Battle Log


Online Evangelism

Online Evangelism

Here are the tentative weekly outreach times for online evangelism:

Sunday 1-3pm (Practical Training Outreach)
Monday 9am-5pm
Tuesday 1-5pm
Wednesday 1-5pm
Thursday 9am-5pm
Friday 1-4pm
Saturday 1-4pm

These times are all in AEST (GMT+10), so adjust them based on your own timezone.

How to take part

To watch any of our online outreaches, you can watch live on our YouTube channel or Facebook page. Or to take part in any of these outreaches, email us for the virtual room meeting link.


Wednesday 22 April 2020

Posted by Posted 22 April 2020, 6:40 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Emma: “Hey Glen - righto I need to give this online evangelism a crack.”
Me: “Pick a time and we can show you how it works... no pressure, observation is fine”
Emma: “ah Im scared!  yep okay that 'll be cool. thanks!  So....maybe tomorrow :)”
Me: “Yip, me too! Haha”

The next day.

Me: “See ya at 3pm :)”
Emma: “Yes :) Phil is going to join me as well if that's okay.  He's keen to give it a go too.”
Me: “Awesome! :)”

Sure enough, Phil & Emma joined the virtual meeting.  I was late, as I was still in a longish video gospel conversation with a guy from Canada.  But when I finally joined, Matt was doing an Omegle demo to them and the rest of the team.

Phil & Emma then joined me in our own virtual meeting room, where we were able to discuss online evangelism.  I then shared my screen and audio and proceeded to do another demo for them - with a late teen girl who was happy to hear the gospel, and then ask questions.  And then another - this time with a Muslim from the UK.  He was open, but we sensed he knew where it was going and bailed before I could share the gospel.  But I had managed to drop a link to needGod.net before he left.

After further discussion, Phil was keen to give it a go!  And Emma too.  And so I left them to it.

It’s so encouraging to see people giving it a try!  And if you are not keen for video chat (yet), you can start with text based Omegle chat.  And there are other options too.

You may be wondering, “but how do I start the conversation?”  Here is a suggestion: “Hi there, hey, I’ve got a deep question for you, what do you think happens after life?”  It’s not as hard as you think, because you are willingly entering a conversation with a complete stranger, and so are they - it really does lower the barrier (the social awkwardness) to asking direct questions like that.  Give it a try, you’d be surprised how many are keen to talk about the deep questions of life.  And if it doesn’t go well, smile and say, “check out needGod.net, have a nice day”.  And then hit ESC twice on your keyboard.  Pray, then try again!

Earlier in the afternoon, I entered an Omegle video chat and was greeted with the pictured view!  The guy had Hot Wheels (tm) all over his walls!  A great conversation starter!  And then I noticed he had a t-shirt on with a picture of Jesus on a surfboard!  It just couldn’t get better, as it gave me an easy way to swing the conversation from the natural to the spiritual.  In this case, the guy heard the law, but I could tell he was going to exit the conversation, so I quickly dropped a link to needGod.net.  To my surprise, he looked at it and then, under his breath, as though talking to himself, said: “I’ll copy that so I don’t lose it”.  He then proceeded to tell me how things worked in the world (in a nice way), and then, unsurprisingly, bailed - he was gone forever.  But he heard the bad news, and he has access to the good news.  He is in God’s hands.

I’ve mentioned IRC (Internet Relay Chat) a few times in my reports, and I continue to keep this in the background.  Yesterday, I managed to get into a great conversation with a guy who thought there was an objective standard of morality that didn’t require God.  As the conversation ended, I “preached” the gospel in the channel, but I became aware of a newbie to the channel.  Long story short, it turns out the newbie is a Christian I’ve worked with many times in street evangelism!  David had been reading my battle logs (haha, I say this all the time, but - people are actually reading them??) and so checked out IRC for himself.  It turns out that he had already taken on the guy I had just been discussing with, about the very same subject (and I never realised, because I came into the channel after David was there).  

I’m so encouraged to see Christians getting involved, as they can!  Praise God, glory to Him.

Today God gave me a special opportunity to talk about the gospel in IRC.  Sadly, the conversation was on the topic of drugs.  I am Zedude.  I’ve done my best to cut out unrelated chat lines.  With multiple people contributing to the conversation it can get hard to follow everything, but I hope you can make out what was going on.

