Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
[b] Friday, 23 November, 2007 [/b]
The Gold Coast is overrun with seventeen and eighteen year old school leavers, who have decided to have one big party to celebrate finishing their schooling. However, the festival is nothing more than a sinfest so it was with that knowledge that we organised an all night outreach in an effort to make the gospel known among these young people.
We arrived at around 6pm, and it was good to catch up with Keith and some of his team. But shortly after we began handing out tracts the heavens opened up and there was a heavy downpour of rain. This sent us scrambling for shelter, for around 30 minutes the rain tumbled down, and this prevented us from any evangelism.
After the rain stopped it was like a floodgate opened and the streets filled again with those who were out to party. We had all been issued media passes for the event, which we thought was nice of the Gold Coast City Council, but shortly into the outreach the Surfers Paradise manager decided he wanted to shut us down, so he approached me with a few security personnel as back up and stated that we couldnt hand out tracts in this area since we are touting. This is a standard line we get all the time in the Gold Coast, so I asked him to define what he meant when he said tout, he couldnt define it so I brought out the Local Law and let the legal document define the term, which states that touting is a commercial or business advertisement. Since we werent advertising a business I pointed out that he couldnt stop us under the touting law. So his next reply was to revoke my media pass. This didnt worry me to much since we werent going to be going into areas that required a pass, after taking my pass off me he said that we could continue handing out tracts.
After the run in with council we set up our main witnessing area, in which we would stay all night. And, it soon became clear that we would have an extremely busy night. Right off the bat we had a lot of great one to one conversations, with many young people coming under conviction and wanting to know more. Also a lot of tracts were going out, and people were stopping to read them.
During this time two Gold Coast City Council local law officers approached me, and asked if we would be staying here, I answered that we would be, which he was fine with. His concern was that there was a call to a fight spreading among the schoolies and he asked us to keep an eye out and report any problems. We told him we would do anything to make their job easier to maintain the law at this event. They left with tracts, and encouraged us to keep on talking to people.
The pattern for the rest of the night was hand out tracts, and talk to people. A lot of us quickly ran out of all the tracts we had so we just ended up witnessing one to one. There were Red Frog Chaplains walking around, and sadly they were telling the young people that the message we share wasnt a biblical one, and that we should be ignored. The sad state was many of those red frog chaplains go to evangelical churches as we do. Also there were schoolie support teams walking around, they were present to help the kids that were in trouble. While we handed out tracts, they handed out condoms. They even tried to force our team to take some condoms. To which we all refused.
While I would like to say the night ran smoothly, I cant, because there were a few hiccups along the way. Shortly before midnight, I noticed two people working with us just walking up to people grabbing them, and saying GOD LOVES YOU! then running away. Then I saw them handing out love heart tracts, so I walked over to them and asked about the message they shared. Since it was an organised outreach by Operation 513 I asked them not to use those tracts, but they became very angry and began to yell at me. So I opened my Bible and began to reason with them. The only problem is they didnt accept the Old Testament as Scripture, and they wouldnt submit to what the Word of God said, so as I result I was forced to kick them off outreach. This created a bit of a stir as they made a scene while leaving. But we could not tolerate two different gospel messages being preached, since they both cannot be right.
After this the night went fairly smooth, except for a point where we had to pull out of our witnessing area due to two gangs brawling. It was quite a big fight with probably 30 - 40 people all punching on. The police however did a sterling job as two officers broke up the fight, and held the others at bay till back up arrived.
As the sun was coming up at 4am we all packed up and left. It was a very productive outreach, and many lives were touched with the gospel.
[b] Saturday, 24 November, 2007 [/b]
The body was aching today as I made my way to Brisbane city for our normally outreach. After a big outreach the night before I was ready for a rest. But the battle was not yet over so, I packed my bags and prepared to declare the gospel. I was hoping that we would have a larger team tonight so that I wouldnt have to do much. However, that was not the case only 6 members showed up, so it was going to be a long night.
The city was empty, so there wasnt much happening in the preaching stakes, that and it was also raining. So we expected a quiet night, and that is exactly what we got. It was dead except for a few philosophers who appeared at the end who had a nasty habit of dancing around questions and not answering them.
Overall it was quiet, yet a few people still got the gospel!
[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]
| 2007/11/28 23:40||Profile|
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
[b] Saturday, 1 December, 2007 [/b]
The first day of summer has arrived, and the weather was fairly mild as we set about preparing to preach. The mall appeared busy which was quite surprising due to the fact that it was overcast, and it appeared that it was about to rain.
As we were setting up our philosopher friends from the week previous made an appearance, and we had a quick chat to them. They didnt heckle us this week, however, one of them did speak to Ryan for some time, but Ryan said at the end of the conversation that he felt like they didnt answer the question but rather avoided it.
We had a good size team tonight, and we even had three visitors who had come along from different churches just to see how we do things. It is good that we can be an encouragement to the saints, and help equip them for the work of evangelism.
Josh Mitchell was the first preacher up for the night, and he was going great with all the hecklers yelling abuse at him. Including one man who claimed to be a Pentecostal for five years. The strange thing is that the majority of the hecklers we get that claim to have been a Christian always come from the Pentecostal / Charismatic background. This strikes me as odd for if you study the history of Pentecostalism you would see that it was birthed with a strong emphasis on holiness preaching, yet today there seems to be a major shift among those churches away from such a message.
Josh Mitchell preached for a good length of time, and while he was preaching I was able to do some one to one witnessing to people who wanted a Bible. Both young men were very open to the gospel, and they thanked us for making the Cross clear to them. It is always an encouragement to have unregenerate man thank us for taking the time to make known the Gospel. Please pray for those two young men, that God might grant them repentance leading to salvation.
After Josh Mitchell finished preaching, I jumped up and had a bit of a preach. The only problem I had was the fact that Josh Mitchells hecklers were still present so I had to go straight into a question and answer period. The hecklers that were to my immediate left were just yelling out random questions that didnt deserve an answer, but their yelling drew in more hecklers who asked good questions. One young man was an atheist and he got all excited and started to yell that he could disprove Christianity, so I challenged him to do so. His evidence was I cant see God! Thus He doesnt exist! this made the crowd erupt in cheers. So I did a quick apologetic with him to show the existence of God, and his mate was stunned and then admitted that there was a God.
For a further hour I preached, and answered questions. Please keep all those who heard the message in your prayers.
After I finished Andrew Caswell jumped up and had a preach. Caswell came out with me three years ago when I first began to open air preach, and he said then that one day he would preach open air. Well tonight was the night he did it. He started off by preaching about how we are all guilty before a Holy God, and then he magnified the Cross of Christ.
Sadly, I didnt get to hear the whole message since two police officers came and tried to stop us handing out tracts. First they began by stating that what were doing was illegal, so I pointed out that the law have us permission to do so. The constable then changed tact, and stated that we were causing people anxiety by the tracts we were handing out, and as a result people were littering. I tried to reason with him, and point out that flaws in what he was saying, but the Constable had set his mind that he was going to stop us handing out tracts. For fifteen minutes we spoke, and never once did he say we were breaking the law. In the end the constable walked off saying he would make a formal complaint, and we continued to hand out tracts. Please pray that any complaint will be overturned and we can continue to preach.
It was at this stage the heavens opened up and the rain poured down!
Praise God for a Good Night!
[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]
| 2007/12/6 0:44||Profile|
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
[b] Saturday, 8 December, 2007 [/b]
There is a sense of Christmas in the air, there are Carols playing in the mall, and Christmas decorations are up all around the city. Tonight was the night of the big city wide Christmas carols, which is hosted by a conservative and biblical church.
Tonight we had a visitor from Adelaide, Forbes was excited about witnessing in Brisbane. Since I know Forbes, and have worked with him before we decided to put him up first to preach. The team was rather impressed with his preaching, he was good and loud, and preached a solid biblical message. About ten minutes into his message he had a few hecklers, and he did well handling them.
One of the hecklers was quite loud, he identified himself as a bi-sexual Satanist, and he kept trying to argue with Forbes in regards to homosexuality. Forbes stuck to the Bible and described the judgement of God upon sin. For the next 30 minutes Forbes expanded the Scripture and dealt with many hecklers.
Towards the end of his message, hecklers started to ask about How many people have been killed in the name of Christianity? This was my cue, Forbes tagged me in, and I began to deal with some of the questions. I pointed out to the crowd that a Christian is one who follows Christ, and Christ said love you enemies, from there I built the case of how those who kill in the name of Christianity are not Christians, but rather they are impostors.
