"You're just the person I was looking for."
Last night in Brisbane city the team had an exciting opportunity to preach the good news, that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners.
Each time the team assembles, it is an opportunity to share with others the power of the gospel but it is also extremely valuable for personal humility - being reminded how much you, even as a Christian, need the salvation that Christ has offered.
One encouraging conversation was had right at the end of the night. Jack and Karl were walking through the mall and were asked, "Do you think you will go to Heaven when you die?" Jack looked at his friend, then responded, "You're just the person I was looking for". Over the course of the discussion Jack didn't argue with anything that was said. In fact the look on his face seemed to imply that he was taking this information very seriously. Karl his friend was a little bit sporadic but this eagerness was helpful. Over the course of the conversation, Jack's serious concern about this topic was reiterated. Karl even said, "You've been really worried about this for a while," a number of times!
In the end, Jack and Kyle openly acknowledged their sinfulness and deserved justice before a Holy God. They were not opposed to God's just punishment. When ultimately posed with the question, "Is the opportunity to live for yourself over this short life time, worth suffering God's wrath in Hell?" neither of them were able to state definitively either way. They left with a clear choice infront of them.
Please pray for Jack, Kyle and all those who were engaged in conversations, took tracts or stopped to listen to the preaching.
"I would love to have a Bible."
Today God's providence was on full display (again) during our outreach in Sunnybank. We had a team of 3 of us. Here is what happened. At one point, I was chatting to a school student sharing the gospel with him and gave him a New Testament at the end of the conversation.
Not long later, I chatted with three different school students and they were very receptive. I asked if they had a Bible at home, and I heard that one of them didn't, but I wasn't sure what the other two said. So I gave my last NT that I had in my pocket to the student that said he didn't have a Bible. At that exact moment, the student who I had given the NT in the earlier conversation came up to me and said that he didn't want the NT anymore and handed it back to me.
One of the three students then said that they all had to go as their parents were waiting, but one stayed behind and got my attention again and said, "Can I have one? I would love to have a Bible." Praise God I now had a NT in my hand again that I could give him. He grateful took it and then ran to catch up with his friends who were already quite a distance away.
The team found that a lot of people took gospel tracts today, and there were plenty of people happy to have a gospel conversation. God is always amazingly faithful, so we give Him all the glory!
Thanks for praying for today's outreach in Brisbane city. We can always be comforted knowing that God is drawing His people to Himself, and what a privilege we have in being able to play this small part in His Great Commission.
Some people to pray for:
- Naomi & Sarah, trainee nurses who come from religious homes, and thought they were 'great' people. One of the ladies didn't like the idea that God is three in one, but is going to check the passages that we pointed out to her about this. The idea of forgiveness through Christ alone did seem very novel to them, and they were hesitant to accept it.
- Alana went to a Christian high school but now says she just wants to live for herself. Her worldview was able to be challenged though.
- Henry used to go to church but hasn't been in years. After hearing the law and the gospel, he came to grasp the message of salvation by grace through faith alone. He saw his need of forgiveness. He also took a gospel of John to start reading.
To God be the glory!
We were blessed by the Lord on Tuesday to have 8 labourers on the team at Woodridge, including 3 new people. One of the new people had never done any street evangelism before and as was expected, he was were terrified. But it wasn't long before he was handing out gospel tracts and got into numerous gospel conversations.
At one point, he remarked, "I am so happy I just got to share the gospel with a Muslim lady!"
Please pray for all those who received a tract or got witnessed to, including an Chinese man named Leo who had never heard the gospel before. After hearing of the news of Christ, he was happy to take a gospel of John to start reading.
Also. pray for Omar who thought it was his 10 Commandment keeping that would save him, but then came to grasp the gospel by the end of the conversation.
God is always faithful, to Him be all the glory!
