Battle Log


Christchurch

Christchurch (NZ) Team

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

Contact Glen Richards or Andy Barlow for more information.


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.
 


Friday 26 July 2019

Posted by Posted 27 July 2019, 7:45 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Although there was morning fog, there was no rain so the regular Gospel + abortion outreach was able to go ahead today.  A team of six.

As always, our stand for life outside the hospital, where abortions in Christchurch are performed, is polorising.  We had some support: cars tooting and those in them waving; some people smiling or giving a thumbs up as they walked past.  We also have opposition: people winding down their car windows to yell at us; some walking past who shake their heads in disgust; we even had a cyclist voice his opinion - yelling directly in Andy’s ear as he sped past.

As per the photo’s, we had opportunities for interaction: talking to people about the sin of murder, abortion, and the hope of forgiveness found only in Jesus.

Sadly, near the end of the outreach, a young lady walked past who said “You guys are trash”.  I looked straight at her, and words of response passed through my mind - but I decided not to let them pass out my mouth.  She must have been irritated that we didn’t respond, so she threw her nearly empty can of drink at us.  It went just past my head, and I got sprayed with some of the liquid.  She kept walking, but I noticed that she had her phone up and was obviously recording the incident (no idea why).

I went and got the can, and put it in the trash (pictured).  It’s not good for the environment to litter after all.

Nothing brings out the depravity of man, like the issue of abortion.  Oh how desperately the hope found in the Gospel is needed!

After the Gospel + abortion outreach, we moved into the city to start our afternoon outreach - which began with open air preaching in Cathedral Square.  Andy preached first, and immediately one of our regular hecklers turned up in opposition, who tried to drown out what Andy was saying pretty much the whole time.  Thankfully Ari, one of the city wizards, turned up and took the attention of the heckler away so Andy could preach in peace.  The preaching did attract some attention from passers by, and tracts were distributed.  I had a wonderful follow up conversation with a young man who had sat down to listen.

A team of four then gathered in Cashel Mall for an afternoon of flip chart outreach.

One conversation deeply impacted me.

Two young ladies were attracted by the flip chart and walked up to it wanting to give it a try.  I ended up starting the conversation by establishing the basis for truth, which led to some deep discussion.  One of the girls was more quiet than the other, but suddenly she wanted to ask a question.  It was related to an essay she was writing, and the question was about God and suffering.  So we discussed this, and I also gave her a leaflet: Why Does God Allow Suffering?

I was able to bring the conversation to the law, and talk about the serious nature of sin.  I was then able to share about the amazing grace of Jesus paying the fine for sin, so God’s justice could be served, and yet he could offer us mercy.  I explained that we are justified by faith alone, and not by works.  Salvation is a gift!  At this point, the quieter girl’s face was beaming.  They seemed to be understanding the gospel, and they were maybe picking up on some of my passion.

But this caused me to think about the cost of following Jesus (a paradox).  And so I explained that the other side of the coin of faith is repentance: a change of mind, will and emotions, away from sin and to God that will lead to good works.  If we place our faith in Christ, we will also repent - we will have a heart change, and we will no longer want to live our lives our way, but God’s way.  We won’t become perfect, but our desires will change that lead to a change of actions.

I highlighted this, but talking about abortion - that we will come to understand that life is precious from the pre-born to the elderly.  And instantly, the demeanor of these girls changed.  They were not willing to give up their pro choice position on this, and started to argue with me.  I then decided to double highlight my point by turning to the subject of homosexuality.  I explained that I don’t hate homosexuals, I actually genuinely love them, but that God’s position was that it was sinful.  We would need to change our minds on this issue.  Well, it turned out these two girls were gay (I had no idea).

The cost of the gift of Jesus was great indeed.  They understood the logic, they saw Christ’s love, through me.  But they rejected Him, and walked away.  I called out to them, and asked if they would accept one more thing from me.  They stopped and turned, and I was able to give them “After Life” tracts each.