[2020-04-22 13:00:55] [Zedude] Afternoon!
[2020-04-22 13:46:45] → android1 joined (~androirc@unaffiliated/vadre)
[2020-04-22 13:48:45] [android1] passionate about truth
[2020-04-22 13:50:24] [Zedude] android1: you are passionate about truth?
[2020-04-22 13:51:25] [android1] michael highway to heaven
[2020-04-22 13:51:48] [Zedude] Huh?
[2020-04-22 13:51:58] [android1] highway to heaven
[2020-04-22 13:52:09] [Zedude] Are you on it?
[2020-04-22 13:52:20] [android1] are you a club24 member
[2020-04-22 13:52:24] [Zedude] no
[2020-04-22 13:52:31] [android1] sign ip
[2020-04-22 13:52:44] [Zedude] It's a narrow road to heaven, btw
[2020-04-22 13:54:12] [Zedude] android1: are you a good person?  Will you go to heaven when you die?
[2020-04-22 13:56:37] [pbxman] what are your thoughts on psychedelic trips doc235 ?
[2020-04-22 13:56:48] [doc235] i love them
[2020-04-22 14:00:10] [doc235] i seen a blue dragon in my kitchen :)
[2020-04-22 14:00:30] [_Sam--] I see a knee dragon on my wall
[2020-04-22 14:01:51] [Zedude] Drugs: here be dragons
[2020-04-22 14:07:13] ← android1 left (~androirc@unaffiliated/vadre): "Quit"
[2020-04-22 14:11:01] [Zedude] Well, if this life is all there is, might as well make the most of it.  But then I read Ecclesiastes and I cried like a baby.
[2020-04-22 14:11:16] [dumbguy] Zenude: sup
[2020-04-22 14:11:29] [pbxman] why Zedude? what did touch you?
[2020-04-22 14:12:25] [Zedude] Well, I saw life as so meaningless, and Ecclesiastes confirmed that for me - and touched me in a deep way.  It put it into perspective for me.
[2020-04-22 14:16:03] [Zedude] .bible ecc 12:13
[2020-04-22 14:16:04] [HEYYOUGUYS] (Zedude) Ecclesiastes 12:13 Having heard everything, I have reached this conclusion: Fear God and keep his commandments, because this is the whole duty of man. 
[2020-04-22 14:16:10] [Zedude] .bible ecc 12:14
[2020-04-22 14:16:10] [HEYYOUGUYS] (Zedude) Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God will evaluate every deed, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. 
[2020-04-22 14:16:45] [pbxman] Zedude, how do you think god will evaluate you? What do you expect to get from god?
[2020-04-22 14:17:12] [Zedude] pbxman, by his standard written on my heart: my conscience.
[2020-04-22 14:17:33] [Zedude] A standard I fail.
[2020-04-22 14:17:34] [dave0] Zedude: is ecclesiastes new testament?
[2020-04-22 14:17:39] [Zedude] No, OT
[2020-04-22 14:17:46] [dave0] oh ok
[2020-04-22 14:17:53] [pbxman] Zedude, do you take confession ?
[2020-04-22 14:18:03] [Zedude] pbxman, no.
[2020-04-22 14:18:16] [pbxman] Zedude, do you expect to be rewarded by god?
[2020-04-22 14:18:18] [Zedude] We have direct access to God, through Jesus sacrifice
[2020-04-22 14:18:45] [dave0] nope, sacrifice means nothing
[2020-04-22 14:18:46] [Zedude] no, I'm not worth of any reward; and any I get, I want to cast before Jesus in honour of him.
[2020-04-22 14:19:22] [dave0] another religious snake who thinks the torture and murder of an innocent man for no reason is "good"
[2020-04-22 14:19:25] [pbxman] Zedude, do you think deep meditation or psychedelics could get you closer to Jesus?
[2020-04-22 14:19:28] [Zedude] dave0: through the cross, the temple veil was torn top to bottom.
[2020-04-22 14:19:42] [dave0] Zedude: means nothing
[2020-04-22 14:20:19] [dave0] who said he had to die? what can he teach in death that he couldn't teach in life?
[2020-04-22 14:20:20] [Zedude] dave0: it wasn't for no reason.  Jesus did it willingly, to satsify justice and offer mercy.
[2020-04-22 14:20:25] [pbxman] dave0,  According to the bible Jesus knew what would happen to him
[2020-04-22 14:20:26] [hi63vj] Do you beleive in magic?
[2020-04-22 14:20:33] [dave0] Zedude: it's meaningless
[2020-04-22 14:20:35] [Zedude] dave0: at a cost we won't be able to comprehend.
[2020-04-22 14:20:52] [Zedude] pbxman: no further away
[2020-04-22 14:21:18] [dave0] knowing it would happen changes nothing
[2020-04-22 14:21:34] [Zedude] dave0: ?
[2020-04-22 14:21:51] [pbxman] to me meditation and psychedelics is what gets me closer to the source of consciousness or "god" 
[2020-04-22 14:22:11] [Zedude] pbxman: key statement: "to me".  What matters is what is true.
[2020-04-22 14:22:25] [dave0] Zedude: so you say killing jesus was a good thing?
[2020-04-22 14:22:32] [pbxman] Zedude, truth is complicated word in matters of faith
[2020-04-22 14:22:33] [Zedude] dave0: yes
[2020-04-22 14:22:41] [dave0] Zedude: snake
[2020-04-22 14:22:44] [_Sam--] I support the Jews and Romans decision to kill Jesus.
[2020-04-22 14:22:54] [_Sam--] He was going around bringing people from the dead for no reason.
[2020-04-22 14:22:56] [Zedude] dave0: why?
[2020-04-22 14:23:16] [dave0] Zedude: you argue for killing people?
[2020-04-22 14:23:27] [Zedude] pbxman: truth is not complicated, it is true :)
[2020-04-22 14:23:30] [pbxman] .bible john 19:30
[2020-04-22 14:23:31] [HEYYOUGUYS] (pbxman) John 19:30 When he had received the sour wine, Jesus said, “It is completed!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. 
[2020-04-22 14:23:39] [_Sam--] If some dude came around today and started bringing dead people back to life in a morgue, would you want that dude alive?
[2020-04-22 14:23:43] [Zedude] dave0: I argue for truth and justice.
[2020-04-22 14:23:44] [_Sam--] Or would you want that dude killed?
[2020-04-22 14:24:12] [dave0] Zedude: you call murder truth and justice
[2020-04-22 14:24:31] [Zedude] dave0: no.  Murder is objectively wrong.
[2020-04-22 14:24:39] [pbxman] according to the bible he said "it is completed" so he came here for a purpose
[2020-04-22 14:24:50] [dave0] Zedude: no. you say it is good
[2020-04-22 14:25:04] [dave0] Zedude: because you are a snake
[2020-04-22 14:25:17] [_Sam--] It's like lots of other jews before jesus had powers too
[2020-04-22 14:25:22] [_Sam--] And they did good things with them
[2020-04-22 14:25:24] [_Sam--] Like parted a sea
[2020-04-22 14:25:29] [_Sam--] and helped Jews
[2020-04-22 14:25:36] [_Sam--] All Jesus did was bring some people back from the dead
[2020-04-22 14:25:37] [dave0] for which good deed do you stone him
[2020-04-22 14:25:40] [_Sam--] and caught a couple fish
[2020-04-22 14:25:42] [_Sam--] That's it
[2020-04-22 14:25:44] [_Sam--] BFD
[2020-04-22 14:25:46] [Zedude] dave0: Jesus willing went to the cross, to satisfy the justice of God.  God kills, but it is not murder, it is justice.  By what standard am I a snake?
[2020-04-22 14:26:07] [dave0] Zedude: by your own standard that murder is objectively wrong
[2020-04-22 14:26:23] ⇐ pbxman quit (~pbxman@84.78.242.15): Remote host closed the connection
[2020-04-22 14:26:56] [Zedude] dave0: I don't have a standard, but God does.  Justice.  We all believe in it.  But God is also merciful.
[2020-04-22 14:27:01] [dave0] yep god kills, jesus hasn't killed yet, murder is truth and justice... and you ask why you are a snake
[2020-04-22 14:27:30] [Zedude] dave0: you are twisting my words.  Why?  Why are you so angry?
[2020-04-22 14:27:39] [dave0] Zedude: you've never heard his voice or seen his form
[2020-04-22 14:27:53] [dave0] because i hate it when religious idiots advocate murder
[2020-04-22 14:28:10] [dave0] i hate it when anyone advocates murder
[2020-04-22 14:28:29] [Zedude] dave0: true - directly I haven't.  But I hear his voice indirecly, through the Bible.  Written language is objective.
[2020-04-22 14:28:51] [Zedude] dave0: I never ever advocate for murder.
[2020-04-22 14:29:03] [CrystalMath] _Sam--: see i'm only partially jewish, the most i ever did was caused a particular flame to burn more strongly from a large distance
[2020-04-22 14:29:12] [_Sam--] Capital Punishment
[2020-04-22 14:29:14] [_Sam--] I for an I
[2020-04-22 14:29:22] [_Sam--] People get killed in proper justice.
[2020-04-22 14:29:23] [Zedude] dave0: but I did murder - I murdered Jesus.  My life should be forfiet.
[2020-04-22 14:29:36] [dave0] snake
[2020-04-22 14:29:42] [Zedude] yes I am
[2020-04-22 14:30:13] [Zedude] I deserve Hell.  Cos I'm a snake.  But I'm not going there.  Because my justice has been satisfied by Jesus.  And I have accepted his mercy.
[2020-04-22 14:30:24] [CrystalMath] apart from also doing some gentile magic tricks
[2020-04-22 14:31:09] [Zedude] And that mercy and grace is available to all of you.  https://needgod.net/
[2020-04-22 14:31:12] [HEYYOUGUYS] Title: Need God - What's After Life?

