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.

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).

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Posted by Posted 10 July 2019, 7:22 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

The school holidays have started in New Zealand.  And the first Gospel conversation, on Tuesday, was with five teens enjoying their break in Riccarton.  The conversation was facilitated with the flip chart.

Later, to my surprise, a Muslim lady, with her two young sons was keen to give the flip chart a try.  They took their religion seriously and so they were very engaged in the conversation.  The eldest of the boys (who I estimate was about seven or eight years old) asked some very challenging questions.  I was able to present the law and the Gospel, with a focus on how Jesus resolved both justice and mercy at the cross, and that we are saved by faith alone, and not by works.

Another conversation with a very engaged teenager was interrupted by a driver saying out their window: “don’t listen to him”.  This is very encouraging to me - that I’m becoming so well known in the area, that people feel the need to make a comment like that!  The young teen ignored the advice and stayed to hear the law and the Gospel, then ask questions.

Wednesday saw a change to the usual plan, I decided to join Kim of OAC in some door to door outreach in Kaiapoi (north of Christchurch).

Most of our time was spent at some retirement villas.  Evangelists often say that the older people are, the harder they are to reach (or the more closed they are).  In some ways, that might be true.  But all people are “dead in their trespasses and sins” and God can save the hardest people, through the power of the Gospel.  It’s our job to share the Gospel with all.

And we had some wonderful conversations, and were able to challenge some hard hearts.  One lady resisted the simple concept of creation being evidence of a creator.  Another couldn’t stand the concept of justice, insisting that God is only “love”.  Both happily received tracts to ponder in their own time.

And we had a real encouragement, a wonderful Baptist lady was very encouraged to know that we were going door to door, she almost started “preaching” at us at how important it was for Christians to share the Gospel message.  She was certainly preaching to the choir! Later we saw her again outside at a street crossing (pictured: she is crossing the road) - she gladly received tracts to distribute to those she came across.  If she can do it, so can you! :)

The final conversation of the outreach was not at a retirement villa, and a young lady was very open to a conversation.  But even after hearing of the law (that brings the knowledge of sin), and the Gospel, checking questions showed she had not grasped the concepts.  We did our best to continue to explain, but it just shows - young or old, all need God to open their eyes to see the glorious Gospel!

Sunday 7 July 2019

Posted by Posted 7 July 2019, 5:46 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

The weekend of outreach for the Christchurch (NZ) saw wet weather on Saturday, but a return to clear skies and winter sun on Sunday.

The outreach was difficult on Saturday, although it started with a wonderful initial Gospel conversation, I only ended up having one more conversation in two and a half hours I was in the city.  So I ended up ending the outreach slightly early and heading to the letterboxes instead.  I don’t think the weather helped, as rain showers passed through often.  And yet, maybe that one conversation will be pivotal in bringing glory to God through salvation?

It started only after the guy had passed a first time and accepted a tract.  When he came back past, I asked if he had read it, and a conversation got started.  It turns out we had both lived in a small city called Timaru and the mutual connection was fuel to a warm conversation.  He was a bhudist.  Eventually I had an opportunity to share the law and the Gospel with him.  He genuinely seemed impacted, and more than once said he had something to think about - which was very encouraging.  But I made it clear there was an urgency to respond.  The Gospel message is clear, and we may not have another opportunity.

The reason he was in the city was for a rugby match on later in the evening.  Many supporters were walking through, but none, except this guy, seemed interested in discussing the important questions of life.

The one other conversation I had was a bit discouraging.  The person seemed completely blind to the serious nature of sin, and the amazing grace of Jesus - the worries of this life seemed more important.

I delivered tracts to letterboxes in the rain with prayer.

As discouraging as Saturday’s outreach seemed - I’m not discouraged.  We worship God who is in control of everything, I have confidence in Him no matter what comes.