We parted on good terms, but I felt devastated.  As I write this, I feel devastated.  I know salvation is of the Lord.  I know the Gospel is the power of God to salvation.  I know I need to leave results in God’s hands.  But oh, God, please, please: have mercy.  This is my heart cry.  Reader, Is it not your cry too?  I look at my life, at my sin.  I know what I deserve.  God’s justice in hell for eternity.  And I’m not getting what I deserve because of Jesus’ sacrifice for me.  We must go and share of this hope.  We must pray - for in the futility of prayer God moves.  The Bible tells us so.  Oh God, please receive glory in saving sinners by Your great sacrifice on the cross, rather than through giving people the justice they deserve in hell.  But not my will, but your will be done.  God, please change the hearts of these two girls - for your glory.

This report is way longer than it should be, and I need to get back on the streets.  But Andy and I also headed out to the Eastgate and Northlands bus stops on Thursday afternoon.  Many Gospel conversations were had, as always.  We leave all results in God’s hands.  All glory to Him.
 


Wednesday 24 July 2019

Posted by Posted 24 July 2019, 7:04 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

On Tuesday I turned up at my usual spot in Riccarton feeling a bit discouraged.  I’d just come from letterbox dropping in the rain, and I guess the weather was impacting my mood.  I was wondering if this would be my first outreach where no one took a tract from me or stopped for a chat.

After setting up my flip chart, I noticed a screwed up and wet Gospel tract in the dirt.  It was obviously one that I had given out the week before.  It had been sitting there ignored for a week.  “Great”, I thought, “I’m starting this outreach on negative one tract handed out”.  I picked it up and put it in the bin.

Well, as I always say, the outreach will be effective as the ultimate objective is obeying the Great Commission and bringing God glory and worship in that (even if the net result is negative one tract handed out).  So I turned to prayer, and resolved myself to look like a fool for two hours in worship of our saviour: Jesus.

But God decided to receive worship in more than just my obedience to “go”.  The rain was held back for most of the outreach, and tract after tract was handed out, and conversation after conversation was had.  In an hour and a half, I’d had seven conversations!

The first one was with a lady who was wearing a top that had the word “Supernatural” on it (some tv show?) - that provided a perfect conversation starter, and she ended up staying to hear the law and the Gospel in full and left with a follow up tract.

A young lady stopped keen for a chat about spiritual things.  She had a Christian background, but was bisexual.  So on top of sharing the law and the Gospel, we talked about sexuaility.  I made it clear that I don’t hate homosexuals, but that homosexuality is a sin - that can be forgiven by the blood of Christ!

God sent a pentecostal Christian lady to give me some wonderful encouragement.

The last half an hour of the outreach saw the rain come, but there was still plenty of opportunities to hand out tracts to people moving past.

Wednesday finally saw a break in the weather, although there was some light drizzle as I was letterbox dropping early in the morning.

I headed into the city, and was very encouraged to have Jermaine join me.  We ended up setting up our flip charts near the Bridge of Remembrance.  We started with some prayer, but it was interrupted as a construction worker wanted to know what the good person test was!  Jermaine took him through it, and I ended up getting into a very long (but good) conversation with an intellectual couple.  Throughout the conversation I was able to touch on all the major concepts of the law and the Gospel.

After lunch, we headed to Ara.  But before we got there, I had yet another encouraging conversation on High Street outside the Vodafone building.

It was great to see the students back!  My first conversation was a follow up.

I then approached a group of four students (two girls and two guys).  The girls were not interested, but the guys were.  One of those guys really wanted to talk, and stayed to listen even after his friends had left to go back to class.  After I shared the Gospel, that Jesus died on the cross in payment of our sin debt, and rose again to prove it and give us hope, I was very encouraged to hear him say, “I didn’t know that part - thanks for explaining it” (or something like that).  He accepted a Bible, with a contact card set to the book of Mark.  I hope to hear from him.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in Cathedral Square where I had many conversations with groups of teens (I’m not sure why they weren’t in school), and an interesting conversation with a JW lady who was very open - and even accepted a Gospel tract from me.

It was wonderful to be able to extend the outreach by half an hour because of these conversations - very encouraging.