Rarely now do we get any new questions from hecklers, but they seem to recycle the same old questions, which normally are questions in regards to: atheism, evolution, homosexuality, the Bible, the problem of evil etc.
God was gracious in growing a good sized crowd, and while I was dealing with a heckler to my left a young man decided he would run up from the right and hit me below the belt. This sent the crowd into a roar of laughter, to which I just made a quick joke and kept preaching.
As the crowd grew so did the hecklers, and I had one heckler climb up on the garden behind me, he then grabbed my water bottle and tried to steal it, but he quickly handed it back when I referenced the two police officers standing in the crowd listening.
The crowd continued to grow, and more questions were being thrown. While I was dealing with a heckler I noticed two Brisbane city council officials approach. They stood and listened for awhile, and then came up to me and ask me to step down from preaching. I asked if I could wrap it up, they said I couldnt. So I tagged in Andrew Hsu to preach to the crowd while I went to see what the council wanted.
As I got down a heckler grabbed me, and warned me to be careful. The man was one who lived in a squat with other homeless people. He seemed to be under a bit of conviction, and he warned me to be careful since according to him in the squats, and on the power poles around those areas. The Satanists and the Goths have put up posters with my picture on it, calling for someone to kill me and even are offering a reward to the person who succeeds. He said that some have already claimed to have killed me (they forgot to tell me that I was dead!), but others said they would go about murdering me.
I thanked him for his warning, and made my way to the council. If what he said is true, then that would explain why the police have been hanging around near us a whole lot more than usual.
The council officer was friendly, and said that they had received complaints about our preaching from the previous week. He informed me that the complaints came from Roman Catholics, they werent to happy with us saying that Rome was not a Christian church. I pointed out to the council worker that we take the time to explain what Rome teaches, and then compare it to the Scripture.
He told me that we werent allowed to call any other religion wrong, I informed him that I couldnt agree to that, since as a Christian we must declare that Jesus is the only way, and by implication that makes all other religions wrong. He agreed in the end and wished us a Merry Christmas.
For the rest of the night it was fairly quiet, and at midnight we began to pack up and head home.
[b] Sunday, 9 December, 2007 [/b]
Today I headed down the Gold Coast with Josh Mitchell, it was a hot day, and I for one wasnt looking forward to preaching. When we arrived down the Gold Coast we noticed that the streets were closed for a bicycle race. Since we couldnt preach due to the fact that the loud speakers were calling the race, we decided to have lunch, and then go hand out tracts.
After a short time of handing out tracts, the speakers stopped and the race finished. So we jumped up to preach. There didnt seem to be to many people about on the Coast, and I was quite happy since that meant an easy day.
Josh Mitchell preached first, and a few people stopped to listen, and then he tag me in, so I preached for a few minutes, and then tagged him back in. It was hard going since next to no one was stopping. Josh preached then for some time, and tagged me in once again.
As I jumped up I noticed a few young guys listening, so I called them out and began to dialogue with them. They thought it was funny about how much they sinned. It was through their antics that God used to draw in a large crowd.
For the next ninety minutes I preached and dealt with apologetic questions. The crowd averaged about 90 people all the time, and at times about 200 people were present. Many people stayed for the full time and listened to the gospel.
One old man started to yell about contradictions in the Bible, so I challenged him to find one. He said there were too many to count, so I held out my Bible and asked him to find just one. Every eye in the crowd turned on him, and he faulted. So I offered him $100 if he could find one contradiction. He said he could, but wouldnt show one. So I offered the crowd the same deal. This sent a few people to try to find some but every alleged contradiction failed.
Some Muslim men tried to use the Where did Cain get his wife? So I showed him Genesis 5:4, but he refused to accept that. One man was a really good heckler who was very vocal, and he even let me answer. In the end he started to scream about his god never creating hell, since his god lets all into heaven, even Hitler.
By now it was about 4:15pm, and Josh had to leave due to his preaching commitments, so I wrapped up the preaching as Josh Mitchell handed out tracts. About 90% of the crowd took tracts, and as I stood down people applauded. A lot came up and thanked me for preaching, and even the hecklers came up and said they were grateful.
Please pray that all that heard the gospel over the weekend will be converted!
[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]
| 2007/12/12 0:00||Profile|
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
[b] Saturday, 15 November, 2007 [/b]
Tonight was an interesting night, it started off by looking like it would be a real busy night, but during the preaching the crowds dwindled down to a few people walking through the mall.
The first preacher up for the night was Ryan, and before he began preaching we had a regular heckler circling for a bit of a show. While Ryan was preaching the heckler kept opening up on him in regards to the Old Covenant and the need of a blood atonement. Ryan put up a decent apologetic, but the heckler was not interested in being reasonable, so he kept on arguing the same point.
Earlier in the night Andrew Hsu had told me that he wasnt going to be preaching, yet when this heckler opened up he got the preachers itch and had to jump up to deal with the heckler. This heckler and Andrew have a background of confrontation. They have debated each other in times past so Andrew used this to his favour when he debated this guy again.
Andrew was up for sometime, and while he was preaching I got surrounded by a group of scantly clad women who were trying to entice myself and another male listening to go off to the club with them. I refused and shared the gospel with them, but the other man who was listening was led off as a sheep to the slaughter.
After Andrew stood down from preaching, Josh Mitchell jumped up and preached the night home. During this time I was having a good conversation with one of our hecklers who has been present for the past six weeks. Over the weeks he has shown a great hatred for the gospel and Christianity. Tonight however, we were able to talk. He was open to hearing the Biblical message and he even took a Bible. Please be praying for this young man.
[b] Sunday, 16 November, 2007 [/b]
The alarm sounded early, and I felt every ache in my body as I got up to prepare for another day of outreach. Today we headed down the Gold Coast to preach, and since I was not feeling well, I didnt particularly want to preach.
When we arrived Josh Mitchell and I met up with David and Tanya. Then we began to share the gospel. David was the first preacher, and he did a decent job. He has come a long way since his first open air, and given some more time and practice he will develop into a great open air preacher.
Josh Mitchell went after him, and he got a few people to stop and listen, and even got a group of hecklers. After he dealt with them for about thirty minutes he tagged me in, and I had the honour of presenting Christ to them. God was gracious since He grew the crowd, and held the large crowd there till the end of the gospel message some 90 minutes later.
Then at the end almost all in the crowd took an in-depth gospel tract. It is incredible to see what God is doing on the Gold Coast. Each week we are being blessed with large crowds, and people who are open to the Gospel!
May God grant salvation to the people on the Coast!
[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]
| 2007/12/19 23:22||Profile|
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
[b] Saturday, 29 December, 2007 [/b]
The sense of the festive season was still in the air as I arrived in Brisbane City for our weekly Operation 513 outreach. As I walked through the Queen Street Mall, I noticed that it wasnt all to busy, and that few people were hanging around. I presumed that it may have been due to the fact that in two more nights the city would be full due to the New Year Eve celebrations.
The team met in our normal spot in King George square for a time of prayer and thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father, then after prayer we spent some time as a group reading through the Scriptures. It was good to have some old friends from Sydney with us tonight as we ministered the Word.
At 9pm we made our way to the Queen Street Mall, and began to set up for the outreach. It was then that I decided that I would be the strike preacher, that is, the first preacher of the night. Normally I dont like going first, since my preaching style plays a lot of hecklers, and the first preacher of the night normally gets not many hecklers.
I started off by talking about how in a couple of nights people will make New Year resolutions, and how many people will break their resolution within hours of making it. Then I asked how many people would make the New Years resolution of I will not die in 2008!.
From there I asked the question of How many people died in the past year? and Are you assured of surviving 2008? By Gods grace a crowd began to gather, so I then opened up the Scripture and gave the crowd a biblical perspective of life from James 4:13-14:
[i]Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.[/i] (ESV)
Then I established with the crowd, that we could die at any moment, and it did not matter how old one was. Once people were thinking about death, and thinking about eternity, then I spoke about why we die, and how originally there was no death, but through sin and rebellion against God, sin passed to all people.
I had a couple of hecklers during this time, and they brought up one of the most ask questions that we have had in recent weeks, and that was the question of prove there was a historical Jesus. I have enjoyed these questions, since it has made me study more the historical documents outside of the Bible that testify to the life and death of Jesus Christ.