Sunday’s outreach had a team of four - Andy’s son, Josiah, managed five Gospel tracts today - not beating his record, but still a wonderful effort.  Well done! :)

Tracts were received, conversations were had.  And I open air preached - although I had to battle a loud speaker playing music nearby.

God is good all glory to Him!

Friday 5 July 2019

Posted by Posted 6 July 2019, 7:20 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Thursday saw the team back at the bus stops: first at Northlands, and then at Eastgate.

At Northlands, I re-encountered some of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  I was talking to them about how effective the question: “Do you ever think about what happens after life?” is.  At that moment, a young man was walking past, and so I asked him that exact question to demonstrate.  The response was, “Yeah, I think about that a lot.''!  He then engaged me in a Gospel conversation - right in front of the Jehovah’s Witnesses - so they all heard the Gospel.  I praise God for that.

In the morning, I had been praying for the salvation of one particular young man I often encounter at the Eastgate bus stops.  Well, as I arrived this afternoon, the very first person I encounter is this young man!  I had two minutes to chat with him about the Gospel before his bus arrived.  He took a type of tract he hasn’t received before.

Pretty much all the interactions with people at the beginning of the Eastgate outreach was with people I have already shared the Gospel with at some point in the past.  I feel a bit like a bus stop chaplain!  But with the stops constantly refreshing with people waiting for buses - there are always many opportunities for sharing with new people.

Friday saw a turn in the weather.  It was wet.  We proceeded with our Gospel + abortion outreach outside the hospital in the morning.  But the rain was heavy, and mixed with the cold it made sense to end the outreach early.  But in the time we were there, we showed how serious we are about this very important issue.  We had one person stop to talk with us.  We also had a few people show their opposition by firing some choice words at us as they hurried past.  We continue to pray that God would use our feeble efforts for His glory.

In the afternoon, I reverted to letterbox dropping, until the rain finally stopped.  This gave us an opportunity for outreach in the evening in the city.  A team of four gathered.

In spite of the cold, and a lack of people about, we still managed to have many opportunities to share the love of Christ.  Hereford street was a very fruitful place of ministry.

I engaged with a young homeless guy, who upon learning I was a Christian, disengaged expressing an alligance to Islam.  But to my surprise, he came back five minutes later and apologised, and wanted to know what I had to say.  It was wonderful being able to share of the grace of Christ - that our salvation is not dependent on our works.

We also had some fruitful ministry time at the bus exchange.  By this stage, the heavens had opened up again.  So we ended up venturing inside (as well as outside) to spark up Gospel conversations.

One of my conversations ended up being with a guy who Andy had shared the Gospel with at Eastgate the previous day.  Christchurch is small enough that this kind of thing happens all the time.

I thank God for the support He is providing through you to enable the Christchurch team to have so many wonderful opportunities to share His love.  I thank you also.  Join us!  Till the nets are full.

Wednesday 3 July 2019

Posted by Posted 3 July 2019, 5:48 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

On Tuesday, in Riccarton, I had some competition.  Unicef were out in force working to get “sign ups” (pictured).  Apparently they need to get two a day to keep their job.  If I needed to get two converts a day, I would have been fired a long time ago.  Either that, or I would have started compromising the truth of the Gospel and start manipulating people to get “decisions”.  I’m glad I don’t have that pressure.  It’s God who saves, it’s our job to faithfully share His Gospel.

In spite of the competition, I still had a fruitful time of ministry, handing out many Gospel tracts, and having some very timely conversations…

My first was with a political science major from the university.  It was a respectful clash of worldviews.  I succeeded in sharing the law and the Gospel.  And it was wonderful having one of the Unicef team listening in as well.

My last was a heated exchange with a young man and his friends who had gone past me (back and forth) four times during the outreach - not showing any interest.  But eventually his girlfriend decided she wanted to talk, and listened to the Gospel.  This drew him in for the heated exchange - there seemed to be a bitterness towards what I would call hypocrites.  Similar to last week, the outreach went overtime by fifteen minutes as we sparred.  I would love to talk to him again, without the heat.