Be encouraged to get involved!  The opportunities to share the Gospel are limitless, in spite of circumstances, when you make yourself available to be used by God.  Soli Deo Gloria!
 


Sunday 21 July 2019

Posted by Posted 21 July 2019, 7:32 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Friday night and Saturday saw the Christchurch (NZ) team at the Stand for the Gospel conference where the main speaker was Joel Beeke.  Because of this (and the heavy constant rain all day!) there were no outreaches on Saturday.  But it was wonderful to be challenged and encouraged from the word of God and to enjoy a time of fellowship.

I was surprised to learn that people actually read these battle logs that I write!  So I was very encouraged by that.  Thank you! :)

Sunday afternoon saw a team of four (including a newbie!) head out for the usual outreach to Cashel Mall.  There was rain in the morning, but there was respite by the time we headed out, allowing us to minister the Gospel without the need to find shelter!  The sun even decided to come out for a short period.  :)

I started the outreach talking to a young Chinese man who was finishing a holiday and flying home in the evening.  Sadly, just as the conversation was warming up, the rest of his family came out of a shop and he had to move on.  But he took a Gospel tract to (hopefully) read on his flight!

I then approached an older man with a Gospel tract and was surprised when he responded with hostility.  He was a Catholic who wasn’t happy with us rebel Protestants!  I tried to calm him so I could start to reason with him, but he wasn’t open to it.  He initially wouldn’t shake hands with me, but in the end he did (but he said it doesn’t mean anything!).  He kept the tract I had initially given him.

Meanwhile, Tim and Sophie were busy handing out tracts, and ended up having conversation after conversation (see all the pictures in this report, with others on the cutting room floor!).  Praise God for that.

I ended up having a follow up conversation with the two young men.  It turns out one of them was doing an essay for school trying to make sense of the Israel Folau controversy.  It was a wonderful opportunity to talk about how we know things to be true which challenged his postmodern worldview.  The young man ended up taking a copy of God and Sexuailty by Ray Comfort to read.

This is the last outreach for Sophie for a season, she is about to embark on an exciting adventure to Israel.  We will miss you Sophie, and we’ll be praying for you!  Have a safe, and blessed trip!  :)

After the outreach had ended, and as I was loading my flip chart into my car, I encountered a man whom I’ve spoken to a number of times before, but is resistant to the Gospel.  He was drunk, but I still took the time to reason with him about the seriousness of sin, and the grace of Jesus.  This Gospel is the power of God for salvation!
 


Friday 19 July 2019

Posted by Posted 21 July 2019, 5:52 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Thursday saw the Christchurch (NZ) team back at the bus stops: Northlands and Eastgate.  A team of three - it was great to have Kim of OAC joining Andy and I.  These bus stops are an immense harvest field with pretty much constant opportunity to chat with people who are keen to talk about what comes after life.

Starting at Northlands, my first conversation was with a young man who had just hopped off a bus and was walking past.  He accepted a tract, and the question “do you ever think about what comes after life?” piqued his interest.  He was open to listen, and did so intently as I shared the law and the Gospel.  I then asked if he had any questions, and he slowly but thoughtfully responded with, “no, I’m just thinking it over”.

Another conversation was with a young man who was volunteering at a church, but was not sure about the existence of God (which I found fascinating).  As per Romans 1, I explained how we know God exists - through creation, in the things that have been made - and then presented the law and the Gospel to him.

At this point I touched base with Andy, and he had just had an exciting Gospel conversation with a man who had been reading Christopher Hitchens on his Kindle when Andy had approached him.  Already thinking on such philosophy, Andy was able to provide another perspective!

Moving to Eastgate, as I arrived an older man was walking past.  It turns out he was a retired physicist who sure liked to talk!  Sadly, he was completely closed to a reasoned conversation about God and the Gospel, and decided to disengage early.

But I had a very encouraging conversation with a man from the Philippines, who was Catholic.  He said that of all his time in New Zealand, I was the first to talk to him about the things of God - how sad is that!  He was open to a Gospel conversation and seemed challenged.