After I stood down from preaching I had a good conversation with a young man who was an intellectually. He was really interested in knowing more about the historical Jesus, so I spent some time doing a bit of an apologetic work with him, and then brought it back to the Lord Jesus Christ, and how He only is the only one who can save sinners.
The rest of the night was fairly quiet until just before midnight, when a drunk Irishman decided to start abusing and threatening Josh Mitchell as he preached. So I moved into position behind Josh Mitchell to give any support if the situation got violent. The Irish man saw me, and then started to threaten me and generally abuse me. I was happy to let him threaten me since he was allowing the preacher to continue without interruption.
While he was yelling at me he did hit me once in the stomach, so I warned him if he did that again then I would get the police. He apologised, but then denied hitting me. After about ten minutes passed he started to hit me again, so this time I grabbed his arm and pushed him of me. He then started to shout that I assaulted him, so I sent one of our guys down to the get the police. The police arrived, and arrested the Irish man. I must commend the members of the Queensland Police in Brisbane for doing a fine job in tough situations!
[b] Sunday, 30 December, 2007[/b]
The news reported gale force winds, and heavy rain for the Gold Coast, but we decided that we would still go out and witness to those who went to the beach to see the six metre high surf.
Upon arrival it was raining, so Josh Mitchell and Ryan started handing out tracts while Dave and I kept an eye on the teams equipment. Once the rain stopped we noticed the crowd rush to the beach front, so we went to where we normally preach and began to declare the gospel.
Josh Mitchell and Ryan Hemelaar went first, and they preached even though we were being pounded by strong winds, and sand being blown from the beach. A few people stopped to listen, and a couple even heckled. After about twenty minutes the heavens opened up and the rain began again. So once again we took cover, after about five minutes of rain it stopped so again we went back to the beach front.
This time it was my turn to preach, so I jumped up and preached from Hebrews 9:27, and how it is appointed for us to die once and then judgment. A small crowd gathered, and a heckler opened up on me saying that there was no historical evidence for Jesus. So as I did the night before I made an apologetic argument for the historic Jesus Christ.
It was hard preaching in gale force winds, so after about twenty minutes, I tagged Josh Mitchell in to preach. He was preaching for about ten minutes when it began to rain again, but this time we kept preaching, and there were four young men sitting on a seat listening to the gospel, and they were asking some good questions.
Let me set the scene for you. Picture one preacher, addressing four listeners. Behind the preach stood Ryan and I. It was onto this scene that things got nasty.
As I stood behind Josh Mitchell I noticed two Queensland police officers approach us. By the way they came towards us we knew they were coming to speak to us. However, speaking seemed to be the furthest thing from their mind.
They split up and went either side of Josh Mitchell, and as they did this I noticed the rank of a Sergeant and a Constable. They then both grabbed an arm of Josh Mitchell and pulled him down from preaching and forced him to his knees.
At no stage had they said about any law being broken, but they just decided to bring the preacher down. Josh Mitchell complied with their forceful actions, and as they stood him up I noticed that in his left hand, he was still gripping the Bible. The police turned to Ryan and I and asked if we were with him. We answered that we were so they ordered us to follow them to the Cavill Avenue police station.
Josh Mitchell was restrained the whole distance of the walk from the beach front to the police station, and we were all at a lost to what was going on.
Upon arrival at the station Josh Mitchell was taken into the holding area while Ryan and I waited in the waiting room. Before they took Josh away he requested that I come with him to be his witness for the interview. This got be pushed in the chest by the Sergeant and then yelled at.
Once the Sergeant and Josh Mitchell had gone I turned to the Constable who was not behind the front counter and I asked him for his name and details. The officer refused, and would not say anything. So I asked again, this time he gave me his name and rank. I then proceeded to ask for the Sergeants name, and all the constable would say is his name is Sergeant.
I was also ignored by him when I asked what law we had broken. Since the police were not being forthcoming in what we had actually done wrong, I said that I would be making a formal complaint. And I began to write some notes down in my note book. It was then that I got the greatest shock of the whole situation.
While my back was turned the Constable came out from behind the counter and grabbed me by the neck and upper arm and slammed me into the wall. I called out that this was assault and he replied Tough! He then dragged me by my neck further into the station at the same time yelling Youre under-arrest!
I was then manhandled down the hall way into the holding area where I was reunited with Josh Mitchell. None of us resisted what was going on, but we were both praying that Gods will be done.
Since I was under-arrest, I asked for a lawyer, and it was then that the police became rather abusive and made offensive sexual comments towards us. During this whole time they never once told us what law we had broken, however, they did make many offensive comments against Christianity.
For about fifteen minutes we were in the holding area, and finally the Sergeant changed and became a lot more friendly. He told us that he would release us without charge, and that we could go free. But he still wouldnt say what we had done wrong. We were however, ordered to leave that part of the Gold Coast or be arrested again.
We left the area and straight away began to write our notes out so that we had an accurate record of what happened. We also took the time then to make a formal complaint to the Crime and Misconduct Commission, who are now investigating.
Please pray for the conversion of those two Queensland Police officers, and that God will get the Glory!
[b] Monday, 31 December, 2007 [/b]
New Years eve! As we have done for the past two years we went to the big city party in Brisbane city, not to party with them, but to declare the Words of Eternal life.
Josh Mitchell was the first and only preacher of the night. He went for well over one and a half hours, and the whole time a large crowd was gathered. Then as the midnight hour approached we got ready to preach as the people began to leave. All our tract reserves ran out that night as hundreds of people got the gospel.
2007 is finished, and 2008 is beginning. Pray that God will be glorified all the more in the New Year!
[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]
| 2008/1/2 23:34||Profile|
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
[b] Saturday, 5 January, 2008 [/b]
The day was strange for me, I felt tired, and I felt like doing nothings. So in my wisdom I decided to go out on the streets, but not preach. One would think that I would learn, but I never do. Whenever I have said no to preaching, I have always ended out declaring the gospel.
It was good to have Andrew Hsu back from his trip to Taiwan, so since he hadnt preached in awhile I thought it would be good to put him up first. However, this changed when Josh Mitchell arrived on the scene. It was Joshs schedule week off, yet for some strange reason he appeared in the city. So we put him to work right away and got him up on the Brisbane box declaring the gospel.
The night was fairly quiet, and there wasnt many people in the mall. Josh Mitchell did a good job, and then it was time for Andrew to preach. Hsusy got up and declared the gospel in his normal fashion. But I didnt get to hear all that much of his message since I was in a one to one conversation behind the preacher.
At around 10:45pm, Andrew thought it to be good to make me preach for the night, I tried every excuse to avoid preaching, but Andrew wouldnt buy it. So I got up thinking that it was a quiet night, so I will do a ten minute message then stand down. But God had other plans
I was going to do my Booze Sermon based on Proverbs 20:1, but before I could get into it, I had a couple of hecklers opening up on me. So I dealt with them to the best of my ability. Yet as any preacher knows, a heckler is a magnet for more hecklers.
As I finished with the first two hecklers I got fired upon by a young man who had many questions and statements in regards to the hypothesis of evolution. This topic interests me from an apologetic mindset, so I engaged him on that topic. But like most people who hold to evolution, this man didnt realise that there is a lack of evidence when it comes to macro evolution.
Every time I would ask for evidence he would avoid the questioning, or change topics. During this time another regular heckler was standing beside me yelling abuse at myself, and blaspheming God.
The crowd was growing as the debate raged over Creation and Evolution. I particularly like dealing with this topic, since it is so easy to swing from Creation into the fall, and then into personal sin. From there it is but a small jump to declare the Gospel.
Mr. Evolution would only cite his year eleven biology book as evidence, but he wouldnt tell me what part of the book supported evolution, nor would he tell me what evidence the book presented.
The crowd had given birth to other hecklers, so I was busy trying to deal with four people yelling at me all at the same time. Upon being asked to wait there turn three of them agreed, however, the fourth would not.
The questioning then turned to how do we know Christianity is true? They also stated that it was just made up by a few guys who wanted to make a quick dollar. So again we entered into the apologetic realm and answered the questions in regards to that. Then as the hecklers have done in week previous, they asked about the historical Jesus, and if there was any evidence for Him. I do find it quite amazing that these questions always appear, and no matter where one preaches a heckler has to ask that question.