And then the conversation died out.  That was the last thing I said.  There was silence.  With up to 300 people in the channel, I just pray that some of them were listening.  That some follow the link.  Do your best to share the gospel, leave the results in God’s hands - what more can we do?  The great thing is that I’m regularly in that channel, people can follow up with me if they want.


 


Sunday 19 April 2020

Posted by Posted 20 April 2020, 5:56 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

The weekend was full of evangelism for Operation 513.  It culminated in a practical online training outreach on Sunday afternoon.  It was incredibly encouraging to have about twenty five connections into our initial virtual meet up!  And some of those connections had multiple people - including whole families.  There were people from at least four cities involved: Brisbane (AU), Melbourne (AU), Christchurch (NZ), and Timaru (NZ).  (Of those connecting from Christchurch, there were representatives of at least three local churches.)

Some were there to observe, and get a feel for it, which is fine.

We started with introductions, and then I led the team in prayer, before Ryan did an Omegle demo while everyone else watched.

Matt organised us into smaller outreach teams, and we moved into our own separate virtual meetings where one person would share their screen and audio with the rest in the meeting so the others could observe the Omegle gospel conversation.  And that continued, taking turns.

It just blows me away, how easy it is to get a gospel conversation started in the modern world.  With a few taps on your phone, and you are away.  I literally just tried it as I was writing this.  I pulled out my phone, I went into my web browser app, I typed “omegle.com”, and then I tapped on “Video”.  Instantly I was talking to a stranger, I smiled and said, “I can’t believe how easy it is to find someone to talk to”.  A conversation was away!  Soon after I asked, “Hey, I’ve got a deep question for you”.  They said, “sure, what is it?”.  And I said, “What do you think happens after life?”.  And they wanted to talk about it - because it’s such an important question!  After the chat, I just stared at my phone and marvelled.  It’s never been easier to get to the harvest field!

Sure, there are precautions we need to take - as there is no doubt we need to keep the principle of “stranger danger” in mind.  You need to be able to cover the video feed coming from the stranger (initially anyway), in case something undesirable comes up (easily solved).  And you need to be able to safely exit in a hurry if you need to (also easy).  But this is no different to any type of social interacting we do.  And we need to socially interact to be able to share the gospel.  And in these odd days of social distancing, due to Covid-19, online evangelism is a revelation.

I was also online on Saturday morning too.  I spent some time on the Internet Relay Chat interacting with people and sharing the gospel.  I then moved to Omegle and I had a fascinating video gospel conversation with a guy who responded only with facial expressions and hand gestures (I have no idea why).  But he listened to what I had to say, and I could tell he was comprehending.  He eventually started typing replies to my questions.

But the highlight of the morning was a text based Omegle conversation with a guy with a Christian background.  He was very smart and witty, but he became very engaged.

You: Do you think it's possible to work out which of your 3 options it is.
Stranger: No
Stranger: Mathematically speaking
Stranger: That isn’t possible
You: Logically speaking, I think it is.
Stranger: Prove it.
You: ok :)

I sensed that he partly understood what I was talking about (due to his background knowledge), but I could tell he really loved his sin too.  He seemed to be caught in this place of wanting what I was explaining (Jesus), but wanting his sin too.  He was open, but resistant.  I could see him closing up, and I pointed it out, and it irritated him.  At one point, I got frustrated with this guy (for being unreasonable) - I had to apologise.  This guy also liked everything set down in simple steps.  He wanted his gospel medicine that way, but I had to explain that it didn’t work like that:

Stranger: That makes 0 sense
Stranger: Yeah sorry I got annoyed by that but u should understand
Stranger: At least where I’m coming from
You: I want the best for you, I'm sorry if I've misunderstood you.
You: I confess, I got frustrated
You: Because you seem to be missing the deepest point.
Stranger: Which is what
You: That we will all die, we all know that God exists, we all know we do wrong. Logically there must be justice, but that God has done something to satisfy that justice, and give you mercy. JESUS. He is our only hope, trust in him, knowing it will change you.
Stranger: Ok stranger.
You: I want the best for you. I want you to know God's mercy. But it's a gift of God
You: Bless ya :)
Stranger: Tell me how to EXACTLY trust
Stranger: Like the step by step rules
You: I can't give you a formula, other than what the Bible says.
Stranger: No no
Stranger: U definitely know
Stranger: What do you do
Stranger: To show you trust him
You: Sorry, it's not something we can do or manipulate, it's something God does for us.
Stranger: That doesnt make sense
Stranger: There has to be like things we can show that we trust him or like a habit
Stranger: That u should be doing
You: TRUST that Jesus paid the fine for your sin, there by knowing 100% you will go to heaven, and knowing that your life will grow in holiness if you do.
Stranger: Wait wait
Stranger: That is easy to say but u still haven’t answered the question
Stranger: How do you TRUST
You: Wow, I'm learning so much from this conversation - thanks so much :)
Stranger: Do I just say it in my head 2 million times?
Stranger: Or what
Stranger: There needs to be a step by step instruction or manual or guide
You: It's not a magical incantation.
You: There is, the Bible. The Gospel message I've explained to you. There is not 3 easy steps, great I'm going to heaven, now lets enjoy life.
You: It's not like that.
You: Salvation is from God, For Gods glory. It's not about you or I. It's about Him.
Stranger: Ok how do I ask for salvation
Stranger: Then after salvation what’s next
You: He saves us, and then shows us the next steps. But he condescends to use weak feeble ppl like me to tell the message to others, God will do the rest.

This was the longest text based chat I’ve ever had.  In the end, I had to end it because I wasn’t making any further progress.  It was time to leave this guy in God’s hands.  I did my best to share the gospel.  I left him with plenty of reference links throughout the conversation, including the source itself, the Bible.

You: Dude, I gotta go :) Thanks for the chat. You know how to get in touch: needGod.net
You: God bless ya :)
You have disconnected.

So, a very encouraging weekend of outreach!  I’ve had a good rest today (Monday), looking forward to another week in the harvest fields - it’s never been easier for you to join me! ;)
 


Friday 17 April 2020

Posted by Posted 17 April 2020, 2:57 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

Well, it’s Friday, and I’ve just spent seven hours in online evangelism - so good!  Earlier in the day (NZ time), I seemed to be talking to people from the UK, but later in the day, and it was people in the US, but then you get people from all over the world.  It’s just so amazing how easy it is to find someone to share the gospel with.

And I know Omegle is not the place for a Christian to be hanging out.  But I just can’t help thinking of the Salvation Army in the early days.  Going for sinners, and going for the worst.  In the pubs and the brothels.

We are an unexpected life line to people.

Stranger: We need more people like you on Omegle.
Me: Yeah, I'm trying to encourage others to get involved

At about the same time someone said that to me, someone said the same thing to Grace:

Stranger: We need more people like you in the world
You: aww bless
You: you could be one of them?