My last conversation at Eastgate was a long one.  I handed a tract to a young lady who I expected to not be interested.  To my surprise, she was very interested, and had many questions to ask.  It turned out that someone had given her a Bible (King James) five years earlier (outside her school), and she had clearly been reading it.  She seemed to understand the serious nature of her sins, and didn’t think she would be good enough to go to heaven and deserved hell (which is absolutely true, and very refreshing to hear).  She understood the justice of God, but not His mercy through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So it was my privilege to recap the law, and share the amazing Gospel with her - how we could be justified before God, through faith alone (not works) in Christ.  After this, she had question after question.  She seemed to know she needed to be connected to a church and had only recently started to investigate this.  I’m glad, as assuming she understands the Gospel and places her trust in Christ, she needs discipling!  She gladly accepted a New King James Bible, and other literature.  And what most encouraged me, was that she expressed a deep desire to talk to others about the things of God.  She was excited at the idea of joining us out on the streets!  But I said she needed to get committed to a local church first.  She knows how to get in contact with us - I deliberately left the ball in her court in that regard - I pray that she does.

Friday saw forecast rain hit with a vengeance.  Standing, exposed, in the cold rain outside the hospital holding signs is miserable.  So, sadly, we decided to cancel the Gospel + abortion outreach this week.  Instead, while I was letterboxing, Andy had a fruitful time of ministry outside the bus exchange (under the shelter of the large extended roof).

A team of three gathered in the afternoon for flip charting and walk up conversations in sheltered spots.  All glory to God, we were able to have many opportunities to share the love of Christ, in spite of the rain.

A group of girls walked past me and took no interest in my attempt to start a conversation with a Gospel tract.  It often happens!  But then I turned around and noticed that the girls had all stopped and gathered around Roger’s flip chart (pictured)!  Roger is obviously a much better evangelist than I am.  ;)

My highlight conversation of the afternoon was with a young man I first encountered during the summer mission.  I’ve had at least three other solid follow up conversations with him since then (including today) and I regularly pray for him.  He is blind to the serious nature of sin, and is absolutely unwilling to turn from his sin that he loves.  He is stubbornly holding to the idea that there is nothing after death.  This reminds me (not that I need it) that I can’t convince anyone with logic or reason, but that salvation is of the Lord.  Even though we both strongly disagree with each other, we enjoy engaging.  And we parted ways with a hug.  I will continue to pray for him.
 


Wednesday 17 July 2019

Posted by Posted 17 July 2019, 6:32 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

A very eventful couple of days of outreach for the Christchurch (NZ) team early this week.

The Tuesday afternoon outreach in Riccarton saw the team size double from one to two for the first time, very encouraging!  We set up on either side of Rotherham Street - along Riccarton Road.  Neither of us had too much down time.

I took note of at least five Gospel interactions for myself during this outreach.

Firstly there was a Hindu man who wanted to go to heaven, and happily went through the flip chart law and Gospel presentation, but afterwards, he made it clear he was a Hindu and followed Kirishna.  When it was re-explained that only Jesus was perfect and the only hope for forgiveness of sin as our substitute, sadly, he walked away in disgust.

An Asian couple were very interested in the flip chart, when asked who was the best person, she clearly exclaimed that the Dalai Lama was the worst person!  It was clear that this couple was from China, which indeed they were!  They did not stay to hear the law and the Gospel, but when she said she was an Atheist, I had a brief opportunity to explain how she knew God existed, she didn’t deny the logic, and said she would read the tract and look at the Operation 513 web site.

I had two young women walk past looking like they were out to party.  They were keen to try the flip chart, and seemed to understand the simple message it conveyed.  But this put a damper on their party mood, and they were keen to move on (sadly), but were polite enough to stay to hear to the end.

I then had a brief, but encouraging, conversation with a delivery truck driver who I often see driving past when outreaching at this location.  He had parked and had hopped out looking for an address to deliver to.  I was able to help him with that.  But then he became curious about me, and wanted to know what church I represented.  It was clear that he had been noticing me week after week - as I had him.  He gladly took a tract and said he would read it (he couldn’t stay as he was working).  I hope to have an opportunity to talk to him again.