I built the historical case for Christ, but the vile young man next to me wouldnt accept it. I pointed out to him that non-Christian historians actually record about Christ, and that they all had bias against Christianity, yet he wouldnt accept history.
He then started to do his apologetic to the crowd that had gathered. He tried to make the case that if he believed his shoes to be alive, and if he wrote a book about it. Then would that become a religion, and would that become truth? I replied to him that it may cause some people to worship his shoes, however, it wouldnt make it true. Moreover, I stated, it would be highly improbably that your opponents would write historical accounts saying that your shoes are alive. Yet the opponents of Christianity wrote about Christ Jesus.
By now a young islander named Ricky appeared on the scene, I had already spoken to him earlier in the night, so I engaged him in the gospel. The crowd listened, as I explained the love of God towards sinful humanity, and how we didnt deserve mercy. As I spoke you could see the conviction in the eyes of Ricky. Yet, throughout my talking to him, people tried to drag him away. He stayed firm and listened to the whole gospel, and thanked me for presenting it. - Please pray for him!
By now it was after midnight, so I wrapped it up. A few people took in-depth tracts, so pray that God will use the gospel presented tonight to change their hearts.
As I was packing up I was approached by Mr. Evolution, who wanted to talk more about Creation and evolution. So we discussed that to a deep level, and I made the case for the existence of God from a morality view point. Sadly the man couldnt see his own circular reasoning, it is always hard to witness to a blind man who wishes to stay blind. But we can rejoice in the fact that God is the Sovereign one in all matters.
[b] Sunday, 6 January, 2008 [/b]
The heart rate was up, and the nerves were pumping as we made our way to the Gold Coast. Exactly one week ago we were arrested for witnessing, but we knew we had to return to preach once again.
The weather was threatening, but for a time it held off. Josh Mitchell was the first and only preacher of the day, and God blessed the gospel with bringing in some of the largest crowds we have seen on the Gold Coast.
I was on the camera and I was expecting the police to appear at any time, and at one point a police officer stopped, looked at the crowd and then kept walking.
After an hour of preaching, the heavens opened up and God sent forth the rain. Many of the listeners wanted to learn more, so they took good in-depth gospel tracts.
[b] Tuesday, 8 January, 2008 [/b]
Each year in January, the large Pentecostal youth movement Planet Shakers roles into town. And each year thousands of youth attend the event in order to party for God. In the past I have worked as security at these events, but the things I saw as a guard, made me realise that we needed a Gospel witness in the place.
I arrived at 1pm, and met up with Keith and Josh Mitchell. Since I was known to the security it didnt surprise me to see that they were already watching me and following me, while I was at the event.
We decided that we would head across to the Southbank parklands, and do some witnessing over there, while the conference delegates were on break. When we arrived I did a Way of the Master radio interview with a youth pastor for a Salvation Army church. He knew the Gospel, but he couldnt verbalise it, so we helped him to the best of our ability to understand how to present the gospel in a clear and logical fashion.
After this, we decided we wanted to hand out some tracts, since the youth were not getting a biblical message inside, but rather they were getting from the conference preachers, nothing but false assurance and demonic lies.
We started to hand out tracts, and many of the youth thanked us for the tracts, and many even stopped to talk.
Now you need to picture this, we are on public property, away from the convention centre where the event is being held. Then from around the corner we are approached by a group of Planet Shaker security guards, who come to complain about us witnessing. They formed a circle around me, and tried to intimidate me to stop witnessing, so I pointed out to them that since we are on public property they cant actually stop us. This caused one of the security guards to snatch a tract out of my hand, and start to call me a hypocrite. I asked why I was a hypocrite, and he stated: Because you say there are none good, yet claim to be good. I replied that I did not claim to be good, and nor would I even claim such thing, since after all the scripture says we have all sinned, and none of us do good.
He declared that he didnt like what I was saying, and I replied that he didnt like the Bible then. He just laughed and said that he was a Christian, and what I was saying is lies. So I asked him what part was lies. He couldnt answer but just spoke about how they are true and we are wrong.
Before I could respond, I was approached by Mark Penny, who is one of the top guys from Planet Shakers. I only know Mark from last year, when he tried to stop our witnessing, but in the end agreed to let us continue.
This year he and I chatted about general things, and then he encouraged us to keep up the good work. He then left stating that we could hand out tracts outside the venue. I later found out that the security guard that was with him told everyone that we are JWs.
That night we decided to go into the free night session to see what was happening in the realm of Pentecostal youth. To be perfectly honest I was sickened by what I saw. The band whipped the crowd into an emotional frenzy, then Russel Evans got up and told everyone to listen to him, and got the crowd doing waves around the auditorium.
After this they had some slower worship songs, that always seem to focus on me instead of God. After the crowd was all emotionally stirred up, it was time for the offering. The man doing the offering, told us that if we want to give our heart to Jesus, then we need to give in the offering. Since where our treasure is, there is our heart.
He then went on to use the Creation account to prove that God wants you to create space in your wallet, so that He can fill it with money. Then he promised healing, wealth etc to all those who obeyed.
I was outraged, how could a thief be allowed into the pulpit, how could a money hungry charlatan be allowed to minister to so many people. The only verse running through my mind was 2 Peter 2:3.
After the showmanship was over the evangelist Reggie Dabbs, came out and did another show to the people, and started the chant of bye, bye, bye, bye and we were told to say this to all our hurt and pain. He then declared that we should say shut the front door when pain tries to come back to us.
The message he preached, was nothing more than psychological dribble. He spoke about Jesus Christ coming to help you with your sorrows, and how He came to make you feel better. This is NOT the Biblical gospel! If Jesus wanted to make you feel good He could have sent you a hallmark card, He didnt have to die! The Gospel is about God saving sinners who dont deserve mercy. Yet Planet Shakers seem to miss that point.
I was heart broken as thousands stood to pray the prayer of bye, bye, bye, bye.
[b] Thursday, 10 January, 2008 [/b]
Today we returned to Planet Shakers, since thousands of youth were getting a false gospel, we knew we had to do something to make sure they understood the true gospel.
We began by handing out tracts, thousands were going out, and many pastors were coming back and thanking us for the tracts that we had given out. People even wanted to pray for us, since they were excited to see people declaring the gospel.
two of the top Planet Shakers organisers approached, and one of them lied to Keith, and then tried to snatch all the tracts off him. Keith pointed out that we were on public property and that he couldnt do that. The man then assaulted Keith by grabbing him, and again Keith warned him that was assault. The man just ignored, and told him that he would make us move.
The other Planet Shaker leader then began to yell at all the youth that they shouldnt take these tracts, since they are wrong and the message on them is not true. I replied that we were not a cult, but rather we are from Baptist churches, and that the message on the back is from the Bible. The youth stopped, and didnt know which way to go, so I called out get the information that Planet Shakers doesnt want you to have! This resulted in many youth eagerly taking tracts. The first leader then started to take them of the youth as they walked past, so I went and circled behind him, and gave them tracts again. This made him keep moving further and further back until he realised that we outnumbered him, and that he could not stop the gospel tracts.
A bunch of youth swallowed the lies of the false prophets from Planet Shakers, and began to rip up the tracts saying that the message was false, yet when questioned on which part is false they could not answer.
After awhile, I went and spoke to the first Planet Shakers leader, and asked him what part of the message does he disagree with. He was stunned, so I asked him why do you hate the gospel? He replied that he didnt and that he did agree with what the tract said, this led to me asking him why then did you try and stop the youth from having it? All you have done is created a situation in their mind where they now believe the gospel to be false!
The man apologised, and was sorry for trying to stop the gospel. He stated that he agreed with all the tracts message, and that he also believed that message to be truth. He then apologised to Keith for lying and assaulting him.
I must say, that based on the fruit that Planet Shakers produce, then I would have to declare them as nothing more than an anti-Christian, anti-Gospel, religious party. In which the Bible is not respected, but rather the words of the leaders are taken as truth.
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are
ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from
thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the
diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased
tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into
the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. - Matthew 7:15-20 (ESV)
[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]
| 2008/1/10 9:34||Profile|
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
[b] Saturday, 12 January 2008 [/b]
Another week and another battle to fight, as I approached the battlefield of Brisbane city I was rather excited about the outreach. Tonight would be my last night in Brisbane for a few weeks, since I am going to the United Kingdom for two weeks of outreach over there.
The mall seemed quiet as I made my way to King George Square, but looks have been known to be deceptive. We met as usual, prayed, and read the Bible as a team. Then once 9pm rolled around we were into the mall for the preaching.