During the outreach, I had many responses similar to: “all the time”, to my question of: “do you think about the afterlife?”.  I’m finding this a wonderful lead in to conversations.  I even had one lady say: “well, it’s about time I started thinking about it” - and gladly took my tract - thanking me.  She didn’t stay for a chat, so I hope she means it and reads it!

Wednesday (today) was unseasonably warm.  In the morning I was in Cathedral Square.  I didn’t bother setting up my flip chart and used tracts to start conversations.  I had some wonderful conversations with people with Christian backgrounds who weren’t Christians.

The highlight was with a young man who was thinking very seriously about the things of God.  He expressed remorse for his sin (his words), but didn’t think he had repented and trusted Christ for forgiveness yet.  Although he asked good questions around this area.  He is connected to a good local church, although not going regularly.  I encouraged him to read Mark and Romans in the New Testament.  And, with Biblical authority, commanded him to repent and believe the Gospel today - he might not have another!

Before lunch I open air preached.  I was interrupted half way through as I recognised someone walking past whom I ended up talking to one to one.  It turns out he had recently been in a bad car accident and so the discussion about the Gospel was timely!

Once I got back to preaching, I ended up having three people come, sit down, and listen.  I was able to follow up with all three afterwards!

After lunch, I headed to Ara, but it was strangely quiet there - I wonder if the students are on holiday?  But I ended up having a good conversation on my way there.

I moved back to the city, and ended the days outreach in Cathedral Square with a Gospel conversation there.

I’m very encouraged by encountering all the people who are thinking about the afterlife.  Oh that God would raise up preachers (you) to bring the law and the Gospel - and to turn that thinking into conviction and salvation.  All for His glory alone!  Join me.

Sunday 30 June 2019

Posted by Posted 30 June 2019, 6:03 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Saturday saw a team of one out in the sun in Cathedral Square sharing the Gospel.  Plenty of people were out and about and there were multiple occasions where I was sharing away from my flip chart, and I’d see others walk up to the flip chart showing interest, but there were no Christians available to share the Gospel!  So this is a call to anyone reading this who has an hour or two spare on Saturday mornings, in Christchurch to come and join me on this outreach.  I will happily provide training.  :)

A highlight conversation from the outreach was with a young couple, both of whom had connections to local churches, but had not yet trusted Christ.  One of them believed in reincarnation.

My opening question was: “Do you think there is an after life?”  The guy said, “we are going to talk about that at our next church meeting!” (I assume a youth group).  Them coming across my path seemed more than a coincidence.

So we discussed the after life, and I shared the law and the Gospel with them.  They both took After Life tracts.

The outreach ended just after a guy, that I have shared the Gospel with at least twice before, had an accident, coming off his skateboard in dramatic fashion!  I had just started a flip chart presentation with two tourists from Boston, USA, but when I saw the accident, I had to head over to make sure the guy was ok.  Thankfully he was - but the two tourists had moved on without hearing the Gospel. :(  Yet I had a brief opportunity to follow up with the skateboarder - we actually talked about how death could come suddenly - a bit like the accident he had just had. He said he didn’t have the tract I gave him last time, so I gave him another one - I hope he reads it this time!

Sunday saw a team of three head to Cashel Mall and Cathedral Square for a couple hours of outreach after morning church meetings.

Sophie had some difficult conversations (pictured).  The guys on the bikes didn’t stay long.  And the older lady was very bitter about God and had many unpleasant things to say about Him.  How very sad.

In contrast, Greg had two wonderful conversations (pictured)!

Gospel conversations can be a bit like a box of chocolates - you don’t know what you are going to get!  But God is always glorified when we obey his command to go - no matter what we encounter.

An encouragement came after we had finished the outreach and were walking back to our cars.  We bumped into four uni students who had received “Are you a good person?” tracts earlier in Cathedral Square (they wouldn’t stay to try the flip chart, one of them said, “I’d fail”, to which I responded with “I fail too”).  The encouragement was that they had actually read the tract, and appreciated the simplicity of the message presented in cartoon style.  One of the guys had a question about what blasphemy was, which I was able to briefly respond to before they disappeared into the picture theater.  The silent missionaries went with them.