The team meets face to face on Jitsi (prayer, demo, and debrief), and we also have a Facebook Messenger group.  We encourage each other with the gospel conversations we are having.

Here is one from Andy:

“Just had two chats straight.... Both professed to put faith in Christ,  both seemed really sincere in trusting Jesus paying for their sin from today..... one young church going guy was like..... Whooooooh , when he got it!
Yesterday was way hard..... like pulling teeth. God help me be faithful through high and low…”

And from Matt:

“At first professed he wasn't sure and then quickly came to acknowledge he knew God exists. But then started asking about homosexuality. We went down some explaining with helping him to understand.  But he was struggling to grasp it because he didn't know the gospel. So to help him understand I said, "I think this is critical to your understanding" and took him through the law and the gospel and he came to understand it. "It's a free gift, it's not because of what I do and my actions are just a display of gratitude" he said. He professed that he would believe from this moment onward! Then he asked a few questions and then I bought it back to the beginning when he had asked about homosexuality and I didn't even really have to answer, it had already fallen into place for him! He said, "I get it now. A Christian can love a homosexual and disagree with them and they can show that love by tell the news about Jesus and a homosexual can go to Heaven if they believe that Jesus paid for their sin and if they do, they will just remain single!"

I think in this conversation I witnessed regeneration and repentance followed by faith! What a joyful conversation! I left him with needGod.net, a link to a recent interview with a homosexual I did and my Facebook.”

This one from me:

“Nearly an hour talking with an Atheist (video, so it was a long one).  Hard as, but worth every second of my time.  He heard the gospel, and was deeply challenged.  But God!”  (Note, this one is pictured - they guy with the electric guitar.)

And this:

“Ahh, just had a chat with a kid stoned and drunk, he wouldn't leave, and I just kept going over the law and gospel, hoping something would stick. He said he would write down "needGod.net" and look at it in the morning.  He seemed impacted - you know something is going on inside, and you just don't know what... the hurts, the hatred.  Gotta leave ‘em in God's hands.”

Martin:

“Just spoke to a guy from a Muslim country who was secular and atheist, believing in science etc

But he said he liked what I said. He said he had not heard it explained that way before 

I was able to go through the whole gospel with checking questions. 

He said he would read the book of John. 

So that was encouraging”

Omegle is only one place we can go to share the gospel.  There are many others.  I’m still persisting with IRC, I keep it going in the background.  The channel I’m in has over 300 people in it, and a handful of them are very keen to engage.

This morning, I walked into a debate between a Christian and some others.  It was just a lot of apologetics, and the Christian was a bit of a bull in a china shop (yeah, I know, many of you think I’m a bull in a china shop for what I do, but).  So I made an effort to swing it to the law and gospel, and I was successful.  An hour very well spent, considering the people potentially reading, or who can read in their logs.  They have a bot in the channel, and you can use .bible REF and it quotes it, which makes it easy to tie what you are saying to the scripture.

And what’s great is that I’m starting to get to know some of the people in the channel.  One guy is an ex-JW (and yet strangely still fights against the doctrine of the trinity).  There is a liberal Christian, Atheists… but they all have personality, real people - who need the gospel, like we all do.

Thanks for keeping the team in prayer.  And please consider joining us - it’s hard work, but it’s so easy to access and so worth it!  Soli Deo Gloria.
 


Wednesday 15 April 2020

Posted by Posted 15 April 2020, 6:48 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

The online outreach team continues to have people joining in.  On Tuesday we even had a guy join us all the way from the Philippines - the wonders of technology!  We started with explaining how we share the gospel (pictured), and then, after we prayed together, I did an Omegle demo to everyone in the team.

The team then split up, and I stayed with the newbie - I would have video chats via Omegle, while he watched and prayed.

The first was with a guy who believed he was a good person, so I took him through the law, and I could see he was deeply challenged.  I was very encouraged by this, but I wasn’t surprised when he disconnected before he could hear the gospel.  May he not be able to forget what was said, may it bother him, may the Lord bring a conviction of sin, and may he have an opportunity to hear the gospel!

I then moved into a conversation with a young man who didn’t want to talk, but type responses instead.  He heard the law and the gospel and was very open to it.  It seems he was already a Christian, but was just lacking some clarity on the gospel and surrounding concepts.  He eventually ditched the typing and started talking to me directly.  He seemed genuinely appreciative for the conversation.

I finally had a long video conversation with another young Christian guy who also received clarity on the gospel, but then started asking a string of good questions which I did my best to answer.

It was a very encouraging afternoon of outreach!

Earlier in the day I had a weird text chat with someone who wanted to see me nude! :O

You: Last Q, 3) have you ever murdered someone?
Stranger: No
You: I'm glad,
Stranger: Do you send nudes
You: needGod.net - in case you bolt, but Jesus said, anger is like murder in the heart, and lust is like adultery, so, no, I don't send nudes - I don't think you would want to see them anyway!
You: There is good news, but
Stranger: I mean I would like to see them
You: I don't send nudes, but, if you died today, and faced God, and he judged you by perfection, would you be innocent or guilty?
Stranger: Idk
Stranger has disconnected.

On Wednesday I also had some interesting text chats.  The first was with someone who bailed as soon as I mentioned God:

You: ok, here is the point: anger is like murder in your heart.
You: to God.
Stranger: I thought u were religious
Stranger has disconnected.

But I then had a long conversation with someone with a Christian background, but didn’t understand the gospel.  They were very postmodern (can’t know things to be true; whatever you believe is true), so I worked to address this:

You: ok, I won't labour the point. But, If I wanted reality to be that 1+1=3.... well, I can believe that, but it will have dire consequences when I do my taxes :)
Stranger: tru tru
You: Let me change tack, where did the universe come from?

I then was able to share the law, and it seemed to strike true:

You: last one :) 3) Have you ever murdered a human.
Stranger: nah
Stranger: have i wanted to before? hell yeh
You: You've hit the nail on the head.
You: Because
Stranger: becauseeee?
You: Jesus said, anger is like murder in the heart to God (I'm paraphrasing)

They kinda understood the gospel, but misunderstood some related concepts:

Stranger: repent
You: What does repent mean?
Stranger: pray, and forgive yourself of your crimes

Wrong answer!

