic, reason, knowledge and truth - which in turn gives us a basis for science).  The rain and cold didn’t slow the conversation down at all.  Eventually, an important question was asked.  They wanted to know what I thought about homosexuality.  It turns out they are in a relationship.  So I proceeded to lovingly, yet faithfully address the question.  We parted on very good terms.  The deep thinker gladly took a copy of “God and Sexuality” by Ray Comfort.

The other one was with a young man near the end of the outreach.  It seems he had some Bible understanding from his growing up years.  He initially said he was a good person and would go to heaven.  He very quickly reversed that position after seeing himself in the mirror of the law.  The Gospel then seemed to make sense to him.  He lives close to where my local church is, and so he accepted a contact card for my church, as well as a tract.  I hope to see him again, and I told him that.

Sunday 28 July 2019

Posted by Posted 28 July 2019, 7:01 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Saturday had a hint of spring in it that was refreshing.  I set my flipchart up in Cathedral Square and proceeded to hand out tracts in the warmth of the sun.

The outreach started slowly, but during the slow period I did have an opportunity to hand a tract to a guy delivering pizza on a bike (pictured).  You’ll notice the interesting slogan.  He works for “Hell” pizza.  I said to him that I’d love to work for the company, because I have the antidote to Hell: the Gospel.  I’d deliver a tract with every pizza sold.  He laughed.  I hope he reads the tract - Hell is not a laughing matter.

I did manage to have some solid Gospel conversations.

Three teen boys were keen to try the good person test.  To my initial questions: “Do you think you are a good person?, do you think you’ll go to heaven when you die?”, one of them answered: “heaven”, the next: “purgatory”, the last “hell”!  Going from there I was able to take them through the law, and then explain the good news of the Gospel.  They seemed to understand - it was an encouraging conversation.

My last conversation was with a young man who had tried out being a Mormon for three years, even getting baptised, before deciding it wasn’t for him.  He had also been involved with gangs, and other bad influences, and so had recently moved to Christchurch for a fresh start.  I took this guy through the law and the Gospel.  But he didn’t seem moved by it at all.  I asked a checking question to see if he had understood, and sadly his response of works being required for salvation showed that he hadn’t.  I had to explain the Gospel about four times, but sadly, I don’t really think he was really interested. :(

Sunday saw a team of four at the corner of Cashel and Colombo.  There were lots of people out and about, maybe attracted by the winter respite?  Some good flipchart (pictured) and walk up Gospel conversations were had.

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