My final conversation was a long one with a young Christian guy.  Some of his Christian concepts were a little mucked up, which was concerning, but then he did show a clear understanding of the most important concepts, and claimed to be trusting in Jesus’ sacrifice for his salvation.  He even talked about some key changes he had made in his life as a result of this, including reading his Bible daily.  It turns out his pastor had been encouraging his church to get out and share the Gospel, which to him meant inviting his friends to church.  So most of the conversation was about what it meant to share the Gospel, how to share the Gospel, and what our responsibilities were in evangelism.  This young man accepted some tracts from me, and I encouraged him to share them with his friends.  I also encouraged him to get in contact, and to join me for an outreach.

The Wednesday outreach to the city was hampered by rain.  But in spite of this, I was very busy in many wonderful Gospel interactions.

Pretty much the first gospel tract I handed out, caused a lady to stop and engage.  She was a feminist, and denied the Christian concept of God.  Using some basic apologetics, I was able to engage her long enough to communicate some basic Gospel truths.  In the end, she walked off claiming she was looking forward to oblivion.  I responded that there is hope in Christ.  She laughed.  But I’m confident God’s word had struck home.

I then had follow up opportunities with three people, one after the other before moving into a long conversation with an older lady, who wanted to know if I was one of those “born againers”.  It turns out she had been deeply hurt by some hypocrites, and yet, I was able to share the full law and Gospel message with her three times in the conversation.  The last time was when she wanted to know what my flip chart was all about.  There was resistance in her, but she was also open.  She knows how to get in contact with me.  There was a warmth about this lady, I hope to see her again.

The pre lunch outreach finished with a wonderful flip chart presentation to a mum and her three children.  I always find these situations a bit awkward, often the parents want to get their children away when they realise I’m a Christian who takes the Bible seriously.  So I’m always very up front.  But the mum was fine, and so I was able to clearly articulate the Gospel to this family.  The mum seemed appreciative, and gladly took a tract.

Some light rain had started by now, and so I headed off for a lunch break.  But during lunch, the heavens opened.  I decided to do some letterbox dropping, and continued to do so for two hours as the rain poured.  Finally, the rain stopped, and so I was able to get into the city for a final hour of outreach.

I was amazed, in spite of the lack of people around, how fruitful that hour of outreach was.  I was able to have a number of follow up conversations with various people, I encountered an old workmate, who accepted a tract.  And I got to see Mr. Angry again!  He had been watching me talking with some people about the Gospel, and when they left I looked up and noticed him.  I smiled and waved.  But he turned around and walked off (with his friend).  I will keep praying for him.
 


Sunday 14 July 2019

Posted by Posted 14 July 2019, 6:20 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Another weekend of outreaches has passed for the Christchurch (NZ) team.

On Saturday I was in Cathedral Square under a clear blue sky (pictured), and many people were out and about - some who were willing to take a tract or have a conversation.

The conversation that stands out in my memory was with two teens.  The After Life tract pricked their curiosity, and so they stayed for a chat.  I took them through the logic of the reality of God, known through creation.  That we know right and wrong, through conscience, meaning there must be justice after life.  All to which they consented to.  So I then took them through the good person test.

Sadly, in New Zealand, many people don’t understand some basic terms, and I’m having to explain them all the time.  One of those terms is “adultery”.  I guess In a society where marriage is now completely optional it is understandable.  Well, this was true for these two young men, so I found myself explaining the concept to them, and amazingly (once they understood) they came up with reasons why adultery could be justified!

In spite of this, they were tracking with me as I explained the serious nature of sin by looking at the heart of the law, for example: that lust is the root of adultery.

So I was able to then carefully explain the Gospel: that Jesus lived the perfect life that we couldn’t, and is now offering his perfection in exchange for our sins through faith alone in His sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection.

They were still tracking with me, as a checking question confirmed their understanding.  One even asscented that they should put their faith in Christ today.  So I challenged them to do so, with an explanation of the paradox of the cost of accepting the gift of Jesus.  They accepted literature and know how to get in touch.  I leave them in God's hands.

