On Wednesday the team out again on the streets of the Gold Coast for Schoolies.
As the beginning of the week had shown, the schoolies are very interested in talk. Many had attended "religious" schools and had ideas about God but the vast majority have no handle on the Gospel.
Please pray for these young men and women:
Maddie had previously professed to be a Christian (four years earlier) but had since rejected it. She heard a simple presentation of the judgement of God and His Gospel and acknowledged her understanding of the truth and yet still wanted to reject God because He didn't give her what she desired.
Tom chatted with the team for a lengthy time as well. He heard many apologetics about different parts of the Bible, most of which pointed back to the Gospel. But ultimately Tom left saying, "I understand a lot more about Christianity but I am happy living life as I want."
Taylor came two nights in a row and engaged in long discussions both times but on both occasions was quite drunk and was being a little silly. He said that he'd taken 22 shots before he had come out! Taylor talked with the team on most aspects of Christianity and had actually attended a local Brisbane school and one of the team members knew his brother. But even after 13 years at the school he had more questions rather than answers about Christianity.
Jamaine was a young man that had many questions and chatted with two different team members. The last thirty minutes of conversation were spent repetitively explaining repentance and faith and him trying to explain it back to us. Ultimately he left seeming to understand and we gave him contact details if he was interested in catching up with us.
The week has been moving along well, the team is pressing on despite the tiredness and God is graciously bringing us people with which we can share His truth.
Please keep us and those we have and will talk to in prayer!
So far during Schoolies at the Gold Coast, the "Good Person test" flip charts have been really great. They have been a very valuable asset as the Schoolies run up wanting to do the good person test, with some groups of people even waiting around for their turn to go through it. There have been plenty of new people coming along each day to try out this test. It has been great to see hundreds of Gospel conversations come from such a simple and easy to use prop.
One conversation started by these flips charts was with Angela and Brooke. The pair just happened to be walking by, saw the picture and inquired as to what it was about. Angela and Brooke had attended a catholic private school and had some ideas about salvation. Sadly most of their ideas were misunderstandings.
But the flip chart soon changed that. They learnt that we weren't just good people who made mistakes but rather we were bad people, who chose to do wrong. They then learnt that this sinfulness deserves Hell, which means all of humanity deserve Hell. To finish off they heard of God's incredible love, that He chose to suffer the penalty for our sin, so that all who trust in Him may have eternal life. This all happened in under five minutes, with the aid of the chart.
Sadly, the two girls weren't really phased and even though they intellectually understood the Gospel, they were more interested in living life according to their desires rather than in submission to God.
Please be praying for Angela and Brooke, that God may use this small conversation as the turning point which leads to salvation!
On Tuesday night as the team headed into the Surfers Paradise mall there seemed to be fewer schoolies out than the previous nights. Thankfully, that didn't stop many conversations from taking place.
Two notable conversations took place together. First was a conversation with young man named Sam who joined into a conversation that was already taking place with two guys, Jacob and David.
Sam was quite adamant about things he believed and was quite strong in his opposition of God's truth. This all collapsed quite quickly as Sam began to declare that he only believed things as true on the basis of his own experience.
The brief and quick response, "So you're telling me that World War II never occured?" silenced him and stopped him in his tracks. Sam realised the basis for his belief was flawed. This opened a great opportunity to share that a human being could never reason or work out in their head anything about God, unless God Himself had revealed it. Sam acknowledged this as true and then listened for a few moments before recieving a phone call and leaving. Thankfully the last minute of the conversation consisted of a clear and consise Gospel presentation of God's actions to save humanity.
The other conversation with Jacob and David lasted for almost ninety minutes. This consisted of many interruptions but was primarily based around, "questions we tried to ask our school chaplain but he didn't really want to answer". Jacob and David laid question after question on the team and we were happy to provide God's answer to each question. This back and forth covered everything from human sin, other world religions, to the problem of evil and the justice of Hell.
When the discussion was coming to a close, Jacob asked one final question, "What is the answer to your shirt?" One team member was wearing a shirt which read, "Did you hear about the bad man who went to Heaven?"
This question provided the perfect opportunity to present the Gospel one final time as the pair headed off for the evening.
Please thank God for His absolute authority and providence of these conversations. Thank Him for providing many Gospel opportunities in conversations that to begin with seem fruitless.
Please also lift Sam, David and Jacob before God and plead that God would free them from the bondage of their sin and cause them to turn in surrender to Him!