As winter sets in here in Melbourne we are noticing that it is harder to create conversations as there are just fewer people lingering in the mall area to speak to. Despite this, God has still been opening doors for the gospel each week as we seek to share the Gospel with the lost. Here are a few highlights:
Sophie () was a young lady from mainland China who was here on holiday for a few months. We met her late one evening in March and it turned out that she was a band new Christian as of a few months earlier. She was so excited by what we were doing that she joined us for quite a few weeks on the street while in Australia. On her second week she acted as translator so that I could share the gospel with 2 older men from China. Sophie stayed with us for quite a few weeks while she was here and we were thrilled to watch her grow in her confidence in sharing Jesus with people. Hopefully as she goes home she will be better equipped to share about Jesus with those around her.
One evening we were struggling for decent conversations and so we posted a prayer request on Facebook. A few minutes later we bumped into an older Indian gentleman who was waiting for his family outside the shops. We began to share with him but within minutes his family came and joined us. His wife and older son returned to shopping but the father and younger son were very keen to talk. They knew nothing about Christianity beyond the fact that in India it seemed to attract poor people. We were able to step through the gospel in great depth with them and they were both intrigued by the message and very thankful for us taking the time to explain it to them.
One April evening most of our team seemed to find really long conversations. Canaan & Peter chatted with this Atheist for more than an hour and were able to share the gospel in great detail.
At the same time, Troy, Amanda and I started a chat with two young British guys who were both very interested. Within a few minutes Troy and Amanda headed off for other conversations leaving me to chat with the 2 guys for more than 90 minutes. One was fairly clueless and knew almost nothing about Jesus. He asked brilliant questions and so often he asked about the next thing I wanted to share with him. The other guy was nominally Muslim from Egyptian descent and knew lots about religion. He was often able to jump in and explain crucial concepts and was many times almost doing my job for me! He also had so many questions and was thrilled that I was the first Christian he had met who could provide reasonable explanations for some really hard topics.
We don't do open-air preaching very often but we had a go a couple of weeks ago. Not many people stopped to listen but afterwards Brad and Dave (far right) stopped to chat as they were also out doing evangelism in the city. To our surprise we bumped into them the following week as we gathered as a team and they joined us for a couple of hours of ministry. During that same week we were contacted by Lacey (3rd from left) who is here from the US for a short study trip. She had been grieved by the lostness she was encountering here in Melbourne and had Googled for evangelism teams in Melbourne and found us. She will join us for the remainder of her study trip.
Pray for the Lord to draw Cody and Samantha to the Saviour. Initially he advocated reincarnation. Ryan asked him that if reincarnation was true, would not the population of the world be stable? For when someone dies, they go into a new body. However, the population is increasing rapidly these days. He conceded the point saying, "I have never realised that before. But that makes sense!"
Pointing to the Creator, and discussing how to get to heaven revealed that they were basically satisfied with their lives. Coming to the need for God to send us to hell because 'good enough' is not up to God's standard of righteousness, Cody exclaimed, "Surely not me!"
Proceeding to the gospel, they both gave a 'Wow' response. They had never heard salvation explained so clearly before (God's timing is always right). Challenged to count the cost as there is no quitting on Jesus, Cody said he was still in shock that that his belief in reincarnation had been obliterated and was now going to consider the claims of Christ. They were both happy to receive John's gospel and were asked to be like the Bereans, Acts 17 and check everything they hear with God's word.
Daniel described himself as a fencesitter. He had some objections to the Bible but could only remember that the planets, our solar system, were not described as created. The summary statement in Gen. 1:1 covers everything together and earth as separate because this is the focus that God desires to emphasize. He was invited to bring forward any further queries on the Bible at any time, either to one of us personally, or via the website. How the fact of eternity can be considered so lightly is always to be challenged. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and then comes judgment, = the verse before Heb. 9:28.
Praise God for enabling His servants and protecting them, and to Him alone belongs the glory.
It was wet last night at the Gold Coast for our weekly outreach there. It was also very quiet. But still God provided enough people to be walking by, so a good number of tracts went out and some gospel conversations were had.
Please pray for Isaac and Jordan who, in separate conversations, both were listening intently as they heard the gospel. After hearing about trusting in Christ and turning from sin, they said "I need to do that today".
We thank the Lord that He uses unworthy servants like us in His Great Commission. To God be the glory!
Come help us share the gospel, see times and locations here: www.operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams
It was another fruitful outreach today in Brisbane city. We had 4 of us on the team.