Sunday had heavy overnight rain and forecasts for hail and thunder in the afternoon.  Two of the team resolved to commit to outreach anyway.  And the weather held off!  So there were many people out and about and many good Gospel conversations.

As soon as I had set up my flip chart, I instantly had some interaction, with a young lady who said she had done the good person test with me in Riccarton (I didn't remember her).  I asked if she had passed that test, and she said she had.  I raised my eyebrow and moved into a fresh law and Gospel presentation with her and two others that were with her.

After sharing with them, I ended up asking if she had a Bible.  She said she had a JW one.  I again raised my eyebrow!  :)  I asked her if I gave her a proper Bible if she would read it, she insisted she would - so I did so, with an After Life tract sitting at the book of Mark and a request for her to get in touch so I could guide her to a good local church.

As I’m finishing up this report (Sunday evening) in the warmth of my study, I can now hear the rain has started.  For whatever reason, God decided to hold the weather back.  I pray that those who had their hearts plowed with the law, and received Gospel seed would come across others who will water - and that God would bring an increase of salvation, for His glory alone.

I have a day off tomorrow, and so tonight I’m going to be able to enjoy, with my family, watching the Cricket World Cup Final between New Zealand and England, and rest.  Go the Black Caps. ;)


 


Friday 12 July 2019

Posted by Posted 13 July 2019, 7:28 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Thursday and Friday were exciting and busy days of outreach for the Christchurch (NZ) team.  I ended up taking 84 photos, only five of which have made it into this report - many good ones are on the cutting room floor.

Thursday saw an afternoon of outreach to the bus stops in Linwood (outside Eastgate Mall), and Papanui (outside Northlands Mall).  We switched the times of when we go to each mall to try to minimise encountering the same people all the time - and it worked.

A highlight conversation for me at Eastgate was with two teen girls, there seemed to be genuine shock in understanding the serious nature of sin in light of the holiness of God’s law written on our hearts; and then genuine appreciation of the amazing grace found in the Gospel.

Another conversation, although sad, was with three young teens - one of whom said she had talked to me before (but I don’t remember it).  These teens had been through some trials in life, including one who had been raped, and two of whom had attempted suicide.  I was gently peppered with difficult questions that related to suffering.  I did my best to answer them biblically, and to show my genuine care for them.  It was a good conversation.  After initially refusing Gospel tracts, as I was leaving they all took one.  One of them I saw again on Friday in the city.  I hope I will have further opportunities to continue the Gospel conversation with all of them.

My whole time at Northlands was spent in one conversation with a passionate Muslim girl.  Andy ended up getting involved as well (pictured).  She was so passionate, that she wanted me to watch a YouTube video with her that shows why Islam is right and Christianity is wrong!  In the end, I agreed to watch a short one on my phone, while she watched one with James White explaining the Gospel for Muslims.  The key issue she didn’t have an answer for was how God can justly forgive.  She accepted a “Which One in Right?” tract.

The first of three outreaches on Friday was the Gospel + abortion outreach outside the hospital.  Encouraging having a team of seven, including a newbie (my mum!).  This freed up three of the team to be able to have “walk up” conversations with people and hand out “Life is Precious” tracts.  One conversation Andy had went for a long time (pictured).

A team of six were in Cathedral Square and Cashel Mall in the afternoon for the second outreach of the day.  Due to the school holidays, there were many people out and about, and many of those people were open to a Gospel conversation.

One of our hecklers (pictured sitting down next to Roger’s flip chart) came and decided to interject himself into some of the conversations we were having.  It became very difficult at one stage, with Roger trying to share the Gospel with a group of teens, while the mother was resistant and engaging me, while our heckler was trying to contradict everything Roger said.  We did our best!

One of the team ended up getting into a long conversation with the heckler, freeing up the rest of the team to have Gospel conversation after conversation.  Praise God!

The last outreach was in the evening with a team of two.  The weather was mild, in spite of it being the middle of winter, and plenty of people were still out in Cathedral Square leading to some wonderful conversations (one pictured).
 


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