So I was able to clearly explain the wonder of the gospel, and the resulting change that would occur.  I’m confident they understood, but they became resistant, and started to be illogical to get around it.  Their shields went up.  I tried to fight it for a bit, but then resigned myself.  Here is how it ended:

You: we don't make the rules tho.
Stranger: ik
You: And nonexistence is not just.
You: God is good, and must give justice.
You: But he is also merciful, and has paid the fine.
You: If you TRUST that Jesus paid your fine.
You: But most reject the gift, cos they know they will change if they do. And they want to live their life their way, not Gods.
You: It's a paradox
You: A gift, that will cost you
You: That sounds like a contradiction, but it's not.
Stranger: yeah but im not gonna change, i got no reason to lol
You: You have every reason to: there is justice.
Stranger: i dont need justice
You: It's not you deciding.
Stranger: true but i believe in myself so it doesnt matter
You: You are fooling yourself, we have already covered this.
You: It's like saying
Stranger: yessir i know
You: I don't believe in trucks
You: And then cross the road in front of a truck.
You: This is the hardest things about what I do.
Stranger: ha id do something that stupid
You: I talk to people who know what I'm saying. They know, and they reject it.
You: I'm helpless, I can't change you. Only God can.
You: :)
You: So what is my job?
You: To tell you the truth, and share the good news.
Stranger: im sorry but i have my own beliefs and trust in myself and i know everything about the bible and what it means i just dont think about what will happen in the future, i go with the flow no matter what
You: ok
Stranger: i should go now, its late and im tired so it was wonderful talking to you mr. stranger have a good time and stay believing in what you do
You: needGod.net
You: is a summary of what I want to share with ya :)
Stranger: ill look it up
You: God bless ya, thanks for your time :)
Stranger: God bless you too and ofc :)
Stranger has disconnected.

I ended my day with a wonderful conversation with a young man in the US.  A Christian, who I wanted to check he understood the gospel, and as I was taking him through the law, he said, “I’m familiar with Ray Comfort”.  I still spent some time discussing the gospel with him, and then we settled into a chat where we compared notes on our walk with the Lord.  Up until recently he wasn’t right with God, but he had made some drastic changes in his life to change that and has a desire to grow in the Lord.  He showed me some of the Bibles he was reading.  We even connected on Facebook.

A great way to finish.  Thank you for your continued prayer and support of the Operation 513 team - we really appreciate it.

PS, yes I shaved!


Sunday 12 April 2020

Posted by Posted 13 April 2020, 5:48 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

The weekend online outreaches were wonderful.  We had more people joining us to pair up.

On Saturday, I paired up with Craig from the Hutt Valley (south end of the north island of NZ).  And on Sunday I paired up with Graeme who is part of the Christchurch (NZ) street team.

But on Saturday morning, as I was on my own, I decided to see what was happening on the IRC, Freenode, Truth channel.  Sadly, I walked into a discussion about suicide.  I’m often encountering this subject in my online outreach.  I was able to chime into the conversation and start providing some hope, having personal experience with this subject (in my own life).  I was also able to point people to the basis of my hope: Jesus.  At the end of my time there, I left a link to needGod.net.

I then moved to Omegle, I had a text chat with a guy who was quite engaged (sadly he had forgotten it was even Easter weekend!), he heard the law, admitted he would be guilty, answered Limbo to whether he would be going to heaven or hell, and then when I explained why there is no middle ground, he bailed - sadly, no chance to explain the good news, or share a link to more information - that’s one of the down sides to online evangelism, it’s so easy for the person to disconnect, and that’s it - gone forever.

I followed that up with a wonderful video chat with a girl who was open, and came to grasp the gospel - but was counting the cost.  Sadly, she was keen for the conversation to end - but at least I was able to leave her a gospel link with follow up information.

In the afternoon, with Craig observing, I ended up being connected with a guy who it turned out was smoking a drug (after sharing the law and the gospel with him).  He admitted he probably would never remember talking to me.  Which is sadly probably true (but God).  I told him to write down needGod.net and look it up in the morning.

On Sunday afternoon, with Graeme observing, I had two wonderful longish gospel video chats with young men, both from New York!  One had a Christian background, the other was Jewish.  Both were very intellectually engaged and came to grasp the good news of Jesus, and the cost (in this life) of trusting in Him.  They were challenged to count that cost, and take it a step further than an intellectual exercise, and actually trust that Jesus had paid their fine.  They are in His hands.

Graeme also watched me do a text chat.  It was great because he was able to give me tips as to what the guy I was chatting with was meaning behind some of his cryptic sayings!  Sadly, when I got to the point in the conversation where I said, “If you were to die today” - the guy freaked and disconnected.

To finish off the Sunday outreach I jumped on to IRC again, and I was able to reconnect with the Christian I had encountered the first time I signed on (about three weeks ago) - we are now Facebook friends.

Looking forward to another week of outreach.  He is risen! :)
 


Friday 10 April 2020

Posted by Posted 11 April 2020, 7:34 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

This report comes from the Christchurch (NZ) team, but we are now part of a more global, online, team (temporarily, due to Covid-19).

And it’s wonderful seeing people we haven’t previously known joining us.  On Good Friday we had a gentleman join us for prayer at the start of outreach.  I then offered to pair up with him and show him how we do online evangelism.

It was a joy to get to know this man, from Sydney, it turns out we had a mutual friend (it’s a small world)!  We, of course, also had a mutual love of Jesus and a desire to make Him known.

In Sydney, he normally does outreach at a market (I think he said), and door to door.  But not being able to do this at the moment, due to Covid-19, he joined us.  Praise God!

So in our Jitsi meeting, I shared my screen and audio with him, and then I fired up Omegle.  I showed him a technique for how to hide the video feed, in case something undesirable came up, and then (after he muted his microphone) I proceeded to demonstrate how an Omegle gospel conversation works.

I received an initial round of people who saw me and instantly bailed (I intend to shave my beard to try to make me look younger!).  But then I got into a gospel conversation with some kid from America.  He was resistant to my explanation of how we know God exists, and what he is like.  He threw evolution dust in the air.  I addressed that, but he wasn’t being logical, and I could see we were heading down a rabbit trail, so I quickly changed tack and asked if he was a good person.  That worked, and I was able to take him through the law, and then present the gospel, and then start working on some checking questions.  But I could tell this kid wasn’t engaged, and so I let the conversation come to a natural end.

My new friend who had been observing then unmuted, and we had a discussion about it.  He was very encouraged!  I then went to demonstrate how text based gospel conversations can be had through Omegle too.  And I started a conversation expecting the person to bail straight away (The first thing you usually get asked is if you are male or female - M or F - and when I say “M”, they usually just leave).  But to my surprise, the person engaged, and I was into a text gospel conversation.

The person seemed to have a Christian background (and wasn’t Catholic), but without really realising it, were trusting in their good works for salvation.  They were reserved and suspicious, but clearly had never heard the law and gospel presented the way I did.  They even wanted to look up Bible verses - which is great!  The conversation ended a bit abruptly, but on good terms:

You: It's why Good Friday is so "Good" :)
You: Now, what will our response to the gift be?
Stranger: It’s it 5am?
You: 4pm here
You: I'm in NZ
Stranger: Ohhhhh
You: NeedGod.net
You: Our response will be gratitude
Stranger: Well sorry for the abrupt ending but I have to go
Stranger: Fun talking to you
You: ok, please take a look at that link
You: :)
Stranger has disconnected.

So, my new friend was able to observe that as well, was encouraged and willing to give it a go for himself.  I was so blessed to have met him.  I hope he will continue to join us, online, for prayer at the start of outreaches, and debrief at the end.

Anyone is welcome to be involved, get in touch for more details!