It was so great to see that because it is so busy, 200 gospel tracts were able to be handed out in only a 20 minute period. And since we were there for most of the afternoon, lots of people received tracts.
We also got to chat to a bunch of different people about spiritual things. One guy we spoke with was named Axel. He said he was a spiritualist and believes there is only one place everyone will go to when they die and that is a place of punishment. Axel said he had done plenty of things wrong and deserved punishment. He agreed his beliefs offer no hope.
But when he heard the gospel - that Jesus came to die for our sins, he thought the honourable thing would be to refuse Jesus taking his punishment for him. So I said, "Let's say you found out that you have a serious disease and only have two months to live. You hear that there is a cure for the disease, but it costs one million dollars to buy it. And since you don't have the money, there's no hope for you. But let's say a friend of yours decides to sell everything he has - his car, his house, everything- to raise up the money and buys the cure for you and gives it to you as a free gift. That would be amazing, right?"
"But let's say you respond to your friend by saying, 'No that is too much of a sacrifice that you have done', and so you smash the cure on the ground and waste it. Is that the honourable thing to do?" Axel replied, "No, it wouldn't."
I continued, "Because he has already sacrificed all he owns to buy the cure. So in the same way, Jesus didn't just give up everything He owns, He gave up His own life to die for our sins, He has already died, so it's not the honourable thing to reject it. Instead, the right thing would be to accept it, and so repent and trust in Jesus alone for your forgiveness."
He said that made sense, and was happy to take a gospel of John. Please pray for him and all the others. To God be the glory!
We were much lower in team numbers last night in Brisbane city, but God was faithful as always and prepared many people's hearts to hear the gospel.
A good number of Bibles went out, particularly to those who first got witnessed to by someone on the team and then they wanted to take a Bible.
One man we spoke with was named Mihar. He was from India and grew up as a Hindu. But he said he is not actually sure if his religion is true or not. So we were able to show him how Jesus is different to all other religious figures in the world. Buddha, Krishna, Mohammad and so on all lived and died but they are still dead. Jesus is the only one who lived, died and then came back alive three days later.
He replied that they say Krishna rose from the dead in the sense that he is now living in the body of another person. I responded that anyone can claim to be the same person as someone who has lived in the past, but there is no way of verifying that. With Jesus, He died and came alive as the same person. If someone can do that, now that is something amazing. And we know this all occurred because of the good historical evidence we have from the time.
He had never heard much about Jesus at all, but he was begin to see how Jesus is unique to all the Hindu gods that he has learnt about. He had the gospel thoroughly explained to him and also about how Jesus is the only way, and he was happy to take a gospel of John. We encouraged him that if he has any questions to come back and ask us any Saturday night.
It was only minutes later that he returned, and the person who originally spoke to him was in a conversation at the time, so he was waiting around before another team member noticed this and got to chat to him and answer his questions and also further explain the message from the Bible.
To God be the glory!
God provided another day of challenges for us to call upon Him for wisdom & grace so that we may witness in a Christ-honoring manner. We had many polite conversations as the claims of Christ were presented and tracts were handed over:
- Beck, a churchgoer who gave a wrong answer to the question, "Why should God let you into heaven?" Then she said she believed the gospel as presented. Ryan pointed out her inconsistency and referred her to the study of Romans chapters 3-5 so that she might see the Biblical answer for herself.
- Jordan, who eventually said that because of his near death experience, he chose to believe in a goddess rather than the God of the Bible. Ryan pointed to the historical facts of Jesus life, death and resurrection and challenged Jordan to base his faith on a concrete objective Person rather than a subjective experience which might well have been an anesthetic-produced 'dream'.
- 4 young men who knew something of the gospel but were not letting it impact their lives (at least as far as they know -Faith comes by hearing the Word of Christ, Rom. 10:17)
- a Vegan who heard part of the message before his bus arrived (this is all God wanted him to hear at this time). He received an eternity tract and a "Story of Mr. Eternity" pamphlet. He also later returned to catch another bus and was spoken to further.
...and for these and others we look to God to do according to His good pleasure in each person He led us to converse with. We give Him all the glory for apart from Him enabling us, we can do no good thing.