On Monday afternoon the team headed out again for Schoolies at the Gold Coast. During the afternoons people are usually sober and therefore there are less people around and those who are around have a little more schedule in their plan. Thankfully that didn't stop numerous people from stopping to chat with the team.
A notable conversation was with a young man named Emerson. He had a range of questions about Christianity specifically. He mentioned that he thought it was okay to believe in God but not really follow or obey what God has said.
When asked, Emerson didn't know where he'd spend eternity and was a little worried about it. He then changed the topic and was asking about gay marriage and what Christians think about it. It was explained that God designed, life, sexuality and relationships and therefore knows how they should be best used leading to joy and happiness and equally the contexts in which they would be detrimental and damaging. We also explained that God in His love has revealed this to us so that we may live the beautiful life God designed for us.
We told him the implications of this truth don't just relate to sexuality but to all aspects of our life as humans. This means it is hateful to encourage anyone to live against God's design for us because it is to encourage someone to miss out on the beautiful life of intimacy God designed us for and to encourage someone to act in a way that offends God.
This is where it became relevant to Emerson, the team pointed out that he was doing the same thing. Emerson was missing out on God's good design because he thought he knew better. We pressed him a little and ultimately left him with two options. He could either continue to live in arrogant defiance against God, thinking he knew better and ultimately ending up in hell. Or he could surrender to the humble God who, in love, chose to suffer in his place, that he may have life.
Please pray that Emerson reflects on this truth and ultimately turns in total surrender to God!
Please also keep the team in prayer as this week is exhausting and takes a toll physically on the team.
On Monday night at the Gold Coast during Schoolies the team had many, many gospel conversations. The schoolies this year have basically been coming up and asking the team to tell them about the Gospel. It also seems that almost everyone we've spoken to has gone to a Catholic or Anglican school. This is sad because many of the school leavers have never heard a clear and simple presentation of the Gospel, despite attending a "Christian" school for 12 years.
Oppositely, it is an absolute pleasure to have an opportunity to preach God's message of salvation to these young men and women, so that they can know of God's work in salvation.
A stand out conversation was with three young men, Sebastian, Tano and Nick (who have sinced come back and chatted with the team a second time). These young men went through the flip chart presentation with one team member and then asked some questions to a few team members.
Tano and Nick weren't the main focus of the conversation on Monday night but did recieve the priority of attention on Tuesday. The challenge was put to Sebastian numerous times to count the cost of trusting in Jesus. He understood that God knows what is best for us. He acknowledged that he was living in a way that is contrary to God's design but Sebastian didn't really want to surrender to Jesus as Lord.
Please keep the team in prayer that we can continue to be fervent in our evangelism, actively seeking a new conversation whenever we have finished the prior one.
And please continue to lift up those we speak to before God, that He may grant them repentance and faith!
This year as usual the team has set up camp on the Gold Coast for the week of Schoolies. Throughout Sunday night there were some showers of rain but that didn't deter the schoolies in their celebrations of finishing high school.
Due to the limited number of things to do and the small area they are confined to, many of the schoolies are walking around bored with nothing better to do than find people to talk to.
As a result, the team had numerous Gospel conversations. Here are a number of stand outs:
A group of four young men were sitting down on the chair next to the team and were approached with the question, "What do you think will happen after you die?" Two of the young men, Jacob and Blake, engaged. Both initially just rejected God's existence but this seemed to just be a smoke screen as both very quickly acknowledged God's existence and were more than happy to begin to dialogue about where they will spend eternity.
After a lengthy discussion and a number of clear Gospel explanations Jacob who mentioned he sort of wanted to trust Jesus, the conversation was bought to a close with a pointed question, "Would you be willing to up give all the money you've spent, pleasure you're seeking and time you've set aside for this schoolies week and go home for the sake of Jesus Christ?". Or more simply, would you be willing to surrender to Jesus at the expense of giving up Schoolies. Jacob after a long pause said, "I don't think so, maybe after schoolies." He wasn't overly confident in his decision but he did stick to it for the remainder of the conversation.
Please pray that God changes Jacob's mind.
Another chat was with a young man named Joe. Joe knew God existed and wasn't sure where he'd spend eternity. After a simple talk about the sinfulness of humanity and the penalty this sin deserves Hell, Joe's demeanor began to change he began to seriously consider what was being said.
When asked how this could be solved. Joe had a few ideas but none of them were a solution. After a quick discussion the team just shared with him, the greatest news, that even though we have no hope in ourselves to remove our sin, the Holy God of this universe, acting in love, took the penalty for our sin Himself so that we could be reunited with Him. He did all this so we could be freed from the power and penalty of sin. At the end of the conversation Joe said he would definitely consider surrendering to Jesus.