Ryan was the first preacher up for the night, this also was his last night, since he will be in Thailand on mission for 5 weeks.
While he was preaching, I was on the Bible table. While I was waiting for people to approach two Korean students came up to me and asked if they could have a Bible in English so that they might learn to improve their language skill. I gladly gave them Bibles, and also gospel tracts. Hopefully, as they improve their language, God would grant them repentance.
At 10:15pm, it was my turn to preach. So I started off by declaring the majesty of God, and then I noticed a couple of people stop to listen. I did a call out and engaged them in open air discussion. It turned out that one of them was an atheist, and he wanted to talk about the existence of God. So engaged him in an apologetic over how we know that there is a God.
An atheist attracts an atheist. All of a sudden I had two atheists, but this second one claimed to have been a Christian before seeing the light. He wanted to debate over some alleged contradictions in the Bible. I enjoy this kind of debate, because often times many people in the public have these questions, and as ministers of the Word we need to be able to answer their questions.
We covered a lot of ground in regards to the existence of God, and then I got to use my favourite argument against atheism, and that is the argument from morality. For if there is no supreme being then, there cannot be any moral absolutes. The atheists I was dealing with argued that the law gave us morals, yet the law came from peoples morals. I pointed out that was circular reasoning.
By this stage another atheist had joined the mix, so it was me trying to dialogue with three atheist at once. I do have to say that they were all very polite, and they were men who had spent some time thinking about the subject. It is always refreshing to debate someone who knows why they hold to a certain position.
I presented arguments to them from teleology, cosmology, and morality, and slowly the arguments made ground. Finally after realising that since they didnt know everything, there could be evidence for God, they admitted that no longer would they hold to the atheistic world view. Two of them declared themselves agnostic, and took some literature, and the third declared that he now believed in God, and wanted to learn more about Christianity.
During this time two young men were ripping up Bibles and tracts, then throwing them at me as I preached. The ground around me was white like snow from all the destroyed Bibles. The police came and then in front of the people watching the officers made the two men pick up everything, they then issued them a move on order and allowed us to continue.
The night finished strong with many hearing the Gospel. Please be praying for all who heard the truth.
[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]
| 2008/1/15 23:34||Profile|
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
| Re: Journal of a Journey|
[b] Saturday, 19 January, 2008 [/b]
Reluctantly I opened by eyes as the aeroplane shuddered with turbulence, as I regained consciousness I noticed a flight attendant, so I called out and asked him, “How long till we land?” His reply informed me that we were one hour from landing at London's Heathrow airport. As I looked around the darkened cabin, I saw that the turbulence had awoken many of the passengers, as I worked out the time, I realised that I had been sleeping for about eleven hours, so I stood up to stretch and to also to fill me pockets with tracts.
As I packed my pockets with a variety of gospel literature, including the last of my Australian million dollar tracts, I saw that the Asian man who boarded at Hong Kong was paying very close attention. Throughout the flight this man was rather rude and not interested in talking, but now as the novelty million was in my hand, I had his undivided attention. I found this situation rather amusing, since wherever I moved the tract his eyes would follow. After making him follow my hand for a few seconds I extended my hand, and offered him the million dollar tract, he gratefully accepted it, and then sat back to read the gospel message on the back of the tract.
The flight was now descending into London, so I buckled in and sat back with an excitement at the thought of the coming England adventure.
I quickly cleared security and customs, and as I exited the airport I saw my old mate Peter, and also a new mate Robert Hughes waiting for me. This was a major blessing since I did not expect to be met at the airport at 5am in the morning.
The drive back to Rob's place at Walton-on-Thames was uneventful, and I enjoyed seeing the sights of Britain. We had to stop to get fuel, so I saw this as the first chance to share the gospel with a person in England, so I went into the service station and gave my last Australian million to the service attendant.
Later in the morning, we were joined by David and Anna Gee from the Operation 513 European ministry. It was a good time of reunion, and then we headed out to get some lunch. Of course this was also a time of being able to hand out tracts to the people of England. My first thoughts were that it was rather easy to hand out tracts to the English, but as one of the guys informed me, at this stage I was still in the outer suburbs, and when I get to central London, then it will be hard.
After lunch, we headed into central London to do a bit of sightseeing before the outreach started, but when you are involved in evangelism, every outing is an evangelistic endeavour. The first point of call was to Wesley's Chapel on City road, sadly it was closed, so the team took me on the hot and smelly underground to Tower Hill. On the tube ride there I decided it would be nice to preach on the London underground, so I stepped up and introduced myself to those in the carriage, and then went on to present a short gospel message. I spoke about how the English have a patriotic song called “Land of Hope and Glory” which calls upon God to make England great again, yet as a nation they have rejected God and rebelled against Him. All those within the carriage stopped to listen, and then as we pulled into the station a lot of the people listening took a gospel tract.
We then climbed out of the underground, and as we emerged I saw the remains of a Roman wall which had been standing out of the landscape of the city for 2000 years. This was a photo moments, I began to take pictures of the wall, and also pictures of the Tower of London, which was just across the road. David Gee informed me that this hill was where they executed all the traitors to the monarch, that knowledge created a strange feeling within me, as I thought about how we are traitors to the supreme monarch King Jesus.
While I was taking pictures, I heard the words “Good evening people of London!” Instantly, I knew that Rob Hughes was . I grabbed some in-depth tracts out of my pocket, knowing that once a crowd gathered tracts would be needed. Rob explored the depths of human depravity while he preached, and it was good to see a small crowd gather. After he preached sin, he revealed the precious truth of the glorious gospel. The crowd listened as Rob preached, and when he finished we were able to hand out many in-depth tracts. One of the people listening, was a young lady from Germany, she was really excited about the preaching. It turned out she was a Christian, but all her friends were not. We were able to encourage her in the work of the ministry, and she left thanking us for declaring the gospel of Christ to her unsaved friends.
We then made our way over to the area near the Tower of London, where David Gee began to preach. After about five minutes of preaching, one of the famed Beef Eaters came out from the Tower, and told Dave to stop preaching. After Dave questioned him a bit on why we had to stop, we stood down, and then began to make our way home.
The trip back to Walton-on-Thames was uneventful, upon arrival we had dinner, and then I got to fall into bed for a good nights sleep.
[b] Sunday, 20 January, 2008 [/b]
It was cold and windy as we approached the Metropolitan Tabernacle, as the church came into view I couldn't help but think about how just over a century ago people crowded these very streets to hear the gospel of Christ preached by Charles Spurgeon.
The service was a good service in which Dr. Peter Masters preached from Colossians, and how we are to do things in the 'name of Jesus'.
After the morning service Peter and I made our way across London to Hyde Park, and the famed speakers corner. The plan was just to go and watch all the people speak, but God had other plans. W stood and ate our lunch as we listened to the preachers, and the one I was listening to was talking about horses. The man then started to talk about how 'mother nature' made everything. This was interesting so I decided to play heckler. I asked the man, “Where did mother nature get the matter from to make horses?” The man speaking replied that he was a Christian, and that he believed God made the matter. This created a good discussion, since now we had two Creators. The man seemed to be stunned at this, so he looked at me, and then in an angry tone began to yell, “I have one thing to say to you! Just one thing! JESUS LOVES YOU!!” I found this a bit amusing since he sounded angry, and was pointing at me screaming about love.
So again I heckled, this time about how to get to Heaven. The man said all one had to do was been a good person, so I opened up the Ten Commandments to see if he was a good person. The man didn't want to play, so he just went silent and refused to look at me or even say a word. By now a crowd had gathered, and I found myself being heckled by atheists. So I turned and began to deal with the crowd. For the next hour we had one of the largest crowds in Hyde Park, and many people got to hear the apologetic evidence for the existence of God, and also about salvation in Christ.
After preaching in Hyde Park, we rushed back to the Metropolitan Tabernacle to see how their evangelistic Sunday school operated. This was an eye opening to tour, and it was incredible to see so many kids excited about learning the Bible.
Before the evening service at the Tabernacle, Peter and I stood out the front at the busy bus stop handing out tracts to those who walked past. It was a strange feeling in witnessing outside of the place where God used Spurgeon to bring thousands to Christ.
The night service was a good one, the sermon was on repentance and turning from sin. Hopefully God used this sermon to bring people unto Himself.