Later on Good Friday, I got into a long text gospel chat with someone.  They were very resistant to the gospel, but I was careful not to push too hard.  I would step back and talk of other things, before gently trying to re-open the discussion to spiritual things.  To my surprise, the person became very engaged.  There was a real connection with this person - amazingly purely via text messaging.  The discussion turned a bit pastoral, as they opened up about some difficult issues, including depression and suicide.  They completely refused to look at any resource links I sent them, but they were willing to talk to me.  It got to the point, where they would just fire question after question at me, and I would do my best to answer.

You: I don't do those things to earn my way
You: Still there?
You: Sorry, I'm preaching
Stranger: Yes
Stranger: No go on
You: I'm a Pastor
Stranger: I could guess
You: haha, right.
You: But, I've only been a pastor for about a year
Stranger: I have lots of q but I don't want to bug you

I would return with checking questions to reinforce the gospel message I was trying to share (by this stage, they were comfortable with me talking about it, even though they were still resistant to it).  But it got to the point where this person just didn’t want to stop, and so I had to end the conversation:

You: haha
You: ok!
You: Will you read NeedGod.net?
Stranger: I won't
You: okay.
You: Thanks for your time, I gotta go.
Stranger: Thanks
Stranger: Bye friend
You: God bless you.
You: :)
You have disconnected.

There is only so much you can do, online, or even on the streets - you have to leave them in God’s hands.  He has the power to save them, and lead them into a place where they will be discipled.  But God condescends to use weak vessels like us to bring the gospel message to them.

The team was also out on the virtual streets on Thursday.  I had an interesting video chat with a biker guy from Ohio, who was smoking pot.  Surprisingly he claimed to be a Christian, and even seemed to understand (or at least articulate) the concept of salvation by grace through faith.  But I could tell this guy didn't really want to talk about spiritual things, and it wouldn’t be long before he bolted.  So I made a decision to focus on talking about repentance and the fruit of which is evidence of true faith (after I had quickly taken him through the law and tried to explain the gospel in that context).  Sure enough, the conversation ended soon after.  He did receive a link to NeedGod.net.  My gut says he will forget ever talking to me, but only God knows what is going on inside, behind the outward exterior.  God can use our weak gospel efforts powerfully.  Be encouraged! :)


 


Wednesday 8 April 2020

Posted by Posted 8 April 2020, 8:03 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

I had a hard outreach today.  It was wonderful, but very emotional.  Pastors, evangelists, all Christians often have to say some hard truths to people.  And those people don’t like it.  And often fellow Christians don’t understand, and question your motives.  But that’s okay - I do get it wrong, I know.  I want to learn and grow… but that’s not a reason not to keep trying, right?  To do our best to share this wonderful message of hope, no matter the offence it brings?

So over the last two days, I’ve been having video and text gospel chats, mainly on Omegle.

Lots of wonderful chats, and not only me, but many on the team, here are a few quotes, just from today:

“I had a chat with a guy who just found his old laptop in his basement, and he opened it and went on Omegle, the first person who came on Omegle was me. He came to grasp the gospel and even noted the time when he started believing in the middle of the conversation - 12:54am. Glory to God!”

“It was a wonderful conversation and you should have seen the smile on his face as he came to grasp the gospel. This beautiful grin came over him!”

“And they were so touched, they came to tears.”

But for me, two very hard conversations stand out:

In both conversations, the person I was talking to, insisted on their goodness - but for different reasons.

One of them really opened up to me and I had a real insight into his motivation for why he considered himself good.  He was comparing himself to someone who had done a very wicked and evil thing to him.  Compared to that wickedness, I think most of us would be going to heaven.  He himself was doing wicked things - but he didn’t realise it, until I pointed him at the standard we should be comparing ourselves to: God - who is perfect.

He claimed he didn’t care, but I showed him how I knew he did care.

The guy went from joking / mocking, to being entertained, to the point where I could tell this guy was very interested in what I was saying:

You: Do you want to hear the good news?
Stranger: sure

But he insisted on his goodness, in spite of the clear evidence to the contrary, and he didn’t like it.  He erupted.  And that’s when he shared his reasoning that I mentioned above.

I was devastated at the hurt that he experienced.  Oh the love, and concern I have for this guy, and I tried to express it, but it was lost on him.  He was very angry at God.  And he cussed me out big time, before he disconnected.  Oh, how I feel for this guy.  How I want him to hear the good news.  How I am praying for him.

The second person’s response to the understanding of their sinfulness was this:

You: But
You: He is also merciful
You: And he has done something so we can all be forgiven
You: But, God forbid, but if you were to die today, and face God, and be judged by perfection, would you be innocent or guilty?
Stranger: oh my, your so right
Stranger: i would probably be guilty
Stranger: i have sinned
Stranger: and i’m definitely not perfect

I was so encouraged, and I thought they would then open up to the amazing good news of the gospel, but instead they hardened to it.  When I asked if they would deserve heaven or hell.  They insisted on heaven.

I tried to reason with them, but they became harder, to the point of it being ludicrous. So I had to leave them to it:

You: But you are good enough for heaven? Ok.
Stranger: yes i am
You: ok.
Stranger: ok i’m done with this
You: NeedGod.net
Stranger: thanks for ruining my night
Stranger has disconnected.

I just feel devastated.  They are both maintaining their righteousness, and are not interested in the good news.  My only hope now is prayer, that this will weigh upon them, and they will come to an understanding of THEIR sin.  And that another Christian will have an opportunity to share the real hope of forgiveness found in Jesus.  That they will know the joy of salvation.
 


Sunday 5 April 2020

Posted by Posted 5 April 2020, 6:07 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

The Christchurch (NZ) team have been doing online evangelism for two weeks now - due to Coronavirus lock down.  We have all learnt a lot!  And we are ready to take the next step: leading teams in online evangelism.

But first, I’ll talk about the weekend outreaches.

On Saturday, Andy was able to overcome some tech issues, and was able to jump onto Omegle and start sharing the gospel via video chat!  Roger was also able to join a team meeting via Zoom and learn the ropes.  So great to see the team getting up to speed again - albeit in a new environment.

For me, I had my first hard patch of online evangelism.  Lots of rejection, and tough conversations - mainly via text chat.  It’s just the same as on the streets - you have good days, and not so good ones.  But no matter the result: the command to go and spread the good news has been obeyed.  God has been glorified.

On Sunday, I held off the afternoon outreach so it could coincide with the team in Aussie.  We started with joining together in a Jitsi meeting (similar to Zoom).  We prayed together, and then we did something different, we paired up into our own Jitsi meetings.

One of the pairs would share their screen and audio with the other, and then start an Omegle video chat.  The other person would mute their audio and would be able to observe the action.  It is a fantastic way to learn how to share the gospel with strangers.  After the Omegle conversation, a discussion between the pair could occur to evaluate the experience.  Then repeat.

The technology is making it so easy: a) to find people to talk to about the gospel, and b) learn how to share the gospel.  It really is lowering the bar of entry to get involved with sharing the message of hope: Jesus.