We encouraged Joe to read the Gideons Bible in his hotel room and to come back tonight to speak with us again! Please pray that God will renovate His heart!
Please be praying as the team heads out this next week.
Warwick Rodeo Outreach
It was a great day with perfect weather to share the gospel with the people of Warwick (QLD, Australia) and the many people who travelled from surrounding country areas to join in the events at this year's Rodeo. The Rodeo started on Monday and finished on Sunday and is a highlight for Warwick and is held on the last week of October each year.
The street parade was held on the Saturday and it was the best place to pass out some gospel tracts as crowds gathered along the streets as well as in the park where there was a large community markets with many stalls.
As the event was announced at the church we attend there was a call for prayer and workers for the day, and we were very thankful to God for the prayers and 11 workers to hand out tracts. As we met and prayed together there were some who had never done this before that felt the fear that is a natural feeling that we all get when we begin this work, even after years of handing out tracts we can allow this feeling to stop or hinder us, but we know what Jesus wants us to do, and that is to allow Him to help us to trust that He will give us the words to speak and to obey the call to go spread the good news.
After praying we split into groups and started in the park just before the street parade. We handed out to stall keepers and people browsing in the markets and had such an easy time giving out the Big Money tracts.
One of the children in our group gave to a local school that had a stall and as she walked off the kids came running and asking for more to give to their friends. This gave a boost to the young believer and her fear became less and as the day went on she was giving out with more courage...so praise God for how He works in us and through us.
With almost 2500 tracts given out in the time we were together it was a blessing to have a few short conversations and plant some seeds that we pray will take root and grow unto salvation.
Thank you to all who prayed and stepped out in faith on this day.
All Glory to our God!
On Saturday we got to be a real light in the darkness at the Manly Halloween Street Party. Each year, thousands of people gather on the waterfront dressed as ghouls, demons, witches, and a variety of dark and evil personalities. Often times the costumes are quite revealing and sexual; other times they are horrifically violent, yet, this is considered a 'family friendly event.'
We gathered at around 2:30pm to hand out tracts and talk to people. In nearly two hours we handed out 1000 tracts, and had several good conversations.
One conversation I had was with a young Police Officer. She took a 'Trick or Treat' tract and asked me what it was all about. I explained to her that the biggest 'trick' people fall for is is the idea what we can somehow earn our way to Heaven by being good. She told me she didn't believe that and that there was no hope for her as she had done too many wrong things. She handed the tract back and said seriously, "It is straight to Hell for me." I told her, "It isn't too late, there is still hope. As long as you have breath in your lungs there is hope." She walked away saying, "It is too late for me."
After this I was able to talk to an Irish lady who also asked what the tract was about. Again, I said that the biggest trick people fall for is the idea that someone has to be good to get to Heaven. She looked at me, then said, "I don't believe that. But, I don't know how to get to Heaven." She then asked if I knew how someone could get there. Well, I was more than happy to tell her of the Lord Jesus and all that He has done. As I explained salvation not being by works, she smiled and said, "It is all by believing in Him! I need to believe in Him!" Excitedly she kept saying, "I need to believe in Him!" She walked away rather happy. I do pray the Lord has granted her repentance and faith.
Please pray for all those we met today. May the Lord Jesus continue to banish the darkness in this land, and may of the light of the gospel spread.
Riverfire Outreach - Brisbane
We praise the Lord that on Saturday over 10,000 gospel tracts went out during our outreach in Brisbane city during Riverfire. We started in the late afternoon, and it was great seeing people receive the tracts, with some beginning to read the message aloud as they continued walking down the road.
After the fireworks, a bunch on the team took turns preaching the good news of the gospel with much passion. This was while the rest of the team continued handing out tracts and started getting into some gospel conversations.
Over the course of the outreach, we had about 25 people on the team, which we praise God for that He raised up labourers for us. We encourage you also to join a local evangelism team in your area, details here: http://www.operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams/
To God be all the glory that His gospel went out and we know it won't return void!
Day 1 - Monday:
We had our first full day of evangelism yesterday during our mission trip to the country of Myanmar. What an experience it has been so far!
The people here are so happy to take a gospel tract and talk. The local pastor, whose number is on the back of the tract, has already received 4 calls from people wanting to meet up and learn more about Christianity, with one saying that he wants to bring 10 people along with him to church.
We have had people come to make professions of faith. We know that God is in charge of the results. Praise Him for that!