[b] Monday, 21 January, 2008 [/b]
It was decided that today I would go out and do some sightseeing. In the morning I had a meeting with Pastor Christopher Buss from the Metropolitan Tabernacle, and then after the meeting I caught the bus to West Norwood cemetery. The reason for going out to the cemetery was to see the tomb of Charles Spurgeon, after seeing the tomb we made our way into the city to go to Bunhill fields, and also to John Wesley's chapel and house.
It was cool to see the places where the greats walked and prayed. But sadly we go to see the new side of Methodism. While we were in the chapel of John Wesley, I saw a notice on the board endorsing homosexual ministers and homosexual Christians. My blood pressure went up, how could a movement that was based on holiness now become apostate? I wonder how they reply to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
That night we all met at Trinity Road Chapel in Tooting, it was good to come together as a team and get to know one another. While the week ahead was going to be a big one, it was good to know that we weren't alone in the battle. God had brought people from all around the world for this outreach, we had people from: Australia, South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, Wales, and England.
[b] Tuesday, 22 January, 2008 [/b]
The battle begins... We started the day of by coming before God in prayer, and then after breakfast we hit the streets of London. Before we even arrived at our destination we had begun to witness. As we walked along the road everyone we passed got offered a tract, then when we were on the underground people started to witness.
The London underground is a hot and smelly place, it is as if its another world. No one talks and people just sit and read the paper. But things were changing because throughout the carriage you could hear the sound of the gospel being shared in one to one settings. Furthermore, nearly all in the carriage had a gospel tract in their hand.
We got off the underground at Leicester Square tube station. From there we walked around to the square. To our surprise the place was near deserted, so we started to walk across to Trafalgar Square. It was then that we spotted a long line of people standing in the cold waiting to get tickets for a show. Rob Hughes seized this opportunity and jumped up to preach the gospel to the crowd.
After Rob finished preaching, I also preached for a few minutes. I looked at how we have all sinned, yet God is still rich in mercy towards us, in that He sent Christ to die for the ungodly. A few people in the line took tracts after the open air.
We arrived in Trafalgar square shortly after, and the first thing we did was set up the ladder for an open air preach. It was decided that I should go first. I don't normally like preaching first, but since I was one of the only ones with a voice left I didn't have much choice.
I began to preach about “Rule Britannia!” and how the lyrics state that “Britons will never, never, never be slaves”. I then swung into John 8:34. It was hard going preaching the gospel here, and it appeared that very few people were listening. However, I was informed later that people we standing on the balcony behind me listening to the gospel message.
The team then broke off and handed out tracts, it was a nice change to have people be polite when you offer them gospel literature. So many times in Australia people are rude and abusive when you offer them a tract, but I have found in Britain that many people will politely thank you, even if they don't want a tract.
We spent some time doing tracts, and then it came time for Rob Hughes to preach. He stood up and began to declare the gospel. Sadly his voice gave out within minutes of starting, he quickly tagged me in, and I began to preach again. A small crowd gathered, so I did a call out to a young man who was listening. It turns out that his name was Simon and he was from the USA. We engaged a bit in the open air, and then we swung into looking at how all have sinned against God. Simon seemed to be under conviction by the end of the open air. I was told later that Simon was a Jew, please be praying for this man, that God may grant him repentance.
By now it was rather cold, so we caught a bus and headed over to Marble Arch. It was here that we took a break and warmed up. After a time of defrosting, we planned to go to Tower Hill to preach, but God had other plans. As we neared Paddington station I noticed that the time was near on 5pm, and I realised that we were about to receive a call from the Way of the Master Radio in order to do some phone fishing on the streets of London. I was disappointed that we hadn't made Tower Hill, so it was decided that half the team would go on to Tower Hill, and a three man team would stay and do phone fishing.
We did phone fishing for about an hour, and during that time both Todd Friel and Ray Comfort got to have some good discussions with people on the street of London. However, the really cool thing was that while they were phone fishing, a man named Obi approached David Hayes and began to talk to him. Then on the side of a busy London street Obi broke down in tears and cried out to God for mercy. May God be praised for His mercy!
This was the perfect end to a big day!
[b] Wednesday, 23 January, 2008 [/b]
We spent today evangelising in Tooting. This was a good chance for us to minister and assist Trinity Road Chapel which had been so kind to supply us with free accommodation. Evangelising in the suburbs is different to evangelising in the city. While the message is the same, the way in which you present that message is different.
Our first point of call was the Tooting Broadway tube station. We handed out tracts, and preached outside of the station. Many people came and asked for more information about Christianity, and we were able to have plenty of really good one to ones.
That afternoon we headed out and did some door to door witnessing. We had been given over ｣200 worth of Bibles and scripture cards from the Trinitarian Bible Society, so we made up some packs with a New Testament, a gospel tract and a church invite and then went and gave them out free of charge to those in the community. This outreach worked very well, with many people accepting the pack. Hopefully God will use this for His glory.
Later that afternoon we headed back to Tooting Broadway for some more open air preaching, and also for some more Way of the Master phone fishing. There were a lot of people at the tube station, so it was great to minister there. During the phone fishing Todd Friel got to talk to two muslim men, who were both under conviction by the time he finished. Both men accepted in-depth tracts and left thanking us.
That night as we were preparing to leave I was approached by a female police sergeant, she stopped and asked what the purpose of our ladder was. I informed her that it was so that we could preach. When she heard that we were Christian preachers she was excited, and asked us to keep coming back to preach there since the community was in desperate need of the gospel. Rob was willing to comply with this police request. The interesting thing is that this police woman was not a Christian, yet she could see the benefit of Christianity upon society. She took a tract and even posed for a photo with me!
[b] Thursday, 24 January, 2008 [/b]
Today we returned to the centre of London. We started off by heading to Tower Hill, but when we arrived we found the place deserted, so we walked across the road to the Tower of London. While I ducked off to take some photos, the rest of the team handed out tracts, and one to one witnessed. This caused security from the castle to come out and order the team to leave. We complied with their request, although it is interesting to note that before they issued a move on order the security were reading Kevin's “Wrath to Come” tract and joking about going to hell.
We went back to Tower Hill only to find it still deserted, so we made our way around to Buckingham Palace to see if the Queen was in. She wasn't in, but many people were outside the palace. So we set to work handing out tracts and having one to one conversations. It was then suggested that we preach outside the palace, this is something Kevin decided to do, we stepped back and began to film the preaching.
Within seconds of him starting to preach the guards at the entrance to the palace were on the radio, but they hadn't tried to stop us so Kev kept preaching. After he preached for about 10 minutes armed response police arrived to see what was going on. The police spoke to David Gee, and informed us that we weren't breaking any law, but could we let Scotland Yard know in future if we are going to preach.
After we finished ministering at the palace, we headed back to Tooting for a break. Which is something we needed when one considers that we had a big night ahead of us. We had an earlier dinner and then we headed back out to London to preach in Leicester Square.
Rob Hughes was the first preacher up for the night, and God was gracious in that He drew a crowd for His glory. Rob dealt with the heckles from the crowd and made sure everyone knew the full gospel before he got down. Many in the crowd took in-depth tracts afterwards. During this time there was a man wearing dark clothing and having a long black beard standing in the crowd. He was there for at least fifteen minutes. When Rob stood down from preaching this man approached Rob and thanked him for taking the time to preach, the man then put \50 in Rob's hand. Robert tried to refuse the money but the man insisted, it was easy to tell by this man's accent that he was from the USA, although we didn't realise that the man we were talking to is a member of the famous heavy metal band KORN. The man was very humble and didn't make a big thing about his fame, but rather he just told us a bit about himself, and how he appreciated the gospel message. He took a tract and then left.
It then fell to me to preach, so I stood up and began by preaching on how we all have a stalker named death. God once again was gracious and drew a crowd in for His glory. The crowd was faily quiet except for a heckler named Dave, he was an interesting character, and he was a good heckler. He would ask a question and then be kind enough to let me answer. I dealt with him for about 40 minutes, and then other hecklers began to join in. During this time we had a large crowd for the whole thing, but then I noticed two police officers circling the crowd. My immediate thought was that they would be shutting us down. However, they just stayed and listened. After about an hour of preaching I stood down, a lot of the crowd took in-depth tracts, and then I noticed the two police officers approaching. They began to chat to me about the ministry, and one of them thanked me for taking the time to preach, the other officer was different, he began talking about Christianity and how he could be saved. It was a joy to be able to share the gospel with two police officers. They both left with tracts, and they also asked us to come back and preach any time.