Yes, I can’t wait to get back to the local mission field of Christchurch.  But until then, it is so wonderful that people can still be reached!

I was paired up with Martin.  Like Saturday (for me), we started out having a run of conversations where the person on the other end would suddenly bail after a good start.  One example that stands out in my mind was with a pair of ladies living in Moscow, Russia.

But then the conversations started getting better and better, and we were able to share the gospel a number of times in the two hour outreach.

I remember one young Christian teen clearly heard the gospel and was thankful.

But the highlight was a conversation with a young lady who was cutting her hair!  She believed in heaven and hell, and when I asked her which she would be going to, she said: “probably hell, cos I’m gay”.  I didn’t let that distract me, and proceeded to share the law showing why we all deserve hell, and then the amazing hope of the gospel - even for homosexuals.  Yes, I clarified that homosexuality was a sin, but if we accept the gift of forgiveness by faith, God will not leave us as we are by granting us the gift of repentance.  We stayed on good terms throughout the discussion.  I leave her in God’s hands - may she be saved!

We finished the outreach by joining together again, via Jitsi, for debrief and prayer.

So, from now (well, Tuesday), the Christchurch (NZ) team will be restarting team outreaches - but you can join us from anywhere in the world!  No experience required, observation welcome!  And we will work with the Aussie teams as well, when outreaches coincide.  I will be encouraging you to join me, via the usual channels! :)  God bless!
 


Friday 3 April 2020

Posted by Posted 4 April 2020, 7:12 AM by Glen Richards. Permalink

For the Christchurch (NZ) team, Thursday & Friday would normally involve: bus stop outreaches at Eastgate and Northlands, gospel + abortion ministry outside the hospital, open air preaching in Cathedral Square, flip charting on Cashel Mall, and a “walk up” evening outreach in the city.  Due to Coronavirus lockdown, none of those things were able to occur.

But, to my amazement, this has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for the gospel: online.  Just a little bit of digging, and gold mines (harvest fields) have been found.

So instead, Thursday & Friday involved outreaches to: Omegle (video and text based) & the Freenode ##truth channel (IRC - Internet Relay Chat).

All this while: staying connected to, praying with, and being encouraged by a team of Christians via Facebook Messenger, and Zoom.

I want to encourage you to join an outreach team.  Set aside a couple of hours to spend talking to strangers about the gospel.  I know it’s terrifying.  But, with God’s help, we can do this.  Please get in touch with Operation 513 via Facebook to learn more!

For me, Thursday started with some text chat on Omegle.  I encountered a vile young man, (but who I persisted with, because I’m vile too), who heard the law, but didn’t want the gospel.  I sent him a link to the Atheist Delusion on YouTube.  The conversation ended like this:

Stranger: you saved me
Stranger: i've seen the error in my ways
You: I can't save anyone.
Stranger: GOT EM LOL APRIL FOOLS
Stranger has disconnected.

God save him, there will be a day where he will regret the mocking.

To mix it up, I then spent some time on IRC.  I responded to a guy (who denies that the Bible is infallible) about what sin is, and this moved into a discussion about the Bible, and then the Gospel, and hope.  It was really good.  Someone even chimed in asking: “what is the gospel?” - presenting a wonderful opportunity.

The great thing about IRC is that you can get to know the regulars in a channel, and start to build relationships.  So the way I’m treating it, is to have IRC on in the background, and cut to it from time to time to see what’s being discussed - jumping in with the gospel, as appropriate.

Later in the outreach, I had a wonderful gospel conversation with a young Catholic teen guy, who was initially surprised by the course of the conversation, but warmed up quickly, hearing the law and the gospel.

Friday started with a gem of a conversation with a young teen who considered themselves a good person, but the law seemed to have a deep impact upon, and they turned nasty.  For someone claiming to be a Christian, I don't think I’ve ever been talked to so vilely.


You: If you were to die today, and be judged by God, by perfection, would you be innocent or guilty?
You: I would be guilty.
Stranger: Stoppppp he never does that God love all of us so just shut up 😢 Your making me cry
You: But what should happen to murders?

Later:

You: He paid our hell fine.
You: No, the only thing you need to do to go to heaven is: Trust that Jesus has paid your fine. It is not "follow what he says" that gets you to heaven. But...
You: We will WANT to follow what he says, if we are trusting he has paid our fine.
You: So, we have to be good (perfect) to go to heaven, but only God is good and pays our fine for us.
You: We accept that gift by TRUSTING him.
You: It is good news :)
You: Because it's not about you being good enough.
You: But about accepting a gift.
You: Does that make sense?
Stranger: [can't repeat] no one is perfect you [can't repeat]
You: If you are trusting in Jesus, you won't want to say things like that. But you can be forgiven - as a gift! :)
Stranger: [can't repeat]
You: God bless you, I want the very best for you - my friend. :)

And it finished with:

You: https://www.livingwaters.com/true-and-false-conversion/
You: Check out this video
You: Matthew chapter 7 has something terrifying to say to "Christians".
Stranger: Shut up u dhrhsjsudhsjdnrhajajfhxjejdjuse
You: I'm encouraged by your responses, and the fact that you haven't left. It shows that I've helped you understand some truths about yourself.
You: And there is hope, because you care about it.
You: It's good that you realise you are not good.
Stranger has disconnected.

I spent time from here alternating between video chat and text chat.  I had a great video chat with a guy from Canada.  And then a long text chat with a Muslim, who was trusting his good deeds to maybe get to heaven, and who couldn’t explain how God can be just and merciful at the same time.  He was challenged but resistant, but he heard the gospel.

I then had a video chat with a teen girl who was talking to me via her computer, but ended up having friends calling her on her phone.  I ended up sharing the gospel with the teen directly, plus two of her friends listening from her phone (I think via Facetime).  I was even able to use my mini flip chart!  A bit mind boggling, but amazing!  Even after considering the cost, she said she wanted to trust in Jesus to pay her hell fine - but I’m not sure if she fully grasps the implications yet.  I leave them in God’s hands.

I finished my outreach with an hour on IRC in the evening.  It was amazing.  Some things were said that I just couldn’t help responding to.  And I got into a great conversation with quite a few people that started with the point / pointlessness of life.  It was fascinating to watch the conversation split up, with multiple one to one conversations happening at the same time - yet everyone being able to follow the whole discussion.  I’m finding presuppositional apologetics very useful here.  They don’t seem to have encountered it before, and it puts them on a back foot while they try to process this new line of argumentation, I then take that opportunity to drop gospel seed.  Also very encouraging seeing new people joining the conversation - it shows people are watching / listening.  Oh, the opportunity for the gospel is great!  Come join us, on the virtual streets of the world!  Glory to God alone.
 


Wednesday 1 April 2020

Posted by Posted 1 April 2020, 5:36 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

After a day off on Monday; Tuesday and Wednesday involved more online evangelism.  So much learning is taking place - about new opportunities and ways of reaching people with the gospel, and also about new avenues for Christians to get involved with the great commission.  Personally, I don’t think I want to do online evangelism full time for ever, but there is no doubt it is a great option.