Please pray that God will save many souls through the gospel going out here this week. Pray for continued strength for the team in the midst of the heat and humidity, and for today as we are about to start our second full day of evangelism.
Day 2 - Tuesday:
God is really moving in this country of Myanmar. On Tuesday, we were able to get out about 30,000 gospel tracts, with many great gospel conversations with Buddhists, Muslims and Atheists also had. Some even came to profess faith in Christ, glory to God!
There is a hunger for the word of God here, which was shown to us again by the fact that two Buddhist people (university students) who received tracts yesterday made a long journey just to meet up with us to learn more about Christianity. They said they now want to follow Jesus and will be continuing to meet up with a local pastor for further discipleship.
Praise the Lord that His word is going out in this country and that the team is able to help the local church get out of their comfort zones to share the good news of Christ. Please continue to pray for the team and for the salvation of many people. Thank you!
Day 3 - Wednesday:
On Wednesday, the team on mission in Myanmar went to a different part of Yangon to continue sharing the good news of Christ. We also found a good location to do some preaching with the sketchboard, where people gathered around to watch and listen.
While on the streets, it is a great blessing that each person on the team is paired up a local person who can translate for them, as together we reach the people of this country for Christ.. Buddhism has a big dominance on the hearts of many, but mainly because of tradition and because people generally like the idea being able to earn their forgiveness.
It seems that most conversations will involve giving a courtroom analogy, showing how a good judge cannot let a criminal go free based on how many good things a person has done compared to his bad deeds. We've found that most people come to understand that, which then leads on to the gospel, that we need someone who can take our punishment on our behalf.
Please pray for the team as we are able to head out on the streets again today. May God be glorified!
Day 4: Thursday:
On Thursday in the country of Myanmar, the mission team went to the city centre of Yangon to share the gospel and it was a very fruitful day. We also used a good person test flip chart to preach with in the open air, and it attracted lots of people to come and listen.
One of the locations we did it was at a bus stop, and so once we finished one presentation of the gospel, we'd do it again only minutes later and a whole new crowd would gather around to listen. As a team, we probably ended up preaching over 25 times. God is good!
Please pray for continued strength, health and energy for the team, as we are about to set out for our second last day of evangelism in this country.
May God bring many people out of darkness and into His marvellous light!
The mission team to the country of Myanmar have returned back to Australia, praising the Lord for all that He has done through this past week.
140,000 gospel tracts went out over the week, and 10,000 more in-depth books on Christianity also went out. Even though the locals expected it to rain for most of our time there, we hardly experienced any rain during the times of outreaches, and on some of the days only after the outreach was finished did it pour down rain.
We had dozens of people, including mainly Buddhists, come to profess faith in Christ. The local pastors we worked alongside are now continuing to disciple them and those who are seeking.
God is amazing and to Him be all the glory! There is a great openness towards the gospel in this country. But there is much more evangelism that still needs to happen in Myanmar, pray that God raises up labourers to go into the harvest field there.
Warwick Outreach (July 2017)
It was a beautiful winter's day here in Warwick (Queensland, Australia). The mornings are a little cool at minus 3, but it warms up to the low 20s for a pleasant temperature to hand out gospels tracts.
For a couple of weeks in July each year Warwick puts on an event called "Jumpers and Jazz" where locals dress up the trees with jumpers, beanies, scarves and colourful knitted crafts and fill the streets with live jazz bands which brings in many visitors from surrounding areas to enjoy the festivities and is a great opportunity to share the gospel.
We located a good spot and started handing out our tracts and it wasn’t long before I struck up a chat with a man and his wife after handing them one of our “What will matter to you in 150 years time” tracts.
They both agreed that they wouldn’t be here and be long dead and buried and I said, "Have you thought what happens when you die?" He said, "You just go into the ground." I found out during the chat that he said that he was a born again Christian for twenty five years - many years ago but now he isn’t and doesn’t believe in Jesus and that we are all gods.
I addressed those issues and quickly moved onto the gospel but half way through the commandments they said they had to go. So I asked them to read the tract and remember that they had to stand before a Holy God in judgement one day and give an account of their lives to Him.
There was a few more conversations that arvo and we got to hand out about 150 tracts. Scripture says that God’s word does not return void but accomplushes what he has sent it to do.
All glory to our God and King!
We had a team of 14 or so of us this morning that met to get thousands of gospel tracts into people's letterboxes in Springwood (QLD). We started off with brekkie, and then loaded our hands with eternity postcards and set out. It was a great success, with lovely weather. Glory to God! Please pray for all those who will be reading the gospel tract they've received when they next check their letterbox. God is good indeed!