[b] Friday, 25 January, 2008 [/b]
We had a later start today due to the late night we had yesterday. Our first point of call for the day was Westminster, it was cool to actually witness and hand out tracts in front of Westminster abbey.
Many tourists were in the area, so a lot of tracts were given out, and a lot of one to one encounters occurred. We spent about two hours in this spot and then we moved over to Covent Gardens.
Covent gardens was jammed full of people, as we walked through the gardens I noticed many a street performer, some were really good and drew a big crowd, others were rather poor but they still had crowds. All I thought was how to we compete against this, that was me not trusting in God, but rather thinking of it in a natural mindset. God once again would show His Sovereignty in drawing a crowd for Himself.
Rob Hughes was the first preacher up, and he belted out the gospel hot and heavy. A few people gathered in to listen as he expounded on the law of God. Then after Rob finished David Gee began to preach. His opening was on the fairy tale of evolution. God again was glorifying His name by drawing people in to hear the message of hope found only in Christ Jesus.
Then it was my turn to preach, so I began by talking once again about the shortness of human life, and how our life is nothing more than a mist. It was now that I saw God working despite what I thought. He drew a crowd in, and this time He even drew in a Muslim heckler. Mohammed the Muslim heckler was a good heckler, and him and I engaged in an apologetic over Christianity versus Islam. This caused a good size crowd to gather as we went back and forth. I pulled out all I knew about Islam to disprove it from an apologetic angle, this was done not for Mohammed, but rather it was done for the crowd. The reasoning behind this is because Britain is looking down the barrel of Islamic invasion, so if I can warn and convince a few people about the errors of Islam then I have done my job, but what is the point of destroying Islam if one doesn't know the hope found in Jesus. So after the apologetic I explained the way of salvation and how we all need a Saviour.
Just as I was wrapping it up I was approached by two security guards who told me to leave as I may be offending some Muslims. This was interesting since the Muslims in the crowd actually thanked us for challenging them. We left Covent gardens since by now it was dark and cold, so we made our way back to Trinity Road Chapel.
[i] That concludes the Operation 513 London Outreach, however, the outreach in England was just beginning for now we were headed to Northern England to preach in Sheffield, Newcastle and Manchester...[/i]
[i]Soli Deo Gloria![/i]
For pictures go to: http://www.xanga.com/Josh_Williamson
| 2008/2/1 7:27||Profile|
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
[b] Saturday, 26 January, 2008 [/b]
The day began nice and early, the alarm sounded at 5am, and then for the next hour a mad rush followed, as we tried to get everything together for our train trip from London to Sheffield.
We got onto the train with about five minutes to spare, and I thought the trip on the train would be uneventful, as usual I was wrong
About one hour out of London the train came to halt in the middle of nowhere, we sat there for about 45 minutes, and then we were informed that the fire alarms were sounding in the train so we couldnt proceed with our journey since it was unsafe. At the next station we transferred to another train, and I thought that this was all going bad, but looking back now I can see the sovereignty of God all over this incident. Since during our time of transfer a young lady approached us since she had heard us joking, and it turned out that she was heading up to Manchester for an audition.
She sat with us on the new train, Dave and Anna saw this as an opportunity to share the gospel, so they set about to explain the full gospel to her. She sat and listened for some time, and then decided that it was time to leave, so she got up and went to another carriage. Please pray for her.
That afternoon we went out to the Fargate mall in Sheffield, the mall was packed full of people, since it was a clear and sunny day. As we walked up to the mall it was cool to see Paradise square, which is the square in which John Wesley preached to his largest weekday crowd. Sadly, today the square is nothing more than a car park, with a small sign talking about Wesley.
As I walked through Fargate I handed out tracts, and I was surprised at how many people readily accepted them, since in London there had been times when it was hard to hand out tracts. While I was handing out tracts I ended up getting into a good conversation with a young man who was advertising a band in the mall. It turned out that he was a son of a minister, but he had turned his back on Christianity and rejected it outright. So I explained to him the full gospel, as I spoke his body language changed, he went from being hard and anti-gospel to being convicted of sin. Before I could give him grace a friend of his interrupted and told me that it would be a sin for us not to do what comes natural, which is sin. I pointed out to him the errors in his view point, and then quickly returned to the first man I was speaking to. It was great to be able to minister grace to him. Please pray that God would grant him repentance.
By now I was suffering from the effects of the cold, and I was finding it hard to concentrate on the mission at hand. It was then that Anna Gee stood up and began to open air preach. She did a brilliant job as she dealt with hecklers and then pointed them to the cross of Christ. After about an hour she tagged me in to deal with a bunch of youth that had surrounded her, so I dealt with their questions quickly, and then gave them all in-depth gospel tracts.
This concluded my first day in Northern England.
[b] Monday, 28 January, 2008 [/b]
Today we made the two hour drive north to Newcastle for a day of outreach. Four of us left Sheffield and then joined forces with some brothers and a sister in Christ upon arrival. It was good to meet up with Jimbo from Living Waters Europe, and to be able to chat with him for a little while before we headed into town. It was also great to meet with Dale and his friends who had driven across for the day.
We made our way into the centre of Newcastle, and as we walked we handed out tracts. What struck me immediately was how easy it was to hand out tracts here, so many people took them, and others came up and asked for tracts. It would be nice if we had this kind of openness at home in Australia!
While handing out tracts in the mall I was able to engage to young men, they both were open to the gospel, and came under conviction as they realised the justice of God, and how He must punish sin. Once they realised their state before a holy God I was able to point them to the cross of Christ in which God show mercy towards a sinful humanity.
Some of the guys did open air preaching after this, I just watched, and then once they finished I made my way into a shop to get some warm food. I was finding it hard to cope in the cold weather, but after having something warm to eat I was ready to go again.
I was the first preacher up after lunch, so I stood not far from the British Army recruitment stand and began to declare the gospel. Instantly I could feel my voice starting to give out, it wasnt handling well after a week of preaching and being in the cold. But I decided to push on and finish the message. A few people stopped to listen, and the music shop opposite to me decided to turn up the music louder in order that I may not be heard.
While I was preaching I noticed that a bunch of soldiers stopped to listen, I found this encouraging since they are engaged in a dangerous job. And often times the fighting men are harder to reach due to the fact of them being trained to be hard.
As I was wrapping up my open air, I began to taste blood in my mouth. This wasnt a good sign so I quickly finished my message. Then I began to cough up blood, I had pushed it to hard, and I was in need of a rest. David Gee quickly informed me that I was to rest my voice and not preach anymore that day.
The team preached two more times, and during Daves open air a large crowd gathered to listen as he engaged with hecklers. Overall the day in Newcastle was great, please pray for all those who heard the gospel proclamation!
[b] Wednesday, 30 January, 2008 [/b]
Today we headed across to Manchester to join up with Kev Williams, and also some of the guys from up north. We met at Kevins house where he treated us to a great breakfast that really helped to warm me up before we went out preaching.
The centre of Manchester was busy as we began to witness to people, I decided that I would probably not preach much today due to me having a bad throat, so I would concentrate on one to one and tracts.
I found a good position where I was able to hand out a few hundred tracts before it got to cold that we had to take a break to warm up. Kev decided that it would be good to show us the John Rylands library which contains P52, which is the oldest Greek papyri we have of the New Testament.
It was amazing to see something so old, and to see that the Bible has not changed from when that papyri was made till today. After looking at some different Greek papyri we headed back out to the streets.
The city did not seem as busy as it was before, but we still went ahead and preached the gospel. David Gee decided to put me up first, and then the plan was that he would go after me. I wasnt very excited about this idea, since I thought my voice would only last a maximum of five minutes.
I began to preach, and immediately a crowd began to form. I was shocked since it is rare to see a crowd form so quickly in a city. People began to stop as I explained about how we all die and then it is appointed for us to face the judgment seat of God.
A young lady to my left kept laughing, so I called her out and asked how she thought one would get to heaven. She replied that she believed that one had to be good in order to get there. This is a standard reply the world over, so I opened up the Ten Commandments to see if she was a good person by that standard. After looking at the law she soon became serious as she realised that she was facing eternal hell because of her rebellion against God.
After I explained grace to her she left with a gospel tract, but I now had other hecklers starting to open fire. The heckles included issues in regards to evolution, and atheism, and also it extended to Islam and Judaism. I dealt with the questions to the best of my ability, always with the motive of pointing them back to Christ.
