It never ceases to amaze me at what God does when we go outside of the church walls to share the Gospel with the lost. Over the course of the past week I've been involved in two outreaches, and at both events we saw God at work. We had people asking us to keep preaching when we wanted to finish, and we even saw a young man profess faith in Christ.
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 - Woodridge
The sky was turning a dark grey as we arrived in Woodridge for our outreach. The weather forecast had told us that heavy rain and some storms were to be expected. Yet, despite all that we went out to share the Gospel, as we knew that much of the area where we were witnessing was undercover.
Last week the outreach was busy. Hundreds of tracts were handed out, and many conversations were had. This week things were a bit slower. Not as many tracts were handed out and only a handful of conversations were engaged in. Yet, in the midst of all this God was at work.
Not long after arriving, I had the distinct feeling that I should preach the Gospel. At first, I tried to ignore this feeling as we have never open-air preached in Woodridge. In my mind this place was not the best for it. Yet, the feeling to preach would not go away. Eventually, I took out my Bible, turned to John 3:16 and began to address those who had gathered. To my surprise the crowd was very friendly. Many were smiling and nodding in agreement, others were saying "amen". This all helped to bring in a few others that would stand around listening.
As I spoke, I expounded on the text of Scripture and explained how God shows love towards the world, yet, we as a people reject God. While I was talking one young lady began to quote the Bible verse every time I mentioned it. As she said it, others began to learn the verse and repeat it. Sadly, this young lady thought that she had to redeem herself in order to be saved. I explained to her that salvation is dependant upon Jesus redeeming us, and not our own works.
After speaking for sometime, I decided to finish up my message. Once again I read the verse, and called on those listening to trust in Christ. When I finished, some in the crowd began to say, "Please don't stop. Preach more!" I was more than willing to oblige their request.
Eventually, when I did finish preaching, I was approached by three young teenage girls who wanted to know about where I went to church. We chatted for a bit, and they began to tell me about how they are told they aren't special. In reply to this I took them to the Bible and showed them what God says about the people He created. They seemed to be surprised that God has declared that they are special, and that they are loved. I also had some tracts that are designed for ladies called, "You are Special" which goes through John 3:16, I gave them these tracts, and they left promising to read them.
Shortly after all this the rain began to pour down. This made many people leave the area, but those who remained were offered tracts and spoken to about Jesus. Overall, today was a slow, yet wonderful day.
Brief video of a segement of the open-air preaching in Woodridge.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 - Capalaba
It was the first time I had been to Capalaba for an outreach. Upon arrival I must admit that I was skeptical about how effective this outreach was going to be. The place that had been chosen for an afternoon of witnessing was actually a large bus stop / exchange. The problem was that there were so few people hanging around.
Ryan and I had a time of prayer before beginning to look for people to witness to. Fairly quickly Ryan got into a good conversation with a Mormon and a Roman Catholic. While he was talking to them, I found two young guys sitting on a seat waiting for the bus. I approached and engaged them in conversation. It was clear that one of them didn't want to talk to me, but the other seemed very interested. This man identified himself as being named Jordan, and he told me about how he had been brought up in a Christian home. We chatted for a few minutes about his background and about if he still believes in God. He told me he believes the Bible to be true, yet, he was living a life of rebellion.
We chatted about what sin is, and how we have rebelled against God, and then I explained to him about the mercy of God shown at the cross. Jordan had heard this all before, yet, he paid complete attention. After I had explained the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, I said to Jordan that he needed to repent and trust in Jesus. Jordan said, "You are right, I need to trust in Christ. I want to do that now." He then asked me to pray for him. Sitting at a bus stop in Capalaba, this young man bowed his head and professed faith in Christ. After I had prayed with him I gave him a copy of the Gospel of John and an in-depth tract.
Later in the afternoon, I was able to engage a group in a discussion about the Gospel. This conversation started when a young lady called out, "Do you believe the same-sex marriage is a sin?" I replied by asking, "Do you believe in sin?" She said, "Yes." I then asked, "Do you believe in God?" She said she didn't as she was an atheist. My next question was, "Well, how do you determine what sin is apart from God? Why would you ask me a ridiculous question about what sin is, if you don't believe in God?"
These questions stopped the young lady, and began to make her think. From there we had a great conversation about the nature of God, and also the issue of sin. It turns out that this young lady had gone through some rather traumatic events in her life, and as a result she was hurting. I was able to share the Gospel with her, and all her friends that had gathered around. In the end they all took tracts and we parted on very good terms.
While Capalaba was slow for witnessing, it did prove itself to be fruitful ground. Please pray for all those who heard the Good News.
Soli Deo Gloria!