One month of winter outreach down, two more to survive.  Your prayers are appreciated! :)

Friday 28 June 2019

Posted by Posted 29 June 2019, 7:28 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

God uses all things for the good of those who love Him.  Today I can testify to that.  You see, initially, the fact that we lost our free city parking was not good.  I do a lot of outreach in the city, and parking is not cheap!

But here are some of the good things that have come from that.  Firstly, it’s forced us to re-evaluate where we do outreaches for the better.  On Thursday we normally spend two hours in the city, and then two hours at the Eastgate bus stops.  But to save on parking, we decided to two hours at the Northlands bus stops instead of in the city before moving to Eastgate.

So Thursday became a very busy time of outreach, with the bus stops constantly refreshing the people available to talk to.

At Northlands, Andy had a special conversation with a very lonely older man.  He had no family or friends, and he spent his days riding the city buses.  He was overjoyed to have someone approach him to talk - even if it was about the Gospel, but what’s better than that to talk about? :)

Of all the conversations I had in those two hours, one of the highlights would be a conversation with a young high school student.  She denied the logic of creation being evidence of a creator, which wasn’t a good start, but rather than debate, I decided to just move on.  But she also denied that there was a universal conscience.  Again, I parked the debate, and moved on by appealing to the conscience she claimed she didn’t have.  I reasoned with her about the moral law of God.  She listened and seemed to understand, so I shared the precious good news of Christ.  Afresh I had the realisation that it’s the Gospel that is the power of God to salvation, and the law that brings the knowledge of sin.  Apologetics is secondary.

Eastgate was, as always, a wonderful time of ministry.  And we have so many opportunities to follow up with people previously talked to, as well as many fresh faces to share with.

I was very encouraged to re-encounter two young high school students, one of whom shared a testimony of how God was changing his life!  I encouraged them to get in touch with me, and to join me in outreach.

Andy & I also had a long Gospel conversation with the guy who converted to Islam after the Mosque shootings in March.

The second benefit of losing our free city parking is that I’m now doing more outreach on Fridays, and I’m realising that my outreach stamina is greatly improved since moving into full time ministry.  Because I now have to pay for parking, it’s cheaper to pay for all day.  But that means I would have to pay twice if I was to go home between the afternoon and evening outreaches.  So the solution is to just stay out and share the Gospel between outreaches!  This has also led me to discover that the dusk period is great for outreach, as I have the opportunity to reach many people as they leave their jobs to head home.

So last Friday I managed to do ten hours of outreach.  And today I managed eleven!  I admit I was very tired for the afternoon outreach - but I pushed through ok.  I appreciate that I probably won’t be able to maintain this pace long term, but it is very encouraging knowing that God is sustaining me.

It was very encouraging having six people involved with the Gospel + abortion outreach outside the hospital - including two newbies.  Four held signs, and two were free to try to engage people in conversations.

I thought this would be the first outreach with no major attacks from people who disagree with us.  But five minutes before the outreach was scheduled to end, a passionate hospital worker came out to give us a piece of her mind.  I was sad, yet encouraged.

The afternoon outreach started with both Andy & I having opportunity to open air preach.  We then headed to Ara to engage students with the Gospel.  Andy had a wonderful opportunity to minister to a lady who had, sadly, lost her sister two days prior.  Death was at the forefront of her mind.

As I walked from Ara back into the city I had some wonderful follow up conversations with people I had shared with on previous outreaches.

A team of three were involved with the final outreach of the day.  In spite of the cold, many wonderful opportunities were had to share Christ.

I got to see Mr Angry again (he won’t give me his name).  I haven’t found a way to get past his bluster and start having a real conversation with him.  I will add him to my prayer.

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

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