I preached for over an hour, and praise God my voice held out. Some in the team suggested that the crowd was between 150 - 200 people, and many of those people stayed for the whole thing. Dave nearly ran out of tracts as he handed out in-depth tracts to all those who had been listening. So praise God for His grace in drawing a crowd!
At the end of my open air I was approached by a Manchester city council worker, who informed me that someone had accused me of being a racist. He told me that he had been listening to what I was saying, and he had heard no racist comments. I was able to explain the message of salvation to that man, so hopefully he also will come unto salvation.
By now the sun had gone down, and it was really cold, so we parted ways. Kevin returned to his home, Dale and Alan returned back up north, and Dave and I made our way back to Sheffield.
Praise God for an awesome day!
[b] Thursday, 31 January - Saturday, 2 February, 2008 [/b]
From Thursday to Saturday we concentrated on outreach in Sheffield, by now my voice had gone so I was to do no more preaching during my time in England. It was nice to be able to rest, and it was also good for me to focus more on one to one witnessing, and handing out gospel tracts.
On the Saturday I was able to have a really good conversation with a man who was walking his dog. He had heard David Gee preaching a few weeks before, and he found what he said interesting. I built upon this and made the gospel personal for him, and he soon came under conviction. He saw his need for the Saviour and even stated that he wasnt prepared to go to bed that night with Gods wrath upon him. The man willingly accepted a gospel of John, and also an invite to the local church which Dave attends.
The week in Northern England was very productive with thousands getting the gospel of Christ. Something I did notice in Northern England was the Islam is every where, coming from the outside I could see that Britain is on the verge of Islamic invasion, and many of the churches are sitting by having a snooze while the enemy is infiltrating. The church in Britain needs to awake and get out and begin to evangelise, failure to do this will result in Britain becoming an Islamic state then the freedom will be gone.
Please pray for the church in Britain that God will shake them up, and fire them up to seek His face, and to declare the gospel. Also pray for the people of that country, pray that God may grant another awakening to the land so that He might receive glory!
[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]
For pictures from the outreach go to: www.xanga.com/Josh_Williamson
| 2008/2/9 0:05||Profile|
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
| Re: Journal of a Journey|
[b] Saturday, 9 February 2008 [/b]
The first Saturday night back in Brisbane since the tour of the United Kingdom. While I was happy to be back, part of me longed to be back in the UK preaching the gospel. I really enjoyed my time over there, and God willing I will return once again.
We were short staffed on the team tonight due to other leaders having commitments, but we still had a good size team arrive for the outreach. As usual we spent time in prayer and then read the Bible as a team.
At 9pm we made our way into the Queen Street Mall, the mall looked like it was near empty. Dan Kent was the first preacher up, and he spoke about how people dont like to come into the light of the gospel, since their deeds are evil. Dan has come a long was as an open air preacher. He has grown in confidence and his arguments for dealing with hecklers have become a lot sharper.
Dan preached for near on thirty minutes, during this time he had multiple hecklers, and he did a good job in answering their questions, and then pointing them to the cross.
After Dan preached, it was my turn. So I stood up and began to preach from Proverbs 20:1 The Booze Sermon. I wasnt long into the message when a few hecklers appeared.
The topic of debate for the night was atheism, and evolution. I began to engage with one man who didnt have a clue about what he believed when it came to the hypothesis of evolution, but then Riley stepped up to the plate. I must say Riley has been one of the best hecklers I have ever had in this ministry, he was calm, and he knew what he believed, and why he believed it. He presented his arguments, and then let me respond, and unlike most atheists he was even willing to be challenged on his position.
For over an hour I spoke to Riley, and during that time the gospel got presented many times. Please pray for Riley, that God may grant him repentance.
The night ended fairly quietly, many people took tracts, and many one to ones occurred.
Praise God for His faithfulness!
[b] Friday, 15 January 2008 [/b]
Tonight was a special outreach, Keith and I decided that it would be good to pack our pockets full of tracts, and head into the Benny Hinn crusade which was occurring in Brisbane.
We arrived early since someone had been able to source us special partner tickets, this gave us good seating. While we were in the line waiting to enter a man behind me started to talk about the glories of Benny Hinn, it was hard to keep my mouth shut as I listened to him describe the greatness of this false prophet. The man then began to tell us that we needed to have some money ready in order to give in the offering. Keith and I assured him that we had something to put in the offering, but we didnt inform him that the something were gospel tracts.
We took our seats, and the lady next to us also began to sing the praises of Benny Hinn, it was incredible that many people are deceived by a man who has made many false prophecies and preached many unbiblical messages.
The Benny Hinn show went for over three hours, and as we sat watching we found some things that were really disturbing. Firstly, Benny Hinn is praised as being a healer yet all around the stadium they had Ambulance personnel. I must ask, why are they there if Benny can heal people?
Towards the end of the night they had a line form in the stadium for all those who had been healed. The line had about 50 people in it, and as we watched the line we noticed that there were four ambulance officers working on a person in the healed line, and then we saw another officer bringing down a defib. and oxygen machine. For someone who was healed they werent looking in very good shape. Also during this time an old lady had to leave the healed line and sit down, because she was in so much pain. Yet, the people still praised Benny for healing them.
By far I found the most disturbing was the fact that people lined up to be healed by Benny, although security would only let certain people up on stage to be healed. With every person that went on stage not one of them showed an outward sign of being ill or injured. However, in the lines waiting to be healed were people in wheelchairs and a also a blind lady. I have to ask, why didnt Benny get them on stage to heal them? At one stage the blind lady tried to walk forward, but she was pushed back by Benny Hinns bodyguard, clearly they didnt want her on stage. Now surely if Benny can heal (as he claims) wouldnt he out of love go down and heal the blind lady? Or make the people in the wheelchairs walk?
Throughout the night there was a strong focus on money and how we must give. Benny even called for people to give $10 000 in the offering, and gifts of $1000 would also be accepted. The sad thing was many people actually put that much money in the offering bucket.
As he was begging for money the only verse that I could think about was 2 Peter 2:3: And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
Benny then prophesied to the whole crowd that they will all be wealthy, and that God will make the money of the wicked become their money, IF they give in the offering.
After watching the show I am convinced that Benny is nothing more than a wolf in sheep clothing, he is a charlatan and a fraud. Pray for all those who are deceived by this demonic liar, pray that God may open their eyes and that they see Benny for who he really is.
[b] Saturday, 16 February 2008 [/b]
The night was an interesting night. It began with a man ripping up a Bible and screaming abuse at us, then coming back a few minutes later to try and get another Bible. We also had many people stopping to talk about the gospel before we even set up for the night. So may God be praised!
Andrew Hsu was the first preacher for the night, and he preached the gospel to a few people that stopped to listen. He had one rowdy heckler standing listening. During this time I noticed two people standing in the crowd with literature, so I walked over to see what they were up to. It turns out that they were Seventh Day Adventists, and that they were there to feed off the crowd that gathers each week to hear the gospel. They started to push to those in the crowd that one had to keep the Sabbath to be saved, and that also Ellen White was a prophet. As team leader I decided to step in and engaged these two guys on the doctrine they were pushing.
The first man became rather angry when I denied that Ellen White was a prophet, and he started to talk about how I must keep the Sabbath, but when pushed on Scripture to prove his case he failed to do so. During the conversation one of our regular hecklers came and listened into the conversation. I must admit I was surprised to hear him quote the scripture chapter and verse to refute the error of the SDAs, I turned to him in shock and asked where did that come from, and he just replied Ive been reading my Bible, and listening to you preach. I did find this encouraging since it shows that people are taking note on the preaching.
After I finished discussing theology with the SDA I stepped up to preach. My topic for the night was on the Greatest Gamble, this drew a crowd in, but they were a quiet crowd and they just stood and listened. Eventually I was able to dialogue with a young man from England, and as we went through the gospel you could see conviction come upon him. By now a large crowd had gathered, so I kept on pushing home that salvation is in Christ alone.
After I finished with the man, Kyosti came alongside him, and presented the gospel again. Over an hour later they left, but not before thanking the team for sharing the truth with them. Please pray for their conversion.
As I finished the gospel preaching the heavens opened up and the rain came down.
Overall it was a great night with many hearing the Gospel!
[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]
| 2008/2/16 23:49||Profile|