On Tuesday I tried my first video chat on Omegle (after some text chat conversations to warm up first).

I got into my first chat quite quickly.  A young lady who was shielding most of her face.  She thought I looked like a teacher!  She was keen to talk about spiritual things.  But she only wanted to type (not talk), and when I talked, I got feedback.  So we ended up just text chatting.  I had to work with her to get her to understand how we know God exists, and took her through the law.  She wanted to know why I was doing this, and so I said that I wanted to share the good news.  In the end, she wanted to go without hearing that good news.  But she did say that her thinking had been expanded.

To eliminate the feedback, I put on a headset - that seemed to solve the problem.

I then had a long string of people hang up on me, plus one guy who tried to show me offensive material - so I had to leave that chat quick smart (reader beware - set up a system to hide the picture till you are into a conversation and you know it’s safe).

I finally struck a guy who didn't cancel on me!  I quickly worked on getting a conversation started.  It turns out he was a Christian, so we didn’t talk long so I could get talking to someone who needed the good news!

I moved on and had another string of cancels before getting into a conversation with a likely false convert.  I used my mini flip chart to share the gospel with him.  He seemed enlightened / challenged in many ways.  I was very encouraged!

Video chat can be a lot quicker to share the gospel than via text chat - that's for sure, but I still enjoy text chat as well - it has its own flavour for communication.

I needed a break, so I went for a short walk.  And then I decided to go for another text chat, and it was epic!  It went for over an hour, but it was worth it as the person I was talking to wrestled through understanding the concepts I was explaining, and then working through objections.  Here are some snips from that chat:

You: too deep
You: ?
Stranger: yes haha
You: Fair.
Stranger: never thought i wild have this type of conversation here

You: I'm a Pastor.
Stranger: no way
You: My job is mainly on the streets talking to people about this.
Stranger: NO WAY
You: But because of covid-19, I can't be on the streets right now.
Stranger: tell me you’re kidding
You: Yes way :)
You: Not kidding.
You: Just over a year ago, I worked in IT. But now I'm a Pastor.
Stranger: how old are u?
You: But most of my time is working on the streets. I'm 43.
You: Married, with 3 awesome kids.
Stranger: this is unbelievable
You: Hell is real. Logically, and I've been saved. And I just want to tell others about Jesus.
You: He died to pay my fine, so I could be forgiven.
You: It is an amazing gift.
You: Why unbelievable?
Stranger: so god is doing this to us?
You: ah, good question.
Stranger: like this world crisis
You: Very deep question, now we are getting somewhere!

You: He has a plan to save us, so He is holding off justice so we can receive mercy.
You: But I'm starting to ramble...
You: If you want to talk it though, I'm keen.
Stranger: im laura
You: Hi Laura, I'm Glen :)
Stranger: so all of those world wars

Stranger: but talking abou covid- 19 many of his followers are dying
Stranger: did they deserve this?
You: Lets, back up a bit. Are you a good person?

You: He sees our anger, like we feel about a murderer.
Stranger: so we would never be good enough
You: In our own effort - yes... but God has done something amazing, so we can be forgiven.

You: But... the problem is.
You: Who is there that is perfect? Let alone willing to die for us?
You: Do you know anyone who is perfect?
Stranger: oh i know where this is going
You: :)
You: You don't like where it is going?
Stranger: it’s not that i don’t like
Stranger: it’s that i’m angry with all these rules bc it only brought sadness to my life and the ones i love
Stranger: my boyfriend was a jeová witness
Stranger: you are almost convincing me
Stranger: BUT
You: I can't convince you :)
You: Only God can
You: But he uses weak people like me to share his message.
You: I'm listening...

We went into a discussion about suffering here.

Stranger: im a little lost
You: Do you have more questions? I want to make sure you understand
Stranger: but i think i get it

You: We will still muck up, no doubt! But our desires will change.
Stranger: so we only have to be grateful and try to do better
You: no, not at all.
You: It is not "try to do better".
You: You must only Trust in Jesus sacrifice to pay your fine.
You: If we do that, if we accept his gift of paying our fine, our desire for sin and God will change.
You: We won't WANT to sin anymore (even though we will).
You: We will go from wanting things our way, to wanting things God's way.
You: Sorry for preaching at you Laura! :)
Stranger: haha not at all
You: I just want to help you understand :)
Stranger: it was fun
Stranger: gave me another perspective
You: So, what do you need to do to go to heaven, based on what I explained?
Stranger: that i’ll think about it i promise
Stranger: trusting jesus is the key
You: Amen!
Stranger: got it
You: :)

Very encouraging for me.

Later, I had a chat with a guy who was suicidal!  Part of me wondered if this person was just playing with me.  But you have to assume what they are saying is true:

Stranger: I’m going to end it
You: https://www.livingwaters.com/movie/exit-the-appeal-of-suicide/
Stranger: There is no point
You: Don't do that, there is hope.
You: Are you a good person?
Stranger: No there’s not I can’t ever see the light
Stranger: I try to be but it doesn’t work
You: ok, lets confirm... 1) Have you ever told a lie?
Stranger: yea

This guy heard the gospel, although he didn’t respond to my checking question.

Stranger: Ok
Stranger: Thank you for helping me
You: What do you need to do to go to heaven?
Stranger has disconnected.

I leave him in God’s hands.

On Wednesday, I decided to head back to IRC: freenode network, ##truth channel.  Over 200 people in there.  I’ve been keeping my eye on the channel for days, but today I decided to jump in.  And I managed to get into a wonderful debate with a few of them taking me on.  It was quite a challenge, but I managed to stay on target and share the law and the gospel, while keeping those who were talking to me engaged.  I was overjoyed.  All glory to God for helping me through!  I have no idea how many of the people in the channel were following the discussion, but I know there was at least one other.  I went for a break, and then came back and had someone else gently challenge me - he had been watching.  I was greatly encouraged.  It felt like open air preaching - you just don’t know who is listening!

On Omegle I had another great conversation with a young teen boy, who had given up on church three years earlier.  Today he received a wake up call:

You: Here is my point, Jesus said, if you are just angry with someone, it's like murdering them in your heart.
Stranger: oh

You: His name was Jesus. Do you know how Jesus died?
Stranger: yes
Stranger: he suffered for us
Stranger: he was crucified
You: You are right, by dying on the cross.
You: Why? Because he was being the perfect and willing sacrifice to pay the fine for our sin.
You: If Jesus has paid your hell fine. Where will you go when you die?
Stranger: heaven
Stranger: ohhh
You: Good news, right?
You: But, we have to accept his gift.
Stranger: yeah
You: This is how: it's not by being good.
You: It's by trusting that Jesus has paid your fine.
You: Does that make sense?
Stranger: yeah
Stranger: i get it now
You: So, what must you do to go to heaven?
Stranger: i must believe that jesus has paid for my sin

Thank you for your prayer support as the Operation 513 team continues to engage people with the gospel, in spite of lockdowns.  God bless! :)
 


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